A very astonishing place

Drew was thrilled to look at the world from behind a waterfall. Westlake Park Fountain, near Pike Place Market, Seattle, 1993

Drew was thrilled to look at the world from behind a waterfall.
Westlake Park Fountain, near Pike Place Market, Seattle, 1993

“If you can sustain your interest in what you’re doing, you’re an extremely fortunate person. What you see very frequently in people’s professional lives, and perhaps in their emotional life as well, is that they lose interest in the third act. You sort of get tired, and indifferent, and, sometimes, defensive. And you kind of lose your capacity for astonishment — and that’s a great loss, because the world is a very astonishing place…What I feel fortunate about is that I’m still astonished, that things still amaze me.”Milton Glaser

As enthusiastic as I’ve always been, I have to admit that Glaser’s words are relevant to my own life.  Often– especially lately– I find myself tired, indifferent, defensive, or all three, even throwing in grouchy and pessimistic as bonus categories.  I agree with Glaser that it’s a great loss to allow this to happen.

Over the years I’ve been teased on more than one occasion for being too easily impressed, too eager, too excited about things other people find ordinary.  I’ve never minded this; I’ve taken it as a compliment. I think the capacity for astonishment is a sign of intelligence rather than its opposite.  In my opinion, anyone who is constantly too busy to be astonished is not all that bright in any of the ways that really count.

Even the most upbeat among us do get exhausted, and disheartened, and sad.  These states are normal, but I think we must be vigilant to keep them in the passenger’s seat and not the driver’s seat.  Sometimes, we need to let other people drive while we reflect, refresh and recharge.  And we need to cultivate a working knowledge of what shakes us out of our low moods, and prioritize this crucial form of self-care.  The means of rediscovering our enchantment with life will be different from person to person, but we can learn a lot from each other by sharing our spontaneous moments of joy and pointing to the rays of sun that break through on even the worst days.

Right now, I’m noticing the beauty of green in the trees and grass, and how it never fails to calm me.  I’m hearing the sweet chirping of the birds. I’m savoring the last few sips of my second mug of tea this morning as I plan to make a third– what flavor will I choose this time? I’m glancing around at the many tokens of love and affection that have been strategically placed where I can see them every day. These things, and many others, sustain my interest in this astonishing life.

How about you? Are you still astonished at life?  When your enthusiasm flags, do you have any reliable ways to generate fresh energy?

82 Comments

  1. I spend time in nature, simply looking up at the sky from time to time and that seems to regenerate my energy when needed. How many of us get too busy to look up and notice the beauty around us that is here, quietly waiting to be noticed, every day? Sending heartfelt hugs, prayers and friendship xo

    • Thank you M. Isn’t it amazing how much energy is there in the sky? We tend not to notice it except when it manifests in thunder and lightning (or the occasional gorgeous rainbow), but it’s there all the time. Even the clouds are deceptively light in appearance, yet great in power as they move about changing shapes, dimming the sunlight or creating drama when they open up and let it shine brightly through. We do stay too busy to do all the things that feed our souls…looking up, looking around, connecting with each other, praying, laughing, crying and just BEING. Thanks for taking the time to be here today– your hugs, prayers and friendship are treasured. ❤

  2. Good morning, Julia!
    This morning I left behind the “grouchy and pessimistic as bonus categories” 🙂 and raced for my camera as storm clouds framed the lilacs outside my window. I missed the best moment, but I’ll remember the fresh astonishment of awakening to this simple (and kind-of common) beauty.
    Now perhaps a little tea would counter the chill (I didn’t stop for my housecoat) ….

    • Lilacs! That’s a flower I’ve wished for ever since I read the Nancy Drew mystery at the Lilac Inn, but I don’t think I’ve ever lived anyplace that was graced with a lilac shrub. I was telling Jeff just recently that I’d like to plant one at our York home, but I can’t seem to find a spot that has the specified growing conditions for it. For now, I’ll just enjoy yours. 🙂 I image the aroma is splendid. Isn’t it funny; what is “kind of common” to you is rare in my world. All the more reason why sharing is so much fun. And yes, a little tea is just the thing for today. I’m sipping simple black tea (common, yet special because it’s a gift from faraway Nepal, another place I hope to see someday) and it does counter what little chill is left in these May mornings. Hope you have a beautiful weekend coming up!

      • Julia, I’m so sorry that you have to only imagine the smell of lilacs, as they are indeed splendid, and so unique.
        But then, I’m the crazy old lady in the neighborhood with my nose in everyone’s lilac shrubs. So far, no one has called the police … but if they’ve smelled lilacs, I’m sure that’s why they give me a break!
        They only last for a couple of weeks, and don’t last at all as cut flowers (a few hours), so it’s also hard to plan a trip anywhere to be guaranteed to smell them.

        • Susan, that’s the thing about them; they are like Cherry Blossoms, all the more glorious for their short blooming season. (Though the Cherry Blossoms don’t smell nearly as aromatic.) I think of longer-blooming trees and shrubs such as crape myrtles and azaleas and others, and wonder whether a shorter bloom time might mean a more concentrated fragrance? Either way, I got a kick out of imagining you as the Crazy Lilac Lady. I’m the Crazy Camera Lady, the Crazy Book Lady, the Crazy “talks to every dog she sees” Lady, the Crazy Tea Lady…well, you get the idea. 🙂

          • All good “crazies” to embrace! 😀

            • I’m lucky you feel that way! 😀

  3. Jack

    My five year experience working for a European multinational was invaluable. Their HR review process acknowledged that we are not at our best in all circumstances, but that the good (and promotable, worthy of high compensation) folk were those that arose to the challenge when things get tough. I take great comfort in that when around 200pm almost every afternoon I’m wondering what I’m doing, where my energy and enthusiasm have disappeared to. Theirs is not an American way of thinking, the ridiculous notion that we must be firing on all cylinders always. Thanks goodness, hope they’re right!

    • Jack, I think they probably are right, and I’m glad you have had the chance to experience other venues where the outlook is somewhat different. In a similar way, I learned so much from my years at the University of Hawaii, where I came in as a typical “Type A” malahini and left with at least a bit of island-style kama’aina in my heart. We have a great many things to learn from each other in this increasingly small world!

  4. Well said Julia! I have been feeling a bit flat these last days and have learned like you, to let it be and look for the rainbows. I know it will pass and what today does not delight, astonish or thrill me, tomorrow will again. [I love that realisation when it filters through.] I ask myself how allowing this thought or that thought to hold sway makes me feel and do I like feeling this way? Soon enough the choice is made and equilibrium regained.

    Mine is mostly an internal process I realise – one where I address myself and take responsibility for my thoughts and feelings. Feeling flat stops me observing with delight my external surrounds and that is the signal for me that it is time to do some work, so that I can look out and be aware of what is about me and know all I am blessed with again. Then I can truly appreciate the warmth of the sun even though it is May, the clear blue sky, the autumn colour – the happy puppy and the prospect of our morning walk……… 🙂

    • Pauline, your words are inspiring for me this morning. It’s really quite amazing how much control we have over our own emotions and attitudes, starting with just paying attention to what we’re paying attention to. 😀 I’m glad you are having some warmth at this time, which is your autumn and our spring. I find that happy puppies are some of the best mood lifters around! Thanks for being with us on this journey. ❤

      • LB

        Pauline and Julia – your words mean much to me today.
        I’ll remember them. Love to you both.

        • Thank you LB. ❤

  5. Julia, I appreciate your candor, always 🙂 …but so far at 66 I am feeling hopeful, full of curiosity and sustained mental and physical energy. Around the time of a heart attack, then surgical procedures from age 51-53 I struggled off and on a couple years,,,But mostly I felt given a new lease on life as many do who survive very trying events. I’ve had a few; we all eventually do. I think my faith sustains me the best. I feel such delight in life because I feel or see God everywhere and know that Love Incarnate is eternal, here and everywhere. Barring that, being of service to others and daily engaging in some sort of creative activity, learning new things– plus my brisk walk daily with added hikes. But I also like to sit on my balcony and just be at rest…Blessings to you!

    • Thanks Cynthia, this is definitely encouraging. I am always inspired by stories of those who have “been there” in the harrowing world of medical trauma and uncertainty, and came back stronger and more appreciative. I so identify with your statement of why you feel delight in life; I totally agree. I think that firm foundations adds joy to pretty much anything we do. I am so happy you are here with us!

  6. Oh–beautiful picture of Drew–your son?

    • Yes, Drew is our older son. He graduates Monday from Emory University (Atlanta) with his PhD in American church history, and he and his wife are expecting their second son any day now. For a more updated photo of Drew with Grady, see this post. I like to think that Drew has kept most of the enthusiasm for life that he had from birth on.

      • Wonderful! That must be very interesting study and unusual work ahead. Congrats! We have a daughter (she is one of four daughters …and we have one son) who is a Presbyterian minister and chaplain! Happy accomplishments for both. Best wishes for your family.

        • Cynthia, I might have known at some point that you had five children, but if so, I had forgotten. That is quite an accomplishment in itself. I’m happy to learn your daughter is a chaplain. Over the years we have met many hospital chaplains who dropped by to visit us, and it is always good to visit with them and pray with them. And of course, we’ve known several chaplains in the military as well. I imagine that it’s a demanding role calling for a wide-open heart and lots of energy!

          • I’m glad you found some comfort with them. She’s currently a chaplain at an assisted living facility as well as a part time pastor of a smaller country church.I agree that it must be tiring!

            • She’s filling TWO very important roles, then. During his college years, Jeff served as the part-time minister for two small rural churches. I used to love going with him. It was a long but beautiful drive through the country to get there, and lots of warmth and friendship from people who really appreciated him. I’m sure your daughter is greatly valued as well.

              • Thank you, she is currently working on yoking 2 small Presbyterian churches so she can be a full time pastor once more!

                • That sounds like a good plan. 🙂

  7. Julia, good evening. I understand your indifferece to world around you. Your reserved energy may be depleted with all the demands on your time.
    I’ve found my energy level is low lately.
    In spring I usually have several projects going but not in last few days.
    Blessings

    • Merry, my heart is with you as we both find ways to conserve and build our energy for the coming busy summer. I keep saying this, but I’m astounded at how fast the time goes. It feels as if we had no winter at all, and spring slipped by us in the weeks surrounding Jeff’s surgery. But it’s nice and cool this week, so hot times aren’t here quite yet, for which we are thankful. Hope this finds you enjoying a pretty and peaceful weekend!

  8. Great subject, Julia. I am still astonished by things in the world. Some is that the world is so grand and some is astonishment that the world is still so, what’s the word I want here? Moronic? But I look out my kitchen window and see all the trees seeing the hope and promise. When I see the sun rise each morning I count my blessings and delight in the new day. I just planted 3 lilacs in a memory garden. I hope they do well there as I love the scent. Thinking of you. 🙂

    • Thanks Marlene, I think of you often, too. I hope your lilacs do well. I might have to break down and plant one just to see how it does. It’s a small risk to take, really, with potentially a fabulous payoff. I would love to have the flowers and scents to enjoy.

      I am happy you are still astonished by the good (and bad) in the world. It gives me one more thing in common with you. Of all the types of windows in the world, kitchen windows must surely be among the most important. So many of us look outward there, with gratitude, mindfulness, prayers and hopes. Have a great weekend!

      • Thanks, Julia. I just wanted to tell you that I bought 3 one gallon lilacs for $20 each. That made them easier for me to plant.

        • Marlene, that sounds like a good idea for me to try. I’ll start hunting for a gallon lilac, and let you know how it goes!

  9. Julia, thanks for the reminder of a simpler way of life. Four mornings a week I have to get up early and take my daughter to town for her classes. So I go to the gym, run errands, have lunch, pick her up and come home. Then there is always stuff to do at home. Whew! I am so looking forward to the simplicity of summer, but definitely not the heat! Hopefully, we will still have the nice cool mornings for several more weeks. She will be all done with school on May 25th this year! 🙂
    I am having my coffee and listening to the birds right now! Happy Friday, Julia.

    • Hi Patsy, I hope you’re still having some of the same cool weather we are enjoying today, sunny but not hot. It sounds as if your mornings are busy but rewarding. May 25th will be here before you know it, and then you can kick back for awhile and enjoy a new routine. When I read your mention of coffee, I was about to go brew another cup of tea, but then thought: hey– coffee sounds good today. It’s been a lazy day so far and I need a bit of energy. 🙂 Maybe I’ll even step outside to the deck and enjoy some birdsong with it. Happy Saturday and thanks for being here with us!

      • Thanks, Julia! 🙂 We are still enjoying some cool weather here. We got a lot of rain over the weekend which was wonderful! I think it may be our last because the Buckeye trees are bloomed now and we usually have one big rain after it blooms. Hopefully, though, we’ll get more. We need it. I’m glad you enjoyed your coffee! I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day! 🙂

        • Thanks Patsy, we’re having cool weather here as well, but at least we have some sunshine today. My outdoor plants are looking soggy. You know, I never realized Buckeye trees bloomed. That seems silly since we lived in Ohio for four years, but in those days I had two babies 16 months apart and I worked for an airline, so I guess I never had any time to enjoy nature as much as I do now. I never drank tea or coffee in those days, either– looking back I wonder how I did it! I had coffee again today, but I keep coming back to tea even when I start with a cup of coffee. I must admit, though, I’m growing fond of coffee. It’s nice to have both on hand.

          • We have had a little warmer weather here the last few days, Julia. I am not looking forward to summer. I hope we get a few weeks of nice weather and still cool temps before that comes! Our Buckeye trees are beautiful when they bloom, but I don’t think they stay that way all summer. Yes, I love tea and coffee. One of my favorite teas that is not decaf and I can only drink early in the day is Orange Spice. I drink Spearmint decaf at night. It is great to have both coffee and tea on hand for sure!

            • Patsy, I LOVE orange spice tea too! In fact, any kind of spicy tea is a favorite with me. Our temps got really warm today and coupled with the humidity, it was actually the first day I’ve dreaded the coming of hot weather this year. It’s rained all week so it’s very very muggy, and that doesn’t go well with heat. But I have still been drinking my hot tea, hee-hee…though I just made up some herbal ginger melon tea and poured it over ice! Hope you have a lovely Sunday tomorrow. Thanks for being here!

              • Wouldn’t it be great if we could have tea together sometime? I have met you and so many other wonderful people on WordPress that I know would just be fabulous friends!

                We are getting the hot weather now, too. But thankfully, no humidity. Have a wonderful Tuesday today, Julia! 🙂

                • Patsy, anything can happen! A few of my blogging friends and I were saying that very thing, and Boomdee made it happen, via Skype, a real live (virtual) tea party complete with hats and gloves and all sorts of chat. The next thing you know, the five of us were all together in REAL LIFE – from as far away as New Zealand! I wouldn’t be able to believe it really happened, if I didn’t have the pictures to prove it (and the lovely gifts they brought me). So who knows? Maybe we WILL have tea together sometime! Till then, you are invited to meet Sheila and me at Club Verandah any day (or evening) for a nice cuppa and some imaginary visiting. It’s free and you can come as you are. 🙂

                  • Yes, Julia, I suppose we never know what can happen! It would be great, for sure! 🙂 I’ll see you at the Club Verandah tonight then! (By the way, our internet slows way down at the end of every month, so that’s why I took so long to respond.) 🙂

                    • Patsy, we’ll see you there! Maybe if the weather is good we can meet at Sheila’s oceanfront Verandah and listen to the waves and the gulls. I am worn out with school so I can use a break — I’ll look forward to it!

                    • Sounds great, Julia! Worn out from school? Are you taking classes for something? I haven’t taken a class at the community college in several years. I took a couple of art classes there about four or five years ago and it about killed me!! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend, Julia!

                    • Yes, Patsy, during a temporary lapse in sanity (actually one that lasted a couple of years) I applied to a PhD program in Communications at Regent University (in Virginia Beach) and was accepted not long before we found out about Jeff’s brain tumor. Of course, that has changed everything, but I decided to try and finish the one semester I had already registered for, and re-evaluate then whether to continue (assuming I survive it, hee-hee). So far the jury is still out. I’ll keep you posted! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, too!

                    • Are you working now, Julia? Wow, a PhD does sound like a lot of work! Good luck with that! 🙂

                    • Patsy, thank goodness I’m not employed outside the home. Most of my classmates are already teaching at the college level, and hearing their conversations about balancing their work with school has given me some perspective. It’s a lot of work, but I hope I’ll be able to stay with it. It does provide an absorbing distraction from the sorrow and worry, which is why I think Jeff insisted that I start the program. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. 🙂

                    • Yes, school can take lots of time and the work is good for the soul. Back in 1989 I had signed up to start the Spring semester in 1990 with four classes, but the husband I had then decided to wait and tell me he wanted a divorce after I quit my job and signed up for classes. So….I had to move back in with my parents (which turned out to be a great blessing) and going to school helped me get through that initial shock, anger and grief towards him. Are you almost done with this semester or do you go in the summer?

                    • This is summer semester, and it ends officially on August 13. Because so many of my cohort (25 in all, which is large for a doctoral class) are from out of town, they pack the summer classes into full consecutive days on campus, and have online discussions and more papers than I care to think about via computer for the rest of the semester. But as you say, it’s a welcome distraction, though also a great deal of work. I think Jeff somehow intuited I would need this. For years he had been asking me to plan to do this as soon as retired, and after his cancer was diagnosed in 2012 and then his brain tumor only weeks ago, he still wanted me to do it. I was really “on the fence” about it at first but I’m gradually becoming a bit more confident. I’m a little shaky about the fact that there’s only a little over a week between summer and fall semester, though…stay tuned!

                    • Only a week between semesters? There’s much more of a break here! The summer semester in the local colleges here only go for 6 weeks.
                      I am sorry about Jeff. I didn’t know he had a tumor diagnosed that recently. I hope you do well. 🙂

                    • Yes, I was a bit disappointed that our break won’t be longer. I think we get more time between fall and winter, though.

                      Jeff and I were preparing to leave on a transatlantic cruise to celebrate his retirement, when he began to have balance problems and started to fall frequently. I had to take him to the ER when we was no longer able to stand; they scanned and found the brain tumor, a huge one (about the size of a plum, I think) which was a surprise as his type of adenocarcinoma almost never goes to the brain. It was a shock and a deep sorrow to lose the trip we had been anticipating for over a year, but we felt fortunate that the problems did not hit while we were at sea with no ports nearby. The good news is that the tumor was operable and surgery went well. The bad news is that he had to be off chemo for a couple of months, during which time the cancer pretty much exploded. That’s where we are now, but it’s not looking good. We are getting through a day at a time and thanking God for each morning we are able to wake up together.

                    • Julia, that is tough. I can’t imagine how you must feel and what you’re going through. I know you are glad to wake up together each day, though. Thank God for that. I am sorry your trip had to be cancelled. That really must have been a blow, too. What a tragedy to have happen right after he retired! I’m so sorry, but you sound like you’re really hanging in there. You sound like a strong woman.

                    • Thank you Patsy. Some days I do better keeping it together than I do on other days, but we are surviving together and I’m happy for every day we have. Thanks for your presence here. It’s a comfort. 🙂

                    • You’re welcome, Julia. I hope you have a long and happy life together. Time is precious. And thank you. I love WordPress and all of the supportive and thoughtful people I have met here! 🙂 Have a great day!

                    • Patsy, thanks so much! Your encouragement means more than I can say. There are indeed some wonderful folks here. Hope you will have a great weekend!

                    • I am glad, Julia. Have a great weekend!

                    • Thank you Patsy! Here we are already at another weekend coming up. WOW the time flies, whether we are having fun or not. Hope you are having fun! 🙂

                    • Time does fly for sure, Julia! It’s Monday already! My husband is on vacation this week so the days will probably all run together! We don’t have too many special things planned, just a couple of local outings I think. Take care and you go do something fun, too! 🙂

                    • Thank you, Patsy. Yes, the time flies; here it is already Wednesday and I feel as if the week just started. I hope that you enjoy your husband’s vacation. The time will likely go by even more quickly. Those “staycations” are often the best kind! Hope you have a wonderful week. I will definitely plan something fun. 😀

                    • 🙂 I have had a good week. He was able to get out and do some photography for his blog and meet up with an old friend, but I didn’t tag along. However, today we are going up to Lassen National Park which is only about an hour’s drive from here so he can take pictures of a California Conservation Corps. crew that his friend runs. 🙂 Have a wonderful day, Julia.

                    • Wow, that sounds like a fun day! I never got to see Lassen but perhaps someday I will make it there. Enjoy that gorgeous California dreamin’ for me.

                    • It was beautiful up there as usual, but warmer than I expected it to be. The CCC crew was working down pretty low in the park, but it was nice. We got to talk to my husband’s old friend that he was in the C’s with and meet some young people who are working hard! It was fun! 🙂 (I love the song California dreamin’!!)

                    • It sounds like a very California day! One thing I loved about living there was how almost everyone seemed to spend a lot of time outdoors. Yes, the housing is so expensive that almost everybody has to have a smaller home, but nobody seems to care because they spend less time there than we tend to do in other parts of the country. “California Dreamin'” is the perfect song for when I get lost in the happy memories. I don’t indulge often in spending time thinking of the past, but when I do, I try to focus on the fun aspects and be grateful we had the chance to experience all that we have lived through in our many moves from here to there. California will always feel like my adopted second home. I feel a sort of permanent connection, probably natural since we spend more time there than anywhere else in Jeff’s career (except, now, for Virginia).

                    • What part of California did you live in, Julia? I live very near Redding in Northern California. When my dad was transferred in 1977, we lived in Pittsburg which is northeast of San Franciso a little over an hour’s drive away.

                    • For 3.5 years, we lived on the central coast, at Vandenberg Air Force Base (between Lompoc and Santa Maria). Then after living in Hawaii and San Antonio, Texas, we moved to northern California and lived in Vacaville, just across Suisun Bay from Pittsburg. Going through Vallejo, we could get to San Francisco in about 45 minutes if the bridge traffic wasn’t too bad. Redding is REALLY northern California, but the Bay Area always gets called northern California too, probably to contrast with LA and San Diego.

                    • Wow, you were really close to Pittsburg when you were in Vacaville! It only took about an hour I think at the most to get there from Pittsburg. My first husband and I used to go through there to go to Bodega Bay for abalone diving twice a year. (I only dove one time, but got 3 abalone!) Redding is about a 4 hour drive from Pittsburg, but there is still a lot more of California north of us! I wouldn’t mind moving up to Crescent City!

                    • We went to Bodega Bay several times, and in fact, I probably have some photos on this blog from there (if you search “Bodega” they might come up). I thought it was so beautiful there. Traveling up through the north of California is something I always wanted to do, but we never did. We took the Coast Starlight up to Vancouver once, but of course, we didn’t get to explore that way. Maybe someday.

                    • I will look for them! I remember the drive on the coast road being a little scary at times, but also absolutely beautiful! 🙂 I hope you get to travel up my way someday, too!

                    • Yes, the Big Sur coast gets a bit too thrilling for me in some places, too, but it’s worth it for the views. I imagine the views north of there are even more spectacular.

                    • The mountains are nice, but I have to go way up to Crescent City for the ocean and it’s relatively flat there where we were.

                    • I didn’t realize that. I know so little about CA once you get about 30 miles north of San Francisco.

  10. Amy

    I love this photo of Drew. I have a lot of interest and can easily move on if one turns out not to be what I hoped but I don’t think that is the same as loosing interest. I did loose interest in working because it took away from my time to practice all the other things I was interested in. I never learned to crochet well but I keep on trying so I don’t think it is that I have lost interest just left it behind for a bit. I hope your interest in school is renewed and you find much to hold your interest as you pursue your doctorate degree. I love you. Keeping you, Jeff and Matt in my prayers daily.

    • Amy, your interest in life is one of many things that draws me to you. You seem to read as many different types of books as I do, or more, and it’s fun to talk with you about pretty much anything I ever want to talk about. Maybe you can refresh my memory on crochet. I went through a phase where I crocheted granny squares and I found it quite relaxing. Keep those prayers coming, especially as I start school…we will need them! Congratulations on Aaron’s graduation from Virginia Tech this week…Hokies are some of my favorite people. (Hi Laurie! 😀 )

  11. Carolyn

    Happy Mother’s Day Julia. I hope you have a wonderful day and hope all are doing okay. Hugs and love to all.Carolyn

    • Thank you Carolyn. Happy Mother’s Day to you, too! We are all OK, and thankful to be so. Love to you and Terry.

  12. HarryS

    Thank God for positive and creative friends.

    Thank God for optimism!

    Harry

    • Amen, Harry!

  13. LB

    Julia,
    What a wonderful Mother you are, and I hope you’ve found a moment to enjoy the birdsong, the greening of the earth, and that extra cup of tea.
    These words of yours ring so true:
    “Even the most upbeat among us do get exhausted, and disheartened, and sad. These states are normal, but I think we must be vigilant to keep them in the passenger’s seat and not the driver’s seat. Sometimes, we need to let other people drive while we reflect, refresh and recharge”
    It amazes me that even with all you have going on in your life, that you are offering us your words of wisdom.

    • LB, thanks so much for your kind words. And yes, I did enjoy the green, the tea and the birds singing. In fact, I woke up a bit early and was greeted by one especially chirpy bird right near our deck. It made me wonder whether some birds have “chatty” personalities just as some humans do!

      Whatever wisdom can be found in these posts is passed along from other sources. I’m happy if anyone can enjoy written thoughts as much as I do. I could not begin to imagine a life without such free access to so many inspiring and entertaining writings from all over the world and centuries of time. We are abundantly wealthy in so many ways.

  14. All it takes for me is the sun breaking through after days of a slow moving storm, a warm soothing breeze that makes a comfortable day a dream, and when I was young, to picnic on cool green grass under a shade tree on a hot summer day. To hear the sound of humming birds as they dart from one nectar station to another. To breathe in deeply the scents of a crisp fall day.
    God gave us senses and the means by which we can enjoy the goodness they provide. It is up to us to use common sense to use those senses as He has intended.
    -Alan

    • Alan, reading your words was like a mini-vacation. All the joys you mention are favorites of mine as well. I wish I saw more hummingbirds but somehow I never do get around to putting up a hummingbird feeder. I’m about to head out for a walk and I’ll be sure to tune in my “common senses” to all the blessings!

  15. blseibel

    I need to reenergize. Being out in nature recharges me and I’ve been enjoying walks with the puppy recently although today s a cool, windy day.
    I have been “accused” of looking on the bright side and being too positive, mainly by me ex. Recent events has knocked the positive out of me but I hope for a return, each time I’m on the upswing something new hits. This time it’s that my ex has convinced my daughter to come live with him in SC. I will miss her tremendously she’s also taking our new puppy who has been my little bright spot these last 5 months. I pray they return at the end of summer.

    • Oh dear, B, that will be tough; parting with your daughter and the puppy too! Don’t let any mean people steal your joy. I know what you mean about feeling as if you are knocked down every time you struggle up…that seems to have been a major theme in my life, too. But we will not let it sabotage us. We’ll keep praying for each other and looking out for the blessings. The good thing about hard times is that we have to look extra-hard for things to be happy about, and it helps us see things we might have missed. OK, so somebody can call me Pollyanna. I’ll take it as a compliment. 😀 Thinking of you. ❤

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