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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Well, the craziest part of my year is now behind me and I find myself breathing a huge sigh of relief…………..let me explain.
Part of my job involves taking my designs to local shows/festivals to sell. Since I’m not exactly a youngster these shows can be somewhat physically challenging for me and take much of my energy. This past year I’ve tried to keep the number of shows to one a month except for October which had show 3 weekends in a row. I was WAY beyond tired when that was finished.
Even though the shows are hard work there are many aspects that I enjoy. One thing I love is the opportunity to interact with my customers in person. It is VERY affirming when a customer comes in and says that they had purchased some of my jewelry the previous year and were hoping I’d be back. I enjoy the feedback and suggestions of the people who stop by my booth. Some of my design are the result of an idea from a customer.
One obvious thing I enjoy about doing a show is when the sales are especially high. The shows this past year were all very successful, despite extreme temperatures a few showers and some wind. The temperatures went from 104 degrees in July to 38 degrees in October. I’m always amazed at the excitement of the festival attendees despite less than ideal conditions. Whether they are melting in the heat or shivering ice cold, they are very happy to be out enjoying the fairs and checking out all of the artisan displays. (and buying LOTS of jewelry. 🙂 )
The shows in 2012 went better than I could have anticipated, but now that the whirlwind has passed, my mind has the chance to slow down a bit. I’ve realized that being fairly busy can have beneficial aspects as well as some potentially detrimental consequences. On the good side, it can keep me focused and give me a clear direction for each day. I am a goal-oriented woman and I tend to start the day with a list of tasks that I hope to accomplish and I almost always manage to complete my ‘list’. On the down-side, it can cause me to neglect other aspects of life—friends, family and other personal matters. Now that things have slowed down a bit, I’m faced with a choice of what to do with this more relaxed time of year. I can allow life to just ‘happen’ or I can make a point of using this slower-paced time wisely.
It may not be the official ‘new year’ and a time for resolutions, but for me, it is definitely a time for some self-care, introspection and a determination to learn to live my life with a clear and meaningful direction. I hope to be able to reflect on some spiritual and emotional matters. Yes, I’m sure that I will be making jewelry during much of this introspection, but my thoughts will be more on more personal and important matters and not on the details of some upcoming show. Even at the wonderful age of 50, I find that I am constantly discovering things about myself, others, and life in general. Human beings are deeper and more complex than I think most of us realize and that means that we must constantly be ready and willing to face the challenges that may cross our paths. I guess life would be boring if we didn’t continue to grow and change and I can definitely say that my life is anything but boring.
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