Calm the waters within

Finding the calm

Come down from the loft! Yep. I did literally. I just came down from the loft at my place where I usually write my ponderings. Now sitting here at the dining table (another fav place of mine), staring out at the sun coming in through the window (dirty window with mini handprints….granddaughter. WHAT!!!!) Yeah yeah, Karen. Get the windex out and clean it. The joys of being a Rara grandparent.

Ouuuuweeee! What a morning to be out and about! It is spectacularly delightful with the sun peeking over the horizon cascading once again (sunshine started yesterday) and its brilliance laying claim upon the frozen seashore, nearby fields and sides of the road as I walked the dawn of morn. Self-care. Right? So glad I found a mask in my coat pocket (yes it is clean) as it came in handy to stave off the brisk cold wind from the north. I am not into that whole ‘breathe in and breathe out’, allowing the cold brrr air to roll around in my lungs. I’ll leave it to the diehards and crazies. But the beauty around me….aahh. Simply joyous. Although I did feel a wee bit of warm. Nah. Kidding.

Oddly enough while walking, I was contemplating searching for an overflowing waterfall, sinking into its depths while surrounded by its warmth…to wash away whatever and then nourish the inner being. Calm the waters within…my spirit. Part of taking care of the ‘me’ (and the ‘you’) is tending to the soul, the innermost self. It struck me that it is Lent too, a time for reflection and preparation, letting go or taking on of something. Jesus walked in the desert for a long time, tempted and prodded, but never falling to the guise of distractions. So what does that say to me. How to nourish and feed the living waters, allowing the stream of life to flow within, calm and peaceful from the daily narrowing allure of the ‘don’t touch’.

Oh to go to a spa. I’m not really into spa’s per se but maybe I do not know what I am talking about. I mean they have mud baths. Right? Well, holy lightning the idea of sinking deep into mud….are you kidding me?! NO. Been there done that. Yeah. You got it. Childhood memory. I was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5, and my dad said I rolled around with the pigs in the pigpen of his uncles farm in New Brunswick way back when. Scarred for life. No thanks. I love the Maritimes but some memories can stay in the past. Seriously though, what can help to nourish the spirit….make you feel freeing. For me it is water.

Something about it is so life-giving. I was bathing my granddaughter in the sink last week because I do not have a tub and she is playing away. While watching her, she gets so preoccupied with the water and the suds. Naturally, she turns on the faucet (because it is right and Rara did not bring extra towels for being the curious little one she is), allowing the water to flow through her fingers which spontaneously spreads wide, drenching me (even little fingers can do that). She just looks and looks and then a most precious gift comes…a smile crosses her face. Is she nourished? Oh yes. Oh yes.

I know I await the spring to come, where the water will gently come in to the shore and I can stand while it brushes softly against my toes. Or the wondrous loud crashing on the rocky shore as I sit or stand, allowing the spray of the waves upon the rocks to hit me square in the face. Breathtaking and crazy feeling. But it reaches down deep in me, a purity that calms me, holds me, washes me….awakens the restless soul recessed deeply to the core of my being. But hey that is not to be as yet. So today or tomorrow I travel seeking a babbling brook, released from the confines of the hidden winter, to stand still…..listening as the life giving water fills me. Because I am not going to turn the tap on in the sink at home for it wastes water and frankly, if I turn on the tap…I will have to go to the washroom. Takes away the whole ambiance right now. Eew. For some reason listening or being near the water in the outdoors does not do that. Funny that.

Where oh where is a babbling brook? Little water fall? Trickling stream? Oh where oh where can it be? Searching for what brings me to a calm, breathing life back in….maybe it comes from being baptized, a renewing promise to self that is at the root of the water’s importance to me. I do not know. Mystery. But whatever it is, it is bigger than me for it grounds and fills me at the same time. Grateful in gratitude.

So today, imminent storm not withstanding, I will begin my trek. Although I am really having a senior moment right now. For I have to say as I came back from town today (had to stop pondering to do life; you know how it is), the body of the St. Lawrence on the north shore was beautifully displayed beyond the fields and smattering of cottages as I crested the hills….bluer than blue, sky clear and sun shining whitely on the ice and snow covered waters with just a few spaces showing deep blue water. Oh yeah. I guess that is my calming water for today. Trek tomorrow.

Undertake whatever you know about you and treat yourself, nourishing in bountiful revelation to feel good. Remember the most important person to keep your promises to is you today. Woo to the hoo. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers today and way to help them be spiritually nourished.

TLC + Self-Care = Aaah

TLC. today

You know that phrase just a little TLC….tender loving care. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well being kind to yourself, the person you have walked and talked with, yourself, since the day you were born. Well maybe not exactly the moment of birth as you did not exactly walk or talk at first more like…drool, spittle, burp, stare, girgle, little doodoos, smellies, flail, kick, whimper, screech. But since then, somehow, maybe too quickly really, you look in the mirror and….woohoo “look at me now” smile (or frown) depending on the day. You are the best, loved, and valued person who deserves a bit of TLC, only for you. This is your life and sooooooo need to build yourself up. Look in the mirror.

Oh my. Well, I see wrinkles (worry stress kids yadayadayada) – grey streaks au natural (comes with the territory)- double chin (grown over the years) – flab to the bod (oh well take me or leave me) – squinty eyes (too much something). Yep, a little TLC could go a long way. For goodness sake, does that not remind you of something? Okay this dates me. But oh well. I am thinking about I need to pull out Miss Sally’s magic mirror from Romper Room to hear the reminder that I am special too. Listening to her voice as she held the mirror up saying”Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror tell me today. Did all my friends have fun at play?” Saying the names of so many kids (or adults), someone reminding you, me, he, she, I to do. Have fun. Take. Care. Of. Self. T.L.C. Haha. I forgot about that old show until today. Anyway, do you HEAR me??

What does it take to give oneself permission to be loving and tender to self? Could it be you are too busy with the busyness and speed dial lifestyle? The commitment to A B or Z? Preoccupied with the thingy tomorrow (or next week/month/beyond this day) and not thinking about the doing today? Don’t you just want to kick back for a second, put the brakes on, hold the train, and just chill?? Spend a little me time for only you. Do what makes you HAPPY.

But then again, do you know what makes you happy? You know the kind of spine tingling, giddy, jump up and down happy; or a more subtle like sense of a softly stirring of a smile and eyes lit kind of happy. Not everyone claps their hands quickly together as something catches the heartstrings. I think of the TV shows where a talk show host such as Ellen, Oprah, Steve Harvey, Jimmy Falon and so on who would bring together lost loves, military families, old friends, people who saved. The happiness and tears of joy, laughter and unexpectedness fills the faces. Disbelief. Stumbling. No way in a million years. And yet right there before their eyes is the happy. Should that not be part of the feeling of TLC for you or I?

I have a penchant for watching those reunion kind of shows, surprising the beejeebies out of the person(s) because it is just so beautiful to behold. You want to wrap the moment up and take it with you, seeing the purity of love witnessed. I mean I do like happy endings. Who wouldn’t? But to watch them it is more of the feeling inside me, the warm kind of generous feelings filling my cup so full, making me feel a goodness. Warm fuzzies. Oh yeah. To give that to myself in some way each day I think speaks to the TLC of self-caring.

So back to who, what, when, where, why, and how. BAAAAAH. You can’t take the teacher out of me for goodness sake!! WHO? Well me. WHAT? Self-care to be determined (no pinterest). WHEN? Any time. WHERE? Preferably where I am right now (no GPS or Siri needed). WHY? I owe it to myself. HOW? Breathe, Take the first step. And…. So back to the WHAT?

How to the what of self-care + TLC = aaaah? It does not have to be an elaborate plan of action, check off the list, post it note, ding on technology device. No. But of course if that is your personality type where you need reminders to put you first, well hey, whatever floats your boat. But do it. Just do it. Do what??? Well, take for example yesterday evening, I just got back from going to Cornwall PE and I stepped outside of my truck and happened to look up at the sky. The stars were bursting at the seams filling the clear night sky with the air, cold (brrrrr) and brisk, and it took my breath away. The moon is crescent and sky was not black but bluish black and I could still see the silhouette of the trees crossing the skyline. A smile crossed my face as I took a turn spinning slowly to take in my view. Happy. Yep. Check. TLC. Yep. Check. Check.

Did I want to go for a walk? Yes. Did I though? Are you kidding me??? It was cold cold, the brrr kind of cold. Just saying. And besides my dog, Maggie May, just got her fur cut…spa day for her…and would complain just a tad. I left her for a bit already and she was beside herself with happy to see me. And honestly, she would squat on the road and not move because her little paws and shaved fur cut….shiver me timbers. Nah, that would not be my happy. Yes, she would have her little coat on her but I would end up carrying her anyway. That would not be TLC for me.

Tender loving care is just what is says, to be gentle to self. Make you feel happy. Might be whatever gives you time for you. It might be 15 minutes in the bathroom with doors locked (Good luck). It might be taking your water or tea or coffee or wine (depending on time of day or not) and sitting on deck/porch/stoop/chair/swing/car. It might be just sitting, standing, ‘cop a squat’, and doing absolutely positively nothing for 10 (minutes not seconds please). It might be doing something for someone else because you can (love it). It might be jostling and jumping and stretching and lifting in a work out (prefer the steady walk). It might be catching some rays, some tunes, some zzzz’s, some suds, some writing, some praying, some reading, some Netflix (oh yeah…sign me up). It might be going for a drive to nowhere but somewhere. It might be a long hot shower (well maybe once in awhile because I learned a lesson about appreciating preciousness of water….thank you Water Walk)

It might be getting your hands in the dirt, pulling weeds (not on your life – horrible chore mom), digging in and feeling the coolness of the earth surrounding your fingers as you create a space for beauty to come alive. Planting seeds. Mind you the dirt in the finger nails afterward is kind of a turn off. Nah. It’s all good. It is the connected of self to the earth I think would be quite uplifting. Not that I would really enjoy it myself as I have bad memories of gardens and weeding and ‘it’s good for you” speech. Worked on my two sisters and dad as they are green thumbers. Nope, mom, dodged that bullet but I understand now the WWWWH of you doing it for I so enjoy the beauty created and do pause for long moments which I did get that from you. Gratefully. Thank you.

I think the biggest awareness of TLC is knowing when you need it. It is almost a promise to self that you need it everyday, even when feeling great. Because it feeds the soul, the mind, the spirit, the body… keeping you refreshed, refueled, renewed, rejuvenated. No, you are not a machine which is EXACTLY the point. Do not pretend you are. I know I wrote a blog earlier on about I recognizing that while I can do things, I can and will do them. But in order to do the “I can”, the “I” needs to be treated with the utmost care and love, paying attention when it is time for the pause, stop, rewind, so to speak. Then when I “can”, go for it.

So today do something to love yourself. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of prayers and to know that they are loved.

Self-Caring… Me, Myself and I??

Gotta start somewhere

Never a term has been in the forefront of my mind so much as this one recently….self-care; more than the spoonful of peanut butter that I take each morning (weird habit huh?) Not so much. Anyway, it is better than “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down“. Aah Mary Poppins, you are a delight. Thinking of her, she always seemed ready to begin the day, cheery disposition, creatively active and laughing…and you know, “perfect in every way.” Hahaha. Oh to have an umbrella that flies towards a life opened to possibilities as she would make it out to be. But one thing her bits and pieces of wisdom and wit portrayed, she carried around her trusty personal bag filled with comfort and things of infinite space.

Self-care, making room for you. Finding a way to create a space dedicated only to you and you alone whatever that means, whatever that takes. I am not saying being selfish but yes I guess I am. For goodness sake, be selfish…treat yourself to take care of ‘me, myself and I.” What a novel idea!! You cannot love another unless you love yourself. You cannot take care of another unless you can take care of yourself. And you cannot see the value in others unless you can see yourself of worth. Right?

Well that might be a bit extreme but the point I am making is that it is not selfish to love yourself and being kind to you. Isn’t there something about putting the air mask on you in an airplane before you put on another… cannot help someone else until you are in a good position yourself. Paying attention to the body, mind and soul for just a hot minute or ten (inflation you know). How about put it on your ‘honey-do’ list. NOW. LOL. Not the list of shoulda coulda woulda list that stems from last week, last month, last year. Yikes!! But the ME list.

Everyone deserves to be cared for, spoiled in a way. Think of it as a day at the SPA, not that I am a biggie on that one but hey each to their own. Of course I remember a good friend had taken me to get a pedicure one time (is that the foot thing??). Anyway it was so strange to have one’s feet taken care of but boy oh boy it was felt good afterward. Never had that before. But the point being, one’s body is a vessel that is to be treasured and tended to carefully gently. Although it has taken me a long long long time to get to that point (just ask my kids).

I can only speak from my small world as I ponder here. Maybe I take on too much in terms of others life journeys and circumstances. Well, I like to support others. Right? And I do care. True? But caring and taking on the caring are two different things. I think of the song He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. Don’t you just love that song sung by the Hollies. It’s a tear jerker. It is just part of the makeup of me….but you can spread yourself too thin.

Now, I am not talking about standing in front of the mirror and primping and prancing…look at me “mirror mirror on the wall, whose the ‘fairest’ of us all” kind of self-care. Haha. Goodness, are you kidding? Seriously, I bypass the mirror for that…. what you see is what you get. No, it is more the health, well being, mental well being….all of the things the radio, TV, social media have been chanting and ranting (oops reminding) about. I think of the huge billboard media signs that cross the width of the big highways on the 400 and 401 in Ontario for example….you know the ones flashing and looping the message Stay Home Be safe Stop Spread. Well maybe they should do a loop around self-care too. Be Aware….Self-Care. I think now more than ever.

Times have changed, for better or worse, and our very being is impacted and affected. So hail to the self-care and all that jazz. It’s time for nourishing and nurturing you in a way that allows you to be a better version of self. I am not saying go get a gym pass (although its an option). But what do you do for yourself? Where is the me time in your day? Getting to know Karen time….that is the question. To be or not to be….Karen. LOL.

As a woman wearing many hats -mom, grandma (Rara), daughter, sister, friend – I like to give; do not even think about it. To give of myself in offering my time, listening ear, energy, thoughts (five cents worth now), ideas, advice (cautiously), support, love, forgiveness (always), compassion, wit (or try to), laughter (probably too loud) and I would be remiss in forgetting the nagging (my daughters would remind me later on). Just to be present (thanks Grandpa for showing me that). Well, now I am worn out. Whew…and that was only for the first hour of my day. Goodness I am good.

LOL. But seriously, in order to do what I like to do and be who I want to be, there is a me in there to be tended and cared for. An “I” of significance. It may not be a big word, use up too many letters from the alphabet department but “I” is made in the image and likeness of God. “I” has a name. “I” has purpose, meaning, substance, feelings, depth, story. It is knowing when to make yourself a priority. What a novel idea? And I am not facetious here…it is “me” telling the “I” to look after “myself”. None of that, been there – done that, kind of thinking. It is kind of like making an appointment with me so that at the end of the day as Katie Reed a motivational speaker once said “self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” Does that make sense?

I am not sure how I got to this place of thinking as I have really not taken care of me. Okay, rarely. Anyhoo I am grateful. For recently, with the support of my daughters and sister and a chance encounter and conversation that my nephew had and his care for me, I am doing some self-care of my own. Wow, just wow! And I realize that it is about time. There is no point in me being a model for those I love, if I do not practice what I preach. What is that old adage, you got to “walk the talk”.

So today, not tomorrow, but today give yourself the present of you. What does it look like? Only you know. How about….bubble bath, sit just sit, read for an hour (or 3), hide under the covers, buy some real flowers that smell, take a nap, do a puzzle (not the 1000 or 1500 piece for goodness sake), go for a long walk, put on cozies or flappable onsies, go to grocery store and pick out ANYTHING wrong unhealthy for you (or not), go for a drive ANYWHERE, do yoga, say ‘no’ to someone, write a letter or email to an old friend, cuddle with your pet, just do something anything for YOU. Just breathe.

Self-care happens days that end with a “y”. So ponder this. Hey google inspire me to self-care:

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” Brene Brown

Caring for others is important, but Covid-19 taught us that sometimes, by caring for yourself, you’re caring for others too.” Becca Kaye

An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.”

You owe yourself the love you give freely to others.” Anon

I make it a point to practice self-care. I make an appointment with myself” Manisha Singal, MD

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” Audre Lorde

When you say “Yes” to others make sure you are not saying “no” to yourself. Paola Coehlo

Blessings this day. Just breathe. That is a great start.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of prayers and for the love of self.

Its a beautiful day in the…

Walking and enjoying neighbourhood

I am all over the place this morning because ” it’s a beautiful day in this neighbourhood, a beautiful day for a neighbour…” as Fred Rogers would sing in his gentle soft voice for many years as Mr. Rogers. Well today breathtakingly absolutely is a beautiful day. The sun is being perfectly kind in its spreading of its rays across the wintry landscape before me. Soft fluffy snow lays quietly on the fields and side of the road with the limbs of trees holding wondrously the new laden snow fall from the night before. Everything is quiet, silent. Don’t you just welcome the fragile look of nature in winter as Mother Nature does her thing!? An awakening to the new day with endless possibilities. It makes you want to smile, chirp like a bird, hug yourself tightly, swirl and twirl and yes, sing like Elsa “Aah Aah aah aahhhh” from Frozen 2.

Chuckling here. I have that song on the brain as my granddaughter has me turn it on from Disney Channel when she is with me during the week. I do not like too much TV but this I am okay with. She may be 18-months old but she can speak to me as she is wonderfully now saying words, two-syllable even!!!…with meaning; not bragging here. Nah. Yes I am. So smart. She sings ‘aah aah’ and points to the TV and has discovered the word “no” now. Yep, she has and even knows what it means. With emphasis too. Hahaha. Directs me to do her bidding. Gotta love babies and children.

Yesterday a precious gift was given to me by her actually. I did a Hail Mary to begin with as we went outside. The ramp into my home was slippery due to the still milder air not reaching the outside surfaces and rid the icy wintry coating. So there I was with my hand on the railing, my other hand holding her trusting hand, and trying to get her safely down. SuperRara to the rescue. Slapstick comedy….good thing there were no cameras. LOL. Fodder for America’s (scratch that) Canadian’s Funniest Home Videos.

Anyway we start to plod through the soft snow in the backyard and my granddaughter stops me abruptly. Her hand extends, waving it up and around, like a conductor of an orchestra. Not sure why until I notice. She sees a few snowflakes falling and her tiny hand with fingers spread wide reaches out to watch them fall on her hand. Points her little fingers to try and catch them And her beautiful little face….oh my she looks up, moving her head back and forth, eyes wide and dancing with laughter, as she lets the snowflakes fall on her scrunched smiley face. I did not see those flakes come but she did. She did. I watched her in stillness, taking in her joy not wanting to break the awareness of her world. What a beautiful day in the neighbourhood! Thank you.

Today, I just got back from a walk with Maggie May. Of course she sort of puts a wee bit of a damper in the beauty of the day….basically stopping every few minutes because the snow is crusting on her furry paws. Not a fan of the snow for walking. Yes Maggie May, soon you will be getting a dog cut. Hahaha. Take that. Me, I wanted to wrap myself into the morning beauty. And oh my goodness, the temperature is just below 0’C, great day to just breathe in the fresh air. Clear blue skies, blankets of snow everywhere, and pureness of the morning dawn. Lovely. Thank you.

Last night going into Cornwall, near Charlottetown, I saw this sign on one of the businesses, not sure which one, and it read “Be safe. Be kind.” I have to say I like that message alot. I am seeing it or some reference to how we are being called to love thy neighbour. Because it is about community, living in community with others, now more than ever. If nothing else we are learning to wrap our heads around the true meaning of working together during times of uncertainty. Changing habits. It reminds me of a blessed time a few years ago when I got to experience working in community, side by side, with my neighbour. For whatever reason, and I did it twice, I was part of a mission trip to Kenya in helping to build part of a school to support two of the Kipsigis communities in the Rift Valley close to Nairobi. Talk about a beautiful day(s) in the neighbourhood and neighbour. Life-changing. And kindness, it took on a whole new meaning, including one of the most beautiful words in Swahili called out to us along the rocky dirt road each morning as we made our way to school sites…Jambo.

It is funny how one thing reminds me of another which reminds me of another. My grandson invited me to his kickboxing last week. I am telling you, how has he grown so fast!? This little munchkin, just a few short years ago, was traipsing along as fast as his little feet and body could go, just like his sister who is just beginning that. And his younger cousin who has just started to begin the climbing, walking, falling, and repeat. And now as I look at this young boy, tall like his dad, moving with speed and attention….who would have thought?? Blessed that these classes can still go on, as it takes a village to raise a child, practices of safety allow the gift of being free to engage in the world of kick, hit, sweep, jab, cross, slip, undercut, hook….yeah does not really sound too beautiful. But hey it is to him and he looks beautiful in his movements on the mat. Just stop practicing on me afterward, my little one. Just saying.

I am really hoping at some point that the neighbourhood can come alive again with its neighbours but with the respectful learning too. There is so much in being part of a neighbourhood and neighbour, the gifts and promises are endless if you but let them in. I feel the whole notion of woulda shoulda coulda mentality needs to be let go. Have to find away to make peace with our lived life recently and be ready when it comes. Kindness matters and patience is a virtue and hold your horses. How does one come to singing aloud “its a beautiful day in this neighbourhood” again? How to open up the doors appreciating what is before you? Recognizing the ‘hood’ and all the crazy parts of who is my neighbour….yes the failings of others…the jones and the smiths…the makeup of behaviour….safety. Yes. Yes. Yes. Oh but the list goes on.

Mind you I am the first one to say, I have a tendency to be sort of hermity in nature (not a word but it works for me). So I go to my goto…faith. As we are called to give witness, on this beautiful day, “love your neighbour as yourself” Mt 22:39 In a nutshell, that’s it. It’s that old saying where you go to the neighbour “to borrow a cup of sugar”. It is another way of saying, “hey neighbour, look at me.” Not just to borrow and save on resources but it is making a connection, opener to conversation, or just to talk with someone anyone people. Well, I guess I have some knocking to do…I do not care for a cup of sugar (not healthy) or flour (do not really bake) or coffee (never had it) or some eggs (I have some). Maybe my neighbour has a cup of broccoli (forgot on my grocery list). Hey that works.

Blessings today on this beautiful day in the neighbourhood.

Let us pray for those who need our prayers and the company of others.

Just Saying

I do not know about you but words move me, grab my heart and whirl it around, laughingly, lovingly, tearily, faithfully. I welcome how words just seem to flow together, framing them into life like an acrobat soaring across an open space. They can absolutely categorically cause you to pause, hover, hesitate, falter (once again thank goodness for a thesaurus) even stop. Be still. I know some of my friends and colleagues have said a few times that I write too much….shorten it Karen and in particular emails to people….we are not reading a novel. Hahaha..haha. I don’t think I got the memo on short speak. Oh well. But really don’t you find at times that you are bursting inside and it has to be set free? For me, l want to spit it out. Meah, not the image trying to project here; oh words can fail me at times… but hey there it is.

I discovered that I like to write narratively. And for those who like to read short and sweet, that is not me. I know the purpose of being precise. Non fiction. Only the facts. No flowers, No warm fuzzies. No additions. Delete. Time is of the essence. Yadayadayada. Maybe it is because communication is essential to me and words at times can already be so limiting which is kind of paradoxical. I like to clarify so I clarify in the clarity of more words. Hahaha. But seriously, I like the detail. And yet brevity is appropriate…I am aware of that. Certainly not in this blog but I do know it.

Like for instance, if I were on a deserted island, a story or tale, might not be befitting for the script in the sand to get help….you know SOS! Mayday! Hello. Down here!! Not so much. Or taking in the movie The Hunt for Red October 1990 when the American captain was doing morse code to the other submarine….making a joke saying, “My Morse is so rusty, I could be sending him dimensions on playmate of the month“. Yeah I have seen that movie a few times. And the one which takes a way any words, one’s breath even, takes the stuffing out of you really… the loss of a loved one. No words can convey. None.

Of course on the other hand, a picture is worth a thousand words! Yes. But. I believe this to be true in many instances as I love photography and artwork. No words needed. But, when you add words is not a richness felt too?? Stirs you. Melts you, Rips and tears you. Comforts you. Tears befall you. Catches the funny bone. Yeah?

Just recently I met a person on-line who is very adept at writing (in my mind), goes beyond the science to the art of it, if you will. He seems to have a pen that is so so mightier than the sword at least to me. Mother Teresa was quoted as saying, ““I am a little pencil in God’s hands. He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything and sometimes it is really hard because it is a broken pencil and He has to sharpen it a little more.” Not sure this person would consider himself in that way but God works in us in ways that we cannot possibly ignore I believe. It is a gift when one can write (or any talent for that matter) and should be shared like a lamp not hidden under a basket (Mt5:15).

But then I got to thinking of my many mentors who have impacted me whether recently or in the past. These authors (face to face, printed, virtual) whomever and wherever you are, that have said or quoted something or other and I have taken it like a thief in the night (no no no…not plagiarism for goodness sake! Referenced always. Please, as if I would do that. Educator here…oops. AQ bugaboo… that’s for another day) but walked with, bits and pieces gathered and held dearly, over time.

Nuggets or little pearls of wisdom found in the lettered words from everywhere and anywhere words can be found. Oh, it gives me goosebumps just thinking of them. Imagine being in a netted cage swimming in a sea of those colourful plastic balls…you know like at MacDonalds or here on the island, at the trampoline place in Slemon Park. Oops, maybe not that image…germs, boggers, COVID-19. How can I forget? Erase. Ahhhhh!!!!! Maybe think of Frozen II instead with Elsa as she sings Into the Unknown. At the end of song, she is surrounded by the glitter and swirl of sparkly icicle shapes. Yes that is better thought here.

But quotes of words do not have to come from someone famous or well known to be significant, worthy, to be valued, held dearly. I can think of so so many conversations with friends and family at different times in my life and circumstances that made me pause. wonder. hopeful. heal. love. thankful. Yes, very grateful. My grandfather for one, bless his soul. was one who inspired me, taught me, gave me much. Thanks gump.

The black and white marks, or some facsimile thereof in the realm of techno wizardry of our time, give witness to a moment captured, held, rested, in an inspiring manner of own choosing from words put together. It seems really odd that words can have such powerful awesomeness. I come back to Scripture and how God comes to us and we are open to Him. The Word made flesh. But the Word does not always seem clear until it becomes clear, ready to hear it. I can read and sit with a passage twenty times or more and not get what is being said or heard. But in a single wisp of an instant, a seed of clarity, comes in. Woohoo. The Word grows as I grow and mature (well let’s not get too smug here Karen). Let just say I live life and experience it which could lead to me being more open to hearing and getting the message a bit more. Yes, let me say that.

So who? what? when? why? where? how? Those single word questions that really are huge. Brevity in the largeness. A landscape begins, a freight train sort of rushing across my mind, whipping…. names places circumstances reasons times – at a Mock-5 pace. Whew!!

Right now I want to thank those who have been able to articulate and express their thoughts in a way that I cannot or have not to date. Remember that sometimes words fail. So what does a good teacher in me do…well I took, pulled, scanned, jotted, sorted, tucked, held, recorded, squirrelled away, in this instance quotes from others, for another day. Hahaha. Because they have touched me so deeply that it is or has been hard to breathe, not gasping per se but with an awe and wonder. Becoming human. Becoming aware of who and what I am. Hopefully, a better version of self. And hey I am a work in progress. God is not finished with me. And He needs help…with me. Just saying.

So here are some anecdotal quotes that a friend has shared with me recently, quotes from survey done in US…. out of the mouths of babes. And so I become more human today as I read these thoughts.

HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK? “Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck.” (Ricky, age 10) SOME SURE-FIRE WAYS TO MAKE A PERSON FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU “Tell them that you own a whole bunch of candy stores.” (Del, age 6) “Shake your hips and hope for the best.” (Camille, age 9) “One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me.” (Bart, age 9) IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED? “It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.” (Anita, age 9) (shared by Lukie P.)


Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers.

Catching the Funny Bone

You got it. Hahaha

I was thinking of a gift that my grandson got this Christmas. He loves to read and loves to laugh and of course I am a big believer in giving books as gifts. So I got him this book “Would You Rather”. Never heard of it before but he played this game with me a few months ago and presented me with two scenarios, neither one would I choose mind you; something off-putting like would I rather eat a worm or smell like poop. What in the world? They do not even make sense or go together or in my stratosphere of thinking. But a 10-year old, funny funny funny. He says to me, “Rara, you got to pick”. Well let me to you, it hits his funny bone. The belly laughter that comes out of him when he laughs, really laughs, is infectious. Hits you right at the very heart of your being, making you feel so delightfully full of life.

So lately, I have been preoccupied with what makes the happy in my day. Just being joyful, spent in the happy. Well, for me it has been the moments when I laugh, smile, chortle, giggle, can hardly breathe stomach hurting kind of guffaw. I love to laugh and am finding that more and more about myself. Not that you want to get sick from howling like a banshee, but holy lightning when someone makes you laugh, tears stream down your eyes, it fills your whole body from head to toe. And funnily enough, it might not be funny to the person beside you. Which makes you laugh harder.

I find that’s hilarious when someone does not get the joke and you laugh at the seriousness of the situation. Some people are natural at being funny. Telling good jokes or even better, stories that you are not prepared for when they get to the punch line so to speak. Their sharp dry wit just comes out of their mouth and your eyes go BIG and think “what the…”. No I am not going to say a bad word, not my thing. Which reminds me, swearing for the sake of swearing, every second word is ….. (fill in the blank) you have to laugh….droll kind of hahaha…of the language. Hello. There are how many words in the English dictionary, pick one, anyone….yep thought so. No I am not prudish (yes I am kind of sort of, well hey I do not care for swearing for me) but some people can get away with putting the wit into swearing usage or however they get their point across. And I laugh. Okay, enough of confession!! Gee whiz.

My brother has a man-giggle that when you get him going it is irresistible. It is kind of like a tittering, teehee, tickling-the-tongue kind of giggle. He gets his tongue just between his teeth, his eyes start to light up, and off he goes. He gave it to me. How? Well, brotherly love, osmosis, conversion, squeezing me to death (he is a strong tall fella) who knows?? A mystery for the universe to solve but when he starts, I start too. Love it and love him for that. Moments of light-heartedness with my brother. So the apple does not fall far from the tree. For don’t get me started on my dad, sometimes what comes out of his mouth, well…good old Maritime humour for my whole life. Only dad. His sayings kind of get you and I have no idea what they mean. That is the funny part. But when dad laughs, when he hits the funny bone, oh my Lord!!! Now that is a sight to see.

Laughter is the best medicine. But maybe be careful of the uncontrollable laughter…you know because you could lose control of bodily functions. Be careful i all I am saying. Although I have to share here, I have seen people laugh, controlled and uncontrolled, when it might not be a good time in that moment. You know that I know that you know you have laughed at people getting hurt (tripping over feet, hit by a ball in you know where, falling down stairs, running into a glass door or wall, hammer missed the nail) or at a funeral. What?? Yeah. Not good. However, the worst is me and my girls. I do not laugh but get mad at the girls which is absolutely hysterical to them….my daughter falls down the stairs carrying pillows. She was hurt. Instead seeing if she is alright (of course I am doing that) I get angry at her for being reckless…really Karen. Where is your compassion? Are you a mother? They can tell you a ton of stories like that. I do not always react the way I should.

So chuckle…what hits the funny bone. I know that I do not. I am not a good joke teller, funny story teller, witty. Nope. But I certainly can appreciate humour.

Tweets….my grandpa had a Clapper on his bedroom light and he farted the lights off.

friend’s prof was writing on the board. he farts. half turns towards the class and asks “what would you do if you were me?”

my dog would not stop trying to eat this one cookie that was on the floor and i yelled -he rolled on his back, peed in the air

Reader’s Digest version

Concerned that he might have put on a few pounds, my husband exited the bathroom and asked, “Do you think my chin is getting fat?” I smiled lovingly and replied, “Which one?” —Julie Echelmeier

Cheesy pick up line….“Do you believe in love at first sight—or should I walk by again?”

I want someone who will look at me the same way I look at chocolate cake.

After a long time, I told my hot coworker how I felt. Turns out she felt the same way. So I turned on the air conditioning.

People say nothing is impossible. But I do nothing everyday.

Q: What do you call friends who love math? A: algebros

My mother was hard of hearing and wore a hearing aid that she removed at bedtime. My dad would wait till she had put it on her nightstand and say, “Do you want to go to sleep or what?” Not being able to hear, she would inevitably respond with “What?” And that, my dad joked to me on numerous occasions, is the explanation for why I come from a very large family. —Mimi Wright

So today is the day that laughter becomes a great friend to invite over. Make a space at the table. Be open to the flutter of wit, the gaggle of giggles, the roar of guffaws, the loudness of belly laughter. Oh to allow the day to be filled with laughter and joy amidst the hustle and bustle of the day ahead. No the problems and situations of our life do not go away but they sure do look different with love and tears of joy in one’s heart. Give into the funny bone…not literally. For it HURTS when you hit it.

Happiness is not by chance but by choice. Choose funny. Did you know that “to succeed in life you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone” ~Rebecca McEntire. So would you rather laugh like a hyena or cry like a banshee. Bless this day.

Let us pray for those who need a life of hope and joy today.

Staying in with a belly full of laughter

A picture of a glistening morn by Terry B. Love it.

Staying in today. Why?? Mother Nature, you do know it is January, mid-January!? Winter season? Right. Where snowflakes fall, snowplows make madness at end of one’s laneway, stop signs are ignored, dress like a big puffy marshmallow, know where your dog peeped, tis the season to be freezin’, can see your bad breath, drive with caution next to open fields, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, so many winter sports beginning with ‘s’, snow glistens on the branches and over fields. That winter! What in the world is today?! Not a glistening morning.

Right now, as I blog in the early morning darkness, it’s RAINING at this very moment with a crazy wind!!! Wind I expect, but rain, not so much. Oh well. Be….. Yes, Karen, be grateful. But I just washed my truck yesterday!! I could have had a free wash. Whambulance. Goodness I need to watch the weather channel more closely. So now my brain goes into gear and I am thinking, I will not be going out for a drive today because if I have learned anything over the last few years having a red clay dirt lane or pathway on the island, there is a good chance a softness to the clay will follow in the rain’s wake today. Meaning it is like a red flag for a bull…driving on clay means slipping and sliding and skidding, leaving huge tread marks, which seem to be fun for some. And then get really cold the next day. And those tire tracks become craters to drive over which is not good for the vehicle unless of course you have a big truck or hummer or grader. Okay. So no. Nope, me myself and I are staying in.

I have to laugh right now as I think back over this week. Laughter is the best medicine. Being free from self-isolation, I can gad about. Funnily enough my gadding about was to and from my daughter’s place, picking up my granddaughter as my grandson is in school. Visiting my sister and getting a big hug. Yes a hug. You remember those….remnants of covid-19 DO NOT TOUCH theme.

But spending time with grandkids. Belly laughter. And my granddaughter’s antics this week as I had her a few times, she just made me laugh. So stubborn. I wonder where she gets that from? And exercise, well me and my stairs have become quite good friends. I do not know what the attraction is but my granddaughter loves the stairs. But not just going up and down them, nooooo noooo….she wants me to carry her Elmo, her Meow Meow, her Lambie and three large balls. I am not a juggler little one! LOL. In all that, there is her little hand reaching out to me….take my hand Rara as we go up the stairs and down the stairs. Not kidding.

She has such a penchant for playing with balls. Of course I love ball sports so if my 16-month old wants to play with different sized balls, well I am not going to argue. So I show her how to bounce, catch, dribble, kick and she in turn does the same in her own way. Belly laughter here I come. And when we go outside, we have to bring a ball to kick as we walk. However, like my dog Maggie May, her little ears and eyes get distracted quickly. The curiousness of little ones is spectacular and wondrous. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child, she will stop all of a sudden and call out ‘ aww aww’. I have to smile because I have been teaching her to listen and to see the birds….cannot miss the big black crows cawing constantly. And then we begin to walk again for a bit and then she stops….turns her little head….and says quite clearly “ball”. Well Rara go fetch. Yep that’s me, I do what I am told. Naturally the ball is way back behind us.

One thing I have to remember is that having a grandson and granddaughter who are ages a part, I need to find time for each of them. And do things separately. I went to kickboxing on Friday night as my grandson is quite involved in it. He wanted me to come so I can see how far he has come along. He has his yellow belt. Woohoo. Anyway my daughter, granddaughter and myself took him to his kickboxing. Wow, I am so proud. How he can move? Now I understand the moves he tries to make on my older body. Thankfully I am not that old grandson. I still have some moves. Nope cannot kick that high, nope I cannot fake as quickly, nope I cannot do a burpie (nor do I want to), nope I do no like to punch. As I begin to enjoy myself watching my grandson grow up before my eyes, I have to laugh because my granddaughter being there….not a good thing. For what do I get….her little hand reaching out as if to say, “come on Rara. We gotta move.” You cannot contain the minds of little ones. However I was there for my grandson. Not happening. Nope a grandma cannot choose….just be everywhere. I am straining my neck as it swivels back and forth between my grandson making his kickboxing moves and my granddaughter pulling me toward the stairs….awwwww!!! Life lesson….stay home. Hahaha.

Now I am in the midst of teaching my granddaughter some wee winter lessons. Like helping her know what snow not to eat. Yuck. And going carefully on slippery areas (she says the word ‘whoa’ alot). And its okay to have snow on your boots. And keep your hat on because it’s cold. And do not pull off the mittens. And no I am not picking you up to carry….you have two good feet. And yes I will pull you in the sled but keep your hands inside. And let’s dance and smile when walking. And no do not eat dirty snow from the red dirt. And no we are not going down the ditch. And no little one you do not need to get frustrated because the stick is frozen in the ground and you cannot get it. And yes we will go inside, to turn around, to go back outside, while we heat the outside, with the door wide open as you decide you want to go in or stay outside or WHAT DO YOU WANT. Did I say that out loud? LOL.

So today as it continues to rain I am going to enjoy my down time and maybe clean up. It takes me back to a time when teaching kindergarten and we would sing “Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up”. Fun fun fun. Good old days. So, I am going to go around and tidy up after the hurricane of grandkids. You gotta love them. Mind you my grandson, being older, and TALLER!! Holy mother of goodness he is getting tall and only 10-years old. Slow down, please. He has a more contained area of presence….drink, plate, book, remote, tablet, cozy pillow, blanket…left behind. Although sometimes he will be kind and pick up after himself. Love him.

But hurricane little one, now she is EVERYWHERE. Nothing is sacred. Her world to discover and no I will not complain. I just have to make sure its safe. And I also have to make sure I do a general clean up soon after departure because if I flake out (yes being a seasoned woman) and then get up in the middle of the night…my feet do not need a surprise. Anyway, what you do not think is a big deal can become a BIG deal. No rock unturned. In this case, no cupboard untouched, no nook and cranny undiscovered, no speck of dust uncovered. Baby girl sees, conquers, and then goes to the next thing. Oh to follow in the wake of a child. Hahaha. Don’t get me started on eating habits. It’s all good. When a child is born so is a grandmother. Yep.

So I welcome the rain today. Staying inside. Curling up with a good book, or for me my e-reader, blogging a bit, texting or talking with family, whatever comes my way. And yes cleaning. Thankful to have a belly full of laughter from this week, a song in my heart (On My Own – LOL), a hop in my step, and a treat or three. And it’s Sunday even, a day with the Lord. Can’t beat that.

There is a time for everything…Ecclesiates 3:4 “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.” And there is a time for staying in. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers today.

Blessings of a Winter Morn

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home.” Edith Sitwell

Oh my goodness what a great morning to wake up to. Woohoo to me. This is a most beautiful wintry day; postcard perfect. Yes, I had to shovel the deck and a bit of the laneway but the gentle quiet of this winter morning is breathtaking. I wanted to get outside, didn’t even stop to brush my teeth or comb my hair. Oops too much information. LOL. Oh well. Spectacular feeling. But trying to describe what I see. It is not a brilliant blue clear sky sunny mild kind of day where the glare of the sun, for example, off the white blanket of white can blind you. No, this is a wintry sunlight, cascading its soft muted glow of snow-filled cloudy light hue filtering through the trees and brush surrounding me. Temperature is just right, not the blistering cold and breathe in the air, but okay temp. And the branches of the pine and birch trees around my home, well they are so laden with a covering of soft powdery white…natures own natural Christmas trees. Heavenly.

Surprisingly, there is not a speck of nature’s sound echoing while I was out there, except for the scrape of my shovel upon the deck and lane. No snowplow or chainsaw or vehicle revving. No, just a peaceful gentle morning. AND the snow is so light and fluffy like the down of a feather. Whew!!! I smile for my muscles will not be hurting today. I think today would be considered a skiers delight where the conditions of powder puff snow ready to greet the skier. I can just see a graceful billowing of snow widely spreading from the wake of the skies carving its trail into the side of a mountain. Ahhh. Not that I have experience with skiing or snowboarding for that matter as I never really got off the bunny hill. But I have quite an imagination and I have seen quite a few James Bond movies….LOL.

So now I am tucked away in my house, nestled cozily in my reading chair, with my laptop atop my lap and I look out the window. Winter wonderland. Lately I have been seeing such wondrous images of winter in action….friends and family making merry of winter delights including on FB. I think we have to do that, find fun in winter. Not everyone likes the snow. But snowbirds are for the birds this year…no going south. And sooooo…need to embrace winter. For heavens sake we live in a four season country!!!. But for me and for some crazy reason, I like to shovel snow. My dad was skyping me yesterday, telling me my brother got this electric kind of light weight snow blower for his deck. Yeah. No. I like to shovel and I certainly like the exercise. Mind you, the heavy kind of snow…well, not so much. But it is good to get outside, breathe in the clean air (not breathe to a point you get that slushy rush – whew that hurts) and get physically active.

Sidebar: Oh I hear the phone. Oh my Lord. I am FREEEEEE. I just got the call. I will catch you a bit later. It is 11:00 am and I am off self-isolation. Woohoo. Woohoo. Okay, now winter morning has taken on a new fresh start. I am free to do what I want and so here I am with my 16 month old granddaughter trailing behind her as she navigates the tread from the tire tracks on my long lane….doing her little thing….walking confidently (my smile is wide) in her trek down to the road. Well a little bit more stomping as she moves in her winter boots. She does not miss a beat nor do I, her Rara (grandma name for me) as I follow her like I always do. Oh but does it ever feel soooooo GOOD. Winter morn, afternoon, evening or all in between, here I come.

So hello winter morn…thank you for the greet, now it is time to meet you. What will I do today? Well let me see…sledding, sliding, shoeing, skiing (not; still on bunny hill), shovelling, snow angels, snowboarding (don’t bend like that anymore), cross country skiing (would but feet get too cold), skating, ski-dooing (once upon a time but scarred from black ice) or my all time favourite is putting back on my pjs and cozy. LOL.

Yeh I know winter bliss. But just in case winter is not quite as appreciated as it could be or should be, here are some thoughts or three. Found some funny to ponder….

Dear Winter, I am breaking up with you. I think its time to see other seasons.

Can anyone tell me where the delete winter button is?

On a positive note, I haven’t seen any mosquitoes lately?

Great the sun is out. Now I can get a sunburn and frostbite?

I like these cold gray winter days, days like these let you savour a bad mood.

Welcome to winter driving where lanes are made up and stop signs are optional.

Roses are red, violet are blue, I am tired of winter, how about you? Just kidding. Haha

To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold. Aristotle. Can beat that! Blessings to us all.

Let us pray for those who are in need of comfort and warmth in their lives.

Seeing the Glimmer

Oh to see the glimmer.

You know it is hard to wrap your head around the blessings and sufferings that come at you all at once. The paradoxes in one’s life meet you square in the face. Life lived continues even when you are given a few curve balls that you were not expecting; or expecting but maybe not prepared in the way you thought you might be. I catch myself remembering to keep the cup half full in me, see the beauty in the day even when it does not seem like it. Trying to lift my feet, have a skip at some point.

Like today for instance I noticed that a 5:10 pm this evening there was still light in the sky. Yes. Yes. Yes. I mean I could still see the trees, the branches, even the snow as I looked out my window while playing scrabble. Maybe not in technicolour per se but hallelujah, woohoo…a glimmer of hope. Spring is coming. Okay not soon but closer. Right! Little glimmers of hope. FYI: Yes I am by myself. Yes I got another call from public health today to make sure I am on the property. And yes I am on self-isolation still. LOL. I am great company as I play scrabble (me myself not I…just two playing). I think I may need a dictionary as I am stumped with words with j or z or x in them, not beginning them. Of course I could have asked Maggie May to play, my dog, but she has not quite grasped the concept of not walking across the scrabble board. Haha.

But I am also thinking of how much one can take when things go awry. I think of that notion of someone saying God give us what we can handle. Really!? Sometimes it is hard to think that when you are immersed in the suffering. But be that as it may, I am praying for some people that I know who have been facing quite a few challenges in their life. A story has been shared and I hold it gently today and the days to come. How to carry their burden for a bit. I love that prayer poem Footprints; it speaks of those times in our journey where God is carrying us while we put one foot in front of the other because that is all that we can do. Nothing makes sense.

I am putting out a prayer right now for those whose stories being lived are a bit too much especially one story of a woman who now is in palliative care. Oh my. It hurts the heart that one. And in my own family, with my mom in a nursing home where Covid-19 has become present; mom being quarantined. Dad looking at her through the tablet, seeing him trying to jump into that screen to hold her. Tears drop on my cheek. How did we get to this point? No words. No words. The pastor at the church I attend near me (have not been for awhile mind you) offers a daily video on the Gospel reading of the day. Thankfully my ears seem to hear as I listen to the reflection on the Gospel, the messages keep stirring in me, thankfully, and bring to light a nugget, a glimmer of the more. Oh to hold on to those nuggets of faith.

The glimmer of hope is that even in the suffering, life continues all around us. Is that what we need to grasp on to, keeping hope alive in our troubled heart, in our troubled world? Suffering and hurt and sorrow are not what we want but what we get, receive, experience in our journey. It is part of the earthen world. How to navigate the heart and mind as it pulled this way and that, to the point where at times you cannot breathe. Grasping at something tangible when answers are intangible, unattainable, nonsensical to the circumstance lived. I remember vividly the many moments in my life where suffering took place with me or someone close but all, life continued. It is simply unfathomable to grasp and yet ever so much real.

I turn to Joyce Rupp, someone who I have brought into my life quite often, a book mentor if you will. Her spiritual insights on living, healing, forgiving, dying and the saving grace marked by faith with Christ, she helps me with the glimmer in the hope. This is a piece that has resonated with me in a talk she gave….

She said, “Hope is not just one single quality or promise. Hope has to do with believing beyond today – knowing there is a garden of beauty that awaits me. Hope encourages me to follow my dreams, to believe in the part of me that envisions my wholeness. Hope is trusting that what is happening will eventually make sense, or if it never does become more meaningful, it will still offer an opportunity for growth. “Hope assures me each morning that my life is of value no matter how unsettling or disturbing my current situation is. Hope encourages my heart not to give up and nudges me when it is time to move on. … Hope tucks promises of growth inside the pockets of my struggles.”

There are many little pieces of hope all around us, little glimmers shining but how do we look in our world. Do we see the dark sky or the shining twinkle of the stars spread wide and thick. Do we see the despair before us or see the hand being held out to help. Do we sit in the pain or take the step one at a time. There is no right way to navigate but oh to know that we are not alone.

Seeing the glimmer today. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers, held gently and carefully, and in need of compassion for all who struggle with life’s pain and sorrow.

Early Morning Riser

It’s quite early yet as I looked out the window at the pitch dark with only a hint of light beyond the horizon of the trees behind my place. Suppose to be 1’C today!! Hmmmm….mild for this time of year. Don’t you just love the silence of the morning. Winter has its own special brand of silence. The blanket of snow, sound-proofing the life hidden underneath, muffling man and nature all around. Not the echoing of the waves from the nearby shore, nor lobster boat motors running err -err-err sound from the valley below, nor chirp chirping of the multitude of birds living around, nor power saw revving from my neighbour (he is in the wood cutting business); no just a silence quiet and calm. Oops. Maybe the branches swinging and hitting one another as I do hear a slight wind howl. Oh yes and I do hear some vehicle starting its engine somewhere nearby.

I am an early riser, love to begin my day at the crack of dawn. It is in these times where being wide-eyed and bushy tailed (a favourite saying of my dad’s…one of many I might add) does not need to happen. And I am not a ‘go to the kitchen and press the button for the coffee blend aroma maker’ kind of girl to pick me up nor do I take long to do whatever. When I look in the mirror, what you see is what you get. No, I just get up, do my morning constitution and off I go. Not that I was ever a big fussy person to begin with but washroom routines has been shortened even more so since going to Kenya many moons ago. The appreciation of a simpler lifestyle, not needing too much, and certainly not wasting good water for example on brushing teeth, long showers, or tap water (no need to get it cold). No fuss no muss.

Now my dad mind you, yes my dad, he takes a long long time. Dad are you kidding me? Gotta get those whiskers off, gotta wash my face…I am not sure all that he does but I have to pop into the washroom quickly before the pipes burst if you know what I’m saying. Giddy up dad for goodness sake. But the funny part is, each person has their own morning routine. Me, I do not want to miss the morning dew or sunrise, or in this case, seeing if I need the shovel the deck so Maggie May my dog, does not have a bit of a bird because her little legs cannot get through the snow on the deck or further out. Not really a fan for the little yellow spots left on the deck Maggie May. Just letting yah know. Not that I eat the snow like the good old days mind you but my grandkids might. Did I teach them that yet?

Well I have four days left to go I hope of my self-isolation. Yeah me! Cannot wait until Saturday (or Sunday). Last time I was let out (it feels like that) the day before the two weeks of quarantine back in September. Music to my ears. My truck is facing forward in the drive, has not moved because you never know who is looking. FYI: The island is really good thankfully about containing the virus, informing the residence and islanders following protocols for the most part. Each new case as I understand, I think we may have 2-3 cases right now, seems to mostly come from those flying in from somewhere else. Let us pray things get better for all of us.

Yes I am going to be ‘free’ soon. Woohoo. When you are used to doing something and it is taken away, you kind of miss it. I take a walk down my lane and Maggie May is right beside me ready to go further. Nope have to turn around. If there is one thing I really enjoy doing, it is going for long walks especially near water or in nature. But to pass the time away until I can, I have been out in the woods behind me and carving out (pulling strewn branches from the ground, prickly limbs at eye level, and branches that have died) a walking path for my grandkids. I want to give them experiences of the beauty of nature. I have taught my 16 month old granddaughter to hug a tree. It might sound silly but when you wrap your arms around a tree, they feel solid and strong, makes me feel a strength going through me. And she is getting to know nature up close and personal.

But also being up in the early morning, it is a time for me. Just me. And God too. Always present, thankfully. Dawn’s gift is kinda of like a tip toeing in the quiet, awakening to the nuances of the day. Time for reflection, meditation even, a prayerful moment given to the heart, mind and body as I greet the day. Of course one’s mind can go acrobatic… got to to this and that, up and down, back and forth, tizzy kind of action. Especially if you have had a tossing and turning night of little sleep because of A B C or Z. On the other hand, more kindly to one’s soul, it is an invitation to hopefully, carefully, gently allow the mind and heart to do that slow dance to open the day. Ahhhh. Yep that sounds about right.

I mean really the early morning is a perfect time to give the day ahead some clarity. And naturally to spend quality time with my dog. Not that she needs more of my attention; she is attached at the hip literally. Where I sit or lay or walk….she is right there. Interesting the devotion of a dog. That is for another day. LOL. But to give time for me, allowing me to find me, talk to me, be with me…not anyone else. Yes, I know that many have a significant other who may come into the space or not…I smile when I think of each of my daughters….they certainly come at the morning differently. Or if they even see the morning…yes youngest I am talking about you. The other two, one more of a morning person (not real early morning mind you) and the other forced to do, lovingly and gladly, as any new mom will be up EARLY. Both have younguns…need I say more. No rest for the wicked.

Now I am not going to ignore that early morning and staying in bed thing, not moving a muscle is quite appealing too. It can be quite healing and healthy, being still, looking around, paying attention to the details surrounding you. Allowing the thoughts to come rushing in, knowing that you are safe and nestled amongst the warmth of the blankets. Ah yes, that is a good feeling too. I think of my youngest sister who will text me early in morning and let me know…I’m off today, in my jammies, and NOT getting out for a bit. Or longer. I smile to myself. Yep that works too.

I guess for me it is up and at ’em. So rise and shine, start the day, however and whenever….blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of prayers and being held so gently.