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.

Make Your Heart Soar

How easily forgotten are these meaningful aspects of life once they’re no longer in view. These random moments that fill your heart with pure joy and in that instance, you realize that life is meant to be lived.

A fellow blogger/friend of mine recently wrote a post about taking a 3-minute break in between zooms to step outside and stretch. Within those few minutes a stork flew over her head and it was an exhilarating experience in a brief amount of time. The stork, or Great Blue Heron has always been a part of my heart and journey, but I haven’t seen one since living here except down by the lake, but the lake isn’t within walking distance anymore.

I still recall the feeling she described and didn’t realize how much it was missed until reading her post here. A few days ago, I remembered a picture I have of stork and went in search of it. The artwork was tucked away in the “I don’t know what to do with” pile because it was given to me by someone who knew my heart, but no longer holds it. Pulling it from it’s hiding place, I changed the frame and hung it on the wall as a visual reminder of what makes my heart soar.

I hung it above my typewriter and instead of feeling poignant about the way it came into my life, I’m grateful for still having it and can see it for the piece of artwork it is. One of the promises in AA states, ““We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.”, and that promise has come to pass many times, but it’s worth remembering today. Our past prepares us for our future.

Hold onto the pieces that make your heart soar.

Feature Photo by Jeremy Hynes on Unsplash

Go and Live Your Life

I was raised in an era where the rules were, you get a job, get married, buy a house plus cars, have kids and that would be your life. You stayed together no matter what, for the sake of the kids, but ten years ago, I realized that wasn’t true and didn’t want my daughter to think it was the definition of adulthood or marriage. It was time to re-write, or maybe even burn the rule book.

My daughter watched me have two long distance relationships after my divorce and she in turn ventured long distance through two of her own. Today, she’s in love with someone locally and I’m thrilled she broke that cycle of traveling to the ends of the earth just to be loved.

What a terrible burden for children to bear-to know they are the reason their Mother stopped living. What a terrible burden for our daughters to bear-to know that if they choose to become Mothers, this will be their fate too. Because if we show them that being a martyr is the highest form of love, that is what they’ll become. They will feel obligated to love as well as their Mothers loved, after all. They will believe they have permission to live only as fully as their Mothers allowed themselves to live.

Untamed-Glennon Doyle

Since my daughter is living her own life, a lot of my responsibilities have been relinquished. It feels as if I’m standing in the middle of a blank canvas, paint brush in hand, but not knowing what color to start with. It doesn’t really matter what color to dip the paint brush in because getting paint to the canvas is what’s important. When God decides to call this woman home, I want my children to be left with colorful, splattered, and messy, but somewhat masterful pieces of art that tell the story of how vibrantly their mother lived the second half of her life.

As my daughter moved out she said many noteworthy things and I know she wouldn’t want me to stay put as if pausing my life just in case she needed me in hers. No, she would say, “Go and live your life.”

Feature Photo by Bella Huang on Unsplash

It’s Yours for the Taking

There’s a quote on a chalkboard hanging in the hallway that says, “Take what you have and make it what you want.” The chalkboard has a few quotes listed, but that one is read each night before bed as I mentally recap my day.

I’ve been outside scrubbing mold and mildew off my front porch because I couldn’t look at it any longer. As many of you know, I rent this little house and didn’t plan on being here for 6 years, but here we are. The landlord sent his handyman out here in January of this year and the porch is one of several things I showed him that were unacceptable, but easily fixed. He said he’d come back later with a pressure washer and that would do the trick. I haven’t seen the handyman since.

At first, I began scrubbing the molded, wood slats of the porch in a loving and caring way in reference to the quote by taking what I have and making it what I want, but then became a little angry and mainly at myself. This wasn’t a soothing way to spend my Sunday and once the scrubbing and rinsing of the boards was complete, another project was revealed. The porch would need to be repainted, but I stopped there and put away all my supplies.

Barb isn’t painting the front porch of the rental house.

For decades I’ve lived by the saying, “If you want it done right, do it yourself”, but those words aren’t serving me here. Barb is tired of doing it herself and whatever we choose to do, the end result should bring happiness. My idea of happiness today is moments that resemble the feature photo of this post and to move toward the life we want means loosening the grip on the one we have.

The lesson here my beauties is…Before you take what you have to make it what you want, make sure it’s yours for the taking.

Relax and I’ll read this to you here:

P.S. I’m writing on Medium to encourage writers within my workplace and would love for you to join me there!

Feature Photo by Cody Black on Unsplash

A Season of Horrid

My mail lady is going through some changes with the postal service. The other day I asked her, “How are you doing?” and she said, “I’m making $6,000 a year less and doing the same work!” I wasn’t expecting that.

This week, I dropped a note in the mailbox for her along with a Starbuck’s gift card. I sat and stared at the blank piece of card stock for quite a while, pen in hand while trying to pluck the right words from my heart onto the paper, but then realized it didn’t need to be spellbinding. She would probably appreciate the gift card without a note, or a note with no gift card. As a writer, I get too caught up in the words and it prolongs the gesture.

Almost everyone who crosses our path is going through something horrid. On the surface they act like everything is fine, but by standing still as if waiting to hear more they’ll share deeper. It’s such sacred ground to stand on while someone is bearing their soul in our presence and all we need to do is listen.

All they need is to be heard. Saying the words out loud validates the feelings and often brings clarity long after I’ve walked away. Nothing stays the same for long and whatever you’re going through, it will pass, but while we’re in it, the situation looks and feels horrid. Don’t lose heart my lovely.

In order to clear the path, we may be asked to go through a season of horrid.

Learning to Rest

Recently, I took a 30-day hiatus from Blogging to give my words a rest. That’s what I’m learning about and it’s spilling over into other areas of my life. I’m even reading books about rest because I’ve never been good at it, but want to be.

Rest doesn’t mean napping the day away, but I used to think rest resembled a midday nap. Just like in this previous post, rest for me is not filling all the flower beds this Spring because that choice will bite hard come August. I should be working right now, but my list of tasks are light, so I took the morning off to move mindfully through my day and that feels restful.

I used to clean my house on Sunday afternoons to get it done before the work week, but that stopped. I’ve decided to use Sunday for what it was created for instead. I spent Sunday catching up with friends, sitting in nature, reading through my stack of books and cooked one more delectable dinner. This notion of rest began last December, but I am putting it to practice this year.

In December I read through a years worth of morning pages and a couple of journals, but there was one common theme written throughout. It read, “I am tired, today.” I don’t want to read that anywhere this December.

I’m finding that rest doesn’t mean do nothing, but to be very still in every action and listen to the heart. Rest is a close cousin to peace and there’s no better feeling, besides love, than harnessing continual peace while learning to rest.

I’ll happily read this to you here:

Feature Photo by Derek Liang on Unsplash