Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beauty in the Storm...

With no power at home, trees down across roads and flooding conditions as a result of Hurricane Irene, there really isn't much to appreciate about enduring a hurricane. But just a bit ago, when the sun peeked out for a few minutes, I saw the most massive rainbow I have ever seen. Serving up an important life lesson and reminder for myself that when life feels stormy, beauty endures.

Life is stormy. People don't do things the way you would like them to. They live life differently than you do. They don't follow through or are late or don't show up at all. They make different decisions for their family than you do yours. They don't treat others the way you feel they should. They don't understand you and sometimes say mean things to you. For these reasons and more, you feel certain people are not part of your tribe and deserve to be scorned, walked away from or ignored, bringing gray skies to your life and theirs.

But beauty endures. Shining sun upon rain clouds brings rainbows. Make yourself into a ray of sunshine when you encounter people that bring storms to your life. Many times things are not as they first appear. Switch things around by looking at the situation from many angles and attempt to put yourself in their shoes, to figure out where they are on their own personal journey. Maybe you were once where they are today. Light up with understanding and compassion rather than the cloud of judgement and scorn. We do not all have to be on the same page and different colors residing next to one another is what makes a rainbow so beautiful.

Bring beauty to this world. We have had enough storms.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Afternoon Coffee's On...Precursor to Fall Weather

When the coffee pot is put to brew in the mid-afternoon and not just in the morning, I know fall is just around the corner. Like birds that are signaled to fly south when the weather turns cold, I feel it in my bones when the planet has made a shift from summer toward fall and I find myself desiring a cup of joe in the afternoon.

Today dawned with a coolness, a fresh breeze that made my morning walk with my pup feel especially wonderful, as I found the stale, humid air of late blown out and away. The blue sky was a welcome sight after all of the rain storms we've been having this summer as well. As Dakota and I made our way around the borough, we made a stop at the library to return my overdue books before continuing along, stopping to greet other the dog owners also out enjoying this fine day.

After my morning cup of coffee and a not so fun trip to the dentist, I found myself making my way up to the co-op to fetch some items for dinner tonight. Again, I enjoyed the delightful air and blue sky as I ambled along. A side trip to the bank to get some money was nice because I got to peer into each shop along the way, their doors thrown open to enjoy the day. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Well, not really those shops. But sometimes when I walk along the streets of the borough, I feel as though I have gone back in time. All of the homes are almost 100 years old and with most everyone on foot or bike, it feels like I have traveled through a time machine.

I just heard the train from Philadelphia running along the tracks and blowing its horn as it crossed over a street near my home. Soon my older son, transported by that same train, will walk through the door returning from his job in the city.

The afternoon is passing, my coffee has brewed. I need to begin to finish making a potato salad I started earlier so that it will be ready for a potluck dinner meeting I am attending tonight. My contemplative time is over. I will rush about for a few hours now before settling down and watching the day pass into night. The cool air floating through my windows, guaranteeing a delightful night sleep.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Remembering My Brother Erik, 11/5/63 - 8/19/08

In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them.

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them.

In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them.

In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.

In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them.

When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them.

So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

~Ronald B. Gittelsohn

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Replacing Lawns with Gardens...

With the weather starting to cool and make a move toward fall, I find my thoughts turning to gardening. It has been a long 2 years since I have owned a home and now that I am in a place of my own once again, I can do what I'd like with the yard. The many beautiful gardens in the borough I live in inspire me as my dog Dakota and I make our morning rounds.

Flowering gardens are given preference over boring green lawns in my town and it is so refreshing to see how beautiful a yard can become when one decides to not have any lawn at all. Nature abounds in these spaces and calls me to create something born out of wild abandon in my own yard.

I have always been drawn to wild over restrained and I am glad to see most in this area feel the same. Nary is a lawn mower heard on a Saturday around here. The sounds of insects buzzing through the garden and birds in the trees sounding out loud and clear and not drowned by man's machines. Why can't more people embrace nature and allow it into their spaces? It certainly would make for a more beautiful world.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Longing for Mother...

I have always wondered about the pull I feel when I am out in wild spaces. The ache in my heart that speaks of amazement, wonder and longing and can be found whether I am looking skyward at the trees towering overhead or viewing dancing wildflowers along a wooded trail. I feel this pull as I revel in all that the natural world offers and this ache brings me into nature's fold, wrapping me up in its beauty, embracing me in wildness.

This is the same embrace a child feels as she is swept up into the arms of her mother. Fulfilling a longing, a connection to be with what brought one into being.

After spending a fair amount of time in the natural world, residing in the bosom of nature, I begin to feel adequately satisfied and find the ache, the pull, begins to ebb. I find that time spent resting in the lap of my mother, earth mother, fulfills a longing, allows connection with what brought me into being.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dark Damp Day

Waking up to the sound of rain upon the roof and distant rolls of thunder, I knew today would bring a slower pace than usual. No walk for the pup, no yard work to tackle. Just a slow ramble through the day reading and thinking and resting. I love the forced relaxation that rain filled days bring! Enjoy the day!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reaching for the Sky...

A once read that the root system of a tree is as big underground as the growth you see above the ground. That the roots and branches are essentially a mirror of one another, roots spreading out underground and supporting all of the branches reaching skyward. I would imagine herbaceous plants such as the sunflower would need this same sort of support structure as well.

Just like plants, I understand that I need to have a strong support structure in order reach skyward myself. Every time I move to a new place, my roots severed, I find it takes me a bit to regain my footing. I falter and am not able to put much out into the world as I rebuild my roots and connections in a new place.

Such has been the case with my recent move but slowly, as my roots push deeper, I am beginning to put out some top growth. Recent connections with neighbors and fellow dog walkers have allowed me to branch out and discover that local dog owners meet each Saturday and Sunday morning in a park to let their dogs run free. A visit to that park this weekend will allow me to connect with new people and continue branching outward in new ways.

Other neighbors I have recently met have shared with me the history of my house and town, where the best coffee shops are, news about how the borough operates and what the loud horn blasting at various hours means (a call out to the volunteer fire department), allowing me to form a foundation and understanding of this new place I reside in. As I process all of this information, I find myself getting more and more comfortable, getting more rooted.

Part of me wants to rush this process of getting established here. To move straight to the glorious leafing out part, standing straight and tall and starting to put out blooms. I find myself frustrated that I have to go through this all again. I have moved so many damn times in my life, cut my connections so many times, I feel I should be entitled to just skip all the ground work. But when considering what nature requires, the need for foundation to support growth, I find my frustration easing, knowing that the groundwork I lay now with allow flowering down the road.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dakota's Summer Morning...

Just as the sun was cresting over the horizon, bringing forth brand new possibilities for this day, my dog Dakota and I were out taking our morning walk. Easing our minds into thinking about how we wanted to spend this morning, her with thoughts of a rest upon return home, me with thoughts of how to settle my mind after a month filled with orchestrating a move to my new home.

After breakfast, Dakota settled upon the couch in the living room, me in the family room. Dog bowl filled at the ready for her, coffee cup in hand for me.

As I watched Dakota beginning to let her day unfold, resting upon the couch, it dawned on me that I should do the same. Just let things happen as they should and not try to force or figure out how best to spend the day.

Taking cues from Dakota, I decided to watch the world go by.

Let the sun play upon my face.

Wonder about things.

Investigate from an armchair.

Take it easy,

And just be. What will this day bring I wonder?