The Chicken or the Egg?


Words in my head are written from my heart.  Do you believe me?  What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Letters of A-B-C and beyond are pushed down ever-so-slightly on computer keys.  Simultaneously, magic appears on a flat screen of stark white.  Oblong and lit from within.  It’s bright, trimmed in silver with a tiny camera of perfect round embedded in the top middle.  Often, I cover it with a yellow sticky note.  Just to be safe.

I’m totally convinced that my heart sends words up, up, up toward my brain.  Often my feelings are nearly tangible, as though I can reach inside to touch them far before the brain begins to wonder if or when they’re coming….

Perhaps my mind discovers topics or arranges words into proper sentences before they stare back at me from the bright light of white.  Yes, it checks spelling and grammar and whispers in my ear if something doesn’t sound quite right when read aloud.

Still, it is my heart that engulfs all emotion before the mind drafts a single word upon a paper page.

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Relax….


It was time for a break. Time to relax.

Last week, I traveled with my husband along the shores of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. He worked and I guess I did too. For me, it felt different in some way. Quieter, more refreshing and relaxing, I’d say.

Early last week I tapped tips of fingers upon new keys of a plastic laptop while sitting across a wide lake of painted blues. Swirls of foam slowly leapt over twinkling beige sand. Gray and white seagulls wearing orange beaks flew high above before diving deep for fresh fish. Yes, I was writing. But, no way, no how, did my mind or fingers feel like they were working. Instead, it was inspiration time! My body was planted in a wooden chair of slats across the beauty of sun soaked aqua. It hadn’t felt so free in a long, long time.

Our hotel room looked at a vast lake of water-color blues under a sky of the same with clouds of cotton floating every which way. We were fortunate to have a balcony with a view of children playing in the sand. Toys on land. Plastic pails dipped in red, dump trucks painted yellow and shovels in blue, too.

A quick change of clothes for the two of us before strolling along the beach. Time to touch the water of clear, feel the cool and hang our feet over the edge of the dock. Gazing at our good fortune, we saw sparkling sand on the bottom while seaweed of emerald-green drifted upward toward the sun. Rocks of all shapes sat plopped in piles here and there, reminding me of a child’s building blocks. Nearby, colored fins in baby sizes swam through oval openings of hidden hallways under welcoming waves.

Along our way home, we passed a beautiful stream feeding into the lake. It’s where I often stopped to read a book or write words away. That particular afternoon we observed a local artist nearby who painted in a Plein Air technique. Brush-paint-swish-dab-stroke. Repeat. He taught art at the local high school and so enjoyed working with his students. His smile was serene, so happy he was to live his life. Yes, he was truly relaxed.

Very early the next morning, when all of nature’s creatures and most of the earth was still asleep, a great storm raged across the lake. Flags blew atop tall metal poles at winds of nearly 50 miles per hour.

My husband opened the screen door of our balcony to view sheets of rain running like miniature mice across the street. Lake waters could not be distinguished from the sky. The color of water appeared to be dove-gray, meeting the horizon where the two seemingly became one and the same.

During the next hour, my husband and I lay under down linens, cold from the open air above, yet warm underneath. Sounds of the storm danced soothingly in our ears. Cool and fresh, slight sprays of mist blew between miniature squares of rusted screen. Deep thunder growled low in the back of God’s throat, while lighting flashed above an angel’s halo of gold.

Our senses were exposed to newness in the ink of that early morn. Hearing, Smell, Sight and Touch. Before, and into the dawn of day, relaxation set in.

Inspiration needs fuel in order to ignite the best of our imaginations. Give yourself the gift of taking a break. Your body, mind and spirit will be better for it.

Relax……

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Gifts of a Magical Picture Show


It seems I’ve spoken too soon.  Yes, the month of July did appropriately open with a bang of warm weather, but the last couple of days it’s been cool and raining again.  Can you believe it?  Yet, God must be on my side because just as my fingers tapped words upon my keyboard, sun blazed through long, turret windows of my office space.  Shining signs of what may be.

The weather has turned, taking on a new pattern.  No longer are cold, wet drops pounding from the sky in buckets.  Instead, gentle showers are falling in a steady mist all the day through.  Breathing deep, the scent of fresh air is like no other.  Crisp, clean and clear.  

Sitting on the stoop of my patio, I search for new life among the gardens.  Sunflowers are now blooming.  Upon them are bumble bees of yellow with stripes of black upon their backs.  Buzzing, they fly from one to the next.  My once drenched flowers are starting to rise again in painted pots.   Soon they’ll grow tall to reach towards heaven.  Birds stop at feeders, shake their tail feathers, or fly away to peck for worms from a lawn the color of Ireland.

In a steady mist of rain, nature pauses to change.  To my delight, animals once hidden within the forest suddenly appear.  Cabin fever?  Sneaking to a damp chair, I take quiet respite, hoping to soak newness like cocoa twigs floating in backyard streams.

A red fox strolls through the back of my yard!  Damp and wet from the elements, he is beautiful.  Sensing me, he stops briefly to glance my way before trotting toward the line of various trees.  

To the left of our property, a large, furry rabbit sits upright nearly unseen behind tall reeds.  There, he seems to pull long stems from roots like squash colored carrots, munching away.  So big he is!  At first sight, I think he might be a woodchuck.  Soon, however, his fluffy white tail peeks from behind to give him away.

At last, what I’ve been waiting for!  Deer with new babies!  Does and Bucks with fawns by their sides.  Tentatively, they stroll into my yard, coming closer…closer.  A few nibbles here and there.  I don’t care.

So much fun to watch coated babies with spots leap and bound in carefree play from one end of my property to the other.  The young fawns are very fast, chasing each other like children in a game of tag.  “Catch me if you can,” they seem to say, as they bounce around emerald pines and hide among thick thatch.  I’m barely able to snap any pictures as they race from one end of a meadow to the farthest of the next.  All the while, their mothers watch protectively under the mist of a gently falling rain.

Gifts of a magical picture show.  

 

Nature’s Fireworks


Fourth of July and I feel all of June has been lost…Much to weather and other conditions in life.  Still, it’s beautiful this morning.  The sky is clear and a rising sun is shining down upon me, warming the back of my neck ever so slightly.

Sigh….My beloved potted flower gardens have taken a beating.  Rain pounded the red bricks of my patio and all on top of it for most of June.  Petals of petunias are wounded.  Leaves have turned yellow and roots have risen to the top of pots.  Variegated ivy trails over sides of primary colored clay.  No longer are plants vibrant and full of life.  Their voices are weak and barely speak.  I’m afraid their days may be numbered.

I don’t ever remember the month of June being so soggy and wet.  Day after day it seemed to rain.  Rivers rose, roads closed, flooding ensued and everyone was forced to stay inside.  Even my favorite forest friends never ventured beneath their canopy of trees.  

Normally, June signals celebration.  Summer begins, school ends and voices of children begin to drift through wire screens of open windows.  How my heart aches for sounds of summer solstice!

Thankfully, there is no rain in sight today, not on this holiday.  Families are busy packing picnic baskets with favorite foods.  Coolers are being filled with ice and drinks.  Concerts will be heard in parks tonight while skies explode in sparkling colors all aglow.

As Independence Day is celebrated, I take pause to thank God for all that I have in life.  My treasured flowers may dry out, allowing new ones to sprout.  Or, perhaps beautiful blooms are flourishing elsewhere around me?

The world is full of fireworks if only we open our eyes to see….

Sugar and Salt


Sugar and Salt.  Sweet and Sharp.  Course and White.  Both, shaken from boxes bland that have separate and distinct tastes.  I have no recipe for my tomorrow….When poured within my heart, shall I smile and laugh or cry to wipe tears away?  Both, I’d say…

I knew this day was coming.  Perhaps you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been blogging as much lately?  Well, I have a very good excuse.  You see, I’ve been playing with babies!  My youngest son recently accepted a job promotion, requiring him to relocate to South Carolina.  He’s been away from his family for most of the last few weeks.  It is for the best…. In the end, he will better his own life and that of his entire family.

His father and I are so very proud of him.  Not long ago I wrote of my worries and wishes for him in a post http://wp.me/p41md8-1xR.  Today, his whole world and all that is in it has changed, for the better.  He is a man, a husband and a loving father with three daughters, including infant twins who are now six months old.

I am the one suffering, thinking of what I will miss.  The rosy cheeks with curls on heads.  The giggles of laughter when words are said.  Playing with new toys, feeding carrots and humming lullabies.  Gazing at dreaming mouths.  Look, there’s a sleeping smile once in a while!  What’s that I hear?  Poof…puffs of warm air with each sleeping breath.  And, lashes long gently falling…falling…while cradled in the crook of my arm.

So, “Good-Bye” sweet son of mine.  I shall miss you and your family too.  Those babes will be kissed each and every day, silently from afar.  Congratulations once again.  Take care of yourself and your family too…like I know you will.

And, never forget that we are always close in heart.

 

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Trust


Trust.  It seems inbred in the hearts and minds of little children whenever together with animals.  There is an unspoken bond of trust between them, triggered by instinct.  I take great delight in observing it, finding it nearly palpable.  Love and laughter, sharing, caring and trust.

Back in May of this year, my only grandson celebrated his first birthday during an outdoor party complete with a petting zoo.  His great-grandfather was able to join the celebration, traveling all the way from Arizona to make it extra special.  In an earlier post I wrote of the anticipation of such entitled, “Dads With Little Lambs.”  How lucky we were to have it land on a glorious spring day!  Blue skies matched the color of gemstones while a breeze gently puffed cool air through new born leaves dangling from ancient limbs of oak trees.

There was no ‘white picket fence’ surrounding baby animals that day.  Instead, children were allowed to chase chickens freely.  Chubby fingers touched new textures, repeating names of four-legged friends they had only met before in picture books or pieced together in chunky puzzle boards of primary colors.   Each child took turns petting spotted calves groaning, “M.O.O.” before skinny legs dressed in ruffles or blue jeans swung over saddles to take their very first pony rides.

Afterwards, the guest of honor was stripped naked, except for a diaper that seemed to match his new friend of black and white spots.  My grandson soon sat grinning on a huge sheet of plastic red.  It rippled and crinkled whenever he moved.  He loved the feel of it, I could tell!  Within seconds, a farm decorated Smash Cake , complete with miniature bright red barn appeared before his two enormous blue-watered eyes.  Murmurs traveled among those who sat on benches of wood behind picnic tables of green.  What would the birthday boy do?  Stick his finger to taste a treat of brown bunny frosting?  Or snatch and seize the biggest field of golden-colored corn he’d ever seen?

In the end, the big-little guy couldn’t contain himself.  He dove right in.  Head-first!  Exactly what his new animal friends had whispered silently to him minutes before.  “Go for it,” they had said, as only animal friends can do.   And so he did.

Trust….