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There’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place
And I know that it’s the spirit of the Lord
There are sweet expressions on each face
And I know that it’s the presence of the Lord
Sweet Holy Spirit
Sweet heavenly dove
Stay right here with us
Filling us with your love
And for these blessings
We lift our hearts in praise

 

 

 

 

Isaiah declares, “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners.”

For two decades our family has lived near this farm in White Plains, Maryland. It was always reassuring to me to pass by it because it is so much like farms in Ohio, my childhood home. The changes of the seasons would come and go, and I would quietly mark the subtle differences in the trees, wildlife, crops, and even the wild flowers along its pastures. Quite recently the farm was sold to developers.

This may be its last season of productivity as farm land. I grieve the inevitable changes as do many passersby, who along with me have enjoyed the changing seasons on the farm.

Today, I happened to come by when the workers were harvesting the grain. I remember when they first plowed and seeded in the Spring. I took pictures shortly after the green shoots came up and cast their color on the contours of the farm.

I hope you will enjoy these photographs as much as I enjoyed taking them. ……….SS


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A baby child is born along the highway

A tiny little thing upon the land

An okie with his dreams out on the byway

Lifts the tiny baby in his hand

 

The woman smiles a little smile of knowing

And whispers something softly in his ear

Perhaps a little prayer to help the growing

Perhaps a word of comfort through the fears.

 

A tractor makes its way along the fence line

And drops the seeds precisely in a row

If the rains are kind and the winds don’t take the topsoil

Before too long the crops will start to show.

 

The farmer sees the fields around him growin’

He whispers something low beneath his breath

Perhaps a little prayer to help the growin’

Perhaps a word of thanks for all the rest.

 

There’s a storm tossed ship tonight out on the ocean

There’s a soul somewhere adrift out on the blue

There’s a dreamer with his eyes upon the heavens

They’re all looking for a way to make it through.

 

You trust the moon to move the mighty ocean

You trust the sun to shine upon the land

You take the little that you know

And you do the best you can

And you leave the rest to the quiet faith of man.

 

Bill Staines


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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory