Welcome Them All

winter cardinal

The Northern Cardinals are in their nesting season right now.

They are famous for aggressively defending their territories during nesting season.

Today, a cardinal has posted itself outside one of our windows, and it keeps flying right up to the window, and attacking its reflection. It has mistakenly seen its own reflection as a threat, an intruder.

This is life, reflecting to me, what I do sometimes. When sadness, anxiety, frustration come up, from within, I sometimes see them as intruders, and I want to attack and banish them, to force them out.

If you have never read the poem The Guest House, by Rumi, you can see it here. It is definitely worth a read.

Rumi poetically describes how, every morning, there is a new arrival.

And that we might “meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.”

Invite them in? How radical would that be?

He goes on to say that we could choose to “be grateful for whatever comes.Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

I happen to agree with Rumi, that all of our emotions are important messengers, and that they have something important to tell us. It won’t serve us to dwell on them, but what if we welcome them, as honored guests, and find out the reason for their visit?

The cardinal wore itself out today, knocking on the window, before I could get out there to cover the window with paper. It is exhausting to fight ourselves.

I’m grateful for the visit from the cardinal today, because it reminds me how important it is to be kind and compassionate with myself, and to welcome all parts of myself, as if they are important guests. And, how important it is to give up the inner fight. It’s exhausting, and I can choose to drop the rope.

What would you like to welcome in, today?






Best Year Ever – Tea Blossom Surprise

BYE tea blossomMy friend Tana gave me some jasmine tea that flowers when it is steeped.

Granted, I had never had a tea experience of this nature, but the blossom took my breath away as it opened in front of me.

Its perfection is a beautiful example of my Best Year Ever, a tea blossom surprise. The tea was delicious, too! 🙂

What takes your breath away?

Best Year Ever – Blue Dots and Raindrops

BYE Blue DotsAnother spontaneous and ephemeral moment, as raindrops collected on the windshield of our car, and added to the blue dots on the window of a dress shop.

When I saw it, it just made me happy.

This is what Best Year Ever is about too, catching those moments that just make me happy.

What makes you happy?

Best Year Ever – Say Yes!

BYE Say YesThis is a Starbucks advert for one of its fraps.

I was delighted to see it, because this has been my prayer to the Universe lately: Yes!

I’m saying Yes, to Life! To Vitality! Yes to all the goodness that shows up gratuitously in every moment of our lives.

Even in the very tough times, if we look hard enough, and say Yes (especially when we don’t feel like it), Love is somewhere underneath.

What are you saying “Yes!” to?

Best Year Ever – Pistachio Bird

BYE pistachio birdWho would have predicted that one of my Best Year Ever moments would have shown up as a blotch of pistachio gelato on the inside of a jar lid?

This made me laugh. I’m a Bird Woman, so I loved this moment.

Spontaneous and ephemeral. That’s what Best Year Ever is all about.

What is spontaneous and ephemeral in your life?


Best Year Ever – Beauty in Decay

BYE tree trunkI loved this tree trunk when I saw it, the tale that it told about its life, and the way it looks like a flower or a leaf now.

I’m fascinated with form and texture, and this is another one of those Best Year Ever moments, because I didn’t expect it. I didn’t expect it to be so interesting.

I didn’t expect to be so struck by the beauty of decay.

What are you noticing that you didn’t expect?

Best Year Ever – Catch the Moment

BYE egg cloudI guess the risk of having a decent quality camera in every smart phone is that all of us are drunk with the power and fun of being photographers, and catching the moments.

In one sense, they are just another moment. Every moment in a changing sky can be a sensational one.

This one just caught my eye and tickled me, the way that it looked like an egg, frying in the sky.

What moments are you catching?

Best Year Ever – The Crookedness of Life

BYE tire tracksSometimes my Best Year Ever moments show up as appreciation for something else. 🙂

When I saw this straight like of tire tracks in the soot that was the aftermath of our local prairie burn, I was seized with an appreciation of how crooked life is!

A straight path may be the most efficient way to get somewhere, but think of all the great moments and adventures we would miss without the fanciful twists and turns of our lives.

What twists and turns are you celebrating?

Best Year Ever – Brightness and Light

BYE butterfly plant twoAfter the muted tones of the long winter, I’m delighting in every bit of color, as tiny as it may be.

This new leaf, pushing its way up through the gravel, was no larger than my thumbnail.

It caught my attention because it was boldly out there, so far ahead in its growth than everything around it. And, because it looked like a butterfly.

The butterflies, of course, would be a few more weeks arriving, but this reminder of the triumph of new life enchanted me, just as the wonder and awe of a butterfly might.

What new life are you noticing?

Best Year Ever – Pattern of Delight

BYE pollen wormsBefore you all write to me in protest of the worms, they aren’t worms. 🙂

Although they certainly might be mistaken for worms.

The trickster in me loved this view of the pond surface, just after the neighboring trees dropped all of their blossoms, and scattered their pollen. Because it looked like worms, but also because of the fascinating shapes and color.

This was a very ephemeral moment. By afternoon, the blossoms had disbursed, and this picture was gone. To me, this is what the Best Year Ever is about. Paying attention to the moments that catch my eye, and savoring them.

What are the moments that you are paying attention to?



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