A Zenful Kind Of Day

Five Photos, Five Stories #5

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One thing I adore about First Landing State Park is the Spanish Moss. I love how this tree is draped with it, and the wind blows her fringed scarf to and fro. It was a warm day with a cool breeze, a perfect day for a hike. The birds seemed to be enjoying it as much as we were. Water, wind, sun, trees, swamp, wildlife… I’d say it was totally “zenful”!

I invite Jill Weatherholt to come play. If you wish to play the rules are that you post a picture a day with a story, fiction or non-fiction, or a poem and nominate one fellow blogger a day to participate.

Love Is All You Need

Five Photos, Five Stories #4

"At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet." ― Plato

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” ― Plato

Virginia is for lovers. This is where I live, and this is our slogan. To me, Virginia has it all…from the mountains to the sea and all in between; who could want for more? Dirt Man and I came across this love sign in the quaint little town of Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The Love Signs are popping up all over Virginia. This link explains it.I admit it’s a rather cool concept. Does your home state have a similar campaign? Many of my friends go on outings just to discover new Love works. I admit it is a delight to stumble across them. I found one last year at the Norfolk airport. I know where many are, but haven’t gotten to them yet…I hear a fun, new adventure calling my name!

I invite Linda Rae of Cabin Fever Confessions to participate. If you wish to play the rules are that you post a picture a day with a story, fiction or non-fiction, or a poem and nominate one fellow blogger a day to participate.

Love Livin’ It Up!

Five Photos, Five Stories #3

I have found that if you love life, life will love you back - Arthur Rubinstein

I have found that if you love life, life will love you back – Arthur Rubinstein

We pass this reminder as we travel to visit my MIL in the nursing home. We call this hillside Graffiti Rocks. It is a range of rocks along a mountainside on route to a college town. Various messages, names, and school tags are colorfully spray painted on the rocks. “Love life” is good advice any day, but seems to make us feel a bit more grateful for freedom and physical ability as we approach a place where age has diminished those very things.

I invite Manee Truatz to accept the challenge. If you wish to play the rules are that you post a picture a day with a story, fiction or non-fiction, or a poem and nominate one fellow blogger a day to participate.

…And The World Was On Fire

Five Photos, Five Stories #2

“A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.”  ― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

“A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.” ― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Dirt Man and I often watch and photograph sunsets. This particular evening the sun appeared to chomp the end of the pier and then the ocean swallowed the sun. As the sun disappeared the sky and sea exploded. The flames of the sky reflected in the water and the world appeared to be on fire. We watched the canvas before us burn as we listened to the waves lap against the shore and turn nature’s fire into ash.

Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind nominated me to play Five Photos, Five Stories. I invite Becky at Chicken Wire & Paper Flowers to participate. If you wish to play the rules are that you post a picture a day with a story, fiction or non-fiction, or a poem and nominate one fellow blogger a day to participate.

A Tam Good Time!

Five Photos, Five Stories #1

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”  ― Bob Marley

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” ― Bob Marley

Dirt Man and I have had the pleasure of seeing the Tams twice. Both times we stumbled upon the park concerts. The first time was several years ago in Norfolk, This time was this past Saturday night for Beach Music Week in Virginia Beach. We met my cousin and his wife for dinner at a beach restaurant and followed the music along the boardwalk afterward. Music unites all ages, genders, races, and economic statuses. There were arms swinging, feet tapping, bodies swaying, voices singing, and smiles spreading! What a beautiful sight! A great time was had by all! These guys can move…they are ageless!

I’d like to invite Barbara at Silver in the Barn to play along. If you wish to play, the rules are that you post a picture a day with a story, fiction or non-fiction, or a poem and nominate one fellow blogger a day to participate.

The Crazy Gene…Or Is It Simply A Great Imagination?

Why do I love clouds? Because you can't save a cloud like you can save a leaf or a flower or a rock — clouds are now. ~Terri Guillemets

Why do I love clouds? Because you can’t save a cloud like you can save a leaf or a flower or a rock — clouds are now. ~Terri Guillemets

Do you ever just sit and watch the clouds? On Mother’s Day my mom and I sat on her front porch and did just that. What an incredible relaxing day we had! However, I discovered another commonality between the two of us. I have this rather strange attribute; I tend to see faces in odd places like clouds, trees, rocks, mountains, etc… The amazing coincidence is my mother and I saw the same formations such as a woman kissing a man’s chin. We would say what we were looking at and the other could point it out in the sky. My sister thought we were crazy…I told her she needed to exercise her imagination.

I have Himalayan salt lamps throughout my house, and I see faces from every angle. I see the same faces every time I look at it. I suppose perceiving patterns visually is just something I do. Is it a habit? Is it genetic?

What I did not know is there is a term for this phenomenon – Pareidolia. I read about it on several sights. It is the visual form of matrixing. It is said those who have it have an evolutionary advantage over others. However, another sight questioned whether it is borderline schizophrenic. Hmmm….I choose to believe I have a great imagination rather than to think I’m crazy (and don’t go off on me for using a politically incorrect term!) …then again, some of the so called crazies of the world have been proven to be the most intelligent and imaginative of all –That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! Just please don’t administer the Rorschach Inkblot Test to me because I fear my results, ha!

I will dare to ask the question: What do you see in the clouds in the above photo?

Be The Peace You Want

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.” ~ Wayne Dyer

We may not be able to control what awaits us when we cross the bridge, but what we do with what we find is entirely our choice.

We may not be able to control what awaits us when we cross the bridge, but what we do with what we find is entirely our choice.

This week has been one of unrest. The media is pointing fingers. Society at large blames politics, religion, race, or anyone but themselves. It’s not a pretty sight and it’s not a good feeling. Many factors add up to a certain point in time, but ultimately we make choices. Casting blame, making excuses, nor stating opinions changes anything. Be the change you want to see in the world. One person might not change the entire world; but if you are the change you want it can start with you.

We are each responsible for our actions or inaction. We daily make choices to hurt or heal. Accountability starts with me and you.

Personally, I’m going to concentrate on maintaining my own inner peace amongst the chaos and negativity.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Finding Your Groove

“The state of self-realization, as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been.” — Sri Ramana Maharshi

The Jazz Man

Do you ever find yourself so absorbed in something you lose track of time? It’s as if the rest of the world has disappeared and you are one with your focus. We do this with work and play. Even daydreaming. Creativity draws us in and swallows us. We lose ourselves within ourselves when we tap into the flow. Whether we are singing, painting, playing music, or writing we reach a part of ourselves we know by instinct to be truth. While in the zone, no one can touch us.

When fixated on art, we enter a realm of collective separateness. We are uniquely touched whether we are the creator or the inspired, and at the same time we share the holiness of the experience with those likewise heartened.

Have you ever watched someone perform/share his gift? He transforms into the gift. As a witness you are a recipient of the gift.  It is one of the most beautiful moments I’ve witnessed. What a beautiful and magical moment to see someone living out his destiny.

If you listen intently while someone is speaking of his passion, you will hear the life in his voice and feel the love in his vibration. You know that person was born to teach, create, perform surgery, or whatever. They move with a rhythm that makes you want to dance with them.  Above all you remember them long after your encounter.

I have met many such people as entertainers like musicians and storytellers. I know chefs, business owners, doctors, and teachers who live their dreams.

Have you ever met such a person? How was your life affected?

Where do you lose yourself? Between the lines you write? Within the words of your song? The strokes of your paintbrush? Amid the stitches of fiber? When your hands are digging in the dirt? Funny isn’t it that it streams from your heart to your fingers and then to the world? Have you found your groove? Tell me your story.

On Death and Rebirth

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.” ― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.” ― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

We die and rebirth aspects of ourselves time again as we discover our true selves. We let go of conditioned beliefs as we begin to think for ourselves. People leave our lives and new ones enter throughout the seasons of a lifetime. Our experiences bring wisdom to our souls. There is a peace about us when we learn to accept what we once didn’t.  When we love ourselves, we see the beauty of life and find joy in the simple state of being. At stages of our lives we take things for granted, and later have a great appreciation for them. I experienced one of these moments this past weekend.

I was sitting on my mother’s porch (out in the country) early in the morning drinking a cup of coffee. While it seemed the world was sleeping, people that is, life around me was in full swing. Cardinals and blue jays were singing and the squirrels were rustling about the oaks, cedars, and maples. I could hear the train keening over the mountain. Once the echo disappeared in the distance I heard something I’d never heard from my position. The gurgle from the small creek below the property played like a lullaby upon my soul. I spent much of my youth perched upon the bank or rocks in the creek writing poetry while listening to that very sound. It was such a joy to hear this at the house. I wonder if I could hear the flow of the creek because the water was up from recent downfalls or because I was quiet enough within to listen. My point about death and rebirth within ourselves is many years ago my mind was filled with chatter. This morning meditation filled my heart with love and set my day with graceful intention, a balance I welcome.

Tell me your story of a newfound appreciation.

Instant Gratification or Fulfillment?

It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit ~Denis Waitley

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I’ve been thinking lately. Dangerous territory, huh? How often do I choose instant gratification instead of long-term fulfillment? In reflection I see I do it much less than in my past. I used to chase happiness while thinking things would fill that void. I now know those type of jollies are fleeting. Today I am happy in simply being. Finding contentment in nature and connection with others may seem simple, but love, peace, compassion, and abiding joy soothe souls. That to me is long term fulfillment.

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It is of little significance how I get where I’m going or even where I end up. I find what I encounter along the way touches my life in deeper ways.

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Life is budding everywhere. You are flowering as well.

I hope today you encounter simple beauty soothing to your soul.

I hope you take in vast blue sky and stretch of life, whether lush and green or concrete and steel, and know this is where you are supposed to be at this minute.

I hope you hear the robins sing and crickets chirp.

I hope you smell the sweet fragrance of spring hyacinths.

I hope you feel the silkiness of flower petals upon your skin or the soft bristle of a fallen feather. I hope you experience a gentle breeze that fills your lungs with life.

Wherever your journey takes you today, I hope you taste the sweetness of life.

Within the heartbeats around you, I hope today your life speaks to you.

I ask you…Instant gratification or long-term fulfillment?