Greta

Yesterday, I posted a photo of a baby tortoise whom I found on the forest floor.  Adorable, right?  He’s wonderful because he’s tiny, miniaturized, new.  Honestly though,  I think he looks rather grumpy.  I can imagine him saying – who said you could touch me, why are you touching me, seriously, stop touching me. So, he’s adorable and new and grumpy.  He’s taken on quite a personality in so short a time hasn’t he?  It sounds like a children’s story.  The Grumpy Tortoise.  hmmm.  Yesterday I had no words to go with my little friend, only a couple of images that moved me.  I posted her anyway and waited. 

Let Go and Trust.  Today she is the best place to begin… This morning I feel as if I could write all day long.  No struggling for words.  My dilemma is how to sort them out and narrow them down to make some sense out of the madcap mess of thoughts!  I’m trying to figure out wordpress.  Why am I doing this?  A place to share my photos?  Or a story?  Is it even about sharing?  To say what I want to I have to make myself forget that someone may read this and instead I have to just write.  Otherwise I lose something.  Although it probably doesn’t seem like it, I do go back and read over what I’ve written,  adding and subtracting to make it somewhat coherent.  You see, I write the way I think, here to there and back again.  all over the place.  I had years of fantastic teachers! I know what good grammar looks like and punctuation too.  It takes a noun and a verb to make a complete sentence. Commas should be used thus and such.  Have you ever heard the expression – one must first learn all of the rules before one can break them? Breaking the rules is where creativity comes to play. Think Picasso! Even Da Vinci broke the rules of his own age!  Now, I am neither Picasso nor Da Vinci by a long shot.   I only write as I think, placing commas where they make the most sense to me.  A fragment for simplicity or emphasis.  It all sounds just right to me.  I wonder though if it’s difficult for someone else to follow.  Soon enough in these posts I’ll be repeating myself.  Favorite words and expressions used time and again.  We all have patterns.  That’s how comedians become so successful.  They study a person until they locate their patterns.  And we the audience, howl with laughter at how well they’ve managed it. I am learning what wordpress will be to me and for me.  Notice I say wordpress and not blog.  I am not a blogger.  I do not blog.  I don’t even like blogging.  Wait, what?  It’s the word.  Blog. Ugh!  I will wordpress, write, post or even ponder.  But, I will Not Blog.  I refuse.  I mentioned my aversion to the word blog to my son who also writes on wordpress and he agreed mightily.  In fact, his objections were far more colorful and emphatic than mine.  I’ll simply say that I prefer the word wordpress to blog because blogging sounds like some sort of despicable thing that I have no desire to do.   Laughing?  I hope so. Words!!  Oh, how they can move me…providence, magnificent, whatsamawhosit… three words that inspire me one by one to hope, imagine and laugh. So many wonderful possibilities. Oh! I just now realized my baby tortoise is indeed a girl.  Her name must be Greta.  Grumpy Greta!  Time for me to go.  I’ve written enough to ease my mind.  I wordpress because I write and I write because I love words… I doubt I’ll stop pondering why this is anytime soon but it probably is just that easy.

P. S. The photos of the adult female laying eggs were taken two years ago when I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time. Also blessedly no dogs were interested in Ms Tortoise’s moment of grace. 

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S.S. Minnow

Ok, so off we went, two cohorts in crime.  Well, more adventure than crime…giggles.  We shuffled off to Buffalo to get a great coffee and a new read straight from The Horse’s Mouth. Ask for Kaitlin.  Coffee or tea, hot or cold, she’s got it covered. A few doors down we ended our search for the perfect tank at Heart and Home.  Success! Sorry guys, girls only.  Unless you’re hunting the perfect tank too.  In which case, enjoy!  Across the street the trains run fast and often enough to remind you that you’re in small town America.  On our way back to Noonday we stopped off in Palestine where we found ourselves the tallest meringue in East Texas atop the finest chocolate pie west of the Mississippi.  If you’re looking for pie, check out The Oxbow bakery.  By the slice or by the pie. Scrumdillyumptious!  I highly recommend the sinful blueberry banana, one friend, one slice, two forks.  Sweet! We spotted the S.S. Minnow shipwrecked on the side of the road.  No fooling.  There she was just hanging around with no signs of Gilligan or the Skipper anywhere.   Perhaps they were just up the road a piece checking out the Dulcimer Festival.  I swanee if we had more time we would have stopped there as well.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Dulcimer much less a Dulcimer festival.  It rained like the dickens all day but that didn’t stop us from having a swell time.  Til we meet again, Happy Trails!

A story

When You read this you will chuckle because you predicted I would write this and you know who you are.  But, it won’t be what you thought it would be.  Everything is something to write about.  A first trip to the grocery store has a secret story to tell. Open your heart to what life has for you and adventure will unfold before your eyes.  All of the experiences that life hands to us have something to teach us.  Yes, All of them! Many of them, I’ll admit, I’d rather not learn or at least not so painfully.  Nevertheless, there they are.  A gift for the unwrapping tied up in plain brown paper and white cotton string.  On a  beautiful Wednesday in the early spring we met in an old house warmed by  years of living amongst its walls.  Warm?! Are you for real? It was freezing, you’ll recall.  Yes, it was.  But, I still say that wonderful old house is warm with the spirit of the lovely people who called it home for so long.  So, there.  I can hear you now, ok, I guess, but it was still cold.   I surprised you with  some old fashioned home cooking complete with cast iron skillet and donning an apron.  I’m a messy cook. As the food baked up in the oven I tucked my feet up under me and we both settled in to the afternoon. Be still and listen.  For a while the world fell away and all that was left was two souls and a story.  thank you for trusting me enough to share.  Just maybe, in that moment the song of life became a little sweeter for someone. I do hope so.

And now?

These five photos were taken in the same place all within a single minute. You’ll recognize the one from the last post. Can you see the water now? How quickly our world changes.

Are You Busy Too?

img_9145-1Busy.  Busy work. Busyness.  Business. Busybody.  Busy.  Everyone is busy these days.  We have to move fast to accomplish all that needs to be done.  We’re proud to be busy.  And we feel a little guilty if we’re not.  I know all the reasons that one stays busy, keeps busy, needs to be busy.  One has responsibilities after all. A family to care for. Bills to pay.  A job to keep.  A community to be involved in. You know, stuff to do.   And, those are valuable and beautiful things to have in one’s life, worthy of your time.   At what point though do we lose sight of the fact that we’re human beings and not just human doings?  Sometimes life hands us a slow motion view of what we’re doing and sometimes we slow down long enough to see it.  Really see it. A few years ago I was working on a bulletin board project at a school.  I was playing with children’s art work to display it to its very best.  Their choice of colors and styles was so much fun!  Their art teacher was fantastic at guiding each of them to their very best.  Occassionally  someone would walk by and we exchanged pleasantries.  Soon enough I’d be back at my joyful task.  I saw a friend coming whom I hadn’t seen in a while and I paused.  We hugged and greeted each other warmly.  There was an air of electricity about her. And, when I asked, how are you. Busy! she replied with fervor and anxiety.  Can’t stop now.  We’ll catch up soon.  That was several years ago and we haven’t really caught up yet.  She’s a fine woman whom I call friend,  involved in helping more people in more ways than I can count.  But, in that moment I was struck mostly by the word – busy – in all of its glory and sadness.  How much simple goodness is right in front of us but we’re moving too fast to notice it.  How many people reach out to us in ways we never see…because we’re too busy to see them.  Sadness is often quiet I think.  We have to be still to reach out and ease it for another.  We have to be slow enough in our movements and thoughts to show someone, I see you.  You’re all good.  That’s all most of us want anyway, just to feel that someone really knows us where we are and that we’re ok.  Well, I realized then that I don’t want to be that way.  Busy, I mean.  Too busy. Electric busy. Georgia O’Keeffe said “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small.  We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.”  That’s how I’d like to move through life.  Gracefully.  Seeing.  Taking time instead of letting time take me.  Don’t get me wrong, I fail miserably often and have to slow down and restart.  It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of activity. But, these days I try to be where I am.  When I manage it and open myself to what’s right before me, I can’t even begin to tell you how all the small unnoticed moments glow with a beauty all their own. Time spent or thoughts shared with those you already know and care about takes on a sacred delight.   Then there are people I don’t know at all who have shared beautiful and sometimes sad things with me.  They don’t want anything from me. It’s as though they simply need to say something and feel they’re being heard.  A gift of sorts that I really can’t explain.  And, I never see them again.  Still, in that moment it seems that I’m right where I’m supposed to be for a reason I don’t understand and will probably never know.  I don’t know if any of them recall the stranger who listened but I remember each of them… as a flower I stopped long enough to see.   It’s not a busy thing but it does take time.  Time that I’m happy to give away.

P. S. The photo at the beginning. How much time did you take to look and what did you see? Sky? Well, it is and it isn’t. It’s really a picture of the water.  The water reflecting a stormy sky.  The circle in the center is the sun. In less than a minute this didn’t exist anymore. One small minute to see water and storm clouds and sun altogether before it vanished.

Absolutely Brilliant!

So, you have one of those days. It starts off pretty quiet on the outside.  You begin chasing thoughts around in your mind. Some are daily. Others are cosmic. Nevertheless they stack one upon another keeping you wondering. You push them aside to tend to the day and all that it asks of you. Something makes you giggle. You read something that touches your heart. Dinner turns out just right. You’re worn and tired but you head out the door to walk anyway. And then…the quiet moment when you’re just where you’re supposed to be and you open your heart to where you are and it’s absolutely brilliant! 

They’re back!

Pileated woodpeckers! They’re huge, maybe two feet tall.  They don’t show themselves often.  Once in a while I’ll catch a glimpse as they sweep through the forest. I first know they’ve returned when I hear them. They sound so out of place in east Texas. You ask yourself if something has escaped from a rainforest exhibit at the local zoo. Seriously! Their loud resounding call is tropical, Amazonian.  The first few times I heard it, I thought, what is That?!  I recognize them now and it makes me smile. Recently I found this tree and with a bit of research figured out, it’s Them. Evidence of their handiwork.  Clearly they’re as fierce and powerful in their hunting as one might imagine. Pileated woodpeckers dig more thoroughly than an excited archeologist! The fresh pale color of the shavings tell a story of spring nesting and hungry babies. I haven’t sighted them yet but they’re here. Sweet tea and cookies!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The sun is trying so hard to light up St. Patrick’s day this morning! 

An Irish Blessing…

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.  –  Ragan