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Category Archives: Life Appreciation

Of Life and Leaves

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October 086

 

 

Summer slips quickly

Into winter’s dream

As fall fakes a smile

Amused at the lens

Say “Leaves”

And they gather

In layers lost

Before our eyes

Bits of space unnoticed

Until blinks are detected

Don’t blink

These moments have a life

Of their own

If we don’t give them one

~

Reality

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Utah

 

Do we listen

When silence speaks

In Mother Nature’s tongue

Let it drown out the technosaurus

Stomping loudly on anything

More than a day old

Time will soon be tired

Of being archived by the minute

But nothing can stop the wind

From carving out canyons

Or the sun

From casting shadows

Where no one even looks

                      ~

Do we sense

The softness of the breeze

She whispers on our skin

Caressing with only one purpose

To touch us… so we feel

Or have we forgotten

More than we know

Reality will soon be tired

Of hiding beneath the light

Of the machines we type on

The media we thrive on

The “friends” we depend upon

In this mechanical mess we call life

 

Badlands

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badlands

Out here

I could slip away

Fall through the cracks of

Time and existence

Mesmerized

By all that it is,

Unstirred and forsaken

Cosmic creation

A sweeping silence

That deafens the demons

And nourishes the soul

These are not bad lands

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The Present

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Here in the quietude

Layers emerge

Softly defined by the sun’s descent

Past and future hold nothing

To this very moment

Time has crumbled like  scraps

Carved out by the wind

Abandoned in shadows of now

Thoughts are held hostage

By beauty’s lure

Leaving space and breath

To inhale this gift

Sands of Time

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White Sands National Monument, NM

Time is irrelevant

No meaning cast

Daylight dishonored

 By shadows of the past

Seasons slide easily

Through white knuckled fists

Like tiny bright crystals

Too weak to resist

Time is a gift

To be treasured or wasted

Portraits and images

Carefully pasted

Time is mind altered

We stand early or late

Pausing… resuming

But time does not wait

Time is man measured

Designed and driven

Assumed,  forsaken

Granted,  God given

Simplicity

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NM October 2011 065

We reach towards the sun

To feel the warmth

Nurturing our souls

Soothing our minds

Millions of miles away

When only millimeters from our hands

Placed on our chest

We can feel the life, the blood

The beating of our own sun

A gift more precious than we can comprehend

For hearts so pure and strong

Are victims to minds so tangled

Hearts so fearless and free

Become chained by selfishness

We reach towards the sun

To find simplicity

Tree Killers

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DSCF4750DSCF4746DSCF4738DSCF4749How dare they

You were here first

Planted firmly, deep in soil

Casting shadows in the grass

Making rings for each year passed

A hefty price they paid

To bring you in dead

…..or dead

Roped and tied as if you’d run

You’ve stood your ground, oh rooted one

 Branches reach toward the sun

One last time

As if begging for mercy

Now I watch your severed limbs

 Turn into tiny chips

For pretentious gardens

And meaningless mulch

You may not be missed by those

Who mindlessly maim you

But I will miss you

My friend from over the fence

I will miss your undeniable presence

Your glorious stature

They can only kill you

But I will miss you

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Shell

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Shells

Tiny treasures washed ashore

Patiently polished by time

Shell I pick you up

Or leave you to rest in the sand?

Your journey complete with tales to tell

Of seaweed and undertows

Shell I pick you up

Or admire you from my hands?

Basking beauties before my eyes

Collecting on common ground

Shell I pick you up

Or honor the shelter you gave?

Ancient armor from life now passed

Jagged and rightfully so

Shell I pick you up

Or leave you kissing the waves?

shore

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#15

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#15. “Nature is amazing.”

SAMSUNG

A field

That’s all it took to enchant me

I have never returned

From the sound of the crickets

Blades  of green tickles

Or the smell of rain on the path

The path I walked

To school, to play, to think

The path I rode

My bike and my Honda 70

Over the bumps

Around that curve

Slowing down for sure

Because nothing’s for sure

Being cautiously crazy

Carelessly  stable

~

In the 70’s, life was about what we did. We DID things…without gadgets in our hands. We made things. We made things up. We looked for things. We found things. We entertained ourselves and created our own life, without Google and a status shuffle.

Playing outside was the key to our happiness as children.  We felt the wind, touched the grass, skinned our knees and burned our faces in the sun…without sunscreen.

Nature was part of my childhood. It fired up my curiosity and my imagination. Taking a walk in the field near our home gave me ideas. There was a large crater like hole surrounded by tall grass, which became a hideout. There were plants to identify and dissect. There were bugs to put in mason jars and tiny toads to capture in my cupped hands.

I always set them free.

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There were trails in the field and my younger brother took to them fearlessly with various dirt bikes, deliberately catching air over mole hills. I admired him. I admired him so much that I wanted to be the only girl in the neighborhood to ride a mini bike. After all, a girl can only force Barbie to try on so many of those silly plastic shoes.

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The trees I climbed, the wild raspberries I picked and ate, everything I saw and touched in that field is still with me today. I was blessed by nature. I need it to nourish my soul, calm my mind and recharge my body.

If you find the time to go for a walk…..stop.

Look.

Listen.

Nature comes to you when you are still.

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A & M visit summer 2012 510

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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award

My friend at http://peacelovegreatcountrymusic.com/   has kindly presented me with the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”. First of all , I must say there is something real special about this gal. Her love and passion for music illuminates through her work. She shares her knowledge, entertains us with music videos, and makes you feel welcome with her wit and warm fuzzies. She keeps it real and that is why she is one of my most favorite blogging  buddies to follow. I am honored and grateful that she would choose me for this award.

 I would like to thank all those who have taken the time to read what I write. I am inspired from within but it is the kind comments and recognition from others that keep me going. I realize that I probably need to pick up the pace a little but to be honest, it takes me a lot of time. I become drawn into the process of the post which I thoroughly enjoy. Thanks for your patience!

What inspires me?

 PEOPLE inspire me. I am amazed and moved by the uniqueness we all possess, but I am inspired by people who are not afraid to shed their outer layers, bear their soul, and be honest with themselves.  I don’t consider myself to be an eloquent writer. My passion for life keeps my fingers on this keyboard. If what I write happens to inspire others, I am humbly grateful.  Ok, I’m a wee bit ecstatic . Here’s to honesty. Cheers!

NATURE inspires me. I think there should be a time allotted to everyone’s day to leave what they are doing and just sit in a field, walk a path, feel the presence of life in the trees, the wind, the sun, the grass, the sand, the water, the sky and everything else we have been blessed with on this magical planet. We are too involved in conflict, technology, goals and desires. In nature there is peace.

MUSIC inspires me. I need it. I crave it. It brings me joy and comfort. It validates my emotions. It takes me to places of the past and dreams of the future. Most of all, it seduces me into the moment, making me dance, making me cry, bringing me peace of mind.

And now for the award rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link your blog to the person who nominated you.

3. State 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them.

5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.


Seven Things About Myself

1.       My dad died when I was 22 and it was one of a few significant events that changed my life.

2.       I think whales are amazing beings. Seeing a humpback is near the top of my bucket list.

3.       I look ridiculous when I jog.

4.       No tattoos, but I have had the urge and an idea of what I want.

5.       I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, called each other on the phone and took care of each other. What happened to that?

6.       I can make some mean Green Chile Stew, New Mexico style.

7.       I believe that violence in the media desensitizes our children. We need to teach empathy and this is not how it’s done.

8.      Because I don’t like to conform, here’s #8 : Once a year, I like to put on a really cool fedora hat and hang out for a couple days at a Blues festival. I dance, I sing and feel the music.

My nominations for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award are:

“A Journey of Life, Loss, Hope and Strength” at

http://lovingsweetisabelleskye.wordpress.com/

Honest, open, fun, sincere. She tells it like it is and I love that about her.

https://hotsouthernmess.wordpress.com/

Witty, wonderful and well written. Wow!

http://thelaughingmom.wordpress.com/

A pretty place to visit. Stunning artwork and positive thoughts.

http://artprescription.com/

Beautiful travel photography. Check her out.

http://twohandsonthewheel.me/

“It’s not crazy, it’s passionate”.  I love her diversity.

http://extremelydreamily.wordpress.com/

The Jump for Joy! Photo Project gives me a moment of inspiration every day at

http://jumpforjoyphotoproject.wordpress.com/

Blatantly beautiful.  I admire her strength as much as her writing skills.

http://thoughtsofalunatic.com/

“Serendepity13” is a bright and cheery blog of photography, quotes and poetry.

http://picturesinlivingcolor.wordpress.com/

I recently added this one to my list. Inspiring words of wisdom.

http://katkinnie.wordpress.com/

I will stop at ten because I have found that many are not interested or too busy to formally respond. No worries!

Congratulations!!

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Stay inspired.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…..#10

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#10. “In an instant, your world can be turned upside down. The people you take for granted can disappear in the blink of an eye. Tomorrow is only a plan. This moment is all you have.”

It was October of 2000. It was a Saturday morning when the phone rang, waking me up from a deep slumber. As one who usually dreaded the worst, I assumed this 7 a.m phone call meant something was wrong. Perhaps my grandmother was ill but in the back of my mind, I thought “calm down, it’s probably just a wrong number”. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to hear.  It would have been the furthest idea from my mind. It was unthinkable.

When my crying mother said my brother was “gone”, I asked where he went. He was single. He could go wherever he wanted. He had no significant ties. I thought…. where in the world could he have gone that would upset my mom so much? What was she talking about?

Confused and half asleep I asked her, “Where did he go?”

“He’s dead”, she muttered  with whatever strength she could dig up from……somewhere. My mother had waited hours to call me. She just couldn’t pick up the phone.

He was 36 years old. He was my baby brother by three years.

He was my only brother.

I fell to the floor. I remember so clearly the sound that came out of my mouth. I remember pacing back and forth and screaming “no” over and over. I am sure at that moment, I was insane. I remember crawling up the stairs, waking up my ex husband. I was not me, but just an empty, robotic being, mumbling, sobbing, shaking, running around the room……lost in denial.

I cannot understand to this day how I drove an hour and a half by myself to get there. My two sons were still asleep (or were they?) and their dad would stay there with them. I didn’t want them to know anything about their uncle yet…because it couldn’t be true anyways. That was the plan I managed to somehow articulate before running out the door to my car. I was going to see him because that was the only way I could prove that this wasn’t happening.

The next time I saw my brother, it was Halloween night and he was in a casket.

DEATH is sneaky. Don’t ever trust it. It hides away mysteriously and then leaps out of nowhere to blindside you into oblivion.
LIFE is precious. Don’t ever take it for granted. It is amazing, breathing and beautiful and it never hides. Take everything it has to offer.

Don’t wait until the phone rings or there is a knock on the door. Live your life to the fullest.
Every minute unfolding in front of you is amazing.

~ In memory of my brother, his laughter, his incredible smile , his song , his silly dance and most of all, his loving heart.~

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#9

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#9.  “Happiness and contentment in your life only happens because you are happy and content with yourself.”

Throughout my twenties and thirties, I had a vision of what would make me happy. It was a perfect world and time.   It was just outside the box of reality I lived in, but completely achievable….or so I thought. It was more than just career goals or personal milestones. It was this imaginary idea of what my life should be like. I constantly pined for it . I was always waiting for it.  I like to think that I had some kind of epiphany about this but maybe it was just a few hard knocks that forced me to finally free myself of these ridiculous and unnecessary expectations.

As I approached 4O,  I found myself again…under the rubble of wishes and good intenti0ns. Wow, I was M.I.A. and didn’t even know it!

Why is it that different things make different people happy? Maybe it’s because it is our own particular state of mind that reacts. Happy things make happy people happy. They don’t work as well with unhappy people. People in my life have suffered similar challenges and losses. Although they all found themselves drowning in  despair and self pity, some have not come back up for air. They are still swimming around in the aftermath, hanging on to what happened to them, their only strength is their pain. It’s really easy to be unhappy. It requires no work on our part. Acceptance requires action but believe me, it is worth it in the end. Our own contentment welcomes the laughter, the warmth, and the beautiful stillness.

California 2011 040

California breathin’

Feeling inspired to write a poem today…….

SEARCH FOR SERENITY

Taking, needing, wanting

All the while believing it is the goal

To find, to get, to hold

A dream deserved

Only to realize

The illusion of plans

And the truth of fate.

Giving, accepting, feeling

As each moment ignites only briefly

Feeding the soul for only now

Is there anything

Not conjured up

Or wished upon

Only within is there light

To find, to get, to hold.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#6

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#6. “I could easily get into a fist fight with people who talk during a concert. If you’re not singing, shut up!”

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Tragically Hip
(and the brilliant mind of Gord)

Have you been there?

It’s hard enough watching a struggling artist pour out his heart and soul in a quiet bar as people obnoxiously talk over him.  At a concert, it especially baffles me when people actually pay for a ticket but don’t have any interest in the band. There’s the fifteen year old textaholics that didn’t know the name of the group until they got there because they never heard of them. Why? Because they were not BORN YET!! Then there’s the couple who had a few too many “pre-drinks” and are now arguing about how many they’ve had and how they’re getting home. Don’t forget the ones that continually talk into each other’s  ears about the group you’re trying to listen to as if no one can hear them.

Besides the evil glares that I cast upon them, I can envision myself (maybe after one more beer), winding up a good one.

Pop!!

Of course, that never happens. I am there to see a band that I love and somehow through my gritting teeth, I manage to bite my tongue and behave myself.

The evil glares continue, however.

Music is extremely meaningful and sentimental to me and I appreciate that not everyone shares this passion to the extent that I do but…pahleeaase!! Would they like it if someone was interfering with their livelihood? Hmmm….imagine if you’re a public speaker and a few oblivious people in your audience suddenly burst out into song.

There is a time and place for everything.

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The Eagles
(a major check off the bucket list)

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#5

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#5. “Everyone you meet in your life will teach you something…..if you’re willing to learn.”

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If you think about how much you have learned over your life time so far, it is probably at the very least, mind blowing.  By asking simple questions of those you meet, you can multiply this amount of information over and over.

There came a time in my life (probably around 40,  since I have evolved slowly), when I realized that every unique being on this earth has something to offer me.  I have always found human behaviour to be quite fascinating but within this hobby of observation, it is easy to analyze and judge.  When I tried to curb this a bit, I began to see more, learn more and feel more.

Besides the obvious factual information so easily obtained, there is always a story, an undertone that whispers  softly , if  you listen….I mean, REALLY listen and imagine where it is coming from.

Do you think you can learn something from the homeless man begging for change on the street?

Absolutely!  He has a story. You can learn from his pain, his misfortune and the small acts of kindness that give him joy. You can learn from your own fear of him, as he approaches you.  Ask yourself why it is so hard to look at his face, even when you hand him your spare coins.  Is he not worthy of eye contact or is his lesson to you lying dormant within yourself? Everyone has a story. Your story may not be any more interesting.  It is just different. Your story is not worn on your sleeve every day, like his.

There are no limits to what you can learn, only doors for you to open or leave shut.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years……#4.

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#4. If you’re not thinking outside of the box, you’re living in a very small place.

As a child, the world seemed so big and never ending. My dreams were more like goals. Anything seemed possible. I didn’t hope to achieve them. It was only a matter of how and when. I  had nothing to compare them to, no similar situations to remind me of what could go wrong.  There were so many options, so much to see and do, so many places to go.

I listened.

I observed.

I believed in many things.

Then something happened.  It’s interesting that as I grew older, my mind began to filter out ideas that didn’t seem as logical or achievable….as least not to me, anymore.  Reality shoved it’s way into my tranquil, sunshiney space, ready to rain downpour on my parade, with  a few too many “in your face” experiences of loss, disappointments and heartache.  I was angry, resentful and mostly, just sad.

Later on, I think reality had overstayed it’s welcome. I was tired of what I had to do, what I had to face, how I had to live my life.  It wasn’t until I was 40, that I found my youth again. The doors flung open and I emerged like a giant clumsy child.

I’m baaa…aaack!!!!

Who says I can’t have fun? Who says I have to do things a certain way?  Who says I have to get old?  Who says people are everything they seem. They are not. I was ready to explore again, but this time a little bit of knowledge came along with me.  That can be useful.   I was ready to let go of everything holding me back and  move forward  “into the great wide open” as Tom Petty puts it.  The biggest surprise to me was how happy it made me.

The more open I became……

the more I listened,

the more I observed,

the more I believed.

How familiar that feeling was!

We were born with open minds. It is not our experiences that close our minds. It is our reactions to our experiences that close our minds. There is no right way of doing things. There are just many ways of doing things. That’s what makes people interesting. That’s what makes LIFE interesting.

Take a look at the Grand Canyon. You cannot see it’s boundaries…..the never ending space that beckons you to think past what is in front of you.

Think past what you know or where you have been.

Stay open. It’s fun.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#3

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#3. When tobogganing down a steep ravine, a wine skin filled with cherry whiskey, will soften the blow of every tree you hit.

Looking back at it now, I can’t believe we really owned one of these.  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language describes it as “a bag made from the skin of a goat for example, and used for holding and dispensing wine”.

I am fairly certain that I was unaware of the goat skin as I sipped chugged my cherry whiskey, hoping my socks would stay dry. We were trudging through a foot of good packing snow with our plastic Magic Carpets, waxed up wooden toboggans and super flying saucers. Woooo Hoooo!!!

Life was good……in the 70’s.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#1

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A little over  a year ago,  I  found myself undeniably approaching  the big five oh (no!).  I was determined to make it significant, at least to me, so I decided to share  some things I’ve learned over the years…… the good times, the bad times, the crazy times and all those enlightening moments in between.

Some lessons take a moment, others a life time.  Maybe you can relate to a few.

Hope you find a moment to join me on a regular basis as I reflect on this roller coaster ride we call “LIFE”, starting with…..

#1 If you’re holding a grudge, you’re letting someone continue to hurt you.


Think about it.

Someone causes you pain.  They ruin your day….or maybe your life?

Wait a minute! Are you going to let them ruin your life? Do they deserve that?  Do YOU deserve that?

Carrying a grudge is heavy work  but only you can lighten the load.

Are you waiting for an apology or someone to have a life changing enlightenment?  You could be waiting a long time.

You may be the only one capable of moving forward.   Harboring the anger, resentment and pain is your choice.

Simple as that.

      Stay tuned for #2 !

u.s.a. (unidentified sleeping animal)

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My husband and I decided to take  advantage of a cool but sunny spring day and take a hike at a nearby conservation area. A man passed by and told us there was “some kind of animal” sleeping up in a tree  not too far ahead.

Sure enough, there it was……

….all curled up in the crook of a tree about 30 feet above us.

After taking a few pictures from the trail I quickly decided to get closer.

I always want to get closer!

I was afraid the sound of crunching leaves under my feet would wake him from his nap, but he did not move a muscle as I edged closer to the tree.

He (or she) was the size of a baby bear, but we were fairly confident that there were no bears in this neck of the woods!

He was completely undisturbed by our conversation and at one point, we wondered if he was actually alive.

His creepy little “hands” reminded me of a character in a fantasy movie.

At the same time, I was captivated by him.

He looked so snuggly, covering he eyes from the daylight as he slept.

We finally left him to his slumber. He’d never know that we were ever there.

After some photo editing and debate, we decided he was an EXTREMELY large……..

racoon.

This was a moment in nature I will not forget.

Reflections in Motion: Photos From a Train

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Reflections in Motion: Photos From a Train

Some of the best things in life happen accidentally. That was the case when my husband and I took a scenic train trip in a more northerly area of  Ontario.

Take the beautiful beaming sun, the large window of a train and the  constant movement as we roll down the tracks. Mix it with a somewhat limited knowledge of photography and voila…..some strange but interesting shots.

Coupled clouds

From the dining car….

…or a floating restaurant.

Reflecting on a remote little cottage.

Would I like to live here? Uh…yes!

Blurring colors of trees

Eerie silhouettes as the  sun rises

He’s looking forward…..I’m looking back…….reflecting.

Relax as we race

Pondering the landscape

Beauty repeated

Lakes can be mirrors

Rays of replication

Mirrors in the mist

On the outside looking in

Or from the inside looking out?

Or maybe there is no division….maybe we are just part of it all

The journey by train is over as the sun offers us one last moment of introspection.

No Regrets

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No Regrets

Would you touch a snake? I had the opportunity. It was during an inspiring nature walk with my husband. The sun was warm and healing. The path we were hiking on led to a wooden bridge over a marshy area. I took my time inspecting the environment as my husband waited impatiently for me to continue on our journey. He should know by now that for me, it’s all about the journey.  I spotted that snake basking in the sun. He didn’t seem to mind my curiosity as I stopped to say hello.  Again, like seeing a mountain and not climbing it,  I just had to touch him. I wondered how rough his thick skin would be and would he feel invaded. Just one little stroke is all I needed to know how he felt…..to experience something new. So I reached out to pet him. Can you pet a snake? His skin was rough, as I had imagined. He did not flinch. I did not flinch. Instead, I took that moment in. I had touched a snake. No regrets.

 

 

 

When You Can’t Slow Down

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Mind sinking into neutral gear

While car just never stops

Blurs of beauty to my right

Desert dreams to my left

Hiking mountains in my mind

As colours sweep by in foreign hues

Land of enchantment at my door

But I can only take these shots

Good intentions, greater hopes

All but shatter in the wind

I reach to hold on to a  cloud

As shadows race across the sky

Destination pushes on

Journey…………lost

My heart is pulling over

Aching for my feet to touch ground