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Monday
Apr242017

Washington DC..Cherry Blossom Time

"How many, many things
They call to mind
These cherry-blossoms!"

"How many, many things the blossoms in this photo call to mind, too.

Like… just how many are there? Lots!

The Japanese sure do know how to make nice looking river scenery in spring."

 Basho

 

Tuesday
Apr182017

Cherry Blossom Time

Washington D.C., April 1st, 2017, Cherry Blossom Time...I get to check another one off my bucket list.  I'm really going after the bucket list this year.  Cherry Blossom time has been on the list for many years and quite by accident we got to go this year.  There was some talk of the cherry trees not having as many blooms because of a late March snowstorm and that storm did damage some of the trees but not nearly as many as had been predicted.  Of course we did not know this until we got there, so can you imagine our surprise and joy, at seeing this most amazing extravaganza of pink when we finally got to the basin. It simply filled our senses. A beautiful photo everywhere you turned. Lovely and happy people. The sun was in and out but it was warm.  I survived the metro in, but that's for another day, and more than once, I gave thanks for the beauty that surrounded us.  Yes, folks, this was what was happening in Washington D.C.  It is such a lovely realization that some things are not touched by politics but simply by nature.  The gift given to us by the Japanese. The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.  I am thankful for this gift. So for all of you who won't be able to make it to Washington...I gift you the beauty that came to us that day.

I know, this last one is not from a cherry tree...but a magnolia tree.  It speaks so much of early spring that I had to include it..

 

It is spring time now! While the world looks for a new war to fight, you look for a cherry blossom to watch! Let the stupid seek the violence; you seek the elegance!

Mehmet Murat Ildan
I sat with the above quote for awhile, not sure if I wanted to post that on my beautiful page.  In the end, the world is what it is.  I can't change it but on any given day, I can change myself.  I choose to look for the beauty and elegance that cannot be taken away from us.  I choose spring and re-newed faith in myself. That I will continue to live in nature and light for as long as I can...and in doing so, I will continue to knock things off my bucket list, no matter where the bucket takes me.  Courage does not mean you aren't afriad, it just means you do it anyways...how else to get to the beauty.
Tuesday
Mar282017

My Date With A View

So there I was, standing on the other side of this glass...looking out over the city of Boston..This view, I have always wanted to see it and maybe I did a very long time ago, but tonight I stepped out of the box, for a very special reason.  You see, I don't do elevators, but even when I'm forced to, I never go 52 stories up. It's a major problem for me and has been for many years but sometimes, for the right reasons, you have to put your big girl pants on and step out of the box...one corner at a time. I've been doing just that more and more lately.  You all know I just had a big birthday and when I crossed that line I became very aware that it's now or never with a lot of things...at the end of the day I want to know that I didn't leave anything undone that I really wanted to do.  So, I did this.  Not easily, just ask those in the elevator with me..I was the door man, and the button pushers and I was in charge of how many got on that mechanical steel box. None of that matters though.  What matters is that I did it and how I felt after and when can i go again.

 

My motivation was strong...my friend/sister in law was celebrating a birthday.  I don't get to see her very often because she lives in New Hampshire and I live in Massachusetts and we have busy lives, both of us, with kids and grandkids.  I wanted this to be special for her and also special for me.  I did tell you about my birthday this year already...so going along with that theme..I took the plunge and told my heart to be still because I wanted to surprise her and that I did.

Her and I go back a long way.. she knows my history, I know hers.  Those are the best kind of friends because they love you anyways...She was married to my brother, who unfortunately is not with us any longer..but is still very much a part of our lives.  I am grateful that his passing never changed our relationship, in fact Wendy and I became stronger and almost more committed to keeping our families connected for these last 17 years.  So when Jim and I  found out that my nephew and niece were taking her to the Top of the Hub, we invited ourselves...LOL... and of course they thought that was a very good idea. That my friends is where the big girl panties come in.

To make a very long story short, I will tell you that for many years, more than I like to think about, I suffered from agoraphobia...and at one point I never left my house, other than for doctor's visits and emergencies, for 3 and a half years.  Not a time I like to look back on.  I did the work, and slowly I got better but like any other trama it never goes away, you just learn to manage it and I do that brilliantly for the most part, except for ELEVATORS...and 52 stories is more than I can walk. Poor Jim, I remember once I made him walk 16 flights up out of the underground in London.  It was amazing that I was underground but I could not take that small box back up to street level and so we walked slowly and deliberately and I was ever so happy to see the sun at the top.  So on this night...I knew as I walked towards that big nightmare that I was going to do it...for Wendy and for me.  Time to hang up the fears for as often as I can and to celebrate the good times with the best people.  What a night it was...we laughed as we always do when we are together...We told stories of long ago...I'm sure the kids were impressed with that.  We had wine, but only one for me,  I had to drive that elevator back down, then we had cake and the magic view.  I stood looking out for such a long time..going in it rained the entire way until we got to the parking garage and then it stopped.  A little miracle and a gift.  I had been lamenting about finally going up to the top and not being able to get a view...instead I got the most gorgeous view just as the sun started going down.  It doesn't matter that I had to shoot through the glass, it doesn't matter that I didn't get the sky completely lit up, I got the gift of a view and it felt so good.

So that my friends was a special night...I hope as much for Wendy as it was for me.  I had forgotten the lesson of the more you do something, the easier it gets.  I also won't say that the flight down those 52 floors was any easier than going up.  As head elevator girl, I kept the number of passengers  to a reasonable size getting on...no overloading and no one else working the panel.  I was the elevator operator. When those doors finally slid open, after a long 42 seconds, I felt myself let go and breath.  I also know that I could do it again if I wanted to.  

Wendy is special.  She always has been and I'm sure my brother was looking down and smiling, happy to know that we are still family and even more than that, we are friends.  She was my motivation to take the trip.  Yes it was her birthday and I was so happy to have spent it with her but it was me that got the gift...and hopefully during the night the joy was passed around to all that were at that little table spinning every so slowly above the sky line of Boston...I've got a few more corners to knock off that box...one I will do at the end of April with another special friend I will be meeting in Concord...that will be freeing also..

Happy Birthday Wendy...I love you more as each year passes.  I love the way we laugh more than anything else...Yes, I think this should be a yearly event...who knows maybe next year I'll give elevator tours..that could be fun..and thank you Doug and Lori for putting up with your crazy Aunt...you are both such good keepers of us elders. A really special time was had by all.

If any of my friends here need to step out of the box that is holding you in...don't wait until your 70 to put your best foot forward...start now, right where you stand..you'll be so glad you did and along the way, enjoy the view.

"One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others." Niccolo Machiavelli 

Friday
Mar242017

Revival

 

 

March. I am beginning
to anticipate a thaw. Early mornings
the earth, old unbeliever, is still crusted with frost
where the moles have nosed up their
cold castings, and the ground cover
in shadow under the cedars hasn’t softened
for months, fogs layering their slow, complicated ice
around foliage and stem
night by night,

but as the light lengthens, preacher
of good news, evangelizing leaves and branches,
his large gestures beckon green
out of gray. Pinpricks of coral bursting
from the cotoneasters. A single bee
finding the white heather. Eager lemon-yellow
aconites glowing, low to the ground like
little uplifted faces. A crocus shooting up
a purple hand here, there, as I stand
on my doorstep, my own face drinking in heat
and light like a bud welcoming resurrection,
and my hand up, too, ready to sign on
for conversion.

Lucy Shaw

Tuesday
Mar212017

Fading Away

Nature does not hurry,

but everything is accomplished.

Lao Tzu

As winter fades away I welcome spring.  It has been a long time coming.  Some winters are not so bad but this one was really, really long for me...I'm yearning for color and warmth.