Monday, May 31, 2004

After the rain; sunset, moonrise

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Today the feast of Pentecost is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. The intricate cycles of the Gregorian and Julian calendars for calculating the date of Easter rotated into agreement this year so Rome, the Protestant denominations and Orthodoxy have shared a rare season of liturgical unity. We Orthodox observe the feast by kneeling at prayer in Vespers, both rejoicing in prayer at the gift of the Spirit, and returning again to the spirit of repentance that, if never completely forgotten, has been overshadowed these past weeks by the joy of the Paschal celebration.

David Melling has an instructive meditation on the prayers of Pentecost at his website. The full services are available online in a translation by Father Eprhraim at his site here.

God, great and eternal, holy and lover of humankind, who have counted us worthy to stand at this hour before your unapproachable glory to hymn and praise your wonders, be gracious to us, your unworthy servants. Grant us grace to offer you without conceit and with a broken heart the thrice-holy hymn of glory and thanksgiving for your great gifts . . . Remember, Lord, our weakness and do not destroy us with our iniquities, but in our humiliation show us your great mercy, so that fleeing the darkness of sin we may walk in the daylight of justice; and having put on the weapons of light we may persevere unassailed by any assault of the evil one, and that with boldness we may glorify you for all things, the only true God and lover of humankind. For indeed, Master and Maker of all things, truly great is your mystery: the temporary dissolution of your creatures and after this their restoration and repose to the ages. We give thanks to you for all things, for our entrances into this world and for our departures, which through your unfailing promise betoken for us beforehand our hopes of resurrection and unending life. Would that we may enjoy it at your future second Coming, for you are the author of our resurrection and the impartial judge who loves humankind of what we have done in life, the Master and Lord of our reward.

The preceeding is particularly appropriate as we in the United States remember those killed in conflict on behalf of their fellow citizens this Memorial Day weekend. We give thanks to you for all things, for our entrances into this world and for our departures. Memory Eternal.

Sheep for the shearing

Friday, May 28, 2004

Friday Morning, the view towards Hogback

Friday Morning, Buck Mountain

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Thursday Afternoon

Monday, May 24, 2004

As our sheep friends have noted, I am in the midst of a gala spring blog redecoration project. The new layout adds some complications and it will be a while before everything is sorted out and all links are back in place. I have left archived posts in the "classic" Hillside Farm format and they are now sorted by day (hence the absurdly long archive links at the bottom right of the blog). Let me know what you think!

Still not done?

Watching and Waiting . . . Is the new look finished yet?

I am experimenting with a new service provided in conjunction with Blogger. Since this is only a test, here is a vacation photo from the family's great Hawaiian adventure in February. Click on the picture for a full size image.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The view from home 5-17-04

Monday, May 17, 2004

Go here for more amazing photographs and a "virtual" tour of the Gracanica monastery, one of the beleaguered Orthodox holy sites in Kosovo.
Yes, I'm in the yard and yes, the grass is better in here and no, I'm not moving.

Morning Fog

Thursday, May 13, 2004

After a series of blog decorating disasters, I am now back to the old appearance, outdated links and all. Spring cleaning is not over yet though!
Young sheep, particularly when under the influence of the lushness and abundance of spring pasture, will do odd things. They jump straight up, all four legs like pistons, and run off at full speed in random directions. They stick their head through gaps in fences and find themselves stuck like prisoners in stocks. Even the older ones get in on the action. Some shed years and play like lambs. Some drop dead for no discernible reason, as if they just felt like doing something new. In that same vein, I have decided to adopt their brave spirit of self-destructive irrationality and make some changes to the "look and feel" of this weblog. Please bear with me until the fit passes and I make peace with the new blogger interface. If there are any designers out there who feel pity for an html and CSS challenged lawyer/farmer, drop me a line!