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AND Celebrate Thanks Giving

November 22nd, 2015

As we pause from our daily work schedules, errands, and myriad other distractions to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, it is worth noting what most would deem the traditional aspects of this holiday.

First, there is the shared meal. With any luck, technology will be put aside for people to engage in personal conversation, while sharing a meal together. Then there is the conscious intention to express gratitude for the gifts and blessings in our lives creates a time of reflection and appreciation for all that is going right in our lives. We pause to say thank you for all that we have, instead of falling prey to the media-induced focus on buying and having more, focusing on all that is not going well in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Cultivate the Season of Gratitude

November 15th, 2015

As the pace of the fall season accelerates into the December holidays, November is a great time to bask in the beauty of gratitude. With Thanksgiving dedicated to appreciating blessings in our lives, we are invited to pause our hectic lives to give thanks for all the people and experiences that grace our world and individual lives every day.

A singular holiday is wonderful AND what would happen if we carried its message every day of our lives? What could be different in our world if, instead of focusing on unfulfilled expectations and disappointments we carry for having attempted to control the people and circumstances in our lives and work, we pause to also ask what gift is hiding in those disappointments and unmet expectations? Read the rest of this entry »

AND See Through the Eyes of Another

November 8th, 2015

Walking by the marshes on the wildlife preserve, I was again treated to the beauty of the heron. A bird that doesn’t look as if it would ever be able to fly, given its long spindly legs for wadding in the marsh, it took note of my presence and abruptly flew off.

The wingspan of the great blue heron is several feet and quite something to watch. I noticed how much awe and wonder were awakened in me simply by being present to watch this bird. When it landed, it blended in with the marsh, looking like a stick in the distance. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Migrate When It Is Time

November 1st, 2015

Totally engrossed by the sight out my window, I stood for a full five minutes watching the scene unfold. First a V formation, then a single line of black birds, probably cormorants, seemed to go on forever. They flew just barely above the waves of the ocean.

I had never seen the birds so close to the water. Neither had I ever witnessed a mass exodus such as this. I found myself rooting for the one laggard who was flapping ferociously and still couldn’t quite catch up with the rest of the line.

They headed south across the expanse of water, gracefully marking a path for each one that followed. AND I was mesmerized by a species that knows when to stay and when to leave, when to hold on and when to move on. AND as I reflect on the cormorants moving on, I also remember the swallows holding on. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Pause to Receive the Treat

October 25th, 2015

In this week of trickery and treats, otherwise known as Halloween, I am thinking about gifts and how we receive them. With the right mindset, either tricks or treats can be fun. Without that mindset, we often miss the treat because we were expecting it to show up in a particular way.

While walking past a beautiful marsh, I was noticing the colors of the trees. The most vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows were on display for all to see. Those past prime were shedding their color, while others stepped into focus just beginning to show their full color. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Live in Full Color

October 18th, 2015

The leaves at this time of year in parts of this country are just gorgeous. Magnificent hues of bold colors appear. Each tree individually steps into its own color—shades of gold, orange, green, and red. AND each tree stands tall in the light, boldly expressing its beautiful new color, individually beautiful and taking its place in a landscape of trees that are collectively spectacular.

This wonderful display brings buses of tourists along the roads to do some “leaf-peeping”. The show nature puts on gets the attention of busy people who fill up by simply being in the presence of such bold color and natural beauty. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Be Joyful

October 11th, 2015

I was talking with my Dad the other night. It was close to nine o’clock in the evening and he was cutting vegetables and getting them ready to have at future meals. His description of his day in the garden, helping friends, and running errands was sprinkled with comments of appreciation for how his yard looks, as the changes autumn brings announce themselves.

I was struck by the combination of simple pleasures and joy that shape how he lives every day. This is a man who lives simply. No need for gadgets, technology (he still can’t figure out what all those buttons in his car do), or luxury items. His is a world of time spent with friends, the joys of helping others, making and eating meals, and whatever arrives in his life at any particular time. Read the rest of this entry »

AND How Many Make a Crowd

October 4th, 2015

While outside, I have met many passersby on the beach, enjoying the now-spacious and relatively open expanse of sand and surf. Summer crowds have finally left and the natural beauty of the beach and sounds of the surf provide their magic for all who choose to enjoy the cooler temperatures and quiet of the setting. Thankfully, a small number of true aficionados do. Certainly not a crowd.

One couple talked about a home they have in Florida and their disappointment at the prospect of crowds who would be flocking to their paradise soon, as the cold weather up north propels them south. Another person talked of finding property far away from other people, hidden in nature’s beauty, as important for feeling at peace. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Suddenly

September 27th, 2015

The illusion of sudden happenings fascinates me. I watch as we are shocked by a storm that seems to have approached suddenly, an age that seems to have happened to us over night, or a reaction from someone that we were not expecting.

I guess the question for me is how awake are we? If we stop to really focus on what appears to have occurred suddenly, there are warnings, early indications that such an event or reaction was at least a possibility, if not highly likely.

We don’t control what happens in life. We do get to choose how we respond. If we respond with surprise, is it because we like to be surprised so simply show up in circumstances expecting nothing, determined to by surprised by what we find? Read the rest of this entry »

AND Ebb and Flow

September 20th, 2015

I love the end of the summer, probably because I love the fall and cooler months. I love to watch the crowds disappear and natural sounds and sights of the beach reemerge, unobstructed by crowds and noise. There is something about the transition of seasons that feels creative and instructive, pure and unadorned.

Nature’s pace of season seems to ebb and flow. As the new begins to announce itself, the old alternates from giving way and holding on tighter…pretty much the way we humans deal with change. Read the rest of this entry »