What I'd Really Like to Grow this Year . . .

 
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As we prepare for another gardening experience this year,
here’s some thoughts to ponder:

“I planted too much anger and resentment last year, so this year I will replace them with some tolerance  and patience. I really could have used some more enthusiasm, too, so I will add a little extra this time and plant it next to the hope I have always wanted to cultivate laughter, and I have the perfect spot right next to the lighthearted expressions.
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“Perhaps I should thin out the tears. I really don’t need very many of those. And, you know, I never really liked the frustration – it’s so invasive. I think I will replace it with harmony I didn’t care that much for that variety of judgementeither. It’s casting a shadow over the kindness. It does complement the blamebut the other plants that are near it are not doing well. I will move them both to that far corner, and be sure to keep them pruned back. I should probably move the criticism back there, as well.
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“A person could never have too much peace, so I will order twice as much this year. I will add a couple more varieties of love and put them right here in the front, so that I can smell their fragrance whenever I walk past them.
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“There. Now I can place my orders. This catalog says that is I place an order of $20 or more, they will send me a free good will  bush. It would look so pretty, tucked in between the peace and the harmony.

Now if spring will just hurry up and arrive.

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“I’d better not wait, though. I will start these seeds right away. I’ll begin them inside, to give them, and myself, a good start” on the new growing season.
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By Lisbeth Ann Williams
From the Weeder’s Reader

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

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Once, an historic landmark and the most photographed house on Prince of Wales Island, this beauty of a float house was abandoned after many years of neglect. I knew the last, eclectic residents that lived there and witnessed it beached many times. Each time it was laid on the shore by the tides, more bolts would loosen, boards would separate from the structure, even to the extent that it was tied with ropes to keep it together to survive another impending tide.
It was quite the site to see when first coming into this tiny fishing town in Southeast Alaska with it’s brilliant blue paint silhouetted against cloudy skies. Many times I would drive by and see a group of people with cameras snapping photos. I am sure there were all sorts of stories these visitors had to tell when they returned home.
Photo by Richard Trojan
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Here’s what the ole girl looked like while I lived there. Shortly after we moved, the city condemned the house and she was put to rest.  Yes, abandoned, but not forgotten. Good memories live on!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

I recall, as a little girl, my Mom calling us all into the living room to look at the sunset and enjoy the beauty together.  I still find myself doing the same …. calling anyone around me to enjoy its’ beauty and say farewell to this day.  Why, I’ve been in conversation with a complete stranger and realized that Mother Nature was creating a painting for us and the show would only last a few moments.  Stop. Take in the beauty. Be present!
And of course, I’m almost never without a camera.  Here’s a few photos I’d like to share with you . . .
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One of my favorite photos.  No PhotoShop here. A 360 view, in Alaska, of course!

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California sunset with tree silhouettes.

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Back in Alaska, watching the tide come in and enjoying the view.

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Sky on fire!  Amazing!  I watched this sunset until the last bit of color vanished into the darkness.
What a show!

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I am always amazed at the different shade and hues. No two alike.

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Sunset during forest fires.  Ominous and eerie.

My habit …. to enjoy the sunset in the present moments it is available to us and be grateful for the beautiful colors, shapes and textures, then, to capture it on film for future moments to remember its’ amazing beauty.

“It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once made the remark)
that whatever you say to them, they always purr.”

~ Lewis Carroll ~
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There 

AND

Just in time to fit in with my post and the theme Habit ….
along comes this great article from fellow blogger
Eric Tonningsen’s “Awakening to Awareness”

A Valuable Ally: Intuition

 

Solstice Sound Bath

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Celebrating Solstice

This past week I had the privilege of attending a Sound Bath. I have never been to one, let alone heard of one and what a surprise it was to my being, and the 100+ other like-minds that attended.  Filled to capacity, the air of the Art Center was suddenly permeated  with powerful vibrations from gongs and crystal singing bowls sending healing and calmness from without and within in waves of sound. Lying on mats on the floor, we closed our eyes and let the sounds encircle us, sometimes softly, sometimes loudly, sometimes creating sensations of tingling and chills.  You could feel the vibrations resonating through your body almost like an out of this world experience.  Some describe the Sound Bath as if you were traveling through outer space and into an altered state of consciousness, a feeling of pure bliss and deep inner peace.
Rituals such as this, can give us the experience of connecting to the Universe and tapping into its energy to create the calm we so desperately need in this stressful world. It was a time of tuning into the vibrations of the universe, to calm our being inside and out, and to release that which no longer serves us as we are ushered into the new summer season.  What a wonderful way to start the summer season.
I left the event feeling connected to the Universe, centered and refreshed, not to mention fully present.  But Mother Nature wasn’t finished with me yet.  She treated me to a fabulous Supermoon Rise on the drive way home.  What a perfect way to end the evening of Summer Solstice!

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Supermoon – June 23, 2013

In memory of Mom
June 23, 1927 – April 24, 2013

Photo of the Supermoon credit: woodleywonderworks’ photostream

Only in Still Waters

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“Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.”

Taken from a Taoist proverb, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love writes this beautiful saying in her search for enlightenment and seeking oneness with the Universe.
When we reflect, think and plan without quieting one’s self we really cannot see our reflection, or our true selves.  So often our busy monkey minds take over and we speed through our days without even taking a moment to see our reflection, where we are, who we are, where we are going.

The waters of our mind are always churning.

Only when we become still, does our vision become like a mirror.

After seeing the movie, I decided I wanted to read the book to get a better understanding of her unaltered-by-Hollywood concepts of her experience. I like her concept of short, bite-size chapters and her in depth views of how she seeks to become a better human being through meditation and following her dreams.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

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This week’s photo challenge is “Illumination”.  I must say that it took me awhile to find the right picture and after much searching I came upon this beautiful “Happy New Year” photo emailed to me on December 31, 2009 by a wonderful photographer who passed away recently.  His life was an illumination.  He was inspiring, witty, genuine, and it was an  honor to have known him.
He titled this photo “Caught between the moon and the Capital City”, where he not only captured the lights and their reflections in the Juneau harbor, but a jet flying out, at precisely the right moment, over the moon.  But wait ….. knowing Dave, he was a master of Photo Shop so I can’t be sure on that. At any rate, it’s a fabulous photo.
I got to know him through my activities with the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce and his publication of the Alaskan Southeaster where he published a few photographs and stories I wrote about our Island.  He stayed at our house while visiting our beautiful Island because he was writing a story on the various communities.   I was planning to go with him on the last day of his visit to the northern part of the Island, but I woke up with a “bug”.  I will never forget my disappointment that day.
So, it is to you, Dave Fremming, that I dedicate this weekly photo challenge because you truly lit up your corner of the world.  Your life was an illumination to everyone you met and everyone you knew.  You will be missed but not forgotten.  What you gave to this world will shine on forever.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

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Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many,
not on your past misfortunes, of which men have some.
~ Charles Dickens ~

Starting today, reflect and invite unlimited abundance and blessings into your life.  Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and find the pure consciousness that exists in the gaps between your thoughts. For me, it’s sometimes difficult to find the silence between the gap of thoughts.  I know it’s there but we often let our thoughts control our minds.  It takes a lot of effort for me.  How about you?   So why is it so difficult to find the gaps of quite bliss? Perhaps all that previous conditioning?  Reading too many books on multi-tasking?  Feeling like you never will get caught up? As my Grandmother used to say … “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get. ”
Eckhart Tolle said, “All things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind.” Ah, from beyond the mind.  That inner place where the quiet mind IS awareness.   Nature is a good place for me to feel awareness.  It’s that place where I can be in awe, where everything knows how and when to do whatever it is that they do at just the right time.  It’s a place to find things that really matter …. beauty, love, creativity, joy and most importantly, inner peace.
Today, I will make an effort to allow my mind to stop all the busy chatter, like thinking of what I have to do next or what has happened yesterday.  Today, I will invite and reflect on the  collective consciousness to inspire me and bask in the bliss of silence.
How do you stop your mind chatter?
How do you invite consciousness into your life?
How do you bask in the bliss of silence? 

About the Photo: I happened upon this beautiful work of art while visiting the city of La Verne, California.  I was in total awe of the beauty and workmanship of this unique piece being the tree-lover that I am.  After I put the photo up on my screen, I noticed the reflections in the glass.  How appropriate for this week’s photo challenge.
About the Artist: In 1985, Ruben Guajardo started his work on the doors for the La Verne Library, which took him three years to complete.  The wood for the door came from a 500-year old oak tree that was a landmark in the town, which,  because of the safety factors,  had to be cut down and removed.  When Ruben heard about the removal, he was eager to salvage the oak for this project as he grew up in the La Verne area and recalls climbing the tree as a child.  He designed the doors as a gift to his parents and the people of La Verne, and now the rest of the world can now enjoy his workmanship.

And speaking of trees, please stop over at my Tree of Life site. Give the gift of the Tree of Life.