Sunday at Middlemay Farm

Enlarge Within Us a Sense of Fellowship
By St. Basil (300? – 375 A.D.)

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.

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Oh, God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things; with our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us.

We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to Thee in song, has been a groan of travail.

May we realize that they live not for us alone, but for themselves, and for Thee, and that they love the sweetness of life even as we, and serve Thee in their place better than we in others.

The Tenafly Road Series

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

 

Ring Out Wild Bells by Alfred Tennyson

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Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

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Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife,
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweet manners, purer laws.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

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***“Ring Out, Wild Bells” is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Published in 1850, the year he was appointed Poet Laureate, it forms part of In Memoriam, Tennyson’s elegy to Arthur Henry Hallam, his sister’s fiancé who died at the age of twenty-two. Wikipedia

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The Tenafly Road Series

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

Sunday at Middlemay Farm

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“God travels wonderful ways with human beings, but he does not comply with the views and opinions of people. God does not go the way that people want to prescribe for him; rather, his way is beyond all comprehension, free and self-determined beyond all proof. Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety—that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him from it.

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Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

 

The Tenafly Road Series

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

Sunday at Middlemay Farm

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you,

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or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

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or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.

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Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)

 

HAVE A PEACEFUL WEEK!

Sunday at Middlemay Farm

 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.

 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Psalm 19:1-6

Sunday at Middlemay Farm

“God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.”
Soren Kierkegaard, The Journals of Kierkegaard

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THE TENAFLY ROAD SERIES

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

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“People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.” ― Peter F. Drucker

“Broadly speaking, as good as it feels to have a plan, it’s even more freeing to realize that nearly no misstep can destroy you. This gives you the courage to improvise and experiment.” Tim Ferriss

Did you know about purple chickens? I didn’t until recently. I visualized having one. The very next day an ad for lavender Orpington roosters appeared on Craigslist.

“Wait. Why do we need a rooster again?” my husband asked, remembering when I was stabbed through the ankle by an evil rooster. “I had to carry you to the barn to milk the goats the next morning, remember?”

“Well. It’s purple.” A very logical reply from me I thought. Similar to my reply when asked why we needed call ducks — “they’re cute.”

I promptly named our lavender rooster Rhett Butler. So far he’s affectionate. He climbs on my shoulder and rubs his purple head against my cheek. Too adorable, really.

Lately I’ve been a little lost because I finished writing an emotional roller-coaster of a SIX BOOK SERIES. I decided to give myself time off. I started feeling a vague sense of unease about time off. My mind looked for things to be fearful about. It was officially time to get a purple rooster.

The lady getting rid of the rooster gave me the wrong address. The address didn’t actually exist but we found a house with chickens in the front yard. The lady said to just go around back when we got there. A couple sat in an open field a ways off as we walked through a magical secret garden with tamed turkeys and chickens squawking and fluttering about. The look on the couple’s faces as we called out to them immediately told us we were at the wrong place.

After their initial shock they graciously gave us a tour of their shady gardens overflowing with woodland ferns and pockets of sun-drenched bee balm along tamped down dirt paths. Their pet La Mancha goats begged to have their chins rubbed. This secret garden made getting lost so worth it.

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Eventually we found the real chicken seller at her fixer-upper farm. She waved from the roadside with her husband beside her. They were an older couple but just starting their farm dream and had big plans. Their enthusiasm for life was infectious. Their enthusiasm for their many hens and roosters was adorable. In one night of seeking a purple chicken my faith in humanity was heightened. Rhett Butler will always remind me of the surprises that come with allowing for little adventures.

Solid plans and a long waits can be good things, but I’ve found that waiting until you’re ready to live your dream isn’t as much fun as just doing it.

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Prolonging Youth

“Yes, I too think there is lots to be said for being no longer young: and I do most heartily agree that it is just as well to be past the age when one expects or desires to attract the other sex. It’s natural enough in our species, as in others, that the young birds should show off their plumage—in the mating season. But the trouble in the modern world is that there’s a tendency to rush all the birds on to that age as soon as possible and then keep them there as late as possible, thus losing all the real value of the other parts of life in a senseless, pitiful attempt to prolong what, after all, is neither its wisest, its happiest, or most innocent period. I suspect merely commercial motives are behind it all: for it is at the showing-off age that birds of both sexes have least sales resistance!”  The collected Letters of C.S. Lewis