Tag Archives: Peace

Tumultuous Times allow for Reflection

Afternoon breeze

Reflecting on the first half of 2020 brings many thoughts to mind. It’s a year that has affected everyone. 

Civilizations around the world all touched by Covid-19 have dealt differently with it, each in their own way. Even in other cultures, individuals have responded diversely to the impact. Recognize that I will only address the affects to me, and in no way mean that to minimize or marginalize anyone else’s experience. Personally, Covid-19 allowed me to slow down; no really, forced me to slow down. I considered myself to be a grateful person, yet this slower pace allowed me to recognize even more things to be grateful for. Regular Zoom meetings allowed me to stay connected with writing friends from Ireland, and the local writing group, now on-line connects more frequently. I’ve been able to establish some new patterns or routines in my life, resulting in more consistency in writing. A new children’s story awaits art work; a compilation of short stories (some new and some former writings) is coming together; there’s noticeable progress on the sequel to “Dream Glasses.” With this slower pace, I find after an initial writing, it’s easier to go back and review it with a more critical eye and make corrections. I recognize I’m more calm. Life feels less hectic, and more relaxing.

The question that plagues me is, what of these new patterns will I bring to my future when life returns to some semblance of normalcy?

Have you found aspects of these last few months you want to carry forward? Are you willing to share them?

Life Changes…

I’ve been part of a “Writing Through the Pandemic” group. It’s been an interesting process which sometimes surprises me at what surfaces. You can find some these writing on my blog under the following menu options: “Writing Categories” and then select “Pandemic”. Feel free to leave your comments or write your own thoughts.

Together, we’ll get through this!

New Buds Growing

Everything is a process

Processes have invisible strands that tie the pieces together

For me the process started in late spring of 2019

Spending 10 weeks in the southwest of Ireland and England left me shaken

The recognition of my own materialism hit hard

The crazy pace of my life was revealed as just that—crazy

I tried to share those revelations upon returning home

My friends looked at me with that dazed look you give one when you think they’ve lost it

I still made little sense of this

I was trying to process it

Or figure out what it meant for me

Another trip to Ireland in early 2020 reinforced these thoughts and cemented relationships there

I arrived back to my home in Colorado just as Covid-19 was being openly talked about, but before any lockdowns

The lockdown has given me the time, and space to process those thoughts birthed in 2019

Given me the opportunity to be at peace with experiencing a relaxed schedule

Provided opportunities to have communications with friends and family scattered around the globe and revealed the shared trauma of this pandemic

No one wonders “why” someone is concerned—at least not in my circle

It’s my hope we will come through this fear, into love and thus come alive

Come alive to the purposes created for each of us

Ah, but first we have to recognize and acknowledge those purposes

I suspect that revelation process will be different for each of us

Some may even fight these truths, preferring instead to return to what was

My pragmatic side knows this and thus expects the “coming through” will not necessarily allow us to land in a “happy place”

There will be “happy places” but also some rough patches

There may be some friends cemented for life, but also some lost

I hope I can cling to the values learned through this process

I hope to make them an integral part of me

I hope more of us find the “happy place” and can affect and influence those still searching

I hope we will release the aspects of life that were—let them drift into a space of “what was”

And thus be able to allow those conditions to remain in that space.

Time

The sun comes up; the sun goes down.
Another day, another night.
So we count time.

Covid-19 hit.

The Hands of Time
The Hands of Time

Time has stopped, or so it seems to me.
I cook, I read, I write.
I do creative things.
I connect with others.

The calendar says it is April.
Really?
Did the sun rise and set so many times?

There is no rush. No rush to fix or finish dinner.
No rush to get somewhere on time.
No rush to finish projects, just gradually work on them.

The sun comes up
Prepare morning drinks and luxuriate as my husband and I sit and chat.
Enjoy the morning sky with clouds drifting by.
Notice the few neighbors out walking their dogs.
Listen to the ever growing population of birds arriving for the season.
Open patio doors to breathe in the cool, fresh morning mountain air.

Another cup of tea. Snuggle into a chair by the window, and allow the sun to warm the body.
Get lost in the day with either a book, writing, or communicating with a friend who is also sheltered in her house. Or spend some time on one of those creative endeavors.

Fix dinner and enjoy the quiet of the night.
The sun goes down.
Followed by peaceful sleep.

During this time of “Sheltering In-Place,” I’m part of a writing group. The group is writing about this time, fears, feelings, concerns. Different prompts and readings are used to generate inspiration. Sometimes I’m surprised at what surfaces. None of us in the group have experienced a time such as this. I’ll be sharing some of my writings generated from the group. You'll find them under the menu option, Writing Categories and then Pandemic. Feel free to leave your comments or write you own thoughts.

My House…

…sits high above the road, with peaked ceilings and lots of windows that allow the sky to enter and be part of my daily life. That could mean blue skies with white clouds, or grey skies with dark angry clouds waiting to dump something on me. Some days it simply means living in a cloud with the ability to see very little. Cloudless nights are the best when the stars are sparkling against the navy background, appearing so close I think I can reach out to grab a couple just for me.

Watching the clouds race across the sky
Evening Colors filling the sky

My house has been filled with unique aromas the last two weeks as I’ve allowed my creative side freedom to explore recipes from a Turkish cookbook a friend gave me before departing this valley I now call home. Distinct aromas and unique flavors from combinations of spices I’ve rarely used before. I never knew how much dill changes the flavor of beef; or tomatoes when skinned and deseeded, cooked with stock have a less acidic taste. These flavors are different and fun from how I normally cook—not strong or spicy hot, just different. We’ve found the food to be hearty and very filling. The cooking has been an adventure, but also exhausting. Most of the meals are labor intensive in their preparation. I now understand why the dishes are most often undertaken for company as a way to honor someone with a meal. So I can say, I’ve been honoring my husband, honoring us, honoring that we have each other to share this time with. I may have one more Turkish meal in me for this season, afterwards the book will go back on the shelf and I’ll return to meals and culinary delights we’ve enjoyed at different times or try something completely different.

I walk the switch back driveway down to the mailbox and last year’s dead grasses and the sage brush are still moist from last night’s snow. The fragrance of sage hits me and reminds me of first moving here eight years ago and the wonder I experienced the first time I opened the door and smelled sage. I was so surprised and then surprised I hadn’t expected this. Our property sits on hundred-year-old sage plants. How could I expect to be surrounded by this plant and yet not smell it? The pleasure of the aroma and memories of that naivety always bring a smile to face and are part of what makes me feel safe to be at home.

I savor the simple pleasures. It’s a way to keep the pandemic at arm’s length from me. To date, we personally know of no one who’s succumbed to the virus. A piece of me wonders how long that will be my truth, and I push those thoughts away. I’m aware each of us, collectively everyone, is being touched by this pandemic and the impacts will be long and far reaching. I push away the thoughts about how long it will be before we return to our normal activities.

I push away…

During this time of “Sheltering In-Place,” I’m part of a writing group. The group is writing about this time, fears, feelings, concerns. Different prompts and readings are used to generate inspiration. Sometimes I’m surprised at what surfaces. None of us in the group have experienced a time such as this. I’ll be sharing some of my writings generated from the group. You'll find them under the menu option, Writing Categories and then Pandemic. Feel free to leave your comments or write you own thoughts.

LIFE — on Pause!

Friends have asked, “How’s recovery going?”

It’s been a humbling experience.

Think about your daily life. Then consider needing someone to help you do everything!

The question, how’s recovery going, is thought provoking.

Recovery happens one day at a time.

We celebrate small accomplishments and victories. Small events make up life.

How’s one to thank the many friends who stopped by to visit; who gifted me with flowers; who brought or sent food to the house to simplify meal preparation; the people who prayed for me regularly and sent short notes of encouragement?

Early on, I sensed my focus needed to be on getting better. I wasn’t interested in many aspects of my life. Leaving home was exhausting. It took much effort to get ready to go to doc visits or PT, do the program, and return home. After arriving home, I’d collapse in a comfortable location.

For me, time stopped. We returned from vacation, and I had plans to market my book. I’ve put those plans on hold.

This week recovery turned a corner. I want to take part in my regular activities again. I still have to pace myself as I tire after being out. I’m told, rest is crucial to healing, and that’s the top priority. So the focuses of my life are PT, both appointments and exercises at home; a few activities; a few interests; and using wisdom to know I need to stop.

Soon I hope to hit the RESET button.

 

FORGIVENESS…

Sequel to ‘Unresolved!!!’ blog post.

Optimal health from an unhealthy relationship can only be achieved through forgiveness and God’s grace. I’m grateful for God grace and forgiveness towards me and can only offer forgiveness to those who offend and hurt me. Some days my ability to forgive is only possible by allowing God to forgive through me! It is only by accepting personal forgiveness and offering forgiveness to the other that I can find peace. For that I’m grateful!

Over the years I’ve learned that offering forgiveness means I won’t hold the offender hostage to the acts of their past. It also means I don’t harbor bad feelings or thoughts about them. It does not mean I have to subject myself to their bad behavior or abuses in the future. The last sentence may be really important for some of you to realize, so let me say it again.

It does not mean I have to subject myself to their bad behavior or abuses in the future.

When I was younger, I thought forgiving someone meant letting go of the past and just getting back on with life, acting like nothing happened. This might work if the offending party is repentant of their behavior and really wants to change. If not, I found I was only setting myself up to be hurt or abused again. This is not what God wants for any of us!

If any of you are struggling with an unresolved relationship, I encourage you to FORGIVE – both yourself and the other party; accept the peace and grace God offers through forgiveness; move on in life, trusting His guidance. For each relationship crisis, the moving on may look different. Follow His lead.

Mermaid Girl…..

I thought I gave birth to a baby girl. We were to live as a family, on the land. I thought she was mine. I soon learned this was not true. This child displayed a rebellious and defiant spirit as out of control as the ocean in a huge storm, against anything that had the scent of tradition, authority or rules. Occasionally, I would have fleeting glimpses of the daughter I thought was mine. And then they would be gone! Hers became a dance of seeing how far she could stray from the line. The collateral damage and destruction of those she either hurt or destroyed in her dance of defiance is huge. Every time I look, the circle becomes larger. It includes people both close to her and those just touched by the fringes of her life, and people whom she once charmed and has since grew tired of. Then awhile back we vacationed with her at the beach. Those few short days were a gift. Time spent together was pleasant and devoid of the stress I associated with her. I’ve come to realize there is something about the ocean that seems to calm the rage she has against life and civilization. She is back inland again, and the glimpses I saw of her at the ocean have vanished again. Is the ocean her true home and not this land the rest of us live on? Perhaps she was not a baby girl, but a baby mermaid instead.

These thoughts have been triggered by both a conversation with my local pastor when he asked me to think of a time when she was innocent before all the problems began (which brought to mind a photo of her sitting on the beach when she was about 3 or so with a white suit with red and blue polka dots) and a conversation with my husband pointing out the vacation trip we took with this child was really a gift. We spent almost a full week together and it was no stress, no drama, no difficult times, just a very pleasant time together. I’m glad I was allowed to frame this vacation into the thought of a ‘normal gift’ with this child because my life history with her does not allow me many of those memories. Somehow those two images merged into the Mermaid Girl – I think that may be her!