Little Things Making Big Differences

Close-up photo of dandelion

Feeling antsy, impatient, or fearful while being cooped up during this pandemic? Personal contact and the ability to participate in gratifying activities like dining with friends or attending concerts are two pleasures I’ve missed the most.

Thankfully, though, it’s spring which means hours and hours of yard work assuaged with bird song, the warming sun, and dirt sifting through my fingers.Savoring nature’s gifts in the moment helps restrict thoughts of the coronavirus — even as cases escalate in my county. Of course following Rule #1 enriches tranquility:  do not succumb to the media’s monotonous alarms. Choose instead to augment this extra time with uplifting activities. Here’s a few that I hope will help fortify your self-quarantine time too:

Poetry Exchange

Open book with mandala and yarrow standing in grass
Image by Didi S from Pixabay

Dear Friends,

We’re starting a collective, constructive, and hopefully uplifting exchange. It’s a one-time thing and we hope you will participate.

Please send a poem or comforting thought/verse/text/meditation to the person whose name is in position #1 below (even if you don’t know them), with the email subject Uplifting Exchange. It should be a favorite text/verse/meditation that has affected you in difficult times. Don’t agonize over it. If you’d like to send a poem in your own language and provide a translation, please do so!

    1. path4joy@ptd.net
    2. blog@ptd.net

After you’ve sent the short poem/verse/quote/etc. to the person in position 1, and only that person, copy this letter into a new email. Move the second name to position 1, and put your name in position 2. Only the name you move up and your name should show in the new email. Send it to 20ish friends BCC (blind copy).(Sidenote, some friends found it daunting to select 20ish friends…I’d think 10ish would suffice.)

Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new pleasures.The turnaround is fast, as there are only two names on the list, and you only have to do it once.

Here’s the lovely poem I received:

AND PEOPLE STAYED HOME

And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and stopped
and listened deeper
someone meditated
someone prayed
someone danced
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended
and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.

                          ˜ Kathleen O’Meara

♥ Sharing Prayers ♥

Stained glass church window
Original image by Kerstin Riemer from Pixabay

Hi Folks,

Here is a prayer that we can pray as ONE:

The very energies that course through the Universe also course through us. May we look within, trusting Divine energies to guide the steps that we must take NOW. Let us pay attention to earth’s call for healing, and recognize we are the ones who hold the power to restore earth to her original glory. Hold us in healing peace and light as we journey through these transitional times.

♥ Helping with Humor ♥

Multiplying smiles in green, pink, orange, purple from mandala
Original image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I was in a long line at 7:45AM today at the grocery store that opened at 8:00 for seniors only. A young man came from the parking lot and tried to cut in at the front of the line, but an old lady beat him back into the parking lot with her cane.

He returned and tried to cut in again but an old man punched him in the gut, then kicked him to the ground and rolled him away.

As he approached the line for the 3rd time he said, “If you don’t let me unlock the door, you’ll never get in there.”

🙂 🙂 🙂

 Day 3 without sports:  Found a lady sitting on my couch. Apparently she’s my wife. She seems nice.

♥ Connecting Spiritually ♥

13 religious symbols with persons walking around the globe
Original image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

The first announcement indicated that the monthly Tao discussion meeting would be on hold until the shelter in place ceased. But, a second e-mail announced that the monthly meeting would be held via Zoom.

Two weeks later I received another announcement:

I sent you an invitation to be part of the creation of a new group that I am beginning. It is a virtual spiritual community that is inclusion of world religions and New Thought. A few other members of the Taoist group were interested so I wanted to let you know that you are more than welcome to try it out. Please do not feel obligated. I wanted to include everyone in the group and there are no hard feelings if you select not to attend.

While uncertain if this was the group for me, accepting this opportunity to fill my head with something inspirited rather than thoughts of the corona virus was the better choice.

♥ Positive Thinking ♥

Taijitu symbol of yin-yang in between heads of 2 persons
Original image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Wordket’s blog post mentioned The Little Book of Lykke. If the government supplied all residents with a copy of this book, perhaps people would be faring better…in the pandemic and otherwise.

Likewise, I find comfort and acceptance in all situations through the Tao’s explanation of life. Two books that set the course for my day are The Tao of Joy Every Day – 365 Days of Tao Living by Derek Lin and Change Your thoughts – Change your Life – Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.

♥ Mandala Meditation ♥

Mandala ready to be colored in with a red pencil
Original image by the Medieval Gnome from Pixabay

This one I’m saving for later. While I enjoyed blue skies and 60 degree temps a few days ago, it’s grey and blustering 45 mph winds now.The perfect time for coloring my thoughts with a mandala meditation.

Hypnotic mandala of grey, burnt orange and black like a bird's eye
Image by Barbara A. Lane from Pixabay

Has something new come to you to cope with the shelter in place? How do you stave off boredom? What is your resolve to not falling prey to fear?

I agree with Stephen King and love this quote: “If you think artists are useless, try to spend your quarantine without music, books, poems, movies and paintings.” Or without positive thought, I’d like to add.

Blankets of Snow

Snow falling on trees

The snow falls

heavily all night

like a snuggly warm comforter or blankets piled high,

thickly covering trees, shrubs, bushes, and grass.

Mother Nature says, “Close your eyes. Rest your weariness. Take time to gain your strength for spring.

“Hush now. It’s time to sleep.”

No wonder snow is so quiet.

Collections of Recollections

Colored photographs hanging above colored clothes on a rack
Wrapping up porcelain plates in newspaper to protect for moving
Protecting porcelain plates in newspaper for moving

 

Boxes of newspaper wrapped dishes,

and shielded glass in picture frames

reminds me

I’ve resided here for half my life.

 

More frequent moving in more youthful days

not needed or necessarily desired —

right now.

Unless I could turn my back

and be there

immediately

without sorting through stuff.

Taking only recollections with me

in the boxes of my mind.

Woman's hand pulling back clothes on rack to see dress
Original photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

Thumbing through stored clothes

my consciousness wanders

through seasons…styles…

Is this too vintage?

Is there vintage vintage — like my racy aunt’s 1940’s blazer that I’ve preserved for another 40 years…

…or my mother’s creepy high heels that mimicked the Wicked Witch of the West’s?

Time periods,

events,

come running back

like a long ago lover

I’ve forgotten to miss.

Each dress recreates a juncture,

a feeling,

that I don’t want to discard…

doing so feels too dementia-like.

Protective plastic covers up

confectionery scenes —

that captured job interview,

unforgettable party,

spellbinding date…

Colored photographs hanging above colored clothes on a rack
Photo by Shanna Camilleri on Unsplash

…preserving

a lifetime of memories

dangling

in the closet

of my mind.

 

Anon

September tugs at August

October overshadows September.


Leaves falling in August

a premature ejaculation of autumn

leaves one unfulfilled

and looking to September

for more.

More warmth, more comfort,

a lingering embrace

to hold on

to the moments of bliss.

As an adult, I love September

and August too.

It’s just too soon

to feel this cool

like the afterglow

dissipating before daylight,

or a lover

tacitly

closing the door.

September, where are you

in October’s shadow?

The tomatoes are as green

as my naiveté

the scarce flowers

say goodbye…

It’s too soon to feel this cool.

Sadness hangs in the air

like unripened fruit,

July leaves gyrating brown,

their youth lost

before prime.

 Not ready

to

let

go.

Summer is over

before full bloom —

the whirlwind pursuit

with lackluster end.

Dramatic photo of imposing clouds at sunset over lonely landscape

Mother Nature’s Meditation

Unripened and ripened blueberries on a bush

Sun warming

Breeze cooling

Skin.

Eyes scanning

Unripened green to apple rose’

Locking in

The prized deep purply blue.

Wind chimes whisper

Somewhere nearby

Cars whoosh

Momentarily

Here and there.

Children laugh

And ring the bell.

Sun warming

Breeze cooling

Skin.

Eyes scanning

Each ripened berry

In view.

Totally in the moment

There’s no other place I’d rather be.

The past and the future

Do not exist

In the berry patch.


Raised in an anxiety-ridden home, it was stressful to live in the “now.” Far better to  prepare for “what’s next,” I thought, even with its own undercurrent of anxiety.

A friend recently invited me to a year-long meditation but the voluminous information and instant marketing hype quickly drove me away. Unsettling. Like when I attempted meditation years ago in the standard seated position. Arduous.  As soaking in a tub. Has this happened to you? Meditation offers many benefits but feeling stressed is not the goal.

Far more agreeable to me, are movement meditations such as hand drumming, walking, or being in the moment with Mother Nature. Fixed on berry picking, the smell of sun-ripening tomatoes and basil brushing my arm, or the infinite colors and textures of nature are far more relaxing and in-the-moment experiences for me.

One size doesn’t fit all. In many things, but meditation too. Giving myself permission to discover what works for me is key. Don’t know where to begin? Try leaving the cell phone behind and taking a walk outside. You may be pleasantly surprised by the calm in connecting with Mother Nature.

Summer Blog Post-4

 

Feature photo by Jens Böhm from Pixabay

Multilingual without Words…

I communicate in many languages.  But my lexicon doesn’t contain words per se.  No, I’m not talking about texting but of a communication so beautiful no words are necessary.

In seasonal poetry gatherings each of us brings a random poem to read aloud.  The words we share are not our own but the understanding we glean from the words of others.  While some may be serious, others witty, or thought provoking — and on any topic of choosing, a common thread soon appears.  Ah, no doubt the Universe is at play here we chuckle each time we recognize the unintentional theme that connects us together.

The languages I convey do not use technology, social media, or heaven forbid a cell phone.  A verbal silence in hand drumming makes room for magic.  When words do not appear, the voice of the drums speaks profoundly through our creative energy.  Rhythms intertwine, calling, responding, supporting, expressing, wandering, somewhere…but together.

Standing in my kitchen, I cook.  My focus is lovingly preparing a tasty meal, and setting a table that honors the food and the ones it nourishes.  Sitting together then and savoring  this offering of utilitarian sensory art reveals the unseen ingredient.

Sharing the bounty of my garden, holding the door open for someone, offering a smile, anyone can understand.  I do not need to say one word to communicate with anyone anywhere.  All of us can speak the same language when we do not use words.

Multilingual

 

 

 

Winding Roads

Someone read a poem today.
That made me think

The winding road
is
our lives.

images (3)

Many of us reach the same destination.
Albeit different ways,
Different paths, whys, hows,
with different words
for the same concept —
a nearly same experience.

Isn’t that the wonder of our uniqueness
yet sameness?

images (4)

We begin a path, a book, a plan,
then change course
for whatever reason.
A break-up.
Job loss.
Dying desire
to live
one’s passion.

Altering our course
we may step back
and the change brings greater challenges
we did not forsee
ahead
images (7)

 

yet we gain along the way
from what we did not know,
And then it is behind us.

 

 

Why focus on the end
when we never know
when
the end will truly be?

141551-004-8AB32AB0

Fluent by John O’Donohue

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.