Monday, October 28, 2013

Daybreak

I quite often pause to notice a sunrise or sunset, but daybreak is another matter. Depending on the time of the year, and where in the world you are located, it is not always easy catching the first light of morning. In August, I started heading outside about forty-five minutes before sunrise in order to experience this magical time of the day. Folded into a soft blanket, sitting back in a comfy chair, drinking a big cup of steaming coffee or tea, I have now witnessed daybreak on a number of occasions and in a few different locations. I found I was not only witnessing daybreak, but also the last moments of night. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

You don’t need a view to experience this phenomenon, but I must say it enhances the magic. Recently, while traveling in Switzerland and staying at around the 5,000 ft. level, I was able to fully appreciate the Lauterbrunnen valley and surrounding mountains in a different way. Observing the stars punctuating the night sky, and the silhouette of the snowy mountains at daybreak, was jaw-dropping beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes as the sun kissed the tips of the peaks. All I needed was the sound of a choir hitting a high C note. For lack of a choir, I clapped my hands with joy.

When I initially began my daybreak quest, I had not realized how much it would involve the senses. Here are a few observations of mine from home:
  • Quiet, as if someone said, "Shh"
  • Moon and stars vividly mark their time then fade as the morning light seeps in on a clear night
  • Contrast of dark and light as the silhouettes of trees come into view
  • Light fog rising and falling above the ground
  • Cool dampness producing the sharp smell of dried leaves and grasses
  • Faint foghorns from the ferries moving through the water miles away
  • Heavy dew falling from the trees like rain
  • Ebb and flow of muffled train whistles in the distance
  • Light stretching and yawning across the morning sky
  • Bats flit about before they retreat from the light
  • Spiders leave the center of their webs, as if on cue
  • First bird song of the day
  • Small flocks of birds taking flight here and there
  • Croak of a nearby frog
  • Roosters heralding the morning
  • Full light of morning reminding me it is time to start moving with the rhythm of the day
  • Tummy growls telling me it is time for breakfast
  • Drops of dew shining like a million diamonds across the lawn
  • Sense of peace and calm settles over me as I begin a fresh, new day full of awareness and inspiration

Creating space for ourselves is not easy, especially if it means setting the alarm a bit earlier in the morning. If I can do it, so can you. Involve your senses and join me and the rest of the menagerie of birds, frogs, spiders and bats, and hit a high C note, crow like a rooster or just clap your hands with joy as day breaks in your corner of the world.
Daybreak photo courtesy of Mary Anne Enriquez

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tough Love

Over the past year, I have cared for twenty-one little potted trees so they could develop a stronger root system. Fall is the ideal time to disturb the roots and allow them to take hold of the damp ground. So, a few days ago, in the cool, thick fog, with shovel in hand, all  trees were set in place on our property. It’s going to be tough love for these saplings. With soil comprised of clay, rocks, and roots from mature trees, they will need to fight for every inch of solid ground and forge their own space. They must also adapt to the ever present need to change in order to battle torrential rains, the snows of winter, the heat of summer, and munching rabbits and deer. You may be wondering why anyone would even bother.

As I wandered the property searching for a place to strike my shovel, it dawned on me that I wasn’t merely planting little trees; I was planting hope⎯hope for the future. If all goes well, by spring they will be on their way slowly spreading their roots. It will take a number of years for them to achieve their true growth potential, but that is what hope is all about. Since we will probably move sooner rather than later, I won’t see these trees grow into the lovely specimens they are, and that’s okay. I would not plant them if I did not hope they had a chance to somehow thrive and grow.

Why bother? Because we all need the glimmer of hope in our lives. If something has disturbed your root system, that is the signal to change, thrive and grow. It's not easy, but like these little trees of hope, we must create our own space, forge a strong root system and adapt to whatever comes our way. Each one of us struggles with some form of tough love, but tough love is all about the possibility, and that is endless.

View from Below courtesy of vastateparkstaff

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Looking Up

I have had a tendency to look ahead, side-to-side, and down in order to watch where I am going. These days I am looking up more and more. Looking up is not just about improving my prospects. When I am looking up, I am taking in the whole of the world around me. Like most kids, I enjoyed lying in the grass and watching the clouds go by as I tried to figure out what shapes were being made. I still do, but

Now I look up to...
  • Stretch my neck and elongate my spine
  • Greet the day
  • Watch the fog, rain, snow or whatever Mother Nature has to offer
  • Observe birds, bats and insects
  • Take note of man-made flying activity
  • Celebrate the moment
Looking up…
  • Gives me a new perspective
  • Causes me to pause and take note
  • Reminds me of peace
  • Makes me smile

I mentioned looking up not being just about improving my prospects, because looking up refines my vision of the world around me, and my place in it. Looking up is a choice, a choice we all have. Choose to look up and give yourself a new perspective. Are those poodles on parade I see?

Summer is over and Fall has returned. I am once again back to my weekly postings. When I left you last I was concentrating on my book. While I am not exactly jumping for joy as planned, the book is a bit closer to realization. I will continue to Get It Done one way or another. I’ve missed you and I look forward to my fourth year of blogging. As we move forward, if you enjoy this blog or a particular post, email it to a friend, blog, tweet, share or recommend it. It's all about spreading the love!

Sky 2 photo courtesy of Dennis Hill
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