Nature is superior to our human mistakes. The vastness of her power is beyond our comprehension. One way to celebrate Earth Day, beyond enjoying time outdoors, is to focus on what is working. Certainly let’s take action with conserving energy, purchasing less and repurposing more. But let’s also help with our minds and hearts as we pay attention to what is working. Let’s focus on building the new. Together, with Nature’s awesome power and our opportunities for making a difference, we can fix this. Happy Earth Day! And let’s BE HAPPY for Earth Day. Namaste.
Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them. ~ John Ruskin
On this half way point, this vernal equinox, the planet is poised between black and white, darkness and light, teaching the lesson of the bountiful beauty to be discovered amidst the shades of grey.
“Thank You God for this day.” My daily prayer, a mantra of sorts, is something I say a lot. Often aloud and definitely daily.
Thank You God for this day.
Today where I live it sure doesn’t look or feel like the first day of spring as the calendar indicates. The sky is filled with wet spring snow. Angled sharply with bursts of wind, it stings the face and causes treacherous driving. As I drove the lad to work this morning (the transit service to his work is awful) and the grey sky pelted at the world, all I could see was the beauty. Gorgeous shades of grey.
As you know I believe in practice. Everything gets easier with practice. We have to keep at things, and they will get easier. Because I say Thank You God often, I live mostly in a state of gratitude.
During today’s commute, all I could see was my blessings. How lucky my son and I are to be travelling safe and warm in this car. I am thankful for excellent tires and the great condition my husband keeps this car in. I give a prayer of thanks for my husband. And just look at all the other good drivers, paying attention and signaling like I do. And the colour, oh the gorgeous shades of grey everywhere! The misty effect the blowing snow gives to the very air as it moves and undulates is breathtakingly beautiful. To actually see the air the way we can with falling snow is really a kind of a miracle.
So rather than view it as awful, and what ‘shouldn’t’ be happening, I feel so much better when I tune into a sense of celebration in my heart for this moment. Now. I am thankful for the beauty and blessings of this life and I feel, at times, like I see priceless, incredible gifts everywhere I look. Joy is contagious and I want you to catch it with me!
See the soft shades of grey and the undulating shapes in the wind-driven snow and sleet. Come back indoors and give thanks for the shelter. Give thanks for scarves. Get back in your car and give thanks for the security of being able to drive somewhere warm, and indeed back home as well. Make some tea and give thanks for that.
I’m not saying I don’t wish spring would arrive and get blooming. I’m suggesting that we look for and find the beauty right here, in every moment. Every day is the most beautiful day of the year, up to this point, don’t you agree? We are lucky to be here today, and this is the weather today comes with. I choose to see the beauty now (even if I would rather see blooming bulbs in my gardens).
Do not allow yourself to feel crestfallen if the first day of Spring blows in like a lion, whipping snow around and keeping bulbs and buds sleeping.
Let’s say it aloud together:
Thank You God for this day.
And thank you for the gloriously gorgeous greys.
Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE
Visit my Pinterest board of “Nature ~ beauty beyond words” to see this owl, and more.
Both the macro flakes and snowy branch images are from this board by Trudy Tarasoff on Pinterest with images of winter and I love what she wrote: “Snow ~ I live in a part of Canada that can experience up to 7 months of snow. Some people curse the white stuff. I, however, think that it is beautiful. These photos are testimony to that beauty.” Thank you Trudy!
In celebrating greys, one of my favourite bloggers came to mind. When I revisited, once again this incredible post reverberated through my soul. If you have seen it already, perhaps visit again. And if not I am certain you will be uplifted and mesmerized by the beauty this talented artist captures. Thank you Sriram. You bless us with your wise poetic heart and skillful eye.
And lastly, if you are indeed craving a sight of spring please click link to visit my other blog’s post for today. It’s a collection of bright and cheerful photographs of spring decor to celebrate its arrival if only in our hearts. Springing For Joy
~Let’s Outgrow Our Past~
In the springtime
go out and observe
on the fruit trees.
as the fruit grows.
So too will
the lower self, the false self, the ego,
as the Divine
grows within you.
As taught by Vivakenanda, and shared by Dr. Wayne Dyer on the PBS program ‘Wishes Fulfilled’
The teacher Vivakenanda was asked by his devotees, “How do you do it? How do you access your Higher Self? How do you make this your reality?” He answered with the above example to help us focus on our spiritual growth, knowing whatever is unnecessary to our highest learning will dissolve away like fruit blossoms.
It reminds me of Carl Jung: “Our most important problems cannot be solved. They must be outgrown.” This powerful concept helps retrain how I think, to pay NO attention to the things I don’t like in my life. I’m too busy being focused on where I’m headed. As Ernest Holmes taught, I choose to “Only look at that which you wish to experience.”
When I was single I noticed healthy, loving relationships around me with a smile and a glowing heart, knowing it would one day be my own joy – and now it is. When I allowed an unhealthy substance to take over my life, I prayed for and focused on what it felt like to be a light and carefree non-drinker, and that is my joyful experience of life now.
Every day I continue growing towards who I am becoming. I visualize myself feeling, behaving, and acting peacefully no matter what external events are happening. I certainly have a ways to go, but every slip up [such as yesterday when I was grumpy with my husband when I hadn't noticed how hungry I'd become] helps strengthen my resolve to focus on calmness and inner peace. To be aware of what pulls me off balance so that I can remain steady. And I fully believe we all get where we’re going by looking forward, and giving zero attention to what we no longer want. Let’s focus on what we DO want, and let the rest fall away like finished fruiting blossoms.
Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE
[Images gratefully sourced from Google.com]
All my life, as far back as I can remember, I have felt a connection with trees. I’ve grasped trunks and branches during youthful climbs and wondered how my hands felt to them. I felt their surface as rough, crumbly, sticky in places with sap, and I wondered if they felt me climbing them as warm, human, fleeting, soft.
One of my earliest memories regarding my family involved a tree. A very tall tree. We lived near the end of a long country road and our yard had a row of tall spruce running along the property line, separating our house and yard from the road. I loved those huge spruce trees and would often climb up to sit, swing and bounce on those sprawling lower branches. For my tiny body of six years those branches made a perfect ladder all the way to the top, and one day I just kept going.
I can still remember the sticky sap that clung to my palms as I reached up to another and then another branch-rung in this ladder to the clouds. That is until the branches were so close together that all I could do was perch on the sturdiest one and hold onto the trunk. It was exhilarating. My heart was happy and excited and I felt so intimately close to that old tree. I felt safe. Cocooned. I even noticed how the breeze made that old tree sway. In my mind it was as if I was nestled in the clouds and I loved it.
Then I looked down through the branches and saw my family in the yard: mother gardening, father working on one of his cars, and much older sister preparing to head out in her own car. I could hear them easily and they were starting to ask each other, “Have you seen Gina?” so I unveiled my hiding spot and cheerily called out to them, “Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hi Sis!” Unfortunately (but predictably) they didn’t think my being 50 feet up in a narrow evergreen quite as enchanting as I did. My Mom went into a screaming state of panic and her fear was palatable. I suddenly gripped that trunk and felt the rush of a powerful fear.
I climbed down with a much more unhappy energy than I’d climbed up with, but I still give thanks for that memory. The trauma from my mother’s fear helped imprint that day, that moment, into my brain to be permanently stored. I loved that tree, that day, the clouds, the breeze, even the sticky and prickly branches, and my mother’s introduction of fear helped sear that day into me so that I would never forget.
Once I became a mother it was easy to forgive and understand my mom’s frantic, scolding behaviour. While I never experienced looking up a 50-foot tree to see my six-year old child near the top, I can still easily understand her behaviour (although I don’t recommend letting your child SEE your level of panic, if at all possible). Obviously I made it down safely, although the coming down was vastly worse than the going up. I was harshly scolded and forbidden from ever climbing trees again. (Not that it lasted. I discovered an ancient walnut tree as well as a prolific cherry tree at our next home. I figured moving made that ‘No Climbing Trees’ agreement void)
Now mid-life has snuck up on me and those memories are decades old. In my world I now have 50-foot spruce trees on my own property. While I do not feel the urge to push my much-larger body through the branches in an attempt to reach the heights, I feel their roots. I offer love to their roots.
I wonder, is this a part of aging? In my youth I longed for the tip-top branches, swaying in the breeze, and now I respect and appreciate roots where I add compost, occasional fertilizer and water during times of drought.
I myself have put deeper roots down as I cherish these years of my forties. If I may be so lucky this is the halfway point… the true mid-life stage and I intend to show up and put on a good show.
Offering my love and appreciation for the two huge spruce I share this property with is one way I celebrate life. They are old trees, older than I am, and their sprawling shallow roots reach much farther than the drip-line. Their roots might even be under me now as I type in the den facing the street, beside the nearest of the two giant trees as I watch the pattern of the wind in its branches.
If this is the case and the roots are under my feet, may it receive this prayer I offer. May this tree feel my appreciation for the birds it shelters and the shade it offers. May it know those fertilizer spikes I pound in at the drip-line during spring rains are one way I show my love as I attempt to replenish the soil nourishment our city lifestyles rob from urban trees. May it, on some unknown level, feel my loving eyes as I watch its branches from my window and attempt to capture poetic words to describe the beauty I behold. May these old trees, and all the trees in my neighbourhood and the wilderness walks I enjoy, feel my deep appreciation for them and continue to flourish and share their oxygenating, healing energy with us all.
Thank You God for all the Trees.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.
~ Chinese Proverb
I willingly confess to so great a partiality for trees as tempts me to respect a man in exact proportion to his respect for them.
~ James Russell Lowell
I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live
than other things do. ~ Willa Cather
[With genuine gratitude for these randomly-sourced royalty-free photos off Google images]
You may have seen some or all of these images before but I feel it’s time for some funnies! Here are a few humorous images of dogs and cats. They make me smile and I hope they bring a smile to your face as well. Hang in there! xo Hugs, Gina
[with gratitude for these randomly sourced images off Google]
A while ago I woke with a moonbeam shining in my eyes. My mind called out: it’s too early to be awake! It’s hardly into the third hour of the day and I’d hoped to wake when the alarm went off at 7am. But the moon had other plans, shining her beaming light across my face, through the small opening in the window covering. After turning and trying to think of sleep, I laid on my back, eyes open, and heard the lines of a poem running through my mind:
“How the heart mingles with the moonlit hour,
As if the starry heavens suffused a power.”
It’s been a while since I’ve thought of this poem and it took time to remember it all. The beginning was eluding me and, having realized sleep was not returning, I tiptoed to my home office hoping for speed on my computer, and sought out the poem. There it was! The stanza that was eluding me:
“And when, oblivious to the world, we stray,
At dead of night, along some noiseless way,”
This poem, Starry Heavens, is one of my all-time favorites. I hadn’t thought about it in a year or so, and am happy to be woken by moonbeams to help me remember it. Memorized poems need to be occasionally dusted off and recited, even if only for our selves. An audience for this hobby of memorizing old-fashioned poetry is yet to be found in my life, so I’m thankful to share it here.
More prose is wandering through my thoughts this early morning… this time by Galileo…
“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”
What a beautiful statement, making me think about faith even though the man himself was not known for being pious.
This I learned as I sought more information about a quote I was self-misinformed about, years ago. I was watching a PBS seminar with the always-inspirational Dr. Wayne Dyer, and he shared a quote that had me pause the VCR (like I said, years ago):
“The sun, with all it’s planets revolving around it, can ripen the smallest bunch of grapes as if it had nothing better to do.” ~ “Why then, should I doubt His power?”
I was in my early twenties (a young mom with a VCR) and I wrote down this paraphrased quote and memorized it as I heard it, not realizing I’d misunderstood the pause in Dr. Dyer’s sharing of this powerful quote and I added his own comment to the end of Galileo’s writing. So for years, decades really, I’d memorized this tidbit from Galileo with a Wayne Dyer addition on the end. It is a great quote, and my inadvertent ‘addition’ has brought me great comfort through the years. However I prefer to know the truth, and to know who really said what.
Let’s hear it for research! As I sought info I realized that Galileo was in the ‘other’ camp. I personally enjoy melding science and religion within my own viewpoints and give thanks to live in a time when this is possible but Mr. Galilei did not live in such a time, and his passion for science unfortunately drove a wedge between himself and the primary organized religion of his day. To say he was ‘ahead of his time’ is a gross understatement. [Scroll to the bottom of this post for info on his life.]
Today I woke too early, with a poem about the moon and stars in my mind, and thoughts of Galileo hovering. Then, as I thought of Galileo, I easily recalled a favourite song by The Indigo Girls and have shared it here. As I wrote in a previous post: “It has been suggested that insomnia is linked with creativity.”
This is my ‘share’ today, sent out to any other insomnia wanderers out there, and of course to all my cherished readers whatever time of day you happen to come upon this post. I hope you enjoy and are inspired to relish in every moment of the day that you are alive.
Thank you to YouTube user ‘elmonkey26’ for this excellent video!
Excerpt from GoodReads:
“Galileo Galilei (Feb 5, 1564 – Jan 8, 1642) was a Tuscan (Italian) physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of science”, and “the Father of Modern Science.” The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, named the Galilean moons in his honour, and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, improving compass design. Galileo’s championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime. The geocentric view had been dominant since the time of Aristotle, and the controversy engendered by Galileo’s presentation of heliocentrism as proven fact resulted in the Catholic Church’s prohibiting its advocacy as empirically proven fact, because it was not empirically proven at the time and was contrary to the literal meaning of Scripture. Galileo was eventually forced to recant his heliocentrism and spent the last years of his life under house arrest on orders of the Roman Inquisition.”
[Images randomly sourced off the internet]