Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This morning we gathered for morning prayer... I decided to read two Mary Oliver poems as prayers. I'd like to share one with you all.

Morning Prayer
by Mary Oliver

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches--
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries with it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead--
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging--

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted--

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.


Part of the complicated thing about having grown up in a specific denomination all my life is that I have been taught what is, and what is not. Prayer is this, prayer is not this. This, as you can imagine, has left we quite confused, especially when God the "great genie in the sky" never did give me everything I asked for.

So for a while I had no idea how to approach a conversation with God.

It was during my time at the Oregon Extension that I found that my encounters with God, those times of communication, almost always were happening while admiring the soaring cedars of the pacific northwest, or when I was transfixed by the intricacies of a bird.

I never thought of those moments as prayer. But now I do. Thankfully so does Mary Oliver, and thankfully she can write beautifully about those moments.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Speaking of growing things...

Oliver, at 3 Months Old

Our little Oliver isn't so little anymo
re! He's got long gangling legs, and big ol' paws! And they're still growing! The first photo was taken within his first few days with us. (He came home with us July 1st!) He's 5 months old now, and becoming quite the handsome pup! So far he's stolen hearts in Estes Park, Co as well as around here at our favorite local parks. He's quite famous. Just the other day someone came up to Mark on his lunch break and asked if he was the owner of a little puppy named Oliver. Crazy! The little cutie is just stealing hearts left and right! As you can see from one of his latest pictures, he's grown quite a bit!

This one was taken on during the camping trip we took for our 1 Year wedding anniversary.

Hazelnut Garden Update

Hello Everyone! I thought is would be nice to give you all an update on the Hazelnut community garden. There are several pictures below, and I think they keep on going into "older posts." So if you want to see them all be sure to click the link at the bottom of the page! Oh! And you can click on any of the pictures to make it bigger.
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One tomato plant

Here is a closer picture of one of the dozen plus tomato plants that are producing like crazy right now!
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Green tomatoes!

A fraction of the amount of tomatoes coming up in the garden!
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Roma Tomato

Shades of yellow, orange, and red are appearing amongst the sea of green!
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Check out this gorgeous head of lettuce! I'm thinking this guy is going to end up in a salad real soon! Maybe with some cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from the garden?
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The corn is starting to make an apperance! Having come from Lancaster County, PA it feels right to watch the corn grow to the sky!
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Baby Pumpkin

The presence of evergrowing pumpkins in the garden reminds us that fall is quickly approaching! This little guy has made quite the journey away from the center of the plant! stretching almost 4 feet away!
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This guy is almost twice the size of a softball!
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The Zucchini (or Summer Squash) have been the first things to pop up in the garden. They are finally winding down it seems...but have always been good to us!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of the garden!
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Again, we both apologize for this extended period of silence, especially for those of you who look to this blog to stay posted on our doings here in CO.

We have been in CO now for two and a half months, we just celebrated our first wedding anniversary on August 2nd, and our work situation is just the same as it was back in Pennsylvania.

We have been making significant progress in figuring out what daily life at Hazelnut is going to look like. This "significant" progress only seems significant in light of how many other things are competing for our time. We have decided on several order to distribute the work load of having a massive garden, we have each volunteered to take a day of the week to really focus on the garden. This works out perfectly since there are seven of us. We have also decided to meet every Tuesday morning for morning prayer and to read a chapter from one of the gospels. We now meet every Thursday for dinner and some kind of fun time after. On Wednesday we all gather at a local church for a potluck. Every Tuesday is committed for a community dinner and a meeting after that.

It is only fitting that we are still making baby steps.

There are hundreds of tomatoes in the garden. Hundreds.

I hope to post some more photos some time soon. For those of you on Facebook, check us out there too...we are better at updating photos there :)