"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

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Friday’s Five

A new red wagon, a prior generation tricycle, a hand-it-down/pass-it-on bouncy horse. All these things litter the landscape of my yard these days. Beautiful litter. 

A spider I named Lucy. Spiders are easier to name when they are outside on their own turf. She’s set up house on the edge of last year’s wood pile. I’m interested to see if she stays.

Little hands helping me fill all of the bird feeders. This is serious work, folks. And the reward of watching an almost two year old jump with joy at a filled feeder…well. 

A special acquisition today: an art acquaintance posted a picture of an easel her artist dad built by hand. He’s passed on and  she is downsizing, so the easel was for sale. I’m sure I’ll post a pic of it here one day. I’m very honored to give it a new home here under the outside art space I’ve created. 

Seeing an 8 month old’s eyes follow everywhere her daddy (my son) goes. Watching her little hands flail with joy at his nearness. Hearing her sister call Daddy and hearing in that single  word all of the love and safety and goodness she feels. 

So much good. So much more than good. 

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Friday’s Five

A morning rainy-day walk with two grandbabies—
Watching them notice the rain on their faces, their hands—
Noticing it myself…ripples of light—
Picking berries near the pond where I’ve never seen them grow before—

Seeing puddles and how boots become “boops” in little girl talk. For now.

Find the beauty in the day…

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 4/12/17 (Wednesday)

Holy Week.

Today I marvel at the people I encountered.

Book lovers like me at a local college event. Take all the books you want. Help us out here. My kind of place! I loaded up on books that I’ll have fun repurposing into art journals. I found some good reads in the stacks as well. And it was so beautiful this morning…a perfect temperature and light breeze among the trees as readers like myself took our time browsing.

A knitting friend I’ve known for about three years. We meet weekly at s local  yarn shop to laugh and create and enjoy our retired moments of freedom to do things we like. The shop owners have adjusted their summer hours, but they kept our time open. I’m pretty sure  they did that for us. 🙂 

A teacher friend I’ve known for several years. We are both teaching night classes at the same college, and we generally get to visit for a few minutes before class. She watched my latest grand baby video. I got to see some family pictures of her dad and a special gift he made for her recently. We both recognize the preciousness of shared moments like this: moments we celebrate the happinesses of life with others.

My W night college Comp  class. They were full of energy and conversation tonight. It is fulfilling to see 22 adults from all walks of life interact and laugh and learn together. I always leave smiling.

The pizza maker. Thanks for that pick up window ready-to-go dinner. 

Ordinary encounters with everyday people. Strangers and familiar folks come in and out of our lives every day. 

Beautiful beings. We get to be part of that network of humanity. We get to choose to be beautiful. What a gift. 

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/25/17 (Saturday)

New life is all around us. I might have missed this if I had not decided to take  a quick walk outside with my youngest grandchild this morning. 

The pond is shimmering, there are tree limbs down from a rainy, windy yesterday. Mud puddles abound. Trees in bud  and new willows taking hold. 

Glorious sunny Saturday. 

Open your eyes to the gifts of life today.

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/16/17 (Thursday)

Where was He today with you?

For me, He was in the morning quiet when I sat in bed, coffee in hand, journaling my thoughts.

He was in the low coo of the doves that have taken up residence in the backyard brush.

He was in the belly giggles of my second grandchild and the block building masterpieces  of my first. Pay attention He whispers. Remember to laugh and listen and make and be.

Open Your Eyes to the simple beauty of the day.

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Lenten Journey: Open Your Eyes (3/11/2017)            When Chaos is OK

How are your Lenten plans going? Have you been able to keep your commitments? Have you even settled on something to focus on yet? Life happens. We live in busy times. Distractions abound. 

Case in point: I went to my art studio today to move a table to the hallway for storage later. Once there, I decided I could keep it if I  just rearranged a few things. Two hours later, a five minute task set me in a completely different path than what I had planned for today.

Then, that old enemy, Guilt, creeped in. How can you have this much junk? You’re a hoarder. Think of what you could have saved if you hadn’t bought this. What IS this? You’ll never get all this sorted out. Receipts from 2002. Really? 

And then I just sat down. Right there in the  floor in the midst of paints and papers and fibers and random boxes and piles (so many piles) of things I have kept for a reason. Or I kept because I was busy and would deal later. 

And in the shifting of things from one table to another, I found  photos I’d forgotten I had of my late husband. One in a leather heart case that needs to be repaired, one loose pic from our last Valentine’s Day together. I find a musical heart locket in a red velvet drawstring bag. My mom gave me that when Sara was born. It still plays, almost 26 years later. Love me tender…I found little give away makeup brushes that my granddaughters will have fun playing with soon. 

And then I decided to give my guilt to God. I obviously need assistance in getting things organized and in order. Maybe that day will come, maybe I’ll only have pockets of time, like today, to deal with it an item at a time.

Regardless, the chaos opened my eyes. I am human, and there are worse things than clutter. Even this much clutter. 

I’m going to focus on what I found today: a quiet moment to reflect, memories of people who matter to me, renewed resolve to do a little more each day, knowing more gifts are waiting to be revealed. 

And, since tomorrow is Sunday, who knows? I may actually get an extra pile sorted out. Because I want to, I am able to now, and isn’t that a blessing, too?

See you Monday. Enjoy your weekend and when chaos calls, open your eyes to what its message has for you.

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Lenten Journey: Open Your Eyes (3/10/17) Friday’s Five

I’m bringing back one of my tried and true type of posts today. My Friday’s Five is a simple gratitude list of things from the week.

 I think Lent is a good time to remember that even though we might focus on sacrifice, prayer, and almsgiving during this season, that doesn’t mean  that we should fail to notice the blessings right in front of us. The very efforts we make time for often open our eyes to how interconnected we all are and how the smallest things can lift our spirits.

Five of this week’s remembrances:

1. How Ada greets me when I open the car door. She jumps in and snuggles in my lap before I can move from the driver’s seat. I’m thankful that I do not brush her aside. There is always time to hug a pup.

2. Birdsong. Those moments I hear it and it is not just background  noise. I listen and realize there is another whole level of communication going on–that for many years I missed–by forgetting to listen.

3. Surprise flowers. A college student brought me a bouquet this week because of something I said that made him turn to a writing journal during a difficult week. He said that the words poured out of him and he had never known what writing can do…until now.

4. Mistletoe. There is tons of it in the trees still…it has always lifted my spirits to notice it, even as springtime azaleas and dogwoods compete. 

5. Simultaneously napping babies. This requires no explanation. 

I hope your eyes are opened to blessings of all shapes and sizes and sounds. Happy  Friday.