I love July driving along the highway, surrounded by fields of corn, feeling as though you are navigating your way through a corn maze. The sun is high and HOT! Car windows down, sunroof open and on the radio, Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good” begins to play …. Start background music here Instantly, as if I’ve driven through a vortex surrounded in green, I’m 13 again….
It’s the middle of the summer, literally. The only job the tobacco in the field has to do is Grow. This is the in-between time. A time when my biggest responsibility on the farm is making sure I “hoe” the weeds (mainly “pusley”) from around each plant. Eight rows a day, and then I’m free. Free to get on my bike and spend the rest of the day at the Denby Hill Pool. I can smell the dirt, feel it soft and cool between my toes. The stickiness created from being in the field will soon be erased with the first jump in the pool. The sun beating on my shoulders, my 9volt transistor radio, hanging out of my back pocket of my OP shorts; the same radio I would soon bungee cord to my bike for my mile ride to the pool. I push through it all thinking of each row as an eternity. I could only wish in today’s world that that was my only responsibility each day.
It’s songs like this that bring back some of my fondest memories. It’s amazing how music can transcend you. Simpler times. Times taken for granted. I can almost smell the hot cement and hear the splash of jumping in that pool. No worries, except being home before dark.
I can’t help but smile, thankful for this time. The lessons. The memories. ….. and yes, Joe Walsh, although I may not be riding around in a limo, …….”they say I’m crazy but i have a good time, I’m just looking for clues at the scene of the crime, Life’s been good to me so far…
[Word of the Day]
The concept of coming back to life after death.
Last spring, while in the woods at Penerene Farm, I came upon some brush and “wooded trash” which dad had carried there with the tractor. Sitting in the middle of it all, I could make out the “old wood” of a hydrangea bush. It didn’t take long for me to realize it was what was left of the one that grew outside my window growing up when I lived at home. Climbing over briar bushes and small forest overgrowth, I made my way to it. There, broken, tried, dried up and barely existing was my old friend. The friend who heard my midnight prayers, my secrets whispered in the dark, provided me beauty all summer and was just one more connection to the dirt I will always consider home. There were but a couple of green leaves struggling to reach out. I reached down and easily picked it up. What should have been too heavy for me to manage, I easily carried back to my truck. What could it possibly hurt, to at least try to bring it back?
Once home, I planted it near a hydrangea that grew outside of my own daughters bedroom window. I watered it carefully and decided what would be would be. After a while – two leaves became three and then four, and then too many to count. My little bush, once large and bold, was slowly coming back. All season, i continued to check on it, give it water and whisper gently, “grow.” Although it showed signs of life, there were no great leaps and bounds. Bare stalks remained with the undertone of new growth from the bottom. It was probably this very reason dad considered it past its peak and pulled it out to begin with. None the less, I was not in a hurry to replant the place in which it had been planted, and it was just fine where it was.
Fall turned into winter and with it, it took any lasting sign of life from my little bush. Still, I waited. As winter now turned to spring, there was still quiet in that little part of the garden. The hydrangea that has lived here for so many years began to peak out and before long became green again. Around the base of my little rescue, Lily’s of the Valley began to pop up. They too, rescues from around my grandmothers home before it was burned because of ill-repair. As it warmed, slowly, leaf-by-leaf my little buddy started to unfold with green again. Still much smaller than during it’s peak, here it was, reaching for sunlight, growing.
This morning, as I was clipping fresh hydrangeas for my table, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it. Simple. Standing tall. A single stem begging for my attention. There it was! My little buddies first bloom on Hilltop! …. and it was PINK! All it’s life, it had been blue. (Hydrangeas are known for being able to change color due to environment, and here it was… Pink) A symbol, a sign or just simply “being” in it’s new space, resurrected. Being given life, after certainly left for dead.
In our own lifetime we are all given the chance to start all over. To rebuild. To re-invent. To renew. Everyday gives a fresh start to make amends, do something different. Even if it is the smallest of things. The smallest of steps, can lead to some of our greatest journeys. Like the pop star Madonna, who has regularly reinvented herself for over thirty years, we ALL are able to do this. The doing, lies within. The motivation comes from the desire to achieve.
Hydrangea: symbolic for heartfelt emotions. …can be used for expressing gratitude for being understood.
Resurrection. The concept of coming back to life, after death.
#wordoftheday #resurrection #lifeafterdeath #hydrangea #believeinwhouare #myjourney #yourjourney #gratitude #bepresent #livelife #renewyou #yearoffirstsalmostover
I like to think of myself as an optimist. I look for the good. I would rather see the good. Be positive, look on the bright side of things, there is always a silver lining. Yes, there are times when something will just “get to me.” But overall, and most times with a huge sigh, I will push on looking for that hidden message, that ounce of sunshine, that ray of light. It’s not always easy. In fact, some days…. some days I just give that blank stare, wonder wtf and turn and walk away…
Today. It’s raining – again. Three weeks ago, it hadn’t rained in quite a while, and the pollen count was off the charts… I developed a terrible sinus infection and bronchitis, which I am still battling to clear up 100%. We are now going on over two weeks of rain…and STILL the forecast is detailing none other than… rain. The rain has washed a lot of the pollen away. For this I am thankful. Sunday, we were given a break in the clouds and Tom and I were able to plant flowers and our garden. This morning, it is raining…. again…for this I am thankful. The plants that were put in the ground three days ago are not struggling under the beating heat of the sun… they are being massaged into growth. Tom was able to mow the grass during this break in continuous
The rain has washed a lot of the pollen away. For this I am thankful. Sunday, we were given a break in the clouds and Tom and I were able to plant flowers and our garden. This morning, it is raining…. again… The plants that were put in the ground three days ago are not struggling under the beating heat of the sun… they are being massaged into growth. Tom was able to mow the grass during this break in rain. And so now, it is greener and growing and although it will have to be mowed again – soon – it will provide a lush carpet of green for our photography.
But there is also periods of SUN. Windows of opportunity. Times when we can get out and appreciate and enjoy what we have been missing. In life, we are not going to always have “perfect weather”… what determines our happiness, is our reaction to the “weather.” We can be thankful that there is less pollen. We can be thankful that what we have planted will have an opportunity to grow without stress. We can be thankful that there will be a break to get in there and plant more. Take care of things – appreciate the sun when the opportunity presents itself.
Our struggles are sometimes created by our own outlook. Granted… there are times when dismal is hard to get past. Times when there just seems no hope in sight. Times when the forecast simply reads “mostly cloudy, plenty of clouds, t-storm possible.” Take a moment and embrace the “periods of sun, sunshine, and some clouds.”
Keep kicking. Keep swimming. Create your own sunshine and climb up and out of it. Never quit. Never give up.
#attitudeiseverything #neverquit #seethesunshine #bethesunshine #BwhoUr
It’s been three Mother’s Days without my mom. I thought it would get easier as time went on, but it’s only harder. The realization that this is “it.” This is real. She will never come back and it is horrible. I went to bed last night hoping for a visit in my dreams. I wasn’t disappointed, she made an appearance, I wish I could remember the details.
I remember what we “used to do.” Breakfast with mom first, that was the start of our day, and then we would go off on our own to celebrate ourselves, because, after all, I was a Mom, and it was my day too. Mom and Dad would go “antiquing” for the day.
Today. We went to breakfast. Lynn and Sean were there – it’s her regular routine to come to breakfast with Dad on Sunday. Mike and Cari and Emily and Ricky came to breakfast too – this was for “Me.” My Happy Mothers Day. I was able to have a photo of “my kids” and I. I have a new one this year, “officially” … Afterward, everyone went on their way, just like before. Only this time, again,… there was no “Mom.” Just. “This Mom.” It was “my” day to do whatever I wanted. Oh, how I wish it were still “her” day.
Tom and I had bought flowers yesterday so we could plant all day. My first planting was the planter I made for mom’s headstone. We did our dump run, and on the way back stopped by to “give it to her.” We were not alone. There were several others there “visiting mom.” Standing there in the sunlight, being thankful that mom’s rose bush at her grave is about to bloom, knowing that she would really like that, and knowing that once the flowers in the container I placed there today, start to bloom she will smile, because others will see them… I can’t help but be jealous of those who are not standing where I was today.
I would never EVER wish this on you. But I am jealous. Jealous that today, you were able to hug your mom. Jealous that you could be irritated with her because she meddles and is involved in your life when you would rather she mind her own business. I hope you hugged your mom today and told her you love her.
We came home and spent the day planting flowers… something mom would have loved to do and something that I now do. I can’t seem to get enough of the perfect flower bed, and several varieties. I know someday it will become too much to take care of, but right now I plant and plant… and I love every root I put in the ground….
Tomorrow is not promised for anyone. Be thankful for today and grasp every moment of it.
The Shoes We Wear….
This past week has been a particularly lazy one. Or has it? If judging by my pile of shoes, one would think so… but upon careful examination I saw something completely different. The complexity of the pile.
The pile consisted of the following…
*My “merrells,” used for outdoor foul weather and keeping my feet safe and dry.
*My dress boots for comfort and dressing up an occasion but still casual
*My black sketchers, comfortable, easy to slip into, discreet and unassuming. Will fit with just about everything – my what I call “Daily Drivers”
*My Workout tennis shoes, low to the ground, supportive, typically not something worn when not going to the gym.
…. and last but not least…. my camouflage glitter, fur lined slippers which are currently on my feet.
Again, to the untrained eye, this seems like the height of laziness… plopping down on the couch and flipping off the shoes. To me it represents a week full of activity… going from one thing to the next with a pitstop in-between and getting a lot accomplished….
So what’s the big deal about shoes? They, like hats define us, where we are and what we are doing. Wearing the right shoes, is just like having the right tool for a job or wearing an identifiable hat. They SAY what we are doing.
Obviously they should’t be in a pile, in my living room, beside the couch. However, if I hadn’t breathed for a moment and looked around me – this writing would never have materialized, so I feel justified, and have now returned them to their proper home.
So the next time you put on your shoes… vs. your hat, from your head to your toe. What are you doing? What path are you walking? Do you have the right tools for the job? Are you walking in the right direction?
THERE is the Question to ask yourself…
Are you walking in the right direction on the path that gives you the most fulfillment, with the right tools?
If the answer is no. Perhaps you should go shoe shopping.
The Power of Suggestion.
I hear the coffee brewing. Even though bedtime came early for me the night before because of an allergy attack, I can begin to smell it’s aroma.
I hear “happiness.” I smell “joy.”
I look forward to it’s “taste.” I am content in being patient in the moment. The moment as the fan for the stove kicks on forcing warm air into a cold room.
I turn on a sound file that I recorded while on vacation. At first it only sounds like white noise. Something our entire existence reflects. White noise. Everything else is tuned out ~ until I hear it. I hear them. It’s quiet except for the brewing of a fresh pot of coffee and the waves of the Gulf of Mexico. The warm air blows and I cover my feet with a blanket. I am as good as there. As close as I can be in my current moment.
I am at peace.
Some of what you really need can be right at your fingertips. Often, we are so busy looking for “it” that we miss “IT.”
Love – Peace – Joy
We hear what we tune into.
What are you listening “for.”
Sometimes the things we hold onto the tightest are the things that are preventing us from moving forward to things that are greater.
Let go of inhibitions. Let go of what you think things “should be.” Let go of perceptions.
– Spread Love –
Believe in Love, as the message displayed during this years Super Bowl halftime show. Each person holding a card of some sort, and on cue, displayed it.
That was the message.
Believe in Love.
Rinse – Repeat
Years ago, I learned the technique of Rinse. Repeat. This was during the time in my life when you read every ounce of instruction on beauty products, because, after all – it May make a DIFFERENCE ! Shampoo was just as important.
As we grow, and. Mature. And. Gain age acquired wisdom, we learn what works for us ~ and what does not. We make adjustments along the way and tailor things to our own needs. One thing in particular, Rinse. Repeat.
What is the outcome/effect if you “don’t.” Life in many ways can lend itself to this analogy. The process of “Do-overs” is often a chance to “Do-Better.” A second chance. An opportunity. A new beginning.
We go through life experiences, some we like ~ others no so much. If they are in the “not so much” category, then why oh why would we ever want the repeat option? Maybe in “rinsing” or cleansing we would approach it with a different outlook – which ultimately would create a different outcome. Cleansing can be done and interpreted many different ways which I will leave up to you.
My point here, is to make adjustments as you go. If you don’t like it ~ if it doesn’t bring you joy ~ Stop. If it is something that puts a smile on your face.
As a child growing up we were taught not to speak back, accept the words spoken to us for what they were. As we grew and evolved into this world of electronics and speaking with our thumbs, we can be in the middle of a conversation and drop off with no rhyme or reason. This leaves our person we are talking to, to wonder – where am I? What did I do? Did I say something wrong? Are they ok?
When talking on the telephone, if you left the conversation open ended – with no closure, it surely would be considered a hang up. People would wonder. They would worry. They would be offended. There would be no disconnect.
Today there leaves a lot to be desired when referring to the art of communication. Proper communication goes along the same lines as Manners. Having them or not.
The convenience of smart phones and email has lessened our requirement for having a complete sentence, therefore ultimately have a complete conversation.
When face-to-face with someone or on a telephone, you do not simply make a statement and walk away or hang up. You are engaged in communication – dialect – interaction.
Why then, when we are texting or emailing do we allow this to occur?
Because we are disconnected before we even begin.
Before we even begin our conversation – we are not connected.
There is no eye contact. There is no body contact. There is no voice contact. And even if we are “with” someone – the allure of a possible “text” from someone else keeps us more interested in an electronic device, than the person sitting right in front of us.
Our senses have not been awakened to engage therefore we are not connected.
How can you change this in your life? How can you become more connected?
How can you continue to use the tools of convenience – and have a more positive, more connected outcome? Where are you with your effort with communication?
As I sat enjoying coffee with Margie this past week, the first thing I wanted to do was pull out my cell phone and use its camera to capture the moment I wanted to remember the camelia centerpiece, the eclectic mix of coffee cups, saucers and their cream & sugars sitting there, I drank it all in – I was present at the moment. I immediately told my mind to be quiet about “taking pictures.” Instead, I listened and focused face-to-face with blue eyes and wrinkled skin. The warmth inside completely overriding any chill that has begun to fall now that it’s December.
I began to focus. Focus on what really matters to us. I had to accept that my own memory was all I had on this one – this made me go into a repeat and confirm pattern.
Observance and Awareness of our surroundings by exercising our five senses is easily forgotten in our world of electronics. As we age, by default, our opportunities for memories increase. Or decreases in some people’s minds. Why do we remember some things and not others?
Psychologists believe it is related to emotion. High energy vs low energy and how the brain interprets this. And I agree. I also believe it has to do with our senses. Our senses highlight our emotions for memory recollection. Add in distraction – Distraction in the form of any one of those senses, and before you know it, your focus is gone. Jaded.
My repeat and confirm pattern is just that – slow down, LISTEN, repeat what you have heard whether only in your head and then confirm what you understand to be true. Often, the confirming portion of this is most monumental to conversations with friends and family.
If someone is taking the time to tell you a story – it is important to them. They are entrusting a piece of themselves to you. The best compliment you can give is to hear them and remember – to LISTEN. To be present. Observance and Awareness.
Our senses help to trigger it.