Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Remembering how to fly ...

I apologize for my absence the last couple of weeks. My modem at home is not connecting to the Internet reliably these days; probably needs to be replaced. So I haven't been able to spend much time online. I'm posting this from work after hours and I hope you'll indulge me if I re-post an old post from May 2005 for now. Enjoy!


May 17, 2005

I read recently that of the tens of thousands of thoughts a person has in a day, for most people, the majority of those thoughts are negative.

Reading that, I had to stop and pause and reflect on that for a moment. The majority of their thoughts are negative.

I can't even begin to imagine what that would feel like. How would one's spirit be filled with joy? How would one remember how to fly? I felt so deep-down, depths-of-the-soul sad imagining how anyone could be entombed by negative thoughts most of the time.

Maybe some have become desensitized to it, to the point that perhaps they no longer see how their choices are impacting their spiritual being. I really try to be conscious about my choices of what I read, watch, hear, see, do. I try to keep positive messages through my head, heart and spirit.

An example: a South-Park loving friend told me I'd love the show, funny, funny, great writing, etc. Twice, I tried to watch it; twice, they kicked a baby in the opening of the show. That's not the kind of stuff I want seeping into my cellular being, cartoon or no. I've noticed there are also a lot of children's cartoons where kids are mean to one another, or beating up on one another in that flying-fists-and-clouds-of-dust way they do it in cartoons. The message is subtle, clouded in colored, comic characters, and it's not a message of love. I'd prefer to see characters whose choices are guided by Love; powerful, strong enriching stories of the true goodness of people.


Last Saturday, J (my oldest granddaughter) received a character award from the city. There were about 50 kids receiving awards, ranging from a tiny, long, blond-haired kindergartener to seniors in high school, perched on the edge of adulthood. As each child went up to receive their award, the announcer read the words of the person (youth care staff, teachers, guides, religious) who'd nominated them ... " ... donated her hair to Locks of Love ..." " ... helps the other kids with their homework ..." "... we call her "our future president" ..." "... writes to soldiers in Iraq ... " "... organized a fund-raiser to help victims of the tsunami ..."

On and on it went, each child standing there smiling, their spirits strong and beautiful, their beings radiating their auras so brightly. Oh, the power and loveliness of each of those beings! If that kind of power could be harnessed ... and it can and is every single day by good teachers, encouraging their young wards, and by good parents, supporting their children's dreams to help others, and by family and friends who create a nurturing environment that tells these new lives that its safe to be who you are and to be good and positive and to truly and entirely believe that YOU CAN DO AND BE ANYTHING.

These kids inspire me. They don't fear failure. They live their lives inspired by Love. "Fail? Fine. But I'll try again and I will succeed.' Their choices aren't guided by fear (What if they think I'm a dork? What if no one's ever done this before? What if the kids laugh at me?) but by Love. Powerful experience, watching each one of these positive thinkers that morning. We need to grow more just like 'em. The world is certainly a better, more positive place with them breathing the same air we do.


photo: Lake Elsinore at sunrise, viewed from my daughter's home

Sunday, January 11, 2009

winter's light ...

Winter's light slants in through my bedroom window, suffusing the walls and the room in a surreal golden glow. This is one of my favorite times of day in the winter, shortly before the sun ends her day's journey by dropping into the Pacific Ocean, lingering above the waves, then - with a flash! - dropping gently over the horizon.

I was recently donating blood at the nearby park and I looked east out the window as I was lying there. I gazed at the distinctive bark of the tree outside, really studying its peeling beauty, when suddenly the tree became bathed in gold from the west. The nurse was looking the opposite direction, out the front doors facing west and she dreamily said "I love this time of day ... the way the day turns to gold." I turned to look at her and her entire face and body were washed in light as she faced the sun's glow.

In the spring and summer, the sun sits high overhead and my entire courtyard is bright and sunny. In the fall, as the sun moves lower toward the equator, the angle is entirely different. The courtyard falls into shadow, blocked by the buildings, the sunlight too low now to rise above them.

Instead of bold, confident sunshine, we get this moodier, more nuanced light, a gift of winter that makes me pause and be still, be aware. The lower light hits the prisms hanging in the south-facing windows, throwing dancing colors around the rooms. The sun, too high in the summer, only dances the rainbows like this in fall and winter.

Spring and summer are often raucous affairs, with birds singing, flowers blooming, summer parties; everything wildly alive. But fall and winter are gentler, quieter, giving us pause for reflection ... a break from the liveliness of the other two seasons ... passive yin to active yang ... the duality of nature in perfect balance, inviting us to slow down and rest a bit, like all in nature does at this time. She is ever the perfect teacher.

Winter's light slants through my windows and I pause and give thanks.