Giving Thanks

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That’s not a very original title, now is it, given this is the week of Thanksgiving.  I’m going with it because I have so much to be thankful for.  I gave the eulogy last Saturday at my mother’s celebration of life.  I did not realize the weight that I was carrying around in anticipation of fulfilling my duties in this regard.  I feel light as a feather, except for those odds and ends that I still must look after.  Light as a feather, as if I could fly.  So here is the photo that popped in my mind when I thought about having photos of feathers.  It was a lovely day that we spent in Monet’s Gardens and I remember it well. 

Bird in Monet's Garden

Bird in Monet’s Garden

The truth is, you don’t need to go to France to be filled with the wonder and the beauty that surrounds us everywhere.  I took this shot last Sunday in the Napa Valley.  It was an amazing day.  It was different than Monet’s Garden but equally as lovely and well-tended.

The Covering of Fall in the Napa Valley

The Covering of Fall in the Napa Valley

So I am hoping that everyone who reads this blog has the loveliest of Thanksgivings ever.  We do have so much to be thankful for.

Centering

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Somehow, with all this swirl of change embedded in my life, I have failed to keep up on the practice of Yoga.  I don’t know why this became the one thing that I couldn’t seem to find the time for, but it has worked out that way.  This photograph of the poppy is a bit like my life.  It all looks good and vibrant, but it is a little off-center.    

Delicate Poppy Center

Delicate Poppy Center

Today, I am pledging to get fully back on track, Yoga and all.  You see, although the photo is beautiful, there is a piece of it that doesn’t exactly fit.  It’s not about being perfect; it’s about the  feeling we have when we are centered.  It brings you a strength and peacefulness, the very things that I am always searching for.

Navigating Peace and Forgiveness

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Last evening I went to a group grief session.  I’ve never done anything like this before but I thought it might be helpful going into the holiday season.  We were asked why we were attending and I was the only one that answered with the thought that I was searching for peace and forgiveness.  As I was listening, I found it interesting that I was the only one looking for these things.  It made me think.  I have been searching for peace my entire life and finding it around every turn.  I can find peace in the simplest of things, for instance, Stanton Lanier creates songs and plays the piano in the most soothing of ways.  It’s quite peaceful.  Taking my grandchild for a walk and stopping to watch the Cormorant fishing in the pond, watching the birds fly as we approach them, greeting the doggies along our path, are things that bring both of us delight and a calming peacefulness.  Everyday we are greeted with a sunrise and left with the beauty of a sunset.  This sunset made me think of my mother last weekend while we were stuck in traffic along I-80 near Dixon.  What a lovely way to be stuck in traffic.  Mom always liked a good sunset.

Peaceful Sunset

Peaceful Sunset

I think that I have the peaceful part of what I am searching for realized because, it surrounds me everyday and everywhere I go, all I need to do is look for it and be aware of it when I see it.  Searching to find forgiveness is the tricky part.  I don’t often need to find forgiveness but I realize that it is an important part of finding peace and joy in my life.  It is interesting that those people who I feel I need to forgive seldom even notice that something is askew in the relationship.  I have come to find that there are times when I simply need to accept them for who and what they are.  I can not expect them to be anything other than who they are.  I forgive them for being themselves and just figure that it is all they have to give.  I know these things but implementing this idea proves to be a struggle for me.  I need to find a solution so I can move on with the peaceful part of my life.  See, peace and forgiveness are intertwined for me.  I must remember to immerse myself in those moments of discovery and beauty.  It is there that I can bathe in the glorious act of acceptance and forgiving.  

I hope all your sunsets this week are exquisite. 

Storms and Stillness

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I skipped writing the blog last week, and with good reason. My mother passed away on Oct. 27. It was her 88th birthday. She passed peacefully, right after I sang “Happy Birthday” to her, per my aunt’s request. There is more to the story, of course, but I have since been struggling with certain images that come to me while I am sleeping. I am not the only person to have these unsettling images, and I now understand that they can be with you for a very long time.
The whole premiss of this blog was to help people communicate, and with that thought in mind, I will share with you my video, with the hope that my idea might help others. You’ll have to make a video of your own, or put together a collage of photos that take your mind to a better place, times with happier memories. I put the music that I wrote for my mother, and would play for her, behind the photos. I hope you enjoy the video.

So lets start talking.  We are of an age, where many of us share these same hiccups in life.  You needn’t hide from them, but embrace them, and talk with others about your feelings.  I believe that, when we discover that we are not alone, we no longer feel isolated in those feelings.  With all this said and done, and the images I’m trying to shake, I wouldn’t have done it any other way, when it came to my mother.  Her last words to me were, “I love you.”  Now doesn’t that just say it all?  That is the very image I want to remember.