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Awake at Dawn on a New Day

September 6th, 2008

 I’ve always found a sense of quiet joy in watching the sun rise in the early morning. Not that I’ve always been up that early, but when I am it’s like a special show that I’m privileged to see. I find myself up early more often these days.  Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always bought into the old axiom about each day being the first day of the rest of your life.  I really believe it.  Every day is new, and presents a chance to see and experience life in so many different ways.  

 Morning in America

Maybe we’ve found that much of our life was spent with other pursuits where we didn’t have the ability to walk outside on a quiet morning with a cup of coffee, and watch the world wake up.   And at some point in our lives many of us awake to the sobering reality that there may fewer days ahead of us than there are behind us, or that others will never have the opportunity we have to enjoy that special morning.  Yes, that’s just part of life, but it does lend a certain sense of value to each day, and for me, each morning.  

Maybe when we see the sun rise, it just feels good to take a breath of fresh air and be part of the awakening of the world around us.  It can even be a humbling experience where we begin to understand our place in the world.  If you haven’t seen the sun rise lately why not give it a try?  Wake up early and get a good cup of coffee or tea.  Find a place where you can sit outside and listen to the sounds of the world as the sky changes color.  Sometimes those sounds and colors reveal things you haven’t thought of for a very long time.  Sometimes those mornings bring change and awakening.  Sometimes they’re just simple mornings, and you’re sleepy, but you’ve shared a few peaceful moments to prepare for the day.  Your day.  A new day.

Sunrise Over the Fields

June 5th, 2008

The dew has just been hanging on to the grass and leaves in the morning because the ground has been so moist.  I love how the sun glows brightly over the landscape as the day begins.  But our days are heating up quickly, and the humidity is much higher now.  Isn’t it amazing how the seasons change?   It can be such a gradual process, but sometimes I look around and wonder how everything changed so quickly.  

Sunrise over hayfields covered in dew

Maybe life is like that sometimes too.  Just when we start to get comfortable with something, it changes!  But isn’t change important too? I think that it promotes growth, depending upon how we handle it.  Many of the more beautiful moments in our lives are simply that- moments to savor and enjoy. And then things change.  But like a beautiful sunrise, they can be moments to remember.

 

After the Rain

June 1st, 2008

It was a bright and wet morning after heavy rain yesterday.  The dew was everwhere over the grass and shrubs, and the morning sun glowed off a spider web among the shadows of the flowers.  I don’t know much about spiders, but their handiwork is beautiful.

Spider web glowing with dew in the morning

The rain of the night before was some of the strongest we have had in spring.  It washed out the driveway where the gravel was not thick enough, and even washed log debris across the rural road as the creeks rose too fast to handle the water.   Some time on the tractor helped to repair the damage and the driveway is as good as, well, as a gravel driveway should be I guess.

Gravel driveway washed out by rain

But this morning the pond was quiet and you might never know how much rain we received the night before.  I really appreciate being outdoors as the sun rises, and watching the light slowly change among the landscape.  It’s so peaceful before the noise of the world around us begins to stir.  How do you explain it?  All I know is that it’s nearly like meditation, or a sense of time stopping for a while.  I find myself standing there sometimes, staring out among the trees.  Then I sort of remember where I am and feel silly, but smile and take a deep breath of appreciation for the sounds and smells of the morning, and embrace the coming day.

Early morning over the pond

Before the Leaves

April 20th, 2008

I walk sleepily around early in the morning thinking of the many things I would like to get accomplished.  Knowing full well I’ll come up a little short on my mental list at the end of the day.  There’s something strange about appreciating nature… it tends to foster daydreaming and staring into the forest, the trees, the sky, the water. 

April morning before the leaves come out

Maybe that’s as it should be, or maybe it’s my addiction. In some ways I’m appreciating the last of the open sky through the trees, the sounds of birds, and the changes sure to come.  Next week and through late October, the leaves will once again wrap the landscape in a blanket of green. It’s a hopeful time, beckoning of warmth and summer. I’m ready for that too.

Morning Sunshine

February 18th, 2008

Few things help us start the day as morning sunshine.   It’s almost like a tonic that brings cheer and a bright focus to the day.  Makes me want to head outside and get busy.  Of course sometimes I prefer the cloudy, cold days because there’s so much to do inside the house.  Don’t ask me why, but if there’s a lot to do inside and it’s sunny out there?  I feel guilty not going outdoors to get things accomplished.  The reverse isn’t true for me however- I’ll be outside no matter the weather, and I don’t feel like I need to be inside.  But I do love to curl up inside on those coldest, wet days.   That’s another reason I like winter I suppose.  It gives us a chance to catch up indoors after seasons of growth.

 Morning sun on the trees in winter

Speaking of growth,  we’re excited to see our Phalaenopsis Orchid flowering. I purchased this over a year ago while it was in full flower.  After it faded, I set is aside and didn’t know if it would continue to grow or flower again.  But we kept it watered periodically to see what would happen, and lo and behold we saw a spike of growth a couple months ago and now it has five flower buds.  Kind of fun to have flowering plants indoors during winter.  The first bud was almost chomped off by the Yellow Lab the other day.  I walked into the room to see his mouth around it, but with a quick yell he let go, looking sheepishly at me.  So here’s the first flower, saved from the jaws of a curious Labrador!

Phalaenopsis Orchid in bloom

 

A Full Day

August 23rd, 2007

     Another warm summer day… an understatement!   But it was a productive day, and it seems life is busier than ever.  Up early this morning and got the young one off to school.  He enjoys the sights of nature, and we shared the sunrise.  “What are you taking pictures of Dad?!”  he asks.  “Well, now that the sun is up, where do you see it?”  “Everywhere!” he says.  “Well, almost… and what about the trees?  Do they look nice?” I ask. “Yes! The sun is only halfway on the trunk” he says.  “Yeah, it’s pretty cool, huh?”  “Yep… ummm, can we go catch the bus now?”  “Oh… right, we better get going!”

I love the sun in the mornings, and how the trees are unveiled with light.  The pond is a beautiful backdrop.

 The trees are awakened by the morning sun.

The day grew bright, and cottony clouds drifted across the sky as I waited for the school bus to bring the young one home.  Small cumulus perhaps, but they are my favorites!

Clouds almost like cotton balls a beautiful summer afternoon.

The moon has been out lately… pictures cannot do justice to the moonlight in the trees, and how the landscape is wonderfully shadowed.  In this picture, the flash illuminates the trees on the slope to the pond.

The moon shines above the trees at night

Morning Light in Summer

July 23rd, 2007

There’s something about the mornings in summer, especially if it’s cool.  Maybe just me, but everything is new again, peaceful and light, before the heat sets in.   There are always things to do, animals to tend to, watering that needs done… but the mornings are a brief, special time to get them done.  Sometimes I walk out early to let the dogs out of the kennel, and a rabbit or two are sitting just yards away in the grass, almost laughing at them.  The dogs are whining, staring at the rabbits… quivering with a chance to chase them.  But the rabbits take off running as I get close the kennel and the dogs look wistfully at the woods, knowing they would never get them.   I laugh, but secretly wish they could catch them! 

The morning sun glimpses briefly through the trees, before the day begins.

  The trees awake with the sun

The clouds are a palette of color as the sun rises… soon they too will brighten and lose their momentary hues.

Beautiful morning clouds in summer

Morning Moon

July 2nd, 2007

Sometimes it is nice to wake up earlier than usual… today I was up before the sun, and the dawn was beautiful.  The birds were singing, and a slight breeze rustled the leaves of the trees. The temperature was cool at 60 degrees, and felt wonderful.  I walked around and found the moon slowly setting in the western sky.  It was a full moon a couple days ago, but still showed a bright face between the treetops.  It was a nice, quiet moment to see the day begin. Hello Moon!

The moon in the western sky at dawn

Misty Morning on the Pond

May 19th, 2007

We’ve had several sunny, cool misty mornings this week.  The weather has been very nice outdoors as the birds continue nesting and everything keeps growing.  The garden is getting closer… maybe, just maybe we can plant this weekend!  I love the cooler weather though, it really helps with getting the work accomplished.

Misty country morning on the pond

One of the plants I don’t enjoy watching grow is poison ivy!  We have an abundance of it around the borders of the property… the birds love the small fruits that grow in spring, and they tend to sow it everywhere in their droppings.  Last year I sprayed much of the poison ivy, but only got some of it.  I’ve read it can take several years to remove poison ivy from a landscape, so I’ll just keep after it.  You know what they say… “Leaves of three, let it be.”  The oils in the plant can last for years, so when cutting and trimming you may not even know it’s there, especially in winter!

Poison Ivy grows vigorously around the forest borders

Time, Energy and “Going Fast”

January 19th, 2007

Have you ever felt that there isn’t enough time in the day to do all the things you need… or better yet, want to do?  Okay, a common feeling for most of us at times.  Perhaps it’s the new year that focuses our goals and efforts to achieving things we have put on the “back-burner” for some time.  Maybe it’s because winter progresses and we know spring is just around the corner, with a whole host of new things that need accomplished.  Maybe it’s simply that we are so busy, we find it difficult to stay organized! 

All of that and more…  yet being busy is a challenge I have always welcomed.  Frustrating at times, yet still welcomed for the focus it gives to our lives, and the energy we are able to tap into when needed.  Not necessarily physical energy, but also creative and psychological or spiritual energy that we may choose to direct in the areas that help us succeed, and grow, in our lives. 

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they cannot find them, make them.” (George Bernard Shaw)

January Morning

The young one awoke today and without prompting began busily dressing and getting ready for school.  When asked why he was moving in such a hurry today, he simply said, “I decided last night that I wanted to go fast this morning!”  It is challenging to have an intellectual discourse with a 6-year old, but in his words and manner I knew a change had taken place.  A change for him at some level of realization that he could make choices about how he approached his morning, and the events leading up to school- and hopefully, during school.  His goal was to “go fast” enough to get things done and make the morning bus that he loves to ride… He embraced the challenges before him, and one-by-one accomplished his tasks and achieved them.  Perhaps he will apply the same energy toward school and classwork as he continues to grow. 

We talked about the “Tortoise and the Hare” in an effort to frame progress and goal attainment in different ways… going fast doesn’t always foster a proper focus or attention, and sometimes “slow and steady wins the race.”  But (thankfully!) he was not to be dissuaded. Yet regardless of how we approach things, the simple recognition that our choices and “energy” can influence the direction of our day… and our lives, is an important aspect of growth.  In many respects, the manner in which we apply our energy is limited only by our imagination and desire.  Where is your energy focused today?