Monday, December 31, 2007

The Eyes of Your Hearts Enlightened*

*from Ephesians 1:18

It is by now quite obvious that Tim does not contribute to this "Tim and Cameron" blog. My original intention (and you can see the flaw here) is that we both would post thoughts and pictures about our new life in Seattle, and if Tim actually contributed you'd probably hear more about highway traffic and his work at Microsoft -- though most of that is confidential, even from me -- but since he isn't so inclined, you're stuck with me.

It was never my intention to make this blog at all akin to a journal, but since I have ample time to think about things often what comes out is a bit like that. And as I consider it, the truth is that these journal-style entries really are snapshots of life here for us. If I only wrote about our trip to the Market or what it was like to have snow in Seattle then I'd be leaving out most of the living part of life.

I just have a quick thought as a follow-up to my last post about the job/what-am-I-doing-here situation. Yesterday at church the sermon was about one's calling or purpose. Of course that caught my attention, and I think subconsciously I was sending the pastor a message: Yes, tell me! Tell me! I was hoping for some revelation about a job or career, the way some people feel called to teach, for example. The pastor said that our calling comes out of our identity, and he defined our identity using this verse:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

I felt like the eyes of my heart were enlightened, like it says earlier on in Ephesians. It just made sense to me, showing clearly who I am and what I'm here for. I really love the last phrase of the verse, not only because it's so poetic, but also because of the image it calls forth: walking in the good works that God has prepared for me to do. This is my purpose, not some job. It could be a job, but it can also be any number of things. And as a runner that really speaks to me, because the image is active. As I stand poised at the beginning of a new year, ready to run into it, both literally and figuratively, I have hope that God will continue to reveal his purpose on the path he prepared for me beforehand.

Friday, December 28, 2007


We had a great Christmas with Tim's sister Jane down from Alaska, where she's posted with the Air Force. It was fun to have her here to share in the holiday festivities. We got to see the Nutcracker (with sets by Maurice Sendak) and do a lot of cooking and baking at home. Highlights were making toffee for the first time (surprisingly easy, though it burned the pot) and baking their Grandma's Christmas cookies--Tim had fun making a herd of pigs (one of several random cookie cutters we had). We also tried making traditional wassail, which was an interesting experiment and decidedly one we'll not try again: too potent!
We were so surprised to get snow on Christmas day, which was very fun, though we enjoyed it from the indoors. A couple from our small group came over for Christmas dinner and it was nice to spend the evening with them. Tim's taken the week off from work so we have certainly had a very lazy, very enjoyable Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Definition of Success

Today I found out that I wasn't selected for a position I was really excited about at the Seattle Art Museum in the Education and Public Programs division. I've had a lot of ups and downs on the job front over the last few months, and it seems like every time I find something I could be interested in and enjoy doing, the opportunity passes. This was the one I've probably been most excited about out of all of them, barring a job in the communications office of the Seattle Public Library I applied to a couple of weeks ago, and which I just noticed was no longer on their web site. I was hoping to celebrate Christmas next week with a job offer in hand, but that's not the case. This area of my life has been tough since we moved to Seattle and I'm dealing with the constant question, "What do you do?" as we meet new people and make connections in the city.

It's really been a lesson in humility. Many of you know that I didn't get into Cornell flat-out: I was waitlisted, and didn't arrive on campus until January of my freshman year. That was really hard coming out of high school when I thought my grades and activities should have gotten me into any school I wanted. The school I wanted, at the time, was Columbia, and I was devastated when I was waitlisted there, too, and eventually denied admission.

Then I went to Cornell, absolutely loved it, fell in love with Tim, and got married. I wouldn't change any of that for the world. Even for Columbia.

That was my biggest setback, until graduation, when I was also denied admission to all five of the graduate schools I applied to. Granted, for graduate programs in creative writing most people apply to at least 20 schools, and my friends who did that got in. But my priorities at the time were to be close to Tim, who had another year left at Cornell, and to be at a place that admitted only the best of the best. So I was rejected, and honestly, probably rightly so. After a year's hiatus and five or so months now of steady application my writing is so much better than it was then.

But I still don't have a full-time job. Most days I'm ambivalent about that because, while it would be nice to be making money and "out in the world", I'm plenty busy and mostly enjoying what I'm doing. The thing is, though, despite two seasons of pretty heavy rejection, I still don't expect it. I thought I was a shoe-in for that job at the SAM.

It kind of has turned my evening a little gray. But then I look around at our house, which is starting to be well furnished. We are happy and healthy and have an obscene amount of gifts under our tree. I'm honestly embarrassed to look at them, even though I know we set a budget for our holiday spending. I am so happy to be married to Tim, and to be where we are, and to be working on a project that seems to be writing itself. It's just hard sometimes to escape that memory of what it was like to be at Cornell, and everyone's expectations for the great things they were going to do after graduation. Two years out--Dec 17 was the second anniversary of my graduation day--this isn't exactly what I thought I'd be doing. And yet I'm doing what I never thought I could: writing a book. Not having an "important" full-time job hurts my ego some, but times like this remind me that my value and my identity do not lie in my vocation.

We just finished studying Philippians at church, and Paul was a man at the top of his game: blameless and successful in every respect when it came to doing what was expected. He was a high-ranking Pharisee and obeyed the law to the letter. He couldn't have done better. And then he met Jesus, dropped everything, and became a tent maker just to get by. He was beaten, shipwrecked, persecuted, and jailed. And he was probably the single most influential person in the world when it came to the spread of the Gospel.

Not to compare myself with Paul, but he wasn't a very successful guy by the world's standards. I suppose I shouldn't yearn to be, either. Though not having a full-time job often makes me want "more," I have so much to be thankful for. Ironically, tonight Tim and I are going to a party to give a recently emigrated family from Ethiopia a substantial sum of money, donated by our church small group. This family has literally nothing, not even a permanent place to live. They are looking for jobs just to get by--a stark difference from my situation, which is looking for a job to show how capable I am, or to do something fun and exciting and "use my degree." It is good to be able to bless these people, and also to remind myself of what is important, and what life is really about.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

O Christmas Tree

Tim and I went out near the foothills of the Cascades to a tree farm in the little town of Carnation to cut down our Christmas tree last weekend! It was super fun, but I expected there to be snow on the ground out there. Oh well. But it was a beautiful sunny day and probably about 50 degrees--not like any other time I'd been out cutting a tree!
After cutting down a Korean Fir (never heard of that time before, but it smells great!) we paid for it in the barn. We also bought our first Christmas ornament there together, and old school amber glass one that looks kind of like a teardrop. It had been a tradition in my family for my brother Logan and me to pick out a new ornament every year at the tree farm where we cut down our tree in Lebanon, OH. So it was fun to start doing that with Tim. We are loving our first holiday together as a married couple, and are learning how to express our expectations for what we "usually do," as well as create our own new traditions. Tim made the tree topper (I helped a little), which is an elaborate star made out of strips of white paper. He had made a similar one for his family's tree back in Ithaca several years ago so I was happy for him to make one for us! Much better than buying one.
We are getting the house ready for Tim's sister Jane to visit us for Christmas next Saturday. She lives in Alaska right now and it will be great to have her here! We plan to go see the Nutcracker and show her the Seattle sights, and then make a low key dinner on Christmas and try wassail for the first time. It has also been interesting shopping for gifts for each other and trying to hide them when we live them in the same house!

Monday, December 3, 2007


Here are some photos Tim took of the snow in Seattle on Saturday while I was in Charlotte visiting family. I wish I could have seen it in person (rain soon after melted it all away). What a great way to ring in the month of December!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Giving Thanks

Things to be thankful for:
1. Being married!
2. Mom and Dad coming out for three days filled with food and Seattle sightseeing. Tim and I got to host our first Thanksgiving together!
3. Turkey and all the fixings, including chestnut stuffing and a special butternut squash chowder with crispy bacon. Many firsts this year on the menu.
4. Comfy new living room chairs.
5. Awesome new stove that works (plus a third little IKEA kitchen cart).
6. Antique buffet for the dining room--finally, a piece of furniture we fell in love with! It was worth the wait, and I can't stop staring at it.
7. The newest addition to our family: the ficus tree!
8. That mysterious green concoction in the Pyrex bowl. Yes, friends, that is the famed pistachio pudding--crushed pineapple, marshmallows, Cool Whip and all. I made it for Tim's office Thanksgiving potluck (I was wondering if Microsofties cook and the answer is no; apparently it was a dessert buffet) at his request; his sister Jane made this one Thanksgiving when I was at Tim's house. I certainly didn't grow up with anything like it. In fact, I think there are two kinds of households: those with Cool Whip and Jello-O pudding, and those without.
And I am thankful most of all that Tim and I are getting to live out our adventure together in the place God has put us. We celebrated--that is, noted, and my mom bought us a jar of yummy mulling spices--our four month anniversary last Wednesday. I am thankful for good health, a nice place to live, good food to eat, the new friends we are making, and the way the Lord is leading us as we settle into life in Seattle. It's still a process of adjusting, but if I sit back and take a look at all the wonderful parts of our life, it's a pretty amazing one.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bye bye, Wegmans

Yesterday I used the last of the Wegmans coffee filters I brought with me from Ithaca. Sigh. I suppose I'll just have to live vicariously through the folks on The Office who get to drink W soda in the breakroom.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I make bread in the bread machine. Tim makes bagels from scratch! They're pretty simple from what I observed from the sidelines--mix the dough, let it rise, form the bagels, let it rise again--and pretty fun when you get to the exciting part: boiling the bagels and then baking them. Yum!
I was thinking this morning as I spent some time in prayer how easy it is to get sucked into a routine of laziness. I've never been in this position of having "unlimited" time before; that is, time that no one but me gets to schedule. I have always been fairly motivated to use my time wisely and get things done, because since high school I've had a lot of demands on it, like class, sports, extra curriculars, etc. In college I was so strapped for free time that whatever I did with it needed to be "worthwhile," you know, producing the most fun possible in the amount of time I had. That made it really hard to relax because I was used to thinking I should be studying instead of baking a pie or going for a walk.
Once I had a full-time job, I had a different external schedule. I was motivated to get up in the morning and slog through my run, whether it was still dark out, windy, rainy, or icy, because I needed to be at work at 8:42 am and that was that (due to the strange way of calculating my hours). I admit I had some slipups here and there, but it was easy to prioritize when my schedule left only a few free hours a day and I was planning a wedding.
Now I have the opposite problem: too much time! I am a big believer in the fact that when you are busier you are more productive. I have a schedule taped to my wall, with blocks of time marked out for running and working out, reading, writing, checking email, etc. The free hours are supposed to be for the "life things" that need to get done, like cleaning the bathroom, going to the grocery store, and planning for Thanksgiving dinner. But it all gets muddled together when I've seen Tim out the door and it's still dark outside, and I'd rather waste some time on Facebook or find some other way not to head out into the damp world. I've realized that, in not working full-time, I've been enabled to pursue my own comfort instead of being productive, which was actually surprising to learn since I'm so type-A. At church we've been talking a lot about how we steward the resources we have, and they have a nifty alliterative phrase they like to use to describe those resources: "our time, talent, and treasure."
Early on in our new life in Seattle I would wake up, go for my run, and come home with a prayer in my heart that God would show me what to do with my day. I was actively giving my time over to Him in a new environment where I didn't have a lot of distractions yet because we were still in transition. Now we have a house and a routine, and I am much less likely to say that prayer, preferring instead to pad around in my PJs until I can muster the discipline to start checking things off my to-do list, including spending time on my writing, which isn't all fun--it's a lot of work!
This morning a storm blew strong gusts of wind and slanty rain into Puget Sound, so when Tim left I turned on the Today Show because Keri Russell was supposed to be on and I did not feel like getting soaked. Two hours later--which I rationalized as "productive" since I checked email, wrote a shopping list, and researched where to create our photo Christmas cards--I dragged myself into the bedroom to get changed for my run. When I came back, cold and wet, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I know would have meant more had I done it when I was supposed to, at 7:00 this morning. Now my whole day is pushed back and I am left feeling guilty about laziness and wasted time. I crave action and accomplishment, but the truth is it's a lot easier to be lazy.
It's an odd thing to be in this position of trying to use my time well when that's what I used to be good at. But I'm starting to see how it's necessitating growth in my life, calling me to be more disciplined, and ultimately to be a good steward of what God has blessed me with: my free time and my talents, both in the home and in my writing. I'm sure there will always be at least one day a week when I will falter and pursue my own comfort rather than my responsibilities, but I am grateful that in spite of that God is drawing me closer to him and showing me how to glorify him with each new day.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A little help here

Okay, so I'm going to come right out and say it. I want to be a novelist. There. Maybe that explains why every job I look at isn't quite right, and why I inwardly cringe when I see the descriptor "full-time" on job listings. I have always wanted to be a writer, but I've never really said it, because that means I have to try, which means I could fail. To be completely honest I've been pretty good a lot of things, namely school, which is why I'm kind of like a fish out of water here. But I have always had stories in me and I've always breathed in stories like air; anyone who knows me well knows that. The question now is what to do about it.

Since August I have worked on my new novel five days a week (of course missing some here and there) and I now have more than 70 pages. I'd say that's pretty darn good since I have no external motivation. But before you ask me what it's about let me say that there are only three people who know, and I told them by accident, and I will kill them if they reveal anything. You know who you are.

My dilemma is that I cannot write ALL DAY. Maybe Jane Smiley can, but not me. You all know me. I am not the hermit writer type. My veins don't flow black with coffee, I have more than two sweaters, and I don't smell bad. I'm not that kind of writer. I can be disciplined for several hours a day but beyond that I need society, action, challenge. So this is why I am going to shamelessly beg for comments to this post because I am in serious need of something else to do. I am not sure a full-time job is it. Volunteering helped for a while but I haven't found my niche yet. What can I do that will be stimulating, challenging, involving people and problems to be solved, but not including who ordered the venti latte with an extra shot?

Come on people. I give you a little entertainment with my crises. You can give me some helpful feedback in return.

(PS Tomorrow I will probably regret that I posted this and subsequently remove it).

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cash & Carry

After going through many 5- and 10-lb. bags of flour (we do a lot of baking; most recently Tim has been making baguettes) we got a clue and searched for a bigger bag. Make that a HUGE bag of flour. Because we're picky about our flour (enriched, unbleached) we had some trouble, but eventually found a 50-lb. bag at a store called Cash & Carry which is one block away from our church. It's basically a restaurant supply store that sells items in enormous quantities--a 25-lb. roll of ground beef, for example--as well as professional-grade kitchen tools. It's smaller than Costco and doesn't have fresh produce, but it's definitely just as fun.

So here's our new flour storage plan. I wasn't brave enough to pour the flour directly from the bag into the bin (in our old-fashioned pantry, built for that purpose) but will definitely be retrieving flour like a pioneer from now on. If we're really crazy we might get a similar stash of sugar for the brother bin right next to it.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Today I met with some folks at a local publisher to talk about a potential job. It went well and there is interest on both sides, so I'm excited to see what it might turn into over the next couple of months. But even as I was speaking with them and especially as I left, I got a heavy dose of the nostalgia I've been feeling as the fall slowly turns into winter.

I compare everything to Ithaca, and how can I not? This morning when I went out to run it was 31 degrees, which I think must be just about as cold as it gets here. It reminded me of getting up in the dark in my Fall Creek apartment and checking the temperature on my computer, knowing I would have to resort to the treadmill if it was under 20 degrees, and waiting for the light to start coming through the trees, then steeling myself against the wind as I set out on my favorite routes around downtown and campus, always passing the same landmarks I grew to love. I loved walking to work in a beautiful building, even though it had bats (I admit to screaming at least once). There were ups and downs in my last job but I miss they dynamic of personalities there, and also simply having known what I was doing and being confident in it. I miss certain restaurants and things that were uniquely Ithaca, like sights on the Commons or going to Stewart Park and watching the wind whip the willow branches out toward the lake. I miss the architecture and the feeling of being on campus, and especially of knowing my place in it all. Having lived in Ithaca for four and a half years I was pretty comfortable, and I knew where everything was, even if there wasn't much to it. It's great to be able to go shopping and experience city life in Seattle, and it's been a fun adventure so far. I am glad for where God has put Tim and me to start our marriage, but it's also a challenge. I think fear of the unknown sometimes makes us look backward, but of course there are memories to be cherished. When we finally do make it back to visit I know I'm going to run Tim ragged, wanting to visit Wegmans and CTB and walk around my old neighborhood to see if the house where I lived last year is still standing. I'll want to walk up the gorge and go to Stewart Park and Purity Ice Cream, and of course to campus to see what else is being built or torn down. I'll want to see the sheep out by his parents' house and visit friends from church and work. But I won't be able to take it all in. Part of the way I measure my life is in seasons that correspond to a different running route, from a particular dorm on campus or the place I lived in Collegetown senior year, or my apartment downtown. Remembering places I used to run evokes a certain time with certain feelings, a stage in my life. This last week I've recorded my memories of all my favorite routes since junior year, which has been a great way to reconnect with specific places, people, and seasons (not to mention a great creativity-building exercise, as I'm kind of stalled in my writing). Going forward I have to remember that right now I'm making memories, too, with everything that happens in our new life. I already have some new favorite runs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I hate to sound like a miser. I really do. But this is my first Halloween to hand out candy on my own (no longer living with my parents, in a dorm, or in the student slums of Collegetown) and that stuff is expensive! I just found out that my neighborhood at the top of Queen Anne Hill is one of the most popular for trick-or-treating in Seattle, which would be fine if, like in any normal city, trick-or-treating were contained to a few hours on Halloween night. The papers in Cincinnati used to print the trick-or-treating times for each neighborhood, and it was considered bad form to go early or ring doorbells after the time was up. Which is why I am registering an official grievance against the city on my blog: these costumed kids are apparently liable to come anytime from 3pm to 9!

Kiddos, when I was your age we had two hours to race through the neighborhood and get all the candy we could. There was the house we hesitated to go up to because you never knew if the monster sitting in the porch chair was a big piece of plastic or a man in disguise who would chase you down the sidewalk. And there was the man on the cul-de-sac who always gave away full-size Hershey bars. We made sure to run there before he ran out. And there was also the older woman who gave away apples--we avoided that house.

Why do kids need six hours of trick-or-treating? Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm kind of relieved that a meeting at church will keep us away from home during a couple of prime hours. Tim thinks we'll return to a house that's been egged by angry sugar-seekers and smashed pumpkins on our lawn. Seriously? I guess kids are super serious about their candy. Boo.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Volunteer Effort

Since mid-September I've been volunteering in two places, and I just realized that both are about to end and I've never mentioned them! The first is an after school program called Seattle SCORES which focuses on poetry and soccer. The program meets every day but I go on Thursdays to help a group of fourth- and fifth-grade boys with poetry. Because of the way the schedule has fallen I've not gotten to help them write it, which is what I thought I was going to do, but I've encouraged them as they memorize it for their big poetry slam on November 8, at which I'll be ushering. It is so enjoyable to watch young boys build their confidence through poems and the spoken word, things which quickly become uncool as you grow up. The other place I volunteered is the Seattle Tilth Children's Garden, and I have to say that was more out of my comfort zone. I was going on Friday mornings or afternoons to help lead tours of elementary students through the organic garden, where they can taste, smell, touch, and look at the plants and herbs growing there. They also got to do some digging and seed collecting and looking for worms in the compost pile. It was fun, but having no background in gardening I was expecting to get a little more training than I got, and it ended up being stressful as I struggled to keep the attention of squirmy bodies and bored parents through the tours that I knew little more about than they. Last Friday was the last day, and I wimped out since I had a lot of preparations to make for a wine tasting party we had that night and my heart really wasn't in it. It was a stretching and growing experience, but trying to be encouraging about something I actually know about--writing--has been much more fulfilling. SCORES will end with the poetry slam next week but pick back up for a winter quarter, which I may continue to do if I still don't have a job. But there are some interesting possibilities on that front. More to come later!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

To Reheat, or Not to Reheat?

That is the question. And we now have the power to choose! Friends of ours from small group received three microwaves for their wedding this summer, and when they tried to return this one at Target they could get only $7 back since it wasn't on their registry. Thus, they offered it to us! Though I admit to having enjoyed making oatmeal slow food-style on the stovetop, I was unable to warm up coffee...or anything...without turning on the oven or the stove. It's nice to be back in the 21st century.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall weekend

We didn't get to pick apples this year, but we did have a fun weekend hanging out in our cold house (finally we turned the heat on yesterday!)...visiting the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market...and getting pumpkins with some friends from our church small group!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Me: You should probably put on some deodorant.

Tim: Question: If you could be clean or be happy, which would you be?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Conference Bike

I was walking home from the 7-Eleven where, interestingly enough, I had paid our gas bill, and two guys pulled this thing out of the back of a U-Haul. I couldn't walk by without asking what the heck it was. They said it was a Conference Bike (, fresh arrived from Amsterdam. The two guys said they owned a Dutch bike shop in Ballard (, the neighborhood where our church is located, and asked if I wanted to hop on. After some wheedling--you shouldn't get in a car with strangers; was a seven-man bike the same?--they won me over, as well as another woman crossing the street. Everyone had to pedal at the same time and one of the guys steered the bike. It was pretty easy to go, but in this hilly neighborhood, it quickly became tiring. When we starting careening down a slight downgrade (that thing is heavy, especially with four people on it!) I asked if it had breaks, and sure enough it had, a hand break that they claimed was the same as the breaks on a Porsche. People on the sidewalk stared as we rode past, and the Conference Bike dropped me almost at my door. How's that for a crazy afternoon! Maybe when we're in the market for a new bike for Tim we'll go check out the Seattle Dutch Bike Co. Those guys sure know how to advertise!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Something very Ithaca

The Fremont Troll and organic cat treats. Such reminders of Ithaca! The troll--located under the 99 bridge, just across the canal from where we live--is great because it was a community unity project, which sounds like something Ithaca would do (with probably a similar result), and the cat treats would certainly be a hot ticket item on the Commons.

Monday, October 8, 2007

PS, the fridge came

It's funny how something can cause a bunch of stress and then, when it's resolved, we move right on to the next thing. Our new fridge did come, bright and early on Saturday morning--the delivery men just about woke us up, in fact. We are truly thankful for the fridge even though I neglected to mention it here right away, and we spent several hours grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon to prove it!

Oh those Yanks

One thing that's no different in Seattle than it was in Ithaca: Timmy's still cheering on the Yanks! It was pretty exciting to see them come from behind and beat the Indians last night. They're still in the running! (Sorry all you Red Sox fans...I wouldn't care about baseball if it weren't for Tim...)
And yes, our TV is still on the floor.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Fall in the Northwest

Autumn is my favorite season. I like to get cozy with a sweater and a bowl of soup, or take a walk to look at the beautiful changing leaves. I am amazed by how many plants keep blooming and all the berries and flowers I continue to see! The temperatures have been in the mid-50s during the day, and a bit colder at night. The house generally stays just under 60, but there have been days it's been at 55! Still holding out on that heater...
The fall always makes me think of one of my favorite poems, Sweet Afton by Robert Burns. Nickel Creek, a very special folk bluegrass band, performs a great version.
FLOW gently, sweet Afton! among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream. -
Thou stock dove whose echo resounds thro' the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green crested lapwing thy screaming forbear,
I charge you, disturb not my slumbering Fair. -
How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,
Far mark'd with the courses of clear, winding rills;
There daily I wander as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye. -
How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
Where, wild in the woodlands, the primroses blow;
There oft, as mild Ev'ning weeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me. -
Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides;
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As, gathering sweet flowerets, she stems thy clear wave. -
Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays!
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream. - -