I was invited to a brunch gathering at 10 am. As I drove, I reread the message to get the correct address. In reading the message, I saw the brunch was for Sunday not Saturday. Oops! Have you ever done things like that? Like looking for your glasses when they are on your head? Or trying to locate your cell phone while you are talking on it?
Well, the positive thing is I took a few turns and ended up at a place where I could park my car and get on the local bike trail and enjoy a nice walk. Lots of blue skies, dry sidewalks, fresh air and the knowledge that I would be at brunch with a bunch of lovely people — in 24 hours.
I love taking the stairs but when the elevator in the hotel parking garage opened as I approached, I knew there was a reason. I turned to the other passenger and said, “Well, I guess the Universe is telling me to take the elevator.” She said, “Do you listen to the Universe too?”
I told her I did.
She said, “I’ve got a question for you. What happens when everything is really negative and bad? How do you focus? How do you get out of that place?”
She had her suitcase and was heading towards her vehicle. “I think what you do is find that one thing that’s beautiful,” I said. “A smile on a baby’s face. Or the sunrise. Or maybe a sunset. Just find it and focus on that and keep going back to that one thing. And then add one more. When you are in a dark hole, all you can see is shit and darkness.”
I told her, “It’s like if you’re on a diet. You’re not going to make a difference in a day, but in month you’ll start to see change. So, hang on to that feeling of finding beauty everyday for a month, then you will see some light in the darkness.” I wanted to reach over and wipe away her tears.
When she mentioned she was at the hotel for a conference, I asked her what kind of work she did. She was counselor attending a trauma seminar. No wonder she was so messed up. Who knows what sad stories she was dealing with in her world. For the briefest moment in time, I was able to convey to her through my actions. “Let it all go. I’ve got you.” And I did have her for that very short window of time. Maybe that was all she needed. To be heard. To be not alone. To connect.
Everything about her was raw and vulnerable. I hope she finds some healing and is able to treat herself kindly.
How about if we send her some light? Just close your eyes and send some light and love to this giving person. Will it reach her? Will it make a difference? Maybe it will. I hope so.
Sometimes, if we care to listen, we can learn so much from our children. This precious 6-year old, offers wise words to her mom about a pending divorce in the family. She’s “not trying to be mean, not trying to be a bully.” She’s trying to be …straight.
She says, “My heart is something. Everyone else’s heart is something too. And if we live in a world where everyone’s being mean, everyone’s gonna be a monster in the future!”
Well, here I am again. Still exercising and still walking and as you may have guessed… still socializing. It seems when I have friends in my plans, I forget to blog. Earlier this month I spaced out blogging when a longtime friend was passing through my city and she spent the night before heading home.
Yesterday it was a lazy evening with a dear friend celebrating good news. Easy conversation, laughter, happy hour, wine and then off for a meal. I can honestly say that at no time last night did I think about blogging. and the best thing is – I know you all understand!
The Write 31 Day Challenge is coming to an end on November 1. Somehow – I don’t know how – the month flew by. It seems like I was just lamenting the loss of September and now October is ending.
As for me, I’ll keep moving – walking, biking and exercising. Will I continue to write? Hmmm. I’m not sure.
Good night for now and I’ll see you tomorrow – Margekatherine
A sunrise walk this morning before a day of volunteering. First I work with the public at the National Forest Service for 4 hours in the morning. Then I drive ten miles and volunteer in the afternoon at first grade with my grandson. After we get home, I get to ‘beat him up’ as he calls it. I call it playtime.
This is the scenario. He piles up pillows and blankets and then I have to try to swat him with a pillow before he jumps into the pile. Sometime I am quicker than he is with the pillow so that’s where the ‘beat him up’ part comes in. He’s like a puppy. And I’m like the old dog who just puts up with the puppy – though you can probably guess I am as excited as he it to be doing such a simple thing and laughing the whole time.
Off I go. Have a glorious day and I hope you find some moments of unabashed joy as well!
“The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy, walk and be healthy. “The best of all ways to lengthen our days” is not, as Mr. Thomas Moore has it, “to steal a few hours from night, my love;” but, with leave be it spoken, to walk steadily and with a purpose. The wandering man knows of certain ancients, far gone in years, who have staved off infirmities and dissolution by earnest walking,–hale fellows close upon eighty and ninety, but brisk as boys.”
– Charles Dickens
“Above all do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday I walk myself into a state of well being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill … if one keeps on walking everything will be alright.”
– Soren Kierkegaard
I believe it’s the small things that make for sweet memories. A welcome hello and a hug goodbye. A card in the mail. A walk in the leaves on a warm autumn day. A phone call from a friend. Our world is filled with small kindnesses. We give them. We receive them. We read about them. So, it was a delight when I saw this wonderful post at onbeing.org, I think you might enjoy it’s message as well.
Today’s is a soft meditation
in praise of the enormousness
of small kindnesses.
Like the café worker who waved enthusiastically
to my father as he walked in the door of the coffee shop
like she was expecting him,
like he was a regular in this hipster enclave
instead of a septuagenarian
in khaki shorts and white tennis shoes.
About 15 years ago I was in a Borders Bookstore enjoying some quiet reading time, when a trio came in to set up and play music. There was a violinist who was simply superb. I stayed the entire time and bought her Breathing Freely cd before I left the store. This musician, Ruth McGinnis, turned me on to the sound of a violin. The music got into my cells and I felt it in my stomach and heart. It took me back to sad days when my life was upside down. Other songs reminded me of the good things, like getting married, having babies and laughing. Some of her music felt like a joyful conversation.
I went online to find Ruth McGinnis on youtube.com to see if she had any new music for me to hear. Instead I read her obituary. She died 6 years ago. She was 52. The words made me cry. Her music was a tonic that I’ve turned to it over the years when I needed to do something… to settle down, to remember, to rejoice.
Ruth left me a precious gift with her talent.
Click below and close your eyes and really listen.
I’ve had the good fortune to see the autumn leaves many times this year. Several times in September I visited Grand Lake, CO which is located on the western side of the Rocky Mountains. To get there, I have to drive over Trail Ridge Rd. It’s the highest paved road in the U.S.
There are times the road is so high and the drop off is so steep I have to cover one side of my face as a blinder. It’s a two lane road with no guard rails and often has cyclists, tourists stopping their cars to take photos of wildlife, large recreational vehicles moving ever so slow and crazy weather conditions.
But … on those rare days when I am on the road super early in the morning, I can sail along and enjoy the sights, drive at a comfortable pace, cover my face when it feels too steep and bask in this lovely park. One foggy morning I was driving and caught sight of these elk hard at work with their antlers tangled in each other. What a sight!
A bit later in September, I had the opportunity to take a hike up the Cache La Poudre River. My friend and I were a bit surprised to get to the trail head and see the temperature had dipped to 39 degrees. We dressed in layers, grabbed our hiking poles and set off on an amazing trail that climbed ever so gently as it followed the river. That hike was filled with views of the shimmering gold aspen trees near and far. It was stunning.
My most recent trip took place in the Sierra Nevada’s this weekend. The 8 mile hike was uphill and steep in places. It was the kind of hike that your body could go far but you had to stop and let your heart slow down a bit. Aspens lined the trail and in many places the ground was covered with pine needles. I felt like I was walking in someone’s calendar photo. The return hike took 90 minutes because gravity just took over and we sailed down the mountain!
Sometimes I’m unable to enjoy the fall foliage. Either the weather changes too quickly and the leaves fall off before they can give their ‘goodbye dance’ or my timing is off and I don’t get into the mountains to see them in time.
But not this year. This has been one of the best autumns for me in a long time. I’ve stood in the mist of the colors, smelled the leaves on warm days and felt the cool air on my face. Each time I find myself standing in a grove of glittering gold trees, I count my blessings.