Another way to open the heart….the magnificent back roads of Montana.
Between me and the future, only sky. Occasionally a pickup truck or a cow. Impossible to even breathe it all in.
Thousands of others visit in the summer, heading to the national parks.
I prefer the quiet places where I can hear the sounds of silence and relish the untarnished beauty.
Whatever brings you back to your center, your inspiration….that is your destination.
The color of this rose today drew me in, captured my heart. Deep, as where we go to be our real selves, where authenticity emerges. And rich, like memories which cannot be erased.
The last time I spoke to my Dad was on Father’s Day two years ago. We had such an opportunity together. I left home at 18 and was gone for many years. Because of multiple family situations, my Dad and I had time to catch up and get to know each other all over again during the last ten years.
We did simple things together. Like sandwiches and coffee at the little cafe downtown, where my Dad grew up. He liked the place so much because he remembered it as a candy shoppe when he was a boy. He and his dad would drive in from the country and sell them their homegrown strawberries and sit at the counter and eat ice cream. He always told that story when we were there.
My Dad passed a few days after that Father’s Day, as I was on my way to see him. I was in the Minneapolis airport when I got the call. Despite the distance, I felt wholly connected with him in those deep, rich moments. I was between planes…..and so was he!
May the deep richness of life embrace you.
How to be so sweet and fiercely wild all at once? One of life’s mysteries. The petals so tender, as if they could be crushed by the tiny hand of a child. But the bush itself wild and free, perhaps planted but springing up with a mind of its own, blooming when it feels like it. And just to make sure, thorns to stay protected from being plucked.
And why look for life’s metaphors everywhere? Because I for one become lighter and more in love with God’s creation. I want to stand fiercely against all that is causing pain in the world, the evil that abounds. I want to be free to create, imagine and bloom. And just to make sure, I too carry the thorns of truth and shy not from speaking my mind.
May we all breathe free!
For many years, I have been finding pennies – sidewalks, parking lots, shiny, not so shiny, in the dirt, among the rocks, etc. Twice I have found folded dollar bills (and I knew the message was extra important. In all cases, I have felt that I was being reminded that I was on the right track.
During the last 3 or 4 weeks I have been finding dimes. This strikes me as quite unusual. I pick out a parking place in a large lot, get out of my car and right there next to my foot is the third dime in a row. Something is going on here! A friend sent me some information about the symbolic meaning. Dimes represent fresh starts, coming full circle and returning to our center. More importantly to me, dimes have come to mean shiny opportunities once thought lost, and are considered beacons of promise.
As a child, I was a reader. When so many others were out playing sports and doing all the after school activities, I was in my room reading. When I left home and began to travel to New York and London, my goal was to be a writer. Destiny, of course, took me in lots of different directions and required some tough spiritual lessons along the way. I never gave up on the idea, but I had numerous roads to travel first and the goal became a distant dream.
And so I realize the message of the dimes… after so many years, I can place my focus back on writing. An opportunity once thought lost has come full circle. Whether it be blog or story, coaching article or novel, I love to share my thoughts and stories through writing. The universe, as always, through dimes or dollars, kindly reminds us of our purpose, our direction and that we are being watched over and blessed.
One fine spring morning, these two ducks were jet speeding on a cloud. The sky was in the water and the pond was a blue glassy mirror of heaven. Ah, how we are in need of changing perspective, swimming on clouds, walking on water. Change is delightful for a few moments but can we get used to living upside down?
It occurred to me recently that we often say we love change, want things to be different, yearn for a new perspective, a shift in reality. But when it happens we suddenly feel Wait a minute! and realize we need more time, more patience, more courage to get used to the new and unfamiliar. Yes, it can all happen at once in the blink of an eye but what happens to our memories, our regular routine, our previous preferences?
Maybe the key is Acceptance and the deep understanding that all things change. We are not here permanently, this is a visit that seems infinite only in the present moment. The fabric of our lives, however, is constantly changing texture, color and meaning. We are traveling higher and deeper at once. We think we are walking the earth and digging in the soil, but we are also speed swimming on clouds. Shifting. Stretching ourselves. Seeing farther. Getting clues and whispered messages that often change everything. The only real lesson may be to stay alert and be ready.
Montana has a history of holding Easter egg hunts in the snow. This year, our blessing came a little early, on Good Friday. This was the thick, wet, sticky stuff that sticks to the branches of the budding trees and puts a temporary blanket on the thirsty daffodils.
I think, however, that it’s a blessing, a clean, white morning page reminding us to clear the decks of old habits, judgmental thoughts and the places in our minds that need dusting. I’ve restarted my morning walks, deciding that no matter the weather, it’s my first priority. Not long after my feet hit the bedside carpet, I am dressed and out the door, eager to breathe fresh air, greet the dog walkers and renew hope for another day.
Today my thoughts range from the uphill challenge of simply greeting each day to understanding people’s hopes and fears, my own vulnerabilities and crossing over into making a miraculous lifestyle a habit. It’s on the uphill climb and in the overcoming where we become more authentic, shine a little brighter and expose our hearts to more love.
Even though it was a winter when I doubted it possible, spring has returned! And where have I been? Here in moments of both anxiety and contemplation, here in moments of doubt, here wondering and wishing and feeling as if there was nowhere to turn. Well, after all, there really is nowhere except within.
The lesson itself was really quite simple, but for many reasons needed to be learned and re-learned and felt deeply. Finally I began to pray to all who would listen to expand my narrow room. A few weeks later, energy sprung up, like these fleurs. Opportunities arose. I opened my door again. And finally realized my prayers were being answered.
My blog is like my window to the world, no matter how large or small the readership. It is like a journal of days, written because the miracles we all experience are worthy of sharing, are our reminders to one another, are our clues to the greater spirit within and without that guides our footsteps.
I am grateful you have been here with me before and I hope that we can surf these waves together again. Until the next time….
PS It wasn’t until I published this Blog, that I realized that my last post was a year ago and the same little patch of flowers have sprung up to bring me back to where I am supposed to be. The cosmic jokes continue!
And then all of a sudden, things change. I passed by the place where the crocuses were pushing up and somewhat bedraggled. Right next to them these brilliant little purple flowers had popped up, fresh and full of vitality. Passing snowstorms notwithstanding, they are courageously taking their stand. There is a lesson here.
Plants are full of energy and certainly respond to their environment, our loving attention and certain vibrations. However, I don’t think they are distracted by memories, passing emotions or feelings of inadequacy. They are unmoved, perhaps in a very Buddhic way, by all but their firm dedication to their purpose. Although perhaps not as purposeful, it reminds me of this tale titled “Maybe.”
There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.
The farmer is not indifferent, and at least in my imagination, remains aware that he is in reality the creator his life. He is also keenly aware, or should we be so, that we are participating with the universe/God/the angels and that intercession/detour/distraction is part of the game. Sometimes the wind blows east, sometimes west. Can we remain unmoved, centered and peacefully secure ‘under our own vine and fig tree’?
I’m delighted, or perhaps amazed, that I am receiving these unspoken messages from these little flowers, whose name I don’t even know. The movements of spring are fearless in the face of it all. Lesson learned.
Despite snow and rain, spring is pushing upward. Little crocuses are doing their best. I feel much the same. Moving forward, making connections, watching miracles. The next cloud rolls in and I’m a bit battered, needing to gathering more steam, waiting while snow falls, eager and hesitant at the same time. Yet every year spring re-appears and we are hopeful.
Crocuses are happy to come right back up, same color as last year, doing their job. They have no need to reach ‘the next level.’ But most of us feel a little differently. I’m encouraged by the consistency of the flowers, but I’m yearning for more insight, more openness of heart, more self-understanding, more empathy and inspiration. Diving deep internally and hoping to resurface to find myself clear-eyed and ready for the next chapter, not quite content with yesterday’s modus operandi or last year’s color.
It requires a little more energy, like shedding winter’s heavy clothes. It might even be courage, but it’s at least determination to push up from beneath the soil into the spring air. And to say, Here I am, bright and ready to greet the day. Thank you little crocuses!
The orchid is almost weighted down with blossoms, heralding spring and all things lively and bright. There is a little space between the blossoms where clouds pass through and where reality, whether peaceful or violent, interjects to distract from the glory.
Peaceful I really appreciate. Yesterday I stayed in bed beyond awakening, served myself coffee and toast and dove into one of my favorite books for a re-read. It’s The Forty Rules of Love, A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak), one of those stories that will always stay on my bookshelf. Quiet morning moments like these are delicious, to be remembered and treasured. Often they don’t last very long.
Our larger community has also been stopped in its tracks by recent suicides and murders. Even the sheriff was in tears. How do we see through to a place where our hearts can embrace even the violence? Is there a gap we need to fill? Have we forgotten to stop and look at something? Are we paying attention? Is someone else’s pain our problem? Have we prayed deeply enough?
The only answers I have rely on peeking through between the blossoms and remembering how strong our hearts really are, the light we can emanate, the healing we can radiate. Perhaps we are being called upon to strengthen in the face of tragedy. Not to harden or erect barriers, but to reach into the place where we understand deeply and find the capacity to give more. It’s seeing through another lens, where reality becomes stark and clear. Then we have an opportunity to re-create and re-weave from a place of love large enough to fill in all the spaces.