Monthly Archives: January, 2020

A delightful society

“Books are delightful society.  If you go into a room and find it full of books – even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome.”  ―    William Ewart Gladstone From the most magnificent libraries to the humblest bookshelves, I feel at home wherever there are books.  …

Continue reading

Hidden inside

“Sometimes what you want is hidden inside what you don’t want.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Just as the prickly cactus produces beautiful blooms, so harsh circumstances can result in positive change and growth.  This does not negate the pain of grief and loss, but it does provide a way through darkness.  Christians believe “in all things …

Continue reading

Talk of mysteries!

“Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! The actual world!” — Henry David Thoreau I hope nobody’s getting tired of my going on about nature, but the natural world is a marvel …

Continue reading

The ordinary arts

“The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” — Thomas Moore There are small details– inexpensive or free– that make our homes a more nurturing environment.  For me, some of the minimal efforts that have maximum impact include making the bed daily, keeping things tidied …

Continue reading

An island in itself

“The most fascinating island you’ll ever visit on a big ship is the ship itself.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Count me among the people who are hooked on cruising with their first voyage. Beyond the allure of waking up in new surroundings each morning, or the convenience of unpacking and checking in only one time, there is the …

Continue reading

An authentic style

“People with an authentic style know what they are, but even more important, they know what they are not.  They don’t care about labels.  They care about personal expression.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach I have always admired women who know how to use accessories to create beautiful outfits.  Usually, a woman whose style I admire …

Continue reading

Everybody can be great

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”— Martin Luther King, Jr. These beautiful words are being quoted more frequently …

Continue reading

All sorts of folks

“I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take …

Continue reading

Infinitely healing

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature– the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”  — Rachel Carson Among the things I miss most about living in northern California is being able to see the beautiful green hills on a daily basis — but only for a …

Continue reading

Mad with joy

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”  — Iris Murdoch Go a little mad with joy today.  Visit a florist  or plant nursery, or just the floral department of a grocery store, and take a few minutes to see– …

Continue reading

Perfect Picture

“I’d started playing another game, one I kept a secret…I called it the Perfect Picture game.  The goal was to find snapshot-sized scenes in my town that showed absolutely no sign of Katrina.  The game had been especially challenging right after the storm.  Broken limbs, torn streets, and mangled houses relentlessly assaulted the eyes.  With the …

Continue reading

Permit yourself the luxury

“Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do – or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.” —  Stanley Crawford Each year, I enter January with delusions about how much I will get done — I will clean out my closets, sort through old …

Continue reading

Practicality with pleasure

“He has gained every point who has mixed practicality with pleasure…” — Horace Treat yourself today to some wholesome indulgence.  Whether it’s a cup of tea, a piece of fruit or an afternoon nap, savor the enjoyment of things that are delightful as well as beneficial.  If the weather is gloomy, browse in a bookstore or library; …

Continue reading

Every exit

“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” — Tom Stoppard Sometimes a painful change can be eased by choosing to have faith that good things may lie ahead.  Perhaps we can re-frame a forced or unwanted exit — from a job, a relationship or any phase of life — as the beginning of a new direction.  If we focus on the discovery of hidden …

Continue reading

Primitive purity

Originally posted on Defeat Despair:
A cozy cabin room at a northern California bed and breakfast inn, 2003 “How has it come about that we use the highly emotive word ‘stagnation,’ with all its malodorous and malarial overtones, for what other ages would have called ‘permanence?’ Why does the word ‘primitive’ at once suggest to…

Continue reading