“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.” – Kailash Satyarthi
It was a two-plow snow yesterday. As the snow softly and slowly fell into the night, the wind did its work to create beautiful sculptures. This is the kind of snow made for childhood fun. The fort-making type to be sure. It stops and detaches you from the complexities of the day to enter into the playground and gallery of nature.
Like it was last week, I remember the delight when a snow day was declared. We geared up in polyester snow suits, hats, mittens and moon boots to make our way out to create our own sculptures of snowmen and angels in the fresh frozen fluff. Skating for hours, sliding down dead man’s hill until dark.
A serious snow that keeps you in the house until they plow the streets and that you snow blow the driveway a few times to keep ahead of it. And, of course, right when you are done, the snowplow drives by and creates a two foot barrier of heavy thick snow that triggers the snow blower again.
Adrift for but a while to be transported back to the simplicity and delight of childhood. To that feeling that remains in us and need only be awakened with a beautiful deep snow. A place to return to often even without the snow.
Nature. Art. Play. Joy. Adrift.
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver
Advent, the season of waiting, of anticipation, of long moments leading up to promises fulfilled. Slow down this busy season and engage in the waiting, grow your depth of patience and attention. In the waiting, we hear our own voice. In the waiting, silence fills the void with answers to be heeded.
Nature knows how to wait, to rest, to furl, to follow, to lead, to flow with the seasons. Find pockets of quiet and solitude each day so the fullness of each moment can unfold as the noise subsides. And the most precious sacred gift of awe is opened.
“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.” – John Muir
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell
Hope is the unbroken promise of what is to be in the passage of time, at the right time. Never, never, never give up hope for the best tomorrow. The fullness of time, trust and faith merge together to create our becoming. And in the waiting, in the building of patience, pursue joy beyond understanding and never give into despair. You are right where you are meant to be right now.
Our regrets will be centered on not enjoying moments in each day as they present themselves, even in difficult times. Full bloom comes with rain, sun and time. Full bloom, the fruition of hope. Choose hope and give permission to others to do the same.
“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” – Bernard Williams
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action” – Meister Eckhart
Sometimes doing nothing is everything. Time for reflection, no rushing, just being. We spend down our “back account” unaware until we are depleted. Withdraw after withdraw, going faster, winding up nowhere, running on empty.
Take it off autopilot and take back the wheel of your days. Start planting, making deposits each day so you can harvest a good life.
No planting, no harvest.
“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.” – R Richard Bach
I have been seeing more butterflies lately, or perhaps I am noticing them more as they awaken me to be present in the moment. God whispers through butterflies, through a soft breeze and in the brilliant colors of fragrant wild flowers. We need only be quiet to take notice and hear the roar of whispers that surround us, calling us deeper.
We so often believe the lies in the noise of this world and discount the silence. That’s what distractions are meant to do. To lead us away from our true north, to guide us down a path not of our own.
Break out of your cocoon and allow the transformation of the caterpillar to unfold. We are called to flight, to dance softly and gently in the sky. To release the bindings of the earth and taste heaven before our time.
“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
“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.
“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.
“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
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.”
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” – Anne Lamott
Walking after the much-needed rain, I thanked God for a good weekend, more accurately for the grace to notice that it was a good one. We pray for what we think we need or lack rather than being grateful for what we already have. Grace brings discernment. We suddenly become astutely aware of what’s authentic and what we already have present in our life in this very moment.
When the clanging noise of the world tells us we need more and we are not enough, we are quietly held as God waits patiently for us to take notice. Give way to awe and praise for what already is.
“My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pads, round and green, these places summoned and then held me up while I grew. Each prepared me for the next leaf on which I would land, and in this way I moved across the swamp of doubt and fear.” – Anne Lamott
“It is a great art to saunter.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Every day brings new choices.” – Martha Beck
It was hot today so Abby and I sauntered once around Como Lake. In our sauntering, we came upon the same bunch of flowers we that we run past again and again. This time, they jumped up and down in brilliant deep purple calling us to stop and take it all in.
Familiarity brings comfort and ease, a feeling of being home. We often take for granted that which is most familiar, seeing past what’s right in front of us in hot pursuit of whatever we so frantically chasing.
Spend some time, each and every day, sauntering more. You never know what will jump out to embrace you and pull you deep into gratitude and delight.