Northern Beauty

My thoughts about nature’s beauty changed when we moved further North.  I was drawn to the serene landscapes, with the treelines and fields in winter.   The lakes and rivers of Wisconsin.

I saw different types of trees that had weathered hard years–spaces where branches had been–and then new growth.  Evergreens and old orchards.  More beautiful, in my mind, than the trees that are “perfect.”   These images steeled my heart when an illness in the past aged me faster.   The memories from those years are ones I cherish in a strange way, because my faith in God grew deeper roots.  He did not fail me and I trust His plan.  I also am much more careful to pace myself and to have a healthy schedule.  Because of this, I am enjoying my journey to Christmas more this year.  Many ways to show others we care.  Prayer is a profound way too. 

With our long springs and short summers, I stopped planting the flowers that grew better in Illinois.  I adapted and accepted and learned.  Always learning.  I appreciated the gardens left behind by previous owners and could see the wisdom in their choices of plants.

My ancestors came to this country from Germany and Sweden.   I know it is a common experience to feel more understanding of them through the years, than was possible as a child–to look in the mirror and see some of their faces, in a way, as one grows older.   And to be our own persons as well. 

another storm
and there will be more…

lilacs covered in snow
know they will bloom again

beautiful in every season

Christmas Tanka by Carol Purington: So Far Below Zero and Caroling House to House





So far below zero
even the blackbirds have left
this colorless world–
the Christmas candle
throws a circle of light


Caroling house to house
hands cold in fleecy mittens–
words of peace
ring out from shaky voices
to touch a steady star

 By Carol Purington

Published here with her kind permission.  All Rights Reserved.

Update, 12/19/2012:  Here is the link to Carol’s poetry page at her family website.  You’ll find more poems and information about her books.

Thank You

A year ago today, we began this blog.  Karl helped me set it up, learn how to add images, etc.  His photo of  the Trumpeter Swans on Lake Michigan is one of my favorites.  Many people support this effort, with such grace and good wishes.

So thank you for your support and your many kind words.  I am learning every day.  From my years in education, I know that over time we grow, as we faithfully invest the time.  It’s very important to get enough rest too.  There’s a mystery about rest and learning our own pace.  

My technical skills are not as strong as my language arts gifts, so I truly thank WordPress for a format I can continue to learn.  I read several other blogs and admire them.  Print journals, memoirs,  fiction, history…I am older now, live at a slower pace, have more time to read, and am so grateful.  I cannot be involved with larger poetry and publishing projects now, but hope to keep this blog updated. In the early morning, I say, “Lord, I know I don’t have to write every day anymore, but if a poem arrives, help me to write it well.”  

Thanks again!

All the best to you and yours…

new poems

in older age

winter wheat

Ellen Olinger