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.

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Stay in the Light

cardinal landingDSC_8625

When I took this picture 2 winters ago, I can still feel the chilling cold that was in this moment. You could not stay outside for long. And yet the birds and the squirrels were constantly moving, keeping themselves fed and as warm as was possible. The flurry of activity felt like a desperate journey for survival.

My pictures often show me messages long after I’ve taken them. I see the squirrel diligently getting each last seed into his mouth, barely looking forward, just enough to get the next morsel. And the cardinal has his eye on the seeds too. But in this moment, as he is descending, he is strangely in between worlds. The world of solid matter where the wooden porch is just beneath one half of his wings. And on the other half of his wings, there are lights, and shimmery hues. Perhaps there are little nature angels, keeping him warm as he opens up his whole soul and makes himself vulnerable.  In this moment, he is in such contrast to the squirrel who is so closed up, so hunkered down. In total survival mode.

Stay in the light
Your dreams will be fed.

Stay in the light
Your healing draws nigh.

Stay in the light
Feel the warmth in your heart.

Your thoughts will crystalize
Into your design
Blessed by your Faith
And healed by your Love.

A Hardy Life

weed1A thought I was
As the fierce wind blew.
A seed I became
flying through the dusty air.

A home I found
On the side of your house.
An empty spot
where there was only dirt.

A sprig, a green shoot
a small hardy life
Just trying to be.
No one noticed me.

I twisted and turned
and grew taller each day.
Pushed up shiny white petals
With a bright crimson center

A little lantern
With sewed up seams
Hid the tiny seed thoughts
That first started me.

And then I got attention.
A weed! Oh no!
I was forcefully pulled
Out of my home.

But those little seed thoughts
Dropped into the soil
And Grew me again
And again and again!

The Snowy Owl

DSC_3476snowy owl

Winter came with a vengeance.
Threatening the homeless
with subzero drops.
Killing fuel lines,
parking cars on snow drifted streets.
Colder and colder
and more bitter it became.
Slowing the progress,
hushing the busy.
And then in all this arctic freeze
I saw a soul through yellow eyes
A heart, beating in this cold
Sheltered by the pier
Gliding on the wind
and nestling in the drifts.

DSC_3600wire looking at me cropped1DSC_3617male & fem

I am!

bfly bush pieces1

Whenever I feel down, or not able, sad, or in lack, I look at this picture of a juvenile male hummingbird that busted through a butterfly bush. It makes me  feel brighter, inspired and more hopeful. This little one had so much verve and spunk, he didn’t let a big butterfly bush stop him, he just flew through it, leaving pieces scattered all around him in the air! A triumph, a moment of sheer exertion of will, survival and exuberance.   Not a great picture due to lighting and the speed of the bird. But to me, it just says : I AM! period.