IV

Menelya ~ Wednesday

Just this week past, weather that we have not seen in a long while, roared through my realm. It was as if the angels had decided that they were tired of playing marbles and threw them down upon us by the handful. We truly experienced the wildness of mother nature and were greatly humbled by it.

As is my habit, I looked at the weather radar on the internet at noon and noticed a large green area, interspersed with yellow and orange spots, marching in from the west. Not thinking too much about it, I continued with whatever I was working on. Within a short time, the wind began to howl and it sounded as if someone was throwing rocks at my windows. I ran, post haste, down the stairs and witnessed a sheet of white beating against the windows. Outside I ran, trying to grab a potted plant or two and was plummeted by hail stones the size of marbles. Quickly, they piled up. The ground was entirely white and a pile over a foot tall, established itself at the end of the down spout.

My kitty (Eliot) and I wrapped arms and paws around each other and shook nervously. I just knew that my windows would break. Before long, rain fell. Then....quiet. Tentatively, I crept outside to witness the devastation. Every flowering plant I owned had been decapitated and decimated. Trees had lost much of their foliage and the ground remained white and wintery looking. It was very quiet and still.

In I ran and back to the computer. Again, I checked out the weather radar and there it was, advancing upon us like a line of Sherman tanks; another large area of green with many areas of yellow and orange. This time, I quickly pulled into my abode as many potted plants as I could. Some were too heavy and they would just have to ride out the storm. Eliot and I waited for the next onslaught and with a vengeance it struck and struck hard. The hail stones were larger and the downfall was even thicker than the previous storm. The noise was deafening...then quiet.

Early the next morning, on my walk-about, I witnessed unbelievable destruction. Trees were literally shredded and there was not a flower to be seen. The pungent fragrance of wounded evergreens filled the air and large piles of their brand new growth filled the sidewalks. Every step I made was upon some sort of green debris. Large tree limbs were laying upon the roofs of houses and the city maintenance people were out trimming trees and picking up debris. It was a mess!

The evening of the really big storm, all the power went out everywhere around my town. I was preparing for my evening bath, so I lit several candles and placed them in the bathroom. As I soaked in warm water, surrounded by dreamy candle light, it came to me that even in the middle of a terrible situation, peace can be had. Tranquility is there, just for the asking.

May you have peace, even in the middle of a storm ~ Tasarwen

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III

Aldúya ~ Tuesday

I walk down the Valley of Silence -
Down the dim, voiceless valley - alone.
And I hear not the fall of a footstep
Around me, save God’s and my own;
And the hush of my heart is as holy
As hovers when angels have flown!
~ author unknown

Silence...as embracing as a down filled comforter and as freeing as fresh air. In its mighty arms, I gain strength and perspective. As golden light slowly crept into my bower early this morning, I was once again reminded of the rejuvenating power of quietness. Only when my mind is still and calm, can I hear the gentle voice of the Lord. He whispers a few words or even a phrase, bringing guidance and assurance.

Gazing back through the fog of my memories, I remember days spent on my family’s farm. Being there was an adventure into antiquity. Hanging high in one of the old barns was all the harness used by my grandfather for the plow horses and in the adjoining barn was my grandmother’s buggy. They homesteaded there almost a hundred years ago and it truly is like a backward step into another era. I spent every summer of my growing up years there, working in the fields, moving tractors from field to field, and driving wheat trucks into town to the grain elevator at harvest time.

rimrock

High up on the rimrock, while the pines softly whispered in the breeze, you could actually hear the silence. Walking down the road, all the while each foot making little puffs of dust, my thoughts would wrap around me like a cloak. All worries and fretting would simply fade away and in their place would come such a peace. I felt insulated from the world, with all of its silliness and busyness. Like a soothing balm, peace and healing comforted me.

Standing on the edge of the rimrock, I would raise my arms and wish I could fly just as the eagles. At one time there was a nest of golden eagles located right below the edge of the rim. One could look down upon the nursery of babies. It was a lovely sight, however Mr. and Mrs. Eagle did not think it so pleasant. For the very next year, instead of returning to their nest as was their habit, they were never seen again. Perhaps they valued their privacy more than the instincts that drove them to return every year.

Within the cocoon of silence, I remain completely in the moment. There are times when I take a peek around a bend in the road, my gaze captivated by the hills and bumps of uncertainties, and a feeling of fear comes over me. The way ahead appears too difficult, too expensive, too this or too that. However, if I look down at my feet and watch the outward motion of my foot reaching out, taking that very next step, all fears vanish. I have learned that there is a balance. If I step out with my normal length of stride, all is comfortable. If I attempt a step that is three times longer, I am out of balance and will probably fall.

By not looking too far down the sidewalk, I rescued a night crawler just this past week. He/she was tangling with another bug and it looked like he/she was waging a losing battle. I merely picked him/her up, brushed off the other insect, and placed him/her in cool, shaded soil. It wasn’t the cleanest rescue in which I have ever taken part. This particular night crawler was large (8-10 inches) and very slimy. At times, kindness comes with a price. But glad I was, to have noticed the small things near me.

May you live in the moment and not miss out on the little things
(or nightcrawlers in distress)
~ Tasarwen

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II

Eärenya ~ Thursday

At long last, I have achieved a great desire of my heart. Below is an excerpt from April 2, 2007:

I am feeling free for the first time in many years. Free to jump into my dreams. Even so, free to simply find my dreams. I have many thoughts of creating my own website to romp around in and play to my heart’s content. That place, Vanya Melda, will be a place of beauty and inspiration. Following an intro page, inviting a person to click on the path through the forest, there will a page introducing myself and describing my realm. Following, there will be pages of poetry illustrated with photography, a recipe along with a story about it, information about a person who brought beauty into our world, and perhaps a tale that is uplifting. Ideas keep coming into my mind.

The first of March, 2008, Vanya Melda became a reality. As of this writing every page, except for the first two, are simply .xhtml markup styled using an external cascading style page. It has been a long and interesting journey changing from tables and layers to pure CSS, but one fraught with fun. In my wildest imaginations, I never realized what it would be like to have actually done it! So after numerous books, a Lynda tutorial, and constant reading of CSS and Dreamweaver forums, I have learned enough to have created a very lean and efficient website.

If you have been wondering where I have been the past couple of weeks, I have been working “under the hood”, writing code and experimenting. Even if it appears that no one is home at Vanya Melda, work is constantly and quietly being done. I have plans for the first two pages, also, and plan to re-create them in the near future. The code is a bit “clunky” and it is my desire to clean them up a bit. I also plan to splash around in the birdbath of creativity and make some changes....if possible. At times, my ideas get a bit ahead of my technical ability.

Learning is a great blessing and a gift we all can participate in. There have been many times when I threw my hands up into the air and walked away from my computer. Doubt was ever with me. I wasn’t sure that I could or even wanted to create a website. Looking back, it may have been the pure challenge or merely the desire to share that influenced me. Truthfully, in the middle of it all there was a small voice whispering, in the quietness of my mind, sweet words of encouragement; all the while never failing to assure me that to be doing what He (the Lord) desires for me, is truly the most beautiful blessing.

May you take that first step and stay the course,
no matter how daunting it may appear to be
~ Tasarwen

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I

Anarya ~ Sunday

The most amazing thing is happening in my realm. For the past several weeks a community of RVs (recreational vehicles) and travel trailers have descended upon our town. They are parked all around our university covering every parking lot and grassy area. It appears as if we have a large village plopped down in our midst. Flags are flying from most of them, sporting colors of many countries and states. It truly is a festive sight and when I pass by during my daily walk-abouts, my heart is lifted. Most of the people who travel in these portable abodes, seem very happy and friendly. There must be something cheerful about traveling in groups, putting down anchor whenever the spirit moves. At times, I feel a twinge of envy. What would it be like to live so carefree and breezy, moving along on a whim?

wild roses

As I walk along past the silver village, I find myself quickly tiring of all the hubbub and I always begin to long for the peace and quiet of the woods. Turning off the sidewalk and onto the shaded trail, my entire spirit sighs a sigh of relief. With the lushness of dark green, interspersed by spots of flower color, there is a quietness and stillness that brings peace. A heavy, sweet fragrance of wild roses perfumes the air. In thinking about it, I realize with a jolt that I am truly becoming a hermit. While the excitement of people and noise is fun, it brings happiness only for a moment. It is in the denseness of the forest where I get intoxicated with contentment. I feel safe when alone surrounded by the hush of God’s wonder.

In our abode the vacuum cleaner is “King”. This mechanical contraption is useful but makes itself known in the loudest way. My kitty (Eliot) keeps a wide distance from King Vacuum. He very casually strolls away, not letting the King know he is bothered, and tries to ignore it. If you do not pay any attention to something annoying, it simply does not exist. At least, Eliot reasons it to be that way. There is one exception. When he decides to take his morning nap in my comfort station (a chair with a down cushion) he is in his own little world and when the king approaches, neither a whisker moves nor an eyelash flickers. He simply puts the king on ignore and goes about the business of serious napping.

As I wander down the trail, deep in the forest of my own imagination, I am insulated from worries and problems pulling relentlessly at my heart. A veil is lifted and my spirit soars, no matter what noise or seeming distractions surround me. If I but close my eyes, take a deep breath, and allow loveliness to come forth, I am endlessly enchanted.

May you allow enchantment to overwhelm you ~ Tasarwen

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