The Dog Days of Our Lives

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."   -Billings

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” -Billings

It doesn’t take much for a dog to wag his way into our lives, and then we’re licked. Yes, they’re clever like that.

You might think you’re so intelligent there’s nothing a dog can teach you. I beg to differ. We have much to learn from these four-legged, furry friends.

Dogs love us even when we don’t love ourselves. (Look a little deeper, there’s something wonderful the dog sees within us.)

Only a dog can turn a walk around the block into a great adventure. (A simple task can hold many joys…don’t miss this moment by living in the past or the future.)

Dogs are good judges of character.  (If my dog doesn’t like you chances are extremely high I won’t either.)

Wagging tails make friends easily. (A smiling face will do the same. Kindness and sociability open many doors to friendship.)

Happiness is free for the taking. (Sniff a little and you’ll find yours.)

Dogs teach us humility. Seriously, any creature who can sniff your butt and turn around and lick your face in a matter of seconds must be able to laugh at himself and love with a full heart! Not to mention he has no problem eating your leftovers.)

In case you didn’t know, today is National Dog Day.

Wag your tail, (or smile if the case may be!) and spread some love today!

In The Early Morning Light

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” ~ Lemony Snicket

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” ~ Lemony Snicket

I rise in the wee hours of the morning while darkness is still settled across my world like a fine dust on a country road. I watch the sun tiptoe through the pine branches and dance over the rooftops…the trees and flowers shimmer in my neighbor’s car windows, birthing my world to view. The crows caw, crickets chirp, and the robins sing as I speak thanks for this day of blessings. I set my intentions to love, care, respect, and feel this world around me and to be here in this life of mine. Where does your path lead you today?

Today’s Pondering

Beauty and thorns. Life is filled with both. Where you choose to focus is up to you. ~Me

Beauty and thorns. Life is filled with both. Where you choose to focus is up to you. ~Me

Sometimes you must let go. You let go of the untrue words written or said about you or someone you love. Do you let go because they are untrue? Perhaps. Do you let go because you think the person spewing them is small minded and self-serving? Perhaps the thought crosses your mind, but then you remember those words are from their journey not yours. You let go because they do not serve your purpose, it serves theirs. And their purpose isn’t your concern. You let go because you remember not to take things personally. You let go because poison is lethal. You let go because you must move on. You must move on because you don’t want to be stuck in those words or that person’s life. You let go to restore your own peace of mind. You let go to love. Because in the end that truly is all that’s left.

The Flux Of All Things

Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour, and is not reminded of the flux of all things? Throw a stone into the stream, and the circles that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence. — (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature)

Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour, and is not reminded of the flux of all things? Throw a stone into the stream, and the circles that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence. — (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature)

The obstacle along the path creates the melody from which life flows. Much changes when we are rerouted…the process, the view, and even the outcome. We often lament what we’ve missed when plans shift.

Sometimes I allow disappointment to prevent me from embracing new adventures. Most times I prefer to float rather than swim, but I’m learning the wetter I get the more refreshing life is…

In Celebration of Rivers

The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare to let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure. — (Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah)

IMG_1132

There are many ways to salvation, and one of them is to follow a river. — (David Brower, Foreword to Oregon Rivers by Larry Olson and John Daniel)

IMG_1138

Keep your rivers flowing as they will, and you will continue to know the most important of all freedoms—the boundless scope of the human mind to contemplate wonders, and to begin to understand their meaning. — (David Brower, The Foreword to Oregon Rivers by Larry Olson and John Daniel)

IMG_1139

Wild rivers are earth’s renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans, always chipping away, and eventually always winning. — (Richard Bangs & Christian Kallen, River Gods)

Let the mountains talk, let the river run. Once more, and forever. — (David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk; Let the Rivers Run)

IMG_1142

Sit by a river. Find peace and meaning in the rhythm of the lifeblood of the Earth. — (Anonymous)

The song of the river ends not at her banks but in the hearts of those who have loved her. — (Buffalo Joe)

****I spent Independence Day riverside, peaceful and free….a little photography (these shots are long exposures with no editing) and a lot of love make for a perfect day…even with a few rain showers. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Of Rust and Relic

IMG_1067

While the heart often leads, it is the sacred tide of the soul which propels flight.

The eternal clock from which we were birthed cannot be controlled or manipulated. We are who we are.

As we continue to rise from the ashes of rust and relic, let us be the magnificence of our creation. Ancient wisdom buried within will be rebirthed as our truest selves come to light.

The beauty of living is not an immediate knowing, but an accumulation of the experiences of many lifetimes before us. The depth of sharing is a mystery unknown to us. We learn as we live, and we live as we learn.

Meditation Made Simple

To those who complain of the complexity of modern life, he [Henry David Thoreau] might reply,

To those who complain of the complexity of modern life, he [Henry David Thoreau] might reply, “If you want inner peace find it in solitude, not speed, and if you would find yourself, look to the land from which you came and to which you go.” ~Stewart Udall, The Quiet Crisis, 1963

Often it is the simple things in life that pull at my heartstrings. The things I took for granted (and even sometimes scoffed at) as a child now give me immense comfort. To me there is nothing as warming as the feeling of home: Starry skies, the ceaseless call of the whippoorwill, splintered barns with rusty hinges, dirt roads that go on and on, the shocking cold of a mountain stream, the scent of impending rain while in a forest of pine, colorful fields of wildflowers, mulberries eaten straight from the tree…I become immersed in the senses of now.

The Beauty of Appreciation

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!”  ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

IMG_1020

No matter how “yucca” they say life can get, it’s still quite beautiful. don’t you think?

Nothing has ever spelled this out more perfectly than this weekend. Relay for Life is something I do yearly with my cousins in memory of our loved ones, specifically for me it is in honor of my father and brother. However, this year I was witness to something, or perhaps I should say someone, who touched my heart in a way I’m not sure I can explain. I met a woman whose soul one can’t help but love and be inspired to live with like passion and gratitude. She is a tiny woman with a big heart for life. She has endured more than anyone should go through, not only her own ordeal with cancer but those of multiple close family members. I watched her dance with abandon at the end of a long, hard day. Had I not been so worn out myself I’d have joined her…and I’m not one who usually dances in public. Her zest for life was contagious. Her love poured forth in a beautiful dance of gratitude.

I can honestly say after losing loved ones I thought I didn’t take life for granted, and perhaps I didn’t. But what I know is life is precious; every minute deserves our utmost attention. No matter how much (or little) money was raised or lives connected or healed through this weekend, I have a depth of appreciation for this random act of loving life…these few minutes of heartfelt dancing changed me. I hope this will stay with me and I will dance freely and live to the fullest. I hope I will do my own thing and forget what others might be thinking of me because what really matters is living while I can.

I think true appreciation is knowing where you’ve been, understanding where you are (the absolute vulnerability of it), and accepting you do not own control of your future, yet still have faith, hope, and love for the current moment. Passion for life surfaces when you truly live.

A Zenful Kind Of Day

Five Photos, Five Stories #5

IMG_0865

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.