The ‘Ballroom in the Clouds’ — a/k/a Flagstaff Park — brings back fond memories of a simpler time.
When I was a kid, I remember picnics at the facility and dancing on the ballroom floor to the 1960s tunes from the jukebox sung by groups such as Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Fifth Dimension. In the ’70s, I saw Robin Trower grace its property.
Years before when my parents were growing up, the ballroom hosted live bands from the Big Band Era including the Dorsey Brothers.
Tomorrow the property will go through another transition with a new beginning as the run-down property goes up for auction.
Plans for the property’s renovation and expansion in late 2018 to include a 48-room hotel, rooftop restaurant, a renovated 350-seat ballroom and gondola never materialized.
Personally, I’m glad. I hope (and pray) a buyer will choose to maintain the natural ambiance surrounding this location. Growing up with the Flagstaff Road literally beyond our back yard, I loved the solitude, wildlife and beauty it offered.
I’d love to see rustic cabins instead of a four-story hotel, a labyrinth instead of a paved parking lot and an artists’ retreat instead of another tourist-centered building.
I know progress continues but I believe Asa Packer was onto something when he chose to build Lehigh University in the Lehigh Valley instead of Jim Thorpe.
I hope the new owner will honor the ambiance and beauty of Flagstaff Park. It’s a new beginning I hope will hold onto the roots of history.
What does it mean to ‘live simply’? Strange enough, I think we know what it DOESN’T mean more than we do what it does mean.
For me, it doesn’t mean going shopping for things I don’t really need. It doesn’t mean creating or buying into self- or other-made dramas. It doesn’t mean always trying to get more, be more, accomplish more.
Isn’t it really insane to think we always need more to be happy, peaceful, safe, complete?
Imagine what it means to be content with where you are right now, with what you have right now. Imagine not worrying about the weeds needing to be pulled, the dusting and vacuuming that calls to you or getting to where you think you want to go on time.
Imagine what it feels like to need nothing, to be content and appreciative with what you already have. Imagine.
Isn’t living simply really living in the present moment, feeling happy, fulfilled, content and safe? Is living simply having the prayers of your heart answered and knowing that?
What does living simply mean to you?
I thought I’d post these clematis flowers in honor of a friend’s 98-year-old mother who just passed away.
We probably all wonder about death. Some worry; some don’t. Some pass in peace; others don’t.
I wonder what part free will plays in laying the body aside so the Spirit can soar. I recall walking in on my father as I visited him in an Alzheimer’s facility. With his hands in the air and facing the window, my father prayed to ‘go home.’ He was ready. Shortly after, he died.
During our lives, God’s gift of free will molds our destiny. We make choices, or not, that lead us to where we think we want to be, what we think we want to do. Or we make no choices and follow the fickleness of the wind.
If you think about it, we make choices continuously throughout our day. We may be unaware yet the reality remains.
One day I used my free will to ride above the glen on the D&L trail and saw this bench. What a great free-will offering! It says, ‘Have a rest and talk with someone at the same time.’
As I was writing this, I chose to take a short break despite knowing I need to get rolling to get to work. I looked out my window and saw Mr. Duck getting into the canal (full belly since I fed him some corn earlier), a bunny rabbit and a deer followed by two geese flying up the canal! Ten or 15 seconds of beauty, nature and bliss!
How do you use your free will today?
The other day as I rode my bike up the canal, a gaggle of noisy geese flew downstream barely above the surface of the water.
Instinct told me something spooked them. As I slowed to get my camera ready, this beautiful bald eagle soared from a tree feet away from me to the other side of the canal. His wing span had to be at least six feet!
Seeing such beauty early in the morning creates a unique connection with nature, a connection that’s always there but rarely seen or felt. Feelings of awe and harmony fill the moment almost to the point of precluding taking the shot.
Looking for breakfast, this bird of prey stopped long enough for me to get a few pictures. I wonder if this creature could feel the connection, too.
Sunday mornings changed over the past half century. For me, catholic veils, patent-leather shoes and confessions transformed into an Episcopal religious tradition for many years.
Those traditional rites and services represent the solid foundation which guided my beliefs for many years.
Yet the death of a friend 35 years ago set me on a quest to understand the purpose of life. Traditional religion supported that quest for most of that time.
Over time, what I saw as rote Sunday prayers, superficial ‘Christians’ and a punishing God pushed me beyond those traditional religious beliefs.
I now see the ‘church’ not as a building or organized religion but similar to being aware of nature’s beauty, peace and love available to us each moment.
The ‘church’ dwells in our awareness of the love in our hearts, our minds, our actions.
While buildings and foundations may crumble, Love lives in each of us as it does in nature’s beauty. Share it today!
April showers brought May’s flowers, but they’re here today, gone tomorrow.
Goslings born earlier this month, like babies, continue their growth spurt, shedding their birth bodies to transform into the many forms that follow.
The fleeting nature of the physical world passes by in eternity’s blink of an eye.
Open the present of the present moment and enjoy…it’s really the only time you can!
Happy Memorial Day! 🙂
I went for an early-morning bike ride on the D&L trail. As of May 1, I have 49.08 miles for May, 29% of the Get Your Tail on the Trail 165-mile challenge that runs from May 1 to Nov. 1.
Although weather and abundant work kept me off the trail for nearly two weeks (that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!), the challenge provides a great motivator to get out and ride, walk, hike and inspire you to move without necessity of competition. You’re competing against yourself, to increase your time spent outdoors or mileage traveled.
Why sign up? It feels great to be outdoors. It’s invigorating to pedal your butt and see the ongoing progress. It’s good exercise. It clears the cobwebs and stresses from your mind. You see many critters: squirrels, ducks, birds, snakes, geese and goslings, turtles, frogs, fox, deer…the list goes on. You become keenly aware of the beauty of nature. The sights, sounds, smells and feelings encountered grow as your awareness opens, not only on the trail but also as you return to your commitments for the rest of your day.
Get your trail on the tail and watch your world open up to nature’s bounty.!
Photo logo contribution: I used my new cawcar.com Crab Grab universal bike & motorcycle phone mount sent to me earlier this week by my sister, Suzi (THANK YOU!). Cool.
Imagine being a bird, soaring with the wind, taking in the beauty of the Earth below from any angle. You can flit around from one spot to another whenever you want.
Birds have faith in Mother Nature to provide protection from the weather and food for sustenance.
At this time in our lives, we, too, must have faith, faith we will remain safe and healthy as we embark on each new day.
Like the birds, we need to do our parts and ‘make a nest’ and ‘find grub.’ We are given the tools needed to protect and feed ourselves but it’s up to us to use them prudently.
Like the birds, we may face droughts and challenges along the way. We have a choice: faith or fear. Think about which will get you where you want to be, which will help you feel the way you want to feel.
I choose faith over fear. How about you?