I'm standing on a broken piece of curb. It's recess time. There are kids everywhere running and screaming and laughing and playing. It's one of my favorite times of day. The sunlight filters through the woods and spills across the field. Sometimes I walk with my teacher. Sometimes I slide down the rusty slide in my Polly Flinders dress. But most of the time I am here, where worn blacktop meets grassy ball field....the estuary of the playground. And it is here that I learn to understand. Friends gather near me , their fourth grade problems spilling forth in an endless stream. I listen, quietly, as always. I nod occasionally. I smile. I listen some more. I don't offer quick fixes or words of wisdom. I simply listen. Perhaps it was here that I first learned to put the needs of others before my own.

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For some reason when I read the word “compassion”, my eyes always focus on PASSION.. It hovers like a hummingbird an arm’s reach from me. Sometimes, more often than not, I feel the tug to go and “do”. I wait for the word to flap its little invisible wings and lead me to a part of the world where I am needed. I have ALWAYS felt the call…from the time I was a little girl swaddling my baby dolls I have felt it. It comes from somewhere deep. It’s a pull, a want, a need. It’s a feeling that someone is hurting or lonely or filled with grief. I feel it often. It brings me to tears often. At bedtime when I am in the passing between life and dreams, I feel the strongest tug. Yet here I am, mom, wife, teacher, gardener. I putter my days away, and then lay my head on a soft pillowcase, wondering if I have ignored the pleas or perhaps I am not needed yet.

P.S.Thanks Tessa

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Gratitude Day 1b

{Please join me every day in October as I allow nature to be my daily guide and inspiration. A single snapshot paired with a powerful word, become the catalyst for thought and reflection.}

*I had written this to go with my gratitude post, and then I didn't know if I'd have time to really write with my quotes,but I was thinking you all wouldn't mind if I posted as a little extra.


When I was growing up I thought gratitude was about using your manners. My parents raised five VERY polite kids in the 1970's. But what I thought was gratitude was actually respect. It wasn't until the 1990's, when Oprah Winfrey introduced The Gratitude Journal, that I truly understood the concept of gratitude. I was finally able to express and honor who and what I was thankful for.  That same year, my entire 6th grade class kept gratitude journals. We wrote in them on Fridays and shared with one another. It was touching beyond words to watch the transformation of a group of eleven year olds,  first starting out thankful for candy, video games and puppies, then slowly morphing and progressing with their concept of "grateful". Their thoughts became more abstract, and showed a deeper meaning for nature and the world around them.

Gratitude is so much more than saying thank you.  It’s about relationships and attitude. It’s about doing for others and allowing others to do for you. Gratitude is that feeling you get when the unexpected happens…a hug from your child after a long day at work, a cup of coffee waiting on your desk, a smile when your mind is a million miles away, a scent that brings you back to childhood, a summer rain that soaks your garden and makes the birds twitter. Gratitude is the ordinary and the extraordinary. It’s nothing and everything. It is thought provoking and pensive. Gratitude allows us to dig deep or skim the surface.

And for that...I am grateful.


See my other Nature Reflections HERE

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