Autumn Lessons

On crisp New England fall mornings, especially, Brooke Medicine Eagle’s song “Walk in Beauty” is in my mind, my heart, and usually comes leaping out my mouth as I go about morning chores. One cannot help but see the beauty in bold colored leaves all around. Rain or shine, each leaf proudly stands out as a yet another of nature’s master pieces. And like all great art it invokes all the senses! There are the sights and sounds of swaying crowds of leaves in the trees to the music of the wind, or pirouetting through the air in a most graceful ballet, or when the leaves crawl and rush around the ground like children at play. You can smell and taste the changes in the air. It’s a mix of damp leaves, the sweetness of fruits on the vines and in the trees, of the earthiness of gentle decay as plants slowly melt into compost for next year’s generation. You can feel the excitement as so many seeds are released to the winds by the hopeful parent plant wishing them well on their life’s journey while ever hopeful that future generations will flourish.

Living in harmony with nature gives us useful life lessons in each season. Just as a tree drops its leaves, I shed what no longer serves me. Like a squirrel, I gather my resources in preparation for what is to come. I release the seeds of my thoughts, often in the form of advice, in hopes those listening will benefit at some point in the future to help them through life’s growing pains. I slow down like a caterpillar or create my own pupa for rest and renewal so to be reborn as a butterfly in the spring.

Each season, each day, each moment we are open to the beautiful lessons all around us!

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And if you’d like to listen to Brooke Medicine Eagle’s song “Walk in Beauty” someone posted it on youtube:

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Sacred Hospitality

What a wonderful exhausting week it was!

I caught myself being reminded of my mother at every turn. No matter how much work was needed to be done, she warmly welcomed guests and always found a way to feed someone if they were hungry. You see, I was blessed to have my daughter and her boyfriend visit from the opposite coast. To say that 6’7″ young man had a healthy appetite would be an amazing understatement! We were able to go to one of my daughter’s favorite restaurants after we picked them up from the train on Sunday night & that lead to generous left over’s that the boy could help himself to whenever he got hungry again. I’m glad we went picking a variety of fruit at a local orchard on their first full day of their visit here so he would also always have a ready supply of snack material. With me still recovering from Lyme disease and feeling like I was clawing my way out of a deep ditch, the “kids” even decided to cook for us a few times too during the whirlwind visit. They went up to Boston for a day & a half that left me enough time to prep food & house for my husband’s tequila tasting gathering on Thursday. I made lots of yummy food including chicken enchilada roll-ups, pulled pork empanadas, south-west egg rolls, guacamole, raspberry-chipotle adobo dip, along with black bean & corn salsa. I did BUY chips rather than make them too! There were a number of people that were first time visitors to our home and many remarked how comfortable they were here. I know it wasn’t just the tequila talking too because some of the designated drivers reacted the same way. It goes beyond the food and drinks too.

It’s about that family tradition, those things learned from infancy of truly caring for each person that crosses the threshold to our home. It’s treating the time shared with others as the “sacred” gift that it is. The visit with my daughter disappeared without a chance for simple mother/daughter chats but I am happy she’s found someone special she loves to spend time with. We dropped them off at the train station early Saturday morning before we headed up to an all day festival filled with classes, music, and good friends. After the festival we stopped by a friend’s birthday party before heading home to get some much needed sleep. Sunday was supposed to be to relax but of course I found ways to use up some of the leftovers & made a peach pie since the peaches were turning too fast to eat and of course the usual household chores to accomplish. And Monday was busier than usual too since we had to visit the lawyer and sign a ton of papers to refinance the mortgage, pick up hubby’s car that needed emergency brake work (What a blessing to have a friend that’s a mechanic!), plus Monday night football!

Today brought more memories of my mother and her many interests. I thought of her love of animals as I picked up special cat food at the vet for one of our 16 year old cats. Again I thought of her community and political involvement as I voted in the mayoral primary. Like my mother did, I too find peace in nurturing nature so I stopped in at a local greenhouse and picked up a few sale plants. Now I sit here at the computer and am overwhelmed with the blessings of learning so much by the loving examples my mother and my whole family set for me. I hope that I’ve set as good of an example for my daughter and that the lessons of sacred hospitality are being handed down not just in my family but also with each soul to whom I come in contact.

Brightest Blessings!
"The most important thing in the world is family and love."

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Yes, the cure is better than the disease…

This week has me feeling extremely grateful for antibiotics and especially for finishing them! I’ve been on them for three weeks for Lyme Disease and unfortunately I get a lot of the common side-effects from them. Makes one wonder if the cure is as bad as the problem. Of course I know that Lyme Disease is a serious issue, even though I had to chuckle at the doctor gasping “IMPRESSIVE” at the sight of the LARGE rash area. My body apparently really ramps up to try to fight such things since my temperature was spiking too! I had it last year and felt totally drained of energy for months after finishing treatment but every experience is a chance to learn something and this 2nd bout with Lyme is no exception. I already knew that in most people, treatment with antibiotics is very effective in eliminating symptoms, preventing progression to later manifestations of the disease, and curing the infection. I also knew some symptoms improve rapidly with this treatment, but like me last year, other symptoms gradually improve over weeks to months.

New information for me was that a few people might even suffer inflammation of the heart causing a condition called atrioventricular block or heart block. Heart block can cause a slower than normal heart rate, lightheadedness and fainting, or may cause no symptoms at all. After learning this at my doctor’s appointment, I decided to look up a bit more information and learned that may happen in 8 percent or less of untreated adults. So while it’s rare, I’m grateful to have a doctor that’s aware of the MANY symptoms of Lyme Disease! And that’s a LOT to cover! From early localized reactions, nonspecific symptoms, cardiac symptoms, & neurologic symptoms to the muscle and joint symptoms of later stages of the disease including Post-Lyme disease syndrome. I also learned that Fibromyalgia develops in some people after treatment for Lyme disease!

I know I’m feeling a lot like the squirrel in the photo below due to Lyme and encourage everyone to make sure the lazy hazy days of summer are nothing more than relief from the heat and humidity! Brightest blessings of good health to all! facebook-cover SUMMER 06

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The waves of change….

The waves of change echo the ebb and flow of the ocean. We know that eventually the tide will turn and are reminded that there is a rhythm to life. This week emphasizes this quite well for me. My husband’s job situation was secured for the rest of the fiscal year, so he’s gone from worried to a few weeks of security only to look ahead to uncertainty that looms on the October 1st horizon. But rather than dwell on “doom and gloom” of the unforeseen future we choose to appreciate the good things of the moment while taking a few precautions. With the uncertain financial future, we are taking the mundane everyday actions of looking at how to reduce expenditures such as refinancing our mortgage. Since I regularly work with the cycles of the earth, as part of my faith, I was not the least bit surprised when our lender stated that the paperwork for our loan was coming together “surprisingly fast”. The cycles of nature are working with us or maybe, more accurately, we’re working with them… We started the ball rolling with the new moon and were just informed of how quickly it’s coming together with the full moon. By riding the tides of change and working with the rhythm of life we’re doing more than “getting by”. We’re gratefully celebrating and embracing the changes that we’ve encountered and will meet in the future. We’re learning how resourceful and practical we can be while we appreciate what’s truly important in our lives. Pay attention to the ebb and flow in your own life, there are messages there and if you pay attention to them you will be guided to exactly where you’re supposed to be in life. Wishing you love and peace on your life journey! 

"The Sun, Moon and Stars are there to guide us." ~Dennis Banks

“The Sun, Moon and Stars are there to guide us.”
~Dennis Banks

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Everything is connected

I find myself incredibly grateful for so many things and count my blessings while going about everyday tasks. This morning I was watering some flowers I have in whisky barrel planters at the end of where the garden hose can reach and while I was appreciating the beauty of the flowers under the bright blue sky with dollops of fluffy white clouds floating peacefully across the sky, I was met with an inquisitive hummingbird saying hello before it visited the nearby butterfly bush. It decided to sit for a bit nestled within one of the nearby shady branches as though it too was happily watching the bees and butterflies dancing among the many flowers in that part of the yard. These things are more than part of a lovely view, they’re part of me, they’re part of you. Everything is gratefully connected; the sky, the clouds, the water, the flowers, the butterflies, the birds and the bees. We can be grateful for the beauty but we can also be grateful for understanding the connections between such beauty with our own interactions. How we choose to nurture nature shows a lot about how we nurture each other.

If we use toxic chemicals in our environment without thought of any further consequence than killing a specific weed for instance we’re not considering the whole process. The manufacturing of the chemicals negatively impacts the environment, the use of a product negatively impacts the beneficial flora and fauna of the land, the water supply, ultimately negatively impacting US. A pamphlet distributed by the National Union of French Apiculture in 1994 questionably quoted Albert Einstein as having stated “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination… no more men!” So while it’s doubtful that Einstein made such a statement, I wouldn’t be surprised if he agreed with the thought. We know that without enough pollinators there wouldn’t be enough food to feed the many lives on the earth. I’m grateful that so many people are becoming aware of our interdependence with nature. Everything is connected.

Nurture nature so we can continue to nurture each other and ourselves.

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I’m Baaaaack…

Sorry for being gone for so long, but I needed to take some time. There are a few changes afoot and so I sadly let the ball drop when it came to sharing my gratitude with the public. With the various irons in the fire, I will endeavor to post once a week. Now that that’s out-of-the-way…


“Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit.”
~James Allen

This week I find myself grateful for being raised looking for the silver lining in any dark cloud. It’s exactly that kind of thinking that has helped me through all of life’s trials from childhood until now and will take me far into the future. Last week my husband’s job situation changed dramatically and he’s on forced vacation until the dust settles. The powers that be had been playing financial kick-the-can with a government contract extending it from week to week instead of awarding the contract for months! Last week they awarded the contract that my hubby’s tasking is under to another company. So you can see that our life is unsettled at the moment but that doesn’t stop us from being grateful. If anything it makes us MORE grateful. Many people are doing a lot of “behind the scenes” talks to secure a position for my husband or alternate funding avenues.  We have friends that are asking what they can do to help. Plus we’ve been putting money into savings so we should be okay until this all works out.  Staying positive and being grateful for all the blessings in our lives has gotten us this far and it will take us safely into the future. For now, it’s simply a matter of staying in the moment since that’s really all ANY of us has. The past is gone and the future hasn’t happened yet. Keeping good thoughts, grateful thoughts, positive thoughts, waiting to see what wonderful opportunities await!

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Marvelous Monday Gratitude

“Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.” ~Nora Roberts

I feel so incredibly blessed today. Had a wonderful vacation visiting my darling daughter on the west coast and treasured every moment. I miss that girl the moment she’s out of site! Then this past weekend we attended a celebratory public pagan gathering and saw many friends I hadn’t seen in months. The remainder of the weekend was chore driven but had an ease to it as though that gentle easy-going laid back vacation attitude had become part of our DNA. That’s what I’m holding onto, that sense of peace and well being with no worries. I know I’m on the right track when after getting a later than intended start to the day, I took my morning cup of tea outside to the sun drenched sectional, put my feet up and started making my “okay, what’s REALLY necessary to accomplish today” list with the quiet bubbling of the pond filter and birds softly calling only to look up and see several deer where the lush green lawn kisses the wild woods look at me and then simply return to their grazing. A magical start to my day, to my refreshed and renewed return to my every day life. Where two kiss there is always magic, such are my thoughts at Beltane…

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Fantastic Friday Gratitude

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls." ~Joseph Campbell

The other night while attending a concert by Anoushka Shankar at a local college, I was reminded again of the wisdom of following your own bliss. That wonderfully talented young woman explored the musical similarities of Spanish flamenco with the vibrant, ancient forms of the Indian classical tradition. Truly a unique and beautiful combination. One of the best lessons from that performance was how her simple curiosity led to such wonderful musical creation that then she shared with the world. That act of sharing her creation brings greater understanding how much alike two distinctly different things can be. All who listen cross a bridge of understanding as well as the opportunity for a pleasurable musical experience. We can look at all of life in this way, to examine how much more alike we are than different from others. One person took a little bit of curiosity, followed their bliss and it has brought the world something beautiful. So my wish for the world today is to stay curious! Namaste!

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Totally Tuesday Gratitude

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

Today I find myself reflecting on two themes. The first is CHANGE. Change is the only constant in life. Everything changes. It’s how we grow, how we learn, how we experience life and allows us to share our insights to help others. Change is essential to survival, like how the goldfinch undergoes a complete molt twice a year, going into brightly colored plumage during the breeding season to attract a mate. People do much the same thing. We all want to be noticed, but often people fail to identify WHY or by WHOM. For myself, I want to be noticed by those I love for the love I give… everything else are just feathers that can tickle my fancy for a moment and this is where the secondary theme arrives. I’ve noticed a lot of people are so busy trying to be noticed, they become “people pleasers” to the point of self-detriment and even self-doubt. It’s all well and good to make others happy, but what the world really needs is for each person to make themselves happy and then to share that joy. Think of a world where everyone was happy and excited about their work, their lives. It would be dynamic, diverse, delightful or more simply put, ALIVE!

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Happy Hump Day Gratitude

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans” ~John Lennon

Ever feel TOO busy? That’s the way I feel today, like there’s simply not enough time to get everything done that I want to get done and for that I’m grateful. It means my life is full of opportunities yet to be explored! Maybe that’s why I chose today’s quote “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” by Thoreau. “Success” manifests in the small things of daily life as well as the big things. You can enjoy it every day in oh so many ways, like “Success! The bed is made!” or “Success! The litter boxes are clean!” or “Success! The dishes are done!”. Individually, they are the simple humble jobs we do everyday that lead to a clean and happy home. A clean and happy home is one of my definitions of success because it means I’m relaxed and ready for unexpected opportunities like a friend stopping by, my husband’s allergic reactions kept to a minimum, and it’s easier to take on any project that intrigues me and that can lead to both business and personal “success”!

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