Treefall

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Just yesterday, I was saying how much I love this big, old tree in my backyard, and how I’ve learned from it to let go of things that don’t serve me. This afternoon, I heard a massive crunching noise, and sure enough, it had dropped an enormous limb.

I really hope this tree doesn’t go into freefall and completely come down. Maybe it was just clearing house for the fall?

In the poem, When Great Trees Fall, Maya Angelou said, “When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety…They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.”

The Rain, The Sun & The Air

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Sunroom 006My sunroom is all windows so you feel like you’re sitting in a little nature preserve.

It’s peaceful, particularly now that the leaves are starting to fall and a breeze has rolled in.

The birds and squirrels mill about the yard, crunching across rust-colored leaves as they prepare for the chill to come.

A giant tree towers above th20160928_120848e sunroom like a peaceful parasol. There’s something about its silent solidness. I wonder how such a huge tree can survive on so little – just the rain, the sun and the air – and why in the world such tall things don’t topple over.

The key is self-pruning.

Every so often, that tree will drop weighty branches that it doesn’t need anymore, ones that have rotted or overgrown.

That tree speaks to me without words. Let go of what doesn’t serve you.

Pain from the past, fears for the future. What might have been. It just weighs you down if you don’t release it. Once you let go, you’ll find you’ve cleared space for new growth. Seasons change, and life goes on.

Breathe This In

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Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of God.

John O’Donohue, For Equilibrium, a Blessing
To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Three Little Words

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My recent post on the blog I co-write with Sue Bradford Edwards and Lori Strawn, praypower4today, led to my writing an incredibly short e-book on Kindle called Three Little Words. The catalyst for writing this teeny, tiny collection of three-word affirmations was inspirational blogger, the Lady Calen, of the wonderful blog, Impromptu Promptlings. I wrote this as a lark, and it’s so tiny I can’t even call it a book, more a booklet! So I wanted to thank Lady Calen and offer her these three words: you’re an inspiration!

A Poem for Christmas – by Poet Lori Strawn

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He will come again perhaps in snow
or baked earth like the first time,
no one knows.
And if today,
what would he make
of sleighs and bells,
garlands, garish green
and red everywhere?
Perhaps he would shake his head
and chuckle at the foibles of his siblings.
Or point out, with rather more force,
“That’s a lot of hoopla
for a baby born in a manger.”
I myself would turn it all away,
all the tinsel and trimmings,
for a single moment of pure love.
That is what he came for,
and that is what he died for.
And so I say:
To beings everywhere —
You are greatly loved.
Believe it.
(That sharp uptick in your heart —
that right there is Christmas.)

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Sunroom Time

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When he was younger, my son and I used to have “sunroom time” – a few minutes in the late afternoon during which we’d sit in the sunroom and talk about (pardon the pun) anything under the sun.

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Often, if his friends were over, we’d include them, too.

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It was warm and welcoming in the sunroom, and it seemed like the only time some of these kids had ever been asked, “So how was your day, son?”

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The bamboo blinds let in just enough light and gave us a view of the trees in the yard, so it felt like a little nature preserve. It was a favorite spot for everybody, including my late, beloved black-lab-mix, Sheena. That’s her in the yard – by the back fence.

This dog toy feels kinda ruff.

Sheena Shadow Chicago Chicken Williams*

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Now that my son is about to turn sixteen, we no longer have “sunroom time;” in fact, it seems we hardly even have actual conversations. And this is the trajectory of life when our kids grow up. But I wanted to find a way to put my thoughts about life into a book, so I wrote this e-book using Amazon KDP, “Help Yourself, Jumbo Shrimp: A Teen’s Guide to Life, the Future and Everything.”

After I realized that there was no way to adjust the formatting (it uploaded out-of-whack and there is no such thing as Amazon e-book author support), I decided not to promote it, but I did want to leave it active so that when the spirit moves him and the time is right, my son will look at it and nod – maybe even smile a little – thinking back to our warm and fuzzy “sunroom times.”

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*Course, there’s a story behind Sheena’s full name! More to come.

The Guest House

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This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi. Translation by Coleman Barks