A (sales) room with a view – Spring perspective

A grape vineyard grows right outside the window of our sales room, which gives a lovely view in the summer, when all the leaves are full and then in the autumn when they turn shades of red, gold and brown.Right now in the cold and damp spring season the vines are cut back to the graft.  The irrigation tubes and the aluminum posts that keep the rows straight are exposed, as well as peach colored plastic shelters giving protection to vulnerable new vine plants.

Last Saturday, I helped with placing these shelters around the new plants. One of the brothers in our Community who cares for the vineyard explained that these shelters provide a ‘micro-environment’ for growth for these new plants while they are in a vulnerable stage – protecting them from the elements or small animals.
Because of things that God is showing me in my life, I was reminded that even when things are closing in around me, or I feel that my world is narrowed for a time, perhaps God is protecting me, or giving an opportunity for focus upon growth and new life.

Poetry and publishing

April is National Poetry Month. Here is a mid-month reminder of how poetry can touch us in a way that we cannot explain.

Ranier Maria Rilke is most famous for his Letters to a Young Poet, exchanged between 1902 and 1908 with Franz Kappus, a 19-year old military cadet seeking guidance for his poetry.

The poem below is excerpted from a new book, Prayers of a Young Poet, a collection of earlier works Rilke wrote in 1899 after returning to Germany from his first trip to Russia.

We grasp You only in what we do,
illuminate You only with our hands;
our every sense is but a guest here,
yearning to reach beyond the world.

Every sense is conceived;
one feels its elegant hem,
and knows someone spun it—
but heaven surrenders itself
because it cannot choose.

I don’t want to know where You are;
speak to me from every place.
Your willing evangelist distorts
everything, and in his forgetting
neglects to look for the resonance.

But I’m always approaching You
with all my coming;
yet who am I and who are You
when neither of us understands the other?

Prayers of a Young Poet