Archive for April, 2012


This is my time. The trees that blossom are in full plumage, and those with green or deep red leaves are unfurling like a sail being raised and filled with air, propelling, compelling, and telling of the season, of this moment in time.

She called me weeks ago, did mother earth. I was drawn to that place where last fall I solemnly stowed away the gloves that know the curves of my hands, the curls of my fingers. I had wound up hoses, said adieu to tools that work the soil, with handles both short and long. It is as much of a ritual to admit the end of a growing season as it is to anticipate the approach of the new.

There is a marriage between the beds where late fall and winter brought succulent greens to wither and fade into winter slumber. For the time where I lean on the bouquets I hung to dry and display in the harsh throes of winter…to sustain me and remind me of the coming of an end to longer nights and shorter days.

And recently I renewed my vows and dedications to the place where shrub and bush, tall trees and evening scents beckon me, sooth and caress me in return for the touch of my hands, the straining of hoe and assertion of spade and gentle rains from both clouds above and rhythmic sprinklers urged to life thru an ancient pump.


She gives to me more than I to her, but there is an understanding, an oath unspoken that I will return when the stranglehold of winter is broken. It is life in a state of slumber, brought back thru the stripping away of last year’s foliage that didn’t quite have time to decay and rejoin the earth that sustained it all those months ago.

Each flat from the nursery, and packet of seed that are emptied, made to new homes and tamped to a perfect depth give to me a promise of returned pleasure and nurturing of my very soul, as the days grow longer then shorter after the solstice has come and gone.

I love the efforts she matches me with the responding to my urges, the hours spent and her return of sight and scent and sounds from the winged friends that feed and nest in the mantle and bush there.

There is no debate, no drama, only the well earned sleep and nature’s reward. I ask only for the same ancient ritual to recur, and am in turn rewarded for my faith, my bended knees and love instilled…and as always…she and I celebrate night and day with filled vases and scent filled breezes as I sleep under an open window when warmer nights return.

The cycle and reassuring return of life to my winter ravaged and weary soul is all I ask…but she gives me so, so much more…


Matthew Landsman 04-22-2012

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I cannot fault the earth that gave place for the tree to root, nor the rain and sun that provided it life.  And yet there grew the tree.

I won’t place blame on the axe that fell it, nor the man that wielded it and brought it to crash on the life giving ground.

I cannot fault the carpenter that gave it form and function, or the blacksmith that forged the spikes. I can’t blame the hammer that drove them. A hammer can both build and be used to break…or in the case of assembling a particular cross; both.

reflections on Christ - crucifixion

I cannot blame the thorny bush, or the soul who cut the branch that formed a crown.

I cannot fault the sun that rose and shone that day, or the path he walked while those that gathered stood idle.


I cannot blame the day that was passing during which he died, or the fabric his perished being was wrapped in.


I won’t place blame on the darkness in which he was laid to rest, or the strength of the men who placed a boulder to seal the implacable tomb.

But I can be thankful for the dawn, for the deliverance and evident rebirth. I will continue to praise the miracle and reunion when the third sunrise came to pass.

I can be forgiving of those who put timber and tools to use, who brought an end to one life as we know it…and in turn, eternal life to being. It seems that even misguided evil can manifest mystery and miracle.

In all of my life, I have been taught sacrifice on so many levels, but I think I finally understand how love makes it worthwhile, hope makes it possible, and faith–faith makes it real.

I cannot see the wind, but I never question that it rustles the leaves and lifts the desert. I cannot touch the sunshine, yet it brings me sight and accompanies me through shadow and warmth. I cannot understand why the stream fills with salmon that return to spawn and die, without ever knowing if the effort would turn to fry and perpetuate the life cycle. And yet they leave the sea and head home nonetheless.

I no longer feel my mother’s hand upon mine, and yet she never ceases to touch me. And I won’t stop believing that she waits for me and others where she is now.

All I need is forgiveness, acceptance, patience, faith, and most of all love…to know that come morning, the stone will have moved, and reunion will be at hand.

And sure as the sun will rise at Sunday’s dawn…so too will have the Son.

cross tomb

Keep the faith and be good to each other. I bid Happy Easter to one and all.

Matthew Lyle Landsman

Early Easter 2012

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My faithful steed

My faithful steed

Lots of adventures on the old bike…

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In the final throes of winter, especially this year when the infant spring is rather meek to emerge and take on the starkness of the naked branches, dormant fields and garden plots…The bulbs of fall and volunteer annuals are still evading the frost, and buds are hesitant and not about to swell as naive fools to fall victim to a killing frost.

But then and now I have had my own constant gardener, Glenda, to remind me that warmer dawns and greener views are but a Chinook breeze away. She’ll prepare to soften stiffened gloves and winter born visions of her patch of heaven on God’s green earth. And that dark earth waits with eager anticipation the attentions and loving intentions from her knowing hands.

There will be dirtied knees, hoses unfurled, spots of shade for those things that thrive in darkened corners, heartier varieties for the blossoms that can weather the midday sun. She knows these things, how to create a place of refuge and retreat there on that plot of earth bordering the canal that brings life to the desert.

No matter where I’ve roamed on this continent, I have passed nurseries and flower beds, trees for privacy and trees for shade. And for over two decades, the petals, freshly nurtured earth and shades of blue have always brought a glad feeling and reassurance that she remains. That spring will always closely follow the barren months. That hope is rarely lost even when the night is far longer than the day…

I seek shelter in the knowing that if I chance to pass her way there even just in my mind, there will be a potential for glimpses of April blossoms, hints of summer evening scents, and the essence of cool grass between toes, even in the dead of January when life has ebbed nearly into only memory. I’ll always find my gardener, and I hope when she is in need of love of a friend and words from her personal writer, that she’ll always find me…Matthew Landsman

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