Wednesday, September 12, 2012

my favourite things/ the old and familiar

the old and familiar
remained my closest friends today
and tonight as I closed my eyes
and listened
I could hear my heart beat
in my chest
its pulse
set to the music around me

and I wondered ...
does the train always rumble so

I hardly notice it
with my eyes open

so familiar all these games I play
when at home all are settled in cozy
and I take my bucket
and Big dog [Canoe]
and head out
to milk goats
and tonight ...
to play with the new kids
on the block.

I was so proud of Blue today

I knew this morning
as I sent the goats to pasture
and one lingered half field
while the others were forest bound
and leaping
Blue dog trailing behind
that she would be delivered

tonight my Wintergreen
the last of the triplets to give birth
stayed back in the forest with her two
and good dear Blue dog ran me to her

two bucks
still wet and fresh
under the spruce grove
nestled in moss and soft needles
working wobbly legs
up down up down
trying out
tenor voices
mama Wintergreen
proud and
in love
Blue dog proud
to show me
their secret

The rest of the herd following close behind me
baaing loud and celebrating
the last of the birthing
we carried them  young'uns to the barn
and with fresh straw and delicious hay
all around
and a warm lamp
we showed them how to find the first milks
mama calm trusting
with being
in the family way


everyone tucked in
my last round to the chickens to close their door
look for egg gifts
over to scratch
the bunny tender
and whisper soft
I love yous
her fur like angel wisps
beneath my calloused hand

I linger
I have today
I don't want to forget these gifts

I gaze straight up
the milky way thick and dripping fallen stars
God's hand annointing
our newlife

the Big Dipper
sits snug over my grand Cottonwood
I walk carefully in the thick night
remembering each lift and fall of the earth
along my path

I remember how earlier Eduardo thought of trading
our farm for another
it might be better he said
but the price was too high
and I smiled
and cried all in one
to be where all is familiar
where sweet memories sleep
waiting for the morning Son to awaken them

I will go where the Lord leads

for today
in my aging days
I find strength in familiarity
I have watched the same trees grow for thirty two years
I know every wild rose bush
the huckleberry
the chantarelles
the old fir and cottonwoods
the flow of Spring run-off
the sound of the creek
the call of the wild around us
the sun setting and rising
where rain will make her puddles
where the frogs come out to play

people have changed
grown up
moved away
some come back to plant joy
in an old friend's heart
others gone forever

At night when the world around me sleeps
and aloneness is like a warm cloak
it is the familiarity of my Lord's presence that woos me
completes me
as I meet with Him
in this land he has planted me in
He has tilled my soil
thrown on rich manure
and waited
for good soil
and then planted

His seeds are love and peace
and goodwill
compassion and encouragement
strength to be weak
so another may be strong
joy wrapped in serving
laughter wrapped in kindness
gentle perseverance
patient longsuffering
and praise
...and grace

all watered with the river of forgiveness
bittersweet and lovely

I am praying for a bountiful harvest
on the day of His appearing
I want to be a joyous garden

Every year my Bethany
sweet Rose
gifts me with seeds
on Mother's day
and a card to say
"You gave me life
helped me grow
kept me close
then let me go...
You taught me everything I know..."

Those seeds now grace our table and home
and that of many others
flower gifts
full bloom with radiant beauty
they bring sonshine to the hearts of friends

they once were only seeds
and a thought
and a hope

I know my God gives me life
has helped me grow
kept me close
and let me go...
He has taught me everything I know

the old and the familiar
my favourite things

baby goats
a cat named Oliver

my favourite things


  1. Oh-you don't know how I needed this post, as I am in a new chapter of my life-son just got married, and I am learning to let's not so easy, but I have the One who never changes at my back, beside me, and ahead-leading and covering me at the same time...

    I love Oliver-he is a handsome cat!

    1. Debra... I believe I can truly say, I understand... I am also thankful for the unchanging One who continues to bless through all this with his joy

  2. Dear Susan,

    We bought our little house in 1981 as our "little cabin in town" that we could escape to when we needed a break from the parsonage. Russ served different bunches of churches and we lived in several parsonages, but we always had the little house we owned as ours. Over the years, Russ remodelled it and made it just like we wanted it to be. In 2003 we came here to live. Russ went quarter time in the pastorate and I worked in the hospital. It was good to have this wonderful little house with a lifetime of memories in it to house us during the final years of our lives. Your poem really spoke to me, for me. I love Bethany's verse:
    You gave me life
    helped me grow
    kept me close
    then let me go...
    You taught me everything I know...
    It is a wonderful time in life to be able to see some of the fruits of your investments: a sapling now a tree, babies now adults, flowers that were seeds. Yes, I understand the allure of familiarity. It is enough.

    Thanks for this. The bouquet is beautiful!

    1. Dawn I loved to hear of your cabin of memories... very precious!
      I'm also glad you liked the bouquet :)
      Today after a morning of slight frost I am out in the brilliant sunshine with my goaties and fencing as well as in the kitchen making apple crisp and pies and juice from the harvest...
      hugs dear friend, to you and Russ and the woofers

  3. In this world where things change so rapidly, the few constants like seed-time and harvest, springtime and winter, a patch of land we've called home become as dear friends. A lovely reminiscence of God's unfailing kindness. Lovely photos, too.

    1. Eduardo and I walked our trail at dusk yesterday and the Autumn pungent smells were a delight. He mentioned how much he loves them now but that his first year here he didn't at all. 33 years of familiarity can change so much...

  4. Your gratefulness and joy . . .the fullness of Jesus in this post, makes me cry. Thank you for sharing and helping us see the true gifts He gives and how familiar is a wonderful thing! love and prayers! - deb

    1. Yay Deb! so nice to have you visit dear friend!

  5. Oh. my. Susan, I could not quote what I love here--there would be too much. Every word, I drink in deep--my soul memorizing it, taking it to keep in my heart forever. I love poetry--and I love reading about what moves others. You write in such a real, raw way that really moves, captivates, mesmerizes me. I can learn a lot from this--I am planning to start a "writing day" at my blog this week--where I try things out, exercises, or just write about writing. Some weeks I may write some poetry--I really want to get back into that--I hope to see you there. Loved being here--the sunflowers, the babies, the poppies {I was wondering what they were!}--thank you for sharing--absolute beauty. I wanted to leave a heartfelt *thank you* for your kind words--you cannot know how much they meant--way more than you know, I'm sure. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Nacole, raw is often so hard to share but it can't stay in...
      to shape words into something that gives life... always a goal to bring life...
      Blessings and thank you
      One day we will all meet and think what heart warming fun that will be!

    2. "...everyone tucked in..."

      This is my favorite line. :)

    3. Rhonda, for a mama, tucked in beloveds is always a good feeling. I remember my 17 year old nephew coming to spend a year with us and him asking what I did when I went upstairs to 'tuck in ' my girls. He wanted me to show him. So I sat on the edge of his bed and asked him how his day went and we laughed over some of the fun, we thanked God for the events of the day and asked him to bless all our loved ones, I read a book and a piece of the bible, I showed him how I would massage my kiddies hands gentle or wipe the hair back out of their faces or maybe scratch their back, tuck the covers around them snug and fresh, maybe sing a song with them, plant a kiss on their forehead with a blessing...

      so a few nights later ( my 7 year old son had taken up residence in the bunk above Jaime) he goes through this tucking in first with the girls and then with my son and it was so sweet to peek in and see his gentle love ... this boy is now married and has two little ones of his own and I am certain he continues the 'tucking' in!

  6. Oh all those sunflowers...having been at my place I think you would know that I just sunflowers..I love your words...your pictures...blessings~

    1. I give away about five hundred through the late summer... bouquets to bring sun joy ! Always brings a smile! I was actually drawn to your blog because of your sunflowers! could tell a friend...

  7. Oh My Goodness. Susan, you capture my heart. I love when you take me on your late-night treks. And in this, while I was swooning under the milky-way thick and dripping, you caught me off-guard and God spoke through you to me ... "in this land he has planted me in He has tilled my soil thrown on rich manure waited and waited for good soil and then planted." What He has been doing all this time in me ... and finally finding good soil.
    Bless you and yours,

    1. I look forward to seeing all God's harvest one day together in Heaven... praise God that He is the good and gracious gardener.

  8. Thank you for sharing, Dear Susan

    I wanted to quote, but I would end up quoting so much, I may as well not start with the quoting :-)

    Simply beautiful! Thank you for letting us in. I feel all warm and fuzzy and homely and loved. ( Like Rhonda, the tucked in line got me too :-) )

    Blessings to you and yours!

    1. Ann, such a treat to have had you walk a while here with me...