Gifts from the Sea, Sky & Land and Why I Still Believe in Beauty #lifeisbeautiful #seaturtle #turtlesymbolism #kindness

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Photo Credit: <a href="http://Image by Andres Hernandez from Pixabay” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Pixabay

I have thought often of the sea turtle over these last two weeks as the knot in my shoulder grows with the tension of stress. She appeared suddenly, unexpected. I was paddling too far out from the shore in the warm waters surrounding Grand Cayman Island. My daughter, her friend, and my son where off in the distance, and I found myself pulled in equal measure toward the water and to the three of them, scattered around me on their boards.

My thoughts drifted over the waves as my heart filled with love and gratitude for the beauty surrounding me. The day before I had swam with rainbow fish through bleached coral. Fed stingrays from my palms. A tourist in a land not mine. I wanted to give thanks for the intrusion. For allowing me to experience the joy of being held in the buoyant embrace of tropical waters. Water I knew was suffering, but still held beauty fiercely.

“December Winds,” the islanders had called it. An ocean usually like glass whipped into waves by the wind. We were way past the red marker, my daughter the one to notice and call us back in. I had become lost, temporarily, in joy. The turtle rose through the current for breath while I was in my reverie. A juvenile tattooed with the beauty of youth, appeared suddenly before my board. A head that felt ancient with wisdom lifted towards the sun, followed by one fin-like arm. A mere moment in time hovering in stasis before the water swallowed its gift back home.

It was so brief an encounter, it felt like a dream. I was the only witness to a greeting that felt sacred and secret, but I wanted to share it. I paddled through the current, trying to catch sight of the turtle once more. Hoping it would come up again for air as I called to the three scattered teenagers. That’s when my daughter noticed we were too far from shore and began reeling us in with her voice. The turtle was never spotted again, and when we reached the sand, it became more legend than truth. I am used to being a “crazy mother,” so that was okay. The gift was still with me, even if my eyes were the only two to bear witness.

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Yesterday’s snow

I have since returned to the cold land of New England. Yesterday it snowed, and I found myself shoveling the driveway while Mille the cat raced up the hemlocks and across my cleared path. I was tired and sore from days of painting the bathroom, and from worrying about life. Across the road, my neighbor was doing the same thing, only she had a lot further to go to clear the white layers to rejoin her house to the street.

So I shoveled around the mailbox then crossed the road. Sometimes gifts come when we need them most. Unexpected, yet at just the right time. I didn’t know that my neighbor’s hip was bothering her, or that her husband was away, until we began to chat over the lift of our shovels. And somehow we got around to the state of the world. It felt like deja vu. Three winters prior I had been there with her husband, who had recently gone through rotator cuff surgery, shoveling snow and talking about our world. And, once again, I found myself in equal parts gratitude and despair.

“I’m glad I’m no longer a teacher,” my neighbor confessed. “I can’t imagine dealing with third graders who think they can act out because their president does.” I am paraphrasing her words, which carried the heat of her frustration. I felt it too. This world that we share so filled with incomprehensible immorality. A world that despite our best efforts, is still beautiful.

I looked at the still falling snow and felt the softening of its touch. Gratitude filled a weary heart once again. Gratitude for the blessings for the white weight of frozen water  blanketing a troubled land. The anxiety inside of me was still present, but lessened by its touch, just as the warm waters of the Caribbean and its turtle had lifted me into joy when I needed the reminder that life is indeed beautiful.

Hours later, the blessing of the snow would test me with a call from my daughter. “Mom, mom, are you there? I went off the road. Can you come?” The knot in my shoulder tightening as I turned off the stove, gathered keys, shovel, sand, and my wallet, and dragging my irritated son out of his room, just in case.

Gratitude returned later, after I realized it could have been so much worse. She was fine, as was her friend, the passenger. Even the car was fine, despite being tipped into a ditch. “You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve seen this here,” my kind neighbor up the road, whom I’d never met before, told me as he offered his assistance. “I’ve offered to pull them out, if you can find the hitch.”

I couldn’t, but there was also the young policeman behind them, who had somehow gotten there before me, even though I’m five minutes away. That’s the kind of town I live in, though. Help is never far away. “Don’t worry,” he told me. “I’m staying here.” And minutes later he was beside us once again as I fumbled with icy hands to dial for a tow. “Forget it,” he told me as he looked over shoulder to witness the ridiculous hoops I was going through to get to the end result (whatever happened to people answering phones?), “I’ll call one in. It will be faster.”

Today is a quiet day. The snow has settled from its fall from the sky and the landscape is cocooned in its nest.  I don’t know what the next moment will bring, but there is a stick of butter thawing on my counter. Sometime, later on, I will mix it with chocolate and ginger, using a recipe from a good friend who will soon be calling. Forming a dough to bake into cookies for a young officer whose kindness went beyond the call of duty. And so for now, I sit here on the couch, writing and contemplating the beauty that wraps us always in its embrace. Even when we swirl inside chaos.

Monday Magic #SoapBubble #magic

Have you ever noticed how life has a way of bringing us joy even when we are immersed in our musings of the trials and tribulations we sometimes believe it is filled with? This morning, I found myself caught inside the web of difficulties after a somewhat trying weekend filled with highs and lows. I was lingering on the lows inside the quiet house of a Monday morning. I had just made some hot porridge and filled it with diced fall pears from the tree in our yard. The almond milk had been poured and a squeeze of amber honey added. Before I sat down to eat, I took the empty pot in which I had cooked my cereal, and carried it over to the sink. That’s when I saw the huge soap bubble sitting on the murky surface and everything inside of me shifted.

The magic of life is always there, patiently waiting for us to see it. I’m so glad I took that moment to breathe it in with my being, through the lens of the soap bubble reflecting the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen. At the far edge of the bubble I saw two tiny rectangles reflecting the window above. The image is a bit blurry, as I had to zoom the camera lens quite a lot to capture the movement of the light and colors. Still, I hope you enjoy it too, and it touches your day with magic.

Ten Beautiful Things Thursday

Sometimes we need a reminder of the beauty that is always present in and around us. Today is one of those days. In the aftermath of another horrific event involving children and a gun, I look to extract the light from the darkness. Here is what I find around me:

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The OM symbol on my wall
  1. The OM carving on my wall leading up to my healing space looks like the causal realm is kissing the awakening realm.
  2. Yesterday, scrolling through photos of tragedy on FB, I discovered Morgan Freeman is transforming his property into a sanctuary for bees.
  3.  Two beautiful dogs rescued from an unknown fate fill my home with joy and laughter in a constant reminder of gratitude and love.
  4. The morning sun spotlights nature’s beauty and I need only look through the window to see it.
  5. With each breath, I can bring that same light deep into my body to charge my cells.
  6. When I go outside, I feel the quicking pulse of spring, which promises renewal.
  7. The gentle pour of water sings a lullaby.
  8. Warm oatmeal smells like sweet earth.
  9. A blueberry wears the imprint of a flower.
  10. When my mind searches for beauty, it opens to the wonder that is Life.

Please, if you feel moved to do so, include something beautiful that you have discovered in your life in a comment. May this day and all your days be graced with beauty. 

My Life is Beautiful

In fact, it is infinitely beautiful. This, quite simply, is Truth, all else is an illusion. Let me show you why.

Flower of Life
A Flower of Life

Like you, I am the embodiment of Light. This is the the truth of all life, yet sometimes we choose the path of shadows. Years ago, I made the conscious choice to walk the path of light. It’s the path we have all agreed to walk, whether we realize it or not. A shadow is a barrier of illusion, its purpose is to give definition to light.

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The Birth of Life-Light

Yesterday was a beautiful day, as each day is. My day brought me the gifts of friendship and the love of family. It showed me the infinite glory of life in the state of becoming. Spring blooms abundance and joy bursts forth in song from winged beings. Each moment holds everything offered, and since that is all there is, it is always enough.

Winged Being
A Winged Being

I was reminded of this yesterday. If you asked my ego, it would tell you how it suffered two major blows. That the hopes it held onto for weeks had been crushed. Two punches to the gut. And, I crumbled into its energy of defeat, until my dreams brought me back to reality. I woke this morning remembering that my life is beautiful.

Fearless Abundance
A Symbol of Fearless Abundance

Mother Nature called to me to join her in the state of becoming, and I listened. I walked into her embrace. Here she showed me life is always beautiful when we choose to see it. to feel. To allow. That at any moment we can choose to embrace the light, or stay in the illusion of shadows.

A Beautiful Grump-Stump
A Beautiful Grump-Stump

There is even humor, and therefor light, in the symbols that show us shadows. Today, I laugh at doubt, knowing that it is an illusion. That I can shake its frumpy clothes free and run naked in the light. This is my destiny of becoming, and it is, always, in each moment, enough. It is beautiful. My life is beautiful.

Life Being and Becoming
Life Being and Becoming