Zen Moment: Sunset Calls

So fellow travelers, it is sunny and 53° (F)  outside today.

It’s also December 3rd.

About two weeks ago when a deep plunge in temperatures brought an early round of Lake Effect snow, the garden around the edge of my pond took on an early air of Christmas decor.

Today, I spent most of the day clearing out the remnants of the prolonged garden season and tending to a little bonfire in the backyard fire pit where I was burning off the piles of yard debris and many branches which had come down during recent windy days.

All around me, little birds chattered at a few lingering blue jays demanding their turn at the feeders I filled just this morning.  Every now and then the nasal “hwonk hwonk” of our resident nuthatch could be heard as it dug into the fresh suet I’d also put out. As temperatures have begun to dip down to freezing most nights, I’m mindful of keeping the feeders stocked with sunflower seeds and suet to provide good energy to help my feathered tenants and visitors refuel after the long cold nights.

Days end so quickly now, as the Solstice approaches, that I am often caught off guard when shades of pink, gold and purple begin to tint the drifting clouds overhead.  Today, when I caught the firstglimpse of color I jumped in my Rav and dashed down the road to a field where I knew I would catch a clear view of the setting sun . I was rewarded with this image.

After getting a few photos, I sat in my car and watched the sun sink below the treeline, painting a thin red orange line of light along the horizon.  For the first time in several days I felt completely in the moment and totally at peace.

I’ve reached that point of the work year where I am feeling the full impact from the loss of the daily writing time my summer break allows me to follow.  I’ve been struggling with a few different pieces of writing for a few weeks, pushing myself to finish something I felt was post worthy, but whatever I was trying to say was encumbered by undefined purpose and heavy emotions. As I drove home with the zen of this moment still wrapped around me like a forgiving hug, I gave myself permission to simply sit down and write about this and leave the other pieces be.  In time they will either coalesce or not.

Meanwhile, I will be more mindful of being present in the simple moments of joy, reminding myself they matter more than the “shoulds” on the “get done” list I might impose on myself.  Which reminds me the last full moon of the year is about to rise.  I’ve got some more joy to fit in before this day is done.

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Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

 

 

 

Jack’s Lament

So fellow travelers, early Lake Effect snow has brought a chilling end to a luxuriously warm Autumn.

Snow dusted leaves linger in the trees and the last of my wildflowers have turned into frozen mush from the sudden killing frost which preceded the cold front.

My porch Jack O Lantern looked a bit mournful when I came to put him away.

 

 

 

Oh Jacko cry not

Seasons come and seasons go  

Autumn will return

 

 

 

 

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Roots

I’ve come back to read Tom’s piece several times, it is so thoughtful and imbued with significance for my own journey of searching for “home.”
HOME has become for me more about the people in my life than a physical location, so I feel I am home regardless of where I travel to be with them. As I write this I am sitting by the window in the guest bedroom of the townhouse where my parents live outside Philadelphia watching the sunrise cast amazing colors across the sky.

Yet I have also come to appreciate the connections I have to special sanctuaries in the Upstate NY area where I have lived now for over 40 years.  It’s where our daughters and our son-in-law were born and raised. It’s where my husband spent most of his life growing up. It’s where I learned to bird watch, hike trails and rescue dogs.  It’s where I re-discovered my creative spirit and found a tribe of kindred souls who being spread out across many places are like beacons of homefires reminding me there’s a lot of  home out there for me to visit.

 

Quarry House

Rogers Store Museum.JPGFrom my journal:

I am home.

For the last week, the woman I love and I have been down in Virginia, visiting my family and some of the places that were once home.  We spent a day in the DC area with one of my sisters, a day in Richmond with another, and a day in Surry County with my aunt, my dad’s sister.

My bride, my love had met my sisters, but not until a day before the wedding. They came up to Vermont for the first time, rented a cabin on a small lake and we had dinner there the night before the wedding, along with many of Cindy’s friends. It was a wonderful send-off, but not a place where you really get to know people. Too many of us talking, the whole social bouncing from person to person, group to group to really get to know folks…

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Window in the Sky

So fellow travelers, Zen moment framed by the trees at sunrise this morning. Yeah, I am up and out with our dog that early.

Window in the sky

First light bird songs remind us

Seek another way

At any given moment we can make a choice to respond differently. A slight shift in perspective can make a substantial difference and help us break free from reactive patterns, sense the pain in someone else’s anger and choose to not add to it, or accept the blessings in early morning wake up calls.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Reaching

So fellow travelers, challenges at work are on the rise right now. Mindful of the toll stress took on my physical, mental and emotional well being last school year, I’m striving to counter act it’s effects proactively.

During my recovery this summer, I learned how significant simple moments can be and how important it is to attend to them by being present in those moments.

Moments like seeing light streaming in a window after a tough session with a student struggling to get through the day.

Reaching for sunlight

Plants know to turn from darkness

Learn from Nature’s ways

Focus on positives, use what’s working well to move forward one step at a time and for the joy in those moments of Light.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Zen moment : Glimmers

So fellow travelers, November is living up to it’s reputation as a cold, grey month. The slightest hint of sunlight sends me dashing outside to capture what Light I can.

A break in the clouds

Leaves hold a golden moment

Hope infused our hearts

When we catch a brief glimmer of hope, we must dare to take that thread and weave it into a possibility for healing and change. Our world is greatly in need of those threads of possibility. Gather and share them whenever and wherever you can.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

the middle way

Kathy has captured emotions I am reaching for deeply right now. This year’s transition of seasons is filled wth emotions for me as I have struggled to find meaning in some choices happening around me. Her words and the beautiful images she shared are a gift.

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Having my first walk in the woods with the dogs in almost three weeks, there are noticeable changes. Gold gone tone deaf brown,

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and conifer green with sunlit yellow bursts now reserved for the low lying beech trees that define a perceptible middle ground.

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There are broad stretches of wheat colored growth, dying while at the same time holding firm ground.

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There is the iridescent flaming red that connects and ignites the middle ground of the landscape.

I revel in this middle ground. I find comfort in the enclosure of life and color so close that it caresses. It’s hard to ignore. It’s easy to accept the change from all inclusive vastness of tree and sky that so recently encircled and invited, to the starkness of bare gray branch getting lost in blue white grayness above.

I settle back into a middle way, between fight and flight, into acceptance. Finally…

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Waiting 

So fellow travelers, it’s November and suddenly our luxuriously warm and unseasonable weather has flown off with the migrating geese leaving behind chilly winds and rain.
  My mood this week mirrors the grey skies viewed from my car as I wait for my morning coffee on my way to work.

Being a long distance mom is a tough challenge.

There comes a point when standing by in support mode is the most essential role we can take on as our kids take charge of their future. At times the need to be there nstead of here just to give my daughters a hug stretches my heart strings so much it physically hurts. It actually physically hurts.

Zen masters teach me time and space are illusions. In my meditations I focus on being present with the love I feel for family. It helps ease some of that ache,

but I still wish I for those hugs.

Editing a photo for an online project I found these words rising from the heartache

Trapped by illusion

Just a shadow of yourself

Hold fast til sunrise

 

Both my daughters are visiting in the next few months and I will get to give them the hugs I wish for.

Until then I will seek joy in the shadows.

 

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.


Love Revealed

via Daily Prompt: Mystery

So fellow travelers, the blog prompt from WordPress today is Mystery

 

Suddenly it’s clear

What was hidden now revealed

Love was always here

 

Is there anything more mysterious than the power of love?

 

 

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

Autumn Zinnias

via Daily Prompt: Gratitude

So fellow travelers, today’s blog prompt from WordPress is Gratitude.

With a forecast for heavy winds, rain and plummeting temps I knew the flowers still lingering in my garden were better cut and brought inside to enjoy than left to the elements.

 

 

Gratitude today

Is gathering zinnias

So late in autumn

 

 It’s a rare treat to even have flowers so late in the season.

The zinnias greeted me cheerfully on my kitchen table this morning as wind and rain sent leaves scattering all through the yard. One last breath of summer to be grateful for.

 

 

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.