Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

Getting Out the Vote

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

A Bluebell Sunday

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Because the weather has been unusually cool, spring is moving in slowly, so it’s not too late to stroll along the gorgeous bluebell walk at Riverbend Park. When we hiked the path Sunday, there were quite a few still in rose-colored-bud stage, and a dozen other less showy wildflowers opening up as well.

Bluebells

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Alex

 

Remembrance

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

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On Veterans Day my son and daughter and I made a visit to my father’s gravesite, a beautiful setting in all seasons but especially poignant in fall, when we recall those who have been willing to risk their lives for something larger than themselves. Veterans Day following so close upon Halloween, we took candy corn—one of my father’s Halloween favorites, which he enjoyed every year from the bounty of his children’s trick-or-treat bags—and tucked them invisibly into the grass, an offering which perhaps only birds and beetles will appreciate, but an offering nevertheless.

Renewal of Spirit

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

It’s the weekend of our church community’s annual retreat in Orkney Springs, Virginia, and, 2012 being the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, which helped drag the Catholic Church from the Middle Ages into modern times (well, at least into the 20th century), this was a natural subject for discussion. There were reminiscences by grandparents of growing up in the “Catholic ghetto”: gloomy churches, scary sermons about sinfulness and hell, and nary a non-Catholic to be seen… gradually replaced by Mass in the vernacular, greatly expanded participation by lay people, and reaching across the aisles, so to speak, to people of other faiths. What might be accomplished in the next fifty years? I’m sure MY to-do list doesn’t match that of the current Pope.

Accommodations at the retreat vary, and families with children are generally housed together, but rarely in Maryland House, pictured below. I learned this weekend that it’s an Adults-Only House, to which parents graduate when their children go off to college. Aha! That explains the singing, the clinking of glasses, and the boisterous laughter drifting across the lawn after the rest of us have put the kids to bed and crashed ourselves. And I thought it was coming from the Teen Camp.

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Camp Trinity

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

ShrineMontHouses

Each year at this time, we head for the wilds of Far Western Virginia and our annual church retreat, some of the housing for which is depicted herein (which used to be pretty chilly digs but which now offers baseboard heaters for the 21st century camper).

It’s a weekend that is difficult to describe: certainly there is plenty of serious discussion, reflection, prayer, and singing; but interwoven are hiking, yoga, dancing, hay rides, sessions of watercolor painting and dream work, and time for the more lengthy, intimate conversations for which the Sunday coffee hour is too brief.

The children play community-building games and create spirited art objects that enliven the setting of our closing liturgy. For our daughter’s Middle School group, this meant building and joyously spray-painting enormous colorful internally-illuminated free-standing totems that would be perfectly comfortable on the floor of the Whitney.

Every single year, departure for home is poignant. I post this sketch-memory as a token of gratitude.

For Camp Trinity sketches from past years, please see Holy Water and  Stairway to Heaven.

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CakeWeddingMary & Chris


 

Hungry for music

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Today is the birthday of passionate and controversial itinerant poet Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931), and I post in his honor this poem, along with a sketch of a lone violinist my daughter and I encountered this summer during an evening stroll through downtown Charlottesville.

ViolinistCharlVA

Hungry for music with a desperate hunger
I prowled abroad, I threaded through the town;
The evening crowd was clamoring and drinking,
Vulgar and pitiful—my heart bowed down—
Till I remembered duller hours made noble
By strangers clad in some suprising grace.
Wait, wait, my soul, your music comes ere midnight
Appearing in some unexpected place
With quivering lips, and gleaming, moonlit face.

—Vachel Lindsay


Fern Hill

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Today I celebrate the birthday of Dylan Thomas, who lived way too short a life (1914-1953), with the first verse of one of my favorites, “Fern Hill,” and a painting of the wonderful farm in Virginia that used to host our organic CSA. Not exactly Wales, but in the right spirit.

JordanRiver

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light…

—Dylan Thomas

CakePigJana

Illegal Immigration

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

This cartoon is bizarrely appropriate for today, because it is the birthday of the sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904), whose most famous work, Liberty Enlightening the World, is known to us as the Statue of Liberty. I plan a lengthier post about him in 2011. Thank you and Happy Birthday, Frédéric. May your sculpture continue her courageous task of enlightenment.

Below: Illegal immigration is an issue that apparently remains unresolved in Virginia. And elsewhere.

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CakeBalloons2Caitlin


Glimpses of Monticello

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

MonticelloInside

No photography is allowed inside Jefferson’s house, and the brisk cheerful guide hustles us along rapidly from room to room, because close at our heels is the next of a long, long series of tour groups. So I sketch like crazy.

Little Mountain

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Monticello

When Thomas Jefferson finally retired from public life to his beloved Monticello, a steady stream of visitors made its way up the hill to visit and pay homage. Debts led to the property’s sale upon his death in 1826, and the house fell into a sad state of disrepair. It was rescued at last by admirer Uriah P. Levy and his nephew Jefferson Monroe Levy and, later, the Monticello Foundation.

I wonder what Jefferson would make of the fact that the procession of admirers continues today, bearing digital cameras to record his gardens, his architectural innovations, his books and tools and inventions. None of us, however, is invited to stay for a month or so in one of the guest rooms. Unfortunately.

CakeWeddingDawn and Emily

CakeSprinklesIan

CakeChocCurls2Benjamin

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