Shine On


Yesterday I was pondering pervasive thoughts about how I don’t take myself seriously any more; like some sparks of passion have burned out. I wondered “where have I gone?”

While enjoying a mild breeze on the back porch, the sun burst out from between the clouds, as if to say “HEY!” So my age-old friend and I began a heart to heart conversation:

Me: “What’s wrong with me? I’m in a funk. I have no spark.”

Sun: “You didn’t think you’d stay the same all of your life, did you?”

Me: “Well, yes, I suppose I did.”

Sun: “To be honest, I have changed over the millennia.  Many times.”

Me: “You look the same to me.”

Sun:  “I promise, I’m not. But you couldn’t tell because mostly what you see of me is the product of my work. You enjoy my rays of sunshine, the way I light up clouds at tween-time, and you see the flowers that lean my way in the morning.”

Me:  “Truth.”

Sun: “So would you call me consistent?

Me: “Of course!”

Sun: “My secret is TO SHOW UP.  Every. Single. Day. I do my best to shine, shine, shine. And with a host of friends like wind and clouds and rainbows, we get the job done. I simply show up and take my place in the symphony of life.”

Me: *jaw drop*

Sun: *shines stronger*

Me: “So all that I need to do is keep showing up?”

Sun: “Absolutely. Clouds might cover your shine from others occasionally, but above it all, YOU still exist. You may appear a bit differently now and then. You might even perform differently too. But the real you, with those hope and dreams and ambition and excitement about it all is always consistent. Others will see you shine even if you don’t.”

Me: *big smile*

Sun: “Lean over here and let me kiss your cheek.”

Me: *leans over so face is in direct contact with warm, soft, sunshine*  Thanks, friend.

Sun: *shines on*

From one of my favorite authors: “Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.   —Don Miguel Ruiz





The Bigger Picture


It’s been said that we can be told something over and over but we won’t “hear” it until the time is right to receive the message. Yep, truth.

As early in my life as I can remember, independence has been paramount for me; I just don’t like to ask for help. But a recent project at my job forced me to ask for some assistance from co-workers.

As I lamented about this to my supervisor, he spoke so clearly – and with a gentle smile – that our company functions as a “team” and that any of us may need the support of others at any time and we do that for each other to ensure our successful services.  I’ve been working for this company for a year and can say that I observe this to be true.

So this morning, while in the middle of working on a jigsaw puzzle, that proverbial ton of bricks hit me upside the head.  Finally able to internalize what he said weeks ago, my mind’s eye saw the bigger picture.  And, of course, Nature was my go-to analogy.

No single feature of Nature stands alone. No cloud floats by without moisture and movement in the winds.  No flower blooms that has not been fed by the rain, the soil, and the sun.  No river runs without the sources of water and the land that contours its’ flow, and certainly no river life would exist without all of those conditions as a basis.

Humans are no different.  None of us stand alone. It is together in the bigger picture that we exist.  Farmers feed us, textile workers clothe us, home builders protect us, and so on. None of us stand alone.

It can only do me good to consider this on a regular basis, and stay humble in this knowledge.

I’m reminded of a quote used by John F. Kennedy:  “A rising tide lifts all the boats.”  Well said Mr. Kennedy, well said.


City Mouse, Country Mouse


Living in the woods on a lake in rural….very rural…North Louisiana is sort of a dream come true.  How fortunate can one be to spend every day with the peaceful tune of leaves rustling in the breeze, birds chirping, frogs chirping too, and early morning heavy dew dripping the scent of pine needles.

For 40+ hours of my week, I work in the city, fairly oblivious to the hustle and bustle around me.  I give special attention to avoiding busy urban areas, but there are many sites within the city to take a “peace break”.  City parks, a wonderful museum garden, a special Asian garden, the riverfront lined with trees, the disc golf park, are all prime locations.

The attached photo shows power poles and lines and traffic at a standstill, but those things aren’t what stand out to me or what prompted me to take the photo.  Look at the sunrise…oh the gorgeous color and promise of a new day.  This country mouse feeds on that, and will keep looking for nature to lift me up each day ’til I can scurry back to the woods.