Christmas is still here

You’re probably thinking, is that your xmas tree? Still in your yard? And you’d be right. We kept our xmas tree so long this year, that it was shedding needles like a waterfall. My husband took it the shortest route outside of the house by dumping it over our deck into 2 feet of snow! There it sat. Nobody was motivated to wade into that much snow and bring it to the curb.

At one point he even straightened it and stood it up! And he said, amazingly, it still smelled so good. We had noticed that this xmas tree just wouldn’t give up it’s piney smell. Was it because it was a Canaan fir? We’d never had one. In fact there wasn’t much choice when we waited til 2 weeks before xmas. So, even though it wasn’t as tall or as full as we’ve had in the past, we took it! A small xmas miracle. Helping us feel as if we were in the forest filled with pines and that awesome smell.

And it still smells that way. I’m not sure why. I’m guessing there’s a scientific reason. But we’ve never held on to a xmas tree this long, so how long does your xmas tree smell like xmas has never been tested!

This past year has been a year of firsts. That’s for sure! Spending xmas with family for a few hours, just to visit and exchange gifts, with our masks on. There was enough love to fill the room. Just like this xmas tree. I could feel how happy people were to see us and we were so happy to be there.

When we missed Thanksgiving due to covid, we took a walk at St. Mary’s and saw an eagle there. It really felt like a blessing. And when I went home it was so nice to have a zoom call with my cousins and sister. that was our day. That eagle never returned to St. Mary’s although we tried finding it. He was only there for 1 day. Like a talisman.

Every little bit of warmth and kindness, stood out as pungent as this xmas tree. I have to say, it’s the small things we take for granted. Maybe that’s why it’s still so hard to take this tree to the curb. Should we wait for May? I’m not worried if anyone thinks we’re strange. I’m holding on to this piece of xmas magic as long as I feel like it.

Little Worlds

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As politics and hate in the outer world make me chafed and raw, I seek refuge in the small little worlds I find out in nature. Like this bee with irridescent wings, getting nourishment out of this shriveled up flower. It looks like it’s no use to anyone, but the bee finds sustenance, and it helps him survive one more day.

Though he’s unaware, his beautiful wings capture the light and give us a rainbow of color.

The wispy grasses around him glow like gold in the summer sun. One little world in the midst of a field that otherwise might not have caught my eye, but for a few gleams of sunlight that forever changed this landscape.

May we hold on to the slightest love & encouragement in our hearts so we can make our day better, & lend a little of our own sun to someone who needs it.

Change of heart

A sound bitten moment
Went by unnoticed
There were no hashtags
No pictures, no press.

But a heart was changed.

You could hear the whisper
As her soul released
An angry hurting burden.
And in that void
A heart was free to feel
To cry, to laugh
To love, to be.

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Safely cradled by her angel
She beamed love and meaning
Through her bloodstream
Hope and tenderness
caressed her.
Grace and strength
Shone from her eyes.

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Now she could be in the world
Fulfilling her true nature.

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Tribute to Helen

Sun kissed dewdrops

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Dancing on the petals
Glistening in the morning warmth
Evaporating into air
As the day gets long
And the heat is set.
Fading and disappearing
From our view.
Like a life that once was solid
And now is floating all around,
In, and through us.

Three Views

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Every once in a while, a magical moment pops into our life. A synchronicity, stars are aligned moment. Where we couldn’t have imagined how wonderful 15 minutes could really become. Or how kind someone might be towards us.

Yesterday my husband and I were lost in Wisconsin. Just driving around, and took a wrong turn. Somehow, I sensed this was no accident. We wound up at Church Rd. Aptly named because there is an old church on this road, with a cemetery around it. And it looks like nobody’s attended there for quite some time. And yet, it’s still in good enough shape to have a service there. The church and cemetery are surrounded by a big fence. The gate is open! It doesn’t look like it would be, but it is. We went in and peeked through the windows, took some pictures with our camera, just like we’d done the last time we were there, 2 year ago.

Nothing had really changed. But we were thrilled to see this again. It had been a good experience before. Suddenly, to our surprise, a man came up to us and asked if we wanted to see the church inside. We didn’t even know anyone was around. We said sure! We got a tour of the church and found out that there is a service held there, once a year. Apparently, the people in the community keep the church up well enough so that this can still happen. I’m guessing there’s no pastor, but people still want to use the church. Obviously at one point this was a vital church community, you can tell by the cemetery.

The man reminisced with us and said, “When you sit in these pews, can you imagine a stagecoach with horses letting people off here, and having them walk through these doors in their old fashioned clothing, with snow outside, as they celebrate xmas.” I said yes! I could totally see that. And the place suddenly felt alive.

When we walked out the door, I heard a whistling sound. I looked to my right and saw 2 hummingbirds sip nectar from the lilac bush right outside the church! I felt so blessed in that moment. I told the man, “what a wonderful day! How cool was that. Thank you so much for the tour.” He smiled big, and for a minute, any cares I had, were gone. And I felt the kindness of a stranger seep into my bones and comfort me. It was a reminder that you can still feel kindness and trust in a small town, and that an ordinary day can turn into a treasure.

Catharsis

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Beauty pops out
Sometimes sparsely
In the beginning of spring,
Barely hanging on to a bleak landscape

But as spring takes hold,
It sprinkles the old brown leaves,
The dirt and gray twigs
With bold colors and designs.

Blessing all the eyes that see
Caressing the nose that smells such beauty
A beacon and a herald to the explosion of spring
The catharsis in each of us
That’s meant to be seen, heard, felt,
and blessed
By our understanding.

Unlikely Places

I was recently reminded of a childhood memory, so I have to share. My grandmother had a beautiful spirit and an appreciation for the non-material things in life. She’d been through the 2nd world war, and starved, and waited for her family to come home, without any letters for months sometimes. I don’t know how she held on. But she still saw beauty in the world, and she shared her point of view with my sister and I.

Oma (as we called my German grandmother), received a female canary. I don’t remember how she got this bird, I’m quite sure she didn’t buy it on her own. I think she inherited it from somebody that didn’t want her. I could understand why. Cetela, as she was later named, was very ugly! She was missing hair around her neck, and she looked really scruffy. But she could sing up a storm. And even though her song was not as beautiful as the male canary’s song would have been, she made us listen to her all day long! She would start singing in the morning when the sun came up, or accompany the vacuum cleaner, or just for no reason at all. She would sing lustily, and tilt her head back proudly. My grandmother just loved her. And Oma was constantly asking us how could such a tiny creature make so much noise! She gave my grandmother so much joy as she would sing with all her heart and soul and might. It was impossible to ignore her. I wondered if she knew my grandmother’s voice and sang even harder when she was in the room. She had such an indomitable spirit. We used to laugh at her. But my grandmother helped us to appreciate Cetela’s spirit and her inner beauty. May we always look beyond the surface of  appearance, and find something to love, and to nurture, and to raise, in the most unlikely places.