Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Warm memories...

Isn't memory a wonderful thing?

When you're alone you can think of those you cherish, and mull over the special moments you shared.

And on these gloomy wet days when it hardly seems to get light,
I find myself thinking of warmer climes.

Somewhere the skies are blue and balmy and there's laundry billowing in the breeze.

Someone is relaxing under an umbrella...

... stirring a deliciously stylish cup and consulting a map.

Just the thought of those colors makes me feel warmer...

... and I find myself mentally planting next summer's window boxes.
Shall I use several small pots or one larger wooden one?
Geraniums alone or trailing ivies and lobelia?

I cup my hands around a steamy mug and think warm, sunny thoughts.
In the middle of winter, I find those memories very sustaining.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Keeping a song...

In the middle of winter, with temperatures in the 20s, this robin looked for the bright and beautiful.
He feasted on all that goodness, growing fat and happy.

And he sang and sang and sang.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Of snow and light and sparkle

"Come out!" I cried after just one lightning-fast glance out the window.
I pulled on boots, grabbed the camera and stomped down the stairway.

"What's so urgent?" asked Mr. Wonderful.

"The LIGHT!" I called. "Can't wait! Meet you in the field!"

And it was pure magic.

You are not looking at Photoshopped photos here. 
All those sparkles are just as they appeared in real life. 

Only real life, of course, was much, much nicer!

The whole valley was out playing, even the birds. 

Everything bright and beautiful and crisp, like the winey air.

The neighbors were out having chats and pony-fueled snow rides.

Our whole world is muffled in snow. Pure magic.

Steve's barn has taken on a Currier and Ives look, for all the world like an old engraving.
Even the birds are feeling it. 

Do you see the eagle's nest in the middle of the picture above? The two specks above it to the left are the nesting pair.

Our Katie knew it, too, as we walked along the woodland trail earlier this morning.

There we found a world of gray and silver and white.

Snow was falling and the colors had gone muted and fairyland.

How could you not be a little snow-drunk in this wonderland?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow in the valley

Snow day!
It's a snow day!

A day for running down the path through the woods...

past barren trees silvered with flakes...

The leaves that are left at our feet glow bright against the background of white.

It's a day to let the spirit soar...

... to shine bright and glow with the pleasure of winter's chill.

A day to notice the beauty that surrounds us at every turn of the path.

Oh, the joys of winter!

The valley's wearing a blanket of white
and all the neighbors celebrate.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Of bubbles and joy

I watched her on the deck yesterday, eyes wide open to life and enjoying the simple pleasures of the moment.

Playing with dogs and chickens and catching soap bubbles blown by an uncle...

Reminding me that joy isn't something you can trap.
You can't buy joy or put your finger on it or hold it in your hand.
It's fleeting, meant for now.

I watched her stretch toward her goal.
A new ream of paper sits at my elbow, pure white and waiting for me to aim high for mine.

Eyes full of wonder, this child I hold dear looked way, way high, reaching toward an airplane.

She held that tart, puckery apple in her hands. 
Bite by bite, savoring every morsel, juice running down her chin...
and ate all the way to the core.

Once again I am surprised by joy.
A little life has me grinning and inspired.
Don't you want to devour life the way a child does and never look back?


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Embracing the gray

"Why," she asked, "don't you color your hair? Don't you see there's gray creeping in there?"

I have to admit it's tempting sometimes. 
But I'm going with real instead.
 How do you make someone see that it's joyful to embrace the imperfections?
How do you explain that it's the gray in life that brings the colors out?
I've been noticing gray this week and taking great pleasure in it.

Gray little mushrooms on the forest floor...

... the restfulness of cool gray fog.

Gray has so many quiet shades we hardly ever notice.

But it brings peace to a view.
And how is it that so many with gray hair have an essence of peace to their spirits, too?
It's something to think about and aim for.

I looked up and saw a hawk soaring in the vastness of a gray winter sky.

Just beyond, the sunset was lovely in the soft monotone of a winter afternoon.

There are so many vibrant colors, and I treasure them all.
But sometimes the peace of gray brings rest and joy that all the colors of my paint box could not contain.

There can be great comfort in a little bit of gray.
Why hide it?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A new year to live fully

Have you been thinking about the year ahead?

Well, I have.

No resolutions here, but I do plan.

And this year my goal is to live more wide awake then ever before.

So I began a list.
And then I found I'm not alone. Others are doing the same thing.

Want to take a dare?

Watch this little video clip that explains it better than I possibly could, and then do me a favor, will you please?

Tell me what you think.

Are you ready to try it out? Intentionally wide awake, noticing the thousand gifts and living fully each and every day.

What a year it's already shaping up to be.

It's my year of ordinary miracles.

How about you?