Today’s Perfect Day

What Today’s Perfect Day Looks Like?

For me a perfect day is one that is completely of my making.

Full of promise and possibility.

I wake when I want to and sleep when I want to, never worrying about it being too early or too late.

Having some goals in mind but being loose about whether I do them or not.

A balance of getting the practical, responsible things done with the creative, fun or decadent.

Getting to the things I crave to do.

The wonderful feeling of never being rushed or pushed or pulled in any direction by myself or others.

The amazement of how good I feel and how much energy I have to accomplish so much

because I’m not fighting the tension and friction of obligations.

Of moving easily and effortlessly.

Of going with the flow.

Of checking in with myself and feeling what is right.

Time to myself.

In silence.

To hear and feel clearly what I need to do.

What I want to do.

Of deep, contented sighs

of satisfaction.

 

Oh, if I could be more like a tree on this Sunday morning

This is a beautiful post from one of my favorite blogs. Please visit Live & Learn by David Kanigan. Happy Sunday.

Live & Learn

See how the trees
Reach up and outward
As if their entire existence
Were an elegant gesture of prayer.
See how they welcome the breath of spirit,
In all its visible and invisible forms.
See how the roots reach downward and out,
Embracing the physical,
The body and bones
Of its soul of earth and stone,
Allowing half its life to be sheltered
in the most quiet and secret places.

Oh, if I could be more like a tree on this Sunday morning,
To feel the breath of invisible spirit
Touch me as tenderly as a kiss on the forehead.
If I could courageously and confidently
Dig down into the dark
Where the ground water runs deep,
Where shelter and sanctuary
Can be had and held.

Ah, to be like a tree
With all its bent and unbent places,
A whole and holy thing
From its topmost twigs
To the…

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The Gift of Snow Geese

First let me thank Myer Bornstein for giving me permission to use his wonderful photos. Please visit him at http://www.photobee1.com/#!/index to see more of his amazing work.

I’ve never been keen about winter. I just don’t want to deal with the extra stress that winter makes me feel. I keep trying to find good things about winter. Just last week I went on a nice long walk and really enjoyed the crisp air and the peaceful quiet. Of course that day it was almost 40 out, sunny and no wind or harsh weather to deal with. And I did find beauty and was thrilled to share some time with a hawk sitting on a branch next to the path.

The other day was one of those winter days that fills me with stress. I went to bed the night before knowing that I would either wake to snow, a mix of snow/sleet/ice/rain, or rain. I was really hoping for a snow day. Of course, adult snow days aren’t as magical because you know you still have bills to pay and shoveling to do. But I still hope for it.

It wasn’t to be. I woke to a couple of inches of slush. And it was raining on top of it all. There was none of the beauty of a pristine snowy morning. It a morning of grays and cold and damp. The worst. I resigned myself to the reality of slogging my way to work.

I shoveled and moved the slush to keep the rain water from seeping into the garage. And as I made drain paths down the driveway in the pouring, ice cold rain I kept thoughts at bay since there were no positive ones.

I can drive in snow and even find it kind of a fun challenge. I can drive in rain and usually my only annoyance is when people don’t slow down enough and I have to deal with their bad driving. But I have grown to be terrified of ice. I don’t care how many wheeled-drive you have, nothing is going to help you on a sheet of ice. Luckily I didn’t have to deal with that. Yet.

The drive to work was a mess. Lots of rivers of water on the roads and I watched the potholes growing before my eyes. After having to slow and/or stop for flooding and showers of slush as cars flew by the opposite way I finally made it to work.

My new waterproof boots have paid for themselves this winter as I tried to avoid the deepest of the puddles and slush. I got into the building, grabbed the shovel and ice melt and cleared the walks and ramp there. At least it wasn’t pouring anymore. Just a bone-chilling drizzle.

Finally, I got inside, soaking in the warmth of the heat, ready to have a nice day, only to hear that we were now under a Flash Freeze advisory. I don’t remember hearing that one before. Now people were rushing to get errands done before everything freezes. The kids were sent home early from school. The roads were still mini rivers. And my stress level was growing.

My wonderful boss lives a block away and said I could leave early. She would stay for the rest of the day. I secretly felt embarrassed at my cowardly fear but I wasn’t being proud that day. I left.

When I got in my car the thermometer said 35. Good. By the time I had driven only a few feet, the wind was gusting and the temperature dropped another degree. Now I just wanted to get home as quickly as I could. All I could focus on was beating the ice.

There was a lot of traffic in the usually sleepy rural area I drive through. Apparently word had gotten out and I wasn’t the only one hoofing it for home! The roads were marginally better than the morning but I was still busy keeping out of the deepest water and dodging the ever-growing potholes.

I reached the worst part of my commute which is a large, long, exposed hill that always drifts with snow, fills with rain water or freezes instantly. I felt like a reverse downhill skier dodging the obstacles all the way up. I made it to the top and the temperature was now 33.

Then something wonderful happened.

Copyright Myer Bornstein http://www.photobee1.com/#!/index

Snow Geese: Copyright Myer Bornstein http://www.photobee1.com/#!/index

There was a slight break in the clouds, the sun came out and my eyes were drawn above to a huge flock of Snow Geese. The sun was reflecting off of their bright white feathers, which were glowing and sparkling. They were flying against the gusts of wind, together as a beautiful community. The sudden bright light of them was breathtaking with the sky behind them almost black. I felt as if I had been given a wonderful gift. I kept sneaking quick glances at them while also keeping an eye on the road.

Copyright Myer Bornstein http://www.photobee1.com/#!/index

Copyright Myer Bornstein http://www.photobee1.com/#!/index

I felt my tension ease and I made it home safe and sound. Just ahead of the ice.

I am one of those people who believes in signs and always tries to find the meaning of things. I think things happen for a reason if we only choose to look and see.

Because I love the meanings of things I had to see what Snow Geese meant. The first sentence in a book I have about such things says, “This is a time of good fortune, so be receptive to and appreciative of all the good things that come to you.” And the last line says, “Even though it may not always appear to be so, you’re very well protected.”

I was. And I am.

I also try to find the good things in a day and yesterday was a dark one. Not only the weather but just trying to find my happy place inside.

I feel I was given a gift of beauty and life and hope. How perfect was that message?

I went through a typical evening and got into bed to read. By now I was very tired and trying not to think about the next day. I just needed to relax and sleep.

I decided to read Mary Oliver’s book “Why I Wake Early”. I find comfort in someone else who notices and enjoys the gifts of Nature and Life. I read two poems, turned the page and what was the next poem? Snow Geese! And her amazing words perfectly matched my experience earlier in the day.

What an amazing gift for me. I read the poem over and over again. And I just reread it now.

It doesn’t matter where or how gifts like this arrive. What matters is that I am open to receiving and appreciating them when they do.

And I am grateful.

The Gift of This Day

I rarely take a day like this and I am very grateful for it.  I hope you can take a little time to relax and enjoy the gifts of your day.

 

The gift of this day

is not lost upon me.

The entire day to do as

I please.

Despite the gentle prodding

of the shoulds.

I am gently pushing them

back,

for now.

 

I am balancing the first

load of laundry

now hung on the line

with the pure pleasure

of reading poetry

from a borrowed book

while sitting on my porch.

 

The screen allowing me

to relax with no fear

of an insect’s bite.

The luxury of watching

Nature float, twitter,

flutter, and inch by

like the words

that land here

on the page.

 

I am immensely

grateful for

the gift of this day.

Sunday Reflection

 

Isn’t going to church
meant to contemplate
how I’m doing
on my spiritual journey?

Isn’t sitting on my porch
taking the time to reflect
on the gifts of my life
the same thing?

In church I listen to the
voice of the preacher
surrounded by people who
have the same beliefs.

Sitting in meditation
I listen to my inner voice
surrounded and embraced
by all of Spirit.

Isn’t it all the same?

Writing Update for July

Since I can’t come up with anything poetic or terribly creative today, I’m just going to post an update about what I’m doing with my writing. Hopefully it won’t bore you too much but it helps me keep accountable and stay on track.

In the past week I have written six poems. If you read my previous post, you will see that I have no idea if they are any good but for some reason I had to write them. 

Poetry Books

Poetry Books (Photo credit: chillihead)

I also wrote another entire scene for the longer piece of fiction that I’ve been working on for a while but had been stuck on. The reason I managed to get unstuck was because of a couple of things.

One is that I left it alone for a while to give myself time to ruminate on it. Sometimes if I just let things simmer in the back of my mind, without looking directly at it, I’ll come up with a spark that will get me going again. I wasn’t getting any sparks so unfortunately, I let it sit for longer than I had planned, but in the end this seemed to work out okay.

Second, I went to a virtual conference about teen books for work (it was pretty neat and I have to admit that I geeked out a little! See the link below to find out who was there.) and there were web casts of various authors discussing their books, their writing as well as taking questions from the participants. One of the authors said in his advice about getting un

Smiley face 2

Smiley face 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

stuck with your writing (I really perked up at this since I felt like he was addressing my issue!) was to go back and read what you already have. Often, you will find something there that you may not have paid attention to that will show you where to go next. So that’s what I did and sure enough, I got going again! It feels good to be moving forward on that story again.

What do you do to get unstuck with your writing?

I also forced myself to do some market research. I have a short story that I thought would be a perfect match for a publication I’ve submitted to before, but discovered that they are closed to submissions right now. So, I figured it was time to explore some new places to submit to. And I did. I’ve written before about how much time this takes but it’s a necessary chore to make sure I’m sending my writing to places where it stands a chance of getting published. I don’t want to waste my time or the editors’ time at the other end. That just bogs everyone down.

Does anyone have any tips on making market research easier? Or other great places to find markets?

So that’s my update. I hope you didn’t find it too boring and maybe there was something helpful for you?

Thank you, as always, for reading.

 

 

Word Spilling

Do you ever have times when everything you experience, see, hear, taste, touch and smell seems to spark words that have to be written? The words have to get out or they will spill out inappropriately from the pressure.

This morning was one of those times. I had the rare gift of uninterrupted time today and took advantage of it.

I started today early by sitting outside in my screened-in porch. This was the first day that I’ve been able to in a while because it has been so stinking hot and humid outside. I had my cup of tea, my notebook and a poetry book.

I had the luxury of just sitting and being. Of watching the birds taking turns in the birdbath, hearing the cicadas warming up with the day and sat through a gentle rain shower. What is it about sitting outside that inspires me to write?

I read a couple of poems which also inspires my thoughts. From there, I was writing.

I let myself get lost in my words and thoughts. I let them float around, eventually forming into coherent ideas. I grabbed my notebook to release the words that were filling me up.

I intended to write a journal entry to catch up on the last week or so but instead ended up writing poetry. Now, I have to confess that I really don’t know much about poetry so I have no idea whether it is any good or not. What I do know is that the words flowed easily and came from my soul. And having reread them, hours later, I’m satisfied with them.

Some day I may share them. Or not.

Do you have days when you have to write? Or create in some way? I would love to hear your experience.

 

April Has Been National Poetry Month

I paid more attention to poetry this month than I have in the past. I was exposed to more poetry and have learned a lot.

There was a poem in your pocket day where there was a small wooden tree with different poems hanging from each branch. You could pick a poem from the tree and keep it with you all day. You could memorize it if you wanted to. You could just pull it out of your pocket and read it all day. A nice way to enjoy a poem.

I learned more about the many forms of poetry. Poems that rhyme and poems that don’t rhyme. Poems that when written take the form of the words the poem is about. Most poems are really meant to be read out loud. The sound of a voice reading or reciting the words has a beauty of its own.

I even participated in reading a poem in two voices. I hadn’t heard of this before but once I pushed past my comfort zone and did it, I found it really fun. The sound of it was fascinating. I will need to look into this some more!

I was inspired by listening to a poetry activity for children. No rules. Be creative. I watched two little girls have fun creating poems with no self-consciousness and was amazed at how wonderful they were.

In my writing group one of the women gave us a poetry writing exercise to do. Her advice was to not take poetry or yourself too seriously. Then we discussed whether you can really critique a poem.

I have even written a little poetry in honor of April being National Poetry Month. It’s terrible poetry but at least I tried.

I know I’ve only touched upon the surface of poetry but it was fun. I look forward to learning more.

Did you participate in National Poetry Month? Do you write poetry? Do you think it can be critiqued or should we just try it and decide for ourselves if we like a poem or not? What really makes something a poem?