Remembering That Wisteria Thrives in Rainy, Grey Days!-RAV003

Posted on : 31-01-2015 | By : Lynn | In : Choices, Featured

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Okay, I admit it. I’m more of a seeing the glass as half full kind of gal than seeing it as half empty. I’m like this partly because if I allowed myself to think about the glass being half empty then my mind would pile on so many implications and complications, such as why do we even have to put water in a glass or why are we even measuring water in the first place,  that it is just better for me to see the beauty and possibility of all things rather than the negative aspects.  Similarly, on days like today when the temps are not cold but also not warm and it is raining–which is a good thing in a place prone to drought– but it’s a drenching constant rain which can get really monotonous over an extended period of time, that causes me to want to find something positive to focus my perspective.  For example, witnessing how beautiful Wisteria is during that brief but special time period in Texas when it grows rampant and lush.  I especially enjoy spotting naturally blooming Wisteria in unexpected places such as growing all over a dead tree’s branches in the middle of a semi-dry creek bed.

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Thought for the Day: What special snapshot of life will you keep your mind open for so that you can allow yourself to stumble upon and notice today?

Helpful Hint for Being Human: The way I see our thinking process and minds is that the more aware we become in regards to our thoughts, the more we can direct our thoughts to places that bring us peace. I mean there’s plenty of opportunity for life to torture us as it is without us contributing to it with reckless thinking!

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NEXT019 Listening to Nature

Posted on : 03-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Nature, Spirituality

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This week I posted a question on LinkedIn  “Do you Pay Attention to What Nature is Saying Around You?” to see who notices the clues about life that nature, albeit animals, fish, birds, plants, etc.” exhibits all around us (yes, even for you who live in the middle of a big city).  For those of us who live in the Southern States who are feeling the scorching heat this summer (day billion and five—okay 47? of heat above 100 in Texas) it is very apparent from plants to animals to fellow humans that we are all feeling the effects of the heat and drought.  The Cottonwood tree we love in our backyard is practically bald from shedding its leaves to conserve energy.  The birds all seem to get their frenzied feeding and visiting over in the cooler morning hours and take an extended siesta from about midday til just before sunset.

Meanwhile, I’ve seen some of our crazy brethren jogging in the midday heat as if it was nothing.  However, those of us who pay attention and listen to nature know that this heat and drought we’re having is worthy of our respect.

There are other, more subtle kinds of communication from nature that we can listen and look for as well.  I’ve noticed the Roadrunner family that lives in our “hood” has been more active than usual and have seen them running around all kinds of times during the day.  The last week or so they haven’t been as active but then the Cicadas have been loud and buzzing so maybe it’s dinner at your doorstep for the Roadrunners.  Last night while taking the dog for a walk around the block at about 8pm, I listened to the sounds of the Nighthawks flying overhead.   In Austin, it is pretty much guaranteed on a summer night that you will hear the call of the Nighthawk as it circles above whether you live out in the country or are walking under a tall light pole with lots of bugs flying around.  I’d always been aware of their particular “peeeent, peeent” call but had never heard the surprising sound they make when in their fly diving ritual dance until last night.  I remembered my mom and step-father sharing about the roaring sound they heard coming forth from a mating pair but was completely unprepared for what it sounds like in “real life”.  Although it was a familiar sound, it was so different from what I would normally associate with a bird that through the years I must have just been writing it off in my mind as some kind of a grumbling sound that went with a machine or a dog.  I’m glad I’d been paying attention to the rhythm of their diving dance and listening to their songs so that I could connect the dots.

Not sure what finally hearing the Nighthawk mating call means but it was fun to hear and it did make me grateful that at least some normalcy in the animal world continues in spite of the heat.

We have two little frogs who have been living around our home for a while now but one lives in the pond in the front of the house and the other one, if you can believe this, actually likes huddling up under the hot tub cover which has got to be hotter than hell.  That frog is pretty light colored while the other one tends towards green or a mottled brown depending on where he is perching.  There is a part of me that would like to bring them together; however, I have to trust that nature knows what she’s doing.  I mean wonder if they spoke a completely different language from each other?  Or what if they were each the arch enemy of the other?  I do keep my meddling ways out of their lives but I still can’t help myself from telling them about each other….just in case they understand me.

Getting back to center, getting back to being grounded and listening to nature.  Even if all that is possible for you to do where you are is look out at the clouds swirling above your head or watching what the ants are doing you will always benefit from listening to nature.

 

voices: Common Nighthawk

 

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DINK #155 When Nature Beckons To You, How Do You Respond?

Posted on : 25-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I don’t know about you, but my days are so “full” from sunrise to sunset that it’s easy for me to go way, way inside of my head thinking about people and the world, figuring everything out and trying to make sense of so many issues that don’t make sense that as a result sometimes really important matters fall by the wayside. Today was no exception with going to this meeting and that meeting and running errands all over the place plus catching the talking heads on NPR discussing the impact of China being #1 in the economy department. This evening, I did some last minute neatening up around our home with family coming in late tomorrow evening and as well as packing to go out of town this weekend.

So it’s no surprise to me that when I sat down to type out this evening’s blog, nature started beckoning me first with the image of the moonlight on the water in the pool and then the thought of the swaying Cottonwood above and since the temperature has finally fallen to the balmy 80’s with a nice breeze blowing…I had to go submerge myself in it all! I stopped what I was doing and went out to our back patio and just laid right on the pool’s cement edge which was still a little warm from the day and right below the leaves of the tree blowing in the moonlight. I probably could have stayed there most of the night but I still have to pack for the weekend.

Even though I only laid there for about 15 minutes, I feel much calmer now. I was starting to get a bit revved up with all the loose ends that need to be tied up before 11:00 tomorrow morning and I was starting to get scattered with starting two or three things and leaving them all partially done. It was time for me to take a break and listen to nature beckoning me to come be still.

When nature beckons you…..respond to it. Even if all you do to respond is take five minutes to go sit by a window and look out. My best meditations are those that I do outside. And spontaneous meditations, like tonight, make all those times when I’ve sat still for half an hour with a raging racing mind, so worth the effort. Eventually, your spirit will overtake your mind and you will be able to disappear into the calm stillness of what is effortlessly.

Sending you thoughts of peace softly folded in the summer moonlight. Ommmmmmmmmm

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Blog #85 Thinking of Our Animal Brethren With Love

Posted on : 14-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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When the BP oil spill first occurred, I think a big part of me went into hiding. I felt overwhelmed by the overwhelmingness of it all. So many things didn’t make sense to me such as why were we drilling so far down into the ocean floor if we didn’t have a really good disaster plan in place to take care of something just like what has happened. As a scuba diver, I already know what oil of that magnitude does to all kinds of animal, fish and plant life. Then there are our sisters and brothers who live all up and down the coast that has just barely begun recovering from the hurricane disasters.

There needs to be a whole lot of praying going on; however you do your kind of praying. Get it going on…

Anyway, I started this blog out by admitting that when I get really, really scared and feel absolutely out of control about something like the magnitude of this oil spill then what I tend to do is run away, bury my head and hide. I know, it’s not pretty but it’s the truth. And I think I see some other faces down here in the sand along with mine. Thank God there are people who do jump in and help, like the people all the way from New Zealand with the giant skimmers and Russia wants us to nuke the oil spout shut and all the people down on the beaches rescuing birds and turtles and dolphins. Wow. Thank them. So what can you and I do? What is one thing we can do. Just one little thing.

I was thinking of how I could be part of the solution instead of the problem tonight as I was leaving a meeting and I saw a Night Hawk circling through the parking lot lights, scrimming up bugs and making it’s distinctive call…then when I got home and was opening up the front door, I noticed a big ole toad sitting part way under the umbrella that David had left outside to dry. I bent down and softed his back very gently with one finger. He didn’t startle, but he did start believing it might be a good idea to jump up to get my finger off of him. Right behind him, I watched a little geko running into the folds of the umbrella and if all that wasn’t enough, after I went inside I heard the very LOUD distinct sound of a Cicada right outside our front door. I was able to look through the glass and see it hanging from the light flaring out it’s wings with every note.

Maybe it’s because it’s been raining pretty heavy all day here in our part of Texas that everything seems so alive tonight, but I am very grateful to see all the evidence of nature everywhere I turn. I’m not sure, yet, what I’m going to do to help with the animals who have been killed or hurt or displaced from the oil spill, but for right now I can make a difference in any animal’s life who I come up against by treating them with respect and love. I’ve always believed that the animal, plant, and insect world are all connected to a big overlapping grid (I suppose we humans have a similar one too) and so I’ve always believed that what happens to one end of the spectrum, affects the other. Just like when a dew drop falls on one end of a spider web, the vibrations are felt throughout.

So, I know that the word is out there in the ether now about what is going on with various aspects of the living. Tonight it feels to me that all animal kind is asking for our reassurance. Let’s give it to them. Even if it is as simple as the joy that my friend Sandy felt when she looked out at a wheelbarrow full of rain earlier this evening and watched a Cardinal taking a wonderful little bath. Give your love and appreciation freely. Every little bit of it helps. Every little bit.

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Blog #35 Catching Nature When and Where You Can

Posted on : 25-04-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I have a theory that my Higher Power, who I choose to call GOD, sends me “postcards” throughout the day to remind me that he/it/she is there and divinity is all around.

Sometimes it is easy to get so caught up in my life and work and school that I can forget about what is truly important. The Divine. These postcards must also come in zip file form too because I have memories of sunrises, sunsets and evening skies that I can pull up at any time. There was an evening not too long ago when I was coming home from Dripping Springs at about 7pm at night and the moon was so bright that there were moon shadows dancing everywhere. As I drove around the big bend towards Oak Hill, the biggest, fullest most round moon that I can recall rose over the hill to usher my car home. It felt magical, like something was a stir and that I should be paying attention.

I like to catch nature when and where I can and most especially in unexpected moments like tonight driving home at about 7:30 and watching the Boat Tail Grackles flying in pairs across 290 and back again like members of an aviary Cirque de Soleil . I wonder what they were up to? Those birds always seem to be in mid-conversation and have me convinced that they feel their business is just as all important as we humans seem to think about ours.

I’m noticing the new bands of wildflowers coming up now with the Bluebonnet old guard readying itself to turn over its seed for next year. All kinds of yellow flowers in all shapes and sizes. Lot’s of pinks and Scarlett ones too this year. And the wet weather creeks behind our house continues to run steadily on through our neighborhood and beyond. It is a comforting sound to hear the running water. It’s a happy sound that makes my heart want to settle down.

And don’t get me started about all the smells. The smell of freshly mowed lawns and the blossoms of China Berry trees. Who knew that those old trees could put off such an intoxicating scent? The birds in our neighborhood our just about besides themselves with ecstasy with all the rain we’ve been having. I listened to a red headed Woodpecker breeping at the top of his lungs today as he scooted around a wooden pole tapping out bugs with his beak and eyeballing Paul and I as we walked past below.

I’ve caught nature in the most amazing places and at unexpected times so I know you can too. Even if you live in the middle of Manhattan, you can find nature all around you if you will just move your antennae a bit to catch it unawares. I’m grateful to live in a city where it is possible to have a small piece of paradise not too far out from activities but just enough so that I can really enjoy what is here. Where else would I have learned that Box Turtles actually get pretty dang big? I “met” two such turtles last year at different times after it rained slumping through our yard or trying to cross the street to attend some important meeting I’m sure.

I have pondered the schedule of the Red Tail Hawks who act as centennials along Mopac Expressway and wondered how many families of Buzzards live together on the big electrical stand along 360. It’s a disconcerting feeling to look up from slow moving traffic to observe nature taking place all around us and then to return to the perspective of stalled anticipation. Let me go roll on a grassy hill any day and ponder the shapes of the clouds, I’ll take that over office politics or gossip or frantic deadlines.

Even if you just take a moment to watch a bird in flight or a bug crawl across the windowsill try to catch nature when and where you can, it’s good for the soul!

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