Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lusty cooing, Harleys and getting gritty again

Oh, visit the earth, ask her to join the dance. Deck her out in spring showers, fill the God-River with living water. – Psalm 65:9-13 "The Message" Translation

Green shoots wait succulently beneath dusty fallen leaves. Above, the lusty cooing of a morning dove breaks the silence.

A woodpecker "rat-a-tat-tat" for food on a nearby tree while another flutters in flight.

Full-breasted male robins stake out their territory, caroling richly from their high perches. Later, they swoop down to loosen dirt in search of worms, which have not yet surfaced.

Brooks, streams, lakes and rivers break loose from the icy shackles of winter.

Once aggrieved flowerbeds sprout nubs of life.

Overhead, waterfowl, with their piercing cries, power northward, cranking hard on nature’s clock.

The hoarse honking of Canada geese announces the end of winter’s overly serious grip.

The old familiar "gobble-gobble-gobble" of wild turkeys

In the field across the way, the piping of a long-legged Kill Deer dancing around corn stubs and hopping over plow ruts.

A Blue Jay’s sharp warning offsets the melodic song of newly arriving red-winged blackbirds. Birds and more birds join the chorus. Buntings and Finches are not far behind.

We mimic nature. We shed our winter selves. We go outside without coats, hats, gloves.

We move about refreshing our own nests, sweeping our steps, scratching our gardens.

Our hands and faces get gritty again. Bursts of balmy air sweetly wash over us.

We hear the temperature rising in Harleys roaring along the highway. Like uncontained laughter to our ears, their rumbling engines sound as though any minute they may burst.

Children running, skipping, chasing in lingering daylight reclaim the outdoors after emerging from a long hibernation fed by electronic entertainment.

Sleeveless, they bike, skateboard, rollerblade, as though in flight, too. Hollering, shouting, calling, screaming.

Daylight lingers into early evening.

All the while, we talk back to January, February and most of March, which had moved us to such extremes.

Our dread is gone. Full-faced, we roll out hope.

The death of winter is behind us. We are young again. 2009©Copyright Paula Damon.

A resident of Southeast South Dakota, Paula Damon is a popular columnist and freelance writer. Her column writing has won first-place in National Federation of Press Women and Iowa Press Women Communications Contests. Recently, her work took second place in the South Dakota Press Women Communications Contests. To contact Paula Damon, email or comment on her blog at

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Not so fast – Lenten fasting is serious business

Want to know what I gave up for Lent? Read on....

Lenten fasting is not what it used to be. Years ago, I could get away with giving up chocolate or maybe French fries.

Not this time.

Now I do not have the luxury of abstaining from a favorite sweet or snack to observe Lent.

No longer will you hear me say, "I’m giving up ice cream for Lent."

I have replaced such deprivations with the more painful practice of being patient.

Yes, I have given up being impatient for Lent and it has been no easy task. Now, little more than one week into it, and I am about to turn blue.

It is not that I am an extremely impatient person. In fact, I may appear to be the most patient person you have ever met.

However, get me alone in my routine and I turn perilously impatient with myself and with those who are closest to me.

It is a good thing that Lent is a period of prayer and contemplation observed in many Christian denominations, because I am going to need a lot of prayer and a heap of contemplation now through Easter Sunday in order to live up to my Lenten promise.

Lenten fasting is not what it used to be. This other way of observing Lent is an entirely new journey for me.

It makes me yearn for the young innocent days of abstaining from something easy. Take my sunflower seeds and chewing gum, please.

These last eight days since the start of the Lenten season, I have been practicing patience by biting my tongue and counting to 10.

During this time, I have wondered if this is the type of "fasting" that I should have been doing all along.

The term Lent in Old English is Lencten, meaning spring. The Church teaches us that Lent is supposed to be a time of rebirth and renewal.

As Christians, we are called to go beyond ourselves by removing "me, myself and I" from our center of focus.

During these 40 days and 40 nights, we are invited to commit acts of self-sacrifice.

Visit shut-ins or residents in nursing home. Organize a food drive for the local pantry. Give money we would have spent on ice cream, French fries and sunflower seeds to the needy or missions.

We say we do not have time. During Lent, we are to make time.

During Lent, we are challenged to renew our spirits. We are asked to summon our demons and say be gone, good riddance.

In these 40 days and 40 nights, we are asked to compass our God-given purpose. We are summoned to be better people, transformed, if only a little.

Lenten fasting is not what it used to be, at least for me it isn’t.

2009©Copyright Paula Damon

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Welcome to Paula Bosco Damon's Blog


It is great to finally be able to meet on this page. I invite you to share your impressions of my non-fiction writing found at My weekly columns are in the "Opinion" section. I also wholeheartedly encourage you to share your stories, as well. Use this blog as a journal of sorts to write your stories down.

Write on....