Magical moments

I love the magical moments, the moments that engrave themselves on my mind imprinting so deeply that many years later I can take them out and appreciate them anew. I was up extra early this morning – 4 a.m. in fact. Don’t ask. At any rate, as I was up I decided to go out on our balcony to welcome this new day and received a blessing. Below me, under the tree in the back yard were two foxes. One was dark in color and the other was definitely a red fox. The darker colored fellow has been visiting intermittently for about a month. I tried a while back to capture an image of him without success. This morning was the first time seeing the red fox. There really is something moving, eloquent, and beautiful about seeing wildlife at any time but in the darkness of the night it seems especially magical. As I watched the red fox sat under the tree and I went inside to grab my phone and was able to capture a decent image of her. It’s not a particularly great image but I am grateful for it. I am hoping our visitors will return, not just to capture images of them, but for the magical moments they provide. Wherever you are and whatever is going on in your life at this time, I hope you recognize the blessings this day brings. I hope you experience many magical moments in life.

Red Fox brings a blessing

“I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of crying a bit if one allows oneself to be tamed.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Yearning

Longing, yearning

Searching, reaching

For What? For whom? And why?

Answers elude

And still the longing

Churning in my gut

Caught in an endless void

Seeking an unknown satisfaction

A taste is given

In morsels so small,

Microscopic, really

Hunger as deep as the ocean,

Unfathomably deep, dark, mystical

Belly aching,

Never satisfied

The hunger like a crocodile,

Ancient and cruel

Its claws scratching til I bleed

Answers like wisps of fog

Elude my grasp

‘Aw’, says the old and wizened One,

‘Give up now; Rest; Let go’,

For the answers are not mine to know

Gentle reprieve

The ocean swells,

Drags me under into the deeps

Where at last I rest

I sleep

Christmas Stars and Christmas People

I never did get to see the “Christmas star” with my own eyes. We attempted to a couple of times. I had great hopes on Christmas eve when the skies were mostly clear, but though we got to the place we’d picked out for watching the skies in plenty of time, alas and alack the clouds rolled in again just after sunset. That’s okay. The Christmas star did its part in buoying up flagging spirits and instilling a sense of wonder, and, more importantly, hope.   I have seen some spectacular photos online of this wondrous event. It really is enough to know it’s there, above the cloud cover, instilling hope in many a heart.

As we drove toward the spot we’d picked out, we passed several vehicles parked along the side of the road. Some were there, like us, in hopes of catching a glimpse of the celestial wonder.  Others had snow mobiles loaded onto pickup trucks for a drive into the woods. My favorite though was the young woman skating around the pond with her new baby in arms. That spoke to me in ways that I find difficult to put into words. As I watched her glide around the pond, I could not help but think of another young mother millennials ago who also held her babe in her arms. These were my Christmas people. People I did not know by name but fed my soul with hope.

This has been a very difficult year. We have all been carrying the burdens of worry and stress that covid has caused. I know that I was hope-starved (too many bad news stories, I guess). At any rate on this 26th of December I am exceedingly grateful for the gifts of hopes I have been given, not least of which is the vaccine that promises to allow family visits and socializing again in the not-so-distant future. And I am grateful for Christmas stars and Christmas people who instill hope in our hearts, not just at Christmas but throughout the year.

Serenity Sunday: Focus on peace

I am doing something a little bit different this week. Instead of taking you on a virtual tour this week’s offering is a combination of quotes and prayers on peace and tranquility along with photos I’ve taken in (of) nature. I hope you enjoy them, wishing you a day of blessings, a day of peace.

“Remember too that we can all throw ourselves a lifeline – not a deadline – by appreciating just how precious life really is in the present moment. Peaceful, enduring happiness right now.” – M.P. Neary

“Prayer is the voice of love that brings us internal peace, understanding, and the wisdom of how to share.” – Catherine Franz, Life is a Continuous Prayer

“It’s not the quiet ‘in’ the woods. Rather, it is the quiet ‘of’ the woods. Like the woods, I want it to be ‘of’ me. And I have found that few things can instill that in me like the woods can.”

– Craig D. Lounsbrough

“Silent is an anagram of listen” – Johnny Rich, The Human Script

“Why are we afraid of the silence that ensues after our death? Wasn’t it the same silence we endured before birth? Isn’t it the same silence we revel in when we are completely immersed in the present moment? Let us not be afraid.” – Kamand Kojouri

“Stress comes from the fear of the unknown; tranquility comes from accepting the unknown with love and joy.” – Debasish Mridha

“Peace brings with it so many positive emotions that it is worth aiming for in all circumstances.” – Estella Eliot

“I have recently been able to see the new world – the quiet, the tranquility and the freedom it will bring with it. This is very comforting knowledge for me because I already know that what I envision eventually becomes a reality.” – Shari Arison

“We must believe that there are places where tranquility exists and nature is given back her power to speak . . .”  – Nanette L. Avery

“The idea of starting each day with birdsong may sound overly romantic, but incorporating an element of peaceful ritual into our morning routine doesn’t have to be difficult.” – Linnea Dunne, Good mornings

Nine Years? No, not really . . .

So, it has been nine years since I posted my first post on WordPress. At that time, I was completing requirements for my diploma in the journalism program at our local college. In the beginning I wrote posts for our school newspapers, The Troubadour. Following graduation, I let it lapse as I continued my studies to complete a Bachelor of Arts. It continued to sit in moth balls until 2016 when I needed an outlet for the stress after our city was evacuated due to wildfires. Writing has often been a source of stress relief for me and the past four years have been no different. I have kept it up since then. Along the way I got to know some wonderful people, fellow writers, poets, artists of every kind and entered into a community of kind and supportive people. I am so glad to have the opportunity to trade life experiences, thoughts, and support with a truly wonderful group of people. I thank you all for taking me along on your journeys, and for joining me on mine. I am looking forward to many more years together. Happy Anniversary to us!!!!

Let’s celebrate! It’s World Environment Day!

So, it’s World Environment Day! Let’s celebrate the planet and its awesomeness! I truly do love nature. As I write I am remembering visiting my husband’s aunt and uncle. While we were there we somehow ended up at their neighbor’s place across the street. My children were very little then and one of them had picked up a caterpillar and brought it to me. I bent down and what followed was a conversation with my little ones about caterpillars. I have no idea what that conversation entailed but I do remember the neighbor remarking, “Oh, we have an environmentalist in our midst”. I remember being somewhat surprised by the comment. I honestly thought at the time that most people shared my views. Sadly, I came to understand that no, that was not the case.

We are living with climate change and all the backlash that has entailed with so-called natural disasters causing untold destruction and upheaval. It does not have to be this way. Human beings can make better choices. Politicians can be moved to enact better environmental protection laws. I have seen politicians back down when faced with public outrage over a variety of social issues. We need to make our voices heard.

What social issue is more important than the environment on which all life depends? Let us all make better decisions, please. We can do our small parts at home by reducing waste, by becoming more informed, by respecting our local green spaces and wildlife, and in a myriad of other ways. I will not belabor the point, better writers than I have articulated it well, time and time again.

Let’s celebrate this world.  Take a deep breath and thank the trees for providing us oxygen. Listen to the birdsong and be grateful for their music. Dip a toe in a river, pond, lake, or ocean and be cleansed, or better yet drink a tall glass of cool water and be quenched.  Gaze at the beauty surrounding us all and let it feed your soul. Take your shoes of and walk on the cool grass on a hot summer’s day. Life is good, but it could be so much better. Let’s take good care of this little blue marble we call home.

The not so strange Easter: A children’s story

The little ones went off to bed

Feeling sorrowful in their little heads

For too long now no play with friends, oh to run so free

“And now at Easter,” they thought to themselves, “No bunny for me”.

They prayed and they hoped in what their parents told them

“Easter Bunny’s not isolated. He’ll be here, you’ll see,” they said.

But worried and fretting they climbed into bed

Long after the sun had finally set

And while they were sleeping the white moon arose

And shone its soft light on all down below

The moon well knew the secrets of Easter

And spoke to the fairies, “Go wake the great bunny”

In the morning each parent sighed with relief

As children of all ages awoke from their slumber

And padded from bedrooms left all in a jumble

For Easter had come leaving proof unmistaken

The bright colored eggs were not hidden this year

But left with abandon on dresser and chair

“Here’s one on the stair,” a little one chortled

As they raced without care

The small padding feet ran all through the house

And giggles and shouts were all that was heard

For Easter Bunny was not isolated,

He had freedom to roam

He found each child’s home

The moon watched him work and thought to himself,

“How absurd to think Easter Bunny could ever do less

Than fill every basket and do his very best,

To bring joy and cheer to each little heart,

To be sure the magical creatures will each do their part

To overcome this challenging test.”

And so this strange Easter

Was not strange after all

For joy entered in every heart, every hall

So dear children remember,

Yes, you must stay in your house

But Easter has come and with it a blessing

Not covered in chocolate

Not covered in sugar

For the sweetness of Easter cannot be contained

Rebirth and renewal are this season’s gifts

So be good little children

And know that it’s true

The magic of living

Is here within you

What if? A Utopian dream.

But what if? What if this enforced isolation, this horrible pandemic causes us all to  see with new eyes? What if the steady growth of consumerism stops? What if it causes us to re-examine our values? What if we begin to see all human life, no matter the nation, as sacred, as holy, as needing to be deeply respected and revered. And not just human life but all life from the most microscopic insect or bug to the largest mammals on the planet? What if we begin to make decisions that honor life in general – every plant, every tree? What if we stop seeing the world as a resource to be plundered, but rather, a resource to be respected and cared for? What if utopia is being birthed? What if greed falls on its knees to need? What if we recognize there is indeed no “other”, that we are one race, one people? What if love is reborn in every heart and mind? What if? Oh what a world it could be.

Entrusted, Enabled

“God sent each person into the world with a special message to deliver, a special song to sing, and a special act of love to bestow. No one else can speak my message or sing my song, or offer my love…..these are entrusted to me” – Author unknown

Cedar Waxwings taken June 2019 Photo by Carol Hopkins

What song is resonating with you today? Is it a hopeful tune? Is it a mournful ballad? I have been vacillating between hope and despair. I am doing my best to trust in a higher power that we will be okay. It’s hard though, very challenging. I wonder sometimes if this is some kind of supreme test. I am sure that past people in history who lived through the Black Plague or the Spanish Flu and the like must also have felt hopeless at times. Yet the human race survived and we will survive this as well. We are such fragile life forms – all of life is fragile. Yet, it is also resilient and courageous. I am praying for all the world’s peoples today and giving thanks for the silver linings such as the severely reduced amount of chemicals being released into the air, allowing the earth to breathe more deeply, to heal.

May we all be healed of toxic anxiety and fear that serves no one well. Be safe my friends, and stay as healthy as humanly possible.