When My Heart Breaks

  What is it about humans that we can be the very best when things are horrible? The posts on social media have shown so many brave, tenacious, compassionate people...ordinary people...doing extraordinary things.   In the midst of war, people who just weeks ago were living ordinary lives, are now facing horrors no one should ever have to face. Yet, these same people can find hope in simple things...carriages left on a train platform for mother's escaping the bombings...babies born in train tunnels...grandmothers handing out sunflower seeds to soldiers who have invaded their homes and lives with the message, "Put these in your pocket, so that something good will come of your death." One thing is for sure, I will never look at a sunflower again without thinking of the courage the Ukrainian people are showing the world. I will never look at the yellow and blue colors of their flag without seeing the Babushka's sitting in their colorful scarves while behind them bombs dro

The Need for Balance

  During these days of upheaval, turmoil and fear, we need more than ever a strong core - physically, mentally and spiritually.  When we are in balance, when our "core strength" is strong, we are better able to deal with whatever problems arise before us.  I was recently honored to be a guest on my daughter's podcast talking about this.  I pray that as you listen, you will find something that will inspire, inform or enlighten you.  Blessings to all. (Click the link below to listen to Strengthening Your Spiritual Health: The One Percent Better Show)

Sow Peace

Long ago, I was taught about mindfulness - to be aware of what is around me, who is with me, the sounds, the smells and the feelings of things and my response to them. Being "in the moment" is not a state of being that I can maintain always, but I am getting better at being there more often.    Sitting on the patio on a cold, clear, sunny morning, I was mindful of the perfection of that moment in time. Tears of gratitude ran down my cheeks.  Not more than a few minutes later, I read about the fear of war halfway around the world. My spirit instantly filled with the panic my students feel, who still have family and loved ones in harms way. My heart ached for those who I know and love who are military members and their families, now facing the greatest anxiety humans face. My mind raced as I tried to make sense of why humans cannot see that aggression, oppression, greed, and thirst for power is not only wrong, they are deadly - not just to the victims, but to those who perpetra

Footprints on Our Hearts

  My mother introduced me to the work of Flavia Weedn, an artist and philosopher, who touched the lives of more people that I am sure she ever realized. I have from time to time, given gifts with her quotes on them to loved ones.  Therefore, on this special day - the natal anniversary of my dear friend and soul-sister, Hannah - I decided to combine my photography with the words of Flavia. This is the first time I ever read the entire quote from her work. When I took in the words this morning, sitting at my desk in the corner of the kitchen, looking out at the birds feasting on suet and seeds while the sky turned the gentle blue of morning, I knew this would be my gift to Hannah this year. Hannah and I met as mothers with children in the same school. We shared the fears mothers know and the joys. We have drunk countless cups of tea together, talking in whispers, eyes sparkling with joy and love. We accepted each other with that unconditional acceptance that devoted friends give each oth

More About Signs and Symbols

  "When you believe beyond what your eyes can see...  signs from heaven show up to remind you love never dies."  Author Unknown  I have written of how, as a young child, my mother taught me to be aware of signs from above and beyond. Over the years, I have encountered many. Each time, I am both amazed and awed.  Naysayers have told me that I could find signs in anything if I wanted to and that these "messages" are just in my imagination, which is vivid. My answer has always been, "Thank God for that!"  Yes, we can find messages in most anything. However, when you aren't looking, and they show up...what then? Is it a message from the great beyond when you see a hawk, the minute you ask for an answer to a prayer? Is it coincidence that a symbol of someone who has passed (for instance, my mother's symbol is a yellow butterfly) appears when you most need a reminder that you are never alone? I think not.  Someone asked me how you know a sign is a sign.

Table for Two

Holiday traditions usually last for as long as there is meaning in them, like any rite or ritual. For Roger and me, the tradition of turkey for Thanksgiving has flown the coop!  We didn't travel this year due to the rising numbers of active COVID cases. Instead, we talked about what we would really like to have for dinner. Our menu was simple, healthy and delicious! I made Asian chicken with bok choy, fried rice, homemade cranberry sauce, and roasted root vegetables. (My Eastern European ancestors would be proud that I kept the root veggies!) I made us up an intimate table for two with a candle and a stuffed turkey (the cuddly kind). We gave thanks for all our bounty and enjoyed sitting side by side eating, reminiscing and giggling.  Our Thanksgiving was complete!  My purpose in writing this post is to show that we don't HAVE to have turkey or pumpkin pie or sweet potatoes with marshmallows if we don't want or like them. We can have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and it

All Hallows' Eve

  On All Hallows' Eve, the day before All Hallows' or All Saints Day, ancient belief was that the veil between this world and the next. Loved ones were able to visit from the grave. My Celtic ancestors carved turnips with lights in them to scare away the evil spirits and light the way for our relatives to come home for the night. Today, Halloween is a mixture of fun and games, but few remember that this night is one to remember our beloved dead, light candles to help them find their way home and gather together to thank the saints for guiding us through the year. On this All Hallows' Eve, as the last surviving member of my immediate family, (My parents and siblings are all deceased.) I will lite a candle or two, remember the love we shared, the lessons learned and give thanks that they are all out of the suffering of this world.   May all who read this post, take a moment to remember their loved ones and give thanks.   Have a safe All Hallows' Eve. Blessings!