Monday, December 2, 2013

What a gift...

I have been gifted in the last two months. It all started and ended with Maine. First was the planning, then the actual event, and finally the joy of coming home.

Cancer nagged at my body, and chemotherapy took its toll on my physical strength for the last two years. But in my mind and heart I never doubted God or the higher Path that had been set for me. I've come far in my healing, and setting aside time to continue this venture was hard work. But it all came together.

In Maine I meditated and hiked each and every day of the five week vacation/retreat. My body felt the difference. My heart filled with love given me by Nature in all of its elements. I am a New England woman, and in going back to my roots I learned once more who I am. The rocky rugged coast gave me strength to go forward. Hiking in the woods by the ocean helped me find simplicity, compassion, and patience. I needed to find my purpose again in order to heal, and I did.

Dawn brought sunrises that were vastly different each morning, and they helped me understand that we too are not the same each day. How boring! I learned to embrace my differences, and allow for new growth. Live life. I will now follow my heart with my words and actions, walking my talk with honesty and love. At least I will try.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Our gifts...

My family just gave me a Celebration of Life party/picnic. It was an outside venue, with beautifully decorated picnic tables under a pavilion. Music provided by my son's corporate band, food ordered and provided by my local favorite Italian restaurant, and friends sitting everywhere. A perfect day!

What I discovered at the party was we all have a gift to share. Like finding a white feather sitting atop the kelp, we will discover in us a worthy gift to bless the lives of others. A friend of mine sang her heart out while playing her guitar, as did my oldest son. My sister and husband worked hard to set up a comfortable place for us all, and then went on to welcome my friends and family as they arrived. My youngest son gave his caring self to all, helping everyone to feel loved as is his normal practice.

The lesson here for me was "the gift". We each must discover what our gift is, nurture it with passion, and then share. If we care about family and friends, or how our lives move forward with purpose, it is up to us to realize our own self worth while we work towards undoing the knot of our minds.

I believe we will find our gifts, share them with others, and go forward in love. What could be more important?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fawns, turkey babies, and bucks, oh my!

I have three families of turkeys walking by my cabin these days. One mommy has eight babies, another has ten, and the last has eleven. They all hang out together and it is very cute to watch them interact. They are instinctive when it comes to scratching and pecking, but they run and chase each other until they are exhausted and the mommies have to separate them. Cuteness!

Twin fawns scamp around my cabin looking as if they're running laps! Their spots are fading and in another month will be gone. One is more aggressive than the other, but both are showing their independence. They love the cracked corn I feed them and after their snack they bed down in the dappled sunlight of the woods. I watch them as they snooze.

Bucks are coming to feed as well. I have one six pointer and one eight point. Handsome boys! Their antlers are still somewhat fuzzy and they are not afraid of me. They come by at least three times a day and I'd go broke if I fed them each time. However, with fall on its way I hope they know my land is a safe place for them.

My prayer for all these animals is safety. They give me joy at a time when it is needed, and they seem to know that my cabin and the surrounding woods is a gentle place. A kind place. And they are right.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Silence before dawn...

There is a silence just before dawn. It happens without our input, our knowledge, or our understanding. If you arrive at this place alone it fills your heart entirely. If you share its beauty with someone who cares you both will feel the hush of its strength.

Within this silence comes an honesty and clarity that we may never find again as the day moves forward. It's almost as if the world stops in its beauty, for just a moment. It is there for us to see and feel, make right again what we long to know. Or want to give. I must follow this moment and let it carry me away to that place in my heart where beauty, love, and peacefullness rests.

I hope you start your day with me in this very special way...just before dawn. It is a time to give thanks for each day's morning light, and for our strength and life. A small miracle every day.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Writing is a solitary thing...

The window boxes on my writing cabin are filled with fresh spring flowers and I'm ready to go inside and write. I love what I've chosen to do, but it is a solitary effort of love.

Around me the birds are singing their songs of mating and calling to one another. My nesting boxes in the field are filled with new babies of different kinds. Wrens, bluebirds and swallows. As I mow past the boxes, mommies dive bomb at me, asking me to go away. Please. I follow their instruction, but know I must do it again in a week. As always, they are getting used to me.

As I enter this sweet space I am welcomed. My heart lifts and I'm ready to put words on paper. If we love to write it is essential to make a place, a nest, to be comfy and entirely at peace with your world. Your higher self will take over after that and your words will take care of themselves.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My shade garden...

It is Spring!

So fresh and green is this new season that I must be careful or it will take my breath away. When I gaze at the leaves that are unfurling, I know there is no color name for them. We all say green, but it goes beyond that. They are fresh and new and as the seasons pass these same leaves change color. They become dusty and even with spring rains and summer storms, the leaves cannot be cleansed well enough to bring back that first hue.

I have a shade garden in the back of my home. It sits between my screened-in porch and the path leading out to the field and beyond. Out there are raspberry bushes, blueberry bushes, apple trees and the 'soon-to -be' veggie garden. But here, in the shade, I am quiet. Peaceful in my daily meditations. Ferns and moss are soft to the touch and add color to the stones close by.

We are given these precious gifts every day. They bring me back to the center of myself and allow my thinking to clear itself of judgment or whatever else may cloud my vision. This small garden gives me strength in its beauty to view what is really important. What really matters....

Friday, April 12, 2013

Feeling humbled...

Last night I listened to Dr. Jane Goodall speak at Lafayette College, here in Pennsylvania. Wow! As a primatologist and conservationist, Dr. Goodall is an amazing force in the field of redefining our understanding of animals and, ultimately, ourselves. Her quest of empowering others to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share, is her purpose. If she is ever in your area, I invite you to go and listen to her lectures on Making A Difference. I found her to be humble, inspiring, and dedicated.

As someone who loves and thrives in nature, Dr. Goodall has helped me gain a greater understanding of what we need to do now. Our part, even if it is only in our small corner. We can help our environment, and its animals.

Let's try, because as she said last night, "The greatest danger to our future is apathy".

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Early Spring!

Early spring. Time to drag out the log splitter and begin the process of splitting wood for the coming year. It's never too early, but I don't enjoy doing the job in winter. Spring works best for me. Before the blackflies, mosquitoes, and no-see-ums. A perfect time to work.

After splitting a pile too high to see over, I transfer those pieces to the field. Fortunately these days, I have a Kabota with a front end loader. I'd like to think my wood rows are straight and firmly held together. But sometimes the turkeys hop on top to preen and knock over one entire section. That's why a friend of mine used the term, 'turkey tight', when referring to my rows. Generally I split four or five cords each spring.

Back to the splitter. Repeat the process again and again. I usually take at least a month to get enough wood in the field to fill each row once more from the previous winter. I use different amounts of wood every year, but always have a lot left over. That wood is what I'll begin my woodstove days with this fall. It's the driest.

I love this business of wood. It warms me many times over and the aroma that comes from the log as it splits is a fragrance that brings back many memories. My life in western New England as a young girl found me working alongside my dad. He was a lumberman, a sawyer actually. So 'wood business' comes naturally to me. Each spring I'm filled with love from nature and what deadfall it gave me from the harsh winter storms. I am grateful for what I receive. A blessing, really.

I may be in my seventh decade, but wood splitting keeps me fit, happy and ageless!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The boys!

Many mornings I wake to this sight as I walk in my bathroom to get ready for the day. The "boys" make me laugh out loud with their pranks and fill my heart with love and energy as I head to my writer's cabin. A great way to start the day.

It has been a very long cold winter here in Pennsylvania and I'm ready for spring. But winter gives us time to do other things that hold passion for us. Grab hold of these and fulfill the promises made to yourself. Write. Travel. Spend time with those who are housebound or ill. Read. Whatever your choice, do it with all of your heart. It's worth the effort.

Choose to do what excites you and make it a priority. Spend time outside and take a walk in the woods, or on a path. If you can't walk take a drive to a lake and stare out at the lapping waves. Fill your lungs with fresh air and be grateful for this Mother Earth.

This is winter. A time of reflection. The trees are dormant and they, too, rest themselves. All things Nature are a priceless treasure. Let us enjoy what it has to give, and let us enjoy giving back.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Working hard...

Well, I'm half way through my memoir rewrite. Yes, I'm working hard on my book and finally making progress, thanks to the author Susan Richards and my BWG friends. Susan gave the writing workshop I attended last summer and has been invaluable to me, both as a mentor for my writing and as a friend.

One discouraging morning a few months ago I asked Susan if I should keep working on this project. Her answer.... "If this memoir is important to you, go forward with COMMITMENT. And I mean, COMMITMENT." That's all I needed to hear. Writing this book is what makes me get up in the morning! I feel its need to go forward.

I love what I'm doing, and this cute cabin that I write in helps me out. For Christmas this year, one of my gifts was given by a friend who also loves my cabin and believes in me. She gave me the gift of wood to finish the inside walls. Rough cut cedar is what I chose. Come spring, that will happen.

So, to all my writing friends I say attend a writing workshop. Also, join a writing group. I belong to the Bethlehem Writer's Group. My friends there have helped me enormously. Our facilitator is dedicated to each of us as writers, making sure our work is shared and critiqued.

Most of all...KEEP WRITING. Just do it! As the commercials say. Find a way to dedicate part of your day to passion. If that passion is writing, keep it up. Work hard at it.

In the end your heart will be satisfied.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

As we whoosh into 2013, I think about the year that has passed. What was important to me? I make a little list.
...Animals, birds, trees, and all living beings on my land
...Loving enough
...Health challenges
...Loving enough
...Vacations and having fun
...Writing workshops
...Loving enough!

My prayer is to love more in the new year I've been given, live selflessly, and have a profound impact on the lives of others.

May it be so! Amen.