Hello friends! I haven't posted in quite a while. Too much insanity going on in life. But, today I decided that I have to find fun, a sense of balance and some joy in life wherever it may be. The song from the musical Sound of Music which recounts favorite things as a way of distraction from fear seems an appropriate theme. So, I'm sharing some of my favorite things in a pictorial gallery. Enjoy!
These are some of my favorite things. Now, I invite you to share yours!
"The fragrance of the rose lingers upon the hand that cast it."
As another birthday approaches, I find that I am in a very introspective mood -- consciously counting my blessings, past and present. They have been both abundant and deeply moving and my heart is filled with gratitude! As I reflect on the spirit of birthdays past, what better time to give tribute to the woman who helped form the person I am today? Through nature and nurture, DNA and devotion, my mother is such an intrinsic part of me that I'm not even always aware of the depth of the blessings she bestowed. And I can still be caught off-guard when one of her timely cliches pops out of my mouth. (The tumultuous teenager in me rolls her eyes when this happens, but the adult me smiles and recognizes wisdom.)
My mother was the embodiment of loving kindness and compassion. She simply lived her philosophy by daily application of it. She gave to others through her nursing skills healing veterans and, later in her career, providing tender care to children in the hospital; to her family she gave unstintingly of her time, attention and wisdom in both ordinary and amazing ways; helping friends, neighbors and even the occasional stranger with a cheerful, generous heart was her trademark. Mom used to say she never met a stranger, meaning that strangers became friends.
One of her favorite pastimes was sharing roses from her garden. This became a bonding language of love between us, as each mother's day I would buy and plant new rosebush in her yard. This simple pleasure brought joy to both of us, and by extension to others.
My Mom gave in tangible ways. She drove a sick friend to a doctor's appointment, took a pie or casserole, books & magazines to shut-ins, prepared meals for her family -- yes, this was back in the day when families actually ate most of their meals together, sitting down around a table with food, drink and conversation. It saddens me to think that so many of the younger generation have no concept of this experience.
One of my fondest memories is coming home after school to be enfolded in that wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread, and treated to a still-warm-from-the-oven slice of motherly love!
I was truly blessed this week to meet a lovely new friend and experience an immediate heart connection. We spent several hours pouring out our stories, many centered around our mothers, and felt a soul-deep sharing in perfect trust and understanding -- recognizing a kindred spirit in each other. A stranger became a friend through the alchemy of love and sharing. What a joy this is and how rare! Instead, we tend to rush through our lives in such a flurry of work, worry and demands, that we make a living, but often forget the importance of making a Life. Had I been completely focused on the everyday grind, I would have missed this extraordinary gift!
So, on this birthday, I remember the special, unique blessings of life--the ones that cannot be found in any store, or even online :) I bask in the warmth of shared moments of extraordinary love, friendship and connection and cherish them for the treasure they are. I can see my mother, picking a perfect rose from her garden to take to someone who needed a bit of cheering up, and know that the fragrance of that rose lingered on her giving hand, as the joy of her love lingers in my soul. Today, I will pick a perfect rose from my garden and follow my mother's example. That will make the happiest of birthdays!
I have a love affair with flowers -- especially roses. Also, with wonderful pungent herbs such as lavender, spearmint, & rosemary, There is nothing quite so special as being able to go out the back door into the garden and bring in a lovely bouquet to please all the senses! Yes, even taste if you have culinary herbs or nastutiums or hibiscus flowers which are edible!
This weekend, I made a sweet arrangement from the pink Dreamweaver climbing rose and added some lavender blooms and lantana for scent and color, placing it in a pretty cobalt blue cut glass vase. Such a simple thing, yet it brought me joy each time I looked at it or caught the scent. It brought me joy in walking around the garden selecting and cutting the flowers and herbs, and it is bringing me pleasure all over again sharing it with you!
This is one example of taking extreme care of yourself, to use the term made near famous now by noted author, speaker and life coach, Cheryl Richardson. Extreme self care is a concept we should all be embracing since it adds so much quality and depth to our lives. Contrary to what we may have been taught, taking good care of ourselves is not an act of selfishness at all, but a way to renew our senses and nourish our soul and body, so that we have more to give to others. After all, the gift that matters most is our love, time, attention and care. We need to reframe our thinking to allow ourselves permission to care, not only for others, which so many of us do every day, but for ourselves. So, today, I challenge you to take one baby step toward extreme self care -- it can be buying a plant for your house, garden or desk, or a special food treat (healthy, of course), a walk on the beach or in a beautiful natural setting, or making space in your busy calendar for a massage or spa day, or getting together with good friends -- whatever feeds your soul and brings happiness into your being. What makes you feel nurtured? Share your favorites.
I am a singer, a writer, a craftswoman, a student of life and of Spirit, a wife, a friend, an inquisitive adventurer on the learning path. Seeking, sensing, sifting and now connecting! Please join the fun by leaving a comment or passing on a favorite post via your social network. As you can tell from the category list, my interests are varied and somewhat eclectic. I am seeking all that brings joy & excitement to life, purpose & passion to our daily round. I am curious about pretty much everything.