Goodbye Summer

Fall is by far my favorite season.  It brings golden leaves, bluer skies, and cool breezes.  After a summer dominated by smoke and fire, it was a great relief to see two days of rain and cooler temperatures.  I looked out the window and noticed something different along with seeing a blue sky – the trees were swaying.  It took me a while to realize that we barely had any wind since the heat and drought set in late June.  The wind usually blows so much that we practically fall over when it doesn’t, so welcome back wind!  I will try not to complain when you blow my hair all over the place!

With summer coming to a close and fall approaching fast, I wanted to share the highlights of my summer in photos.  I went for a visit to Lewistown in June and enjoyed taking Mom to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant.  I enjoyed several walks with my family, before the smoke rolled in, on the River’s Edge Trail.  My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary by taking a trip to San Jose and San Francisco.  We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on foot and it was exhilarating.  Finally, in August I was thrilled to see Drew in a tuxedo for the first time for my niece’s wedding.

I admit that the smokey skies made their way into my spirit.  I forgot that the smallest of gifts are the most important:  a mourning dove perched outside of the dining room window, the chatter of chickadees on my way back to the office, golden spots of sun on the floor, ceramic pigs strategically placed around my house by my neighbor for me to find, time with my husband on the couch watching Suits, and a smile from a coworker.

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I came across the quote in the picture above during one of my morning meditation sessions.  When we live in our heads, our lives can pass by unnoticed.  We miss the bird placed on a branch in the perfect place for us to look up and see him.  We miss the cloud in the sky shaped like a heart or the uplifting lyrics of a song.  It’s better to let our fearful thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky than to end up underneath them for months, even years.  Remember the cartoons when a character had a raining cloud over his head wherever he went?  That is exactly what it is like to live in our heads.  This is something I am guilty of and I have realized that life is far too precious to go by unnoticed for even a moment.

Next month will be three years since Christian passed away.  The turning leaves take me back to the months before his passing and it can be very painful – like it just happened.  As the day approaches I want to see the world as I would want Christian to see it – a miracle in process, given to us by a God who loves us.

 

Skin cells

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Today I started writing in a brand new journal.  Even though I had a few pages left on my previous journal, I just had to start fresh in my new one.  I am certain that I am not the only one who is trying to figure out what my new year’s resolutions will be.  I want to call them goals instead.  When I think of resolutions, I think of someone wanting to lose weight, quit smoking or give up drinking coffee (over my dead body – hah!).

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I read an entry in my devotional, Faith in the Valley by Iyanla Vanzant, and it resonated with me.  She said that our skin cells, our hair and other parts of our body are not the same parts that we had a week ago, a month ago or a year ago.  Without our intervention, our physical bodies are ever-changing, not always the way we want them to either.  (I find more and more gray hairs every week.)  Iyanla said that one thing that does not change on it’s own is our mind.  Do we have the same attitude and do we have the same thoughts that we had years ago and have they held us back from the life we truly deserve to live?  In my case the answer is yes.  What if we decide to be more of who we are, take better care of ourselves, love ourselves and others, and express more kindness and gratitude instead?  Once we do these things, wouldn’t that make it easier to lose weight or eat healthier?  Maybe it’s better to start within.

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Today the sun was shining and I felt blessed to have a day with my family.  What are my hopes for 2014?  For my oldest son to be in less pain from his MD, that perhaps we will find good help with my sons and that we would love each other just a little more every day.  I hope to post more in my blog, read more books, do more crossword puzzles and listen to more great music on my new turntable.  I wish you all the very best life can offer in 2014!

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