When The Past, The Present and The Future Collide

It is all right there. In one place at one time.

We go there.

To 1908 and 1944 in old photographs, sepia with pink, black and white, more sepia.

And read the beautiful cursive notes, unlike today’s. Marked by an unknown family member. Written in connective lettering now worn, now requiring translation. Unknown penmanship, but a message that is familiar. Words about this place.

Room by room scribblings of her thoughts remark on ownership, “my room.” A photograph tells of pride of place and of the outer beauty, rhododendron are a symbol of early summer.

They are the great equalizer between generations. A flower. A tree. A beacon. A landmark pointing to time and place.

The past, the present, and the future are on a collision course right here, right now. And I stand in the middle of the bitter sweet swirling storm of the three sources of power.

We read the written and attempt to decipher the unwritten. The author who penned the copious thoughtful notes. The photographs record sweet detail of the day.

And later we go to shop in town. The questions that the mind poses when memory blurs the lines. And questions repeat and stories are retold.

And she forgets the recent but remembers the past. And the neighbor’s name too.

I walk with my camera to record the present that looks amazingly like the past. The pictures we have reviewed over the breakfast table for the first half of the century. She too took photographs of the rhododendron and of the house.

My camera and my eye are drawn to similar beauty. Similar landmarks of this place.

And the spring which bears my name carries cool water from the earth delivering it out and down to cool generation after generation, hot from the summer treks up the mountain she calls home.

They come with jugs from far away. I know because she tells me time and time again. The memory, the short term one, is struggling so.

These defining moments of age and disease, they may define me. And I prepare in my heart for this.

Just as generations have shared the spring, the house, and the rhododendron, I may share in this inability over time to remember the beauty and the detail. And the words and phrases.

But today….

Today I photograph. And I load up with as much good and beauty as I can.

I dig deep for patience to hear the repetition of the familiar of story over and over and over again.

But isn’t that what we do with those stories and memories we love.

We tell them over to generation after generation.

And what do we do with those things that may come our way from past generations. And when generations before had memory loss in life so you may too. But you just don’t know. But you are certain that He loves you so and He has a plan.

And that anything that comes your way, any pieces and parts of life that start to tear and break away from the current normal –you can face and you can bear. You will meet and face it all head on. Forgetting the neighbors name and the rest. And you will be brave, in Him. And you will borrow Hope from Him.

Because of His Grace and His Love and His Mercy, it all becomes more than OK. It becomes, we can do this melange of life, this mix of past and present and future together.

We can dance through and around and above all that comes our way in the arms of The One Who Made Me.

And like the spring which flows from the rocks which bears my name from generation to generation, always flowing fresh and life-giving, so He pours out and into us when all collides and His Hope springs eternal.

And the future, mixed with the past, mixed with the present is all glorious because of Him.

Simply counting gifts with Ann at A Holy Experience dot com.

Gifts for the counting…
*This mountain home built by my family in 1908
*Time with my daughter and her “old” friend…hearing them laugh and giggle on the long drive up. Learning from them how to laugh at the simple things.
*Father’s day with my father
*Time with my mother talking about the past and reviewing old family photographs. A joy. A treasure
*Writing a bucket list for our time in the Blue Ridge Mountains so that we make memories and savor our time here.
*Hearing a stream flowing constantly outside of my bedroom window here. One of my favorite things in all the world is a stream flowing and the sound it makes bumping over the rocks.
*The rain on the roof last night and cool mountain air.
*Plans to pick wild raspberries with The Patient One and go to Mount Mitchell this weekend
*8 lab puppies who are growing and who all have good homes.
*Time with my man/child just enjoying each other and doing projects around the house. More and more it is all about the simple.

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Dreamy Days Of Summer

I want to think again of dangerous and noble things, I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable and beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings.

by Mary Oliver

Friends, wishing for you a place to sit and dream to ponder and pray, to thank and reflect.
And wishing, too, carved out time to place your heart at His feet, thanking him for Fathers. Our Father who art in Heaven….we praise you. And our earthly fathers, we love and respect you.

Happy Dreaming. Hoping you discover a lush green space in which to dream.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.–Phillippians 4:8

Linking today with Sandra Heska King for Still Saturdays

If I Were A Phlogger……..

{Thank you for being here.  You may want to pop over to my Facebook Page and “like” it.  That would be a huge gift and another way to follow this blog of mine. And you are invited to scroll down and sign up to follow daily via email. Isn’t housekeeping fun.  That was my little bit of housekeeping.}

And did I say thank you for popping in and reading and just being here.

Today I am counting gifts at A Holy Experience with Ann Voskamp. You may enjoy her blog, her book, or her Facebook page.  I have.

It has been a gift to count gifts often, shifting that lense a bit to one of gratitude.

Today I am counting in a phlog format.  That is I am adapting to  a photographer’s blog format, a phlog.

Yes, I may have heard of everything now.

Come along with me as I count some gifts in my world.  Gratitude can be contagious. You may think of your own as your read. (This list is not cumulative because that is not how I am rolling with this.  It is a bit unorthodox, and I do not have a journal just for my gifts, though I wish I did. But I know that God sees a grateful heart. Or, gosh I hope He does.  One day I may have my gratefulness act together.)

* A fun lunch with The Patient One and my sweet girl.  This is the before of a crazy menu offering that he was brave enough to order.  My stomach hurt when it landed on the table was brought by the server to the table.


My tummy hearts reliving it. But the gift was in having the impromptu meal as a trio and finding what really was a lovely restaurant. Quirky menu.  Outdoor seating that allowed us to bring the momma lab.  And there was a cool breeze which you can’t see because the ginormous sandwhich is blocking the wind.

And this was what was left.

*Grateful for time with children. Relaxed time. Celebratory time. Even though one was missing, sadly, The Patient One and I focused for awhile on man/child and last but not least, growing up way too fast, daughter.

*Very special time with man/child and his very special friend on her graduation weekend from College. Very happy, calm, relaxing, and a day you just cannot imagine repeating — EVER.

This bird is about to fly the coop and take his feathers and all of his joy right out of our door in a matter of weeks. So every moment of soaking him in, and the man he is becoming is bottled up Joy, pure and simple. And this mother soaked it in with her eyes and her camera.

My imagination narrative is that he is dreaming of his future and what it will feel like to live outside of our home. In reality, he is probably daydreaming and watching his momma lab swim.

*Grateful for this momma lab to be. It was not easy but she is finally expecting her first litter of puppies in a few weeks. Our family is gathered around this event as if it were a person child on the way to join our family, not a furry person whose puppies will all be lovingly delivered to new homes.

I rather like this phlogging idea. I may have to make this a regular feature.

*I slipped away from friends and family for a moment to glance out at an amazing view. I love chairs, weathered, inviting, so full of potential. I am happy just to photograph them. I am grateful that they represent respite, and calm, relaxation and a slowed pace, all of which we experienced this day.

* The Patient One and I rode out to look at a house which our man/child may rent after he graduates from College in a few weeks. During our scenic tour of this wonderful island, I fell in love with all the potential this community holds for his new life. And I dreamed of his days becoming a man away from us.

*And oh, my beloved Mother’s Day cards. I am so grateful for the words, and the handwritten sweetness inside both of these. It is a gift to see that middle son can actually print so neatly. I know he tried his best to write plainly and clearly. That was the gift. And that he was fifteen minutes late for church, as opposed to missing completely, because he stopped to get the card before church….well the gift is he made it to church and had a some what acceptable reason for making it just in time for the sermon. I almost gave myself lock jaw, I was so tense waiting for him to arrive. I glanced over my shoulder a hundred times nervously searching  once or twice expectanting him to arrive any minute.

The Lord is teaching me patience. I am a VERY slow learner.

He is working on Pride issues too, as I did not want to be the momma in church on Mother’s Day with the missing kiddo.

I know I will remember this card FOREVER and will lovingly place it in a memory box.  The memories of my prideful heart racing and of his walking in to church on the very late side of the service will fade.  God is good that way.

* And I am grateful that I learned a little of the phlogging format. I am loving living behind my little camera lense, gazing at gifts and counting them not often enough.