Big, yet simple

Trying to live big. Trying to live simply. Can we do it? For us, this is what it looks like the past few days. Me with a warm cup of creamy coffee. Jason with a glass of nice dry wine. Emma with a Gatorade, Glacier Freeze. Blankets and pillows loaded up. We drive west a few miles. It doesn’t take long until we find wide, open spaces. There’s no trees. No buildings to block our view. Just a vast expanse of blue sky at dusk. We park, facing west and watch the sunset. Good music coming from the speakers and we just be. We just are. We just observe.

Afterward, EK drives sitting in my lap. It takes a lot of convincing from us. She doesn’t dance near the fire. Mostly, she stands back and watches the flames. But she trusts us and we convince her that she will not be doing it alone. We are right here. We will always be right here. There is nothing to fear. The sunroof is open. Above us, a black abyss of stars. She’s a good driver and keeps us on the road. Music wafts upward and outward and inward to our souls. And we drive on dirt roads in the dark. Living big. Living simply.

Another day instead of blankets, pillows and drinks it’s two very excited wagging, panting dogs we load up. We drive East, it doesn’t take long until we find a small pond. The day is cool. We are wearing jeans and hoodies. The wind is strong and cold. The dogs are panting. Their tongues loll about. We stroll around the water. Ducks swim undisturbed. Clouds sail across the sky. Cows in the next field are curious. They come to the fence. They’re excited. The dogs are excited. Even J-Dub is excited. He walks right to the fence and sits with them reaching through the barbed wire. Their nostrils flare trying to get a better scent of him. They crowd into one another. The dogs whimper and prance wanting to take chase, but knowing better. Every creature is curious of the others. For a little while.

The dogs walk the water’s edge. Dipping their tongue as the walk. Their paws are muddy. Their legs are wet. They venture out further. Then without warning they sink up to their shoulders. EK finds it hilarious. So we all do. Laughter is contagious. We walk a bit more. It is quiet. It is just us. We are still, yet moving.

Afterwards, we have two tired, still panting, sopping wet, and now very smelly dogs to load back up until their next adventure. Everyone likes to go every once in a while. Living big. Living simply.

I sit on my patio in the morning. My coffee is full and hot. The sun is full and hot. It beats down on my face, legs, and arms. Spring is bursting. I only need to look around and observe. Cycles of life continue. The world has not stopped just because the people have. How little we are in control of. The sun does not rise at our command. The birds build nests, not because we say so, but because they know that’s what they were put here to do. The spider weaves his web every day, knowing he’ll have to make repairs. The flowers bloom. The cows calve. The gigantic pink full moon casts its healing light on our planet. We cannot stop it. We can not force it or make it cease. We think we have so much power, we think we are in control. We must only open our eyes to see how foolish we are.

I close mine. I breathe deeply. I feel my body relax. My thoughts slow. I am still. I just be. I just am. I hear the words come to me.

I am right here. I am always right here. There is nothing to fear. I smile. Is God a poet? Of course He is. He is in all things. He is all things. Big. So Big. Yet, so simple.

Living, Loving, Hoping, Healing day 1

It’s spring break here, and quite honestly the first one where I’m not completely relaxing. It’s hard to relax right now. Planet Earth is sick. All we hear about is the C-word. Yes, I hope your mind thought of any number of different C-words; that would reassure me that we are still ourselves. It is also the first spring break where I want to return to work on Monday. Normally, I would be wishing for more time to be home, now I am wishing for things to be normal.

I decided to blog my experience during this pandemic because quite honestly I never dreamed I would live through something like this. I don’t have cable or any form of news. My information comes strictly from facebook, so you can imagine the amount of fear, panic, and misinformation I am receiving. For that reason, I have put myself on a strict limit from that form of social media. Instead of social distancing, I am social media distancing and life has improved. I will enjoy looking back and reading this when all of it is said and done. I wanted to leave something in writing for those in years to come too. Can you imagine my great, great grandchildren reading about this in history books and having a written record from me? Will it come to that? I so often wished I had the experiences of my grandmother during the Great Depression and I don’t, so this will hopefully serve as a reference for later down the line. You know—well maybe you don’t— but I always have book ideas floating around in my head, and one involves the Great Depression era. Her writing would have been valuable. She told me stories and I wish I had remembered better. And cared, but quite honestly I was a twit and didn’t think it mattered.

The sun is shining today and I am sitting on my back patio soaking it up. It feels so good. Rain has been abundant and there are some tulips in the yard that are awaiting their moment of splendor. Birds still sing and as I sit, some are making a nest in a watering can that is hanging from my back patio. I receive great solace from this. Nature has not been interrupted at all. They cycles of the earth continue. The sun rises and sets. Clouds dump their moisture, just to soak it back up again for the next round. Soft green buds are on the trees. The Creator is still in control. It’s a beautiful world.

As of today, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Texas Panhandle. This is the status of my small Texas town. Our schools are on spring break, and are monitoring closely to see if we return on Monday or extend our spring break time. The stores are very busy, with people stocking up. Yes, of course toilet paper is hard to find. Limits have been placed on items such as tp, paper towels, sanitizers, hand soaps etc.  I haven’t been to the store in a few days, but I heard there is a limit now on meat (2 per person I believe). Walmart has cut their hours of operation so that employees can stock at night without interruption. I will continue to believe there is enough in this world.

We are living day to day as normally as possible. J-Dub and EK went to Amarillo yesterday for wine of all things. My husband does love his wine, and is tired of the selection here. He also splurged and picked up filet and lamb chops. It makes me laugh. The Raman noodles are cleared out, but the opportunity for delicious fine food still remains. We shall feast this week! He said some restaurants had closed for take out only and the one they chose to eat in had a limit of 50 people and tables were 3 feet apart. I had lunch out at the coffee shop yesterday here in our town with a friend. It is refreshing to see our town continuing to support business and remaining calm for the most part.

I will take this inconvenience of life and see it as a time of rest and slowing down. Appreciating all that we have and have been given. A time to hope and trust that we can return to “normal”. A time to not take for granted the freedoms we have. A time of an awakening, I hope. I choose to remain steadfast and calm in this time of uncertainty. I realize that the situation is out of my hands, but how I react to it is completely in my power. Ultimately, I know that my trust is in God and in Him alone. Psalm 91 is a great reminder right now. I also am eager to write about life, just the beautiful simplicity of the life we’ve been given. Writing is a salve and helps me heal.

Until next time,

Angel

And the Earth Renews

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Glory, glory to this early spring day!

Although I woke from a very restless sleep, my body groaning under the weight of its 40 years: hips and hamstrings, neck and knees, the outside world renews me. I’m so glad my 3-year-old wanted to dress and head directly outside, despite my opposition.

The birds are so happy today and why shouldn’t they be? They are announcing the coming of a glorious day.

The earth is wet from either a heavy dew or a light rain and it doesn’t take long for Emma’s shoes to grow wet all the way to her pale pink socks, as she frolics and plays.  The sun is warming the world ever so slowly, removing the chill, granting the warmth.

There is an earthy smell of rebirth in the air. The wind carries it on its breath. Nothing can keep quiet. Nothing can be still, for this day is indeed worth shouting about. The whole of nature is trumpeting the coming of spring!

So I sit with the small pleasure of life: coffee, front porches, pen and paper, and wet tennis shoes. I watch the world in all its activity. My little black cat pounces and climbs, pausing on occasion to stare at something unseen to me, and switch her tail in eager anticipation. And then, as if it couldn’t get any better, the icing on the cake—–a “butterfly”, as my daughter calls them dances by.  She’s black with yellow rimmed wings. She too heard the call of nature, felt the breezes, heard the birds, smelled the dampness of the earth and yet, knowing her days were short, came out to play.

Apple trees are in bloom, lilac bushes are in bud.  I say to them, “careful, careful, not too soon. Have patience”. But surely they know better than I.

My senses take it all in. My soul exhales the dregs of winter. Truly nature is where we find rest yet energy, calmness yet revitalization, serenity yet pulse. A place of reprieve, of lessons, of growth, of birth.

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.~~Bernard Williams

Glory, Glory to this early spring day!!

Lilacs

There is a row of bare bushes that line the side of our property. They sit in a strong straight row bumping their branches into one another, housing nests of birds, and toying with my emotions.

I think, hope, wish, and pray that they are lilac bushes. As we begin our second spring here in this beautiful place, maybe my wish will come true.

Last spring I anticipated their blooms. I imagined the smell of the hundreds of lilacs merging together. My intent was to snip the fresh bouquets and place them everywhere in the house: the kitchen windowsill, the fireplace mantle, the bedside table.

I have such a fondness to lilacs that transports me to my grandmothers house, doesn’t everything of fondness remind us of our grannies?

My plans, like so many others, didn’t come to fruition when a late freeze killed the tiny, purple clustered blooms.

So here we are on the cusp of another possible lilac explosion and I’m remaining optimistic. I awoke this morning to a snowy frost hanging thick on all the trees including these massive 10 feet tall bushes. I immediately checked the temp and saw it dropped to 28 degrees. It didn’t stay cold long into the day and in fact as I sit outside soaking some rays and blogging, I just may have a slightly red chest; the sun is so warm.

I’m hoping for two things: 1) last nights cold wasn’t harsh enough to kill them 2)there won’t be another freeze this season. Okay 3 things: 3) they truly are lilac bushes.

I’m afraid my disappointment will be too great otherwise.

If you are one who possesses a green thumb and recognize these plants, maybe you can let me know.

I’m hoping for a house filled with vases upon vases of purple!

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