Saturday, August 27, 2011


Thomas Faed (1826 – 1900)

Recently, someone asked, “Why do you write about the past, about your ancestors and the trials they endured.”

I didn’t have to think long. In the words of Bruce Catton:

"We are people to whom the past is forever speaking. We listen to it because we cannot help ourselves, for the past speaks to us with many voices.”

In my home I have an art print by Thomas Faed titled, “The Last of the Clan.” The painting speaks of an ending for some, a beginning for others, and always; the poignant loss of what is loved and known. The old clan chief sits astride his highland pony by the seashore. His people reveal the mixed emotions etched in their faces. They mill about him, his wife weeping by his side. Some personal belongings are on the dock, left behind like the chief who is too old to make a new life.

A lad, perhaps a son, is pulling up the ropes that hold the ship and this people to the land. Many of the clan people are sailing away, never to be seen again by the chief’s old eyes.

When I first viewed this painting, I connected with the scene emotionally, feeling the pathos of the landscape, the exile, acutely aware of my own ancestral departure from the land of my people’s nativity. The past calls out to me and I simply write about those times of separation from home and country when my people came to America to begin a new life. They carried a sword, a dream of freedom, and I could not help writing about them. When I visit my ancestral home in Scotland, I understand in a deeper sense what it meant to leave all. The blood runs deep and It is part of me…still…still.

Monday, August 22, 2011


“Be still and know that I am God”

Psalm 46:10

Be Still, and Know that I Am God,
My Father said to Me,
And I will fill you with My Peace,
And set your Spirit Free.

The Spirit of God waits…listening…hoping that the human spirit, His own creation gone astray, will turn again to Him, and, like a mighty sea, He rushes to the smallest chink in the walls that shut Him out from His own. He is, and always is…all about us…if we only open our eyes, if we are still enough to listen

Ruth Carmichael Ellinger

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wildrose cottage in summer

Wildrose Cottage in summer

An angel to inspire

On the porch...Wildrose Cottage

Welcome to my Cottage

We have just returned from our cottage in Ohio, a place of refuge and peace, of renewing and inspiration. While there, I visited shops that stock my books, went ‘antiquing’ with my husband and renewed an old friendship of bygone years. And…for the first time in a long while, all my siblings were there – at the red brick farmhouse where I grew up, where both fond and painful memories are forever etched on my mind.

I feel so blessed to have sisters and brothers, to know they love me unconditionally. We are so very different, but tied together by blood, by the past that has shaped us into who we are today.

When I go home, I still feel the emptiness of not having living parents, of losing both ten months apart. How strange and wonderful and unexplainable is family. Surely, if I am God’s child, He thinks of me in the same way. I will ever be grateful for His plan for my life and for His wonderful love to me.

From an email friend:

If you never felt pain, how would you know that I am a Healer?

If you never had to pray, how would you know that I am a Deliverer?

If you never had a trial, how could you call yourself an overcomer?

If you never felt sadness, how would you know that I am a Comforter?

If you never made a mistake,

how would you know that I am a forgiver?

If you knew all, how would you know that I would answer your questions?

If you never were in trouble,
how would you know that I will come to your rescue

If you never were broken, how would you know that I can make you whole?

If you never had a problem,
how would you know that I could solve them?

If you never had any suffering, how would you know what I went through?

If you never went through the fire, how would you become pure?

If I gave you all things, how would you appreciate them?

If I never corrected you, how would you know that I love you?

If you had all power, how would you learn to depend on me?

If your life was perfect, what would you need me for?