Summer visit to my secret garden

I had the opportunity to visit this garden again the other day. Frog and I had another quiet visit as he continued his work. Frog pond

The waters bubble and flow through a small waterfall to his pond. waterfall I love the serenity in this place, although perhaps it is not place exactly, but the intention to go and breathe deeply and just be present to the timeless wonder of plants and fish and sun in the summer breeze that brings tranquility. Do you see that bright green edge? Look deeply now… slide into the pool of green refreshment.


A good mama

She is such a good mama, I can tell by the way her children, twins, pay close attention.Twins  They scamper away when I come outside. deer And hide behind the tree while mama teaches them about blueberry foraging and the wonders of our yard.

deer Or they scamper and hide behind mama after a night of gluttony in the small vegetable garden, eating every tomato and pepper and munching the plants too, for salad.

Such a good mama to keep her children so well fed.



July 3

The day started too hot, too humid; the heavy still disturbed by cicadas calling.

A single blue hydrangea bloom glows; the extreme winter freeze caused the old blooming wood to die off many of the hydrangeas. Endless Summer

By 5 pm, darkness had closed in, then thunder rolled and crashed across the sky chasing lightening flashes. I count the seconds between, marking the distance. I remember my parents’ front porch on the house at the top of the hill where I’d stake claim to the chaise and watch the storms rolling in from the west streak the sky with jagged lights and feel the gratitude of rain laden breezes cooling hot skin on summer evenings.

So I went outside and sat under cover and listened, quieting myself. In the midst of the storm the hummingbird came and drank and sparrows flew in for dinner too. None seemed concerned by the din or rain. Their Father had provided bloom and feeder and with that they were content. I went in and cooked our simple meal, it was delicious.

The rain continues; the air, 20 degrees cooler, refreshes.

Journey to rest


Some journeys are hard and it is easy to lose the way when winds blow fierce and rain and hail drive you to shelter. I’m still engaged with Bonnie’s book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace.  I expect to be on this journey for a while.

I actually put it aside – a kind of running away from the storm – to read Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening only to find connection in Carol Wall’s memoir too. Then I was back walking with Bonnie. During this month, I had some hard personal interactions that stole my words but reading on and being connected with others on the blog tour has been a great help.calla lilyBonnie asks in one prompt, “What feels comforting to you? List the things you like that bring your soul comfort. Uncover some whitespace by savoring one of these things this week, no matter how insignificant it feels.”

So I took myself to the library today; books have brought me comfort my whole life. I seemed always to be able to read :) I remember my brother letting me walk along to the library and then, no doubt, he carried some of my books home. What joy when they built the new library just two blocks from our home!

Now my library is about 10 miles from home. As I walked back through the parking lot, I stopped mid-stride puzzled as it seemed a red heart was waving at me from under a tree. By the time the books were stowed and the camera set, the light had changed a bit but here is my love note from Jesus to the little girl in me – “I see you, Elaine!”

Love Note

Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray at

Annabelle and the deer


Working at the dining room table, it was as if I could feel the stare; I looked up and through the window.  That deer had been prowling the yard for days. I was a  bit concerned for there had been rain those days but all seemed well. Until now. I grabbed the camera and walked to the kitchen door, opened it and stepped out. There she stood, bold and bad; posing behind the remains of an Annabelle hydrangea as if to say, “Spray, spray, but I will find a way to feast where I please, so there!” All those stalks had held bloom buds. <sigh>

Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Bonnie's book

I’ve been reading Bonnie Gray’s blog, Faith Barista, for a few years now. It was in her writings that I learned about “whitespace”; not an empty, mindless place but rather a set apart, intentional space to let my soul breathe and to nurture it in ways that are unique to me.

I could relate to Bonnie as she wrote of taking time in coffee shops or walking or even just sitting out of doors. Time to rest, to wait, to be inspired, to write. I knew this was a need in my life and with the encouragement of her words I began to be more intentional to experience this rest. I began to take my camera with me and make space in my life to see, sometimes being wonderfully surprised by what the lens would capture.

As time went on, Bonnie began to write this book and to deal with the additional trauma of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disease.  Some of us have very broken places in our lives. We cover them well, for a time. As Bonnie is healing, she finished writing this book that not only shares her story but encourages me to took into living my own better story now by learning to care for my soul, to let it heal and to grow.

I could have just quickly read through the book and put it up on a shelf, but I’m committed to this journey with Bonnie. A journey to find healing and more rest for my soul.  Each chapter ends with three things: first, a thoughtful place to “Pull up a Chair” and uncover pieces of my story and to journal, for as for Bonnie says, ”words are more than ink on paper. They are the soul prints of God’s voice – carrying the unique timber of heaven-on-earth that only you can speak.” Then there are Whitespace prompts – think-about-its that challenge me, make me squirm about or get up restlessly and go dig in the garden or pull weeds or sleep and dream till the answers come, and a pause for rest comes in this journey to awaken my heart to be fully alive to God - where I can - just. be. me. Then the last thing that Bonnie suggests are conversation starters. Needful, ’cause Jesus and I haven’t talked much about many of these things.

One of the things that still holds my attention was the answer I realized to a question posed in chapter 2 – “What realities have I accepted living with for decades that have become immovable parts of my identity?” No, I’m not going to tell here. But perhaps it is a question you might like to consider for your own life?

Thanks for reading about this journey I am taking; if your soul might need breathing space, some rest or healing, come along! Here are links for more encouragement:

Again, Bonnie writes at  Her book is available here. A blog tour to read how others are experiencing  ”Awakening your soul to rest” can be found though the blog tour button on the right.