Subtle Changes

Summer’s transition to autumn in northeastern Pennsylvania begins with subtle changes.  A leaf or two on a tree begin to turn color then branches on an entire tree transition from summer’s greens to autumn’s yellows, oranges or reds.

The subtle changes become prominent as the vibrant colors explode.

Cataract surgery this week opened my awareness of how we sometimes don’t notice the subtle changes in life.  Today my left eye sees a page with vibrant white while my right eye sees a page resembling an antiquated, yellowed leaf discolored by time.

Seeing the difference shocked me!

I wonder what other subtle changes have changed my ‘vision’ in life over the years.  Would recognition of those changes also shock me?  Have I become more judgmental?  Intolerant?  Indifferent?  Jaded?

Time’s subtle changes tend to hide until something cuts the cloud from our vision, opening our sights to what once was valued.

What clouds block unrecognized altered visions you may hold? Being aware of them brings them to the light, an eye-opening experience.

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Be like a turtle

This year the canal seemed to have a lot more turtles than I’ve seen over the past three years.

The other day, this duo was sunning themselves on a log, probably warming themselves after the close-to-freezing temps the night before.

These guys are relatively small, but I’ve seen one whose shell is easily over a foot long with claws that look like a small dinosaur.

From what I read, turtles need Vitamin D-3 like we do to support our bones and other organs.  Did you know water turtles generally live 30-40 years, but box turtles and tortoises can live between 50-100 years?  Maybe we’re not as different as we may think.

As autumn temperatures begin their slow descent and daylight dwindles more each day, all of us need to be like a turtle…taking a little bit more time to sun ourselves.  The benefits of a little sun each day?  Stronger bones, better sleep, improved mood and a healthier immune system, to name a few…for us as well as the turtles!!

Now all we need is for the clouds to move away and let the sun shine in!  Play like a turtle…sun yourself a little!

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Letting Go

This late-summer bloom brings a bit of color to the fading greens prevalent as daylight hours wane.  Want to or not, we have to let it go.

Sometimes it’s hard letting go.  Yet we know that release will bring other benefits, such as cooler temperatures and the beauty of autumn’s yellows, oranges and reds.

I reluctantly let go of trying to get my husband to partake of the benefits of our back yard, part of the 165-mile trail of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.  For over three years, I invited my husband to walk and/or bike on the trail, without success.  Pain after a knee replacement a year or so ago deterred me from my persistent pursuits for a biking companion, so I let go of the idea of sharing my passion.

Health issues took precedence until yesterday.  At his last cardiac rehab session after his May heart attack, an overbooking of appointments caused him to use a stationary bike instead of his ‘normal’ therapeutic equipment.  He said the first four minutes were painful but after that his knee felt okay.  He let go of his pain as I had let go of my hopes.

Today we will go for our first bike ride together in years!

What are you holding onto that may provide surprises if you let it go?

 

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A New Birth

For years I had a “Moses in the Cradle” plant that grew so abundantly, I gave pieces away every time I cut it back.

But then my mama plant died, leaving me without any for years. I never thought I’d see its blossoms again.

This year Patti gave me pieces of the original plant she grew.  I created two potted plants out of those pieces and recently gave one to a friend who has given me a variety of plants over the past few years, blessing me with a slew of different-colored blossoms.

I was pleasantly surprised today when she sent me this picture of a blossom I thought I’d never see again!

Though my original plant was gone, the pieces of its essence live on to create more blossoms.  A new birth happened from what I thought was long deceased!

Don’t be surprised if what you think is dead and gone rises from the dead like a phoenix.

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Backyard Birds

I’m so fortunate to live where I do, with the Lehigh Canal literally in my back yard!

I’ve got blue heron, eagles, geese, ducks, blue birds, woodpeckers…and so much more.

This blue heron decided to grace me with his/her presence during yesterday morning bike ride.

What backyard birds do you have?

 

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What brings you refreshment?

As summer draws to a close, the excessive heat and humidity has fallen about 20% so far (from 90s to 70s for both).

The irritation of gnats and other pesty insects of earlier this year have diminished considerably so I can sit out without too much swatting.

Like jumping into a pool or licking on an ice cream cone of your favorite flavor on a hot and sticky day, cooler weather brings refreshment.

Some of summer’s other refreshments for me include biting into a ripe, juicy peach or eating a fresh picked strawberry or cob of corn.  Getting away from the normal grind of work-eat-sleep also refreshes my spirit.  Suzi’s backyard pond with the sounds of a waterfall and sights of coy, frogs, lily pads and a bloom pond lily rejuvenates memories of that refreshment.

What brings you refreshment?

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Vacation ‘Rental’ Bliss


I took my first real 8-day vacation in over a decade last week.  The front of my vacation ‘rental’ shows only a minute portion of the nature and beauty of the area.

In exchange for 8 days of solitude, I watered and dead-headed many of the annual plants in and around the house and fed the indoor and outdoor fish.

I  volunteered for the project to get the much-needed solitude to relax, read and write…all of which I did with a smile on my face the entire time. 

The loudest noises were the hummingbirds feeding off the front porch feeders and the dairy cows being vocal on the neighboring property.

How’s that for a free vacation?  I was in a state of bliss!

I even picked some yellow beans early Sunday morning before I came home.

Unfortunately, I was unable to save Suzi & Jerry’s garden from the ravages of the wildlife.  Fortunately, 30 minutes after I picked the beans, two bear visited the garden.  I’m glad I didn’t see that my first day there!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and tap into some of that bliss!

 

 

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Nature’s Lesson

This morning’s foggy start in Tioga finally provided cooler temps, making it pleasant  
for a bike ride on the Lamb’s Creek trail.

Not even a mile into the 8-mile round trip journey, this velvet-horned buck and his family posed for some pictures.

While papa kept aware and alert, fearful baby fawn ran close to mama doe looking for protection.

The elders seemed unafraid of my presence while the little one was a bit pensive.

Throughout the minute or two of poses, the family nibbled on grass yet kept aware of my presence, aware of my every move.  Awareness of a walker coming the other way prompted a wooded retreat.

Survival in the wilderness always depends on being aware of surroundings and present in the moment to react if any potential threats unfold.

Nature’s lesson is one we, too, would do well to heed.  Being aware in the moment not only prepares us for potential threats but also allows us to take in and enjoy the fleeting sights, sounds and smells available only in the present moment.

Like this family, the present moment is here and gone.

Waste enough time over-thinking about the past or planning for the future and you’ll realize you’ve never made time in the present moment to be joyful and do the things you dream of doing.

How many present moments did you take today to contribute to your heart’s desire?  What are you waiting for?

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Gifts that Keep on Giving


Last fall, a friend dropped off a few plants to add to my garden. Unprepared, I dug a little hole, put a little soil around it and stuck it in the ground.     Gift

This one is a stella d’oro day lily.  It’s blooms were huge and vibrant.  I thanked my friend for the flowers when they bloomed.  It was such a thoughtful gift.

What’s great about this gift is it’s one that will keep on giving, year after year.

Today I took this picture (white datura or morning glory, I think).  Extra Gift

It seems a vine of the white flowers were intermingled with the day lillies.  While the lillies are no longer in bloom, the white flowers now add another pleasing color to the end-of-summer offerings.

I again thanked my friend, but she says she didn’t give it to me.  Was it from the flowers I planted two years ago?  Maybe, not sure.

No matter.  The flowers are the gifts that keep on giving.  They give me beauty, color, enjoyment, radiance, smiles and so much more.

Flowers represent only one of many gifts that keep on giving.  A smile…courtesy and kindness…honesty…integrity…the list goes on and on.

Can you share some gifts that keep on giving?

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What’s your best characteristic?

Character  “…moral strength; self-discipline, fortitude, etc…” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 5th Edition)

Martin Luther King had it right.  True education goes beyond the books.

Being rational, reasonable and able to think critically and analytically all factor into one’s character.  Are you open and honest?  Are you curious, optimistic, gracious?  Are you loyal, respectful, responsible? Are you fair?  Do you have compassion, integrity, humility and self-control?

These are a small part of what represent a person’s character.

Nobody’s perfect.  Yet trying to incorporate positive characteristics into how you deal with yourself and others remains the foundation for solid, long-lasting and loving relationships.

What’s my best characteristic?  That’s a hard choice to make but truth and optimism rank high on my list.  Being truthful, even though it may be uncomfortable at times, makes you feel optimistic about and peaceful in your daily life.

How about you?  What’s your best characteristic?  How does that make you, and others, feel?

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