Saturday, May 16, 2009



Function: transitive verb

Inflected Form(s): dev·as·tat·ed; dev·as·tat·ing

Etymology: Latin devastatus, past participle of devastare, from de- + vastare to lay waste —

Date: 1638

1 : to bring to ruin or desolation by violent action 2 : to reduce to chaos, disorder, or helplessness

This is the home of the in-laws of one of my co-workers. It was devastated in the tornado that ripped through Kirksville last week. Devastation is the only word I know to describe what I saw that day. For a few days I have been trying to think of something more to say about that, but the truth is that devastation is just beyond words.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English plantian, from Late Latin plantare to plant, fix in place, from Latin, to plant, from planta plant
Date: before 12th century
1. to put or set in the ground for growth; 2. to set or sow with seed.

Today I skipped church and spent the morning alone planting in the garden. I have been in desperate need of some time alone to be quiet and let my mind wander.
Since I was placing plant roots in the ground and it is Mother’s Day, it didn’t take long for my mind to wander to my own roots. I found myself sitting on the ground with dirt under my nails rejoicing that my roots had been in deep rich soil with parents who loved me wholly and unconditionally. They were middle class working people who believed in hard work and honesty and who relied on the grace of God. They were kind to strangers and opened their home to relatives who needed a place to live and people to love. Sometimes that meant putting the youngest child (me) on a cot in the living room because all the bedrooms were full. While some people may have felt sorry for that girl sleeping on a cot, I am grateful for the way my roots were strengthened and nourished by living with people who could put their own needs aside for the benefit of others.
As I left my garden plants, I prayed for my tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers – that their roots might take hold of the rich soil, and I also prayed for my children – that their roots might be strong and deep.



Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps akin to Middle English bleren to blear
Date: 1519

1. fuzzy or unclear image: something that cannot be seen clearly, e.g. because it moves too quickly or because it is not distinctly remembered

Sometimes life is a blur. Schedules and events pack one’s day so that there is barely time for a pause. When that kind of busyness takes over, things can become fuzzy or unclear and the events of the day are not seen or remembered clearly. The flowers growing on the side of the road are missed. Boundaries are crossed. Relationships are sacrificed and taken for granted. Blogs are ignored.
Taking time to breathe deeply seems to prevent blurring.