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Aloof to Tender

“With the delicacy of a flower,
love tames the most aloof hearts.”― Augusto Branco

“Kindness is not the same as niceness, or putting our heads in the sand, or avoiding conflict. It is acknowledging that no life is as it seems on the surface. It is understanding that we never know all the layers in a life, and choosing to speak and act from that difficult gray place in all of us.”― Kerry Egan, On Living

The delicacy of a flower.
The immensity of a mountain.
The light of the sun.
The softness of a summer breeze.
The depth of the ocean.
The expanse of the sky.
The flow of a river.
The strength of a tree.
Love harnesses, tames, frees, multiplies, deepens, spreads, expands, heals, creates.
Root, anchor, move with love, kindness, compassion.
Self, others, the world.
Melting aloof into tender.

“Love your neighbor, even the ones who do not show you the same courtesy. You can’t expect to receive love if you’re selective and not really willing to give it. What you put into the world, you will indeed get back, even if it’s not from the person you’re expecting it to be.”― Alexandra Elle, Words from a Wanderer

Journey Wisely

“From wonder into wonder existence opens.” – Lao Tzu

“The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.”― Alexandra Elle

May you experience fresh joy, brilliant light, holy ease.
Pursuing wonder in ordinary days.
The burst of a flower.
The crunch of the snow beneath your feet.
The dance of nature.
The symphony of sky.
A shift in attention, a deepening, a quieting.
Transformation and expansion from wonder to wonder.
Filling the space between sunrise and sunset with delight, awe in the details and the vastness.
Inquire. Observe. Anchor.
Till the garden of grace and gratitude.
Sacred ground.

“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel


“keep fresh before me the moments of my high resolve.”― Howard Thurman

“Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.” – Bertolt Brecht

From winter solstice to now, light is lingering longer.
Now seen, felt, noticed.
Sunset in December: 4:39 pm.
Sunset today: 5:22 pm.
Slow start – four minutes total between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Steady increase – after New Year’s, exponential jump to two minute per day.
Growth zone – gaining three minutes per day by February 20.

Light, always there, returning in its own time, awaiting our attention.
Our noticing.
Beauty, color, joy woven throughout each day.
Our noticing.
In slivers, slices, thin spaces, overflowing and abundant with wonder and awe.
Our noticing.
Threads to fabric to cloth to tapestry, pieces to patterns.
Our noticing.

Hone your senses, your noticing skills.
Pull back, zoom in.
Savor, delight, steep.
A shift, a tilt, a different angle.
Seeing the same in a new way.
In the pause, in the lingering, in the noticing.
Moments of high resolve.

“Silence is the eloquence of the wise.”― Augusto Branco

A Necessary Joy

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”― Søren Kierkegaard

“Scatter as a prayer
escaping my lips…
as orchids
blooming in clouds.”― Sanober Khan, A Thousand Flamingos

A simple shift from changing others and circumstances to self.
Responding to what’s in our realm of influence.
The same becomes new.
An invitation and opening rather than rejection and judgment.
A loving response to broaden, widen, deepen.
Belonging, forgiving, unbinding.
Open arms and heart to embrace beauty, awe and wonder.
Available in abundance, in our reach each day.
Reverence, communion, a necessary joy taking flight, blooming in clouds.
Be held and set free here, taking root in holy ground of the present moment.
Rich soil, vibrant bloom.

“He imagines a necessary joy in things that must fly to eat.”― Wendell Berry

Mission Fun, Accomplished

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” – Dr. Seuss

“Success is not like a cake that needs to be divided. It’s more like a heap of stones – a cairn. If someone is successful, they add a stone to the cairn. It gets very high and can be seen from all over the world. That’s how I see it.” – Maeve Binchy

By lunch the temperature broke 10 degrees.
An invitation to get some fresh air and crisp sun.
A sliver of warm sandwiched before the next dip.
After five days of mall walking, invitation accepted.
The girls needed to get out to chase some joy too.
Without delay, recess is in session.
Mission Fun for 30 minutes triggered.
From one end of the wooded park to the other, ball chasing and frolicking with other dogs who got the same invitation to the party.
Walking the hill to the car, Abby proudly carried all three balls she came with.
Gently placing them down, she created a tennis ball cairn.
Cairn is a Gaelic term meaning “heap of stones.”
There are several meanings to cairn in different cultures across centuries.
Balance, marking, peace, prayer.
All seem to fit our quick adventure.
Mission Fun, accomplished.
Take a recess or two and go stack some fun today.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

A Hundred Spring

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”― Claude Monet

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Change the scenery.
Go a different direction.
Wander and wonder.
Off trail for a bit.
No doing, completing, checklists.
Substance over transaction.
A clearing, an open field.
Colors pop and burst.
Fresh air clears the residue.
Pause and dwell.
A slowing, softening, deepening.
Reset, recalibrate in rest, in pondering not pining.
Allow, invite, welcome.
A hundred spring unfolding.
Witness and participate.

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”― Edna St. Vincent Millay

“Surely the flowers of a hundred spring are simply the souls of beautiful things!”― L.M. Montgomery, The Watchman and Other Poems

A Little Bird, Broken Out of the Egg

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”― Robert Lynd

“Pan, who and what art thou?” he cried huskily.
“I’m youth, I’m joy,” Peter answered at a venture, “I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg.”― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

A lunch trip to the Como Conservatory to get a taste of the tropics in 10 below harvested a lot of beautiful flower pictures that will make their way into posts over the next few weeks.
On the way out, I noticed the door to the tropics room that I’ve never seen before so I wandered in.
Birds dancing about, water flowing, green ablaze.
A field trip, a recess, a playground of wonder and beauty.
You don’t have to pack your bags and get on a flight.
Find the silence, adventure and color in ordinary days and knit them tightly into the fabric of your being.
A conservatory, museum, a class await your arrival.
No permission slip required.
Awe guaranteed.

“Without birds, where would we have learned that there can be song in the heart?”― Hal Borland

Angel Wings

“Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.”― Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart

“In the stillness of quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.”― Howard Thurman

From stillness, an arising and awakening.
From reflection, an anchoring and tethering.
From quiet, a whisper of strength, courage, hope.

From the heart, a deepening and connection to a wellspring of love.
Brushed and brushing, the wisp an angel’s wing.
Joy and peace remembered, renewed.
Trailing beauty catches up.

“It is curious how one’s cup may be filled up by another and no words are passed to indicate the process that is taking place. . . It was as if, for a moment, I had been brushed by the angel’s wing.”― Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart

Same Landscape, Fresh Eyes, New Horizon

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”― Lao Tzu

“There is no wealth but life.” – John Ruskin

Leave space and margin today.
For discovery and unknowing.
For seeking and searching.
Unfamiliar in the familiar.
The question behind the question.
The place beneath the surface.

For wonder and awe.
For serendipity and surprise.
For expansion and deepening.
For nuance and hue.
For color and symphony.
For belonging and home.

Invite, allow, embrace.
Put down, pick up, tread softly.
Compose, create, connect.
A holy ease, sacred ground.

Imagination and luminosity.
Light and shadow.
Contour and dimension.

No calculating, counting, or comparing.
Suspend opinion, assumption and judgment.
Narrative, story, unfolding.
Swept up in the current, flow, tide.

Same landscape, fresh eyes, new horizon.
Brimming in abundance.
Spilling over into joy.

“I may not know
What a day may bring
But I know
Who brings the day.” – Miracle Power Lyrics by We the Kingdom


“The insight and wisdom we gain in our journey through love and suffering is transformational and enduring.” Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms

“You may not control life’s circumstances, but getting to be the author of your life means getting to control what you do with them.”― Atul Gawande, Being Mortal

On the path.
Curves, hills, detours.
May you look up, around, ahead.
Wander off trail.
Slowing to see and absorb the full rich view, scenery and beauty.
Seeking and finding joy and delight in ordinary days.
Peace and endurance in struggle.
Blessings in the burdens.
Gratitude and patience in the mystery and unknowing.
Awe and wonder to author your life well.

“The battle of being mortal is the battle to maintain the integrity of one’s life—to avoid becoming so diminished or dissipated or subjugated that who you are becomes disconnected from who you were or who you want to be.”― Atul Gawande, Being Mortal

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