Posted in My thoughts, tagged autumn, beauty, cottage, fall colors, forest, gratitude, journey, life, meditation, michaux forest, mountain, nature, peace, personal, scenery, thankful, trees, woods on November 7, 2016|
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Quite often in life, I get so focused on where I’m going that I forget to enjoy the beauty along the way. I become so absorbed with finishing everything on my to-do list that I miss the special moments that occur along the way.
Earlier this week I had to make a trip to our cottage for a small task that needed to be done. I awoke thinking of all the things I needed do as I’m preparing for my Holiday Home Show and had a ton of tasks on my to-do list. I wasn’t looking forward to taking 1 1/2 hours out of my already busy day to drive the whole way there and back for an errand that would take only 5 minutes to accomplish.
That morning as I took my dog out for his morning ‘constitutional’ I was greeted with the sight of a gorgeous morning sky. As I stood looking at it I was reminded that even when life is harried that there are gifts of beauty along the way that are easily overlooked.
As I drove up the mountain to the cottage I began to notice just how beautiful the scenery was along way. It’s late-Autumn here in central PA and the leaves are turning amazing colors. Both sides of the road are lined with trees and it seemed as though each time I drove around a curve in the road the colors were more amazing than the the last.
One section is lined by pine trees. Even though the bright colors of the deciduous trees are extremely beautiful, the line of green pines has it’s own charm.
As I turned onto a gravel road the scenery changed, but still had a special kind of beauty.
Entering the driveway I felt a sense of peace (as I often do). This time of year when it’s completely covered by pine needles and leaves even the car was quiet.
Even though the cottage is nothing fancy, to me it’s a beautiful sight. It’s my ‘piece of heaven on earth’ – a place I can relax and experience a sense of peace that I don’t always feel at our home. On this day, as I got out of the car and headed to the door, this is what I saw:
My Happy Place 🙂
I couldn’t help but smile as I imagined the sound effect you hear in movies when something has a bright light shining on it – like an angelic chorus. (Click here to hear the sound I heard in my head) I know that may sound a bit dramatic and a little silly, but in a real way, this little place has been a heavenly gift to me. It’s where I can slow down enough to focus on the truly important things in life and be able to appreciate all of the beauty that is around me. On this day, even though I wasn’t able to spend much time there, I did take time to notice the beauty on drive. I wish I could always have the mind-set to be more aware of special moments along this journey called ‘life’. I hate to think that I am missing any heavenly gifts along the way.
I can’t remember if I finished everything on my list that day, but I do remember feeling grateful for all the beauty around me.
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Posted in My thoughts, tagged beauty, cabin, camping, christian, cottage, emotions, family, feelings, forest, gift, God, gratitude, grief, healing, hike, hiking, introspection, Laurel Lake, marriage, nature, Pine Grove, soul, spirituality, thankful, women, woods on October 17, 2015|
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Never Say “Never”
I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve said I would NEVER do something only to wind up doing exactly what I said I’d “never” do.
- I said I’d never live in a white house–I now live in a house with white siding.
- I said I’d never ride a bike–I now LOVE riding bicycle.
- I said I’d never like eating wings because it was ‘barbaric’. Well, I now thoroughly enjoy sitting down to a heaping plateful of messy wings and tearing into them like a ravenous dog.
- plus MANY more……..
One thing I said I’d never do was to have any kind of vacation place. My husband had been talking about it for years and I’ve always said that was something I’d never do. Well………yep, you guessed it, we now own a cottage in a nearby state forest. As my husband kept showing me picture after picture of cabins, cottages and homes in the woods I continued to adamantly tell him that it wasn’t something I wanted. Then, one evening he showed me a picture of a cottage that had recently been listed. To call it ‘love at first sight’ might be an overstatement, but for some reason my attitude changed and I could immediately see our family spending time at this little cottage in the woods. Knowing how much our kids loved camping in this area when they were young, I knew they would want to spend time at this little place. We went to see it with family members and it was unanimous—everyone loved it. We became happy owners of a little cottage in the woods.
“Fern Gully” (aka Adelaide)
Even though I loved the place and expected to enjoy it, I had no idea how much I was going to NEED it. Just the time we began to spend time there things began to happen within our family.
- My daughter delivered our granddaughter 4 weeks early after an extremely difficult pregnancy.
- My father, who had been ill, passed away suddenly.
- Other things happened within the family that brought sorrow.
As all of this was happening, I found that spending time at our peaceful, little cottage enabled me to process some of my emotions. Many nights were spent sitting on the porch praying and crying while coming to terms with some of the grief and fear. Sitting on that little porch in the woods, listening to the sounds of the forest as nightfall came filled me with a sense of calm. My soul began to heal as I rocked, cried, prayed and yes, sipped wine
The “Special” Porch
This cottage has been something our entire family needed. We have had several wonderful weekends at the cottage with the kids/grandkids enjoying many things as a family.
- sitting around the fire
- enjoying dinner together
- falling asleep under the same roof and then waking up together
- seeing our first bear
- working on projects together
Nothing beats sitting around a campfire.
One of our hikes
When I first looked at the pictures of the cottage, I knew it would be a fun place for our family, but I had no idea how healing it would be. Even though I didn’t know all those things were about to happen-God did. He gave me something I needed before the need was even there. I can’t help but wonder how often God does this and we don’t even realize it. I hope I can become more and more aware of all the ways I’m cared for by my loving God.
I encourage you to never say ‘never’. You might be saying no to a special gift that God wants to give to you. It might be something you never wanted, but turn out being exactly what you need.
A Gift from Above
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Posted in My thoughts, tagged beauty, floral, florida, flowers, garden, gift, gratitude, happiness, islamorada, jewelry, keys, orchid, rainy, surprise, vacation on March 24, 2015|
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Rainy morning in the Florida Keys
We are on vacation in the Florida Keys and we have had gorgeous weather—until this morning when I awoke to the sound of rain. I looked out the window and saw that it was ‘raining cats and dogs’. I decided to make the best of things and get some jewelry made. (Yes, I bring jewelry along on vacation. 🙂 )
My morning work tray
As I sat and worked on some jewelry, I just kept looking out the window toward the bay and watching the heavy rain continue. After working a while I got up and looked out the window behind me and I got a beautiful surprise. There was a white and dark pink orchid growing on a tree only about 10 feet from me. Back in Pennsylvania I would not see an orchid growing on a tree.
You can see the raindrops dripping off the stem.
Apparently in Florida, you can attach certain orchids to a tree that is in the perfect location…not too much direct sunlight, but not all shade either. If the orchid receives indirect sunlight and some fertilizer it will flourish. I sure wish we could do that in Pennsylvania!!!
Later in the day the sun came out and I was able to appreciate the orchid close up. Seeing the beauty of that orchid at a time I was not expecting it brought a smile to my face. Orchids are a thing of beauty and I’m thrilled that I was given the gift of seeing one today. I am very thankful for my rainy day surprise.
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Posted in My thoughts, tagged beauty, emotions, feelings, God, grief, healing, love, pain, sacred, sadness, soul, tear, teardrop on December 12, 2012|
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In my section ‘a little about me’ I’ve described myself as a woman who feels things deeply and then tries to find ways to express those feelings—-at times through my jewelry. Being a person who feels things deeply can be a blessing as well as a hardship. Feeling the extreme joys in life can be one of the sweetest experiences in life, but feeling deep sadness is one of the hardest. The fact is that you can’t feel one without the other. By opening your soul with complete abandon to love, joy and life your heart becomes immediately open to the more painful emotions of life. I am a person who is brought to tears easily and at times I find myself wishing I could be a bit less ‘prolific’ in that way, but in many ways I’m extremely thankful that I am that kind of person. I recently found this quote and it touched my soul and made me even more thankful for my ‘gift’ of tears.
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the make of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…..and unspeakable love. ”
There is something cleansing in tears. They are caused by deep emotions that can not be contained, but find their way out of your soul in the form of beautiful teardrops. I’ve always appreciated the unique beauty of teardrop pearls, gems and beads. They have such a feeling of warmth and beauty to them and it suddenly dawned on me that they are a perfect symbol for human tears. Tears are warm and if you really think about it, they are often beautiful. Granted, we may not consider ourselves ‘beautiful’ with splotchy faces and swollen eyes from crying, but the tears that form in our hearts, flow from our eyes and gently slide down our cheeks are packed full of whatever is in our souls and that can be a truly beautiful thing.
The emotions behind tears can be very complex. They are often caused by several different emotions at one time. One kind of tear in particular has a unique beauty to it—the tear that is brought about by joy and pain at the same time. There is something exquisitely beautiful about being able to cry tears of joy about something that is also causing pain as well. It is a true blessing to be able to feel inexpressible joy for someone’s good fortune even though that same good fortune causes pain in your own heart. I think that is the kind of tears that the quote above is referring to. Those tears are ‘messengers of overwhelming grief…..and unspeakable love’.
I, for one, am thankful for the gift of being able to shed those kinds of teardrops and I am reminded of a passage from the Bible…Psalm 56:8.
You have kept record
of my days of wandering.
You have stored my tears
in your bottle
and counted each of them.
I am truly beginning to believe that God does see each and every tear we cry and when those tears are the result of love, especially a love that He/She has placed in our hearts………..I like to think those are kept in an especially beautiful bottle. Those tears are a visible sign of true love. Tears that are the result of that kind of inexplicable love are what I see as ‘treasured teardrops’.
I have a feeling that you may be seeing more teardrops worked in to my designs in the weeks and months to come and you will know that they are in some small way a tangible expression of my deep feelings and are visible symbols of my ‘treasured teardrops’.
I share this with the hope that for any of you who find tears streaming down your cheeks will somehow be able to see some small amount of beauty in them………..even midst the pain that may be causing them.
Teardrop Designs by Brenda Elaine
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