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Take the Leash

“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” – Leo Buscaglia

It’s been a wonderful week witnessing Abby and Sasha bond and become best of friends. There’s a glean in their eyes and bounce in their step. I’ve taken their lead as well.

When walking Abby and Sasha a few days ago, Abby started taking Sasha’s leash a block from home to guide her in. Today, Sasha started to do the same for Abby as well.  It was very sweet.

“Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.” – Herodotus

“Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.” – Herodotus

We are on this journey together and have the opportunity, perhaps even the obligation, to walk by each other’s side and guide each other home.

Be a good friend to those you know and kind to those who cross your path who may need a friend. Take the leash.

Simple Deep Bliss

“Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.” – Swami Sivananda

We so often think struggles linger forever and bliss is but a rare passing moment. Even in our struggles, we can find bliss. They co-exist. Yet, we can choose which one we will amplify, what tune we will dance to.

Things are settling down for me for the first time in a long while and new things are entering. But not completely, there are still moments of struggle. But I am not going to forebode bliss to anticipate and plan for struggle. Accept the bliss and keep it close to guide you through the struggle. It lives and breathes beside and within us.

When I lose the path to my bliss, I need not look far to be reminded of the joy found in daily life. A dog’s smile, a baby’s laugh, a heartfelt conversation with a trusted friend. These are the places of true, deep bliss amidst the simple moments in life. March in.

“Just think of any negativity that comes at you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“Just think of any negativity that comes at you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Fast and Slow

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Ellis

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

“Let us be grateful to people (dogs) who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

Sasha joined our family today. Abby is thrilled.

A year ago, I lost my Samoyed Molly and then in October, I lost my Golden Retriever Lily. I have been looking for a Samoyed for almost a year and when it fell through a couple of times, I got a Golden Retriever in December.

Abby will be nine months soon and Sasha is four months. When the opportunity came up a few weeks ago with a breeder, I couldn’t pass it up. It just felt right. The “rules” would say you shouldn’t get two puppies. Wait, it’s too soon.

The one thing that I’ve learned in the past year after losing my Dad and two dogs within 5 months of each other is that life is short and the rules we make up really don’t matter.

God works slow and fast, in His own time, which usually doesn’t align with our own. There have been days that have dragged and months and months of waiting. Seemingly for no reason at all, stuck in the waiting. And then suddenly, something new comes together rapid fire. The waiting comes to an end and we’re tossed into the next chapter of our life in a moment’s notice.

All that has come before brings us to this day, whether we can figure it out or not. So when we let go of our rules, stop trying to “outsmart” God and trust Him, we can enter fully into what is and be in grateful awe of this very moment.

Wild Thing

“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake

“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake

“Tell me what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

The innate beauty of wild flowers is their carefree nature and brilliant color. They bloom strong in tall grass and weeds, taking root and standing tall. Nothing snares them from fruition. Nothing and no one.

What’s holding you back? Your made up “rules and regulations” of what should be or should have been? What others think? Fear or worthiness?

Release the past and the future. Go uninhibited and with vigor into each moment and day, knowing that this is your one and only precious life. And stop asking permission to bloom.

Talk a walk on the wild side. Show your colors wild thing.

Catching Lightning

“Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.” – Samuel Butler

“Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.” – Samuel Butler

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

Lightning has been dancing in the skies for over an hour as storms take their time to roll in. It took me over 30 clicks to get this photo. It was a wonderful reminder to never quit and the wins come in the numbers, in consistently trying until that one time hits just right.

You are closer than you think. Keep going and trust that ongoing effort with time will create results. Lightning will strike. Catch some lightning.

Seed = Harvest

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa

I planted grass seed about 10 days ago. It’s starting to pop up, slowly. The first week, nothing. Kept watering and waiting and still nothing. Then I noticed more in the morning – it grew during the night. Now it’s filling in but still a bit patchy but working its way through the surface, taking root. More each day and getting stronger.

Plant some seeds and plan on some quiet waiting. The seed will take hold in due time, with water, light, darkness and of course patience. By all means, plant some seed, the only path to harvest.

“Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest.” – Ellen G. White

“Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest.” – Ellen G. White

Expectations

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

As we were finishing our walk in the woods, we heard the trees rustle. We looked quickly to the left and a beautiful deer popped her head up, mouth full of leaves. Startled at first, we gazed in awe in each other’s eyes for a minute and then quietly went on our way.

“If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.” – Heraclitus

“If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.” – Heraclitus

You never know what’s going to be around the next corner, on the path ahead. Assume good things are coming and open up to the “unexpected in common hours.”

Rejoice

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” – Eleonora Duse

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – Michel de Montaigne

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – Michel de Montaigne

I imagine that we will get to the end of our days and realize that we did not rejoice enough. Simple delight, arms up in the air, cognizant of the many opportunities for joy before us each day.

We will regret acts and words unsaid as well as the unkind ones that were spoken. What we considered so utterly important will fade to nothingness and the measure of our life will be how kind we were and how much we loved, unconditionally.

Rejoice today and carry on each day so when you look back it will be with a deep sense of gratitude and completion, knowing in your soul that the treasure of your life was well spent. Rejoice.

Oh So Ordinary Days

“Well, that’s what life is – this collection of extraordinarily ordinary moments. We just need to pay attention to them all. Wake up and pay attention to how beautiful it all is.” – Alexander Payne

It’s been five years since I’ve done a big yard project. Last week, I rented the roto tiller and tilled up the weeds along the side and back of the garage. Yesterday, I finished the resetting the block edging, Today, the rock and dirt were delivered. Seven hours later, the rock is in its place. Dirt spreading and grass seed is on the agenda tomorrow.

Five years ago, the project was tilling and sod after the back yard tree was removed with a crane. Today, the missing piece in this yard project was Dad. And it’s days like these that I miss him most. He would have gone with me to the rock store after he measured the area and did the calculation to get the exact amount of rock that I needed. He would have handed me the shovel and held down the landscape fabric. After we were done, we would go grab a beer and toast to getting the job done.

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” – Earl Nightingale

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” – Earl Nightingale

While I always appreciated the help, what I really valued the most was the easy conversation and time spent with my best friend and Dad. As I shoveled the rock into the wheel barrel today, I imagined Dad sitting in the adirondack chair just hanging out with me making the hard work enjoyable.

The daily moments and ordinary days are what we remember the most so don’t miss them while you are in the middle of them. Be present and deeply grateful for those oh so ordinary days.

Contradictions

“It’s a deep joy that comes from making intentional choices about how we’re going to live our lives despite our circumstances. Despite the darkness of our circumstances, joy does come in the morning.” – Laura Story, When God Doesn’t Fix It: Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can’t Live Without

One of my favorite musicians whose music speaks honestly and authentically to the heart and spirit is Laura Story. Her song Blessings shifts my narrow view every time. One line that stands out – “what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.” I am finishing her book on the many trials in her life and one concept hit the mark – “joy that contradicts circumstances.”

It’s easy to be upbeat and happy in the good times. It contradicts all we think we know doing the same when we are amidst the trials we all have. We should be downtrodden, we have reason, we have cause. But when we allow God’s joy to enter our hearts, it simply transcends all reason and is filled with contradictions. It’s simply unreasonable and unfathomable. And that’s why God doesn’t make sense and is the only thing that makes any sense at the same time.

Be unreasonable and radical. Choose joy that contradicts circumstances. Joy blooms every morning, breath the beauty in, accept joy.

“In contradiction and paradox, you can find truth.” – Denis Villeneuve

“In contradiction and paradox, you can find truth.” – Denis Villeneuve

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