And Into the Forest I Go

Meanwhile back at the ranch ……. after a busy week of ups and downs it’s time to rest.

The sun’s shining after a heavy storm last night. A fox scampers towards the thickly wooded area beyond the upper meadow and sits for a moment beneath one of the trees you see in the painting. He ponders my whereabouts briefly before disappearing into the woods to hide, instinctively aware that I’m heading into the forested area too. For tranquility. He understands why. How well he knows the wonder of the woods. The textures, the hues, wafts of earthy fragrances, and sun rays sparkling through the dense foliage. The sheer beauty of nature heals the soul.

After a while I return to dabble with some watercolors. It’s just postcard size—and a start! I’ve not painted in years, and only with oils, but I was recently inspired to venture beyond my artistic comfort zone. It’s good to set aside time for creative expression.

Our souls need it.

And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.
—John Muir

 

 

Magnolia Smiles

Oh joy! As we welcome May, the magnolia buds are bursting into bloom, and as their pearly petals shrug off the last droplets of April’s rain, the month of May ushers in the promise of sunnier days. And the magnolias smile as if to say,

“Cast off the fears and tears of yesterday and make way for tomorrow’s hopes and dreams.”

I hope you enjoy this short poem by Sara Teasdale.

May Night—

“The spring is fresh and fearless
And every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing—
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring.”

Cotton Candy Skies

We sit outside at dusk by the spreading oak tree. On the deck, beneath its canopy of gnarled boughs, we savor quiet moments to unwind after a busy day at the ranch.

Rustling leaves seem to sing in concert with whispers from the oak’s branches, as they sway softly in the evening air, lulling us into a sense of calm. Continue reading →

Light in the Darkness

Happy beautiful Sunday!

In times such as these, darkness has a way of creeping into the world—black shadows that encircle our lives, flooding our souls with foreboding.

I shot this photo at the ranch a while back, while star gazing on a cold night. As I marveled at the strange cloud formation, in the frostiness of the eleventh hour, an eerie chill swept through me, and I shivered.

Then, quite suddenly, as I moved toward the warmth of our cozy house, bright moonbeams broke through the mottled dark clouds, bathing the sky in brilliant light, reminding me that clouds do have silver linings. Continue reading →

Veiled in the Mist

I LOVE beautiful things from bygone days. Weathered things that have withstood the test of time—antique clocks, vintage china, old buildings, ancient trees, and historic places. The mystery encircling them simply enchants me.

I miss my frequent trips to Dorset.

I am especially drawn to old cobblestone streets like this one. Four years ago today I meandered up and down the oh-so-familiar Gold Hill in Shaftesbury. The old cottages, enshrouded in morning mist, stood stark white against the bubbled, brownish cobblestones, wet with dew, and covered in a velvety green moss. The memory lingers to this day. Continue reading →

Marvel at the Beauty

Tonight at Whispering Oaks Ridge.

Taken from our front porch at the ranch. We actually held up dinner with our friends to marvel at the beauty of this evening’s sky. A fiery red sunset—the kind that takes your breath away. Such beauty from God always makes me want to drop to my knees from the glory of it all.

Do beautiful sunsets set your soul on fire and affect you that way too?

Lord, how great thou art.

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Whispering Oaks Ridge Upper Meadow

Can it really be May Day 2021? So soon? The date on my calendar confirms indeed it is, but the rumbling thunder overhead, and the raindrops pitter-pattering on the windows, gives me cause to believe April is lingering—hanging on—to rain on May’s parade.

What in the world happened to the past eight months since my last blog post? Where did those months go? Did I hibernate the time away? I chuckle internally as visions of myself curled into a tight ball comes to mind. Anthea, snuggled in a warm, cozy nest like a hedgehog. No, that’s so not me! Did I tune out those months to escape the craziness of a world gone mad? Well, the idea has been appealing at times, but no, that’s not exactly what transpired. Do you think I ran for the hills as I’ve sometimes expressed?

Actually, that is exactly what happened. Chuck and I ran to the hills—the Texas Hill Country. There, after much searching and a whole lot of patience, we found a beautiful 5-acre ranch halfway between Wimberley and Blanco, studded with mature oak trees. The modest 2-bedroom house is perched on a ridge, overlooking a sweeping meadow with views to the hills beyond. We found our perfect bolt hole, our run-for-the-hills escape, our little slice of heaven in the country, engulfed in nature.

Whispering Oaks Ridge. Continue reading →

My Soul Sings for You

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Earlier this week, my publisher Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, alerted me that they had submitted my book files to the printer for formatting, and that the official publish date of the book was 18th September 2019. I am delighted to reveal the title and its accompanying tagline.

My Soul Sings for You
Spiritual Peace in the Life and Times of Now

Publishing this 356-page book has been a unique journey that has challenged me as a writer and a person at each step of the process—actions that included writing, editing, selecting cover graphics, interior chapter graphics, creating unique captions to each graphic, as well as reading the entire book numerous times. It all added up to a lot of planning and decision-making amid intermittent periods of waiting patiently as my publisher performed their part in the production process. Continue reading →

Do Roses Grow in Heaven Dad?

Happy Father’s Day Dad. It’s been 5 months since you left to be with Mum and I rejoice that you’re together for eternity.  I’ve been thinking of you all week and find my mind wandering … and wondering … upward to heaven.

The weeks have flown by and 8:00 a.m. each day has come and gone and the phone sits there … silently. I miss your familiar ring and our daily chats and even though I know full well you’re not here to call me, the habitual phone call of so many years has left an imprint of expectancy … that we’d be talking, so I thought I’d dial you up in heaven and share some thoughts. Continue reading →

My Feet, My Faith. His Will, His Grace!

I just love new beginnings, don’t you? The dawning of each day! Mondays … the first day of the month … the New Year … it’s like we’re given a fresh start over and over again, throughout the year! Oh joy! I definitely want, need and value these chances to begin anew … do you?

It’s January 2 and I’m deep in thought about the year ahead in 2018. How will I make my life count this year? In what way will I maximize the hours in each day to make every day count in a meaningful way? What plans do I have for our business this year? What steps will I take to bring it all to fruition?

So many questions spinning around my head. The answers?  Not coming so easily. Continue reading →