It Never Grows Old: Come Notice With Me – A Journey into Discovering More Beauty, Awe and Wonder

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Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Dear Ones,

I’m writing from a quieter place—one from which I will soon pivot—re-entering the world of more noise, more chatter, and less stillness. This quieter season of Lent has been life-giving and restorative. It has filled me up in ways I didn’t know I know I needed filling and in places I didn’t realize were empty.

After Easter everything changes. Literally. Because of the Resurrection. And this Easter season, I feel a shifting in ways which feel even a bit more significant. That come from a change in my consumption of social media.

During this particular season of Lent, I have lived in a somewhat quieter space, in part because of a social media break— which, if anyone were to ask, will come highly recommended.

I am both ready for and not quite ready for the celebration of Easter Sunday. All that it brings, all that it means. I look forward to Easter Monday—through a lens of hope and joy— to the Gift and the gifts, waiting on the other side.

I’m eager to reconnect with people in that place called Instagram, a place that holds relationships with real people with real lives. People I know and care about and care for. People I have missed. People that inspire me and bless me. People that know me and who encourage me. And people that I hope are encouraged by the message I wrap in my Instagram posts.

My plan is to drill down, dig in & write more about what I have discovered to be an important sacred rhythm or social media resting. As a slow processor, I am still processing what I have learned and discerned from this Instagram fast. But for now I’ll be looking for ways to take regular social media breaks and fasts and to the restoration and shifts in focus that time away brings.

Time away gives us repackaged time for other  things. Time away frees up time to be more present in our moment s and more available to truly notice. Time off of social media gives us more time to be fully in and on in our one real life.

After a hiatus last Wednesday in my weekly podcasting schedule, I am back with a new episode of Peabiddies Podcast: Pursue the Art of Noticing.

I hope you will take a listen. Perhaps you will even forward it on to a friend. That is one of the sweetest compliments a writer or podcaster can receive—sharing is high praise. It means there was something of value that you as the listener wanted to pass on to others.

Perhaps you will consider leaving a review on your preferred listening platform. Those reviews matter. And they help others find us in the increasingly big wide world of podcasting.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for answering yes to the invitation to come with me on this journey—a journey of noticing and becoming more attentive to all that we have been given by the Giver. The Creator. The Artist God.

May you be filled with Easter joy and sing loud Alleluia’s of praise. I cannot stop thinking of the love, the gift, the sacrifice that the Resurrection is and will always be. Forever and ever. Amen.

Joy to you this Easter…

Easter Blessings in Him,

elizabeth wynne marshall

Join me on Instagram @elizabethwynnemarshall where, beginning the Monday after Easter, I  will be microblogging and sharing what I am noticing  with images paired with words. I hope to see you there.

Peabiddies: Pursue the Art of Noticing

Episode 14 – Season 2 Easter Week: Words for you, Practical Steps for Noticing and A Prayer for Noticing https://anchor.fm/elizabethwmarshall/episodes/Episode-14—Season-2-Easter-Week-Words-for-you–Practical-Steps-for-Noticing–An-Easter-Blessing–A-Prayer-for-Noticing-e3mvo8

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Homebound: A Tour Of Mersea

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Christie and I are homebound. She, an author and writer of contemplative prose, is bound to Maplehurst, a red-brick farmhouse built by Pennsylvania Quakers in 1880. And I, a writer of poetry and prose, live in a small southern shrimping village. My home, Mersea, is an old white Victorian built in 1904. We are both writers, wives, mothers, but nearly twenty years and hundreds of miles lie between us.

Christie and I exchanged a few “Homebound Letters” over Lent. The nature of a letter is to communicate over a distance, but the season of Lent introduces other distances — there is the space between winter and spring, the break between longing and fulfillment, and the chasm, so like a tomb, between death and new life. But what is Lent, after all, but a kind of long homecoming? It is a practice of return and a way of erasing distance.

 

“Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them”Psalm 126:6). This is the meaning of Easter.

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Easter is watching all that miserable distance shrink, almost to nothing. Easter is no more letter-writing but a face-to face encounter. Christie and I haven’t yet achieved that, it remains our not-quite-yet, but here is our literary equivalent. Here, for you Christie, and for each one of you reading along, is your very own tour of Mersea at Easter time. I am so glad you’ve come to visit.

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Christie, welcome to Mersea! Not only do I welcome all of ya’ll, but the sounds of the sea gulls and songbirds, and the sweet smells of salt air and sea spray coming on shore, they welcome you too. As if on cue they are singing their own songs of gladness and welcome. Shrimp season has just re-opened here so Sweet, my english cocker spaniel and I walked to the end of the road to the seafood market this morning and bought fresh shrimp for our lunch. So I can promise the shrimp salad is fresh! And the girls provided the eggs for the deviled eggs. So they are fresh too. (Perhaps we can exchange recipes. I’d love some from you all.)

Let’s have lunch on the front porch in the spacious wicker rockers with all the cozy colorful pillows. You will learn so much about this small village by watching the locals walk up and down our sidewalks. There will be lots of bicycle riders too, of all ages. I hope my neighbor rides by today, the one who pedals her tricycle with her big fluffy dog tied to the handlebars. She always makes me grin. My hope and dream and wish is to ride my own bicycle into my seventies and eighties. She is an inspiration.

We will not be bored, watching the world go by, you and I and our lunch of shrimp salad, fresh lettuce greens from my garden and fresh picked chocolate mint in our glasses of iced tea. Every once in awhile a crabber will go by with his or her crab pots in the back of the pick up truck. There is such beautiful simplicity in the design of the pot and in making a living from the sea. The village will tell you some stories, if you sit still and listen.

This wobbly old front porch has recently won my heart and become my favorite room in the house. It doesn’t hide its age or the wear and tear of living. It flaunts the fact that it has survived at least two major hurricanes, if not more. I am sure you saw the sign posted on the front column when you arrived, the one presented by the Village Museum. I will tell you over lunch a little more about my decision to name the house Mersea. You see she already has one “official” name, The Thomas William Graham house. As you will see in a moment, she not only has two names, but two front doors as well.

I suppose I could be a bit prideful about how desperately we need to paint the exterior of the house, but change and renovation take time as you well know. There is a certain special kind of peace which comes in loving Mersea in her in-between place. I am beginning to wonder if she will be too shiny, too new, too polished once her new paint is applied to her old white boards.

Now, which door shall we enter. These two front doors of ours, I find them to be at once doubly welcoming and a bit odd. I have a passion for doors, so this suits me just fine. But when folks come to see us they are just not quite sure how and where to enter when we say “Come on in!”

In the springtime and anytime the weather is showing off, we leave the front doors open so that the outside can come in and bring its goodness. Fresh air and cool winds flowing through Mersea is one of my greatest joys. Open! Yes, open is always preferred. And two open provides double the sea air and gull cries and birdsong and smells of spring.

But we must have screen doors. As you know, the gnats and mosquitoes and the “no see ums” can be unbearable. We joke and say it keeps the village small, as it keeps folks away. One screen door slaps so hard you will likely remember its slam even when you return to Maplehurst. The other door is so loose it sometimes requires an intentional closing. This is one of many juxtapositions and idiosyncrasies you will see as we continue on the tour.

Let’s go through the foyer and through the dining room. Try not to peek as I want to show you these spaces a little later after we go to the kitchen to grab our lunch. You must be hungry as you have come so far. I made a pecan pie and we are having fig preserves with lunch. Both are a hat tip to the pecan and fig trees out back. I don’t make good biscuits, but I buy great biscuits. The biscuits are just a placeholder for the spoonfuls, plural, of fresh fig preserves. Bought too. But this summer I have big plans to make my own, like my mother used to do with figs from her fig trees. I am missing mother this first spring without her. Spring was her favorite time of year. So many things here at Mersea were gifts from momma. I will point them out to you as we go.

Would you like coffee or hot tea with your pecan pie?

To be continued…

(Follow along on Instgram @graceappears for more photographs of Mersea)

 

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Christie Purifoy has offered to give all of us a tour of her home. Click the link here to follow along on her Homebound Home Tour of Maplehurst At Eastertime.

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Change


Change

She longed to change
Things
The ones with a beat
Red, pulsing, pumping the blood
To crack open the norm
Celebrate poetry with prose
Run in the opposite direction
Refuse to settle
Zig while they zag
Rise up and whisper above the screams
Press mute on the debate
Call for peace while there was war
Light a fire on the first day of Spring
Speak as silence suffocates the voiceless
In the spinning
Untangle the web
Raise the white flag
Cry for mercy
Shed tears for grace
Unfurl the banner of enough is enough
Tattoo love on her wrist to remind her of
Wood and nails
Set sail
For calm and deep in
Oceans of counterclockwise in a sea of clockwise
And dream of a world
In which Change would come

And Change remained
Died and rose again
And Change redeemed
Sweet dreams, lovers of Change
Easter is near
All will soon shout
Alleluia’s
Again

Color Me: Weekend Poetry

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Color Me

The color of mercy, royal aubergines and plum
Whimsy, fuchsia, lime and auburn
Reds, fiery wild and burning free
Navy, calm and self-assured

And when the last color is pulled from the box
An attempt to shade and cover-up
To re-make what is simply there
Erase it all and start again
Wipe it void and color-free
White, make me white
And free from pain and sin
Make me new
This Lent
Prepare my soul to meet The Christ,
The Empty Tomb, The Cross

Color me new
Color me anything but me

Prepare me
Easter new

And then send me out to color wild and free again
Outside the lines
Of timidity and fear, constrained and shackled
Held by death and sin
Send me out free
To make art and serve
Spilling forth Hallelujahs
In turquoise, rose and marigold
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Joining Sandy and Deidra for her Sunday Community