“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus
As the spring tries to break the final grip of winter, a cold wind rustles the leaves free from the thawing ground. The perfect scenario to chase the floating leaves down the path. And Abby takes up the challenge to pursue each one with vigor and focus.
How simple. Mere happiness in the moment, in pure being. Plenty of leaves to chase.
“I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” – Marla Gibbs
Life can feel so random at times. We lose sight of the present in search of an illusive destination. Each day we are unfolding into our purpose. Even the detours and delays serve their purpose. Be as grateful in the waiting as you are in the receiving.
Pay attention to today and invest your effort and passion to do your very best now. A miracle is on the sidewalk approaching your door when you least expect it. Get busy living fully and life will come alive.
“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” – Henry David Thoreau
Perhaps our biggest preventable regret will be realizing all that we had but missed. Not what we didn’t pursue, not far of lands that we didn’t travel to, but who and what was right in front of us that we didn’t fully see or appreciate.
A good friend of mine has a tattoo on her arm “open your eyes.” It’s a wonderful daily reminder to not look too far ahead and to learn from what has been so we are not fully sighted yet blind to the very present blessings in our life right in this very moment. The sunrise, the sunset, a drop of rain, a laugh, an embrace, the fragrance of a bud. Look around, open your eyes, all of your senses and take it in.
While in San Antonio for a conference last week, I passed a statute called “Homeless Jesus” in front of St. Mary’s Church in downtown. It stopped me in my tracks. How many times have I passed a real person on a bench and just kept going, touched slightly perhaps but not moved to stop?
When we don’t put the label of “other” on others, we find the source of compassion deep within that we’ve silenced in a hurried world. We appease ourselves with “it’s the church’s or the government’s job” to take care of them. We are the church, we are the government. And while a program will attend to the basic needs, human connection and dignity go to the heart of a human being who somehow ended up on a bench.
Whether on a bench or in the coffee shop, many people are struggling to merely get through the day. Don’t race by those who cross your path without noticing and being kind. If you do, you may miss Jesus.
So many “Amen” moments are generously offered to each one of us every day, no matter what we are going through. Don’t miss one more and allow deep gratitude to penetrate the armor of your busy-ness.
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo
My great nephew Liam who’s six months old actually smiles when I sing, so naturally, I sing. I downloaded a few show tunes this week to add some “depth” to my performances of made-up songs – Singing in the Rain, Good Morning and Oklahoma. A little Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds go a long way.
Music, art, prose pull us beyond our routine daily-ness to a higher calling of simple delight and soulful connection. Feeling out of sorts? Pick up an umbrella and start dancing and singing in the rain.
For some reason I didn’t bring my phone when I took Abby for a walk this morning. We went down to the playground a few blocks from our house on the way back. As we walked quietly, three deer came out from the woods 20 feet away. Abby sat and watched as the leader leapt with ease and grace and the other two followed with joy and delight.
I believe in signs and signals. My thoughts immediately went to seeing Dad, Molly and Lily coming down from heaven for a brief moment to let me know there’s more. There’s more to this life and there’s more, so much more after we leave. Sure puts things in perspective.
I’ve been struggling with a few things lately. Probably making them bigger than they should be or avoiding them for a long time and they are showing themselves telling me to deal with them now. For so many years, Dad was my sounding board to talk through things, kindred spirits who could say anything to each other. I’ve been missing that every day.
Seeing the three deer this morning reminded me that he remains with me and whatever decisions that I make will be based on years of our conversations and how he shaped so much of who I am today.
In lieu of not capturing a photo on my phone of the three amigos in the woods this morning, I am posting one of my favorite photos of Dad. One that shows a youthful joy, free from the weight of this life and the weight we put on ourselves in this life.
There’s more. Delight in it. Every single day.
As I walked past my bookshelf, this old plaque on the shelf stood out – Footprints. It’s probably 25 years old and one of my favorites. I gave a more modern version to my nephew and his bride last month for one of their wedding gifts because it is a poignant reminder that when we are struggling, feeling alone, and there’s only one set of footprints, we are being carried.
God sends people (and dogs, maybe cats) to carry us. And when we are on steady ground again, we are called to carry others as well. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, this life remains a beautiful mystery filled with blessings every single day. Never alone. Cast light today.
“I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
In the midst of it all, in the heat of the moment, we see only the height of the mountain, the width of the rift, the depth of the valley. Time and its companion patience eventually bring a fresh perspective, new priorities. We find our perseverance, grit, faith and strength to overcome, to withstand, to rise once again.
Life is often a series of starting again, getting up once more. But it is never starting over or from the very beginning. The journey, places, circumstances and people along the path, bring us to a new beginning, whether we realize it or not. We are moving forward to where we should be, never frozen in place.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”- Muhammad Ali
If today was less than expected, if you are in the middle of the desert parched and searching for the oasis, it will come in due time. In due time, all starts anew. Spring comes and melts it all into the river of life.
“Man is a thinking reed, but his great works are done when he is not calculating and thinking. ‘Childlikeness’ has to be restored … Perhaps this is why it is said that great poetry is born in silence. Great music and art are said to arise from the quiet depths of the unconscious, and true expressions of love are said to come from a source which lies beneath words and thoughts.” – W. Timothy Gallwey
We need to restore the art of play so we can get to the flow of life as it is meant to be. It’s a loud world, busy with busy-ness and not much substance. Take back your day and hit the brakes on the urgent and unimportant. Like water, like a child, easy and light.
We need some more great poetry, music and art.