Practice Turning People Into Trees

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When you go out into the woods and you look at the trees,

you see all these different trees. 

And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight,

and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. 

And you look at the tree and you allow it. 

You see why it is the way it is. 

You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. 

And you don’t get all emotional about it.  You just allow it.  You appreciate the tree.

  The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. 

And you are constantly saying, “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” 

That judging mind comes in. 

And so I practice turning people into trees. 

Which means appreciating them just the way they are. 

– Ram Dass

I love this quote that I found today and so I had to share it with you.  I think it’s such an easy way for us to all get along, isn’t it?  In this world, connection and harmony are most important, as is appreciation of all people.  It’s inherent in us to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature, so why not enjoy the beauty of each other?  Instead of condemnation or criticism, let’s employ Ram Dass’ practice of looking at people as trees and appreciating them.  Isn’t it time we spread more light and love in this world?  I can see your heartlights sparkling dear friends!

Shine On!

xo

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Making Friends Through Blogging

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I like my friends like I like my M&M candies.  (My old English teacher would have hated that sentence because for a full year he wouldn’t let us use the work like!)  Sorry, but I couldn’t help getting off task for a moment…ahem…let me begin again.

I don’t care about your candy coated color, I just care that you are sweet inside.  Oh boy, does that sound goofy when I reread it!  But it’s true.  Honestly.  That’s why I love blogging.  We meet people from all over the world and what’s the tie that binds us?  Blogging.  Being kind to others.  Taking the time to read someone else’s work / life / poetry / photography / philosophy /short stories, etc.  Blogging unites us in ways that we may not have had the chance to bond.  I’ve met hundreds of bloggers and many hold a treasured place in my heart, as real as my own soul family, even though we’ve never met in person.  With technology these days, this is not a remote possibility anymore.  It’s factual.  It’s friendship without borders.  It’s friendship through blogging and making global connections.

We share our lives through blogging and through those connections, we become friends.  Well, maybe better said virtual friends, but friends all the same.  It’s funny how some of us now talk on the phone, text and email as well as comment on each other’s blogs.  It’s a community of sorts with blogging friendships.  We’ve shared triumphs, failures and lessons learned.  We’ve shared advice, companionship and understanding.  We’ve shared good times and bad times and even been there for each other when we’re grieving through life’s hurts.  We’ve shared heartfelt hugs, prayers and love.  We’ve shared inspirational tidbits, learned new things and have grown our minds, hearts and souls by opening ourselves to others’ points of view.  How awesome is blogging when we use it universally for positivity and for connecting with others!

Your blogs entice me to learn.  You inspire me to be a better person.  Your photography makes me smile.  Your poetry makes me feel deeply.  Your camaraderie promotes peace and connections.  Your heartlights shine brilliantly and I am truly grateful!

I just want to thank you all for being exactly who you are!

The perfect M&Ms who sweeten my days!

Shine On!

xo

Animal House Party

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2:30am on last night’s moonlit night.  Snow is still on the ground, but it’s a warmer evening.  I’m nestled in my oversized winter coat, mittens and hat pulled over my ears, seated on a lawn chair in the shadows by the house.  The house light is on, but my eyes have adjusted and I can clearly see the backyard’s open field and the trees that line the back and side yard.  I’m waiting, but my eyes are getting heavy.

3am  I must have fallen asleep.  I awake with a start because I hear a rustling sound from the treeline as my eyes adjust again to night vision.  Who on earth is that?

Out of the shadows emerges a party of epic proportions!  It’s a parade of animals, big and small, which seems to include families and friends that come traipsing through the trees onto my lawn.

Much to my surprise, a big group of black bears lumber into the yard.  There’s a pretty lady bear with a portable keyboard, two hippy looking boy bears with electric guitars and one baby bear who heads over to use my garbage cans as his own personal drum set.  Oh how exciting!  There will be music tonight!  I have a big smile on my face as I watch unseen from the shadows.

Soon enough, the biggest black bear gets everyone’s attention and the party begins.  A cacophony of wildlife cheering breaks the silence as the bear band begins to play.  Big Foot, as I hear he’s named, begins to croon Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night and immediately the yard is full of dancers.  I search the couples and immediately spy two snakes undulating and doing their form of the rumba.  Mark was right!  There are deer dancing with big bucks, fawns and does, swaying to the music.  There are some Canadian geese dancing as well.  In the air above, the hawks are circling in time to the music.  On the ground nearby, I see some mice scurrying by, completely unaware of my presence because they are late to the party.  Whew!  Two black cats saunter over to dance, their tails entwined romantically.  There are plenty of animals who aren’t dancing, but are just standing around chatting away.  I can hear them as clearly as if they were speaking English to me instead of their native sounds.  It’s so much fun sitting here watching the scene as it unfolds!  I wish someone besides the moon were here with me to witness this!

As the younger ones get more excited, they call out for faster dances and Big Foot and his family band oblige.  A ruckus breaks out in the far corner by the trees.  There’s a lot of honking and I squint to be able to see what’s happening, but I can’t tell from this angle.  Maybe it’s the geese playing pool?

All of a sudden, I feel a heavy weight on me and down plops a big stork onto my lap!

I’m sorry little lady, but I’m bushed after dancing with Miz Heron and you’ve got the only seat in the house.  His crutch clattered to the ground.

You’re not afraid of me Sir?

Nope.  Not me.  You think you’re over here hiding don’t you?  That none of us saw you in your little lawn chair in the shadows?  He began to laugh uproariously.

I..I…I just wanted to see what was going on out here while I’m sleeping.  After that snowfall  the other day, I saw so many paw prints that I just had to come out tonight to see who was partying in my backyard!

Oh that’s ok Missy.  We don’t mind a bit.  Glad to see some life in this house finally.  You know your house was empty for quite awhile.

Yes, I did know that.  So you’ve been partying here for a long time?

Well, we have a fiesta once a season, but we especially like the snow, so we decided to host the Snow Ball twice this month because tonight is so warm.

Oh, I see.  I guess I picked the right night.

You certainly did, girlie.  He cupped a wing around his beak and bellowed out into the night.  Hey you geese, play nicely!  I hear you honking over there.  No cheating!

From the far darkest corner of the yard came a response:  Yes Sir, Mr. Stork!  It was just a little scuffle, but we’re ok.  Big Goose was trying to set up his shot and Clover the bunny tried to hop over the 8 ball and messed up our game.  It’s ok now.  We’ve put it all back to rights.

Ok, then play on and don’t let me hear you all honking so loudly anymore.  You’ll wake the neighbors over there! 

Mr. Stork turned back to me, leaned over to grab his crutch and got up.  I immediately felt so much lighter.

Now Missy, it’ll be sunup soon, so the party is winding down.  Nice to have met you.  I hope you enjoyed our show.

The music had stopped while I was so engrossed in the conversation with Mr. Stork.  I hadn’t realized it, but all the animals were now nearby and staring at me.  As I looked from face to face, I felt so blessed.  Each one was smiling at me.

Thanks for letting me attend your Snow Ball fiesta! 

Mr. Stork spoke for the group:  We are happy to make you a part of our family.

You are welcome here any time.  Thanks for letting me crash your party!

Next time, we will put a note on the porch to let you know when the party is again.  Bring your dancing shoes and you and I will boogie down!

Laughing, I grinned and said, I would love it!  Thanks everyone!  Safe home! 

As I turned to walk back to the house, I was grinning from ear to ear.  Laughing to myself, I thought, Nobody but Mark will believe this tale, but I will tell it on the blog tomorrow!  Hmmmm…..How did Mark know about the party???

Shine On!

xo

 

Can You Name Who Left These Tracks?

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All different tracks in the snow!  And none of them human!

So I went outside after the snowfall and in the back of our property here, there were tons of footprints in the snow!  It was, as if once the snow stopped, all of the little animals came out to play and Waaaaa!!!  I missed the show!  You know how I love my little animal friends.  It looks like they had a party while I was asleep.

None of the tracks were human.  There were no shoe prints, only interesting tracks and all different kinds.  There were a few more photos that I took, but they were blurry so there are an additional two different tracks still unnamed.  Maybe you can help me figure out who made them?  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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1. Who made these tracks?

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2. Do you think it’s a deer?

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3. Bunny?

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4. A herd of deer perhaps?

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5. Any ideas?

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6. This was in a pattern too.

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7. Last but not least…who made these tracks?

For ease in identifying them, I numbered them 1-7.  If you have any ideas or know about paw prints, please let me know!  I thought it was a fun way to put your expertise to the test because I am certainly clueless with these!

Thanks for any and all help!

Shine On!

xo

Morning Has Broken

morning

A new year.  A new day.  A new beginning.  So much that is new, but what comes with a beginning, also encompasses an ending.  Sometimes, we have a hard time of letting go of the ending and thus, we can’t really and truly begin until we release what holds us back.  We mourn for the loss of what was or what could be, spending valuable time hoping and wishing for a change.  This does not serve us unfortunately, but we do need to grieve for a bit to honor what was and what could have been if situations were different.

Then we move on…

Embrace your new beginnings.  Allow the excitement and enthusiasm which accompanies the new to flourish in your heart, mind and soul.  Take the lessons from the past with you as you step onto a new year’s path of life.  Begin again with love, kindness and compassion in your heart.  Do not dwell on what was, but instead look at the past as a gift for it served you well and got you to this point.  Let go of your past.

Breathe in possibility.  A new chapter awaits you.  A fresh page on which to write your hopes and dreams for 2018.  Every day we have a fresh start just waiting for us to notice.  Every moment can be a new beginning, not just because a new day dawns or a new year begins.

What is it that you want for yourself?

You are powerful.  I believe in you.

Take my hand.  Together we can build a tapestry which shines like the sun at dawn!

Shine On!

xo

Morning Has Broken was one of my Dad’s favorite songs and I heard it this morning, perfectly timed.  So I thought I’d share with you!

 

Winsome Winter

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Icicles! Icicles! Icicles!

In addition to the massive snowfall, the gusty winds and the freezing cold, the house has developed icicles!  These are the biggest ones I’ve ever seen!  What a winsome winter we’re having here!  Thanks Mother Nature!

In the photos, you probably can’t see that there are some which are even taller than me (because they end behind the banister on the stairway), but I think they are beautiful.  When the sun was shining on them and they were glistening, they were magnificent.  Unfortunately the photos I took don’t do them justice.

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Snowfall and morning moon with a snow drift in the bottom forefront! Farm house across the road.

The temperatures with wind chills factored in are reaching – 5 to – 20 which is mighty cold for Jersey.  But we are cozy in the house, so that’s all that counts.  We had some snow drifts that were about 3 feet high in places, so they weren’t shoveled.  But the driveway is clear, thanks to a few snowblowers and some back breaking shoveling.  Thank God, all is well.

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A little Caturday surprise before the tree is removed.

How are you doing in your area?  Snow?  Cold?  Windy?  Sunny?  Warm?  I hope that whatever your weather, you are nestled all snug in your home like our kitty Tigger.  As always, I wish you a lovely Saturday, filled with blessings, goodness and with a heartlight that shines brilliantly!

Shine On!

xo

 

I Love Snow!

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It’s snowing here and in my excitement, even though I didn’t have to get up early, I was up early.  Silly I know for me to not sleep in, because going out today is not a viable option, but the child-like wonder in watching snow fall has never left me.  So here I sit, coffee in hand and snuggled under a blanket in our warm home, watching the snow fall outside in what is being called a blizzard.  Ah, the benefits of being a Jersey Girl!

Especially when snow is falling at night, I am entranced by the wonder of each individual snowflake being unique, much like human beings.  Collectively they fall from the sky to pile up together, nestled on the ground, and then blown by the winds to be swept up again into drifts.

I love snow like I love people – I love their uniqueness, their quirky ways and their ability to bond together to form a cohesive snowball!  LOL  I know I’m being silly here, but I can’t help it.  I’m giddy today.  I just can’t help myself from smiling.  I don’t even care that it will take me a long time and much effort to clear a path, clean off our cars and get out after the storm has ceased.  But for now, the winds are blowing, the snow is falling and since we have no place to go – so as the song goes – Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

I am feeling innately sated today and I’m counting my blessings.  We have homemade chicken soup all ready for lunch (and maybe even dinner?) if the mood suits us.  Plenty of snacks and some movies to enjoy watching together.  There’s no school and no work to attend today so we will just enjoy being together, safe and sound, watching the outside world be covered in a mantle of white lace.

Life is good friends.  Shine your heartlights.

Shine On!

xo