Monday, December 30, 2013

New Beginnings

They say that the daffodil represents new beginnings.  Although a spring flower, it represents my today.    I spent the day with my new grandson.  He is now 40 days old.  I feel so fortunate to be included in his life.  I want to be there.  I want him to know me.  Yet, I think about the me that I want him to know and I realize that I have an awesome opportunity to begin again for this little man.  I want to teach him so many things but know that he will ultimately teach me more!  

Today, I watched as he smiled, over and over again, in his sleep, and I loved the thought that maybe he was dreaming of beautiful things.  He didn't know that I was watching him with such awe.  When he was awake, he looked at me and seemed to be watching me too, and perhaps pondering thoughts like: "Who are you?" "Are you a nice person?"  "Will you take care of me?"  

Then suddenly, he winced as if he was in pain and started to cry; one of those not really a cry kind of cries.  I think he wanted to test the waters.  So, this was a test.  Would I pass?  Well, today, we walked and he quietly settled into the rhythm while I logged the exercise.  It was a win-win for both of us.  He seemed to like the back and forth journey we took from the living room to the kitchen and back again.  It doesn't take much to entertain him right now.  I hope I can keep up the pace though and continue to show him that: Yes, I am a nice person and Yes, I will take very good care of him.

We spent the next couple of hours with him waking and sleeping and me watching his tiny little features and thinking that I have so many things that I want to tell him.  Although, I won't be with him every day, I can write and share stories here.  I love the idea of collecting memories and keeping them in this safe place.  Who knows, maybe he'll teach me more than I teach him.  Whatever it is, I'll write about it here.

Today's lessons from my grandson:  
1.  Smile.  It's an easy thing to do and it leaves people wondering what you're thinking, and 
2.  Walking is good for both of us, so let's do more of that.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Inspiration For The Day


Today's message is:

Be Creative.  
It's time to express yourself through writing.  Don't get caught up in the web of negative thoughts or beliefs that might be a product of judgements and shame that you felt during your childhood.  Write.  Write without inhibition; with no intention that it be for others.  Write for yourself.  Write about anything, real or make believe.  Write whatever comes to your mind.  Write about the words that once hurt you.  Let writing be a way to let it all go.  Trust your creative spark.  Let your words inspire and enlighten.

Two years ago, I sat alone with my thoughts and my computer and I wrote.  I wrote of memories, mostly bad.  I reflected on my life as a journey that had gotten me to the spot that I was in.  At one point, I stopped, cried, and then shut the computer down - not wanting to feel the hurt anymore.  With sleep came a new perspective.  The sun came up on a new day and as I reread my words from the previous night, I made a decision.  I was going to let go of the hurt and the pain.  I was going to search for the blessings that had come from my life's encounters.  As I reread the words, I turned the negative into lessons.  What had I learned from that experience?  How had that event or that person made me who I am today?  I began to write again and this time with understanding and forgiveness.  I wrote and wrote and with each personal story, I found the person that I wanted to be.  I didn't want to be burdened by my past.  I didn't want my past to be an excuse.  Instead, I began to celebrate the strength that I had gained from my lessons and I decided then that I had a choice, a choice to live my life the way I wanted.

Now, as I look at the beginning of another new year, my resolution is to write something, every day.  I want to write something that inspires me to be the person that I want to be.  I find peace and comfort from the woods behind my apartment, so I will walk the paths as often as possible.  I love to capture the changing seasons and the littlest things that add texture to the paths.  I'll share my photos as a reflection on my view of life.

So, let the new year begin.  I am ready.

Friday, May 24, 2013

This Train

Our brother died on March 25, 2013.  In his final days, we spent time remembering things from his past.  We played this song hoping it would prompt happy memories of when he rode the train from New Orleans to home.  Instead, as he listened to the words, all he could do was cry.  After a while, he asked us to turn it off.  The song not only brought back memories of a time he could never have back but also of a life that he was leaving.

As I listen, now, to the words of this song, I think that each life is nothing more than a one way journey with the only sure destination of death at the end of the ride.  In life, we think we are different.  Some claim to be smarter, prettier, healthier, richer.  Some appear to struggle to live this life, making choices that surely put them on a fast track to our common destination.

"Grab your ticket and your suitcase.  
Thunder's rolling down this track.  
Well you don't know where you're goin' now, 
but you know you won't be back."   

My brother cried as he listened and we can only guess what prompted the tears.  He had been one of those whose choices surely put him on the fast track.  At this point, one would think that he would be resolved with his choice. Instead, he cries. It's been a hard journey.

"Well darlin', if your weary, 
lay your head upon my chest.  
We'll take what we can carry
 and disregard the rest." 

We have been quick to judge his past,  and now, click our tongues at his current state. But who are we to judge?  
We are all simple human beings on the same journey to that common destination and we are all doing
the best we can to ride this train.

"This train carries saints and sinners, 
this train carries losers and winners.  
This train carries whores and gamblers.  
This train carries lost souls."

In the end, some would say that he didn't have to suffer long.  Instead, I think he suffered his whole life.   He had wanted what everyone wants.  He wanted to be successful.  He wanted to be accepted.  He wanted to be happy.
He was no different than you or me.  He had hopes and dreams!

"Well, big wheels roll through fields where sunlight streams.  
Meet me in the land of hopes and dreams."

He had finally found his way back home but now a broken man.  His independence was shattered. We knew that he needed 
more help then we could provide.  

We called on all the spirits of our family and they responded...

"Well I will provide for you.  I'll stand by your side.  
You'll need a good companion now,  for this part of the ride. 
 Leave behind your sorrows.  This day, at last.  
Tomorrow there'll be sunshine.  All this darkness past."
This imperfect man, riding our train, blessed our life with his stubborn attitude, fierce sense of right and wrong, 
 and insistence to make the journey his own.  

We did not always appreciate his spirit but oh do we miss it now!  

For now, my brother...

"Big wheels roll through fields where sunlight streams. 
We'll meet you in the land of hope and dreams."