The Daily Muse

Thoughts from an Austin Garden  -- October 2008


Last update: October 28


A new image from my sister. An autumn morning in North Dakota.


October 7 - morning


Finally, after many long weeks, we have had a good deep rain in the garden! Last night I awoke to the sound of rain on our roof and I got up early to check the rain gauge. Unfortunately, I hadn't noticed that the gauge had been knocked askew (probably by a racoon) but it still managed to catch a full inch of rain. I am guessing we may have had an inch and a half. I finished my last pruning of the year several weeks ago and was waiting for the flush of growth that always follows, however, everything seemed stalled - just sitting there. I now expect that we'll see that final green-up of the year including a very late showing of our fall bulbs.


I am sorry that I have been so negligent about updating these pages, my new job at Austin Area Interreligious Ministries (AAIM) has been very demanding - I come home exhausted though very content about my work. Every spare bit of energy has gone into garden maintenance, high anxiety over the upcoming elections, and worries about what the dramatic economic news will mean for  AAIM. We serve many very vulnerable people and I dread having to cut any services due to a lack of funding. We'll see how all of that unfolds. In the meantime I say a prayer every evening for the safety of Barrack Obama and for our nation - these are both very hopeful and perilous times.



A cool morning and the mist rises along the banks of the Missouri River.



October 12 - morning


Sunrise over the garden.


Good morning to you! Another cool, comfortable morning here in Austin. A bit more humid, but who can complain after the rain earlier in the week? No deep thoughts... I just hope that you can find a little quiet time in your garden today. That is my plan. Cheers!


One of the cypress trees in our allee against the morning sky.



Cloud wisps.



The monarchs are moving through now and are enjoying our mist flower pit stop.



One couple felt amorous.




Rain drops on our Savannah Holly...



...and on our cypress trees.











































Another gorgeous fall image from my sister.


October 16 - morning


A beautiful autumnal morning here inAustin  the air is cool, the sky overcast, and I am celebrating  the1.8 inches of rain that fell in my garden yesterday!


My primary purpose in wiriting today is to invite you to a very special event here in Austin this coming Sunday (October the 19th.) AAIM (Austin Area Interreligious Ministries) is partnering with a variety of local organizations to present Austin's 3rd Annual Abraham Walk. This purpose of this event is to celebrate and explore the connections between the three Abrahamic traditions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. This year's event will feature a keynote address from Judea Pearl, the father of slain Wall Street Journal Reporter, Daniel Pearl. As you may recall Daniel Pearl was killed by religious extremists in Pakistan several years ago. Since that time, Judea Pearl, has dedicated his life to building bridges of understanding between the Jewish and Muslim worlds. His is not a simple story of "forgiveness" but rather that of a deeply wounded individual who feels called to make something positive happen as a result of his son's death. I think his talk will be profoundly moving and very real. The event will also have a special focus on youth and music - so we will also be featuring a performance by the Conspirare Youth Choir which should be a very special treat. (Conspirare is Austin's world-renowned professional chorale organization.) The Abraham Walk will be held at the Dell Jewish Community Campus at 7300 Hart Lane from 2- 6:00 PM this Sunday. The program featuring Judea Pearl and Conspirare will get under way at 4:00. To learn more about the different activities click here. I look foward to seeing you there. Please share this information with your network!


October 17 - morning


A light moment in tense times...



October 21 - morning


Yesterday, along with 24,000 other residents of Travis County,  I went to the polls to cast my ballot on the first day of early voting. The turnout was amazing, the number of voters exceeded the record set here in 2004 by 8,000 people. When I was voting I witnessed something very moving...  I voted on the campus of the University of Texas and I was surrounded by first time voters. As I stepped into my polling booth, two young co-eds who were on either side of me were finishing - one was African-American, the other white. As they stepped away from their booths, the young African-American girl turned to the white girl and said, "Amy, give me a hug. I just did the most important thing I have ever done." They embraced excitedly and were on their way.


There are very few times that I have felt more proud of who we are as a people than at that moment. I hope that moments like that will be replicated a million times over in the days ahead. It reminded me of Paul Tillich's comment that we could differentiate true hope from false if we could see the "seed-like presence of that which is hoped for."  A seed contains the promise of a tree - and genuine hope for change. 


Out of what we truly are, the hope for what we may become must grow. - Paul Tillich


May we all grow in peace! Now, vote!


(And, while you are at it, share this with your Republican friends!)



October 28 - morning


A chilly morning in Austin... but things are heating up at the national level. The elections have me feeling both profoundly hopeful and very worried about the future of our nation.


Hopeful because of this:




Worried because of this:


GOP Elections Theft


Where ever you are, please vote early!


October 28 - evening


One more reason to believe that our hope is real....




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