Monday, June 30, 2008

On friends

"A friend is someone who knows all about you, and loves you just the same" reads an embroidered sampler in my home, made for me by and old and dear friend. I treasure it not only because she made it for me, but also because of what it says. I wrote about it once, but I have been thinking about friendship lately, so I felt like writing about it again.
"A friend knows all about you"....this part takes both of you to accomplish. You have to be honest and open, as well as trusting and respectful of your friend. Your friend has to be a good listener, trustworthy and nonjudgmental. Taken together, these are all qualities to look for both in a true friend and in yourself.
"And loves you just the same".....speaks of unconditional Love. To love without condition....means Here and Now no matter what they do or say, or don't do or say. And that includes yourself, too. Loving yourself unconditionally is practically a prerequisite for loving another unconditionally.
So, a true friend knows you and loves you, and knowing more about you, still loves you.
It is wonderful when that knowing and loving goes both ways. I count that happening a few times in my life. I have always been more about quality than quantity when it comes to friends. I would rather have one true friend than a dozen acquaintances. Most of all, I aspire to be a true friend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

You're Welcome, My Love

"A friend is one to whom you can pour out the contents of your heart, chaff and grain alike.
Knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,

Because a fire was in my head,

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor

I went to blow the fire aflame,

But something rustled on the floor,

And some one called me by my name:

It had become a glimmering girl

With apple blossom in her hair

Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.

William Butler Yeats

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bye Bye Birdie

Last night the birds were in the nest, but today the birds are gone.
Only one egg had hatched, and the little birdie was so cute! I guess
it flew away with its mama, since it is nowhere to be seen.
I feel happy and sad at the same time. I'll miss them.
The other eggs are still in the nest. I suppose they've been abandoned.
I'll wait a day or two before I take the wreath down, just to be sure!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Problem? Schmoblem!

Growing up, I heard "there are no problems, only solutions." As an adult, I have told myself and taught my children, "We are solution-oriented in this family." Today I read (not for the first time):
"Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds." (Norman Vincent Peale)

For me, to say I am solution-oriented means that I seek to perceive the spiritual roots of the problems that crop up in my life. When I choose to see any difficulty or hardship or obstacle (i.e. whatever shape the problem takes), as an opportunity (for learning, for growth, for giving love, for forgiving!), then I am pointing myself in the direction of the "solution." As always, the outcome is assured, though it may not always be what I think it will be.
In my experience, a problem always has a solution that comes with it. It is my task to focus on that. Often that simple act is enough to clear the weeds: the "why me" and the "why now" and the "what, again?"
If every problem comes with the seeds of its own solution, then I can find the seeds and plant them and water them, step aside and let the sun shine on them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You say tomato, I say tomato

The latest food-borne disease scare was announced the other day. What the industry calls "tomatoes" have been linked to salmonella outbreaks in some states. As of now, the cause is unknown.
May I venture an opinion here? Those things they are calling tomatoes are not tomatoes!! They are some sort of food product engineered to look and (not very much) taste like a tomato. I found it amusing that the officials are actually announcing that it is safe to eat homegrown tomatoes. Are we so paranoid or stupid that we need to be told this?
It has long been difficult for me to buy one of those reddish orbs that they sell in the supermarket. At best, I will opt for an incredibly expensive tomato on the vine, or treat myself to some grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. At least these have some tomato taste. Lo, and behold, these are also the tomatoes that are now the only ones considered safe to eat! Coincidence? Hmmm......

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bird Update

One of the eggs hatched last night. The little one has its open mouth turned upward, waiting for its mama to bring some food. Now she's flown back, and I can see her feeding it. I can't get too close, or else she flies away. Then she waits in a small tree not far away, keeping her eye on the nest all the while.
Here is a silhouette of the mama, through the window in the door:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Change takes place at the level of your oughts

For some, the phrase "change takes place at the level of your thoughts" has a lot of resonance and meaning. I took it a little further by declaring that it takes place at the level of your "oughts." How many of us tell ourselves "I shoulda...I woulda...I coulda" without assessing what that means? Well, I do it, and it's my blog, so I'm talking about it.
Shoulds and woulds and coulds are all very slippery slopes. Partway down the slope is self-judgment, and a little further down is self-blame. At the bottom: self-condemnation. All three are not conducive to true change. So, when we aspire to be conscious of our "Should, would, could" thoughts, we can move in the direction of the summit. From there we can see clearly what change will best serve us in any given situation.
After all, it's all about change.
I would have written more, but I decided I shouldn't. That oughta do it.