Monthly Archives: December 2008

Mystery of a New Year

Here is my picture of the sky falling:

Sky falling? What?

Do you see that layer of fog developing on the cool ground?
Well, fog is actually just a collection of water vapor droplets touching the ground. Guess what? A cloud is a collection of water vapor droplets too!

So basically, fog is a cloud on the ground…the sky meets ground.

Cool huh?

It has inspired many artist, poets, and horror movie makers alike. Why?
The mystery…

You can’t recognize everything in a fog, what normal surroundings you were use to, now become foreign…like a different land. What lurks beyond that fog? The unknown.

What a fitting subject for 2009. We face the unknown. This last past year has been such a roller coaster with the economy, politics, and weather. It maybe a little scary. My wish is that you may find The faith of concrete substance that will carry you through…and not the faith of empty vapors.

Happy New Year


Nature Sketch from your Car Window

Once again Chicago has dealt us a wicked weather hand. In a mater of a few hours, 4 inches of snow has melted and 3 inches of rain had fallen. It was just yesterday that single digit temps reigned the daily forecast, but now we are greeted with a mild 60°F, at the end of December!!! That makes for some instant flash flooding.

No mind, this wacky weather won’t hinder my nature love!

Because of the Holidays and family obligations, I have been hard pressed to escape to the woods. Believe me, after a few weeks I can feel it. I belong in the woods. Maybe I’m too sensitive or just high strung….but when the world gets hectic I need the silence of the great oaks, the protection of the deep forest. It calms me. Today I had just a few hours to spare…and feeling desperate…..

Torrential downpours will not stop me from sketching…I’ll just do it from my car window!

Here is the view, right from my car:

This is Hidden Pond Woods, there is a small pond to the left of this picture. Maybe because it is situated in the middle of the Chicago Suburbs and small in size it is called, “hidden”? With little time, I decided to make a little sketch:

My perspective is slightly different from the photo because my focal point is that lovely oak tree at the point where the two paths meet. I love the way that tree looks! Such a fitting landmark at an intersection!

The snow has disappeared overnight and today the warm colors of autumn are revealed again. For how long, I do not know. I hear a constant patter of rain on the wet oak leaves and louder patter on my metal car roof. It’s so loud. I love it.

This will hold me over until the next hike. For a little bit anyway.

Awesome Sky

Here is another sky photo I took with my handy-dandy cell phone:

This picture was taken at 5pm when unfortunately, the last spec of light deminishes in the winter time.
Check out these colors…it reminds me of a watercolor painting when your blue and yellow paints touch, mixing to form a green hue. Can you see it? So many factors are at work to create these colors; the sun, clouds, dust, distance and time are just a few!

Here is a cool article about the reasons for the colors of a sunset.

New Appreciation

Today I read over the story of Christ’s birth in the book of Luke.

I have never before thought of this, but when I read…“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7, I couldn’t help but think how disgusting that must have been.

Have you ever been within a block of stables?

It stinks.
Real bad.

Sometimes when we hear carols of the manger…we think, “Oh, how cute.”
A manger is not cute. It’s a feeding trough for animals. Feed, animal slobber, it’s not at all cute.

I can’t help myself when I wonder…did Mary get depressed? I would have been thinking, “Hey! I thought the angel said I would bring forth a Savior and now I can’t even get a clean room!” Is God paying attention? I would have been mad, angry, hurt and depressed. All the wrong kinds of attitudes, I would of experienced.

However, maybe Mary did not express those feelings but just prayed for a sign? Because at that same moment an angel visited nearby shepherds and told them how to find the Savior…“And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, laying in a manger.” Luke 2:12.

When they arrived, they told Mary and Joseph all that the angel told them and then…“Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19.

I would have been in tears. People didn’t go around having babies in barn stalls, with dirt and animals and germs. Mary kept it together and just waited for God. But God had a purpose, our Savior was made lowly to serve us.

The beginning of His life in a smelly stable, the end of His life hanging on a cross.

Ice Covered Everything

Yes it’s a pain to deal with, but oh how beautiful it can be….

An ice/snow storm hit the Chicago area yesterday making driving to work an extra long nightmare. Many people decided to play hookie, being that it was Friday, but I was a good girl (or stupid) and went to work anyway.

When ugly storms like this arrive, I can’t help but override the bad and notice beauty all around me. I still get excited for snow, just like a little kid.

Frozen in time…ha, ha, ha, this shrub is as stiff as a statue.

I was amazed to stand under this tree…

…because every tiny gentle breeze made such an incredible sound. Like wind chimes in the summer, the limbs of this tree had it’s own distincitve music notes. It is at this exact moment when you realize that this sound is something magical. Few people will hear it, for the conditions have to be just right.
Nature will never cease to amaze me, no matter how old I get!