Nature

Experimental

Finding something you love, even if it is later in life, is a complete joy. I recently started a graphic design program, and although I’ve been out of school for way too many years, I’ve found that the discipline of learning never entirely leaves you. That said, everything is new now with all the electronic tools at one’s disposal. So, for me, every day is experimental. Today was no different; we are playing with Photoshop and had a requirement to turn a photo into a painting. Although not perfect (what art ever is?), this didn’t turn out too bad.

Do something for yourself

At some point in life, especially if you have a family, a job, and other people depending on you for a myriad of things (how did you or I get involved in so much?), you find yourself lost. The things you dreamed about doing slip away and time becomes an enemy to make anything happen, not the least of which are those things you hold deep in your heart of what you expected your life to be like. At least, this has happened to me, and I suspect to you, too, if you are honest with yourself. I know my spouse and I talk about it frequently. He reminds me he only has “XX number of years left! We have to get our life in order!” pretty frequently (this is usually followed by a flurry of cleaning and throwing things away).

It is at these points in life, you need to take a step back and really think about where you are spending your time. Time is one of the only democratic things in life. By that, I mean we all have only 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and so forth. “Hold on,” you say, “Not everyone has the same lifespan so that’s just not true!” Well, right you are. Since we don’t know how long our lives are, and in fact, they could be ended tomorrow on our way to or from work (judging by the number of catastrophic wrecks on the highway near where we live), we should treat every one of those seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks as if it were our last. Morbid, you say? No. Life giving. Why? Because when you take the time to realize you might not have tomorrow, you start to appreciate everything around you, especially the people in your life. You also start to take the time to carve out joy and resurrect those dreams you lost. Dream of travel? Go! Dream of being an artist? Pick up that pencil! Dream of being a musician? Take those piano lessons! Want to learn a new language? Check out DuoLingo and learn for free. Make time for joy.

What was my passion when I was younger? Horses and art. I have now rescued an off-the-track Thoroughbred named Lou who I don’t get to ride much, but he’s safe and that’s what matters. On the art front, I started a MOOC course from the University of Newcastle in Australia, natural history illustration. Not being an illustrator doesn’t matter, I’m having fun. Check out my first tries here.

Spring has sprung!

Ah, spring! This is my most favorite time of the year. I love spring with all the color, freshness, new grass, spring rain, and life renewing from winter’s drought. This past fall we planted tulips for the first time in a number of years. Tulips happen to also be our local squirrels most beloved snack so we weren’t sure we would even have any blooms simply from the scattering of bulb parts we found. Pennsylvania has also suffered from a very strange weather pattern and just when the tulips were starting to emerge, we had a snowstorm. Frantically rushing to the hardware store for mulch and then spreading it, we successfully saved at least a few of the blooms.

Dreaming of summer

It’s cold. Really cold. Like, frostbite cold. I confess, winter is NOT my favorite season and January is definitely NOT my favorite month (at least weather wise). Don’t get me wrong, I like to see snow once or twice in the winter but let it snow over a weekend where I sit inside next to a fire or wood stove with a cup of cocoa, coffee, or tea and a good book. Then, make the snow melt or at least make the streets dry with no ice.

My husband kids me no end about my “fear” of driving in the snow. I tell him I’m not afraid of driving in the snow. I don’t like driving with the other drivers driving in the snow. Having been bumped twice in my car due to unsafe driving by others, I think that sentiment is warranted. So here’s hoping the temperature rises like it’s purported to over the weekend. We’ve had our bit of snow and although the skiers out there would like more, I’ve had enough. Instead, bring on spring and summer sunshine. Here’s to dreaming of warmer weather, summer sun, and beaches.Coronado Beach

Epiphany

Epiphany, with a capital “E”, is celebrated on January 6th and is the festival commemorating Christ’s coming into the world for all people through the homage paid by the Magi.

It can also mean (when spelled with a small “e”) a sudden insight or perception into the essential meaning of something usually triggered by the ordinary. Its origin is late Middle English and comes from the Greek epipháneia meaning to appear.

Have you had any epiphanies? I know I have. Sometimes they come from watching the light shine just so on a field gleaming with frost. Sometimes they come from seeing snow on a discarded pine bough. Sometimes they come watching a small child master a new skill or seeing something new to them for the very first time. They can be awe inspiring and they can be scary too , but they always lead one deeper. Farther into understanding one’s place in the world, epiphanies provide us roadmaps and guideposts.

On this Epiphany, I wish for you a year filled with insights.