Sunday, September 16, 2012
It is my haven. My meditation. It makes me feel some sort of connection to everything that is on this big blue ball of life and energy. I feel what it is like to be away from the noise, chaos, interruptions of the every day. I get to be comfortable in my OWN skin, my OWN little world of, well, ME. I learn alot about myself in these 45 minutes. Sometimes I hike longer just for the heck of it. Sometimes I sit down on the rock beside the pond and just listen. To what? Nothing but the sound of nature. There are times I stand still, closing my eyes, letting the breeze caress my face. Then there are times I allow the moment to spark me, spur me, and I set off ablaze, deeper in my woods, deeper down the hills until I am spent. But happy. Very very happy.
There is nothing like returning to my starting point at the top of the hill and looking down on the fields around me. I feel like a conqueress. A lioness. Strong. Enabled with a grit and determination that has claimed the territory around me. But yet, I am not too strong as to be able to reach down and caress the small and fragile beauty of the caterpillar that is making its way beside me. I am bold. But not too bold as to frighten away the small bird that has landed to stand beside me only a few feet away...
This is the moment that defines me. This is the small piece of world that is mine and mine alone that gives me wings and a spirit of "can do." I am beautiful. I am a woman of many colors, many textures, many layers. Yet, this moment, this little carving of space, reveals to me who I TRULY am. I am fragile, yet determined. I am small but a crucial piece to the make-up of the world around me. When I breathe, I don't just breathe in air or push out air. When I breathe I am making a difference to myself and, hopefully, to others.
There are times I decide to go back into the enclosure of the trees while my heart is winding down. I grab the low-hanging limbs and put my face into them, smelling the color of fall that is slowly changing them. At times I smile, finding little patterns in the veins and observing how intricately they are woven together. God's paintbrush is gentle, strong and decisive. The Painter gave each stroke, each line, His careful consideration. That is what He did with me as well. AND you. Can you imagine that? Someone who loves us all so very much that He made us beautifully, lovingly and with careful detail? That no one in this huge world is just like me? Just like YOU?
I whip out of the enclosure with a newfound sense of belonging. I am unique. I have fears, setbacks, imperfections. However, I don't have to limit myself because of them. I can break out of my own self-imposed ideas and get to know myself all over again. I am older. But my heart is as young as the small fawn grazing across the fence, waiting on its mother to return. I am wiser, but still willing to be taught more lessons in humility and forgiveness.
Hiking is my euphoria. My tunnel, my path, my drug of choice. It sends me to a different level of being that is yet to be touched by anything else.
I am me.
I love me.
I am strong. I am determined. I am YOU.
God bless you all so very much today.
You are loved.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Seriously, would someone PLEASE remind me that other social networks don't compare to SparkPeople?? That although the "other" social network might OFFER fun, encouragement and a good time, it doesn't necessarily mean the fun, encouragement and a good time that is normally associated with OUR ideas of fun, encouragement and a good time? Several months ago I joined a network that promised these things and I got "bidded" on. Some guy from New Mexico outbid several competitors and gleefully sent me a bulletin stating that he now "owned" me. You should have seen me trying to find the "delete account" button. I was knocking over plants, spewing the drink from my mouth and pounding my keyboard, chanting, "No, no, no, no, no, no...."
Soooo, not learning from my past mistakes, I happily joined an "Over 40" site that promised me everlasting friendships with people my age, a "site where you can build relationships, play games and have the time of your life" with other "oldsters" like me! It looked benign. Sniff, sniff...it smelled benign. So, I cautiously joined. I called myself "SteelChipper."
My first friend was "Bert" from the Netherlands. He was 73-years-old and married to his lovely wife for 53 years. He was ecstatic that he found someone else to send pictures to of his beautiful countryside and wanted to know if I liked old-fashioned churned butter. How sweet. He had cows, goats and sheep. Did I like cows, goats and sheep?? Why, yes, Bert, I do! Do you like walking outside, enjoying the scent of the dewy grass in the birth of the mornings, relishing in the soft caresses of the gentle wind, breathing in the promise of a brand new day? Oh my, I thought. A fellow poet at heart...why, yes, Bert, I do! Do you like meeting new people, perhaps someone who is willing to send you a plane ticket, pay for your hotel room and answering the door in a blindfold??
It took me three minutes to delete my account. Dial-up sucks that way.
Then there was the time I joined some weight-lifting site. I called myself, "SteelBabe." I learned early on that these people were hardcore fanatics. I knew I could be like them! Two days into my weight-lifting regimen I dropped a ten-pound weight on my big toe and just about knocked myself out on the overhead bar on the weight machine. All in one fluid motion. With stars rotating around my head and drool mindlessly falling from my mouth, I deleted my account. SteelBabe was SteelClumsy and SteelNotReadyToBeBuffLikeBuffy.
I didn't think anything was wrong with the artsy website I joined awhile back, either. What could POSSIBLY go wrong with that? I joyfully posted my paintings and sat back waiting for friend requests, charming banter with fellow artists and fun feedback. Nada. What the heck was going on here?? Upon closer examination I realized that everyone was painting nudes. Of themselves. And some of them weren't so perty...OR perky.
Other websites have not been as colorful but I've found them not to be a good fit for me, for some reason or the other. I've had the usual Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Tumblr accounts but I couldn't find my groove or find the support that SparkPeople has offered. There's just something different here.
Like you guys.
You've put up with my whining, my lectures, my rants, my raves. You've become my family. Like, REALLY. If it wasn't for you, I would have lost my marbles I long time ago. I don't think I could have lost the weight or found the strength or incentive to keep it off. You have helped guide me through some tough situations along the way and because of YOU I am HOME. Here, I am STEELKICKIN. Here I am not afraid to be ME. It is with SparkPeople that I have found love, acceptance and friendships that will last me a lifetime.
There's "steel" no one like you. Sparkies are the best.
God bless each and everyone of you tonight. You are loved.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Have you ever had one of those mornings when you "wake up" but yet you are in that little space between the dream and being ACTUALLY awake? That portion where you are thanking God that you won the lottery? And you are mentally spending your lottery winnings on all the things you always wanted? I was ecstatic that I was going to be able to buy my '69 Shelby Fastback and new kitchen towels, when *!Poof!* the fog was gone. I opened my eyes and saw Brian's mouth wide open on my pillow. I watched that little thing in the back of his throat wiggle with each snore until I realized I was duped by my dreams again. No Shelby. No kitchen towels. Then he snorted suddenly and scared the crap out of me.
It wasn't any worse than the "I Lost My Finger" dream. For some reason my middle finger turned up missing and I couldn't drive my motorcycle, paint, type, cook or crotchet. I can't crotchet in REAL life but in my dream I could. Or COULDN'T because I LOST MY MIDDLE FINGER. I remember waking and running to the bathroom, flipping on the light and counting my digits. I even held my hand up to the mirror just to get a second opinion. Then I realized I was flipping myself off.
We've all had the "Oh My God, I'm Naked!" dream. I was on an airplane and the stewardess kept asking me to cover myself and I had nothing to cover myself with. I crossed my legs and was trying to hide behind a coffee cup when another stewardess walked by and asked me if I wanted tea. When the plane landed, I was darting around each departing passenger in strategic ways. If I could just get to my suitcase, I would be fine. But wouldn't you know it??? The airline lost my luggage.
Some other interesting dreams I've had lately are:
"Brian Has Three Boobs."
"A Flying Saucer Landed In My Field. Bre Was The Pilot."
"Me And Darth Vader: Lazer Tag In My Field."
"Gerard Butler Sent Me Roses."
"I Lost My Front Teeth."
That was another one where I darted out of bed and ran to the bathroom mirror. I remember pulling up my upper lip and making sure I had them all when Brian raced in and asked me what the heck I was doing. He scared me so bad I stammered and bit my bottom lip. Yep. They were all there. No need to look again.
I don't know. I recently began taking a magnesium supplement not too long ago. Maybe that's what's doing it. Or maybe it's the Sleepy Time Tea. (And NO, I do not consume OR ENDORSE the use of any wacky weed or poppy seeds. On or IN your muffins.) Maybe it's from my recent lack of exercise. All that energy has to go somewhere when you don't use it.
Tomorrow is the day I begin my brand new exercise regimen. Perhaps that will squelch the little boogers that are invading my brain. Wish me luck. I'm going to try hiking again...a love that I had a few years ago and got me alot of desired results.
For now, though, I'm off to bed. I'll probably see you in my dreams..in my field. Hope you have your clothes on....
God bless, Sparkies. You are loved.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
A couple of years ago at this time I posted this blog. I wanted to remind you and MYSELF that this life is what we make of it...
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.
It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its richness and savored its aroma.
The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water. Each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”
Which are you? Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?
Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have you become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get even better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.
The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.
(However, I would much prefer it if everyone was smiling WITH me. For they should know I am going to a beautiful place to wait for THEM some day...)
God bless you all this upcoming week. You are loved, dearly.
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