Tag Archive | God

Does Wind Whisper or Roar?

Later in this column, I’ll give you the scientific definition of WIND.  But for the moment, think about wind only as a source of energy—something we can’t see but can feel.  I consider it the most mysterious of weather conditions.  Where is it?  If it can be so powerful, why can’t we see it?flowers_blowing_in_the_wind_by_silverlioness77-d4zxkz1[1]

 

This winter of 2013/2014 has proved to be one of the most extreme weather patterns in recent years (in some cases decades).

Mostly we consider wind to be the “source” that:

  • messes up our hair
  • takes the dirt/dust in the air and collects it on our cars,
  • sends the pollens into our red, watery, itchy eyes.

It is also that thing which causes your little speeding golf ball to take an unruly path away from the hole on the green.

And you may remember the frustration of trying to fly a kite which is difficult with too little or too much wind.

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For all the things we can blame on wind, I want to consider it’s positive force—how it makes you feel.  Whether you think of wind as in the concept of power or gusts or you think of it as a whisper fluttering the leaves, it undeniably has power like no other part of nature.

To me  it is the way I feel in the wind.  I know, scientifically, there is energy and power in the wind.  But to feel the wind as it touches my face and body, to let it drift over my mind and thoughts, just to see it moving the other elements of nature is so representative of a force greater than you and I.

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It seems to have the ability to make my mind clear – like clearing out the cobwebs.  It actually affects my body & health.  It takes only a few minutes outside in quiet solitude before I feel as if I’d done spring cleaning in my  thoughts completely removing the problems and worries and enjoying the deep breaths I draw.

Regeneration is a word that reminds me of what “wind” does for me.

Let’s think about when wind mixes with a particular element–that brings on a whole new meaning.

  • If it is snow blowing and swirling, then we have a blizzard;
  • if it is sand or dirt blowing, then we have a dust storm;
  • if it is rain that is moving with the wind, it may result in tornadic or hurricane force winds.th[7]

Sometimes those things bring us upheaval and disaster.  So the ferocious manner of wind is not to be ignored.  But think with me about the breeze and gusts that most often make up our day.thBTE95TC0

  • The coolness of an autumn breeze;
  • the snow moved softly by the wind;
  • the pollen pushed forth by the blowing;
  • the rain shower that blows upon us for only minutes.

Like most of us in the US, I’m awaiting those days that will soon burst forth giving us more pollen, more rain, more movement than has laid below our frozen tundra and iced vegetation.  As the Spring of 2014 drifts upon us in a few more days (weeks), I hope I will be able to appreciate what the wind provides for us and greet it with welcoming smiles.

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Wind dusts off, cleans away, and refreshes the earth as well as our body.  The power of the wind reminds me the source of all wind (all energies) is controlled by my Creator and that God is the maker and purveyor of this earth.

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Scientific Information about wind:  For any of you who wish to read a “scientific Description” of wind, you may click this link.  It seemed to me to be very mysterious in its definition—a little like wind seems to me!  http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_causes_wind.htm

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For the wordsmiths among us, here are other words for wind:

breath  ♦  breeze  ♦  draft  ♦  ozone  ♦  puff  ♦  blast ♦ waft ♦

whirlwind cyclone  ♦  flutter ♦  cyclone ♦  flutter  ♦  tempest  ♦

typhoon  ♦ zephyr  ♦  ventilation  ♦  chinook  ♦

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Wind has so many attributes and has often been used in music & poetry.

One of the songs about “wind” is represented in the1969 Hollywood film “Paint 
Your Wagon” (They Call the Wind) Maria (pronounced /məˈr.ə/) performed by 
Harve Presnell.  Here is a video of that performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02Mh3DNaXDw&feature=player_embedded#t=2

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The exact opposite of Maria is when “wind” brings us the soft, wistful thoughts.  “The Breeze & I are whispering goodbye…”  For those who want to dance in the breeze, I’ve included that haunting melody here

The Breeze and I - words by Al Stillman, music by Ernesto Lecuona
music written in 1929 as a piano piece called "Andaluza,"part of the Andalucia Suite
by the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona - words added later by Al Stillman - 
sung here by Caterina Valente, 1953

The breeze and I are saying with a sigh
That you no longer care
The breeze and I are whispering goodbye
To dreams we used to share

Ours was a love song that seemed constant as the moon
Ending in a strange, mournful tune
And all about me, they know you have departed without me
And we wonder why, the breeze and I
The breeze and I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G35oUvfqnsk&feature=player_embedded#t=6

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Here is a little known fact related to weatherology:

As mentioned, the song  “They Call the Wind Maria” was featured in the 1969 Hollywood film “Pain Your Wagon, starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg.  It was George Rippey Stewart’s 1941 novel Storm, in which he presents the storm which is the protagonist of his story  and named it “Maria” (pronounced /məˈr.ə/).

In 1947, Stewart wrote a new introduction for a reprint of the book, and discussed the pronunciation of “Maria”:

“The soft Spanish pronunciation is fine for some heroines, but our Maria here is too big for any man to embrace and much too boisterous.” He went on to say, “So put the accent on the second syllable, and pronounce it ‘rye'”

The success of Stewart’s novel was one factor that motivated U.S. military meteorologists to start the informal practice of giving women’s names to storms in the Pacific during World War II. The practice became official in 1945. In 1953, a similar system of using women’s names was adopted for North Atlantic storms. This continued until 1979, when men’s names were incorporated into the system.

Think about how the wind moves through nature and through you.

“..A Poem as Lovely as a Tree…”

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Sometimes our fate resembles the fruit tree in winter.  Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom; but we hope it; we know it.

Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

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In every winter’s heart, there is a quivering spring and behind the veil of night there is a smiling dawn.

Kahlil Gibran

sunrise edited

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If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

Kahlil Gibran

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click  link below to hear musical version of Joyce Kilmer’s ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A TREE featuring Mario Lanza, recorded 1952

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=if4gWDYdyEU#t=9

Printed Lyrics to Only God Can Make a Tree

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the sweet Earth’s flowing breast

A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain

Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree

Joyce Kilmer (born as Alfred Joyce Kilmer; 6 December 1886 – 30 July 1918)
was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled
"Trees" (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems
in 1914.

South by Southwest vs. West by Northwest

41_19_76_web[1]It was just a spur of the moment trip.  I really had not planned to go anywhere last Friday, but there I was, driving west and headed to an old familiar place.  I’d taken this road many times—back and forth to my dad’s place over the last 30 years.  The road felt like an old friend.  I knew where each turn was, where the speed traps were, and how far it was to the next bathroom.  I knew where you had to stop and fill up with gas because THAT gas station was always the cheapest.  And I would stop there again–just because.  I knew I could make the trip in less than 4 hours.

You start off heading west on Interstate 20th[10] as if you were going to California—because, if you don’t stop for several days, that’s where you’ll be—or at least El Paso for an overnight stop!  In El Paso, you can catch Interstate 10 600px-I-10.svg[1]and then scoot across the edge of New Mexico around Las Cruces and Lordsburg.  From there it’s just hours on to Tucson.  That’s where your compass might become confused because you come to a crossroads.

Crossroads can sometimes be confusing if you don’t have a clear idea of what your final destination is.  But I didn’t need a map today…I knew the road and my destination.

From Tucson, you can continue to California by taking a hard northwest on to Phoenix and then set your sites on The Los Angeles area.  Of course, don’t get me wrong…that’s more than the 4 hour trip that I’m making to west Texas…but if the music on the CD is right and the gasoline card and credit card have enough available balance, I just might keep on those west-bound roads and be sipping a cool drink on the pier in Santa Monica. Tempting!cocktails-and-lemon-slices[1]

But I’ve overshot my daydreaming just a bit.  I’ve just arrived near the small town of Cisco TX so this is one place I have to make a decision.  Do I make that south turn and go on to my dad’s place—or do I set out on a 5-day trip that takes me all the way to California.

I know deep down he would think the trip west was a good idea.  He traveled all of those roads for many years and told great stories of traveling across the US during the depression and WWII years working when they could.

I would love nothing more than to sit with him again and hear all those great stories.  But a few years ago, his life, well-lived, came to a close.  I’ve gone back only a couple of times since then…and maybe that’s enough…to see if everything is still the same in the town’s rock-road cemetery.  What do I expect will change about it?  I don’t know, but it feels as if I ought to watch over his place like he always watched over me.

MY DADDY…

…could do anything—and I mean ANYTHING!  A carpenter by trade, that didn’t stop him from fixing my dainty jewelry, helping with homework, building a house for us, or making sure that we had enough to survive.

Seems it didn’t take as much in those days to get through—something about our greedy desires have increased since the 50s & 60s.  What we didn’t know about, we didn’t need. 

I have just picked up a hamburger and cherry coke and I’ve made the south turn onto State highway 183th[6] that will take me on to Brownwood, then a connect with US 377 on to Brady, TX.

Brady - Heart of TXA town of about 5,500 located in the geographic heart of Texas, Brady had been a place I had looked forward to visiting every summer when I was a little girl.  My mother and dad would go for a visit to my Mama’s & Papa’s house there, and I’d get to stay for a couple of weeks.

That was just great—especially when I was the last of the cousins (and the youngest of a dozen) to still think it was cool to be gone for a couple of weeks in the summertime staying with some old people.  My Papa grew vegetables and they had chickens.  I didn’t like that at all so I’d just stand at the wire and watch my Mama feed the chickens from the pockets of her always-present apron.

My Papa would pick and dig up vegetables and put them on the big picnic table under the tree to ripen.  I could already imagine those juicy tomatoes, that warm yellow watermelon, and those snap peas cooked in a big pot with potatoes!

Yes, my grandparents were old, but I didn’t mind because I was alone with them and my thoughts.  They had lessons to teach if I would just listen.

The town hasn’t changed too much from those days.  The roads are still made of shale rock and unpaved in most of the town.  Many of the old houses still look like they did when we would drive slowly (because everything in that town was/is slow) to the town square.

Brady Courthouse (2)The square, built around an old county courthouse constructed in 1878, never changed.  There were maybe 40 stores around that square.  As I drive in today, some are still closed up and some have transitioned from a theater to a hardware store, to a boutique, to a coffee shop, to another empty store in a dying commerce of downtown shops.

My destination is just a little off the square northwest on Highway 87  There, in the constantly blowing wind of west Texas, is the old cemetery.  My dad’s place is looking sleek and clean—because nothing can stay long under that incessant wind.  I tell him how much I love him, think to myself of how hard he worked, how much he liked Country Music & TV, how much he loved me from the time I could remember to those recent few years ago.  Many times he rode his white horse (really a brown Ford pickup truck) to save me from a bad decision I had made or a situation that surprisingly turned bad.

YellowRoses[1]I put some yellow roses in the vase near his name with birth and death dates.  Then I blow him a kiss and let the wind clear my eyes.  The skies look clear out here because the wind just blows the clouds out of those west Texas skies.  I look up and I feel the power of God in that wind and I know my daddy is resting in His arms.

I’ll get another cherry coke and start that ride back.  It’s less than 4 hours.  When I get to the crossroad again, I’ll turn east back into central Texas.  El Paso, Las Cruces, Phoenix and Santa Monica will have to wait for another time.

TX sundowner             Driving away from the setting sun with the road humming along and my music set to old country music–the kind my daddy loved. I start to sing along, like my daddy always did.  I felt sad but comforted by the trip to my daddy’s place.

In some ways, today I carved out a new journey down this old road. Traveling never looks the same when your purpose changes.

It’s good to know God will help you if you develop a new vision 

or if you need to take a new journey

even if it is down an old road.

Things I Believe

…I believe…

There are angels among us–people who are sent for the purpose of comfort or guidance. If you’ve ever been blessed with a visit from an angel, if something has occurred you can’t explain, if you’ve felt comforting arms around you in times of fear or trouble…you may be a member of the group who believes there are angels among us!

angel hugs

Empty Promises

Are Our Resolutions Real Goals

…or Just Empty Promises?

Traveling Through This Life
I count them—like the numerous sunflowers of a Kansas field—Those people who pass through my life for a moment—or longer;
I treasure them—like the rare shell found after the ocean’s tide—Those people who emerge victorious through life’s turbulence;
I acknowledge them—with an engraved plaque “for services rendered”—Those people who take the time to inscribe on my heart a new song;
I wish for them—like those wished on a hundred falling stars–A lighthouse on the shore to guide them away from life’s  dark, lonely places;
I invoke for them—like the sacred prayers of intercessors—The courage to create from a shattered past a future that is  undiminished and abundant;
I promise them—with the assurance of experience—The powerful force necessary to mold a life of health , beauty and happiness lives inside your own spirit.
Van Hess, 2004

empty shell

It was 2004 when I wrote the message of Traveling Through This Life at a significant juncture in my life. Since then, like all of us, I have been dealing with other things; and I must admit I’d forgotten the promises I made in my heart for people who came into and through my life.

Digging in a bottom drawer the other day, I found an old file folder. You know, the kind we all have where you toss things you probably won’t need. I was about to throw it out, but reached to retrieve it and nearly fell out of the chair! When my hands touched it, I looked at the words and was immediately overcome with sadness.  What had happened to cause me to let these penned promises pass me by unfulfilled. I felt as if I had failed my friends and associates. Tears formed in my eyes making it hard to read to the end.

Would I have ever admitted what a failure I had been–as a friend, guide, intercessor, supporter–if  I had not run across these words?  Probably not since “ignorance is bliss” and we can’t fault ourselves if we don’t think about it at all.

  • I had forgotten to make people feel the way I promised them.
  • I had not prayed for them or treasured them or helped them.
  • I had not even thought of some of them for years now.

My heart began to feel empty and the tears streaked my face because I knew by not living up to my promise to them, I had lost opportunities—to be a friend and to have a friend. In some cases, I had even lost the chance to make a difference because they had left this life. My negligence may have caused hardships for some without the encouragement they needed or were expecting.

Do I even have the right to ask someone to help me if I failed those I had promised to help?  If we get another tomorrow, we get another chance–the chance to fulfill those promises.  This time I must act upon it.

Many of us will make decisions in the next few days and develop a plan of how we want to change our lives. We think about it, make lofty goals, tell everyone what we will accomplish…then somewhere along the days or months they fall by the wayside. How can you concentrate on people in your everyday life if you are constantly focused on the “lofty goal” that awaits somewhere in the future.

Let’s admit, few of us would ever make a statement like this:

I can’t listen to you right now because I have a goal of making myself more available to people in the coming year !

Sadly, that’s exactly what we are telling people if we have tunnel vision about our goal. We might just miss the opportunity to experience a blessing or fail to be used for a blessing.

You can still do something for others.  It’s not too late.  Maybe spend the next day or two contemplating how you can help and just do it.  If you just plan it, that’s all it is:  a plan.  But if you do it, it becomes something more.  It becomes a blessing or a kind word or just a hello to someone who needs it.  Give it away…it’s easy…just do it!

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Forget past mistakes.  Forget failure.  Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it.

Will Durant

Please visit here often and “Leave a Comment” about how you are dealing with life’s struggles and winning some victories. I, too, pledge to leave you messages here as to how it’s working for me.

Mother’s Birthday

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My mother is having a birthday this week.  It’s not just any birthday but her 94th.  I definitely realize how lucky I am to still have her in my life.

The role of a mother begins long before you give birth…it is formed in your heart first when you know you want to be a part of the ongoing process of life.  Then, at that momentous second you give birth, few are prepared for how huge the job becomes!  The little things of nurturing that child, teaching that child, loving that child, then letting that child go when the time comes for freedom.

That, to me, is the test of any mother’s love…can you let them go?

My mother did all those things for me:  loved me, cared for me, taught me, and then…she let me go.

I am well into retirement age now, but my mother still seems young to me.  She has two beautiful and smart daughters, 3 fantastic grandchildren, and 4 loving great-grandchildren.

Some of her greatest exhibits of strength have come in these later years.  She was married over thirty years ago to her friend and lover.  Nearly two years ago she lost him tragically.  The way she has handled that great loss is exemplary not just to me as her daughter…but to the grandchildren and adult great-grandchildren.  We all pulled together to help her, and it seems, in the long run she helped us through the tragedy.

About twenty years ago, she began her technology training when her husband said, “let’s get you a computer.”  She didn’t know if she could learn that but today she is a prolific e-mailer, a web surfer and finds more things on the internet than anyone else can!

What can I say to my mother I haven’t said in my 60+ years?  Perhaps I’ll give her the greatest compliment possible.  I’ve learned to be a mother by watching her.  She is my greatest strength and role model.

Mother, God is giving our family a present this year—to share another birthday with you!   Happy Birthday!

The future is the past through another gate.

Arnold H. Glasgow

Thanksgiving All Year

Have you recently heard someone say, “At least Thanksgiving is over.” I did and was puzzled at first and then sad to think that a person does not or cannot find any other day of the year to say “thanks” or give “thanks” or count their blessings.

Did you let such an opportunity pass by? So many times I should have said those words.  We often fail to express our gratitude to God or one another.  God provides people on this earth to direct us to certain experiences which by that very experience should emit from our mouth those simple words: THANK YOU or THANK GOD or just THANKS.

Is the giving of thanks over? I know it’s been a week since many of us gathered around the table and ate our fancy turkey or garnished ham and stuffed ourselves with Gramma’s great pumpkin or pecan pie. And who brought that mouth-watering salad and dressing? Was that you, Auntie?

It’s such a simple concept to stay in the mood of thankfulness and gratitude, but we try so hard to get it over and move to the next busy thing—the next advertised holiday—or the next crisis (the kind we often make for ourselves).

If we were to stop here at the time of Thanksgiving and vow to make it a year-long holiday, perhaps we could carry that feeling through the days, months and years. Shouldn’t it be about more than eating that pumpkin pie and watching the football game?

Lord, help me to thank you for all you have done for me and given me and blessed me with BEFORE I ask you for something else—before I start wanting more things. Let me ponder on the miraculous things you have given me to ease my journey along this road of life—the most selfless gift you could give—
Your Son for My Sin.
Amen – (vh)
 

“Thankfulness creates gratitude which
generates contentment that causes peace.”
― Todd Stocker

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