Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Another poem of Mary Oliver's spoke to me.  And tied so many drifting thoughts together.

Black Swallowtail

The caterpillar,
   interesting but not exactly lovely,
humped along among the parsley leaves
    eating, always eating.  Then
one night it was gone and in its place
    a small green confinement hung by two silk threads
on a parsley stem.  I think it took nothing with it
    except faith, and patience.  And then one morning

it expressed itself into the most beautiful being.

"small green confinement" Isn't that beyond a perfect description?  To borrow her phrase, here's a "small blue and red HST"

that is becoming a beautiful quilt for our bed.

Our quilts are expressions of beauty.  Sometimes they may not seem that way in the early stages, but with patience and perseverance, they transform into small, or large, wonders.

Practise "the profound (and I think, divine) act of paying attention."
(quote from a Boston Globe critic of Red Bird by Mary Oliver.)

the deep dark green of the small lizard or large gecko that inadvertently found his way onto our lanai (we shooed him out)

the gecko perched on top of the fence, throat puffing out in a balloon of orange fire as the sun caught it

the fuzzy peachy-orange of the foot and a half high baby Sandhill Crane standing between his mama and papa on the median of a road yesterday (first sighting of a baby for us - a gift)

the brilliant reds of the cardinals, their melodious refrains, their shrill chirps that wake me early each morning and serenade us all day

the package of fat quarters and yardage that arrived yesterday, mmm, promises of another quilt to gift

our two oak tree sentinels, one in each corner of the backyard, busting out all over in new glowing green leaves

in friendship...sharing a wonderful afternoon with dear friends for a BBQ here, dog walks and time with John and Brandy, long chats or short ones with dear blogland friends, with faraway friends, some of whom will soon be next door or in the same area

of family...a daughter who is befriending Poundcake, in hopes of getting her spayed and re-released into her neighbourhood; another daughter who has just started her own blog, and called for advice and to give warm accolades about mine.

"It's a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to a beautiful life," is a quote from Stephanie Nielson, author of the bestseller Heaven Is Here and the blog NieNie Dialogues.  I finished this gripping book on the weekend, written by a young woman who survived a small plane crash, but was badly burned and nearly died.

Yes, beauty is visible.  It is tangible.  Yet real beauty is in the intangible, heartfelt and heart-filling moments of our lives.  Would that all our hearts be filled with this beauty.
Always.  I'm going to continue to work on mine.

Pay attention.  Be present. (a yoga teaching)  Anytime, anywhere, but especially in Spring, it is so easy to do just this.

Linking with Free Motion by the River.


  1. Your whole post is beautiful Sandra. Once again - I want to cross stitch something you've said and frame it. "real beauty is in the intangible, heartfelt and heart-filling moments of our lives"
    Gosh you sure have gotten me loving Mary Oliver! My favorite part of her Black Swallowtail poem is this "it took nothing with it ...except faith, and patience" How profound that is.
    I also like your analogy between that and quilting. Lots of times I don't much like a quilt as I am starting work on it, but it slowly changes into being something beautiful.

  2. A beautiful post, Sandra! While I love creating things of beauty, I am grateful for the reminder to enjoy beautiful moments. (Like the silly boy playing peek a boo at the foot of my bed right now.)

  3. Lovely post, Sandra. Very easy to just move through life and miss it all. We are seeing the very beginnings of the sunrise at the end of our ride in the mornings now. I keep thinking a quilt must be made in those colors :)

  4. Thank you for the reminder to slow down to appreciate who and what are around us.


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