Thursday, September 29, 2011

Silence & Solitude...

I'm in the middle of some planned time off, and it's been nice to run at about 70% for a change! Today, I had a couple of planned appointments, and I ended up running early for one of them, so I had some extra time to spare. I had about 45 minutes to spare for my afternoon appointment, and saw a sign that I had to follow.

My appointment was in the town where I worked for nearly 10 years, and I had seen this sign ("Wildlife Viewing Area") and always thought, "Yeah, right!" derisively. But today, I decided to check it out. Well, I have to admit, it wasn't to view wildlife. Mostly, I wanted a quiet place to do some writing. I've felt the need to do some introspection and writing lately, and I've needed to find the right space for it. Right now, as I type this, I'm watching football and hearing the clickety-clack of my keyboard.... which is fine. But for trying to find and best express what is in my heart and soul, then good old fashioned ink and paper was the only thing that would do.

So I made the turn and was greeted by suburbia... nice little houses with manicured lawns and pretty shrubs and fall flowers. Not exactly "wildlife" is it? But I drove on and suddenly, I was on a twisty little mountain drive. There, I saw the Department of Natural Resources sign announcing where I was, and yes, indeedy, it's a nature preserve, right there about a half-mile from nice ranch houses. Not at all what I was expecting.

I rolled down the car window to do some writing and get some fresh air ... and I heard it. I have no idea what kind of birds these were, but they had a distinctive call, and they were just beautiful in their gliding. They were enormous, compared to your average swallow (African and European, combined!), but next to a condor, probably not so big. But it was amazing to just sit and watch them for a while.

Then it appeared. From out of the woods came a butterfly -- not a particularly showy one, rather plain grey-black with a little blue coloring on the tips of the wings. But it landed right on the hood of my car, almost looking at me, and then it turned around to show me its wings. And it flitted for a second and came back. I was speechless. I was in complete awe.

I thought of the quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne: "Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you." Which is exactly what I needed to hear, even if just in my heart. And butterflies, as a symbol, often come up in my life. For those of us who live with lymphedema, the butterfly is our symbol to remind us that the therapist's touch should be as light to us as that of a butterfly, and that new life always emerges. And I have often thought of my own journey of change throughout my life -- in many different areas -- as that of the caterpillar to butterfly. Since butterflies have extra meaning for me, I wondered what this could have meant..... and then I thought, "Stop. Just stop analyzing and enjoy the wonder."

I didn't write a thing. Too awed by the few minutes I spent in solitude, with no noise and no need to do anything except BE THERE.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

If you ever wondered why...

For most of the days of the week, I set my Facebook status each morning with a positive quote, or at least food for thought. Why? Because I need to..........

I need to remember the beauty in life, especially when I feel saddened by the state of the world.
I need to remember that everything really does work together for good, especially when I see things that make no sense in a fair and just place.
I need to remember that there is a higher purpose and a better way to live, especially when I get bogged down in the minutiae of things that really don't matter in the long run.
I need to remember that most people really are good at heart, especially when it seems that so much attention is focused on the ones whose hearts are not in good places.
I need to remember that I need to live my life by higher thoughts, higher principles, especially when I fall so far short of those lofty standards.
I need to remember, and I need to act. I need to aspire, and I need to strive.

Do I succeed each day? Yes, as often as I fail in the same goals.

Every single day is a do-over, every moment a chance to reclaim the good and to eschew the bad. It is a chance to try harder and forgive ourselves - and others - for our shortcomings. It is a calling to go higher, dream bigger, work harder, and to reach farther. And this is why I post those inspirational thoughts -- because I need to remember.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fill In The Blank Friday

1. The best thing I did all week was get things together to do my Godspell scrapbook, and THIS TIME, by God, I'm actually going to finish a scrapbook!!

2. Blue jeans make me super happy.

3. Pets are adorable - I love my furbaby so much!

4. My optimism is the best thing about my life. Okay, really, everything about my life is pretty doggone nice. I shouldn't complain at all ... the annoyances are just that.

5. With the cooler weather I am looking forward to nights on the back deck, firepit blazing and coffee brewing. My brother's deep philosophizing and talk of (and watching of) football. GOD ALMIGHTY, DO I LOVE FALL!!!!

6. Something that's on my "wish list" right now is for someone at the insurance company to take great pity upon me and say, "Yes, my dear, I think we can find a way to cover your skin removal surgery. It isn't just a cosmetic thing..." *or* "What do you know, all the numbers match and you have the Powerball. Congratulations!" :D

7. This weekend I am going to work tomorrow morning, go to a meeting tomorrow night, and HOPEFULLY catch up with my Godspell peeps at some point (I miss them terribly, already!) .... and just be good to myself, as much as possible. OH, and make a big pot of veggie soup for Sunday lunch.... mmm, homemade crockpot soup!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Fill In The Blank Friday

1. One thing that is completely superfluous, but that I could never give up is buying books. I know, I know - that's what libraries are for, and I do love browsing the library, but there's something about owning a book forever and forever and going back to revisit it like an old friend.

2. Dating makes me feel awkward.

3. I can't go a day without music. I tried it once, it was NOT pretty.

4. Popcorn.... no, apples..... no, ice cream.... is my favorite snack. (Never met a snack I didn't like!)

5. Lately I've been way more irritable than I want to be .

6. If at first you don't succeed find a way to make it work .

7. Fall is the most wonderful time of the year! .