It’s All For Love & Learning

Road Rage

This past weekend was tough. We had to get up at 4AM on Saturday to drive 4 hours to our son’s college orientation. No breakfast, in a hurry, it’s a setup for arguments. We managed to hold ourselves together, get some food and get to the orientation on time.

Our son was also heading off to an internship later that day. The problem is we had to leave the orientation midday before it was over and drive 4 more hours to Boston so he could catch a ride with a co-worker (that would save us a third 4 hour drive). 12 hours of riding in a car is like my sons worst nightmare, but at least he got to spend the last 4 hours of it with a friend.

Going into Boston…

at 4PM on a Saturday was a nightmare too. Stand still traffic and my GPS on my phone was going nuts. My sons ride had changed his location so my mapquest directions were useless. At one point we got stuck in a no parking zone while we tried to make a plan and a cop parked right in front of us. Fortunately he had other issues to deal with.

There was lots of figuring out what to do in a 4 way conversation that included 3 cell phones. At one point somebody lost their temper and said some hurtful things. We worked it out in the moment but it takes me a bit longer to deal with the pain sometimes.

And guess what the message was on Sunday morning at church. Forgiveness. I write for our faith community blog so I was taking notes. Was the past weekend a setup for a life lesson I wondered? Of course. Why else? Surely we are not here just to fight, hold onto grudges and be miserable – no that doesn’t fit my belief system.

This morning I found this lovely post (Can Quantum Physics Save Your Marriage?) in my email by Everyday Gurus, another confirmation from the divine forces of the universe that we are here to learn to love. I normally would not write about such incidents in my life, but Kozo inspired me. It all has value in the end if we choose to look at it that way.

Please read Kozo’s post, Can Quantum Physics Save Your Marriage?.

via Everyday Gurus.

It’s All For Love & Learning

Road Rage

This past weekend was tough. We had to get up at 4AM on Saturday to drive 4 hours to our son’s college orientation. No breakfast, in a hurry, it’s a setup for arguments. We managed to hold ourselves together, get some food and get to the orientation on time.

Our son was also heading off to an internship later that day. The problem is we had to leave the orientation midday before it was over and drive 4 more hours to Boston so he could catch a ride with a co-worker (that would save us a third 4 hour drive). 12 hours of riding in a car is like my sons worst nightmare, but at least he got to spend the last 4 hours of it with a friend.

Going into Boston…

at 4PM on a Saturday was a nightmare too. Stand still traffic and my GPS on my phone was going nuts. My sons ride had changed his location so my mapquest directions were useless. At one point we got stuck in a no parking zone while we tried to make a plan and a cop parked right in front of us. Fortunately he had other issues to deal with.

There was lots of figuring out what to do in a 4 way conversation that included 3 cell phones. At one point somebody lost their temper and said some hurtful things. We worked it out in the moment but it takes me a bit longer to deal with the pain sometimes.

And guess what the message was on Sunday morning at church. Forgiveness. I write for our faith community blog so I was taking notes. Was the past weekend a setup for a life lesson I wondered? Of course. Why else? Surely we are not here just to fight, hold onto grudges and be miserable – no that doesn’t fit my belief system.

This morning I found this lovely post (Can Quantum Physics Save Your Marriage?) in my email by Everyday Gurus, another confirmation from the divine forces of the universe that we are here to learn to love. I normally would not write about such incidents in my life, but Kozo inspired me. It all has value in the end if we choose to look at it that way.

Please read Kozo’s post, Can Quantum Physics Save Your Marriage?.

 

The Hot Weekend

It was so hot, sweat trickled down as our bodies moved slowly and our breath became labored…

No, not that kind of hot! I mean it was 95 degrees in the shade with 100% humidity on Saturday as we visited our daughter at Union College this past weekend. The weather was one of those drastic 20 degree overnight switches we get at this time of year with a 3 day heat wave. It started Thursday and hit it’s peak on Saturday.

We made the 4 hour drive early on Saturday morning as a busy day was planned. The dedication of the Henle Dance Pavilion was scheduled for noon and our daughter was performing in 3 pieces, one solo. After a quick lunch we were to see the premier of a movie, Benzo, which was the senior project of some film minor students, and our daughter played the lead role. In the evening we were scheduled to attend a theatre production, Gory Stories, which our daughter was also in. The day was to end with fireworks, as if we needed any.

We arrived in good time. The first event went well except that I left my camera battery in the car so I was not able to photograph the dances. Then , after a big build up, the movie premier was canceled due to a hard drive crash. Our schedules got a little confused and we took refuge from the sun and heat in our daughters room. As she went off to prepare for her evening performance we looked for a nice Italian restaurant that her friend had suggested, but we failed to find it and ate warmed up pizza in a warm cafe instead.

The evening performance was enjoyable but after melting all day the theatre felt like a freezer. I must remember to carry a sweater with me the next time we have a heat wave. Photos of a theatre performance are a big No-No, so although I had found my battery and had carried my camera around all day, there were no photos yet.

We sat on the damp grass in the evening warmth with about 3000 other students and alumni to watch the fireworks and I decided to snap some pics (most of which I will save for a July 4th post). However I thought these were fitting for now:

Nott at night

The Nott at night.

Union fireworks

Fireball

Union fireworks2

Heat Monster

Sunday morning after crashing in our daughters room and sleeping in a bit, we headed off to find “Little Italy” again. The restaurant was already full so we took a table outside, fortunately there was a breeze and a canopy and the ambiance was better than inside.Breakfast in Little Italy

J & C little Italy

daughter & fiance

Breakfast in Little Italy2

husband & son

We were going to leave at noon as our daughter had to go get ready for her last performance, but a quick trip to buy her a few groceries took unexpectedly long. Then there was the refrigerator fiasco, which was a day long process with emptying it, carrying it downstairs, leaving it outside to defrost while I went to the store, and then trying to fit it in the trunk of the car. It didn’t fit.

After I returned from the store we tried to fit the fridge in the back seat but it started to rain, no, pour, and we ran for shelter leaving the fridge in the parking lot next to the car. Thunder, lightning and a torrential downpour, not to mention the abandoned fridge, made it impossible to leave, but at least it was no longer wickedly hot.

When the rain finally stopped we dried the fridge off and slid it into the back seat with plastic and blankets. Unfortunately it did not leave enough room for our son, so we had to choose, the fridge or the son. We opted for the son and told our daughter to sell the fridge, it had been more trouble than it was worth. By this time it was evening and our daughter was finished with her performance and was breaking down the set at the theatre. We said our final goodbyes to her and her fiance and headed out of town in a hurry.

On the way home we met more torrential rains, which slowed us down. We got home at about 10PM Sunday night and it was still warm but cooling.

First Spring Day

Yesterday was the first day of spring for me, because I could walk outside barefoot, in a T-wSpringing upshirt 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.

wFirst leaves2Poetry 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 mywCoco's tree 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. wFirst leaves4

Nature is my refuge, my haven and my heaven.

For more photographs from yesterday visit my portfolio blog: http://cherylroth.wordpress.com/

wTulips peek out

Tribute to Mrs. G.

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.

MIA – Hibernation

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 hibernation 2have 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.

hibernation 1Now 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/

Weekly Photo Challenge – Close

It can be difficult to get close to those who are timid, but if you look them in the eyes and respect their heart they might just become your best friend.

We often don’t realize just how cute someone is until we get close to them.

However, getting close has it’s perils as well … we are all a bit vulnerable at times.

Then there are other times when we take our closeness for granted.

We hope for closeness, bonds that last, shared hearts and happiness forever.

Create The Day – With A Little Help

Everyone needs a little help now and then. If someone were to say, “I don’t need any help, ever, from anyone”, well they would just be lying – to their self as well as to whomever they were saying this too. It’s just a fact of life that human existence is dependent on helping one another.

Don’t believe me? Think about it, were you able to give birth to yourself and fully care for yourself as soon as you were born? Of course not, and I’m sure your mom appreciated the help she got while giving birth to you. Oh, I know, there are some women who have given birth without assistance, but I’m sure they would have gladly received help if it was available. Although there is a lot of instinct, and natural bodily processes, that move the birthing process along, the mother has to help the baby enter the world through pushing a little. Then the mother helps the baby find her breast, and she keeps helping that baby through all the processes of growth and development until it becomes an adult. That’s at least 18 years worth of all different kinds of help.

Washington AIDS International Teens helping out at the food bank.

Helping one another is a form of love. We are created in love and are meant to exist in loving relationships – at least that’s the ideal even though it may not always be the reality. Human beings are meant to exist in inter-dependent relationships, not co-dependent, that’s something else altogether. We are also not meant to be as independent as we think we want to be. As a matter of fact, if we could achieve absolute independence we would be alone and miserable. Living is about loving and loving takes two.

There are as many ways to help someone as there are to care about another persons well being. We have no shortage of ability to help because even a kind word or a smile might help to make someone’s day brighter. We can help in big ways or small ways, it’s not really something that needs to be measured because it is simply the way life is designed; to give according to your ability and to receive according to your need. No I’m not a raging Communist, but I’ll prove this point.

The entire Universe exists on the basis of inter-dependent relationships, giving and receiving in cycles that support all life. A simple example can be seen in the trees that give us oxygen and we breathe back carbon dioxide. Trees help us in a multitude of other useful ways as well, so wise people fight to preserve the existence and reproduction of trees (and other plants as well). That is not only helpful to the trees but helpful to the preservation of the planet and all life. Oh there are endless examples I could give of how all living things are dependent upon one another to thrive and prosper, but I think you get the point. All life is inter-dependent.

I often wonder why it is that humans are so insistent upon being independent, and often not helping each other. We find it easy to help when it is convenient, or to our advantage, but we don’t often stretch ourselves to help as much as we are capable of helping. We create reasons for not helping and wrap ourselves up in doing what we think we need to do to take care of ourselves and those closest to us. By doing this we limit our capacity to love, which is also limiting our capacity to experience the full value of life.

Striving for independence is something we do as we are growing up and the purpose of this is to become fully functional and capable according to our individual potential. Once we become a fully functional and capable adult, if we are really mature, we realize we received a lot of help along the way and we begin to look for ways that we can give back. We also realize that although we may be very capable and independent, we are not really complete or happy alone, we want someone to love and be loved by.

If we could just take this simple process a step further and project it onto a global scale, I think we might find solutions to the worlds problems. There are enough fully functional and capable adults in the world to help those in need, but we have been focused on our own perceived needs and limitations for so long that we have forgotten our purpose. We have confused wants with needs and created a really ugly system of taking as much as we can get and still wanting more. The world is in a mess because we are looking for fulfillment through “getting what I want, because I want” instead of “giving what I can, because I can”.

Sometimes we need to receive or ask for help, it is natural and there is no shame in it as long as we are doing our best to also give what we can according to our capacity. There will always be times and places and possibilities for giving and receiving because it is the natural design of life, inter-dependence. Unfortunately, the world is very out of balance with it’s own natural design because of human greed, lust, resentment and generally self-indulgent thinking – the world needs a lot of help. You and I can help, by creatively using our time, abilities, knowledge or resources to help those who have serious needs, in your community or someplace else in the world. Join me in striving to live in balance with our natural design, by creating each day with a helping hand toward others.

http://www.waitteam.org/

http://jazzysongbird.blogspot.com/2012/04/wise-words.html

Create The Day By Sharing

There are a lot of things that we can share with others as we go through life that might be of value to someone. My philosophy is that it’s good for the soul to share what you care about, what is valuable to you. One way or another I believe we are all here to benefit each other, to value each other, and to experience love.

Sharing is not always easy because sometimes we just want to keep things to ourselves, and sometimes we are afraid of rejection. Sometimes we think that no one cares about “what I think”, or no one wants “what I have”. That’s a case of not valuing ourselves enough, not realizing that we are here for the sake of others. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if every person realized deeply that we are here to care for each other, and share our goodness with each other, because that is the only way we can truly experience love and feel gratitude.

When we share what we value, not only do we meet like minded people who enrich our lives, but we will also meet many people who are different from us but also have valuable things to share. You can share just about everything: food, clothes, money, your home, your work, your thoughts & insights, your experiences. Isn’t that what life is about really; building relationships through sharing with one another?

I like to share, it’s one of my favorite things to do. I love it when people share the things they value with me too. My sons like to joke, it’s one of the things they value, and they make me laugh. My daughter and my husband share by telling me all about their activities and friends, it’s interesting and helps me understand people more. My parents shared so much of themselves, their home, their money, their activities and it allowed our lives to be full and rich with flavor.

My home is always open to friends as if they were family, and I’m always open to making new friends. That is the way I was raised. One of the other ways I share is through writing, and photography, thus blogging. Not everyone will find value in what I share, but some will, and that is all that’s important. Give what you value, from the heart, and someone will receive it with their heart.

Today I’m also sharing a guest article at Our Mom Spot. If you have a chance please check it out. Especially if you’re a parent, or a grandparent, you might enjoy this topic – Talking To Grandparents About Parenting Choices.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Together

This was not a hard one, except that there were too many photos to choose from. So I chose a lot of photos that express together to me. Instead of having you endlessly scroll or click on thumbnails I decided to put them in a slideshow (You have to click here or on the post title to see the slideshow). I hope you enjoy it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Who knows what brought us together?

What divine providence forms friendships,

families, lovers and comrads?

It doesn’t really matter, does it?

What matters most is that in being together

We love, we live, we laugh, we cry, and

We become the expression of divine love.

Create The Day With Hope

Spring is hopeful, the weather is warming and everything is blooming. Most people feel a renewed sense of wonder or happiness, especially the people living in a place that has cold, gray winters. Finally we can start getting our daily dose of Vitamin D naturally and get rid of the SAD.

However, all the vitamin D in the world will not relieve grief, broken-heartedness, regret or major depression. A walk in the sunshine and smelling the flowers may help uplift the mood for awhile, but sometimes people need a lot of help to find hope. Sometimes we face such trials in life that it seems impossible to go on, or like the world is caving in on us.

When I experience a great difficulty, loss or disappointment and I wonder how I’m going survive, pictures start to flash through my mind. These pictures are the things that moved my heart most while I was growing up and made me wonder how I could help end human suffering. Images of mothers desperately handing their babies to soldiers who were boarding helicopters in an effort to save their babies from the war; a toddler crying next to the dead bodies of his parents in the midst of war; children & mothers starving to death due to oppression or lack of access to resources; people suffering & dying of illnesses that no longer exist in our country. These images never leave me, they fade into the background only to resurface during times of trouble, to remind me of how fortunate I am.

Even still, pain and problems do not go away simply by thinking of the less fortunate. To move forward one has to take a step. Action creates possibilities and possibilities create hope. Hope is the invisible power that motivates us beyond survival.

We desire so many things from life, not just physical things, but we have a great ambition to fulfill our potential, to find love and to be happy. Why then, are so many people let down?  Why do we find it so difficult to fulfill our dreams? Why does living and just getting by become such a struggle? Could it be that people have learned to expect too much?

After taking action, it’s necessary to continue the effort, to stay creative and keep doing positive things. However, while making so much effort we can often get caught up in our expectations for the results, setting ourselves up for another let down. The down side of hope is our expectations. To make consistent effort to live virtuously while overcoming adversity and pain is hard enough, but the hardest part of all is letting go of expectations without losing hope.

Real hope comes from knowing that our efforts have value regardless of the result, that life is not all that we see, but it is the state of mind that we create and the love that we give. Hope is rooted in the invisible world of heart, the eternal world of absolute love.

Create The Day – With Passion

This is the 6th week in my Create The Day series, and I totally forgot it was Tuesday today, all day. No I’m really not brainless, as a matter of fact I had my head stuck in bills, applications and filing all day, trying to inherit & reorganize the family bookkeeping system. This is not something I am really passionate about, but it must be done.

However, today I am meant to be writing about passion. What are you passionate about?

My husband is passionate about art & music, my daughter is passionate about theater and dance, and my younger son is passionate about becoming a great chef. I think it’s fortunate to have a single minded passion that you can direct all your energies toward and become the master of. I think perhaps I have too many passions, and therefor I spread myself too thin.

I am passionate about my family most of all I think, and then nature, and my spirituality. I also have a passion for photography and creativity. Travel and adventure are high on the list too, as well as my cats. Then there are all kinds of other things I enjoy or really like a lot, but I think of passions as the things I can not live without.

For me, a passion is something I want to actively invest in and I will never get tired of it. I long to interact with my passions and will miss them if I can’t. I think passion is the very thing that motivates us most to create the lifestyle we live. You could even say it is the most powerful force in the universe.

So then, it’s very important what people become passionate about. Passion directed wrongly or uncontrolled can be very destructive, as we have seen through out human history. However, a passionate person working toward world peace, and solutions for social ills, can create miracles.

Passion is like the engine that powers the vehicle of life, but the mind and spirit is the driver. The driver needs to be skilled, capable of making good decisions and staying in control, and know how to take good care of the engine so it will run well for a long time.

What are your passions, and how do you interact with them? Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this topic. I’m not going to use a linkey list this week but if you’d like to link up a post you are welcome to do that in the comments. Thanks for reading!