In the church calendar year, Pentecost follows the season of Christmas. It is the time of the beginning of Jesus’s ministry. In the Gospel of Mark his ministry begins with his baptism by John the Baptist. As Jesus comes out of the water, a voice from heaven proclaims, “You are the Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.

After his death on the day of Pentecost is when tongues of fire are seen as the Spirit enables his disciples to speak in tongues and to be understood by all around them. This is often thought of as the birthday of the church.



Acts 2:2

Smiling tongues of flames
danced, skittered, flitted freely
at head level,
choreographed by holy breezes,
laughing, gliding
from one to another,
releasing, unlocking, opening,
springing, freeing
the talents,
creativity of creation,
in blossomed praise
and full color adoration
of the Creator,
birthing the Body of Christ
into full vibrant
Richard E. Lake


“As the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen.”

My Dad’s saying popped into my mind this morning as the thermometer dropped way past the freezing to below zero.

It is a saying that certainly never fails to come true. In my rather long memory, January and February always produce the coldest days, and often the most snow. Richard and I lived in Interlaken, New York, while he studied at Cornell University and I taught in the elementary school. In February 1958 (or 1959), it snowed every day. School was cancelled all but four days. Those days, the buses were unable to reach the majority of the children. I had just one-third of my first graders those days.

The wind also blew and packed the snow between the banks of the state highway leading from Interlaken across the hill to Lodi on Seneca. The town broke a plow trying to get through it. A machine to chew out the stubborn bank was called in to no avail. Finally, controlled blasts of dynamite were used to loosen the blockage so plows could get


through and open the roads beyond there.

We lost so much school that New York State authorized us to make it up by increasing our school day by an hour. The snow brought me a benefit as a teacher. The wind had piled the snow to the top of my classroom windows. The children were not distracted for at least a month by activities outside.

The poem for this week is one of my favorites:

I laughed out loud
And watched
The small green balloon skimming
Across State Street
Touching, gliding, bouncing
out of place and time on a
January noon.

I watched
and strained
to follow its uncaring path
while the light gave me permission
to proceed on my defined route.

Richard E. Lake


Richard E. Lake in Albany, NY


I have been very quiet on WordPress the past few weeks. I have spent this month getting organized in my office.

To begin I sorted all the paper that had accumulated in the last several months. I now have my stories and writing in folders so I can find a story and get it organized to go out to a publisher or agent.

Then I looked at the closet jammed full of stuff in no particular order. Everything came out and in putting it back, I discovered a notebook of my husband’s poems that I didn’t have cataloged. I located printed copies except they were printed in the mid 1980s on a 9-pin printer with a font that I don’t have with my new printer. Actually the words were fine, but they were often surrounded by strange coding that had to be deleted before I could transfer the poem to the file with the others.

I am a bit like a dog with a bone–when I start something, I can’t let it go until I finish.  Yesterday, I declared to be finished. There are still some bits of bone here and there to clean up, but that is not daunting.  Richard was a person who wrote lines of verse here and there, often leaving poems unfinished or in handwriting. Even in the nearly five years since his death, bits and pieces pop up when I open an old notebook.

Therefore, I have decided that for the next several weeks I will publish one of his poems. Here is the first one:


Friend, O Friend,
Get close to the snow,
the gift of winter,
While you can.

The snow dunes molded by wind
can be a friend, a refreshing
challenge to the finger, toe and eye.

Fly and plop in the drift,
wade and waddle through the
crusty, crunchy freezing crystals.

Savor the stimuli on the nose,
laugh at the determined
fluff above the mitten.

Wonder at the shadow and shape
of infinite grays, whites and
curves and arcs arranged for you
by the wind.

Stare at the forbidding flow of
powdered sunshine freely dancing
to the tune of January.

Let the snow be your playground,
your pool, your pillow,
Allow yourself to indulge
the joy of frolic,

While you can, my friend.

Richard E. Lake 18 January, 1979