Archive | Little Things Matter

how to celebrate August by Maya Stein

Make your own popsicles. Watch a Little League game.

August_DeathToStockPhotoTake time to sew a button on something rendered unbuttonable.

Write a letter by hand. Contemplate a road trip.

Stop reading about famous actresses who will never know

your name or meet your family. Instead,

fall in love with the blank page, its solid, burgeoning potential.

Stay awake for crickets. Crawl through whole

midnights silent as wood, waiting for that bright

and throaty chorus. Eat fresh tomatoes. Return a compliment.

Lift your gaze. Call your mother. Commit to any available happiness.

About the Author – Maya Stein

Maya Stein is a Ninja poet, writing guide, and creative adventuress currently living in Northern New Jersey, in her maya_bioright brain, and online at www.mayastein.com.

Maya is the co-founder of Food for the Soul Train with her partner, Any Tingle. Food for the Soul Train is a mobile creativity company based in Nutley, NJ. Their mission? To bring creativity to communities everywhere via their vintage caravan, nicknamed MAUDE (Mobile Art Unit Designed for Everyone).

She is a writer who believes that creativity doesn’t need to happen in isolation. A bike-riding enthusiast who doesn’t know very much about bicycles. A dabbler of photography and lip-synch videos. A middle child. A Taurus. A decent juggler. A lover of nuance and small gestures. A creature of both habit and spontaneity. An INFP. A perennial 12-year-old. A seeker of hidden places and mystery. A reluctant housekeeper.

us 'n Maude 2

Maya has been a freelance writer and editor for more than 15 years. She began a weekly poetry practice in 2005 (“10-line Tuesdays”) and my poems now reach more than 1,000 people each week. Maya has self-published four books and have just completed her fifth, selected poems from my her, “One Paragraph at a Time.”

“At the heart of it all, I remain curious, engaged, and hopeful about the world around me, and continue to discover new ways to be a part of it and to share my experiences through writing, photography, and other outlets. I love leading a life of creative investigation – even with all the uncertainties it comes with – because it helps me connect with and support others who are driven by similar instincts. And I never stop forgetting how lucky I am.”

Connect with Maya online, at  Food for the Soul Train and on social media.

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Those Glorious Dog Days of Summer by Jennette Nielsen

I’m remembering those glorious dog days of summer, when they were smaller, and younger, and they would fall asleep in the car on the way home from the lake each day, exhausted from the sun and play and magic. How I would image001pull into the long drive way right at dinner time to see the bees returning to their hives near the woods, beyond the gardens, and how they would cluster on the outside of the hives because it was still too hot to go home. And I would open all the station wagon doors, to let the cooling air and stillness wake the boys up while i began to unload the broken buckets, plastic shovels, fishing rods, deflated floaties, damp towels and left over goldfish crackers. I would lean into the car, smelling the tops of their lake and sweat scented heads, curls and wisps of hair plastered to their freckled cheeks and bare necks as I unbuckled them, set them free to stumble inside upon rousing. How I would crack open an ice cold hard cider and put a record on the turntable and hang all the wet beach things on the line to dry while noticing the heavy scent of lilies, angel trumpets and nicotiana wafting on the barely there breeze just before twilight. How they would eventually find their way indoors, wanting dinner and needing baths, eating ice cream sandwiches in the tub and more fish crackers, calling it a meal. How that last light of the day filtered through the back trees hitting the fire circle ring just so at golden hour while every door and window were still flung wide and the whir of fans over vinyl side B, hummed and hummed. Those excellent summer days, treasured by my honeycomb heart and saltwater soul, i hope to recall forever.

About the Author – Jennette Nielsen

jn_bioJennette Nielsen is a Pacific Northwest-based honey drenched Maker, Mama, and Medicine Woman, steeped in mellow magic. She is a wild seeker, sacred gatherer and magic forager who loves to tend her honeybees, sew, sling clay, craft herbal potions, dance and sing.

She’s the visionary behind Make-to-Mend, Smashing Rubbish and Cauldron & Hive – three creative expressions of her passion for healing, transformation, beauty and the divine feminine.

Fueled by the belief that the practice and act of Making is a catalyst for Mending and unfurling personal growth, Jennette hopes every woman will thread their needle with soul sinew and stitch their own wild and free nature into their mending, marveling at their own beauty all the while.

To learn more about Jennette, check out the short film on her in the series ArtMaker SoulShaker here or visit her website here or find her on instagram to follow her travels, adventures and vagabond wanderings.

one sentence offering: Join us in Ojai October 9-14 for our last Wild Roots Sacred Wings gathering of 2015 with our merry magical coven of misfit ladybirds.

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Chance Encounters by Dianna Woolley

Chance Encounters

“Connection and intertwining of one’s human relationships…..the
“scratch” that those connections make upon one’s personal being albeit their
having come from or delivered to artist, spouse, mother, friend, human being.”

Thought and photograph from a new body of work currently developing in the studio of Dianna Woolley, Artist

About the Artist – Dianna Woolley – dianna_woolley_bio(Walla Walla, WA)

Housemates:
Husband Extraordinaire: Steve
Studio Assistant:Riley, West Highland Terrier

Studio time goal: daily practice

Dianna: After four successful one woman shows in the Walla Walla area is seeking national representation for exhibiting and/or ongoing gallery relationship

Work produced prior to the weekend in Whidbey Island may be viewed at DiannaWoolley.Com

 

dwbio_accent1dwbio_accent2

Noteworthy:

2015 – “Best in Show Award” – Pendleton Arts Center, Pendleton, OR, annual regional event.

Woodward Canyon Winery has chosen one of her pieces as the label for a spring 2016 wine

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Summer’s Day by Kayce Stevens Hughlett

Violet, my 7-month-old granddaughter, and I lie on the ground in the backyard, a worn orange polka dot bedspread IMG_0094beneath us. Vibrant green grass surrounds the orange and Violet’s eyes reflect the color of the clear blue sky… or is it the other way around? Awe sinks in and I gasp at the beauty of this moment. This is who I am. This is how life is meant to be lived. This is the perfect essence of summer.

But wait? How can I be resting here with my granddaughter when only moments before I was five-years-old lying on my back watching the clouds drift by? Can you see me? I’m the kid in the green-checked halter top and cut-off jean shorts climbing on my 10-speed bicycle—no helmet or sunscreen—heading to the community pool to cool off with my pals. Where did the girl in the yellow VW convertible go—the one heading to the ball field to watch her lanky boyfriend play summer league? And what about the college cadet driving to South Padre Island with ZZ Top blaring on the radio? Or the married one working in a steno pool, underpaid and under-loved, with a divorce waiting around the corner?

I was twenty-five years old the grueling summer I finished my accounting degree and had to wear panty hose to “dress for success” as the Tulsa temperatures topped 100 degrees for more than 40 days in a row. Summers seemed to melt away after that. Caught up in snippets of company golf outings and ski trips to the lake—obligatory and empty. Decades flew by and I forgot to savor summer.

IMG_0095Even with my own children, I was harried and always in need of getting something done. What could possibly have been more important than lying on the grass under the summer sky? I wish I knew, but today I offer no regrets, only gratitude for now.

Side-by-side, Violet and I touch the grass and let it tickle our toes. I lie on my back and watch the wind blow sunlight and shadows through the maple leaves. Violet flips onto her back into a full-bodied happy dance. I join her. No shoulds or obligations. No fancy toys or iPhones. Only us. Here. Now. Arm in arm with the essentials—sky, earth, wind, sun, and love.

Savoring this perfect summer day.

About the Author – Kayce Stevens Hughlett

kayce_bioKayce Stevens Hughlett: author, life muse, ponderer extraordinaire, speaker, joy monger, soulstroller.

I prefer to read novels in the summer and non-fiction/memoirs in winter.
I prefer writing with a fountain pen over computer keyboards.
I prefer summer in Seattle over winter almost anywhere.
I prefer Paris over Rome. Big dogs over small. Fluffy cats over sleek.

I abhor that the world is filled with suffering, and I know affliction has helped create the individual I am today.

I thrive on new experiences, adore reading, blogging, and movies ranging from romantic to contemplative.

One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, calls laughter “carbonated holiness” and I couldn’t agree more. Belly laughs are manna from heaven and there is nothing better than a well-timed temper tantrum.

Play time with friends and family is sacred, as is quiet space and solitude.

Blue_coverartTake your soul for a stroll and visit me online connect on social media as well as Goodreads.

Exciting news! My debut novel, BLUE is releasing on September 10, 2015. I invite you to celebrate this fulfillment of a dream that I never imagined while reading Nancy Drew books on hot summer days.

BLUE—a subtle psychological mind-bender where each heroine is her own worst enemy. Eccentric. Lovable. Unforgettable. Available now for pre-order through Amazon, BQB Publishing, and Independent BookSellers. Release date: September 10, 2015

**Special Offer for Summer Love Notes readers***
Send me a copy of your receipt(s) for 3 or more purchases of BLUE and I will schedule a complimentary Skype Book Club Discussion with your favorite group. Contact me at kayce@kaycehughlett.com

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For the Love of Gardening by Reese Ryan

Summer has never really been my season.

Sure, as a kid I played jump rope and hop scotch. Blazed a trail down the street on my Big Wheel. Had a fling with a playground swing or two. Rarely were such outdoor summer adventures my idea. Either a well-meaning adult sent me outside or a neighbor kid asked me to come out and play.

I preferred to stay inside to engage in the activity I loved most–reading. In my experience, reading and the great outdoors didn’t mix very well. A conclusion I arrived at after getting bonked on top of the head by a stray kickball while sitting on the sidelines with my face buried in a Judy Blume book.

Of course my kickball disaster wasn’t my only hang-up with spending summer days outdoors. There was the dirt that made its way into every crevice; the “fresh” smell I reeked with after venturing outdoors; the blood-sucking insects that considered me something akin to prime rib; and the unwanted, long-lasting tan.

Needless to say, my idea of a perfect summer day was a day spent at my local library checking out the maximum books allowed.

Had I married a fellow book nerd, by now I’d probably require a portable IV drip of Vitamin D and melt like the Wicked Witch of the West when forced to encounter the sun. Fortunately, I married someone who loves summer and the great outdoors. For the past twenty-six years he’s been coaxing me out to play in the summer sun.

Slowly I’ve learned to enjoy the outdoors.

Hiking, biking, swimming and kayaking have all become favorite activities. Still, l prefer to do most of those things in spring or fall. My true appreciation for summer didn’t come until this year, when I ventured into gardening.

I love farmers markets and the taste of fresh-picked fruit and vegetables during the summer. I expressed my wish to grow my own veggies to a gardening enthusiast friend. She encouraged me to give gardening a try. After all, she reminded me, we’re in the age of YouTube, where you can learn just about anything you need to know.

So, I went for it.

I watched videos on creating a raised bed garden, and my husband was kind enough to build me one. Then I went about purchasing plants. Lots of them. More than I should have planted in the space. Creeping plants that, unchecked, will happily take over your garden.

In a few short weeks my tiny plants grew considerably. After several weeks the tomato and cucumber plants produced flowers. The basil and thyme grew like crazy. I had plenty of parsley, thyme and rosemary.

Before long, several of my plants began to produce fruit. A fact that amazed this indoor-loving, city slicker. Soon I was sipping mint tea and munching on organic cherry tomatoes grown in my own backyard. I was the summer-lovin’ queen of my own little world. I even considered getting a tiara and sipping my peppermint tea in tiny teacups with my pinkies raised.

Then the bottom dropped out.

Or rather it rotted out. My lovely beefsteak tomatoes grew big, but then the bottoms suddenly rotted. I took to the all-knowing interwebs and discovered that it was a physiological disorder called blossom end rot, caused by a calcium imbalance in the plant. The emergency treatment was a cup of milk around the base of the afflicted plant. A later addition of crushed eggshells gave the plant needed calcium, rectifying the problem.

I encountered a few other problems along the way: splitting and cracking tomatoes, leaf spot and plants growing so wild I felt like Indiana Jones hacking my way through the jungle. Each problem was quickly identified and resolved via a few mouse clicks and the generosity of experienced gardeners who happily share their knowledge and wisdom with fledgling gardeners like me.

Despite doing just about everything wrong, I’ve managed to reap a steady harvest of fresh fruit and veggies. Several nights a week I cook something that features tomato, basil, rosemary, cucumbers, peppers or some of our other garden fare.

Cooking and eating food that I’ve grown makes me giddy with delight. I presented my first cucumber (the odd-shaped, creepy-looking, but delicious one pictured) to my husband with the same pride I displayed when I made a misshapen ashtray of clay in grade school.

Maybe it didn’t look so pretty, but it got the job done.

Through the experience of gardening I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for the earth, nature, the myriad of bugs that still find me utterly delicious. And for summer. The lovely season that made my garden possible.

For me, gardening is no longer a hobby. It’s an essential part of my daily life. Like cooking or going grocery shopping. It’s a part I just happen to enjoy very much.

Okay, maybe summer is my season, after all.

 

About the Author – Reese Ryan

ReeseRyanBioReese Ryan is an author of multicultural romance novels and women’s fiction. She serves as the current president of her local Romance Writers of America chapter.

Reese writes sexy, contemporary fiction filled with colorful characters and sinfully-sweet romance. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with a happily ever after.

When she isn’t writing or working in her garden, Reese designs handmade jewelry and creates handmade and hand-embellished journals for her shop, Sinfully Sweet Handmade.

 

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Sliding Into Joy by Christine Mason Miller

When I was in the fourth grade, I wanted a Slip & Slide so bad I could taste it.

It was such a simple concept – a bright yellow piece of plastic, a few feet wide and three times as long, that attached to a garden hose and sent steady ChristineMasonMiller_photostreams of water along its length, enabling kids my age to run, leap and – swoosh! – slide all the way down to the end.

Commercials showed boys careening by on their stomachs with arms stretched out in front of them and girls twirling around like the teacups at Disney World, all framed by the misty haze of sunny, sparkling water.

Most of my outdoor water play around that time involved running through our sprinkler. Don’t get me wrong, I loved running through our sprinkler. I could be entertained for an entire afternoon leaping back and forth across the fanned-out sprays, doing cartwheels, trying somersaults, and even turning the sprinkler upside down over my head. Give me a bathing suit and a sprinkler and I’d be set – as happy as a kid who’d just been given a bathtub full of puppies. (Well, maybe not that happy, but close!)

But when I saw that Slip & Slide commercial, it was all I could think about.

I imagined the kind of fun and frolic that would take my sprinkler gymnastics to a whole new level, and, if the commercials were any indication, would also lure all of my friends to my own front yard, where we’d all be jumping and leaping and spinning all day long.

Sadly, my coveted Slip & Slide never materialized, which meant it was still on my mind when I headed to Oklahoma to visit my grandparents that summer. My visits with them were always long enough that I’d manage to befriend some of the kids in their neighborhood, and that year was no exception. On one particularly hot afternoon, I was telling my grandma and grandpa about the Slip & Slide, and somehow the three of us came up with an idea which had us immediately rifling through various drawers in their kitchen in search of every available plastic table cloth they had.

I don’t remember why we didn’t simply go buy one – maybe we tried to find them but they were sold out, or maybe I was just too impatient and wanted to get the party started as soon as humanly possible. Or maybe – and I like to think it was this most of all – it was because when I was in the company of my grandma and grandpa, I felt like anything was possible.

And if anything was possible, then why on earth would I have been interested in having the same Slip & Slide everyone else had when I could make my own out of my grandparents’ perfectly good plastic table cloths?

Today I have a small stack of photos taken by my grandparents that day of me and my summertime friends careening down our own private water slide (thereby mildly flooding their front yard in the process.) They are some of my favorite pictures of those summers, a reminder of all the ways my grandparents allowed my creative imagination to run wild. I have a special fondness for the Slip & Slide, but not because I actually had one. I had my grandparents’ table cloths. And their love. Both were awesome.

About the Author – Christine Mason Miller

ChristineMasonMiller_bioChristine Mason Miller is a writer and artist who lives in Santa Barbara, California.

A second, revised edition of her 2008 self-published book Ordinary Sparkling Moments is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

The latest offering from Wild Roots, Sacred Wings is right around the corner…

You can follow her adventures right here: christinemasonmiller.com

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The Scent of Summer (and Basil Pesto) by Katrina Kittle

There is something about a July morning that takes me straight back to childhood summer vacations from school. I lime popsicle flckr creative commonsget flashes of my childhood self: scraped knees, skin “brown as a bear,” hair bleached from the sun, lips green from homemade lime popsicles, that glittering promise of every summer morning.

What triggers all these memories? The fact that summer smells so good. Truly—scent evokes more memory than any of our other senses…and the summer landscape is a poem of aroma.

Try this: go outside, early, when the dewiness of night helps intensify all good smell.

The fresh cut grass. Honeysuckle. The cloying old lady perfume of lilies. I touch the herbs in my garden—the tingly sparkle of mint, the bright breeziness of cilantro, the sneeze of dill. Brush up against a warm tomato plant and it releases a sharp perfume that should be bottled for First Aid in the grey month of February.

Peel a peach, warm from the sun, and try to decide which is more delicious: the smell or taste. Can you even differentiate between the two?

Move through your day and notice the uniquely summer smells. The hint of coconut in sunscreen. Pool chlorine. Even the touch of sun left in your glowing skin. A grill firing up. BBQ. Charcoal. Rain on garden dirt. Wet grass. Gardenia in the soft evenings when fireflies appear. Citronella. Campfires.

The more in touch we are with our senses, the more we are fully inhabiting our lives. Summer is the smell of promise and free time—when we remember simpler times, we’re more inspired to re-create those feelings in our present day.

One aroma rules over all the others in my opinion, however. The gorgeous, bright kelly green basil plant. Basil almost laughs with an aroma that is the epitome of summer to me. I always grow an abundance of basil, so much that I sometimes simply pick it as the most cheerful of filler (and aromatherapy mood lifter) in fresh cut bouquets.

My favorite thing to do with basil is of course to make pesto—to use on pasta, in omelets, in risotto, for grilling salmon and chicken, to spread on panini sandwiches, to dollop as a garnish on gazpacho…you name it. There are few things that can’t be made happier with some basil pesto. Here’s my favorite recipe. If you make it, promise to savor the scent of each fresh ingredient…and to breathe it in before you bite. Enjoy!

basil pesto in food processor creative commonsPESTO RECIPE

Blend the following in a food processor:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons walnuts (or pine nuts, or pistachios)*
  • clove garlic**
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan***
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup BASIL leaves packed tight

*Oh, come on, only 2 Tablespoons? I always put in a wee fistful.
**Seriously? One clove? There’s no such thing as too much garlic, in my opinion.
***There’s also no such thing as too much cheese. Ever. But save some to sprinkle on top, along with toasted pine nuts.

Images Via Flckr Creative Commons: Image One by Kayla Casey  | Image Two by Becky Stern

About the Author – Katrina Kittle

KatrinaKittleBioKatrina is a novelist, with four books for adults and one novel for tweens, her most recent titles being The Kindness of Strangers and The Blessings of the Animals—all redemptive stories that deal with issues of social justice.

Katrina teaches creative writing workshops from the third grade to retirement communities, focusing on craft and motivation (and is especially good at jumpstarting stalled writers).

In the Dayton-Cincinnati area, she teaches regularly for Word’s Worth Writing Connections and online through OnLiten (www.onliten.com ). She also offers manuscript consultations through Write Sisters Consulting. Katrina has always loved telling stories in any medium, and because of her extensive background in dance and theatre, she is a firm believer in both honoring an apprenticeship and caring about craft.

She lives near Dayton, Ohio with her wonderful fella, and their sweet beagle and odd cat; has a thing for goats, gardening, and going barefoot; and is totally addicted to coffee, pedicures, and movies. You can find out more at www.katrinakittle.com

 

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Summer Street Lights by Becca Rowan

Growing up in the 1960’s, my friends and I took good advantage of the long summer days to play outdoors. From file000862189394dawn until dusk, we rode bikes, played on the swings, drew on the sidewalk with chalk, bounced tennis balls against the side of the house, and engaged in detailed games of detective using our special “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” spy kits – anything and everything our imaginations would allow.

Though we all came from different sized families and backgrounds, there was one universal rule we each were required to follow.

When the streetlights came on each evening, it was time to go inside.

Around dusk most of us started keeping one eye peeled toward the streetlight on the corner. “It’s not on yet!” someone would yell. “Let’s play one more game! Hurry up! We don’t have long.”

The excitement intensified as the sky darkened. We knew the time was short, and we were desperate to make the most of it. But when the dim bulb in the street lamp magically popped aglow, a chorus of “See ya!” and “Bye!” was heard around the cul-de-sac as dozens of kids separated themselves from their friends and their games and headed home to bed.

The streetlight ordered our days back then. It provided us with a guide, a way to end the day independent of our parents’ urging, a signal that told us when to make the transition between the world of fun and friends and the world of home and family.

Here’s my secret: I was always happy to see the light come on.

By the end of those summer days, I was tired of the noise and confusion, weary of the loud voices of my friends and their tiresome demands. I was ready to head home for a warm bath, the comfort of my books, the quiet companionship of my dog, and the cool clean sheets on my bed. But I was afraid of being called a loser or a wimp if I went inside before dark, if I gave up on games before my friends wanted to call it a night. So I stuck it out, gazing longingly at the streetlight all the while.

BeccaRowan_SummerPorchAlready our beautiful summer days are beginning to wane and I’m beginning to feel pangs of dread for the winter days to come.

The past two winters have been extremely hard, with bitter cold, record snowfalls, and repeated illness for me. I know how important it will be this winter to look toward the light posts that guide my way to happiness: the pleasure of my home and my daily routines, the joy of getting lost in books and music, the love of my family, the caring and compassion of my friends.

I honor the steadfast comfort they provide, and return to them with joy at the end of every day. They are my guiding lights through every season, and like that corner lamppost from long ago, I keep my eyes on them at all times.

Images: 1st from Stock (MorgueFile) | 2nd from Author Becca Rowan

About the Author – Becca Rowan

Becca Rowan is a writer and author of the book Life In General, a collection of personal, inspirational essays about becca_rowan_biothe way women at mid-life experience family, home, work, and all aspects of “Life In General”. She is also a musician, and performs as a pianist and as a member of Classical Bells, a professional handbell ensemble.

Born and raised in southeastern Michigan, she currently lives in Northville (a suburb of Detroit) with her husband of 38 years and their two pampered Shih Tzus, Magic and Molly Mei.

Purchase Becca’s Book, Life in General, from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can also request a signed copy directly from Becca by visiting here.

Want to read more of Becca’s Writing? Visit her website BeccaRowan.Com connect on social media (links below) and find her over on GoodReads.

 

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The Wise Choice…by Bill Hughlett

Summer Love Bill H 1

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”
–Aristotle

About the Artist – Bill Hughlett

bill_hughlett_bioBill Hughlett is a CFO by profession and photographer by passion.

His award-winning work has been featured in Alaska Airlines Magazine, shown in Washington galleries, and graces many homes and offices around the country.

Together, Bill and his wife, Kayce Stevens Hughlett, create unique workshops that incorporate photography and writing with deep listening and personal awareness.

Their dream is to travel the world offering their gifts to others.

Witness more of Bill’s Work at www.h3images.com.

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Beethoven, Water and Seals by Sharon Richards

Glistening speckled grey, brown and white heads pooped up on the water’s calm surface. Black shining eyes gazed intently, long wet whiskers curiously twitching, as Beethoven’s fifth symphony floated across the water. It was the SharonRichards_2summer of 1973 and I was on my grandparents boat, The Framac, in Desolation Sound, British Columbia.

The heat of the summer day was beginning to cool and my Grandmother, Tilly, had her vinyls and old record player – transported specifically for this very purpose. My parents, younger brother and ‘Gramps’ gazed on in wonder. Tilly often said that seals loved classical music. We held our breath as the symphony wafted off the stern, danced over the seals, and floated into the night sky.

I cherish this summer childhood memory: the practice of savoring music, connecting with nature and being present with my family. Tilly was an eccentric woman and unlike anyone else’s grandmother I knew. She traveled often to faraway places: Asia, Africa, Russia. She was a poet who illustrated her own poems through painting ambidextrously. She and Tucker, ‘Gramps’ loved being on the water. I was fortunate to be included.

My love of water, travel, nature, slowing down and practicing being present was nurtured through these experiences. I invite you to take time today to reflect upon a positive summer childhood experience. What stands out in your mind? Which images stir your soul? How might you honor them?

I encourage you to play with water. Take time to dip your toes in the ocean, run through a sprinkler, sit by a lake, go swimming, ride a ferry, try paddle boarding or kayaking. The possibilities are endless. May the following blessing gift you with the magic, mystery, and wonder of water.

Blessing of Water

SharonRichardsMay the fluency of the ocean be yours.”
May water in all its ebbs and flows fill you.
As water takes whatever form it holds,
so may you be free within yourself.

As the ocean waves wax and wane
upon the shore, so may you let go.
Finding ease in the rising, retreating,
savoring grace in the coming, going,
loosening your grip into the fluidity that is.

May the ease in which water shifts and shapes guide you:
from flowing stream to icicle,
pelting rain to dripping sweat,
ice cube to popsicle,
warm shower to bubble bath.

“May the fluency of the ocean be yours.”
May the depths become home,
plunging your soul,
your ego gently being washed aside
as the beautiful truth of you emerges.

May the many creatures that claim ocean as home
become kin to you:
long life of sea turtle,
dancing play of spinner dolphin,
stealth and power of shark,
lightness of being and protection of jellyfish,
curiosity of seal,
friendship of angelfish.

“May the fluency of the ocean be yours.”
May water in all its ebbs and flows fill you.
As water takes whatever form it holds,
so may you be free within yourself.

Blessing of Water, was inspired by the line, “May the fluency of the ocean be yours,” from John O’Donahue’s poem, A Blessing for The New Year, Beannacht, To Bless the Space Between Us (New York: Doubleday Publishing, 2008)

About the Author – Sharon Richards

Sharon_Richards_bioSharon Richards is a self-described Spiritual Travel Advisor. Her many years of travel throughout the globe: Paris, India, Canada, Africa, Costa Rica, Western and Eastern Europe, have contributed to her ability to navigate and engage in various countries with a sense of ease and anticipation. She is a pilgrim at heart and loves to explore new terrains, landscapes, language and culture.

Raising three delightful, now ‘young adults’ continues to be a journey of passionate engagement and learning.

She enjoys exploring living life on the edge, spirituality, meditation, writing, cooking, dates with her husband of 28 years, yoga, walking her canine companion, biking, exploring neighborhoods in her hometown, Seattle, WA and celebrating life as often as possible.

Sharon received her B.Ed. from the University of British Columbia. She is honored to hold dual citizenship with the U.S. and Canada.

You can often find her writing on her blog as well as pondering and planning upcoming SoulStrolling™ adventures with Kayce S. Hughlett.

Do you dream of visiting Paris in a non-frantic, slower paced way? Is your heart longing to stroll by the Seine? If yes, then consider joining us on our SoulStrolling à Paris, October 17 -24, 2015 adventure.

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