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The Rainbow

“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.” – Lord Byron

“I’m continually inspired by nature, and the rainbow is one of nature’s greatest optical phenomenons. The sighting of a rainbow never fails to bring a smile to people’s faces. They signify optimism and positivity: with them comes the sunshine after the rain.” – Matthew Williamson

Suddenly, a rainbow peeked out of the clouds but for a few minutes. Brilliant hues of color, of hope, a whisper, “it’s going to be alright, breathe, trust, believe.”

As Dorothy discovered on her journey to Oz, joy, purpose and destiny are within us, not in some far off land. Return to yourself, to home in this very moment.

Find the rainbows and never, never, ever give up, ever. Trust in the waiting and wandering.

Over the Rainbow
by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg

“Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of
Dreams really do come true

Someday, I wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dare to
Oh why, oh why can’t I?”

 

Majestic

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the delight of life, which they are thenceforth to rule.” – Thomas Carlyle

The day before, the eagle swooped down low, wings open, floating on air with majesty. The next morning, he watched in the tree as the lake was smooth as glass, still and peaceful. Nature’s gifts are plenty, a generous spirit that demands awe and delight, majestic and steady whether in the storm or in the calm.

“There’s something overwhelming about being in raw nature. It’s got an aura about it is that is really kind of majestic and spiritual.” – Christopher Lloyd

A Good Tired

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir

It’s a good tired when fun, play and joy are the reasons. A few days away on a long weekend to restore, relax and hangout in nature. Liam greeted me with a bright smile and provided his usual master class on being authentically joyful in the present moment.

From wandering in the lake with his PJs on to throw ball for Abby to relaxing in the hammock to randomly saying “I love you” throughout the weekend, it was just what was needed. I brought a backpack of reading and “to do” items and did none of it. Thank goodness or I would have missed out on eye to eye contact, holding hands, waterskiing on glass and ATV-ing through the pine tree church of the woods.

When we get lost in busy, trapped in fear and spiraling in worry, the best answer is to return to nature, spend time with kids and dogs to relearn how to live well. Stop, play and enjoy each moment as it comes with anticipation and always with a “best-case scenario” perspective.

Breathe It In

“The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.”
― Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

Spring is full on with summer on its heels. Breathe in the bloom. Let go of the unnecessary to make room for what’s truly essential in the ordinary. Abundance, bloom, fullness. All present right in this very very moment.

“Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” – Epicurus

 

Behind the Clouds

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

The sun amplifies the depth and dimension of clouds. The sun always remains, sometimes in the forefront, sometimes from behind.

Anchor up to the light, to frivolous joy and irrational optimism. Anything less is not worthy of our time. We are so much bigger, deeper and brighter than we allow. Let go of your rules, your assumptions, your limitations. Live bigger, brighter and deeper. If not now, when?

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey

Other Side of the Fence

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

“Get busy watering your own grass so as not to notice whether it’s greener elsewhere.”― Karon Waddell

On our daily jaunt into the woods, I let the girls off leash to run full throttle. Abby chases balls in an open field trying to catch them on the first bounce and Sasha chases her. It brings a new joy to them each day like it’s the first time. Dogs and kids are experts on being fully present and aware of the moment at hand, or paw in this case.

When I threw one of the balls, it went over the barbed wired fence by the water tower. I threw the second ball but Abby was intent on the ball on the other side. She suddenly downgraded and became human, focusing on the other side while a ball was by right next to her and easily accessible. How often do we reach for something out of reach when the same and often better is right in front of us?

Wake up and see what’s in reach and embrace it with gratitude. If we don’t recognize the blessings that are already in front of us, it’s impossible to receive new blessings. The grass and the ball are not always greener on the other side.

Happy ending to the story – I decided not to scale the barbed wired fence, but my arm did fit underneath and Abby walked out of the woods with two balls in mouth. Big win.

Light Within

“Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Keep the flame inside burning. It’s the light that sustains and creates new beginnings. .

“O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.” – William Shakespeare

It is Well

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”― Julian of Norwich

A long walk on a summer-like evening with the girls and friends followed by fellowship, snacks and a few beverages closed the day in gratitude. As I drove home anchored in a state of ease, I thought of the old hymn, It is well with my soul.

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

When explanation, logic and sense making no longer make sense and we stop the “why” and “when” pursuit, we discover an acceptance and clarity of what we can control and that which we cannot And suddenly, it truly is well with our soul.

Each day, find a wellness in your soul and keep going. How we go through defines the experience of the journey. Choose light and joy.

“All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness.” – John Ruskin

Inside Out

“Look to the lilies how they grow!” – David Macbeth Moir

Like many public spaces, Como Conservatory is locked down. We often run/walk by to see if the windows are cracked so we can peer inside to see the beautiful flowers and breathe in the fragrance. Outside looking in.

Flowers, nature, friends, families, dogs, prayers, long walks and runs, music, poetry, fresh air are sources of light that have always filled us up. Our awareness of these blessings is more vivid now. Accept the good and the challenging days as they come anchored in hope. Find joy in ordinary moments, not looking too far back or too far ahead.

Look inside yourself with mercy and grace, see the beautiful flowers, take a deep breathe. Each one of us is doing the very best we can in this moment. It’s the first pandemic in our lifetime so there’s no script on how it should work. We have the strength, resilience and capacity to get to the other side so keep going, no matter what!

One of my favorite poems is Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese:

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

Go Easy

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

When your rules don’t make sense;

When you realize that your old stories are old;

When you are done with the BS;

When trying to make sense of that which makes no sense gets exhausting;

Stop;

Go easy on yourself, the world and circumstances;

Hold tight to sunrise and sunset,

To seasons;

To cycles;

To mystery;

To unknowing;

To resilience;

To light;

To strength, joy and delight in the ordinary.

Go easy.

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