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Posts tagged ‘Golden Retriever’

Keep Going, Growing and Gratitude-ing

“Love is the beauty of the soul.” – Saint Augustine

“In the second half of life, we do not have strong and final opinions about everything, every event, or most people, as much as we allow things and people to delight us, sadden us, and truly influence us.”― Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Abby is my birthday buddy today. Born 7 years ago. I begin the last year of another decade moving well into the second half of life, assuming longevity. We don’t know what happens or when it will happen. So steep in this day alone and be present to what is right now. Not lingering in the past or moving too far into the future.

The past 7 years have been a long season filled with joy and loss, change and transformation, being stretched and pulled, made new from many things I wouldn’t choose. Loss of parents, dogs, aunt and the grief that follows and remains. Gain of five great nephews and delight and hope overflowing from children. An unexpected and necessary career change. Good friends. Caregiving. Two marathons. Cancer diagnoses for family members (ugh and heavy sigh). A three plus year pandemic woven through it all. Resilience, grit and gratitude.

Any advice from it all?

Keep going.
Take full count – more blessings than burdens, sometimes they are the same.
There’s compound interest in loving well.
Be present in each day.
Ordinary days are ripe with joy, laughter and delight if you choose to see and partake.
Don’t become your job, making it your identity.
You are bigger than what you do.
Diversify. Try new things.
I’m two months into guitar lessons and love being a beginner and struggling to improve slowly with practice and fortitude.
Keep learning.
Life is in the little things.
Small exchanges with friends and family.
Sticking when times get tough.
Forgiveness required and imperfection a staple.
Believe in something bigger than yourself.
My name for this something bigger is God.
Pause, pray, praise.
Faith, grace, hope required daily.
Someday is today.
Always get the squeaky yellow tennis balls – the best for ball chasing and shredding (Abby’s insight)
Know what you stand for not just what you are against. Focus on that.
Work and pray for things to get better – it’s not the government or the “other guys” job.
Give up cynicism and criticism – dead end road and merely adding to the noise.
Be generous and kind.
Laugh a lot and allow tears to release and heal.
Love is the journey and the destination.
When all else fails, keep choosing love.
Life keeps happening – be a participant, not a spectator.
May you keep going, growing and gratitude-ing (just made this word up – gratitude is a verb – put it in action)
And don’t forget to celebrate.
Happy birthday Abby and me.

“Wholly unprepared, we embark upon the second half of life. Or are there perhaps colleges for forty-year-olds which prepare them for their coming life and its demands as the ordinary colleges introduce our young people to a knowledge of the world? No, thoroughly unprepared we take the step into the afternoon of life; worse still we take this step with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.”― C.G. Jung

Imperfect Present

“Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.”― C.S. Lewis

“We spend most of our lives striving so hard
to earn our own permission to be at rest
where we are— when we could have done it all along.”― Ivan M. Granger

We keep hunting.
Fishing for one more thing.
For some fictional state called “when.”
“When” is now.
Not in the past or in some distant future.
It is right in the middle of the imperfect present.
In unexpected places.
In the midst of difficulties and frustrations.
Woven in moments through the day.
At rest where we are.
Overflowing in abundance.
We just need to put on new glasses.
Look closer.
Different expectations, different outcomes.
Not our definitions, rules or confinements.
Bigger, broader, deeper.
Ordinary days. Beauty abounds. Hidden right in front of you.

“What the heart recognizes
as liberation,
the ego sees
as theft.”― Ivan M. Granger

Slow and Easy

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” – Eddie Cantor

“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way.”― Rollo May

Slow down.
Let your imagination saunter and wander.
Allow quiet spaces to hear your own voice.
Anchor in today.
See beauty and light.
There’s fun to be had.
Play to partake in.
Slow and easy.

“What if imagination and art are not frosting at all, but the fountainhead of human experience?”― Rollo May

The Good Things

“Animals praise a good day, a good hunt. They praise rain if they’re thirsty. That’s prayer. They don’t live an unconscious life, they simply have no language to talk about these things. But they are grateful for the good things that come along.” – Mary Oliver

“Beauty is whatever gives joy.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay

Acknowledge the struggle.
Move through it.
Be patient, especially with your harshest critic, yourself.
Invite and welcome joy to come alongside to lighten the load.
Find delight in simple things.
Holding it all.
Praise and prayer.
Gratitude in the sighs.
Life spins us around.
Take a foothold in joy.
Rejoice in the strands of beauty woven through this very day.

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” – Eleonora Duse

Open Window Day

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

“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” – E. M. Forster

Open the windows.
Put your head out.
Feel the wind on your face, flowing through your hair.
Seize joy at every turn.
Pursue delight in simple acts.
Breath in the fresh air.
Clear the clutter from your thoughts.
Enjoy this day and all that is offers.
There’s wonder, awe and frolic in reach.

“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.” – Leo Buscaglia

Dog Days

“Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon.” – C. Day Lewis

“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”― Jack London

An invitation daily to delight, play and wonder.
Dive in.
Accept the invitation.
Let these days in.
Live not merely exist.
The proper function of man and dog.
Hear and dance to the song of summer.

“Every day has a story to tell.
Can you hear it?”― Emmanuel Onimisi

“In summer, the song sings itself.” – William Carlos Williams

Summer Fun

“Listen, whatever you see and love-that’s where you are.”― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs: Poems

“The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds at play.”
― Unknown

The gifts of summer.
Long days.
Soft breeze as the sun sets, warmth lingering.
Sun blooming flowers and food.
Farmers markets soon to be brimming with variety, flavor and harvest.
Swimming, fishing, floating.
Slowness and frolic.
Fourth of July.
Long weekends.
Play, relaxation, respite.
Open the gifts of summer each day.
Sacred, holy space of color, calm and ease.

“To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

No Leashes Day

“of all the sights I love in this world — and there are plenty — very near the top of the list is this one: dogs without leashes.” – Mary Oliver, Dog Songs: Poems

“We meet wonderful people, but lose them
in our busyness.
We’re, as the saying goes, all over the place.
Steadfastness, it seems,
is more about dogs than about us.
One of the reasons we love them so much.”
― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs: Poems

The simplicity of a dog, or two.
To seize the moment.
Squeezing every drop of delight.
Off leash, free to roam.
Unbound and bounding.
Joy on four legs.
Showing the way.
Leaping, retrieving, delighting.
Steadfast, focused, steeped into the moment completely.
May you go off leash today, each day.
Unbusy, awake and attune.
Finding magic in the ordinary by being fully present.
To a leash-free day!

“Or maybe it’s about the wonderful things that may happen if you break the ropes that are holding you.”― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs: Poems

“But I want to extol not the sweetness nor the placidity of the dog, but the wilderness out of which he cannot step entirely, and from which we benefit. For wilderness is our first home too, and in our wild ride into modernity with all its concerns and problems we need also all the good attachments to that origin that we can keep or restore. Dog is one of the messengers of that rich and still magical first world.”― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

Once and Yes

“Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.” – Carl Friedrich Gauss

“My favorite six letter word is
because it promises
so much.

My favorite five letter word is
because it insists on contradicting
the promise.

My favorite four letter word is
because it says it
happened then.

My favorite three letter word is
because I’m just now learning
to say it
to my heart.

My favorite two letter word is
because it makes
all things possible
like this:

If not always
If not never
Then once.

Yes.”― Kate Dicamillo

May you enter open fields of joy and run with abandon.
Open to this day and all that is present before you.
We remember the extraordinary and live in the ordinary.
Mark this ordinary day be imprinted with your fingerprint, footprint, embrace.
Ordinary becoming extraordinary.
Feel the earth under your feet, the sky filled with blue and light above.
Make your answer “Yes!” to this day.
Love, be loved, enjoy the journey.

“If you have no intention of loving or being loved, the whole journey is pointless.”― Kate DiCamillo

Too Full to Put into Words

“May I create plain fields by collecting clouds and bedeck them with arching rainbows.”― Suman Pokhrel

“Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is “timing”
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.”― Fulton J. Sheen

When I let go of their leashes, the girls running full speed into the open, unbound and free.
Not too far out, they stop, turning back to see where I am at.
Never out of sight but out of reach.
Waiting for me to catch up to join them in frolic and play, ball throwing, field pouncing.
Moving on ahead when I catch up, but not too far again.
Just enough and still close.
Wide open fields.
Big horizons.
Deep blue sky.
Waiting, wandering, joy-seeking and finding.
All available to us each day.
I’ll meet you in the field.
And wait.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”― Rumi

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