To Mothers: The Original Peacemakers. Such a beautiful tribute to mothers by Everyday Gurus. It will move your heart, please visit and read.
Yesterday was the first day of spring for me, because I could walk outside barefoot, in a T-shirt and Capri’s, lay down in the grass and soak up the sunshine. The blue sky was brilliant, an almost unreal color with no clouds in sight. Birds chirping and calling as they flitted from branch to branch, tree to tree.
The first buds of leaves were sprouting up toward the sky, soaking in the rays as eagerly as I was. My Tulip’s heads were shyly peaking out from between their leaves. My cat was ecstatic over the movement of all living things, including me. She romped and performed for me, and she even gave me a tummy massage as I was laying in the grass absorbed in the sound, smell, and texture of new life.
Poetry floated through my head as the soft warm breeze circled my ankles. Too bad I did not bring pen and paper outside with me. I did not even bring my camera, at first. I just wanted to be in that moment and experience all of it’s glory in every cell of my body. As the western sun penetrated my skin sending comforting and loving signals to my brain, new thoughts began to bud like the leaves on the trees. I could not tear myself away from this experience.
The winter is long in New Hampshire and spring is often too short. I went inside for my camera so I could capture a memory, a moment in time when my heart was content with all that is in my world. Troubles will come and go, struggles and stress are unavoidable, but there is always hope. As long as life persists there is hope.
Why is the sky so blue, the grass so green, and flowers so brilliantly colorful? Why can we smell the delicious scents around us and feel the textures of life. The universe functions so beautifully by it’s own design, it is intelligent, it is the essence of love expressed. The mystery, the why and the how is part of the excitement of living. Beyond that, there is no doubt in my mind that the origin of this masterpiece we call life is an infinitely benevolent heart, and an intricately wise mind.
Nature is my refuge, my haven and my heaven.
For more photographs from yesterday visit my portfolio blog: http://cherylroth.wordpress.com/
I’ve been away, busy, overwhelmed, entertaining guests, and a little under the weather at times. Life has been interesting, ups & downs, wonderful things and immediate concerns rocking my boat a bit. But if the sea were always calm it would be a bit boring, wouldn’t it?
Last week I enjoyed a lovely trip to the seacoast. It was sunny and warm at first, but later became very overcast. I enjoyed both parts of the day for many reasons; I was with family & friends welcoming spring and love was in the air.
Early Monday morning last week a vary special person I was privileged to know passed away. She lived 101 years but I only knew her during the last year of her life. During that time she had a profound impact on my life.
I only worked for her a little more than 5 months, as an aid. Often I felt that she didn’t really need me, not because she made me feel that way but because she never stopped trying to do everything herself. Of course at 100 you’re going to have some limitations, but she took a walk every day, she did exercises for a leg/hip injury, she sat in the sunshine reading mystery novels, stayed up late watching movies, and went out to lunch or dinner with friends and family several times a week. She lived in her own home, and went to NYC every winter.
Mrs. G as I called her, was a gift from God to me and she became my mentor. Her smile, her sense of humor, her love for people and life, and her straightforwardness were as genuine as gold. She was generous and trusting, and she always made a point to say “thank you” even for the smallest things. Those were the last words I heard her say to me on Saturday 3/2/13.
Those were also some of the last words I said to her last Sunday, because being included in her life and helping her in any way was a great blessing to me. I learned so much from the way she thought, the way she treated people and the way she lived her life. Her attitude and example gave me encouragement, hope and strength at a time when my life was falling apart.
The job itself came at a time when I desperately needed it, but I got so much more than I bargained for. I used to tell her that her house was like Heaven because it was beautiful inside and out, and filled with so much love. It was a calm and comforting refuge during a stressful time in my life, and being in the company of her family and friends was always refreshing.
Mrs. G always complemented me, on my clothes, my hair, my cooking, my driving, and other things, in a way that no one else ever has. It’s not that I don’t get compliments, it’s just that she had a unique way of making me feel special. We had similar interests in art, literature, movies, social issues, spirituality and activities, so I enjoyed every minute I spent with her. I grew to love her very quickly.
I realized at one point that she was the same age as my grandmother, who died about 17 years ago at age 83. She had some of the same furniture and personal items from that era. however, in spirit she didn’t seem old enough to be my grandmother.
Mrs. G. was a timeless woman, very modern and very hip, most of her friends were much younger than her. She was a successful business woman during a time when very few women were running a business. She was also a great mother and a social activist.
I feel honored that I could accompany her to the events that were held in recognition of her life and accomplishments. I am blessed to have been included in her circle of family & friends, even for such a short time. I will always remember with love and gratitude the impact her life has had on mine.
Where have I been; in a cave, under a rock or in an igloo? Temperatures in the single digits keep the door closed. Howling wind and creaking windows cause me to pull the blankets closer as I mindlessly challenge myself at solitaire, or watch Netflix. Am I a bear in hibernation?
This winter is no worse than others I have endured before, but it feels worse. I feel trapped, confined, limited, and on edge. I pace the floors, chase dust bunnies, mop up puddles under snow boots, the cleaning never ends. I read, I type, I go out, I stay busy but it really doesn’t matter what I do. I am MIA – missing in action, or missing the action might be more accurate.
For many years the weather was tolerable because of my growing family, my work, my community. I was healthy, I had so many ideas and dreams to fulfill, I was busy all the time. The winter was painful but it did not slow me down in the past. I did what had to be done to take care of my family, live happily and stay active in my community.
Now it’s different; my health, my age, our stage of life, our family. I don’t like hibernating like a bear. I want to fly south like a bird, or maybe southwest. It’s time for change, before it’s too late; before I freeze like an ice statue only to melt and disappear when the spring finally arrives.
I want to be free and actively involved in life, contributing something of value. The house and mortgage have become like a ball and chain; the endless repairs are like prison walls. It’s torture, because I love this house. I’ve invested my heart to make it a home. So many memories, so many hopes and dreams not yet fulfilled.
Stay active, keep moving, downsize property and possessions. How much do we really need to be happy? It’s not the material things that make us happy, but the loved ones that are served by those things; our family and friends. Can we pack our family and friends in a bag and take them with us? We can keep in touch but it’s not the same as being together.
Is being together worth being stuck in a painful and unproductive rut, wasting away? Some people feel it is, others do not. I am torn between two natures, two desires, to go and to stay. Some people can afford to do both, but I can not. One thing I know is that I am not a bear, I can not hibernate through the long winter. I don’t want to be MIA from life, I’m not done living yet.
A touching and somewhat related link: http://jamesdez.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/a-letter-from-mom-and-dad/
How unresolved my life is right now! There are so many problems hanging in the air that I feel like I’ve fallen into a deep well in the woods. I am confronted with the results of my poor judgment in the past and my limitations in the present. The only thing I have resolved to do is to find gratitude in each day and take one step at a time.
I’m grateful to know that spring & summer will come again. I’m grateful that even in difficult times we can experience love, hope and happiness.I’m grateful that I can still move and do things to improve my life, and that is what I have resolved to do …… to keep moving forward with life, love and gratitude that I can still do something to create change for the better.
I learned a long time ago not to make a big long list of expectations for the new year, in other words, not to set myself up for big disappointments. That doesn’t mean I’m not motivated or that I don’t intend to accomplish things. I intend to accomplish whatever needs to be, and I’m motivated to become my best self; but I’ve realized that I don’t have a lot of control over circumstances that may present themselves. That’s usually what happens to well intentioned New Year’s Resolutions – life gets in the way.
This morning while reading through my emails I found this post by Drew Myron at Off The Page suggesting an “I did it” list as opposed to a resolution list. I think it’s a great idea to focus on what we have accomplished, the value of who we are and what we have right in this moment. It ties in very well with the one new year’s resolution that I did make, which is to find something to be grateful for in every day. By the way, Drew’s inspiration came from another writer, Lisa Romeo, who’s post you can read here.
Last night my family & I were sharing reflections about 2012. It was a hard year for us full of stress, disappointments, loss, incredible demands and huge change that has not ended yet. Through it all we grew closer to each other. We each realized that adversity allows us to find our inner strengths, to focus on what we can do in each moment, and to prioritize our values. A bad year became a good year as we realized how we had grown through our troubles and successfully dealt with our problems.
Toward the end of our sharing some friends stopped by to wish us a happy New Year. Our 2 families have been friends for about 14 or 15 years, so the kids are all teens or young adults and beginning to move in different directions. It was comforting to share this transition from 2012 to 2013 as both our families are also moving forward to new stages of life & lifestyle. Old friends and childhood friends are people you have gone through many experiences with and found value and strength in their company. They are forever friends.
So here is my “I Did It” list for 2012:
- I survived financial collapse, bankruptcy and almost losing our home.
- I survived my husbands triple by-pass heart surgery (and he is doing well).
- I am moving forward while still dealing with the loss of my mother and another very cherished person in my life, as well as financial & health issues.
- I’ve started a yoga practice.
- I’m eating in a more healthy way.
- I’ve made new friends.
- I’ve been a supportive wife & mother through the most stressful year of my life.
- I’ve maintained 4 blogs, although not very well at times, but I’m still posting.
My New Year’s resolution:
To love my life & live joyfully by finding gratitude in each day.
I’m cheating - 2 Challenges in one.
Surprise! On Dec. 24th at 1:00 AM, my daughter came home to NH from her trip to AZ. I made her stand outside the door and wait while I prepared the atmosphere in the living room. A crackling fireplace is something we’ve never had in our house before, but this year thanks to Netflix we had it complete with Christmas Carols!
2012 In Photos
The year of the Dragon began with sunshine and contemplation.
We never escape the winter whiteness in NH.A trip to NYC for a change of scenery.Spring comes slowly…and so does change. It’s a difficult year.The blooming of hope.Beauty offers comfort.Life goes on.We may need to leave here someday….but we can still enjoy what we have for now.A strong & healthy man recovers quickly.Sharing memories with old friends.Saying I’ll love you forever, thank you, and goodbye for now.Taking care of my own health becomes a priority. For the first time in 20 years we celebrate the holidays in our own little home….and cope with winter the as best as we can.
Share your delicate photographs too…
This always seems to happen to my schedules, plans and attempts to create health, discipline and order in my life. Something comes up, someone needs something or I have to go somewhere. It’s a good thing that I have a flexible mind and attitude toward life.
I started Yoga classes in October, but then I had to go out of town for a couple weeks. Of course that was very important and I have no regrets about giving up yoga class to be with my mom before she passed away. It just follows with the pattern of life adjustments that I find myself always having to make. I just started getting back into my classes last week and last night my employer asked me if I could change my work schedule, which would require me to find different times and days for yoga classes.
I said it would be difficult, but I didn’t say no. It’s hard for me to say no; I tend to be very accommodating. Sometimes that is part of the problem, and sometimes it’s a beneficial attribute. I’m working on becoming more aware of when being accommodating is or is not beneficial.
It may work out to my benefit this time. As I reviewed the schedules and possibilities it looked problematic at first, but I determined that taking yoga classes was one of my top priorities at this time in my life. I can not work or live well if I am not healthy in mind and body. Yoga has been helping me mentally, physically and emotionally deal with this stage of life that I was not prepared for. I decided to accommodate myself this time and make it work.
Once my priority was set and my mind was determined everything came into focus. The classes at the times that I needed appeared, and a new work schedule became possible. I will lose a few hours of work but I don’t really care. I am choosing to take care of myself, and it’s about time.
Seagulls float on the wind, moving neither forward nor backward.Brittle sea-grass appears warm against the cold beach.The wind and wet are no longer appealing as we bundle up and prepare to bunker down. The sun sinks in the west too early and the days feel shortened. The cool nights have their own appeal.
My mother passed away the week before Thanksgiving. In order to give enough time for notifying loved ones, to avoid the holiday and allow people to make travel arrangements, we scheduled the memorial service for Dec. 1st. I think this was the first Thanksgiving I have not celebrated with my parents in 55 years.
I’m thankful for my family & friends, and their love and support during this difficult time.
I’m thankful that my mom is not suffering anymore, and that she is in a better place.
I’m thankful for traditions that bring us back together and keep us moving forward.
I’m so grateful for your visits, likes, comments and ping backs on my blog. I just wanted to let you all know that I’m going to take a break from blogging and visiting your blogs to be with my mother before she leaves this world. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September, and has suddenly taken a turn for the worse.
My parents were my rock and my foundation; I love them dearly. My father passed away 3 years ago, and my mother has been longing to be with him again. She has been very ill this past year, so I want to spend what little time she has left comforting her and letting her know how very much we love her.
Peace and blessings to all of you.
Wow, I just spent the morning looking through about 100 portfolio’s of all sorts of talent and creativity. Some of it was very good, inspiring or interesting at least. Some of it I passed over quickly because it didn’t appeal to my eye or my mind in any way. That doesn’t mean it was bad art, just not my taste. (Sometimes it was bad.) The process of doing this helped me realize some important life lessons about creativity & talent.
- Creativity and talent are abundant because they are basic to human nature. Some may have a talent for math and science and others have talent in some form of art.
- Creativity relates to how inventive, productive and flexible we are with that talent.
- Talent does not equal success, nor does creativity. To be successful your creativity and talent have to be focused in a direction that will provide something that people need or want enough to pay for it. Thus the “starving artist” syndrome.
- Success is simply being able to offer something of value in return for being able to support your life (and your children if you choose to have them). In other words, not living an unproductive and irresponsible life that has to be supported by others (if you are a person who is mentally & physically capable of supporting yourself). Success does not necessarily mean becoming a millionaire, it simply means to achieve your goals in life while being self-sufficient.
- In order not to become a “starving artist” you have to be realistic about your creative abilities & your talent, and find the market for them. If the market for what you do does not bring adequate income, you will have to find an additional source of income or change what you do.
- Life is complicated and challenging and requires a lot more qualities than creativity and talent. Perseverance, determination, confidence, sacrifice, hard work, planning, networking, relationship skills, and the ability to keep learning are all equally important to ones success in life.
- A practical skill that uses your talent & creativity is more marketable than your artwork. Only successful people buy art and they usually buy it from successful artists, or dead artists.
- No one has to give up on creating beauty or exercising their talent, it can always be something one does for pleasure rather than money.
October 29, 2011 was a foreign day as far as I’m concerned. The earliest snowstorm I’ve ever experienced. I’m not a native to New England so some might have experienced this before, but everyone I knew thought it quite strange.
So this was Halloween for us last year – it was so foreign that no one came!
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (hereandthere5.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (imissmetoo.me)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (littlemuddyboots.co.uk)