No Defense

Once again, as nature becomes my analogy for life, the fact that nature never needs to defend itself crept into my thoughts today.

The delicate, gorgeous fern leaf never has a need to defend how long it takes to unfurl, how wide its leaves stretch, or how large it will grow. It simply is, and is allowed to be what it is. And all other nature around it does not question the fern either. Nature is allowing and forgiving, and 100% is-what-it-is.

Not so much with humans, but now that it has strongly come into my awareness, my new task at hand is to stop standing in defense of myself, and to also be more accepting of others. Thank you Mother Nature – (and Robert).

Cypress Sentinels

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Morning, noon, and night, the cypress trees on Lake Bistineau remain vigilant, constant keepers of the lake.  These photos show trees at sunrise, late afternoon, and evening. Moods are different in each photo, but what is so consistent is that these trees are steadfast in not only their size, but also the importance of their placement of the lake.

During draw-down of this lake, the trees become recognizable markers for people who travel out onto the dry lake bed.  I definitely have “go to” trees that are my favorite to photograph.

Once again today, I can’t help but see the analogy between humans and cypress trees. Throughout the years of my life, I have come to know that certain people show up as my “rock” –  and consistently show up, and are dependable.  Cypress trees?  Check.  Indeed.

Emerge

I love how Nature always has a message for me. Deep into spring, I am careful to watch the daily changes in the landscape. Each day new flowers and trees are blooming. The top row of buds on this wisteria opened this morning. Lightly covered in pine pollen, its petals popped out with exhuberance. Kind of like the 2017 me, I thought. It’s my year to say YES and so many fantastic things have been coming my way. I am emerging too…with exhuberance!! 

Shine On

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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

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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.

 

Seasons

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The huge oak leaves that catch a breeze and drift their path to the ground somewhere at the end of the year in what we call “Louisiana Autumn” fascinate me.  Easily bigger than my hand, it is the veins that stand out to me.  The network of life, once full of vitality, ended. Oh, how could it be that this same process will happen to me one day?  My own energy will wane, leave me, and I too, will find my path to the ground.

Perhaps that’s why seasons exist; each time, a chance to grow and perfect our lives, to become what we feel is our best self.

Looking at this leaf fills me with wonder and respect for the life it was. Hoping that when my life has come to an end that others can feel the same about me.

“Crisp, fall leaves rustle, whispering a message that only my soul can understand.”  -KC

PEEK

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This photo popped up in a folder today, forgotten until now.  The moment I looked at it, I felt like I was looking into my soul.  Like I had parted the blinds and was looking out into the big unknown.  What seems like so little is honestly so much.  The colors are a wash of blues and grays, but the content is ME.  The smooth, even-tempered surface of the water, the occasional floating water weed constantly shifting it’s place in the universe of the lake, the cypress trees always standing watch like sentinels, and the horizon, building with energy and motion.

It gave me both a peek into the world and myself.  Too often I forget that my very self is reflected in what I see.  And what I might otherwise dismiss, is breathtaking if I take the time to look.

 

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Second day in a row that this lovely sight greeted me when I exited off the bridge. I opened up the phone camera, put down the passenger side window, and snapped away. 

What holds my attention most though, is that one big blue heron in the midst of all those great egrets. They aren’t bugging him either. 

Why can’t humans practice that example?  I will keep up the hope for that though.