Friday, March 24, 2023

Evening Devotional - March 8th, 2023

Sickness has come to my little home this past week, a most unwelcome visitor. I’m usually a pretty active person. No, I don’t run marathons, but I spread myself around my little world in a bunch of ways. Having a strong and debilitating virus strike me down like a bowling ball does to pins is a humbling experience. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Evening Devotional

Yesterday was an incredibly busy day, filled to the top with all manner of tasks, obligations, and civic duties. There was joy in caring for my beautiful little grand girl, Mika. There was a packing up and going to her library story/play time. There was a quick trip to the fishmonger for a purchase for dinnertime prep. There was a dash to the polls to vote in the mid-terms. There was pick up and clean up while Mika took her nap after lunch. There was a dash into the craft store for materials for the church Holiday Stroll Christmas ornaments.  There was a traffic-filled trip home for dinner prep … then, run the laundry, check the email, look at the calendar for the rest of the week, make some phone calls.

When did I breathe ? When did I stop ? When did I rest ? I stopped as the moon rose high over our back yard. The news and chatter about mid-terms was on NPR. The prospect of politics becoming even more ‘kerfuffled’ overwhelmed me, so I stepped outside into the dark evening to just breathe. 

The moon was so bright and full - sharp edges against the dark blue of the night sky. I just stopped and stood and said a quiet prayer, “Let me just rest in knowing that this moon has watched the eons pass. It has seen goodness and evil. It has shone down on sadness and great joy. It has been eclipsed millions of times, but it never stops reflecting sunlight to eyes, if they will only look up. Let me always look up, Lord, knowing that so many others have sat and contemplated life by the bright moonlight. Adam, Eve, Noah, Moses, David, Solomon, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Peter, Paul … they all have looked and seen that bright orb and rested in knowing that all will be well. All will be well … I trust in you Lord to make it so! And the moon will continue to watch."

Then, I turned and walked back into the house ... calm, quiet, and breathing much slower. All will be well. I can rest in that assurance. 

This, I believe.

NOTE: I have been journaling of late. Just a bit and slowly. Much of my writing revolves around devotional/prayer, but some also revolves around lifestyle stuff and my work with Noom. No one wants to hear about a middle aged woman's diet and lifestyle struggles, but perhaps one might be interested in the occasional spiritual pondering. So, Buch Handling takes a bit of a turn from poetry and book reviews to a devotional that I found worthy.

I hope it strikes a chord. Peace and Hope !

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How Restful Is the Rain

How Restful Is the Rain

How restful is the rain 
a soft hushing sound
that brings me awake 
to soft grey morning.

I’m quick to smile
close my eyes again
and cherish this gift
of sound for my soul

The ebb and rush of 
storm, a gentle tattoo
becomes an insistent
tapping pulse of drops

They wash over roof
clattering in gutters
bringing new sounds
to my drowsy mind

The water, I envision
It washes over roof tiles
through cracks to drip
on me upon my bed

It floods the floorboards
lifts the linens and 
gently swirls me away 
adrift on time’s current

I imagine opening eyes
to stare upward
leaves and branches
passing by to clouds

I spin like a leaf and turn
pelted and washed clean
water below buoying me 
upward to receive this gift

How restful is the rain


a fast write - some editing on the fly, but no real agonizing analysis of form or meter or rhyme - just flow of consciousness and imagery

NOTE: This is a new write ! Can it be that my drought is coming to an end ? I have hoped for a new burst of words, but it's been hard. So hard. This fast write is meant for a voice, I think. A soft whispering voice that is slow to read and that pauses over the lines and paces them like a slow reverie unfolding. 


Monday, August 13, 2018

Passing Through Wilmot

Passing Through Wilmot

Tonight old man, your spirit whispers,
“Take care of the fields, stoke the fires.
Close the shades against the sounds. 
Traffic is sure to come.”
It’s summer and Kearsage rises
In the haze of midday.
The old train station still aches
For the rumble and smoke.

Evenings still come on slow.
The tick of grasshoppers tease.
Grasses rustle and click
On the evening breeze.

The minions will surely gather,
To make the pilgrimage.
Wilmot will shudder and sigh,
Knowing that it's just your due.
The autumn’s breeze will descend.
The nights will become chill.
The view of Kearsage will open up
And on you’ll go to the night and stars.
Tonight, old man, your spirit demands,
“Feed the cat and come into the parlor.
There’s wine and talk. No need for a fire.
Let the breeze carry me out the open window.” 

on the passing of Donald Hall, a poem by Susan Lindquist - 6/24/2018

I love poetry. I'll never profess to be any good at it, but I love it. I love words. I love expression. I love the voice that can come to a written piece when it's read aloud. I've written a lot of what I call 'poetry' over the years, but have found myself in a drought for words since the passing of my Dad, Richard W. Miller. Today, on reading of the death of one of my poetic inspirations, the gates opened, if only for a few moments.

For more on one of America's finest poets ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It's That Time ... Again!

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril ! My fave online reading event of the year is upon us again !

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Coal Black Horse - Robert Olmstead

Sometimes I wonder what strange power leads me to the books that I 'happen' upon in our little public library. Take Coal Black Horse. This is not a book that I would ever normally pick up. And yet, I pulled it from the shelf last week, as I browsed through the library stacks. It seemed to draw my hand like a magnet does iron shavings. Once home, I had a stack of five books, but this one pulled at me when I went to choose the next read.

I've been reading a lot of theology and Biblical readings of late. Lenten studies and some work on social justice have kept me occupied, so the trip to the library was supposed to be a trip for some 'light reading'. This book is not light reading. It's a beautifully written quest novel - a young boy's voyage to find his father during one of the hardest times in American history. That voyage, seen through the inner dialogue of the young boy, carries the reader along on a loss of innocence and a confrontation with the evil that men will do when the world disintegrates to chaos.

Set in the weeks before and after the great battle at Gettysburg,  Robey Childs is given the task of finding his father and bringing him home to the family's hill farm. Robey's mother has had a strange premonition and presses the momentous task on Robey with a strong admonition to secure a horse, never give it up, get a gun, shoot first and never question the instinct of survival suspicion, and to come home alive. And then, she sends him on his way.

What follows is an epic journey through hell and back. Robey's connection to the coal black horse is mystical. It has appeared at the trading post with its owner on death's door. It is aggressive and intractable, but accepts Robey's quiet and gentle way. It has an acute instinctive power to guide Robey as much as Robey guides it with the reins. When Robey discounts the horse's instinctive urgings, bad things happen.

Reading the book, lead me to contemplate our instinct for survival, the things we will do that we know are evil, but that must be done if we are to come through unspeakable events, the way we look for redemption when we have passed through a crisis. Robey does find his father, although he does not fulfill his quest in the literal sense. He does redeem himself after standing by and watching another innocent be brutalized, stealing food and horses to survive so that he can fulfill his mother's directive, committing murder, and witnessing the most horrid of Civil War battles and its aftermath. I could go into my contemplation of the horse as a symbol of one's natural dark instinct for survival. I could flip flop and talk about the horse's character symbolized as the father's will to deliver one more important lesson. I could talk about those spare lessons Robey learns while he cares for his father. I could yak on about the role that Rachel plays as an innocent delivered into the evil chaos of war and her role in Robey's growth could fill a page.  The birth of Rachel's twins that occur at the end of the book and their redemptive power for Robey could become an afternoon's contemplation. And sleep ... it's powerful restoration. Well, that's another discussion.

So much for light reading ... and yet, I feel like I have witnessed a piece of literature that will be placed next to the other greats of American war writings - The Red Badge of Courage, ColdMountain, Johnny Got His Gun, All Quiet on the Western Front ... yeah, all those titles that were just as chilling, just as harrowing, just as thought-provoking and powerful.

Robert Olmstead has packed so much into two hundred and eighteen pages. One's brain and heart are full to over-flowing after this read. Coal Black Horse is a great book.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

In the Sanctuary - A Poem in Honor of Peterborough United Methodist Church's 175th Year

In the Sanctuary

I love to gaze round the church as service begins.
All the dear faces softened for a moment -
taking the time to still thoughts and settle into peace,
waiting for song, sermon and benediction.

The rounded pew back is soft on my hand.
Think how many hands have rested there over time -
gripping in pain, tapping to hymn song, resting quietly,
leaning in for support and comfort.

It’s taken many a hand to build this church.
Polishing wood, dropping bills in the collection plate,
clasping in prayer, reaching to help neighbors, 
cooking for, cleaning up after, crafting a community.

I don’t often think of times past, but here, sometimes,
I feel the whispered breath of a parade of souls -
Murmured prayers, soft amens, a faint humming, 
loving fellowship that spans ages and echoes onward.

It’s humbling to stand in this long parade.
Sharing bread and wine and touching the same
Sacred place within heart and soul and infinity
here in this place with these people and our Lord.

S. M-L