Tag Archives: wonder

Late Spring Leaves

No lightening, no thunder, no dark clouds this morning.  So I went for a walk down the neighborhood bike trail, pausing to take pictures of late spring leaves.  I’m always a bit surprised by the colors and continue to be amazed at how new leaves unfold.

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Silver Maple.  Photo:  TLClark.  Woodland Reserve, Ankeny, Iowa.  5/30/19.

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Swamp While Oak.  Photo:  TLClark.  Woodland Reserve, Ankeny, Iowa.  5/30/19.

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Photo:  TLClark.  Woodland Reserve, Ankeny, Iowa.  5/30/19.

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Quaking Aspen.  Photo:  TLClark.  Woodland Reserve, Ankeny, Iowa.  5/30/19.

Photo Challenge: Wonder

Spring is on the way!  I marvel, even wonder, at buds swelling on the end of tree branches.

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Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

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Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

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Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

With eyes open and a camera in hand, I found a few other things of wonder in my neighborhood this morning.

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Re-freeze from yesterday’s snow melt. Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

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Leaf in snow bank. Photo: TLClark, 3/19/19.

Thanks, Frank, for the photo challenge!

Photo Challenge: Surface

Thinking about the large aquarium in the waiting area of the Infusion Suite at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, I grabbed my compact digital camera before we headed there yesterday.  Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge this week is surface and I wondered if I could capture the water’s surface.

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Aquarium, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Photo: TLClark, 2/21/19.

I had to turn off the camera’s automatic flash, move around to get the right light, and watch for people appearing in the frame.  The bubbles as well as the reflections of plants and fish on the surface of the water in the large aquarium exceeded my expectations.   A bonus: the room being reflected on the glass surface of the aquarium.  A side bit of fun: an older gentleman offered to get me a fishing pole.

With my imagination primed and a camera nearby, I started seeing bubbles, reflections, or interesting textures everywhere I looked.

There were bubbles from a carbonated beverage on the inside surface of a paper cup.

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Bubbles in Paper Cup.  Photo: TLClark, 2/21/19.

As the docetaxel dripped its way through tubing into to my beloved’s veins, droplets clung to the inside surface of the top vial and air bubbles appeared on the surface of the liquid.

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Docetaxel.  Photo: TLClark, 2/21/19.

Light revealed the textured surface of a glass panel providing a bit of privacy for patients.

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Glass Panel.  Photo: TLClark, 2/21/19.

The glass roof below intrigues me whenever I walk by.  It was covered with snow on our visit three weeks ago.  Yesterday the surface reflected the buildings around it.

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Glass Roof, Pomerantz Family Pavilion, UIHC.  Photo: TLClark, 2/21/19.

Thanks, Frank, for a great challenge!

For those who are wondering, the chemo is working its magic with minimal side effects.  With all kinds of gratitude, Teressa

 

 

 

 

Snow on Window

dsc01283 (2)Good morning and welcome to another snow day.  I figure I can either grumble about treacherous roads and having to reschedule some appointments.  Or I can enjoy the view.  Today I choose the view.  And give thanks for all who are working to make the roads safe again.

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“The Wonderer” (6th Stanza: God)

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Photo: TLClark

Robert William Service wonders at “my Hand … my Eyes … my Heart … my Brain” in the first stanzas of “The Wonderer.”  Then he notes “You’re just as wonderful as I” and invites us to wonder and marvel at Creation.  In the sixth and final stanza, Service turns our attention to God:

If wonder is in great and small,
Then what of Him who made it all?
In eyes and brain and heart and limb
Let’s see the wondrous work of Him.
In house and hill and sward and sea,
In bird and beast and flower and tree,
In everything from sun to sod,
The wonder and the awe of God.

Wonder and awe.  Of Creation and Creator.

“In the beginning God created …”  Genesis 1:1

I understand the first chapter of Genesis as ancient poetry – beautiful, evocative, imaginative.  It is an invitation to take another look at the world and to wonder at our very existence.  As a person of faith in the current era, I am quite willing to stand in awe of the ‘Who’ of creation and not worry about the details of the ‘how.’  Nature is.  And God was at its beginning, is in its midst now, and will be present in all the days to come.

“Consider the lilies of the field ….”  – Jesus, Matthew 6:28

I invite you to look at a few flower photos (sorry, no lilies).  Notice the color, the texture, the raindrop or the shadow and to see the wondrous work of God.  Then gaze – perhaps at a person or pet near you or at the scene out your window – and notice other beautiful, marvelous works of God.

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Photo:  TLClark.

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Photo:  TLClark.

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Wildflowers of a restored prairie on a rainy day. The Morton Arboretum. Photo: TLClark.

This is the last in a series of posts in response to the poem “The Wonderer” by Robert William Service.  Read the whole poem by clicking here.

 

“The Wonderer” (Stanza 5 – You/Creation)

In the first four stanzas of “The Wonderer” Robert William Service wrote of

  1. “the moving marvel of my Hand”
  2. “the wonder of my Eyes”
  3. “the wonder of my Heart”
  4. “the wondrous wonder of my Brain”

Lest you and I  think we are any less marvelous than he, the beginning of the fifth stanza of the poem assures us otherwise.

But do not think, O patient friend,
Who reads these stanzas to the end,
That I myself would glorify. . . .
You’re just as wonderful as I,
And all Creation in our view
Is quite as marvelous as you.

The pastor in me immediately remembered the words of the psalmist:  “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Ps 139:14a NRSV)  Not just me.  You, too, are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Nothing less than a marvel.

The rest of the fifth stanza – the way it is printed makes it look like it is not a new stanza – is an invitation to wonder.

Come, let us on the sea-shore stand
And wonder at a grain of sand;
And then into the meadow pass
And marvel at a blade of grass;
Or cast our vision high and far
And thrill with wonder at a star;
A host of stars — night’s holy tent
Huge-glittering with wonderment.

I searched through my digital photographs looking for sand and grass and stars.  I took time to marvel at the variety of unique flowers and wonder at the shapes of many individual leaves.  But flowers and leaves aren’t mentioned in this stanza of the poem.

I don’t take many landscape pictures.  Nevertheless I found a few photos that sort of reflect the fifth stanza of Service’s poem.  Hope you’ll take a moment to wonder or marvel or thrill – not so much at the pictures but of the memories you have of a sea-shore, a meadow, and the night sky.

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Beach, Golden Gardens Park, Seattle, Washington.  Photo: TLClark, 10/7/2018

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Sand on Fingers and Rock, Golden Gardens Park, Seattle, Washington.  Photo: TLClark, 10/7/2018.

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Meadow, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois. Photo: TLClark, 6/29/2013

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Blade of Grass after the rain.  Photo:  TLClark, 6/29/2013

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Epiphany Stars, Faith UCC, January, 2013

This is another in a series of posts in response to the poem “The Wonderer” by Robert William Service.  Read the whole poem by clicking here.  The first stanza is in my first post found here; the second is here, the third is here and the fourth is here.

“The Wonderer” (4th stanza: Brain)

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This is the fourth of a series of posts in response to the poem “The Wonderer” by Robert William Service.  Read the whole poem by clicking hereThe first stanza is in my first post found here; the second is here and the third is here.

Now, the fourth stanza of the poem “The Wonderer” by Robert Service:

Then oh! but how can I explain
The wondrous wonder of my Brain?
That marvelous machine that brings
All consciousness of wonderings;
That lets me from myself leap out
And watch my body walk about;
It’s hopeless – all my words are vain
To tell the wonder of my Brain.

A few observations about how the brain operates.  There is the “Eureka!” sort of moment; a realization of discovery.  There is the “Wow!” of wonder, of being taken aback at how another is thinking.  There is the pondering, the imagining of what might be.

EUREKA!  As a brand spanking new Computer Programmer in the “real world” in 1987 I was amazed at how my brain worked.  Computer coursework in college had not taught me exactly what I needed to know.  But it had taught me how to think to learn what I did need to know for using particular programming languages in a specific computing environment.  I marveled at how my brain made connections.

WOW!  My oldest nephew was about 4 years old when I pulled out the book God’s Paintbrush by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso.  Upon hearing the title, B responded in a matter-of-fact tone, “It must be really big.”  It took me a moment to realize that God, who is pretty big to a preschooler, would have a really big paintbrush.

IMAGINE.  Ponder.  Contemplate.  Wonder.  About a creative endeavor.  About a career move.  About the words of a poem, the lyrics of a song, the phrases in a text.  About a relationship.  About God.

Holy God … assure us again that ear has not heard, nor eye seen, nor human imagination envisioned, what you have prepared for those you love you.   – From Book of Worship, United Church of Christ.

God has prepared things for those who love God that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being.  – 1 Corinthians 2:9b CEB