Those Dreams That Haunt You

Many times I dream, but more often than not I forget them the minute I wake up.  Once in awhile there is a dream that lingers in my brain and simply cries out to be brought into the light of day.  I just had one of those dreams.

It Takes Place In a Storage Facility

I was walking by these storage units. Each was open and people seemed to be selling their wares.  I was a visitor walking past so many vendors.  I ran into an old friend.  She and I had been great friends years ago.  She was displaying her baskets.  I remember how much she loved making her baskets.  We hugged and she simply said, “I decided it was time to share these.”  We didn’t talk about the years that had passed without even a word between us.  We just simply enjoyed the moment.  Then we saw another man wonder by; another visitor like me.  He looked depressed, walking slowly and reflectively, and he looked especially old at that moment.  He smiled when he saw both of us. It turns out that we knew him. We shared the moment and then separated.  I continued walking past vendor after vendor, lingering on thoughts of these past friends.

And Then I Realize That No One Is Selling Their Wares

I happen onto a heated discussion between a vendor and a passerby. The passerby wanted to try a piece of the vendor’s prized carrot cake.  It seemed to make the vendor angry. Why wasn’t he pleased? It was then, I think, that I actually realized that no one was selling anything.  These were displays!  People were displaying the things they loved the most!

They Were Sharing Their Dreams

Then it dawned on me:  that’s why my friend was sad.  He seemed to have nothing of significance to share. I remember him as a very smart man, full of passion for his job, working long past normal work hours and long past his formal retirement date. But, when he finally stopped going to work, his dream ended.  This job that had consumed his life left him with a huge hole. Now, here he was walking past person after person who seemed to have realized other dreams; dreams that didn’t earn money, that weren’t  “jobs”.  They were passions outside of work.

The Storage Unit

This location; this storage facility, today, was bursting with excitement.  Dreams had been brought out of storage.  Dreams were being celebrated by their owners.  Those dreams weren’t big deals to anyone, maybe, other than the dreamers. “I make baskets.”  “I make  really good carrot cake.” Dreams, so many dreams, brought out of storage to celebrate and share on this day.  So many dreams are left in storage while we work on the things that we think will make us important.  For my friend, his job was his dreams.  Now it left him sad and empty. My other friend seemed content.  She’d had a good job too but she had moved on. She was content with her projects.  They were her projects, after all.  Like them or don’t like them:  she didn’t care.  Yet, she was thrilled to share them on this day.

So Why Am I In This Dream?

While I was dreaming, my thought was that this might be a great place to try to sell my nature photos; the objects of my current pastime.  But when I realized that no one was really selling,  I woke up.

I was puzzled and needed to continue to ponder this dream.   I felt bad for my sad friend.  It was his sadness that had me thinking…My work had been my passion too.  When I left, I felt that same hole.  Did he represent me?  Or did the other friend represent me?  Was I walking past the vendors because I have yet to accomplish my dream? Will I someday regret letting life pass me by and not finding my life dream? The thing was, I didn’t feel sad. Other people’s sites left me inspired. What is it that I’m doing that fills me with joy; that thing that I do for no pay and it would be something I would never sell?  I wanted to figure this out.

And Then I Did!

I have the opportunity to spend beautiful time with four little people.  I gladly do it for no pay. My grandchildren make my heart sing.  Fighting fires with my four year old grandson or racing Hot Wheel cars up and around his Super Ultimate Garage, listening to my two year old granddaughter burst into full out sentences, singing songs to the one year old granddaughter and watching her make connections with pictures in books, and now snuggling with my one week old granddaughter.  This is the gift that has been given to me.  This is the passion that I have found since retiring that fills me with joy.  And, I share this joy as often as their parents allow. And there is something that comes from sharing joy.  Joy spreads!

What a wonderful dream.  What a wonderful time pondering its meaning.

And, wouldn’t it be fun if everyone pondered what their passion is?  But it has to be something that you don’t do for money.  It has to be something that simply brings you joy.

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Captured Beauty

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Sweet smell of blossoms fill the air.

Warmth of the sunshine makes me smile.

Tender leaves fill branches once bare.

I think I’ll linger here awhile.

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Jogger runs past with rapid pace

Recorded music in her ear.

So grateful I’m not in her race.

Content with songs of birds I hear.

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Captured beauty. Stored it away.

Saving it for a raining day.

The Right Path

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Today’s the day, I find my way.

Today’s the day, my path will clear.

Today is different than yesterday,

Today, I walk with you near.

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Child, the other paths weren’t wrong,

Each one helped you to find your way.

You say you searched for me so long,

But, I’ve been with you every day.

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Thank you, then, if you’ve been my guide.

I’m always here, right by your side.

A Mother’s Thank You Note – To God

Dear God,

Thank you for allowing me to become a mom.

Thank you for trusting me.

I have finally learned how to listen to your messages; to be gentle with myself.

But being a mom wasn’t easy.  I made so many mistakes. I worried all the time.  I questioned myself and my decisions daily.

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Now, I believe that, all along, you were guiding me down the right paths.

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Although the paths were uneven and I lost my balance often,

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It was you who believed that I was strong enough to handle it,

You taught me to be patient; to just keep going.

You helped me to breathe.

Thank you for focusing my attention on the beauty of this gift.

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You were always there, whispering softly, “Appreciate the little things.”

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“It’s your job to build a home.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.

It just has to be safe and full of love.”

Thank you, God, for filling my world with such joy.

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Through hard days and challenging times, you kept reminding me that I had a  beautiful song inside me.  You helped me to share that song with my children. You kept me positive. You showed me how to point out life’s joy.

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And through all of life’s obligations, your were there to remind me to slow down; to pace myself so I didn’t miss important moments. You were trying to teach me to just go with the flow.

Still, I’d find myself flitting here and there with nervous energy.  I know, now, that it was you who continued to ground me, reminding me, again and again, to just appreciate the  magic and mystery of life.

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And while I was busy guiding and teaching,

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you said, “Remember to take time for fun”

because you knew that all too soon my babies would be grown,

and the nest would be empty.

In the middle of all those years of parenting, I may have been too busy to hear you,

but now I know you were always there.

Now, I am listening.

And now I know that Mother’s Day has been

every day since I became a mom.

It’s me, now, who wants to give thanks

for my two beautiful daughters, who have been the light of my life,

and for my baby grandson who is now flooding my world with new light.

Thank you, God, for giving me a lifetime of gifts.

Erin, Katie, and Me

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Finding Inspiration In A Rock

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I Am A Rock

For a few years, now, I’ve been on  a journey to “find myself”.  I know, people used to think that’s something for the young and foolish but when I was young, I didn’t have the time to find myself.  Now, I do.

So, currently, I am engrossed in a book entitled “The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity“, by Julia Cameron.  I am actively participating in multiple, suggested exercises, feeding my brain with positive affirmations, unblocking negative thoughts and fears – things that block creativity.

One of many, simple activities was to go on a rock hunt. Search for rocks that stand out  for some reason.  She said that they were, then, to serve as “small constant reminders of creative consciousness”. That’s all… Hmmm. Ok.

So, off I went to find rocks that spoke to me. I walked and walked, looking for the first rock that stood out. It took a while! I was, finally, drawn to one but it was snug in the ground. The earth was muddy and wet.  I wasn’t inclined to kneel down in that mud to dig out a rock,  so  I tried nudging it with the toe of my shoe. No luck. After several failed attempts, I noticed a rock quietly sitting right next to the stubborn one. I picked it up and looked at it. The first word that came to mind was “Ease”. While I was trying to force one out of the ground, this one had been sitting there all along, just watching and waiting. Maybe out of frustration…or gratitude, I put it in my pocket and moved on.

The next one I chose seemed to, actually, jump out at me.  It was far from pretty or unusual but it had this rugged exterior and, instantly, the word that jumped into my mind was “Toughness”.

Then, I knew that I wanted to find one by the waterfall.   That water, surging over piles of rocks, to me, stands for “Power”.

When I returned with my rocks, I simply put them on a piece of paper wrote the words “Ease”, “Toughness”, and “Power”. They sat there, trying to be my “creative consciousness”, but they needed further definition.  So out came this:

Ease: Life doesn’t need to be hard. We don’t need to force things. Sometimes the things we’re searching for are right there in front of our eyes; almost calling out, “Hey, over here. Choose me. Choose me.”

Toughness: Rugged exterior. Can hold up under pressure but not so tough that it can’t be influenced by weather. Still it survives.

Power: Water powers over rocks.  The rocks try with all of their massive weight, to hold it back, but they can’t.  And so, they concede.  They let the water rush over them, and accept change as part of their life.

As I reread the book, I understand that the author is constantly reminding us to think about personal affirmations –

“An affirmation is a positive statement, of (positive) belief,

and if we can become one-tenth as good at positive self-talk

as we are at negative self-talk,

we will notice enormous change.” (p.34)

I looked, once again, at my rocks and my descriptions of them and I realized that these were indeed affirmations for me!

Ease: Life doesn’t need to be hard. Things shouldn’t be forced. Perhaps,  the things I’m searching for are right in front of my eyes. And I realize that I am that rock; that rock that’s just sitting there waiting for my turn, watching while other rocks are picked because they’re prettier, more interesting, more intriguing.  “Hey, what about me?  I’m right here.  Choose me.”

Toughness: I might have a rugged exterior. I know how to hold up under pressure. But, I am not so tough that I can’t be warn down by the weather. Still, I will survive.

Power: I am the rock, at a waterfall, using all of my power to hold back the water.  Yet, no matter how hard I try, I can’t.  While I feel so strong and mighty, I have no strength when that water rushes over me.  So I just let it cleanse me.  Over time, it wears down my hard exterior and then, once again, I become something new.

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So go find your rocks.  Let them inspire you, too.

Time To Wake Up And Hear The Birds Sing

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“Time to wake up and hear the birds sing.”

When I was young, my mom would come charging into my bedroom, opening the curtains, and pulling the covers away from my chin, saying in the most irritatingly cheery voice, “Time to wake up and hear the birds sing.”  You can just imagine how abrupt and rude that felt, especially to a teenager!

Now, I find myself getting up early and loving the sounds of birds singing, and I’m saying to myself, with a smile, “Time to wake up and hear the birds sing.”  And, I think of my mom.

I ponder the meaning of the words.  “Time to wake up” usually means that it’s time to pay attention.  “Hear the birds sing”, to me, means to listen but not to everything, listen for pleasant things.

So, today, my goal is to pay special attention to kind words, loving gestures, the beauty of a spring day, and the songs of the birds.  And, I will smile and think of my mom!