Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Of Blogs and Beginnings and other misc. Stuff

I'm pondering this blog--its beginnings way back in 2011. Originally, I began it as a way to chronicle my journey with Honor, my Quarter Horse-Arab gelding, as I sought to transform him from a snarky
and disrespectful rascal into a trail horse I'd feel safe and happy to ride. That, and to have a place share various musings and happenings. [See Musings, Horse Happenings, and Other Odds and Ends of Life]


Sunset house2That feels like a lifetime ago, in a way. A different life. The big Victorian house and 20-something acres with a milk cow, horses, chickens and the works exists now in memory and pictures, not in real-time. At least not for us. I loved the years we spent there--our family growing up. The green, green land, the rolling hills, the big gracious rooms and wrap around porches. It was magical. Perfect. I thought I'd be there the rest of my life. Host grandkids and holidays, and maintain my battle to keep flowerbeds weed free, animals healthy, and that type of thing. 

Now here we are, having traded Missouri for Northern California in 2012, rolling hills for mountains and miles and miles of trails to ride. I'm loving the smaller house. Less land to take care of. Having three chickens instead of 30 and one horse. Honor has become the wonderful trail horse I hoped he would become, so in a way, one of my original objectives for this blog has changed. But I continue to muse, so it's a good thing my title was multi-purpose!

I'm loving this adventure of life, this unfolding of new things. Not quite sure what shape these will lend to this blog, but like all of life, every step of the journey is the journey. So on that somewhat vague note I pause. Some of my original objectives still remain valid--that the everyday-ness of life has a dignity often uncelebrated, and all the people who are not famous--of which I am one--live their lives with every bit as much dedication, intensity, and hope as the few we see in the headlines. People matter. Their lives matter. You matter!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Through Chicken Eyes

Meet our new ladies. They came to our house this week, and I'm pretty happy about that. I like chickens. They are not my favorite animal, nor do I find them as enjoyable as  cats or  horses, but I do like them. There's something about the way they meet the world with hopeful, satisfied clucking that lends a contented color to barnyard or backyard.

To me they epitomize the phrase, "Bloom where you are planted."  They scritch and scratch and search for bugs with the same concentrated effort whether they are in a small and already barren run (it doesn't take long for them to reduce their space to bare dirt) or ranging in the open where blades of grass and bugs have yet to be consumed.

I'm thinking that the world would be better off if we viewed it through chicken's eyes. Because it really is an amazing world, and it is our priviledge to be living and breathing and creating. So much to be thankful for, just on that level. I  know chickens have tiny brains, but I admire how they focus on what is at hand (or foot as the case may be!) and do not stress over all the things they don't have or don't know or are afraid of.

We could take a page from their proverbial notebook. Focus on what we do have, not on what we do not. Enjoy what our days hold, not spend them wishing for something yet to come or something that once was while effectively wasting the moments we have today.

I'm going to enjoy having chickens again. They will keep me mindful to look up at the blueness of the sky (or to revel in the rain). They will remind me where my focus needs to be--in the bounty and beauty around me.

I'm under no illusions, though. They will also remind me of why I haven't really missed keeping chickens--shutting them in for the night. Letting them out for the day. "Has anyone gathered the eggs yet?" (The answer always seems to be no.) Lining up someone to care for them while we're out of town.

Life has these complications, as we all know full well. But nonetheless, as I watch these biddies scratching in the dust and crooning to eachother in the warmth of the afternoon sun, I am reminded and challenged to see through their little chicken eyes and glimpse the treasures of the everyday.

Thanks, Laura, for sharing your girls :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thankful

I'm sitting in a quiet, evergreen-scented house. Christmas carols play in the background and the cat snoozes on the back of the couch. We're alone. Momentarily.

In this moment before people arrive, I just want to say that I am thankful. Thankful for this moment to reflect. Thankful for all the blessings in my life. The people--so dear, so diverse, so complex and amazing.

Thankful for warmth on rainy nights and laughter in unexpected moments. Thankful for times when I am alone. Thankful that I am not always alone. Thankful to know that no mattter what happens--the good, the bad, the things difficult or easy---there is a God who loves me.

Yes, very thankful.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

We Are the Ocean

We are the ocean, you and I.
The accumulated courage and gifts and incredible riches that lie within each of us overwhelm the sand in sheer weight and glory. Strange how we rarely understand this, how we can journey through our lives wondering--fearing--that we are not enough.

There's so many people in the world--sometimes I think about how each person, each dwelling has a whole life all its own--mothers, fathers, siblings, children, cousins--like waves going out and out and out. All across the country and the world, each life is lived in full color, Tragedies. Triumphs.
Precocious toddlers. Talented teens. Aging parents. It boggles my mind to ponder the multiplied millions of ripples going out from every person, but God knows us each one.

I love that.

He knows each individual "us" as if we were the only one He ever created. That intimately. He not only knows the names and the number of stars in the sky, or the sand on all the seashores, He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads. We are not "the masses" to him. We are known. Valued. Loved. He is not overwhelmed by the ocean of humanity that lives and breathes and calls out to Him in need and in love and in etremities often. No, not overwhelmed. Quite the contrary:

He is delighted with us!



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

One Raindrop Raises the Sea

 Everyday I get up and I write in hopes that something I say will encourage, will lift, will touch someone else so that they can go through their day not because they have to, but because they get to. I want to write in such a way that those who read my words will glimpse that life is not a given, but a gift.

Sometimes what I do in my life seems very small. Like one raindrop on the surface of the sea. And yet, as has been said, one raindrop, though very tiny, does indeed raise the sea. So if I continue to get out of bed, continue to pull words together from somewhere within who I am and have the bravery to put them out where other eyes can see and study them, I will have made an impact. Perhaps not a crater, nor even much of an indentation, and no great fanfare will accompany the process. In the early hours before the sun brings on the day and only small nocturnal critters are awake, I write. It's a quiet thing (save for the clicking of computer keys): sometimes almost a meditation, this reaching within myself for unformed words; to bring to life ideas, to clothe in concrete terms what exists only in one person. Me. 

It's strange, isn't it--though academically we understand that there is only one of each of us, so often we do not feel that we are enough. Just me. Just you. Our essense without all the trappings. And yet--if I did not get up and write, the earth would be the poorer. Few might mark the absence or mourn the lack, but that's all right. I don't write so that the whole of humanity can say, "Wow! Look at her." I write to give wings to what lies in my heart--small and great things, soft and harsh things, sad and glad things--because it brings me joy. And I am fueled with the hope that those words once honed and polished may slip inside another's soul and give them similar courage to be who they are and to know they are enough. I'm content with this hope, this knowledge that a seed sown will bring forth a harvest according to its kind. I write for the one child, the one adult, the one fellow sojourner, that they may gain courage to continue to be who they were made to be, and that we all might know and understand that truly, one raindrop raises the sea.

And all of us together--we are the ocean. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Oh Freedom!

Oh, freedom! Nations fight for you. The brave die for you. Little ones live in you, running, laughing, sleeping in peace.

Oh, freedom! Much more costly than gold, not bought with something as easy and as base as money. Oh no. You come at a price, and those who love you must never forget that they live free because people have bought that right at the ultimate price. To all the defenders of our freedom and for champions of justice in the earth, wherever you may be--

Thank you!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Time to Sow

It's Father's Day, and we're planting trees. 

Redwood trees.

I'll admit it--compared to their 300 ft. anscestors on the coast, it boggles me to think that these six foot saplings will ever someday tower so tall they will scratch the sky. Yet barring unforseen problems, the only thing that can prevent them from doing so is if we never actually plant them.

Elementary, isn't it--that we must sow in order to reap? But how often we look at the barreness of a hillside, the lack of fertile soil, the circumstances that seem contrary, and give up without ever actually planting something. This happens in the realm of people's hearts as well--our own and others'. Maybe we look at the level of emotional disconnection and we think "what's the use of even trying to fix this relationship?", or at the discrepancy of what we long for compared to what we actually experience, be it in relationships, dreams, or destinies.

In the midst of the process it's easy to overlook the simple truth that we must sow today what we want to harvest in the coming years. Love. Kindness. Wisdom. Vision, effort, grace. And sometimes it appears as if these seeds are dying in the ground, for all we see happening on the surface.

But we sow in hope. Ecclesiates 11 says, "He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap..." I, for one, have often questioned the value of casting seed into the face of the wind, or looked at the storm and wanted to draw back. And yet--if that's what we do when the ground seems unfriendly, the weather unrelenting, then indeed, we will never reap.

Because the flat-out truth is-- We only have the harvest we plant. No sow, no grow.

Of course there's watering. Tending. Weeding. Watching and praying, even. But no one incubates empty ground in hopes that the seed that was never sown will somehow miraculously spring up out of the dirt and bear fruit.

It's Father's Day today (as if every other day in the year is not!?), and that's just a good time to count precious the many ways we can sow into our kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids, honorary kids--into people, related or not--for of all the places we plant seeds, seedlings, or saplings, only people are eternal.

When our great-great-great-great grandkids dandle their great-great-great-grandkids on their knees (or give them rides on their shoulders, as the case may be), these redwoods we've planted will tower hundreds of feet into the air, and that will be amazing. But it is the people, in the end, which carry the richest results, eternal rewards, the harvest of our labors, and they carry them infinitely forward.


I'm thinking that is enough incentive to sow in all seasons, in all places, in all soils. Or as the writer says in Ecclesiastes: "In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhhold it, for you don't know which shall prosper; this [seed] or that, or whether they both shall yield good increase."


Happy Father's Day and happy sowing!