Tiger Lilies and Morning Glories


The dock is windier today

A little cooler

I hear the glugging and plopping sounds the water makes

As it hits the hull of the boat next to me

While behind me the leaves

So silent last night

Are alive with sound like quiet applause

Creation singing the glory of God


I can feel the gentle breeze on my face

Strands of my hair tickling my forehead

Breathing in the impossibly clear air

The sun warms my back as it comes up behind me

The water looks blue from a distance

But green up close

The smooth stones of the lake’s bottom

Clearly visible from where I sit


I can see the arched lines of Keuka College across the store

And the double arches that make up the chapel

Right next to the shore

A beautiful spot for a campus

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A neighbor to the left is mowing his lawn

I can hear the hum and buzz of the mower

While the nearest neighbor’s silver pennants

Look like jellyfish moving through water as they move across sky

Discouraging birds from landing on his dock


The American flag is flying there too

Reminding me that the Fourth of July is just around the corner

A time to celebrate our rich heritage

Even in the midst of a time of unrest and change

Some of that change for the better

Like Mississippi taking down its flag



The neighbor on the other side has hired a beekeeper

I think fondly of my friends Sarah and Kimberly

He carefully removes a hive from the tree in their front yard

Preparing to relocate it

As the bees follow

None too happy to be removed

Yet they will follow the hive and their queen


As I walk up the steep slope back to the cottage

I notice that the tiger lilies

Their buds closed up this morning against the chill air

Are now blooming fully


Just like the morning glories I love

Responding to the sun


I love tiger lilies

They aren’t the most delicate flower

Their oranges and reds are bright and vibrant

Not subtle and meek

Like the delicate morning glories which stay close to the ground

Or need a surface like a fence to grow up against

Tiger lilies, by contrast, are strong

Their stems tall and able to withstand the strong gusts

And fierce rain that falls here


I think I love them because they remind me of here

Of this place

Tiger lilies are synonymous with the cottage

Reminding me of Grandpa Brigham’s strong frame

His loud laugh

Missing him, his playfulness and welcome

The cottage still stands here

Though it’s a new frame

One that no longer makes me sneeze

And now minus the outhouse

Some changes definitely for the better

It was his vision and hard work that made the cottage

A reality

And I am thankful for that vision now

For the generations after him who would arise and call him blessed

Continuing the work

Thankful for the stunning beauty and peace of this place


Even in a global pandemic

The cottage is unchanged

The fly-in breakfast canceled this year

So we are holding our own family breakfast

But the cottage itself is just like it always is

Welcoming and warm

The tiger lilies unaware of all the trials in the world

Blooming anyway


I think that’s my take home lesson for today

Though I wasn’t sure there would be one

I am a little more like the tiger lilies than I am like the blushing morning glories

Like them, I hope I will thrive where I’m planted

Like them, I hope I will be strong even in the winds and the rain

Like them, I hope I will respond to the light of the son

Flowering into vibrant bloom

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these…But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:28b-29; 33

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