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Posts from the ‘Summer’ Category

Nectar to Honey

“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” – Saint Francis de Sales

“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” – Saint Francis de Sales

Joy is a choice and our highest calling. When we can find joy each day, despite our circumstances, we have found the sweet nectar of a good life filled with gratitude. Float lightly in search of nectar and the honey will follow.

Aaah and Awe

“Awe is the finest portion of mankind …In awe, one feels profoundly the immense.” – Goethe

“Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.” – Darrell Hammond

Watching the kids jump off the bus today brought me back to those days in May filled with anticipation of school getting out for the summer. The excitement of hanging out with friends, swimming, biking and carefree days. Just pure ease that summer demands.

So often, we appreciate days and moments the most in the rear view mirror rather than when we are in the midst of them. As you move into these sweet days of summer, be present and aware while you are in them, tune out the noise. Pay attention to moments rather than fictional “some days.”

Take long walks, enjoy an ice cream cone, read a book or take a nap in one of those adirondack chairs or hammocks that are always empty. This day, this moment is the substance, depth and breadth of life.

Get on the bus.  The journey is the destination.

Cutting the Lawn in Winter

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” – Albert Camus

Mid-April and 17+ inches of snow in Minnesota this past weekend. No doubt, it has been one long winter that continues on. Circumstances, other people, the weather take up too much of our time. We lament and try to change things that we can’t change. In the midst of this effort, we are missing out on our life.

It’s pretty simple, yet we’ve made it hard. We either hibernate or we find the invincible summer inside and burst out into the world, regardless of what’s in our peripheral vision. Our ability to focus our attention and time on what’s important and of meaning has never been more important.

If 17 inches of snow can defeat us, we need to work on our resilience and more importantly our sense of humor needs some exercising. Flex your joy muscles today and bring summer to the winters that surround you, even in July. However, I am not convinced that snow is not possible in July based on this past winter. Bring it on!

Sometimes, you need to get the lawnmower out in the snow.

A Good Grass Stain

“There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.” – Thomas Jefferson

“There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Breathless, we flung us on a windy hill, Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.” – Rupert Brooke

You know you’re having fun when you have a grass stain on your head and a smile ear to ear. When is the last time you had a good grass stain and a hearty smile? Too long for me I must say.

Lighten up and take it all with a bit less seriousness. Too much worry, too much work and no play makes our days drudgery.  Our regrets will center on not being in the moment when it was happening and realizing the joy that was ours for the taking. “Someday” is an excuse to put off your life.

Schedule time each day to search out a good grass stain and a smile that sprouts from within.

Saunter

“It is a great art to saunter.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Every day brings new choices.” – Martha Beck

“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.

Toast

“Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.” – Garrison Keillor

One of my favorite memories of the Minnesota State Fair is my parents coming out on Sunday after the 5k Milk Run, listening to music and having a beer or two with my friends. Yesterday was the first one without Dad, so we toasted the good memories and the good life we have even when it’s difficult.

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge

True friends show up in the difficult times as well as for the toasts to honor people who remain with us even when they are gone.

Toast your life today and those who are in it right now. It is a good life. We need only open our eyes and see the light.

Simple Beauty

“A flower’s appeal is in its contradictions — so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect.” – Terri Guillemets

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard De Nerval

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard De Nerval

Simple beauty surrounds and waits patiently to be noticed each day, to be taken in. The flower is drawn up and held by the light and so must we.

 

It’s Just the Battery

“The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one’s self to destiny.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

My scooter, aptly named the Buddy, has been sitting in the garage collecting dust, not starting for the past three summers. Each summer I kept charging the battery and it wouldn’t start. Thinking there was a bigger problem, l let it sit to deal with it later. Later never came.

“I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair.” – Evel Knievel

“I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair.” – Evel Knievel

Realizing summer is winding down, I picked up a new battery this week to see if it could be as simple as that. When I tried to start it, nothing but it sounded different than before. I tried again and again but no spark. Not wanting to drain the new battery, I tried the manual kick start. Two, three, four…and seven was the lucky kick. Tentative, the engine sputtered. After a moment, I revved the engine and a puff of black smoke came out, clearing three years of idleness out of the engine.

More confident that it wouldn’t kill, I headed down the street, gradually picking up speed. After a few times around the block, I went full throttle, wind in my face, claiming victory with a few hoots and hollers. The Buddy rides again! As I pulled her back in the garage, I turned her off and then on again just to be sure. Fired right up.

Sometimes, many times, we make a bigger deal of things and hesitate to try and take action, even one step. We put it off until later and later never comes, only regret for not trying. Our mind is a powerful creation – it can hold us back or when we align it with our heart, it can propel us into endeavors we’d never dare. We risk disappointment and dive in with great abandon.

Most of the time, it’s something as simple as replacing the battery, nothing more. Start changing some batteries, dive in and enjoy life.

Summer Delight

“You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life.” – Daisnku Ikeda

I’m still waiting for a “slow” summer. In the past week, I’ve heard several times from others that they can’t believe it’s the 4th of July already, half of the year over. Summer calls out the best in us, inviting us deep and long into each day. We take it a little easier, walk a little lighter.

On Monday evening, Jeanne and I went for a run at Como Lake. The weather shifted quickly so we cut the run short and snuck into the pavilion for a water that turned into a beer. As we listened to live big band music and watched some dancing, the skies opened wide and the rain pounded the pavement. As soon as the down pour started, three little kids rushed out of the shelter into the rain and through puddles with pure joy and delight, without hesitation.

Kids and dogs don’t overthink or complicate their life. They just live it and every damn moment of it. As you celebrate independence day, may we all find the freedom that our four legged friends and little ones have mastered.

Summer, kids and dogs are calling. Heed the call.

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France

Long Slow Summer

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…” ― Susan Polis Schutz

As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow. - A. C. Benson

As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow. – A. C. Benson

To a cool breeze that touches the soul. To the warm sun that ignites delight. To long walks that stop time. Awe found, slowly and deeply. Summer amplifies our blessings with vibrant colors, sweet fragrances and the music of nature. Summer frees us to live by the moment, present and aware.

Go slow summer, go slow.

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