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favorite places and spaces in my mind

tea time

The prompt for July 3rd that caught my eye at Friday Reflections has had me thinking for days.  How could I pick one favorite place?  There have been so many of them.  I think about all the places I have traveled, the things I have seen and done.  How could I possibly whittle it to one favorite?  Janine Ripper at Reflections From a Redhead described her favorite place so colorfully, I was ready to pack a bag and leave right then.

But picking my favorite place?   It finally dawned on me.  The place that is my favorite of all is….

the grapes of cath

my mind

That’s right.  All the places I have visited, the things I have seen, are all trapped in lovely memories.  They are stored away, like a filing cabinet full of cards and photos, and I can revisit and think about them whenever I want to.  This ability to pull memories and close my eyes and be there is something I have always done.  It is especially helpful right now, at this moment in my life when there is so much going on with so many people in my life that I often wonder what will happen next.

watercolor, pen & ink

Today, I have pulled out a memory of one of those places.  My sister Vicky’s back yard (garden for those of you who don’t call a yard a yard) and one of the most peaceful places I have ever been.  It is a place I can sit quietly, looking at the flowers, birds, bees, and listening to the breeze blowing gently through the trees, stirring the leaves to a soft rustling sound.  It is a place I have painted, photographed and long to be when things are overwhelming.  It is my morning refuge, my favorite place to drink my tea and think about all the vagaries of life.

vix, watering her plants

It is a place I return to at least twice a year…and where I will return once more in October of this year.  Until then, I have my memories, filed away in my mind to pull out and relive over and over whenever I feel a yearning for peace and quiet.

morning in the garden

   

 

the perfect rose

 …life is good. ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter


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sky gazing

Every night I drive into my yard after work, step out of my car and look at the sky.  I am a cloud watcher, a sky gazer.  And one of the most beautiful views in the world is in my own front yard.  The sun sets to the right of my house, and there is a clear view of the nearby woods, silhouetted against the setting sun.

Tonight, as I often do, I spent a few moments just watching the sky.  I live in the country, so there were no noises, and it was eerily silent.  Even the dogs weren’t barking their usual greeting from the back yard.

And so I stood, and looked.  I get a bit melancholy this time of year, and I was a bit sad as I looked at the sky.  But as I stood, and marveled at the beauty of the clouds and colors, I felt my spirits begin to lift.  Suddenly I feel as weighed down by mortality, and an inner peace began to take over. I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket, and shot a photo of the sunset, almost as an afterthought.

As I stood and continued to look, breathing in the crisp coldness of the autumn air, I realized that I wasn’t me, I was part of a bigger whole.  A small microcosm of something so perfect, and that everything was as it should be.

Slowly I turned and walked into the house, feeling renewed.  Centered.

…life is very good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter


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i had a dream

me and vix

When I was a child, I dreamed as a child.  I thought the world was a perfect place, and life would always be perfect, and happy.  My world was solid.  I would grow up and be an artist.

Then the 1960’s happened, and suddenly the world turned upside down.  No longer was it expected that girls would grow up and get married and have kids, or have careers as teachers or nurses.  Suddenly, there was a paradigm shift, and the world burst open like an overripe melon, a new world emerging from the seeds it spewed forth.

That new world was terrifyingly beautiful, and exciting.  It was also filled with tense emotions as the older generation struggled to understand my generation.  In the 1960’s I learned that it was possible to be the President of the United States, and still die a violent death at the hands of a madman.  And I watched as a politician and a preacher taught that the world could be a better place, a peaceful place, and tried to make it so.  And I watched in horror and sorrow as they also died violent deaths.  Did I lose faith?  Did I lose hope?  

No.  It would have been so easy to do that. But I watched, and listened, and learned from what happened.  And as I grew up, I realized that we all have dreams.  We all have hopes.  And most of us do want a better world.  It is essential human nature to hope.

I also learned that there was more out there in that world than just growing up to be a wife and a mom.  There was change happening, and I was part of the generation of change.  So what did I do as I learned these important lessons, the ones about tolerance and acceptance, equality and change?

I became a wife, and a mom.  You are probably laughing at that line, because I had much higher hopes than that.  Even funnier, down the road, in mid-life, I became a nurse.  I backed right into the stereotypes I didn’t think I would ever really become.

Then somewhere along my path in life, I became enlightened.  I realized the big lesson.

Change starts at home.  Teaching my children about peace, racial tolerance, and equality started from the day I first became a mom.  My children watched me and learned from me.  And I realized that if every mom did that, the change would happen.  The world they inherited might be a better world.

Change doesn’t always happen in big, sweeping surges.  Sometimes change happens one day at a time, one lesson at a time.  Quietly, and stealthily, it happens.  From mother to child it happens.

I am not trying to gild the lily, or paint pretty pictures and platitudes.  I know that our world is far from perfect.  But I also know that with small steps, and a belief in dreams, change can happen.

One day, and one child at a time.

I still have that dream.  Rest in peace, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I heard your words, and believed.  And still believe.

~cath
Twitter @jonesbabie