The Exact Right Place and Time

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I wake up at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning, too early to see without artificial light. I write and read until a little after sunrise and step outside to find two emerged Zebra Longwings! I quickly grab my lawn chair and water and settle in to take photos and videos, and embrace the moment. With one eye on the third chrysalis Continue reading

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Butterflies and Caterpillars Oh My!

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The late start out the door is irritating, since I planned to get up with the sun, sip coffee in my lawn chair while watching the first butterfly in my new butterfly garden, the Gulf Fritillary, emerge. Yesterday the chrysalis twisted into a tight curl and I wondered: was he struggling or impatient? I mentioned to my friends over last night’s late dinner that today might be the day. Today marks eight days since the chrysalis formed.
Of course, the first thing I find after stepping outside is the passion vine. I peer deeply into where the Gulf Fritillary chrysalis is hidden. Continue reading

For You, My Dream Reader

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Poetry is the reason I started this blog, specifically to write posts about the backstory to my poems. Since I began writing poetry several years ago, after a deep dive into a black hole, each written word formed a solid step upward that brought me closer to sunlight and air. I found abundant life everywhere!

Through that trip to hell and back, I have become convinced that anyone can choose to walk a different path. The only requirement is desire. My journey into poetry has transformed my way of thinking, from why experiences happen, to understanding that each of us has the capacity to create a positive outcome of our own deepest dreams and wishes.

We are infinite beings of energy who have within us the power to change the world in a great way. When you really think about it, we humans have created our current reality. Our own realities are as varied as our personalities.

In walking the path, intimately observing nature, slowing down, and noticing simple things, I have discovered a whole new wonderful world. It has been there all along. My own shadow seemed to be the only thing blocking the spectacular view.

When You Look Up is not only the title of my poetry book, but it is a way of life for me now. Look up toward the trees and sky. This one action has the capacity to open your heart and soul to the beauty that is all around us, every second of the day.

I choose to look up. Come walk with me awhile. Let’s notice miracles together.

Women’s Shoes

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What pleasure do women get from wearing extremely high heels and platforms? Do women strap them onto their feet because they really enjoy the feeling and look of becoming instantly taller? Do they foresee inevitable attention that turns their way from men nearby?

This whimsical poem, ‘Women’s Shoes,’ came to me after noticing the changes in dressy shoes for women. They become  steeper and more stilty as each fashion season rolls over to a new one. Why is this happening?

Some women swear their high heels are comfortable. Really? In what world? If that’s true, why don’t I see more women wearing them around the neighborhood in the morning or evening when taking Fido for a walk?

Why don’t women jog in platforms on the gym treadmill or playing golf in spiked spike heels? I’ve never seen anyone wear platform beach sandals. Has anyone ever seen high-heeled hiking boots? Have you ever seen a woman sporting stilettos for weekly grocery shopping? How about in jobs where they must stand or walk all day?

I don’t believe for a second those high heels and platforms are comfortable. When I see a woman walking in them, her body contorts out of natural balance. She is forced to place most of her weight on the balls of her feet. What’s the point of it?

At a women’s clothing store where I worked, my boss, in her early twenties, could only walk barefoot on her toes. Her tendons shrunk and her foot would not sit flat on the floor.

Did I miss something growing up? My mom wore heels, two or three inches high at the most. She was 5’10” which was very tall for her generation. During my own high school years, platforms came into style. They were high, but not an uncomfortable torquing of the foot muscles high. My ankles twisted only a few times while wearing them.

Out on my own, I got into more earthy sandals, wearing them in all seasons. I liked a solid foundation but ruined them while hiking a trail in a few miles to end up at a mosquito-infested mountain lake. Why I wore them that day is beyond reason. I knew better and had sneakers tied to my 25-pound backpack.

Years later I went for a job interview and donned a pair of really cute open-toed wedges. They looked great beneath my mid-calf lavender and white flowered dress. The wedge was beige and looked like twine. White canvas wrapped around the top of the foot. They laced up the front just like high-tops, eyelets and all. They were flirty and went with almost anything.

By the end of the hour-long interview I had to limp back to my car, shoes in tow. My legs felt like they were splitting vertically and my toes knotted like mangled roots. I finally understood the term shin splints.

I have tried wearing heels higher than an inch several times since that traumatic day but cannot tolerate the pain. My feet prefer being level and near the ground. It’s important for me to be able to walk without the likelihood of getting injured. It’s selfish, I know.

High heels? You can have them. I much prefer my flip-flops and sneakers. I like going barefoot in the house and on the beach. My feet are happy. Free is the only way my feet know how to be. I’d like to hear your opinion. Thanks for reading mine.

Burnout

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Have you ever been burned out? I have succumbed to complete exhaustion, frustration and disappointment when things were not working out or not headed in a direction that seemed worthwhile. It was like reaching for and chasing the carrot, sometimes for years, but never being able to catch it. After struggling very hard to find it but not being able to, I just wanted to give up.

Getting close to the carrot a few times in my life felt nearly fantastic. At one point I had a plan, or at least a dream, of ‘retiring’ at age 40. It would free me. It didn’t work out that way.

I reset the goal to age 50. That plan got completely torpedoed out of the water. I continued to struggle and strive for the one thing that would bring me peace and contentment, the elusive carrot, just out of hand’s grasp.

A dive into hopelessness shoved me right into burnout’s reality. I couldn’t function and felt like things would never get better, but always knew if I just hung on, I could pull myself back up out of its grip. I did.

After searching, reading and contemplating nature, I now realize there is no carrot. It is an illusion. We only have Now. Contentment only comes when we find a passion about what we are doing in the moment. Once we make a habit of it, we feel much more alive and involved.

I’m now looking happily toward the magic number of age 62 when I hope to ‘retire’ from my current job, but also living in the Now much more than I used to. My life is not always exactly how I want it to be, but no more thoughts of disillusionment exist in my mind. I now feel blessed that I am healthy and able to work and grateful for the opportunities it brings me daily.

It is with pure pleasure that I commute. My focus is on the traffic, surely, but also am thrilled in noticing nature open her gifts in the now, every day twice a day during my workweek.

Oh, my Now still has dreams and wants, no doubt. It is simple. It takes planning and is completely reachable. One step at a time gets me there. There is not really there, it is here. I enjoy the journey just as much as, if not more than, the destination. The carrot is no longer in my thought process. It doesn’t exist anymore.

I do have a wish list of things I want to do in life. I want to visit my family more often and share enjoyable activities. I want to become enchanted by synchronous fireflies in the Smokey Mountains and write about it. I want to hear sandhill cranes as they migrate through the Platte River and write about it.

I want to be mesmerized by the Northern Lights and write about it. I want be in the middle of the monarch butterfly migration and write about it. I want to drink in the beauty of fields of tulips in bloom and write about it.

I want to feel the earth tremor from the large animal migrations in Africa and write about it. I want to SCUBA in far off tropical places and come away with photos and stories of creatures and scenery and write about it. I want to become a better photographer and add my photos to my stories.

As for right now, this very instant, I am grateful for the sunrise, my morning tea, a good night’s sleep, the hilarious song of the mockingbird and the sound of rain falling. I never run out of things to be grateful for. Now is my ticket to freedom to engage with people through conversation and activities that encourage sharing of ideas and insight into looking at my world in new ways.

Since writing Burnout many years ago, I have come to understand fully that what we focus on, we create. I am responsible for creating my own burnout through my thoughts. I now have the power to create my own magic through my thoughts. Life is fantastic right Now, this very instant.