From Courage to Peace to Sweet Release

A doe quietly crosses the Seneca River on a misty morning in Baldwinsville, NY on June 21, 2014.

This morning I wandered down to the water's edge all by myself before everyone woke up.  It was about 5:30 am and it was so quiet, I could hear the whir of the hummingbird's wings as she came to drink from her favorite red flowers.  I brought a blanket with me and I snuggled into the bench, watching the mist curl over the water in tiny tornadoes, swirling and dipping, dancing with the sun as she rose up over the trees with a cheerful wave.  Another beautiful Saturday morning... in a long stretch of them.  Mother Nature sure seems to be asking forgiveness for her winter tantrums.:)  I am happy to grant it.

How do I begin to express gratitude for this place?  To live my life in a way that says thank you thoroughly enough?  Are these images doing that feeling justice?  Do my words?  All things I ponder in these early hours of the morning.  I have come to treasure this time for so many reasons.  When people are still sleeping, animals come out of hiding, they run and sing freely with abandon and they act in ways that are so much more natural than I see when they are motivated by getting out of our way.  I can hear God's voice and I can hear my own.  And occasionally, something truly magical happens.

Way off in the distance I saw something making its way across the river from bank to bank, hidden in the mist.  It was far enough away that I couldn't make out what it was, but it was moving faster than any species of duck I usually see crossing the water there so I lifted the binoculars to my eyes, mildly curious. I nearly squealed when I saw that it was a doe, silently gliding through the water, legs pumping like one of Santa's reindeer, swimming through the mist effortlessly as if she did this every day.  I held my breath until she made it to the other side, astonished at her bravery.

Amelia Earhart once said,

“Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace,
The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things;
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear the sound of wings.”

 Sometimes peace is found in the most unlikely of places too.

Memories and Kindness Remain

As the mother of three teenage sons, it isn't very often that I get to do many girlie things. Usually we watch movies where things are getting blown to pieces and we play video games where cars are racing around tracks (or in my case.. smashing into walls).  We eat meat and talk loud and joke about "guy" things and I am always laughing and physically tired at the end of a day. I grew up with lots of brothers so it's a world I know and feel most comfortable with.  It's an even bigger blessing being the mother of boys, than it was being a sister to them... especially mine.  

But once in awhile, I get to do something really special with the women in my extended family and I can imagine what it's like to be the mother of a daughter. I think I would have liked that. I'm working on a photography project for my sister in law and going through the photographs I took that day, I found myself lingering over one of them.  The day was really so special.  That lovely woman up there is my mother in law. She's such a classy, strong, beautiful woman.  I've known her since 1986 and I've grown to deeply respect her over the last three decades of my life.  We had her daughter's bridal shower out in my backyard and I had spent weeks going to second hand stores and gathering up all the china teacups I could find, to make these special little favors for the women to take home with them. Everything was tinged with pink because that is her favorite color and I was in my girlie glory.:) We ended up with a perfect sunny day and my hydrangeas were in full bloom all around the tent.  I've been out there in the garden a lot lately and these beautiful memories wash over me in sounds, scents, and vivid mental pictures I've stored up in my heart.  Recalling them now is a way of being kind to myself, I suppose.  Many gifts went home with her that day, but the memories remain with me... forever.

Meditating With Smiles, Embracing the Laughter

The sun goes down over Lake Ontario on February 15, 2014

Sunset on Lake Ontario on a beautiful February evening is impossible to describe.  This year, the lake is frozen as far as the eye can see.  On this night, we stood with our neighbors in awe as the sun melted into the snowy, cold horizon.  It was just so gorgeous.  So many moods in such soft shades. Like me.:)

At home on the Seneca River, my bench underneath the willow tree waits for me.  We planted that tree five years ago when it was barely more than a stick coming out of the ground.  It grew so fast and I love it, because when I sit there, the long branches blow in the breeze, caressing my face and neck like an old favorite pet.  I'm always reaching up to touch them and it's a wonderful feeling I look forward to in the spring.  It's coming.. I feel it. Everyone in my family knows if they can't find me, I'm likely down there, shooting wildlife, water skiers, boats, kids playing.  The wonderful thing about seasons that change, is the memory of those things, and the very certain knowledge that they are returning.  I love living on the water.  The changes seem so much more dramatic.    

Seneca River, Baldwinsville, New York

Can I tell you that the scenes above are a lot more cheerful to contemplate on the outside, when you are warming your heart to a different one on the inside? Such are the preoccupations of a Disney Dreamer... learning to meditate with smiles and embrace the laughter in all seasons.  So tell me... what is it you are meditating on?  Does it make you smile?  How will you embrace the laughter today?

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
— Proverbs 17:22

Disney Magic, docked at Castaway Cay

Serenity Bay, adults only beach on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay

Sometimes when the sun goes down
Shadows fall across this little town
And I close my eyes and I drift away
to another place in another time
When the world was ours and she was mine

I dream of holding her again someday
On the coast of somewhere beautiful

Shes on a coast somewhere beautiful
Runnin with my heart...