It was my turn to make the salad - not a usual occurrence - but it just happened this way. As I cut the red pepper for the salad, I had to stop, sit and really take some closer look. I was still and noticed the lines and patterns in the red color of the fruit (??) and then the way the seeds clumped together. This all reminded me of a batik class I took at Glassboro State College about 38 summers ago. I was there to learn batik - the teacher had intentions of getting us there but in her way and at her pace. We had to bring something to draw and study. At that point I chose a green pepper. First we sketched the outside - shadows and colors and then gradually cut it apart to see what was inside. Why this when I wanted to learn about batik. Kamiko was the beginning of my realization that everything has pattern and color - design and style. Eventually we got to the wax and dyes but I have never looked at a pepper in the same nonchalant way ever again after all of these years!! Guess I have to reconsider the gratitude I have for the lessons learned!!
Monday, November 19, 2012
At the Children's Garden in Camden, there is a little ampitheater and lots of umbrellas. One day in the glorious sunshine, I sat under the umbrella and gazed at the colors and the patterns as the wind gently blew the fabric of the umbrella. Sometimes it is the colors...sometimes the patterns...but under the umbrella is a wonderful place to be!! Going out and about is a wonder and always a discovery.
Recently I was at the Purple Pig restaurant in downtown Chicago with some special members of my family. Some of them have been with me for a long time...some more recently, but all I wish is love and compassion for each of them and hearts that embrace once another in kind and gentle, caring ways. Today we had lunch at this restaurant - the food was pretty terrific but for me, the lights and the umbrellas inside were totally cool! It created an atmosphere of lightness and joy...an indication of how our time together was to be...gratitude for it all.
In Woodstown, NJ, there used to be the funkiest coffee shop - Beans - and outside they had tables and chairs for enjoying their special coffees and watching the traffic go by at the intersection of Rt. 40. Looking up I saw the whole rainbow and my heart danced with joy with the amazing colors - it reminded me of a giant parachute and made me think of jumping out of a plane with one of these to have me floating through the sky - would I do this...NOT!!! but words are cheap!!
Once more at the Children's Garden sitting under the umbrellas as the breeze softly blew the leaves, trees and flowers. There were some butterflies floating on the warm breezes too...lots of plants there to attract them...and give me pleasure watching them. It was a time of silence...stillness...and peace.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Before I left home, a trip to AAA was in order to get books and maps of Iowa and Nebraska. On the cover of the book was an amazing picture of the most colorful rainbow like structure. I said I hoped I could discover what this was and get to see it. I searched the book and could find no description of the picture of what was on the cover. When I was talking with Beth, I described what I wanted to see and asked if she had any idea of what it was?!? Of course - why did I have any doubt that Beth would come through - she is such a wealth of information as well as a treasured friend. She said it was the Botanical garden in DesMoines and we would be going there since she had a meeting to attend there!! Ask and you shall receive - once again. It was small as botanical gardens go, but just right for an hour or two of meandering among the plants inside and out. I got to see the sculpture from every angle and yet another wish came true!! Life is good!!!
My mind is still absorbing some of the experiences I had after Amtrak cancelled my train home because of the snowstorm in West Virginia. So explore Iowa City and see what it has to offer since well I might not be back again! But we can never say never now can we? So first an amazing black bean burger for lunch and then a walk to find an ATM for $$. Can't take a bus home without some cash to guide the experience as necessary. So I am strolling down the street on a perfectly sunny and amazing day - watching students on U of Iowa's campus out rallying for Romney. I wanted to go over and ask them what they thought he would/could do for them but gaining wisdom as I age, I thought it wouldn't be the best idea. So I walked down the street and discovered Molly's Cupcakes...all of the senses drew me in. I had to sit and gaze for awhile before I could make a decision but I was drawn in by the sign for CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY so I knew I had to go for it. Chocolate ganache, raspberry filling and chocolate cupcake. Need I say more?!? Just look at the cupcakes in the case and see the ones on the top shelf with the red raspberry on top!! A picture is worth a thousand words BUT taste sensations are most awesome!! See again it proves that synchronicities abound because had I been on the road to Chicago, I would have totally missed this part of the adventure!!
As I said, WOO HOO!!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Driving West to Lincoln from Des Moines, I stopped at Nebraska Crossing Visitor Center, picking up brochures for experiences ahead of me. Holy Family Shrine caught my eye. As I looked at the map, it seemed close by. Then I was driving down the road and the exit was behind me - miles behind me. I looked at the Shrine from afar and knew that one day, I would have the opportunity to site within and reflect...another time. Little did I know that Sandy would offer me a gift...the airlines cancelled and I was driving back to Chicago to catch the train. Guess what?!?! I was going right past the shrine with the opportunity to get there. Off at the exit, see the signs and drive down the road...then drive down an unpaved road. It was worth it.Their brochure says that their mission is
" a Catholic chapel on the Highway, a gateway to heaven for pilgrims and travelers ...and awaken God's will on their journey"
Walk into the main entry building and the outside into a path/garden to the Shrine. They used more than 850 boards in the construction of the trusses and water cutting through the floor and culminating in a pool beneath the altar.
Remember I talk about being still - well...here it is...and I did just that. I asked for guidance and protection as I began my journey home. Little did I know what was going to happen - I had guidance...just not the adventure I had planned. I learned it was NOT up to me to make the decision about the path. Now, my gratitude is for safe arrival at home...and thanks for being able to sit and reflect in the Shrine. Gifts are everywhere IF we just take the time to appreciate them.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Well I had to travel hundreds of miles by plane, car and BUS - visit wonderful friends, explore the MidWest and have lots of adventures to come to the realization that THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME!! I went off on this journey to see where we might like to move ...and after weeks of adventure and exploration, once we got east of Pittsburgh and I saw the trees and the green grass - ok and a little snow - I realized that I am an East coast girl - think about it - where we live - 30 minutes to Philadelphia and Delaware and within a few hours of New York, MD and DC. If we want quiet, well, there is always Pitman and our back yard. If we want more adventure, there is always travel. The world is wide open. When I saw this little girl dressed as Dorothy at a Halloween party in Lincoln, NE, I realized Dorothy's message...
Oh, but anyway, Toto, we're home – home! And this is my room – and you're all here – and I'm not going to leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all! And... oh, Auntie Em, there's no place like home!
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
It's all about the GIFT OF THE PRECIOUS PRESENT! I put up this picture of a present wrapped so beautifully - NOT with 'stuff' and material things, but with love, caring and compassion. I have learned the gift of TODAY in so many ways and just continue to open to GRATITUDE and recognizing what we have -
Two weeks ago, my dear friend was buried - she was not ready to leave the Earth plane - or so we thought...Yesterday our friend's son was buried - same funeral parlor - synchronicities abound! Was he ready to die at such a young age? We don't know for sure...
Last week, I came home from an adventure on the BUS - not at all my intention, but an adventure never the less and I did arrive home safely - even if it was days after I was to be here - BUT I AM HERE!!
Last night we had an election for President ...some folks are into anger and rage and hurtful comments and my prayer is that they realize that TODAY is our gift and a time to begin healing for the good of everyone!!
So many lessons learned from all of it - TODAY is the best gift we are given - the PRECIOUS PRESENT - life is too short and tenuous to be filled with grief, anger or mistrust - it is to be filled with love and compassion - acceptance and understanding. Because one feels 'different' and maybe threatened or insecure, it's no reason to be unkind to another fellow human being. Just not kind and truly hurtful!! When someone reaches out their hearts to you, open your arms and be welcoming!! It doesn't cost a cent BUT lots of authenticity and caring!!