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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

I hear my alarm on the nightstand beside me and quickly push snooze. I groggily check to see what time it is. Five a.m. And still dark outside. I lie in bed and debate. I could snuggle into the soft sheets and warm blankets of this bed, cuddled up to my sleeping husband for the next two and a half hours, and start the long day ahead of me with a solid five hours of sleep…

Or I could drag my tired body out of bed and spend my last morning on the island watching the sunrise.

My exhaustion tells me to stay.

But my hunger for the experience that awaits me, for the memories I will take home with me, speaks louder.

I roll out of bed.

I slip on my black stretch pants, pull a blue shirt over my head and slide my feet into a pair of  flip-flops. I grab my phone and car keys off the nightstand and tip-toe out the bedroom door.

The house contains an unfamiliar quiet.

I make my way down the tiled staircase, careful to keep my flip-flops from flip-flopping too loudly, unlock the side door and step out onto a wooden landing. I take my first breath of the cool, salty air and descend a second set of stairs. I glance at my surroundings. Every color is muted, a landscape made up of varying shades of gray. Houses that have been painted every color of the rainbow, bushes and palm trees usually a deep shade of green, flowers in their array of pinks and reds and purples: all muted. All gray.

I hop into my hubby’s xterra.

I drive three miles, passing a cluster of massive hotels, dozens of houses on stilts, one convenience store and acres and acres of sand, sidewalk and palm trees. I reach a giant sign. This sign marks the end of the developed stretch of the island and the beginning of paradise: the seven miles of uninterrupted sand and ocean that I found on my long run five days before.

One point four miles later I pull into a small parking lot, park the xterra facing east, and turn off the engine.

I roll down the windows. Immediately, my ears are filled with the sound of the ocean, the endless, soothing rhythm of the waves as they crash onto the sand. I inhale deeply. Close my eyes. Inhale again. Open my eyes and drink in my surroundings. Could there be a more magical place on earth? There is fifty feet of sand beside me, then ocean for as far as the eye can see. The gray water follows itself all the way to the horizon. For a while I get lost in its infiniteness. The rolling water is hypnotic and I find myself relaxing into this experience.

Eventually I turn my attention back to the scene that is unfolding in front of me. I sit facing east and watch as slowly, steadily, the coming light begins to touch the sky. The low-lying clouds hide the sun as it peeks out of the horizon.  I watch them evolve from their muted gray to a light pink, then to a deeper, reddish pink. The sky around them turns almost blue.

The landscape in my rearview mirror is still gray. The light has not yet reached the west.

The constantly changing colors filling the eastern sky keep me fascinated. Everything about this place, this moment, feels right. Contentedness runs through my veins.

An hour passes quickly.

Around six-thirty the sun’s rays burst through the low-lying cloud cover. The sight is glorious. They light up the entire sky, turn the water into a sea of blue diamonds, turn the sand into a radiant white. They color the eastern sky a deep gold, the western sky a deep blue.

And they leave me with three thoughts that I have taken home with me, that I am still thinking of today.

1) I serve a magnificent God. Who chose a grand creation. And when I take the time to stop and notice, His brilliant design always leaves me breathless.

2) It has never been more clear to me as it was that morning, as I witnessed the power of the sun’s light, how appropriate it is that we call our God and His Son, the Light. The earth was transformed that morning. Everything the light touched was changed. From a dark and colorless mass emerged a distinct landscape bursting with brilliance and color. What a beautiful metaphor for the shape our hearts and our lives can take when they are touched by the Light.

3) I need to experience a purer form of His creation more often. I want this. My spirit craves this. More often than every once in awhile, I must leave this busy city and get lost in His creation.

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Today’s Random Thoughts and Observations in No Particular Order:

– I think spring is magical. The blooms on our trees, the flowers, the sunshine, the warm air, the cool breeze, the noisy birds, green grass, not having to bundle up to go check the mail, no longer being stuck inside for months on end, the desire to spend every waking moment outdoors (although, with this weather, napping outside sounds appealing too), the itch to clean and be active and be productive, the endless signs of life and beauty and rejuvination that surround me every time I step out the door or look out the window- magical.

– Sleeping with my baby boy (for the first time since he was 2 months old), in our guest bed, 2 of the last 3 nights, because he is very sick and I am worried about what might happen if I let him sleep in his crib for his usual 12-14 hours, is absolutely precious, but not remotely restful. Both nights he moved non-stop, including lots of kicking, hitting, and lying on top of me, rolling, scooting and throwing the covers around- all in his sleep. So, though he is probably rested (if you can be, when you are that active in your sleep) I. Am. Not.

– Being sick sucks. I have not felt good for almost a week now and I am feeling great compassion for people who deal with chronic pain and illness. I am really struggling with my patience and my attitude, and I have only felt this way for 6 days. I cannot imagine the patience and strength of character it takes for people who feel bad every day, to be even the least bit functional.

– One of the things that drives me crazy about being sick is feeling like I am trapped in my head. What I mean is- I look around me and there are so many things I want and need to do- I need to do the dishes and fold the laundry and clean up the piles of papers and toys that are accumulating around our house, I want to workout and run around with my kids and do some spring cleaning and plant flowers and go to the park with my mom friends and their kiddos and really take advantage of this gorgeous weather, I want/need to do a lot- but every time I stand up all I can think is “How long till I can lay down again?”. Its like my brain is still going a mile a minute with its wants and thoughts and to do lists, but my body just can’t keep up.

– My son can count to 10! I am so excited and proud of him! He is learning things, even though he rarely lets on that he is listening or interested or catching on. I will ask him frequenly to count with me or sing the ABCs or point out colors and he usually refuses. But last week I heard him and his friend Nora counting before they jumped from coffee table to couch and this morning I heard him counting with his sister! Yay, Bubba. I am so proud of you.

– I needed some soothing music this morning, to quiet my restless, frustrated spirit and I realized then that Amy Grant and Celine Dion are the two artists that have the most immediate and powerful affect on me. I think this is because my dad often played their music when I was living at home, so they both, more than any other, take me back to my childhood. (Christmas music has the same affect!) Thank you, daddy, for creating such a safe and peaceful home for me to grow up in. (And thank you, mama. You were a big part of that too.)

– I desperately need to do some decluttering. I vacillate between only keeping what I love and what I use, and getting this strange urge to keep anything and everything (because “I might need it someday or miss it if I get rid of it!”). What is wrong with me? I know that the “If you don’t love it or use it, get rid of it!” policy is what brings peace and order to my home. Why do I ever stray from this?

– I decided to do a cleanse of sorts yesterday and Monday, after eating waaay to much junk over the weekend. It is amazing to me how two days of deprivation can change one’s perspective. I allowed myself a cup of coffee this morning (my first consumption of caffeine or sugar since Sunday). The coffee, usually a given, something I drink every morning and take for granted and don’t always relish or pay particular attention to, seemed like such a treat! So, if you are wanting to reawaken your senses, your enjoyment and appreciation for life’s little treats, try not allowing yourself to have them for a period of time- and see what happens!

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It was several weeks ago that Meadow and I watched the movie “Secret Garden”, a movie (and book) that I enjoyed as a young girl. The movie is striking to me, for many reasons, but the one that has stayed with me these last few weeks is the absolutely breathtaking and almost unbelievable beauty of the secret garden, after which the movie is titled. As I experienced this movie, sitting on my couch, in the den of our house, in the middle of the big city that is Nashville, I got lost. Lost in the lush greenery covering almost every inch of the garden’s grounds and spilling over the garden’s stone walls. Lost in the stunning contrast of color between the gray of the stones and the green of the vines.  Lost in the kaleidoscope fashioned by the reds and pinks and purples and yellows and blues of each flower, thousands of them, growing so abundantly as to leave a person barely enough room to wander through them or, as I did, get lost in them. A thrill for the senses, even through a tv screen.

The movie ends with a shot of Mary’s hand, holding a flower as she says, “The spell was broken. My uncle learned to laugh and I learned to cry. The secret garden is always open now. Open…and awake…and alive. If you look the right way you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

Which got me thinking…

…about where I find my own garden – those little experiences, each day, when, even if only for a moment, I get lost in the beauty of this world.

And I realized…

…I find my garden when I sit in the back yard, on a beautiful day, while my children are napping, and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, the freshness of the air in my lungs, and the quiet of an afternoon spent outdoors. I find it each time I see the bouquet of flowers sitting on my kitchen counter, the one my husband brought me, just because. I find it when I read one chapter of a really good book before I go to sleep at night. I find it when I look through my wedding scrapbook (the one I worked really hard on and am very proud of, the only scrapbook I have ever finished! 🙂 ) and remember the moments of that amazing day, almost seven years ago. I find it when I overhear the hilarious and often heartwarming conversations between my children, and between my children and their friends. I find it in the morning, when I sit at my dining room table, eating breakfast, reading my Bible, writing in my prayer journal, and feeling God’s spirit fill the room around me. I find it in a favorite song, a well-made movie, a thoughtful note written to me by my husband or a close friend. I find it while I am running on the trails at River Park, breathing heavy but steady and thanking God for the strong and healthy body that He has blessed me with. I find it in a kiss from my son, a smile from my daughter, and the peaceful faces of my sleeping children when I go in to check on them late in the night.  I find it in the arms of my devoted and always forgiving husband and in the acceptance and loyalty of my precious friends and family. I find it in the sunset, in the sunrise, in the blooms of spring and the leaves of fall, in the sounds of a thunderstorm and in the colors of the rainbow that is soon to follow.

And I ask…where is your garden? Because…

…beauty is everywhere. We just have to find it…experience it…appreciate it…and maybe even get lost in it.

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