It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

IMGP2212For the first time in what seemed like weeks, I awoke to sun rays streaming through my bedroom window. It was Sunday, and although Sundays are work days for me, the sun’s brightness and warmth lifted my spirits. But soon enough I was busily preparing for my day. A while later, as I walked out our front door, I noted that the lawn needed mowing, that the weeds were taking over the entire yard, and that soon the dandelions would fill the air with their feathery seeds. I was not happy with how “tacky” our home appeared. Yet, I was also delighted by the sight of sunshine brilliantly illuminating a sea of fuzzy dandelions heads. I couldn’t resist shooting a few photos of the sight before rushing into my day.

As a Community In-Home Mental Health Therapist (counselor), I meet with my clients in their homes or other safe places in the community. An advantage of providing community mental health services is that I get to observe people in their own environment, usually when clients are less guarded and more open to counseling.

Sunday, As I sat with my client in the home from which she was about to be evicted, her four-year-old daughter ran into IMGP2245the living room to present her mother with a fistful of hand-picked dandelions. The child’s mother grinned from ear-t0-ear despite her tears and worries, and accepted the dandelion bouquet as if they were the most beautiful flowers on earth. . . and to that mother, they were. It was a small moment, and seemingly insignificant in light of the heavy burden the young mother bore as she tried to figure out how she was going to provide for her children. But such moments are the gems that imbue life with meaning and purpose, and simply help us keep things in perspective.

When I returned to my home later in the day, the yard with its crop of dandelions looked different to me. I remembered my first bouquets of flowers from my children, too; lovely, yellow-like-the-sun dandelions. Those bouquets are the most magnificent I ever received in my life. There is a lesson in this, I am sure. Maybe when we are experiencing “dandelion weeds” in life, it is just a matter of perspective. After all, dandelion “bouquets” are the most lovely of all.

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Dreamy Landscapes on a Dreary Day

As you know, if you read my earlier post, I’m a bit hampered when it comes to writing/blogging these days. Since “upgrading” from a plaster cast to a more functional brace however, I am able to navigate with more ease and typing is at least possible. (I’ve discovered the “overdo it” point, too.) As before stated (last post), I shot some pretty neat photos (blindfolded, with one hand tied behind my back, haha, or so it felt!) and decided to share them with you. I shot this album entirely along I-80 between Chicago, IL, and Cleveland, OH, on a cold, overcast day as we were returning home to get my disabled arm tended to. Enjoy.

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These shopped photos are quite a departure from what I usually produce. There is a lesson here! Sometimes an occurrence/event/experience/whatever can actually be the door that opens us to seeing, hearing, doing something delightful and life-enhancing we never would have considered before. Hope you enjoy the photos. :-)

unexpected hiatus! just when i return to blogging!!!!

Oy vey. . .  am typing this “hunt & peck” method with one hand….sigh. In a bizarre accident, i ended up in ER in chicago area 10 mins after arriving at my daughter’s place. i was drugged, arm was casted past elbow, and trip was cut short. back home. mri scheduled, and specialist. I’m somewhat out of commission for a while. following is photo i shot while heading back to ohio…one hand, auto focus, 70+ mph! take care all. i’ll be back when i can.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Community

Thanks to the WordPress Reader, I’ve been perusing other blogs to “catch up” on what I’ve missed while immersed in my studies. I see that this week’s photo challenge is “community.” My first thought was to skip this challenge and jump into it next week. But FrancineInRetirement‘s blog reminded me that “community” applies to many beings and things. So here is a shot that was taken about a week ago that certainly fits the bill. ;-)  Thanks Francine.

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Sunday Post: Christmas Trees . . . . but I don’t “do” Christmas Trees

I completed graduate school on Friday. So I am jumping back into the blogging world with both feet and shouting and singing Glory Glory Glory! Sooooo…. thinking I would pick up with what was formerly my regular Sunday Post, I checked out this week’s assignment, and lo and behold it is “Christmas Trees.” Well, I would do something Chanukah-ish, but we have already done that this year. Instead here is a photo of a wintery scene that I hope will pass muster for this assignment!  (Yay! I’m back!!! A more thoughtful, reflective post about the past three and a half years of following a dream is soon to come!).  Enjoy your holidays whatever they are, stay safe and stay warm. :-)

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Breakfast Served!

Yesterday “gifted” me with an unexpected day at home. Due to weather (snowy, windy, arctic cold) and it also being the day before Thanksgiving, clients cancelled appointments en masse! To be honest, I did not mind. Having met all my internship requirements per hours of required direct contact with clients, I welcomed an extra day off. So, what did I do with my free time? — I watched the birds! I still have papers to write, discussions to post, “assignments” to complete for my site supervisor, end-of-quarter forms to fill out, etc., but I chose to watch the birds in my backyard instead of keeping my nose to the grindstone. Smart move. :-)

Now that the Cornel University Lab of Ornithology’s FeederWatch program is fully underway, I’m back to watching and counting the birds that feast at our backyard feederstation. Yesterday was not a “count day” for me, but I watched and was mesmerized by my aviary friends anyway. They flock in by the dozens for breakfast each morning–Mourning Doves, Sparrows of all kinds, Dark-Eyed Juncos, Cardinals, Blue Jays, European Starlings, Downy and Red-Breasted Woodpeckers, Finches, an occasional Chickadee or Nuthatch, and others that I have yet to identify. While the birds were feeding yesterday, I was able to get a few photos that I thought you might enjoy. :-)

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Last night we lit the first candle marking the beginning of Chanukah, and today is Thanksgiving Day for those of us in the US. Enjoy the holidays, and take time to feed the birds, a simple pleasure for which I am thankful. (That, and I’ll be DONE with grad school in two weeks! :-D

 

 

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365 Grateful!

This will be a quick one. A while back I started another blog, Perpetual Gratitude, which was inspired by a woman who overcame depression by photographing one thing each day for which she was grateful. Although I have been lax in keeping up with my blogs (due to grad school demands), my life continues to be filled with gratitude. Today I took a few minutes to check out the blog that started it all, 365 Grateful, and decided to share the link with you. I urge you to check out this magnificent, inspiring, uplifting blog and consider how you can cultivate gratitude in your life. Once I finish school, I plan to return to regular blogging and sharing gratefulness with you!

http://365grateful.com/

BE GRATEFUL! It will change your life. :-)

Late Night Musings

Summer of 2013

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Hello! Y’all have been on my mind a lot lately. I am swamped in studies, writing, deadlines, clients, etc. (and loving every minute of it) but I’m getting anxious to get back to a routine that allows me the freedom … Continue reading