Time is Set

Gratitude

by The Elitist

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order and confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home and a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

So be grateful for all you have and for the life that you live.

 

Step back and zoom out your lens. Freeze time, freeze frame and behold whatever is surrounding you.  Tune in, breathe in and then slowly breathe out.  This helps us to figure things out.

This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.

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Livvy Catherine and Marcia Verleta

Fly

Still dark, my baby girl leaps out
the window to greet the rising sun.
I stand below ready to catch her,
but every time she takes off
without fail, her laughter calling
to the orioles, calling
to my shame that had I the choice,
I would have never taught her to fly.

Somewhere there is a man with a gun
who will take pleasure in seeing her
skin against the pure blue sky— 
and shooting her down.
My own mother did not flinch
when I first raised my arms
and lifted my feet off the ground,
above her head.
She only said you better hope
bulletproof skin comes with that
gift. Years later I found out it did.

 

 

 

 

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Birdwatching: Tropical Kingbird

Mostly quiet and observant but plain friendly, smart and an extremely nosy creature. It spotted me first.  It whistled for my attention and when tired of my filming, dropped from the limb as if to say… buzz off.  I truly had a hard time identifying this one.  I don’t want to be wrong, please correct me if you can.  (Maybe a Tropical or Couch’s Kingbird?)

 

 

 

A White Horse

Who cares about dreams?  Not the type made of our aspirations, but the ones that happen when we close our eyes. Yes that kind. Everyone must have at least one good one or maybe even a nightmare.   The relevance of any dream might just depend on the content.

What causes us to dream when we close our eyes? Could this be a way to peer inside the brain? Dreams mean something. Examine the theory of personal growth or even approaching a change in our lives face on.

Learning To Fly

The entity stands
waiting, watching
wonders if you know
what to do, how to fly

You learn to live your life
in humans relms of plight
You look upon the stage
and think yes thats the way

But then you begin to see
thats not all there is in life
you need to learn to fly
in the astrial realm up high
It helps you too see
the woven paths we weave

You start to fly, above the clouds
and duck and weave in flight
then with purpose and a smile
you touch those who need your light

Then you teach them how to fly
to follow you on wings
Once flying high you know no bounds
and suddenly your free

The entity just nods and smiles
as you reach out
to all with love
and learn to fly
For all eternity

by Kalia George

Seriously, no one else might want to know what you dream about.  The truth is you do.

dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)
 
trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)
by E. E. Cummings 
Learning how to fly….
I am woman, watch me grow
See me standing toe-to-toe
As I spread my loving arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

 

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

by Helen Reddy
I can and I will as I believe that dreams actually come true.
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October Days And Autumn Love

Halloween Night

© Denise M. Cocchiaro

Published: October 2015

When days grow short and nights get cold
And autumn trees turn red and gold,
Move, we may, through sun drenched days
‘Midst leaves and berries and bales of hay.

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Melissa Mjoen on Unsplash

In our hearts we feel the lure
Toward darkness, shivers, and things not pure,
While ghostly shadows creep slowly by,
Spying on witches and brooms that fly.

Icy fingers that grab their prey
And do bad things ’til night turns to day.
Heed this plea to stay inside.
Find covers and blankets and sheets to hide.

Slowly this night will fade to day
And fiends and monsters will crawl away.
Once a year, on this dank night,
We’ll shake and shiver ’til morning light.

 

Birdwatching: Palm Warbler

Family: Wood Warblers

Family

Wood Warblers

Habitat

Wooded borders of muskeg (summer). In migration, low trees, bushes, ground. Breeds in sphagnum bogs with scattered cedar, tamarack, and spruce trees. The western race also breeds in dry pine barrens of boreal forests with ground cover of blueberry, bearberry, and sweet fern. In migration, frequents old hedgerows, edges of streams and ponds, overgrown fields, and open pastures.

A warbler that doesn’t act like one, the Palm Warbler spends its time walking on the ground, wagging its tail up and down. This brownish-olive bird has a bright rusty cap and a bold pale eyebrow stripe. They breed mainly in Canada’s boreal forest, but most people see them during migration or on wintering grounds foraging in open areas. You may see two forms: an eastern subspecies that’s bright yellow below, and a more western subspecies with a pale belly.

The Elixir of Life: Hope

 

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

 

The Power of Hope

  1. It awakens us from a deep sleep.
  2. It achieves the impossible.
  3. It is worth the effort.
  4. We grow.
  5. Experience is always better.
  6. In hindsight we marvel at what we accomplish.
  7. Never allow hope to be extinguished.

 

I remember my shark diving experience at the age of thirty one.  My first real job came in 1988. This job changed me and how I viewed the world. My full time work was most vigorous and filled with endless interactions with people from all around the world.  Along with an added perk of selling a wide variety of tours to them for a commission. I actually had no appreciation for what I sold.  I only loved the benefits that came by way of the extra income. There was no time to dream or even understand what I was selling. Eventually, I seriously examined what I was saying. My mind was drawn to what I was prescribing to others. It was seven years later that I took my first diving course.  Then after 5 years of diving, I gained the courage to implement hope into my life.

At the beginning, I believed diving was for the extreme adventurer.  Who else would venture deep in the sea where mammoth creatures feed and breed? I admire extreme adventurers, but never thought that I would become one of them. This woman who could barely speak out loud. Diving had never entered my mind.  Well, this would change as I finally began to wake up from a purposeful sleep.

The day was slightly overcast.  The waters choppy, but we were still headed out to sea.  I observed my fellow more experienced divers. These men and women also observed me whilst setting up their gear and logging the dive. They encouraged me as they kept busy. We were all eager to be in the water as the dive boat slapped up and down on the monstrous waves. Standing was a balancing act. It was extremely rough. Yet, our boat captain threw out the anchor after we reached our destination. The speaker boomed with instructions from our guides.  This dive was happening.

Everyone geared up quickly.  This was my first shark dive experience.  I observed everyone, marveling at the ease in which they moved into gear.  I fumbled, stumbled and tried to keep from falling over as the boat slapped up and down on the angry sea. I was one of the last to enter into the deep blue sea.  Once inside, I felt refreshed.  Bobbing about in the sea was better than being tossed about inside the dive boat.  Heads disappeared going down, down into the sea. I followed by descending behind them.

I had a buddy and he was ahead of me.  Initially it was his fins that I viewed until he moved further ahead of me. I followed but was soon distracted by what approached on my right, left, overhead and underneath my body.  Sharks were everywhere.  Their eyes followed me.  I suddenly realized what I had done.  I wanted to run.  This was unreal. I kicked my fins and then asked myself, “What the F#@% are you doing?” I stopped kicking and just drifted.  What a rush!

The sharks took the lead.  I was in Rome, so I did as the Romans did.  I was obedient to my environment.  The sharks were kind.  This was their way of welcoming us.  They were long and large, but cordial.  I don’t know how long I swam with them, but I moved slower to easily blend in with them.  What intelligent creatures.  Their eyes pierced deep into mine. I finally registered an expectancy of some kind.  They had been waiting for this meeting. I was being escorted. This behavior indicated to me that this experience was not new to them.

On the sea floor, all the other divers had gathered on their knees in a circle.  I was one of the last few to join in amongst them.  The dive masters were in the center of the circle.  We watched as they interacted by touch and caressing the willing sharks.  Then they fed them. Sometime later after this entertainment, we disbursed and returned to the boat.

It took me a long time to get there, but I completed my first shark dive.  It was exhilarating! I was high for a very long time.  This was the beginning of my zest for life.  What a way to find it!

Hope is an elixir.  Not all potions are concocted in the same way.  However you make it, make use of it.  I never stop hoping for whatever I need or want.  I wish you the same.

 

 

Birdwatching: Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warblers breed mainly in spruce and tamarack forests in Canada’s boreal forests, but they also use young stands of evergreens and alder or willow thickets. During migration they stop over in evergreen and deciduous forests.

The Blackpoll is among the most numerous warblers in far northern forests in summer, and perhaps the most impressive migrant of all our small birds. Every fall, most Blackpoll Warblers make an over-water migration from our northeastern coast to northern South America; some may pause in Bermuda or the Antilles, but others apparently fly nonstop for more than 72 hours. In spring they are more leisurely, traveling via the West Indies and Florida, pausing to sing in our shade trees on their way north.

Moon Talk

 

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible”
― Vladimir Nabokov

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“To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others.”

– Francois Mauriac

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“I can understand wanting to be invisible and mistrusting people and wanting to understand everything before you engage with the world.”

– Rooney Mara

 

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“It’s hard being visible, so I’ve made myself invisible.”

– Danielle Steel

 

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“There is an invisible strength within us; when it recognizes two opposing objects of desire, it grows stronger.”

– Rumi
 

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“Making those around you feel invisible is the opposite of leadership.”

-Margaret Heffernan

 

 

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And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Being invisible is glorious until you truly want to be seen.  We try hard.  Light shows flaws and flaws are unacceptable.  Misery loves company and the company isn’t so bad but it’s great to move up and forward.

A weed in the yard is so unacceptable.  This isn’t bad, until it is joined by more weeds. The sunlight helped them to grow.

Nevertheless, hard work never killed anyone.  We can work on anything, like getting rid of the flaws or weeds.  Perseverance is key.  Being seen is truly not necessary, but it can be.

 

 

 

Progress

               The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.

 

By Mary Oliver

 

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Birdwatching: Ruddy Duck

 

 

Ruddy Ducks are compact, thick-necked waterfowl with seemingly oversized tails that they habitually hold upright. Breeding males are almost cartoonishly bold, with a sky-blue bill, shining white cheek patch, and gleaming chestnut body. They court females by beating their bill against their neck hard enough to create a swirl of bubbles in the water. This widespread duck breeds mostly in the prairie pothole region of North America and winters in wetlands throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

 

Photo Credit: Tony Hepburn

Free Things Speak to Me

What speaks to you?

 

LIFE

 

Life does not always give you what you want,

sometimes life is unfair, when you seem to be going through a rough path,

When the zeal of life fades away,

When no new springs of life emerge, a dark cloud hangs above you, just remember we all go through this,

What you touch breaks and what you make crumbles,

Life is a two way street, you’re not alone, never quit when the journey has just began,

Never throw in the towel, life is up and down, we never always get what we want,

The best things in life are free, and if you want the finest things in life you have to go out there and get them,

The music may stop but life goes on, every new day is a challenge, the worst failure is never trying,

When we fall short of our dreams and aspirations, hope is the only message that carries us though the day,

Hope that there will be a better tomorrow

Hope that the grass is greener on the other side,

Hope that the dark clouds will move away,

 

Copyright © Mash Mulla | Year Posted 2013

Learning How to Learn: Parenting

It is wonderful to have a child.  No it is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  I know because I have been a mom for thirteen years. Welcome to a world of roller-coaster learning.

I always wanted a daughter.  So I prayed, Oh God, please give me a girl!  Be very careful of what you ask, it could be exactly not what you expect to get.  When my daughter was in her clingy toddler stage I certainly knew that I got more than I bargained for.  I found myself empty.  No idea what to do.  She was moody and wanting her mommy.  Of course I was a first time mother and dumb as hell at it.  So I learned the hard way, nothing has changed even today.

My story. This beautiful toddler cried and cried for the longest time.  She was irritated and quite irritating too.  I suddenly felt out of my depth (of course I never traveled this road before).  She had brought me to shame.  I got my first opportunity to break away from her and hid myself in the first closet that I could find.  Would you believe me when I tell you, she found me too quickly! I laughed at her brilliance until the tears streamed down my eyes only to end up crying with her.  Needless to say, we both felt better afterwards.  Wicked good stuff!

On that day my daughter gave me an unforgettable lesson. It was the first time I truly learned that there isn’t always a quick fix to a parenting problem.  She clung to me and marveled at my peculiar behavior i.e. hiding myself in the bedroom closet.  I in turn felt foolish for hiding cowardly, but relieved that our tears ended in that closet.  We came out with bright smiles!  She was happy having found me and I that her tears had finally stopped.

Lesson learned:  Admit to yourself when you are defeated.   (It isn’t so bad as you think.)

 

Marcia Verleta and Livvy Catherine

 

Stanley Kunitz

End of Summer

By Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air,

A perturbation of the light

Admonished me the unloved year

Would turn on its hinge that night.

I stood in the disenchanted field

Amid the stubble and the stones,

Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me

The song of my marrow-bones.

Blue poured into summer blue,

A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,

The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew

That part of my life was over.

Already the iron door of the north

Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows

Order their populations forth,

And a cruel wind blows.

Poetry Foundation

Es tut uns leid (Sorry)

 

This week is at an end.  The local atmosphere is filled with suppressed dread.  There is no sure footing amidst a formidable hurricane season. Last year, Hurricane Matthew was my introduction to a flooded home. Approximately one and a half inches of water poured in along with a sliver of sunshine through a poorly shut sliding door.  Three feet plus water hid my yard from view. The lower street brimmed over with more than four feet of sea water.  Some of my pear and coconut trees were completely destroyed, but honestly, my yard looks much better now.  Except for the first hand view of my home filling with water, loss of power and home alone stance I stubbornly embraced to care for my pets, I slept through most of Hurricane Matthew.   Not a good practice if you want to survive the unexpected. However, sleep gave me great comfort.

2017 is comprised of horn-mad hurricanes.  This is new for this 49 year old and others almost twice my age.  What a price to pay for the privilege of living in the Caribbean.  Yet this is home sweet home.  Hurricane Maria might continue to pass nearby, or who knows what. In time we will all see.  We now watch waiting patiently, but more readied.

Don’t Allow Fear to Become Your Profession

Quite easy for me to say.  However, it is exceptionally difficult to put into practice.Let us first familiarize ourselves with fear.

How do you know when it is fear you are facing? Here is my short list.

  1. Fear is a two-faced friend.
  2. Fear provides the best arguments.
  3. Fear steals precious time.
  4. Fear makes excuses.
  5. Fear consumes the mind.
  6. Fear makes you sick.
  7. Fear is stifling.
  8. Fear makes you complacent.
  9. Fear is overpowering.
  10. Fear ends once in a lifetime opportunities.

 

And I can go on….  Please make your list.  It is therapeutic to actually think about what power fear has over you.

 

What you can do to overcome your fears?

 

  1. Be honest about everything you have given up on.
  2. Ask yourself the tough questions you might have previously avoided, to get to the answers you need.
  3. Take time to establish your own personal thoughts and opinions.
  4. Establish your belief system (i.e. who and what you truly want to become.)
  5. Recognize each problem by making a list.
  6. Take your own advice.
  7. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  8. Forgive yourself.
  9. Begin again.
  10. Keep trying.

 

My mother passed this year after many years of pain and suffering.  Mum lived her life fiercely and unapologetically. It comes naturally for some of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eternal Joy

Motivation comes in some form.  This picture is my one thousand words.  Learning how to fly isn’t easy without motivation.  Here’s mine.

 

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Thanksgiving 2014

LOVE

 

How to Continue

Oh there once was a woman
and she kept a shop
selling trinkets to tourists
not far from a dock
who came to see what life could be
far back on the island.
And it was always a party there
always different but very nice
New friends to give you advice
or fall in love with you which is nice
and each grew so perfectly from the other
it was a marvel of poetry
and irony
And in this unsafe quarter
much was scary and dirty
but no one seemed to mind
very much
the parties went on from house to house
There were friends and lovers galore
all around the store
There was moonshine in winter
and starshine in summer
and everybody was happy to have discovered
what they discovered
And then one day the ship sailed away
There were no more dreamers just sleepers
in heavy attitudes on the dock
moving as if they knew how
among the trinkets and the souvenirs
the random shops of modern furniture
and a gale came and said
it is time to take all of you away
from the tops of the trees to the little houses
on little paths so startled
And when it became time to go
they none of them would leave without the other
for they said we are all one here
and if one of us goes the other will not go
and the wind whispered it to the stars
the people all got up to go
and looked back on love
Poetry Foundation
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Island Life

Birdwatching: Bobolink

Fluttering over meadows and hay fields in summer, the male Bobolink delivers a bubbling, tinkling song which, loosely interpreted, gives the species its name. The male is unmistakable in spring finery, but before fall migration he molts into a striped brown appearance like that of the female. Bobolinks in this plumage were once known as “rice birds” in the South, where they occasionally used to cause serious damage in the rice fields.

No other North American bird has a white back and black underparts (some have described this look as wearing a tuxedo backwards). Added to this are the male’s rich, straw-colored patch on the head and his bubbling, virtuosic song. As summer ends he molts into a buff and brown female-like plumage. Though they’re still fairly common in grasslands, Bobolink numbers are declining.

CHOOSE

‘Today, I choose to smile’

 

 

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Photo by Hedi Alija on Unsplash

 

Today, I choose to smile

At the things that don’t make sense

 

 Maybe they will stop me from speculating

 Maybe it will distract me from my worrying thoughts

 

 My smile might just make you smile too

 Imagine the possibilities If we can remember to smile at the things

 We can’t change

 

 If we take the time and deal with things as they happen

 Instead of wasting time on tomorrow’s questions

 

 I sometimes catch myself in a trapped space

 

 Things are not always in our control

 Irrespective the stress attached to it –

It will not alter tomorrow

Until tomorrow starts

 

 Today, I choose to smile

 At the things that don’t make sense

 

Who knows about tomorrow?

Maybe the things I am speculating

About might not materialize

 

 Then I would have wasted today’s joy

 

So today, I choose to smile