I dig my hands in the black soil of my garden.It is still a garden of plans and dreams. It has not yet evolved intoThe green plant-filled oasis that it will soon become. It is a place forMe to watch summer arrive.I visit the garden early in the morning. Dewed spiderwebs dot theLawn. Light and shadows play through the woods. The haunting sounds ofCrickets and toads still pierce the morning air. I pull some small weedsAnd pull some solutions for the day’s problems right along with them. TheWeeds appear to spring from nowhere. I am in a hurry, but the weeds areNot. The weeds hang onto their place on earth with a determinedCussedness. People may run out of patience, but nature does not.Time slows down as I go about my work. Arrogant squirrels do theirTrapeze acts in the trees over my head. Nature finds us in our hidingPlaces. The birds sing their morning chorus to accompany my activities.I am convinced that we cannot live without birds and their songs. ItIs difficult for a person to take himself too seriously while the birdsSing. I listen to the vocalizations of the birds. Their songs lift mySpirit. There are times when I think that listening to birds is the onlyTime that I am sure that I know what I am doing. Birds change us. TheirVoices cause us to become more meditative. I feed the birds. I plantShrubs for them. I provide water for them. I plant blueberries. INever eat one of the berries. I might add that I love blueberries. INever eat any of the blueberries because the birds beat me to them.There are those who claim that we do not need birds. I do not agree.I will not argue with people who feel that way, but I will offer them someAdvice. Even those people who believe that birds are not needed should doSomething for our wild birds. Whenever our souls need tending to, weShould care for the unnecessary.We can make a difference here.– Al Batt

A Beautiful Moment

When one beautiful moment ends, another begins. Do not holdSo tightly that you miss the beauty altogether.With a thankful heart, enjoy the goodness that comes yourWay in things great and small. The way to make sure youNever lose it is to simply let it be.In good time the joys of life come, one after another. BeOpen and accepting of what is now here, and you’ll connectWith the abundance that is all around you.Each moment is a blessing. Treasure its unique gifts and doNot rush to the next one, or worry that the last one wasInsufficient.Relish the beauty that is now, and know that there will beMore. Fully live and appreciate what you have right here andNow.In this beautiful moment is great and profound treasure. LetIt be, and it is always yours.~~Ralph Marston

A National Moment of RemembranceOn Memorial Day

That poem about where poppies blow and, the crosses, row on row Still rings true, these ninety yearsAfter written, still brings tears.We still have Dead, amid the gunsAnd lose our young and our loved onesThose who lived, short days agoWho, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.In Flanders Fields, the poppy redStill grow near where the blood was bledThey, Take up our quarrel with the foe?And still die for Freedoms that we know.They pass, The torch to, hold it highAnd not, break the faith with us who dieFor they, shall not sleep, though poppies growBeneath all those, crosses, row on rowIn Flanders Fields.


I am the symbol of living America, The badge of it’s greatness, The emblem of it’s destiny.I am faith. It is I who keep men mindful of their Priceless heritage, life, liberty, And the right to pursue happiness. I am hope. I represent the land of promise wherein, already, man’s loftiest dreams have approached closer to realization than ever before On this earth. I am life. Each strand of my being is a memorial, Dedicated to the sacrifices of all those strong men And steadfast women who have lived and died In the nation’s service, that it might live forever. I am tolerance. So long as I shall wave, All people under my protection may freely Worship, think, write and speak, Undaunted by the shadow of fear. I am justice, tempered with mercy. For I am a friend to the oppressed And downtrodden of every land. I am a sign of the future. I wave over schools throughout the nation And in them the nation’s future is molded. I am the Flag of the United States… The last, best hope For peace on earth. Always remember that along with the picnics and fun and the time off from Work, The reason we enjoy all our freedoms. Take a few minutes to think of the men and women who died so that we may Live. Teach our young people about the individuals That gave the greatest sacrifice anyone can give, Their very lives, For those of us they would never meet And to ensure the safety of future generations. Happy Memorial Day!