Posts Tagged ‘life’

Simply Listening

“When we listen as if we were in a temple, honoring each persons words as valuable and sacred, all kinds of possibilities can happen; miracles can occur.”  Author Unknown

I tore this quote from a magazine years ago and put it on my desk when I was a school nurse. At the start of every school day, I would read it and remind myself to listen intently to the students coming in.  It was my daily reminder to listen close enough to find out what their hearts were speaking as well as their words.  

Last week I sat on the ocean by the fire and listened to a stranger tell me her stories.  Her work, her hopes, her dreams for the future.  Listening to another person, their frustrations and lessons they are learning, is becoming a simple pleasure for me.  To be trusted with their truth, their life, their fears and hopes.  I’m a slow learner, it has taken me years to get to the place where I don’t have to tell my story. To listen, to ask questions, allowing their story to unfold at its own pace.  I’m still not there yet… I can’t deny that I am still a talker.  But I am finding enormous pleasure from simply listening.

Linking with Dayle as we share our Simple Pleasures.  Now tell me your stories…when did someone honor you with their story?  What did you learn when you sat and simply listened?


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We have been stuck in a rainy weather pattern for the last few days.  The skies are gray, the rivers are rushing fast and flooding, and our yard has standing water.  But when I look outside my window, this is what I see…pink blooms cascading down. Pink flowers blowing in the wind and rain. I planted this cherry tree a few weeks after my dad passed away in memory of him.  He was raised in Arkansas where they tend to have white dogwood in the spring instead of cherry trees. He came for a visit one spring and was amazed at trees covered with pink blooms!

Every year I look forward to the cherry trees blooming.  I smile as I remember the quiet outdoors-man that I was lucky enough to call Dad.

Linking with A Collection of This and That as we share simple pleasures.

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Just for Me

I was ask a difficult question, not once, but twice today.  “What are you doing just for you?” The first question came from a health coach on handling stress.  My husband’s company is encouraging us to use their new health benefit, so I thought I’d give it a try. Lord only knows I could use some coaching for living healthier.  The second time was from a doctor helping me with some of my mother’s issues with her dementia.  When the question was ask the second time in four hours, I decided perhaps this was a question I should pay attention to.  There was a long silence as I searched in my mind for what I do just for me.  Finally I came out with one thing.  I bought a lot of primroses and planted them; that made me happy, and it was mostly for me.   But all day long I have pondered what I do just for me.  I haven’t come up with much and I’m not sure that is all together healthy.

Driving home, I stopped and bought myself a smoothie for lunch.  I love them, but at $5 I rarely indulge.   Today I decided to stop…just for me.  Now everyone is in bed, and I am blogging.  Isn’t this another “just for me” kind of thing?  I love visiting blogs, seeing how other people live, being inspired by them. Isn’t this one of those things I do just for me?  I think it may be.  I’m going to think on this awhile, but please give me some ideas…what do you just for you?

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Here Comes the Sun

“Little darling, its been a long and lonely winter.  Little darling, it seems like years since its been here.  Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, it’s all right.

Don’t you just love that song by the Beatles?  It runs through my head when we get one of those rare beautiful sunny days in the middle of winter.  While the rest of the nation is getting slammed with snow, the pacific northwest is having a mild rainy winter.  Today the sun shined, so I spent the afternoon working in the garden and found a few signs of spring.

I am not sure what kind of plant this is, it is in my neighbor’s yard.  It seems to always bloom early.  I love anything blooming that is pink, and have some arctic pansies and cabbage planted in my porch planter.  As I raked the flower beds, I noticed the daffodils coming up and almost ready to begin blooming. They bring the reminder that winter is not forever.  It just seems like it sometimes…

Linking today to A Collection of This and That sharing our simple pleasures.  Mine is gardening on a sunny day; what is one of your simple pleasures today?

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Winter Farm

After days and days of rain, western Washington woke yesterday to blue skies.  I wanted to leave all my chores undone and simply spend the day outside enjoying the cold, crisp winter day.  I sighed…chores did need to be done. So I made a compromise; instead of going through the highway to go to the store, I took the old highway through the dairy farms.  And also my camera to snap a few photos!  If you look carefully on the left, you can see the snow blowing on Mt. Rainer.  It is a mountain of many moods. Yesterday clouds were at the base of it often and the wind blew the snow so much we could see it from miles away. (You can click on the picture and make it bigger.)

I am drawn to taking pictures of barns, this one was taken in the early spring last year.  I think they are so beautiful.  I love the farms as well; the open fields, the cows and horses, the crops growing.  I always wished I grew up living  on a farm instead of in the suburbs.  It’s funny how each of us is drawn to different things.  My mother grew up on a 70 acre farm and hated it; she left as soon as she was able to get out.  She refused to learn any of the skills or work on it in any way.  She was, and still is strong-willed. I suspect my grandmother got tired of the battles and just let her be.   She left, went to the city, and got a job as a secretary.  I was nothing like my mother, I hated the city; we moved to a rural area as soon as we could.  I love all the old skills and enjoy reading and studying about farm life.  I can in the summer, have a large flower garden, and hope this year to grow a small vegetable garden. I wish I lived on a farm, but I do live in a small town with farms around us. It is such a pleasure for me to drive somewhere and see the peaceful farms dotting the landscape.

I am a farmers granddaughter that looks with longing at farms that are no longer in the family. I snap pictures of the barns, imagining what it would be like to live in the farm-house along the side of the road.  Hard work, simple living, and a love for the land are things I value.  And that is true for so many of us.  I’m just glad we don’t have to own a farm to appreciate their beauty.  The farms are there for me; along the side of the roads.  I slowly drive pass and see the horses and cattle grazing in the fields, and see the barns stark and alone on the landscape.  On a cold winter day, they bring great joy.

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“And now let us welcome the New Year;  full of things that have never been.”  Rainer Maria Rilke

A crisp, cold sunrise over the mountains welcomed 2011 at our house.  I looked out and saw the sliver of moon and the pink in the sky as the sun came up over our little town.  Grabbing the camera, I ran upstairs and snatched a fleeting moment as the sun rose over a brand new year.  A new year, full of hopes, dreams and promises.

Yesterday I prepared the old parsonage to welcome the year.  I put away the tree and the decorations, tidied up the house a bit and did up the laundry.  It is symbolic I know, welcoming the new year to a clean and orderly home.   It is nice to leave the tree up through the holiday,  but I seem to want to quiet the noise of a season of extravagance.  I spent the morning saying prayers for family, and blessing someone I have struggled to forgive.  Welcome 2011!  May it bring blessing to not only my family and home, but a time of prosperity again to our nation.  And for the world…I pray for grace, mercy, and peace.

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One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:  To rise above the little things.  ~John Burroughs

The greeting the last few days has been to wish each other a Happy New Year.  But no year will bring just happiness.  It will bring challenges,  joy,  pain, and pleasures; a whole mixture of good and bad.  This year I wish for you, and for myself, to be able to rise above the little things.  And of course most in life that we get upset over, are the little things.  May we both resolve this year to let the little things go, and to remember that angels can fly because  they take themselves lightly!

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