What the World Needs

I rarely clean windows anymore, plus these are the original windows from when this house was built in the 1960’s, so it’s hard to tell if they’re clean even after you clean them. While outside watering the flower baskets hanging above each window, they get rinsed by the watering and that works for me.

Months ago I bought a sign made of metal and love seeing what it says, so I’ve moved it around to various areas of the house trying to find a space I’d see it most often. It didn’t do very well hanging on the wall because the pale grey color of the wall wasn’t enough of a contrast to be able to read it immediately. The letters are laser cutouts through metal, so it’s heavy.

It was purchased from Magnolia and I’m pretty sure it’s the title of a children’s book, but no matter, it’s something each and every one of us needs to know and be reminded of daily, regardless of age. This is what the world needs…

The best location by far for this sign is hanging in front of a window and it doesn’t surprise me that all it needed to really shine was some light behind it. The light shines through even the dirtiest of windows. Find your light my darling and let it shine because the world needs who you were made to be.

The Water Bowl

It became easier to not add flowers to my yard once I stopped frequently visiting my happy place that you can read about here. My favorite garden center that feeds my very soul simply by parking my truck nearby. Sunday was the day I couldn’t hold myself back any longer.

If it’s possible it felt more magical than last year as I strolled along the dirt path looking at the plants and listening to the splash of the water fountains. I wasn’t looking for a plant, but of course I found one that needed a good home. My mission on that faithful day was to find a bowl to hold water for the birds. Even though I stopped feeding the birds last winter because the seed was attracting more than just birds, they still flutter through my yard looking for water.

I’ve tried using bowls from my cupboard that are rarely used, but that didn’t feed my heart. I sat a bowl outside that we used to use for mashed potatoes, and it was a beautiful bowl, but every time I saw it, I envisioned it filled with mashed potatoes. Looking all over the internet didn’t spark my heart either, so the lesson here my darling is…when looking for a water bowl, go where they sell bowls for water. Even there it took some time and I had to incorporate an employee’s assistance in my search because most of the bowls I’d seen had a hole in the bottom.

The employee guided me toward the Pro Shop where the front porch held stacks of bowls. I’ve never walked this far along the property to find this shop and the choice of outdoor bowls was overwhelming! So much so, the employee left as if she didn’t want any part of the decision-making process, but once I stood still amid the intricately stacked choices, my heart knew which one to purchase.

Since our part of the lake dried up, I haven’t been able to see water on a regular basis and that’s a need for me. My soul is refreshed with every gaze that lands on the water bowl.

Hear Myself Living

It’s okay to change your mind. I change mine over something almost every day and I think being adaptable smooths the rough edges of change.

Even though I didn’t plant any flowers in the ground this year, it didn’t stop me from having flowers. There’s something inside of me especially this time of year that just needs to see bloom. I went to a local garden center to see if my friend had anything in stock that sparked my heart. She knows my yard is shaded and helps me choose plants that will be happy here. She pointed to a flower basket that was pretty in it’s simplicity, but I wanted two that matched. She looked around and found one more and they were the only ones there, so I purchased both.

Working from home, I need a reason to step outside each day. There’s just enough to tend to in the yard where I spend a few minutes rather than hours like previous summers and that’s a refreshing change. Summer is a busy time of year for a lot of families, but I’m grateful to be in a season where I get to slow the pace. Yes, my darling…this is the summer I want to hear myself living.

The Golden Jubilee

My home is telling on me. The past few Friday’s have looked similar where all of the empty cups, mugs and coffee paraphernalia congregated to the kitchen island as if to say, “We served her well today.” The empty water bottle resting in the middle of the massive wood table didn’t make it to the ceremony.

A couple of weeks ago my neighbors wife invited me to have coffee with her and another neighbor down the street. I hadn’t formally met the other neighbor, but the two of them have been friends for many years. With a slight hesitation, I went and it felt like an hours worth of them asking all about me. I didn’t share at an intimate level, but politely answered all of their questions and if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I can be a bit much to put it mildly.

Neither woman has spoken to me since.

The scenarios of the mind will begin to swirl and even for myself in past instances I’d begin questioning my behavior during coffee. My daughter would pick on me and say, “You didn’t hide your crazy well enough”, but something shifts in a woman after the age of 55. As we near the age of 60 and beyond, other people’s approval, or opinion of ourselves doesn’t matter. My gosh darling, we’ve been roaming this earth for half a century, so by His grace we must be doing something right!

Trying to find a word, or phrase for half a century, the best I could come up with became the title of this post. The 50th wedding anniversary is called the golden jubilee and sitting here today my life feels pretty damn near golden. Let me encourage you to not allow anyone to steal the golden from your jubilee.

Survive the Storm

The storm lasted through the night, but today the thunder and lightning has passed leaving a gentle rain in it’s place. Before the storm arrived, I brought the wreath from the front door inside and I swear with the weather we’ve been having this year this wreath has hung indoors more than out, but thanks to my friend Dawn, I like it equally in either place.

During the storm, the Marvelous Mrs. M. Marco Polo’d me just to make sure everything was alright. She had seen a neighbor’s post on Instagram of the golf ball sized hail we received, but it’s been a long time since seeing hail come down as hard as rain and roll down the street.

I’m not a fan of storms and almost admire those who can sit outside to watch them pass through, but God has brought me a long way this year through storms both literally and figuratively. It began back in January with the simple and yet surrendering act of continually trusting Him through each and every one. The red banana tree planted outside my window took a beating from the hail of our most recent storm and I didn’t think quickly enough to even try to protect it.

There was no need for me to intervene because that’s a part of that ‘trusting Him’ in all things, even protecting a banana tree that’s too heavy to move indoors. Seeing it’s tattered leaves shredded by the hail it looks beaten, but it’s still standing tall and upright, so it survived. I think we all feel like this banana tree looks after a storm, but the storm does pass and it doesn’t last forever.

Our part is to make it through.

It’s outer leaves look rough, but let’s take a look inside.

There’s growth, shiny and new.

We may get the crap beat out of us like Mr. Banana, but there’s strength to be gained during each and every storm. The storm is growing us from the inside, but we won’t realize all the benefits of growth until after we survive the storm.

Say Yes to Rest

The learning to rest thing is not easy, but it’s worth every effort given. I see ancient patterns resistant to change because they’ve been with me for a lifetime.

As a child I don’t recall taking time for rest. Mama kept us busy because she believed if we had too much time on our hands we’d find trouble. When my daughter and I moved into our first home together, I recall after the movers left, laying across the bed and falling sound asleep. I woke up some time later and thought, “That was the first nap I allowed myself to have in 30 years.” I never saw Mama take a nap, but Daddy took one everyday like clockwork.

I’ve been in relationships where they took daily naps. Sometimes, I’d take one too, but I always felt guilty for napping. There’s an old saying, “You can sleep when your dead,” but I’m learning to rest while alive in hopes of adding quality years to live.

I want to fall in love with this notion of rest and I’m not head over heels in love just yet, but I’m full of willingness. This photo was taken after a meditation in my sacred space. I was seated on my Zafu cushion, looking up at the corner of my bed and it made me feel more restful by simply seeing it. You see, I created a space within this space that calls for me to take a rest.

It contains my favorite blanket and pillow and I set the stage every morning after making the bed, just in case today is the day I’ll use it. This space waits for me all day to surrender and say yes to rest.

What comes up for you when you think about rest?

Loosening My Grip

I feel lighter and more free today than yesterday. I’ve felt this way before and have said something similar many times. By His grace I hope to tap into this intermittent feeling many more times, but for now let’s stay in today.

I’m storing a coffee table for my daughter until she is ready to move again. I jokingly told her it would match my den and she said she’d love for it to be used until she was ready for it, so I made space. It’s shape is octagon with a beveled glass top, which includes a bottom shelf made of cane following the same shape. It’s vintage and in excellent condition, but my furniture was used to sitting around a rectangular coffee table, so it took a few days to find my Zen.

I’d leave the house for a while to walk back in and view the room with fresh eyes. I could feel it was off center, but I can only move this furniture in a handful of directions. This morning I shared coffee and conversation with a neighbor and when I walked back into the house it was like the room wanted to be more open, so I moved the furniture away from the coffee table and relocated a couple of pieces to make the table a centerpiece of the sitting space. That’s when I noticed the cords to the internet modem and Wi-Fi router sprawled along the floor.

My first thought was, ‘Grab the zip-ties!”, and I did, but laid them aside instead of tidying up the cords. Gingerly tucking the cords behind the basket the equipment is sitting on, so you can’t see them, but letting them hang freely between the wall and wicker. Quite a bit feels free today, and not only in the den, as I came up off the floor and realized I didn’t need to zip-tie the cords.

Feature Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

These Three Cups

There was a bird singing so loudly it was almost disturbing. That could have something to do with watching the old Alfred Hitchcock movie, “Birds” before bed. Since watching that movie, I’ll think twice when seeing a row of crows perched along power lines! 😂

I found this pattern interesting and wanted to write about it last year, but it became buried during a season of inspiration. You’ll see two photos and the first one was taken last November. The second photo was taken last week and when looking at the two photos, 5 months apart, I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the second photo opposed to the first one. My surroundings contain less, but life has more meaning including these three cups.

When our bodies roll out of bed, our inner self needs time to catch up and wants to be awakened gently. I start with a glass of water and if lemon is on hand, a generous squeeze is added to the water. I sit quietly to drink the water and will often meditate while holding the glass. Next is a cup of Taheebo. Taheebo is an extract made from the inner bark of the Pau D’ Arco tree and contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties for immune system support. It’s a concentrate mixed with hot water and I always use this cup made of fine china with a crack in it to remind me how fragile life really is.

I sip Taheebo while reading and sitting in stillness, but you know it’s time to get down to business when the coffee cup comes into the picture. I generally know what part of the day I’m in by what cup I’m using.

When our world feels uncertain, it’s nice to have patterns that help ground us of what’s certain and for me that falls into place with these three cups.

Rest your eyes while I read this to you.

Feature Photo by Tom Crew on Unsplash