Surprises

As I began my walk, all I could think of was what a dreary day it was.

Within a couple of minutes, I was walking by the pond, and these swirling patterns in the ice caught my attention. Nature never ceases to amaze me with its beauty and unique moments.

What surprises are waiting for you today?

The First Step

“Traveler, there is no path. Paths are made by walking.” Antonio Machado

I love this quote because it reminds me that we don’t need to see the whole path before we take our first step.

What first step is waiting to be taken, in your life?

Waiting

My neighbors keep honeybees, and the bees are waiting right now, inside the hives.

They are waiting for the warmth of Spring, when they will go out of the hives and begin their work of gathering pollen and nectar.

What are you waiting for?

Quiet and Stillness

As I stood outside sketching, it began to snow.

The world became quiet, as it does when the falling snow muffles everything.

I was being invited to quiet, and stillness.

What are you being invited to?

The Goddess Tree

This is the Goddess Tree.

We call her that because she is a majestic Walnut tree, easily the tallest and largest tree presence on our five acre property.

When I look at her, she reminds me to take a grounding and centering breath.

What grounds and centers you?

Your Valentine to Your True Self

On February 14, we think of all the people we love. It’s a wonderful opportunity to send them love from our hearts.

I’ve been thinking lately how delicious it would be if we sent some love to our own true selves on Valentine’s Day.

Download my free Valentine for My True Self here.

And, much love to you on Valentine’s Day,

Lynne

The Way Home

A few days ago, I saw this fungus at the edge of our pond. This is one of the many surprises of a mild winter this year.

It reminded me of a scallop shell.

Scallop shells are significant to pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain. The scallop shells symbolize the many ways, or routes, which all lead pilgrims “home” to Santiago. They are also commonly found as the wayfinding signs along each pilgrimage route, showing pilgrims the direction to go at critical junctions.

These shells also symbolize our own inner journey home, to our true selves, or spirit, or soul.

I loved seeing this symbol on my walk. Connection with Nature is one of my ways home to my true self. Nature shows us our own true nature. What Nature is, you are.

What are your ways home to your true self?

 

Dance of the Falling Yellow Leaves

falling yellow leaves

I’m sitting on my screened porch, enjoying the first day this year when the air feels like fall.

The dry, cool air is noticeably different than the humid days of summer. I can literally feel the change in the air.

The thick humidity has been sucked out of the air, for the first time all summer, and the leaves and flowers are crisp and clear. Every leaf stands out now, instead of blending into a homogenous backdrop.

A brisk wind comes up and the dance of the falling yellow leaves begins.

There is a huge walnut tree in the back yard. We call it The Goddess Tree, because its presence is so dominating and feels so sacred. The strong presence of The Goddess Tree can be felt in every season, and in any kind of weather.

One day, every year, sometime in August, a wind arises and the air is filled with yellow leaves, dancing and drifting down from The Goddess Tree. The tree still looks green, but there are yellow leaves tucked in amongst the green ones, and they are ready to let go.

These kinds of days inspire me to jump into life, to re-engage at a fuller level. I can feel the passage of time in the wind. Life feels more precious on days like this, and I feel more alive.

It’s like life isn’t just sauntering lazily along, and it certainly isn’t pausing to give me time to catch up.

The dance of the falling yellow leaves heralds a different, more changeable rhythm of life. It is so very different from the slow, relaxed days of summertime.

I need to quicken my step, to keep in time, to sense the rhythm of the change, and embrace it.

These days dare me to come more alive. It is not just an invitation; it is a dare.

In this dance, all of life is a demand to wake up.

What do you want to wake up to?

 

The Lonely Bench

lonely bench

Today I’m at the town park with my husband Harold and our two dogs, Harper and Cinnamon.

We’re carefully negotiating an icy slope when I notice the bench at the top of the hill.

I’ve seen this bench many times before, but today it looks lonely to me. And, it also looks very compelling. I’m strangely drawn to go and sit for a while on this lonely bench. It looks like a great spot from which to sit and just be, and to watch the world.

Today, with its windchills in the single digits F, isn’t the day to sit on that bench and ponder, so I leave it for another day.

I make a mental note to come back to sit someday.

But, probably, when I do come back, it will be a warmer day, and the bench won’t be so lonely anymore. There will be kids in the playground, at the bottom of the hill. There will be disc golfers competing with each other. There will be skate-boarders over on the ramps, not very far away.

As I turn towards the car, I realize that a part of me wants and needs some solitude. That is the call of the lonely bench. I make a vow to find some time and space for myself, and I leave the bench to its loneliness.

What does your soul need?

 

The Cold Way to Now

cold way to now

I’m out on a walk, on the coldest day of this winter season so far.

It is minus 15 degrees F wind chill. I’m walking really fast, head down, into the wind.

It is so cold that my breath feels like it is freezing on the way into my body.

I love my walks, and I almost flew the white flag of surrender today, given the cold. But I had taken all the time to get the dogs’ boots on, and thought I’d try a walk on the road, rather than in the yard. We usually get better results out on the road, if you know what I mean. 🙂

But, I  admit it; my focus is on walking fast to get to the end, back in the house, where I can have a warm cup of tea. I’m definitely just putting in my time.

Cinnamon stops for a moment, and I suddenly realize that I am not at all present in this moment. My mind is all wrapped up in thinking about how fast I can get back in the house. My mind is on that cup of tea.

I stop and take a few deep breaths. I deliberately center myself and come into the present. I clear my mind of all of its thoughts, and I look around, and I just feel, with all of my senses. This is always what brings me into the Now.

It is a stunning day. The sky is a bright sapphire blue, and perfectly clear, without a cloud in sight.

There are diamond glints, all over the snow. The light, fluffy, ivory snow that fell last night is sparkling. The surface of the snow is clear and perfect; the woodland creatures haven’t been out on this patch yet.

I let myself feel the breeze, and suddenly I become aware of the warmth of the sun on my face. I hadn’t even noticed that before. I am smiling in pleasure at the sun, which we haven’t seen in days. I just soak up the sunlight; it makes me feel so good.

Yes, it’s cold. But it is so much more, and I hadn’t been able to see any of the “more,” when my mind was completely possessed by how cold it is. I completely missed the full beauty of the day.

In the winter around here, we all seem to take up the hobby of Weather Watch. We become amazed at how cold it can become, and then when it becomes that cold, we become even more amazed at how much colder it can become. We develop a bit of a weather obsession, and we act like we deserve a badge of courage for how much cold we can tolerate.

None of that matters. It matters that we dress intelligently and stay safe, but beyond that, if we truly wanted warm weather, we wouldn’t live here.

In my obsession with the cold today, I almost missed the day. I certainly missed the beauty of the day, until I woke up, halfway through my walk. So I am asking myself: how can I be even more present to my life? How much of my life am I missing? How much beauty is there to be savored?

How much beauty is there, just waiting to be savored, in your life?

 

 

 

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