This place was close to Bond Falls, my last Nature Blogging post, and the photos were taken on the same trip. It was a wonderful scenic view and inspired me on one of my early manuscripts.
Then lift up the head with a song!
And lift up the hand with a gift!
To the Ancient Giver of all
The spirit in gratitude lift!
For the joy and the promise of spring,
For the hay and the clover sweet,
The barley, the rye and the oats,
The rice and the corn and the wheat,
The cotton and sugar and fruit,
The flowers and the fine honey-comb,
The country so fair and so free,
The blessings and glory of home.
The Old Man and the Rabbit
C.S. Lewis wrote this following rhyme about an old rabbit he knew. He wrote this in a letter to a child:
“I am getting to be quite friends with an old Rabbit who lives in the Wood at Magdalen [College]. I pick leaves off the trees for him because he can’t reach up to the branches and he eats them out of my hand. One day he stood up on his hind legs and put his front paws against me, he was so greedy. I wrote this about it;”
A funny old man had a habit
of giving a leaf to a rabbit.
At first it was shy
But then, by and by,
It got rude and would stand up to grab it.
The attic window’s in the ceiling;
You only see the clouds go by;
And when I’m there I have a feeling
Of being very near the sky.
The attic air is warm and dusty,
And there are boxes full of things,
And rods of iron, rather rusty,
And beds and trunks and curtain rings.
I often like to go and play there;
I take my story-book and toys;
It seems so very far away there,
From all the people and the noise.
But when the blue behind the skylight
Has faded to a dingy grey,
And a mouse scrabbles in the twilight,
I leave my things and go away.
O For a Booke
O for a Booke and a shadie nooke,
eyther in-a-doore or out;
With the grene leaves whispering overhede,
or the Streete cryes all about.
Where I maie Reade all at my ease,
both of the Newe and Olde;
For a jollie goode Booke whereon to looke,
is better to me than Golde.
Translated in modern English spelling, the above poem reads:
O for a Book and a shady nook,
either in-a-door or out;
With the green leaves whispering overhead,
or the Street cries [or criers] all about.
Where I may read all at my ease,
both of the New and Old;
For a jolly good Book whereon to look,
is better to me than Gold.
My editors are still in the process of editing my book Treasure on the Southern Moor at Xulon Press. The edit has taken a little longer than their estimate – I wonder what that means about my manuscript. . . .
Either way, I’m in communication with the production coordinator and still hope to have my second book published soon! In the meantime, I am continuing to get a storyline down for my third book and finding job opportunities elsewhere to supplement my writing.
My third book, as it stands, will be about a group of children in England during the Nineteen Aughts, in Victorian/Edwardian style. They will have many adventures centering around their own and their aunt’s estate, as their father inspects fishing vessels, and he with their mother have an unexpected leave that brings the children into quite a different place of England. . . .
These were photographs I had taken quite a few years ago. This place, Bond Falls, is on the west side of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and it was an inspirational place where I thought through ideas about the first book manuscript I wrote all the way through. It was more of a highschool project than anything else and all-together not publishable, yet the place was one that greatly enriched my love to write what I see.
Ahhh, we have come around to that day again, the twentieth of July, when Wiggs had her perfect day. I have decided to post this week’s “Children’s Hour” a day early because of it:
“First she dusted and dusted and dusted; then she swept and swept and swept; then she sewed and sewed and sewed. When anybody of superior station or age came into the room she rose and curtsied and stood with her hands behind her back, while she was being spoken to. When anybody said, “I wonder where I put my so-and-so,” she jumped up and said, “Let me fetch it,” even if it was upstairs.
After dinner she made up a basket of provisions and took them to the old women who lived near the castle; to some of them she sang or read aloud, and when at one cottage she was asked, “Now won’t you give me a little dance,” she smiled bravely and said, “I’m afraid I don’t dance very well.” I think that was rather sweet of her; if I had been the fairy I should have let her off the rest of the day.
When she got back to the Palace she drank two glasses of warm milk, with the skin on, and then went and weeded the Countess’s lawn; and once when she trod by accident on a bed of flowers, she left the footprint there instead of scraping it over hastily, and pretending that she hadn’t been near the place, as you would have done.
And at half past six she kissed everybody good-night (including Udo) and went to bed.
So ended July the Twentieth, perhaps the most memorable day in Euralian history.”
~Excerpt from Once on a Time, by A. A. Milne. This fairy-story book was another work written by that same author who penned the forever-known-to-children classics of Winnie the Pooh.
Some members within our church are memorizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism this summer. I’ve memorized the first 100 and plan to finish the last seven this week! The questions have been very thought provoking, and the proof texts have kept most of the questions solid from attack, though some of the seventeenth century phraseology can be mistakenly interpreted in another light in today’s English.
Two of the questions I found to be particularly thoughtful were that when examining the eighth commandment: “Q. 74: What is required in the eighth commandment? A: The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others. Q. 75: What is forbidden in the eighth commandment? A: The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth, or may, unjustly hinder our own, or our neighbor’s, wealth or outward estate.”
All Christians I’m sure (or at least should) agree that the eighth commandment (“Thou shalt not steal”) forbids us from unlawfully hindering our neighbor’s wealth/estate. Yet the catechism applies it not just to others, but to our own estates as well. The eighth commandment forbids us from hindering our own estate, and therefore we are to be good stewards of all things that God has entrusted into our care. Yet not only good stewards, but also we are required in “all lawful…furthering the wealth…of ourselves”.
Christians do not normally think in these terms, yet here the catechism is instructing that the eighth commandment requires us to do everything we can within moral/civil/lawful means to further our own wealth and outward estate. This can easily be misunderstood as serving mammon, which as Christ says, one “cannot serve God and mammon”. And as Christ says in many other places, it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than otherwise. Though the catechism, written in 17th century English, may be hard to understand with this phraseology, yet I think the proof text clears up the meaning: “… but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” Eph. 4:28b. Therefore, all the wealth that we may amass in this life should be to service God’s kingdom, which is the church, and our neighbors both within and without.
Therefore, I believe this catechism to be condemning the view that says all Christians should dispose of all we have, move to a monastery, and spend the rest of our days in rags and babblings. This is not helpful to others, nor ourselves, and is not Christ’s intent for the work of the church. As the Scriptures say, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness”. Therefore, we are to tend, cultivate, and use all the means that God gives to us, whether wealth, estate, skills, endeavors, etc. for the furtherance of the church and the gospel of Christ.
Dow Gardens is one of the places I go to when I write or am thinking about book ideas. These pictures were taken by me in 2015, yet this year it looks even better! Soon, I’ll bring my camera with me and take some more photos of it.
If you desire to know more about Dow Gardens, please visit their website at http://www.dowgardens.org/.
We were without internet yesterday, and so I again was unable to publish my Children’s Hour post on Friday. Yet here it is now!
A candle, a candle
To light me to bed;
A pillow, a pillow
To tuck up my head.
The moon is as sleepy as sleepy can be,
The stars are all pointing their fingers at me,
And Missus Hop-Robin, ‘way up in her nest,
Is rocking her tired little babies to rest.
So give me a blanket
To tuck up my toes,
And a little, soft pillow
To snuggle my nose.
~Leroy F. Jackson
The Sleepy Song
As soon as the fire burns red and low
And the house upstairs is still,
She sings me a queer little sleepy song,
Of sheep that go over the hill.
The good little sheep run quick and soft,
Their colors are gray and white;
They follow their leader nose and tail,
For they must be home by night.
And one slips over, and one comes next,
And one runs after behind;
The gray one’s nose at the white one’s tail,
The top of the hill they find.
And when they get to the top of the hill
They quietly slip away,
But one runs over and one comes next-
Their colors are white and gray.
And over they go, and over they go,
And over the top of the hill
The good little sheep run quick and soft,
And the house upstairs is still.
And one slips over and one comes next,
The good little, gray little sheep!
I watch how the fire burns red and low,
And she says that I fall asleep.
~Josephine Daskam Bacon
A Prayer for a Little Home
God send us a little home,
To come back to, when we roam.
Low walls, and fluted tiles,
Wide windows, a view for miles.
Red firelight and deep chairs,
Small white beds upstairs-
Great talk in little nooks,
Dim colors, rows of books.
One picture on each wall,
Not many things at all.
God send us a little ground,
Tall trees standing round.
Homely flowers in brown sod.
Overhead, thy stars, O God!
God bless, when winds blow,
Our home, and all we know.
If All the World Were Apple-Pie
If all the world were apple-pie,
And all the sea were ink,
And all the trees were bread and cheese,
What would we have for drink?
I have updated my bulletin board to include the expected end date of the editing for my book, Treasure on the Southern Moor. It is supposed to be finished by July 18th! Then I will have a week or so of looking through the edits before final submission, and then it’s off to the printers!
In the meantime, I am working on beginning ideas for my next couple books and will begin drafting storylines for them soon.