Sunday, March 29, 2009

One Morning Past Day Break


Have you ever gazed upon the horizon as the first glimmer of light appeared in the eastern sky? Feather light clouds drift high above the horizon and fingers of light spread slowly across the sky. Dark blue from the west fades to pale blues and lavenders, pinks and lemon yellow as the light of dawn dances across the sky. A sliver of gold appears, bright against the horizon and all across the land, shadows lengthen and disappear as the light brightens and the sun rises into the sky.

With Easter Sunday upon us, I find myself lingering over sunrise, even on these mornings when sunrise is clouded over and comes with the gray light of dawn covered by snow clouds. I enjoy the moments of introspective review and spiritual renewal. The delicate aroma of morning coffee and the knowledge that we exist on a level that allows us to comprehend the creator bring guidance to my day.

The clouds simply remind me that even when I can't see Him, just like the sun on those cloudy mornings, God is still there, lighting up my life and giving me warmth and love for the day. My faith becomes stronger on the cloudy days, just as it is strengthened by the gloomy days I survive. I know, God is there.

Whenever I'm asked how I know, I have to answer... look around. If you can't see by the very design of nature that God exists and created this magnificent world in which we live by intelligent design, you're not looking. Through all the scientific theories there's no means by which the whole of our existence could have been an accident. Nothing in our world indicates or proves that evolution exist. Our creation must have been by design. Throughout all of history, we've proven the existence of God, and of Christ, the Son, the Word, the reality of our creation.

Is there any doubt?

Not in my life. As I travel the back roads, I understand my destiny, my fate, and my faith to be true and just.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What Matters Most... Reflections of Life

Often my reflecting is done over a cup of tea in the early morning dawn of a bright new day, such as today. I'm sitting at my computer writing about the events of the past several weeks, when I realize, none of these events have a long term effect on day-to-day life. While they impacted my life over the past few weeks, they're past history and nothing of them matters anymore.

Defeatist attitude? Not really, I've been thinking along the lines of what does matter lately. Philosophically, I've grasped a good lot of detail about what matters in my own life, but I've been asked by others how they might find balance. It's not an easy answer... But I do have an answer.

1. Look back over your life for those "freeze frame moments" and write them down.

These are the moments that get stuck in your mind. They linger long after they're passed and gone, in vivid living color memories that you don't have to ask anyone about, or have to try to remember. These are the moments that pop into existence based on how they impacted you at the moment.

My grandparent's home had always been a haven for me. When my grandfather died Christmas morning of 1971, I remember sitting in a corner of the living room, the adults in my family bickering over the "things" in the house, and realizing that the place wasn't the haven, it was the family. That moment revealed to me that I was no longer SAFE in that place.

2. Find your current comfort zone and the pace you prefer to live and write it down.

This is the spirit in which you reveal your intimate self existence and how you cope with daily living. The more comfortable you feel in this existence, the more readily you'll adapt to life in general, if your life flows out from this place.

As my children grow up and begin to leave home, I'm finding more and more that I enjoy the time I spend working. When my children were young, I loved going places with them, doing mommy duty and sharing the load of life with the kids, just being a parent. But as they grow up, I find I'm more and more comfortable re-entering the work place. I like my professional life.

3. Locate your source of energy and determine if you're an active part of that source and how it effects your life.

The source of energy in your life will most probably be an outside force. Religious experiences, spiritual realms, or potential self growth patterns come from this force of existence that energizes your being. It may be something as simple as the time of day or a location that inspires you.

Inspiration for me comes with the sunrise. It has never mattered where I am, if I have an east facing window, I'm a happy girl. I love the sunrise. I love writing about it. I absolutely adore the experience of knowing God has given me a brand new day to mess up in any way I choose. Isn't he an awesome God?

So where is it you're going in this world? Do you know what matters most? Do you have a reflection of life that you're interested in standing on for the rest of your life?

Find your focus and be who you want to be.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Showers of Blessings

Sometimes the dance of thunder and rain pelting down offers the closest thing you can get to heaven. This mountain rain inspired many paintings, but this one is my favorite.

Captured near the basin of Blue Mesa, the mountains rise straight up from the water's edge, on most sides, with only a few places where land actually meets water in a manner conducive for fishing. Camping is a favorite summer activity and my favorite part of camping is taking along watercolors and painting our campsites.

Rain splattered across the cove before me, long before I gave up and went inside to wait out the storm. From beneath the awning of the camper, I had access to the views but didn't lose any paper to the weather.

I always wonder at the fishermen who weather the storm, brave the winds and rain to stay on the lakes. Although I didn't paint them in, I remember praying for three men in a small motor boat who anchored in our cove and rode out the storm in their small craft. Their efforts to keep water out of the boat and stay dry were heroic, with storm clouds high above, thunder ripping the mountains and lightening splintering across the sky on short intervals. When at last the storm rolled out, the three cast the tarp aside and pulled anchor. Their tiny engine didn't want to pull the load and they ended up pulling their boat out of the lake right there.

We drove them around the lake to their truck and trailer at the boat doc. Once we returned, we fed them a quick meal of soup and sandwiches and helped them pull their boat out of the water.

One of those gentleman has inspired many hours of writing and painting. You never know who you'll meet on the banks of a lake.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reflections of Gone - The Yesterday Trail

Captured in yesterday this painting reveals something more than the reflection of light and dark. I see time left behind, a glimpse of back roads and a trail to the past.

The writer in me created a story based on the small cabin near the base of a mountain lake, where the river meets the road and time stands as still as the water in this deep mountain lake. Is there revelation in reflection?

From a distant vantage point mountains disappear from view, and yet they vividly rise from the base of the painting, a point of reference found in most scenes glimpsed by the artist. The image, borrowed from Smith Art imparts a kind of safe haven for whoever lived in that time and place. "Along the Back Roads of Yesterday" implies a trail of sorts, given way to treasures life has left back there, alone in the woods at the foot of the mountain, where boys go when they want to find to origin of life.

Whether this mountain is the revelation of such a setting or not, the implication of time standing still offers a safe, secure place of refuge for those seeking escape from today. Consider taking a stroll of your own along with Mr. Meadow Lark...

Looking Back - Wisdom of Moms

I wiped down the shelf today where my grandparent's photo sits, near my favorite book. Grandma was a steady source of amusement in my teens, as well as a source of strength and power that would come to me much later in life. Her wisdom never fails me, and I know she obtained her wisdom from the Bible, my favorite book.

When my daughter struggled with in-laws and a new baby, Grandma's words came flooding back, "Just be there for her, she'll tell you what she needs." I patiently waited to be the one she called. When Lizzie was sick, she was confident she could handle anything that happened, so she didn't call. (She's a good Mommy, she's had lots of experience with kids, including her brothers and sister.) But when a bee stung her and the sting started swelling, she called Mom. I calmly talked her through the reaction, giving her strength and information she desperately needed. It took a while, but she called several times about questions she needed answered. When the in-laws got out of her way and started allowing her to make her own decisions, she called more often. Once she was again able to call, freely, the phone calls were frequent, sometimes several times a day. Grandma's wisdom worked again.

Moments in time when I think of life back then, in those summer afternoons on the porch swing, waiting for the locusts to sing, I remember events and conversations. The moments that stand out are laughter. Hearing my grandmother laugh is like listening to ice tinkle in crystal, ethereal and gratifying.

Yesterday, I had plumbing issues - it's winter and the pipes froze - so after trying everything I knew to try, I called Mom. As usual, wisdom passed down through the ages, and she rescued my frozen pipes with a few spoonfulls of salt to melt the ice. Moments later the ice was gone and I was able to take a hot shower and be ready in plenty of time for my meeting.

Oh, yeah, the meeting... Was cancelled due to ice. Guess they don't know my mom!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snowy Fields Out my Window

Living in southeastern Colorado offers the best of many realities, but one of the nicest is the moderate weather we enjoy almost all year long. With the exception of wind dancing through the cottonwoods, our weather works well for farm living, or could even be considered pleasant. This prairie girl enjoys the distant views of snow across the prairie, and warm summer afternoons.

This morning, I woke up to snow fields out my window and frosty pipes. The lingering aroma of a hot mug of cocoa welcomed me from a delicious winter nap, and my cozy corner sprang to life shortly after the crack of dawn.

Dreams shattered by a ringing phone, and life rushing in. I left them there on my pillow to face the day. But, I'll pick them up again, when I sit down to work on my novel "Prairie Ghosts" later today. But, I'll share a snippet of the novel here:

Thunder rolled over the face of the prairie, lightening flashed, fragments dissected a rich dark sky. The color of royalty smothered the flash. A gentle rocking motion kept fear at bay as the Harpers moved their chairs back-and-forth on the worn wooden floor of the raised porch Time stood still a moment longer.

“Do you ever wonder?” he asked, cherry tobacco smoke wisped into the atmosphere. A steady stream swirled up toward the heavens.

“Not so much anymore,” she answered. Her hand held tight to his, their rockers moved in unison. “Time has gone when I wanted to live there. I’m content in my world as you are in yours.”

Her voice lingered before him, blending with the wispy smoke...