Nature Nurtures Hope

Tree-FreezeThis was my Japanese magnolia tree almost a month ago.

It had bloomed gloriously, but got hit by a freeze. This was the result.

I wanted to cry when I saw the tree, but I walked out and looked at it closely.

This is a picture of what I found. Can you see the green buds?

natures-hopeTo me, this is an example of how nature nurtures hope.

It’s a good lesson for me and maybe you.

Sometimes, everything looks brown and dead.

And it’s easy to believe there’s no hope left.

But looks can be deceiving, as my Japanese magnolia proves.

Even in the darkest times, there is a bud of hope waiting to blossom.

Look for it!

Hope

What Gives Me Hope

Spring-Flowers_480Colorful flowers in springtime

A baby’s toothless smile

Sunshine peeking through trees

Rain quenching dry dirt

A happy news story

Open mouthed baby birds

Conversations full of laughter

Anger dissolving into compromise

Moments of awesome beauty

Glowing lights dispersing darkness

Tears turning into laughter

Minute long warm hugs

Mistakes merging into wisdom

People helping other people

Forgiveness releasing old hurt

Dreams that come true

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So, tell me true. What gives you hope?

 P.S. Talking about dreams coming true, I want to congratulate a blogging friend, Chris Edgar, who recently made his dream come true.

Some time ago, he was on a plane and had this crazy dream of developing his own musical. While other people would have stayed in their comfort zone, Chris decided to go after this dream He’s proof dreams come true if you make them happen.

It took  a lot of time and hard work, but he just released the first episode of his animated musical, Steve’s Quest. Click on the link and watch it. You’ll enjoy it:~)

What Spiders Can Teach Us

Click to enlarge

Nature’s Architects

Spiders are truly Nature’s architects. They spin the most marvelous constructions with deftness that amazes me. This web would balloon out when a breeze caught it, like a parachute.

The spider that created it was so tiny; my powerful camera struggled to get a clear shot of him.

For some reason, spiders appear to me in times of great distress. It’s not that I don’t see them at other times. But when I’m in a bit of bother, special ones, like this one seem to catch my eye.

I found this one on the day my dog died. The sunlight hit it just right, creating a cascade of colors that made stop in awe. Then I noticed the power of it’s construction.

Yet, spiders and their webs don’t last a long time. Two days after this picture, the web and the spider that created it were gone.

Spiders remind me of how important hope is in our lives.

They build elaborate webs of thin silk threads. A spider has no idea of how long her creation will last. Yet, she builds it. If it breaks and she survives, she will build another and another. She is the reminder that life goes on. Even when things fall apart, we can rebuild, just like the spider.

Spider Power

Out of curiosity, I looked up Spiders in my Medicine Cards. I found the words that ended the write-up about spiders very appropriate

“The most important message from Spider is that you are an infinite being who will continue to weave the patterns of life and living throughout time. Do not fail to see the expansiveness of the eternal plan.”

I think this is a good message for all of us. We will have ups and downs and yet, if we are like Spider, we will learn how to keep weaving and rebuilding our lives.

Old Dogs: Rest in Peace

I want to thank everyone who left JC and me a condolence comment about the loss of our dog. I’ve only just started to read them. They tend to turn on the water spigot in my eyes rather quickly.

Replies will come later, but I want each of you to know that your kind words were greatly appreciated.

Feeling the Holiday Blues

oval-candle-brightphotograph by Sara B. Healy

The Gift of Grieving

Holidays are not always happy and merry. When I was sixteen I lost my father to cancer at Christmas time. That was a difficult and painful holiday season, and it continued to be for quite a few years. This confused me because I felt I should be joyful and happy like my friends.

The holidays seemed to make my grief worse and it scared me sometimes; I wondered if I would ever recover from my father’s death. While I did recover eventually, 41 years later I still feel twinges of sadness during the holidays.

I’ve had many years to sort this out and understand these moments of sadness. I no longer fight them or pretend they don’t exist. Instead, I allow and accept them. I know they are reminders of the love I had for someone I lost.

When I was young no one explained how grief works, or that holidays like Christmas might bring back memories of that difficult time. I continued to feel like the odd person out because I wasn’t always happy during the holidays.

Today, I know there are people around the world who are experiencing a trauma during this time. Perhaps they’ve lost someone they love, an important relationship has ended, or they fear for someone who is ill. Whatever it is, this may not be an especially happy time for them. Their fear or sadness may conflict with the expectations of joy during the holidays.

I’ve been inspired to write this poem for anyone who is experiencing pain or sadness during this holiday season. I hope it reminds them to not deny or fight their feelings, but to allow them without guilt.

A Poem for the Holiday Blues

I see you. I know you are there.
You hide from the bright lights this holiday.
And the constant cheer is really hard for you to bear.

You turn away from the store man wishing all a happy holiday.
You turn off the radio because every station plays holiday music.
You turn from the jolly smiling faces as they create more dismay.

It’s not that you are a Scrooge, saying “Bah, humbug.”
It’s not that you don’t want to share the joy this time of year.
It’s not that the happy people don’t give your heartstrings a tug.

It’s just that it’s hard for you to put on a happy holiday mask.
When your sadness, loneliness and grief
Make getting out of bed a momentous task.

So, if you don’t want to celebrate the holidays like everyone else,
It’s okay. Don’t be afraid to let your feelings flow.
By acknowledging them, you allow yourself to let them go.

These holidays celebrate the birth of hope and healing.
Those of us who’ve walked your path know that this sadness
Will make way for hope if you accept what you’re feeling.

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While I wish you all a wonderful holiday and a happy new year, I also hope you’ll  keep in your heart the people who may not be having a happy holiday this year. They need your compassion and prayers. I ask you to stop, take a moment and send them your warm thoughts of hope this season.

p.s. I want to thank Davina of Shades of Crimson for encouraging me to write and share this poem. For a month, she has been sharing her beautiful, thoughtful and sometimes humorous poetry. Davina’s gift for poetry, as well as her courage and persistence, have challenged and inspired me:~)

Due to the holidays, I will not have a post this coming Monday, but do plan one for Thursday.