Signs Of Summer’s End

…or not. The seasons intermingle and slip into one another. Is there truly a defining sign other than the date?

“Autumn to winter, winter into spring, Spring into summer, summer into fall,– So rolls the changing year, and so we change; Motion so swift, we know not that we move.” ~Dinah Maria Mulock

Not sure what kind of grub/caterpillar this is…anyone know?

Spider are spinning webs.

Campfires roar on the river banks.

Are these insect eggs or fungi?

Leaves are changing colors.

Entire trees are slipping into their Autumn attire.

Caterpillars continue to chop away at leaves.

Berries emerge to sustain the wildlife.

Crops are dying.

Fresh corn has dried to animal feed.

Chestnuts are beginning to fall on the ground.

It’s almost walnut cracking time.

Queen Anne’s Lace has packed her bags.

Yucca has called the season complete.

Rusty As Time

What master do you serve? One that locks you out? Or one that invites you in?

Are you holey or holy?

Bad luck? Good luck? Is there really such thing as luck?

We look to the heavens and pray and dream…

We remain strong.

We refuse to come unhinged and we stay flexible.

Sometimes we slip into the background.

We even get raked over the coals and tossed in the can.

We might be all but forgotten,

but the circle of life continues.

Once Upon A Water Star

“You must carry a chaos inside you to give birth to a dancing star.”  -Nietzsche

I was looking through my vacation photos and came upon this shot I took. Do you see the star? Look closely…there are several stars. I see more than just the stars, but at the risk of sounding crazy I’ll keep my mouth closed.

At a second glance, do we see what we missed the first time? Do we see what we want to see? Do we ever really see the entire picture?

We are stars of our own choosing. Perhaps we shine in the way we wish. Maybe it rests totally in what others see in us. Do we radiate with love and kindness? Do we warm the hearts we touch?

When I see the stars in the night sky I dare to dream. Maybe I should have given it more thought to realize I need not look to the sky to find stars or to dream.

Tell me what you see in this photograph. (Maybe we can be crazy together!) What do you think about stars?

Along The Road Of Life

 

 

 

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” -Bob Proctor

 

You’ve traveled the road every day of your life. After all, it is your life.

Suddenly the road veers, an obstacle appears, or conditions change.

The road changes throughout the seasons just as you experience different moods and truths throughout your lifetime. One day you dazzle in the sun glinted sand and the next you complain the grit hurts your feet and the glare makes it difficult to see. You delight in the cool wind on a heat stressed day, but don’t welcome its chill and sting on a cold winter day.

Still, you know exactly where this road leads. It leads to the ocean…but is the ocean always the same? Sometimes it’s calm, other times the waves are choppy and uncertain. Maybe your road travels up a mountain and you reach the top and must find your way back down. Is it the road you travel or the destination that’s significant to your journey?

Perhaps it isn’t the road that changes at all. Maybe it’s your expectation that the road should stay the same or your inability to steer off course and simply allow nature to unfold.

Many blessings stretch along the roadside. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers. Listen to the song of the birds. Take in the scenery of both cloudy sky and lush groundcover. Rest and become a spot on the beautiful canvas of creation.

Be thankful you are gifted the road to travel.

Be kind to those you meet.

Be open and wise enough to learn and share the lessons along your way.

Love and live wherever your road takes you.

On The Wings Of Hope

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”  ~Christopher Reeve

I have heard hope whispers in the darkness. I think hope, this fragile thing, soars on mighty wings. It moves in obscure and empty spaces and challenges us to rise.

For some of us, along this journey of hope we discover spiritual grace, this faith which allows us to let go of expectations and accept what currently is and what will be. I don’t know if this is a surrender that occurs or if it’s a deeper understanding within us.

Whether it is hope turned to reality or it’s simply grace, sometimes it is nothing short of miraculous. Lives are altered.  Priorities change. Blessings come in many forms, both large and small.  The most important process is picking up the pieces of a life and moving on…

Chains Of Love That Bind Us

I have spent the last seven months focused on attentiveness. Now is the time for me to concentrate on connection. I’ve come to realize details are not nearly as important as connection.

We are joined on so many levels. We live our daily lives in our neighborhoods, communities, churches, and work places. We touch one another. A ripple forms and extends to a large circle to include a network of love.

Our hearts beat as one. We are united in love and sustained by this amazing network of care. We are comforted by hugs and held up in prayer and thought. I am currently overwhelmed by the collectiveness and connectedness of universal prayer, energy, and healing.

A friend told me I must learn to accept the same compassion as I have given to others in the past. It’s difficult for a giver to become a receiver. I’m working on it. I’ve opened my heart, raw as it is, to fill with the love that comes in many forms.

Sometimes we are forced to change our expectations of what is normal. We learn to appreciate both the simplicity and complexity of life; this gift of time and energy we are given. We find joy in the daily tasks of living. Possibly that is what we were supposed to have been doing all along.

Perhaps we are changed and defined by our lives. Perhaps it is life that changes and defines us. Regardless of the answer, we are the life that flows within and around us.

Just Breathe…

I look out the window to see two police officers walking toward our front door. I grab my husband out of the shower. We don’t know the exact words they are about to say, but we know we are most likely entering every parent’s worst nightmare.

Our son. Wreck. Hospital. Respirator. No other information.

I thank God he’s alive. I pray He will keep him alive. I pray He will give us the strength to accept whatever happens.

My husband calls the church. I call my mother and our other son.

Breathe, my baby boy, just keep breathing. You can do it. Please keep breathing…

My husband and I hold each other. We pray. We cry.

We drive at first in silence. We are both thinking what we are afraid to speak. My husband finally says, “I hope we don’t have to make any tough decisions.” We don’t want to relive his parent’s nightmare. Their oldest son died in a motorcycle accident. Now our son, his namesake, hangs in the balance. We cry and cling to one another on the way.

I am sobbing and gasping for air. My husband says the line I usually say to him, “just breathe, baby. Just breathe.” We are completely numb but somehow we manage to walk from the parking lot to the hospital.

We go to the ER and are sent to ICU. They can’t tell us anything.

We pace. We pray. We cry. We cling. We don’t know what to do.

Our son and his girlfriend arrive soon. We hold one another through tears and questions.

We are told it’s a miracle he’s alive. They tell us he has some brain bleeds, swelling, and damage. The extent is unclear at this time. We are told the next 24 hours are critical. Things can go either way.

We are taken to our son. We talk to him. We tell him we love him. We hold his hands. Each time we try to pull away he tightens his grip on us. We take turns with him to allow his closest friends in. We hope they can draw a response. It works. His friend who is a medic knows how to prod him. Our son smirks and opens his eyes briefly. His friend jabs him with a personal joke. He slowly forms a circle with his thumb and forefinger extending the bird to his friend. The respiratory nurse says it’s the best sign she’s seen all day. We rejoice in his humor.

In no time the waiting room is overflowing with friends; his, ours, and our other sons’. We are fully supported in love. The phone calls and texts are continuous. We are too distraught to respond.

He comes and goes. I see the fear and confusion in his eyes as he looks from one of us to the other. He tries to speak but is unable to form the words he wants. He gives a peace out and pound sign to his friends.

We experience many more miracles in the next several days. He starts talking and remembering some things.  He walks out of ICU. The nurses fluff his pillow and applaud. They never see people “walk” out of ICU and take great joy in this moment. Though some memory is sketchy, he knows his name, birthday, and city but thinks it’s eight years prior. In a few days, he gets the date. Different areas of memory return, others remain questionable. Five days after admittance, he walks out of the hospital. We have a long way to go, but we are willing to do what we need to restore his health. We thank God for this blessing of life.

Please believe in miracles; they happen every day. Sometimes miracles are subtle and we don’t see them for what they are. Other times they truly come in the form of God’s grace, seat belts, air bags, and roll bars.

I ask you please hold our son and our family in prayer, love, light, and healing energy. We are thankful for our many blessings. For now we will take life a minute at a time. ..we will just breathe…

”Miracles happen every day. Not just in remote country villages or at holy sites halfway across the globe, but here, in our own lives.” – Deepak Chopra

Ashes to Ashes…

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. ~John Donne “Devotions XVII”

This tree stands tall and broad. It appears gnarly as it has weathered time and elements standing guard over the loved ones of this small town. Great care has been given to maintain the grass. Loved ones have carefully tended the gravestones placing flowers, angel statues, and other loving sentiments.

Some monuments were large and elaborate while others were small markers. Some contained messages that told you something about the deceased or left you thinking. One was a grave of a teenage girl and the inscription read something like this “you were much too gentle and kind to walk in such a cold world.” There was another teenage girl a few years older buried beside her. Their deaths were a few years apart. Angels and teddy bears stood upon the edges of the stone. Some had fallen. I carefully placed them back in the spaces from which they had fallen. I felt as if somehow I was intruding upon something very private, but at the same time I felt these things should be put back neatly where they “belonged”. Would you have left these items on the ground where they had fallen, most likely blown by the stormy winds? I didn’t know these people or their circumstances at all, but a part of me felt their angst.

While we don’t know when “our time” or anyone else’s will come, perhaps this is a reminder to treat those dear to us with the same tenderness, love, devotion, and respect while they are alive as we would to their memory.

Have you planned your funeral? I know many people do this. They want certain songs played, poems read, or they want a particular gravestone for others to remember them by. I admit I enjoy singing funeral hymns…. My favorites are Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art”. One of those two have been played at most of the funerals I have attended. But you know me…I’ve never been a traditionalist. My favorite all-time favorite hymns are probably not suitable for a memorial but I’m going to tell them to you anyway. “Morning Has Broken” is tops. I love both “Here I am, Lord”, and “Lord of the Dance”.

Funerals and family or church cemeteries seem to be a big southern thing. My family has a private family cemetery while my hubby’s has a family plot at their church. Personally, I want to be cremated and have my remains (or is that cremains?) tossed into the wind at some of my favorite mountain and river haunts (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun there!) You know, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…tis the circle of life and death…

“Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson