Nature verses the local grocery...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life & Death Trails: the Circle of Life

My friend is dealing with the deeper winter of her Mom's years. No matter how much preparation you've stuffed into your mind and heart, this road is lonely and painful and sometimes overwhelming.

Often, this is not necessarily a pleasant season - particularly for the pertinent participants. Aging not only embraces wisdom, experience and understanding, it also demands at times that we embrace pain and physical incapacity and letting go...of who we were, our youthful appearances...our facile mentality. This job description is not for sissies...or anyone with any semblance of a remaining ego!

Just yesterday, this aforementioned friend explained to me her first impression and comprehension - at a very young age, of 'the circle of life', the continuum that connects birth and death. It includes the coming...and the going, the loss and the gain, the births AND the deaths.

The entire Universe celebrates this same process; stars are born and then expire, bacteria and viruses cause us disease and then they die and we heal, babies arrive...parents leave us.

So how do we 'navigate' this 'circle'..when we're involuntarily dropped into its middle? Sometimes words and feelings are the only 'glue' that keep us from falling apart. This same aforementioned friend sent me her healing words many months ago when I was faltering, not participating in this 'circle' as I needed to. I add them here because they are uplifting and supporting...and I think she can use a little of her 'own medicine' about now. So, I 'remind' her here, of her innate 'higher self' that is there to hold her hand, give her feet the energy to continue on their path, regardless of the 'hills and valleys' that lie directly ahead.

"There are things in life that just make no sense whatsoever - whether you have strong faith or not. Disease and growing old are two of those things.

W e both love the sunrises and sunsets. They continue on... If there is a sunset, there will be a sunrise. The magnificence of nature brings us both joy. Life is like the continuum of nature --- the sunrise is birth, the dawn of a new day. We live through the morning, absorb the sunlight of prosperity during the day, and squeeze the last drops of sunlight out of the day (ie: old age, death, disease), long after the sun has gone down.

But...there is a sunrise the next morning.
No matter how desperate the day ends, the sun will come up tomorrow. Life is a circle and just as it ends --- so it will begin. In my belief, that beginning is in heaven. That's where faith takes me.

In nature --- that beginning comes with the dawn. Although there's disease, death, and the night is full of marauders who thrive in the darkness, with the morning comes fingers of light and life. You appreciate the morning. But, I know that you understand the night too. Without the nighttime, there would be no morning.

When you're feeling down --- wait, patiently for the dawn... It's there, within your reach, just hold on tight and be patient".








My friend is Christian; though I am not, we share a biblical verse that holds deep meaning for us both. This verse helps guide me through some of life's more difficult times, assists my understanding of this sometimes incomprehensible...'circle of life' we belong to in this world.

A Time for Everything
1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. http://biblebrowser.com/ecclesiastes/3-1.htm

I send you PEACE, my friend.

As always, Nature prevails.

All photos on this blog are taken by and property of Danielle Simone.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rainbow Trails; a Special Friendship-Angel

We're planning a move out of state. Today, following an e-mail sharing our latest update on this process, I received this lovely poem from my dear, close friend; a rainbow filled my life - yet again.

"When rock and hills divide us,
And you no more I see,
Just pick up a pen and paper,
And drop a line to me."

Life can be a walk through Nature's garden - if you allow such philosophical imaginings. Some paths have roses, blackberry's, Locust trees and other thorny growths. Other paths have sunrises, sunsets, babies, avocados, spring rains...and friends. Hopefully, our gardens host many friends - of varied interests, flavors and opinions, to help us find our way through our garden.

We keep our actual gardens watered and fed - if we hope for produce; philosophical gardens require the same attention for their nourishment as well. There are unlimited methods for accomplishing this feat; this poem was my watering, my juicy nibble today - fed me by my dear friend. She is a feeder of the first water - one of her many qualities I so treasure. If I show up unannounced, yummies always present themselves - food - of many varieties, finds its way to my stomach - and heart. Nutrition always presents itself for a quick, impromptu meal; scrumptious banana bread, a stir-fry of fresh-picked garden veggies with some home-grown eggs thrown in.

There's always exciting news of one flavor or another; as an avid food-channel viewer, this special friendship-angel of mine shares a newly-found way to make a casserole or yet another rendition with chicken. At 81 years young, my friend stills regularly crochets, and sometimes shares a new pattern she's created through some simple yet ingenious way she has of rearranging colors or using some new and wonderful yarn. At 81, this garden-angel of mine still runs circles around me technologically, purchasing many of her life needs through the Internet - usually from one of her favorite crafting web stores such as Annie's Attic, Herscherners or Mary Maxim.

Life is never sad for any lengths of time for this beautiful lady I sometimes call Mom...or as her other children sometimes refer to me - the daughter Mom never had. She finds rainbow colors in every corner of her life-road. No matter what the problem, she rarely stays connected to it for any length of time, after which, either a positive solution is fashioned - or - the problem is shelved or discarded in favor of some other pretty that she so craftily puts in it's place.

My angel-friend is slowly losing her eyesight, yet she has numerous scrapbooks completed and many in progress. She uses the assistance of voice-activated software during her hours online, not letting maturity and its accompanying perils and losses of youth, get in her path for very long. She makes gorgeous greeting cards for near nothing, doing her own verbiage (as is obvious from her poem above) and fashions beautiful imagery – from real photos, or available clip art. I have received many of these beauties…I am a well-fed friend!

Today, I dedicate this post – created from the immense store of feeding she provides me, to my dear angel-friend. She is the Mom who gently guides me when needed, the buddy who supports me in all I endeavor, the friendship-angel who so frequently gives me wings to navigate my garden of life.

Sometimes…because of you…I am.

As always, Nature prevails

Monday, July 5, 2010

Trails of Children, Everywhere

I was pondering the making and growing of children, this morning. Not a subject often bantered about. But in my mind, the most important job we hold - as a human race.

I understand that in a perfect state of being, continuing to create children in society's present manner, is ideal and beautiful - from a philosophical perspective. During the moment two potential parents are at their closest, that a new being evolves from that Love and bonding, is - well - the stuff about which poets and philosophers have written for eons.

Yet realistically - particularly considering the problems we create in this society when children are created NOT in such philosophical bliss, what then? And even if they are, is this simplistic situation, the ultimate avenue for the continuation of our society?

Children created and raised in less than perfect households - children neglected and abused, not only involuntarily embrace a tortured existence to varying degrees, but sometimes, grow up to lead us. Hitler was an abused child, as were other historical leaders. With each generation, our children will recreate our world, over and over again. Yes, I believe they are truly - society's most valuable resource.

Let's look at how we handle that resource. First, let me preempt this continued discussion with a disclaimer; I do not - under any circumstances, believe that we need yet - more government intervention in our little lives; nohow, nowhere, notime.

So let's continue from a philosophical approach, which will - hopefully - grow into an educational approach; maybe someday, solutions to this problem will evolve into a more positive, more intellectual, more enlightened and aware system...for the improved future of our world.

Society trains and prepares it's citizens for important jobs;

-Doctorates in Psychology to heal problematic emotional situations in life. Why do we not preempt these problems and train our parents in this area BEFORE the problems are created? Do we test parents emotionally to assure our society that this paramount position is in healthy hands?

-We train our economists with Bachelor and Doctorates to keep our world finances in order. Do we train our parents in this area? Do they have degrees in how to save monies for the children they so freely create, how to make sure their finances have adequate reserves to cover child-rearing expenses such as education, etc?

-Most corporations and governmental agencies screen their applicants for important positions such that their companies flourish. How do we screen the parents in which we place the future of the world? Why is that not given the same import, the same attention, the same educational and psychological health requirements? Is the job of producing the next generation...not important enough to require, no - mandate - the best situation for child-rearing?

Instead, we leave child-rearing to " mother's and father's intuition". What exactly, is that? I could NOT find an exact definition. I encourage you to search out this basis...on which we place - the future of our world.

If we take a hard, thorough look at our history - in this new perspective of child-rearing, we might decide we need a 'new plan'. That is, if we care about our future on this planet.

How can our society implement this new approach? Certainly NOT by more government regulation; certainly not by genocide or other 'after-the-fact' solutions. Certainly NOT by letting our children run wild and free, without structure. So how do we solve this problem?

So far, no new solutions exist. And I have few clues myself, about any solutions. But I believe in my soul of souls, that an enormous problem exists, in desperate need of change.

Without any new ideas, we maintain our present system of procreation...anytime, anywhere, any reason and certainly without training or preparedness to any degree. And the resulting continuation/re-creation of a society that is just as unstable, uneducated, unhealthy....as are so many of it's children, waiting their time to take positions of power and leadership over us.

If you are so moved, the following website from a prolific author on this subject, Alice Miller, can provide new, innovative and powerful insights into the ultimate connection between society and the children it creates. http://www.alice-miller.com/index_en.php?page=2. One of her publications on this subject, Prisoners of Childhood, gave me insight not gained through other writings by other authors.

Since my 60-something enculturation entailed the acceptance of an occasional spanking (on the backside only), when the situation warranted, I still grapple with this author's - and our present social services, etal., perspective of absolutely no spanking at all. Parents must have control of their children, to keep them safe and guide them into healthy, educated, responsible paths. Children - in order to function in a healthy society, MUST learn to abide by rules and regulations. Chaos never did anything...except provide theories for higher math books.

So, how we can accomplish that balanced arena of control and training - without any spanking, is difficult for me to accept. Let continued research find the answers.

But "discipline" and "violence" - MUST BE - worlds apart.

I ask that you contemplate this problem. If it takes a 'village' to raise a child, it may take a 'society' - with it's best interest at heart...to propagate a better world.

As always, Nature prevails.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trails of Nature...on Paper

Whether Nature is shining through a thunderstorm, sunset...or maybe in a memory, some artists have a magic way of bringing these Natural scenes onto paper - to share with the rest of us un-such-talented humans, to give unique, inspiring moments of beauty and humanity.

Jan Verhoeff, writer, artist, marketer extraordinaire and author of this remarkable site, has created a moment on your online, web-trail, where you can rest your fingers for a few minutes and fill your heart and soul with quiet beauty. You will leave with parts of her memories threaded through yours.

"Clouds reflecting on the water give resistance to darkness at dusk. Golden light fills the evening as the sun sets in the far western sky. This painting shows a typical scene from the top of the highest point in Southeastern Colorado, sunset on the Arkansas River at John Martin Reservoir", describes her painting GOLDEN LIGHTS. It resembles the photo below.

CLICK ON PICTURE BELOW FOR MORE JOHN MARTIN DAM PHOTOS



















March 2010, JMD, Danielle Simone


The soft, elusive scenes in her art, bring forth Nature as you've never experienced before, even through all your sunsets, sunrises and ocean views.

These ethereal pictures also take you back to your yesterdays, times of harder work, less play, yet a time of family, apple pie, sitting by the window watching Nature turn the dry, brown prairie into a fairy, white wonderland, devoid of anything except beauty and peace.

Take a few moments to fill your heart with moments of Nature, today; view shadows of Love, Nature, peace and promise, through the paintings titled...SHADOWS OF RAIN DANCE and POETIC ICE, BLUE WATER, by Jan Verhoeff, artist of my heart.

As always, Nature prevails.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset: Life-long Trails


















Photo by Danielle Simone, taken near John Martin Dam, Hasty, Colorado, 2010



My friend sent me a touching post which I want to share - in part.

One of the special life-jackets in life are friends who care enough to reach out and give support when our life-light might be a little dimmer than usual. It's a warm and subtle helping hand, an 'I understand', a 'been there, done that and please be assured, it goes away quickly' kind of caring. It is precious and rare, and a life blessing that is deeply appreciated and treasured.

I quickly add that among the friends, acquaintances and other people who grace my life, each of them has their own special life-force that blesses me in more ways than is possible to state here. Hopefully, I share adequate, ongoing appreciation and caring back to them along the way.

In particular, I will always treasure the Love of one close friend and neighbor who literally kept my nose above the churning waves, during my husband's recent illness.





















But the note below, found recently in my 'in-box', prompted a need to share.

So, for anyone whose outlook is a bit more shadowed or uphill than usual today, this is for you.




"There are things in life that just make no sense whatsoever - whether you have strong faith or not. Disease and growing old are two of those things.

We both love the sunrises and sunsets. They continue on... If there is a sunset, there will be a sunrise. The magnificence of nature brings us both joy. Life is like the continuum of nature --- the sunrise is birth, the dawn of a new day. We live through the morning, absorb the sunlight of prosperity during the day, and squeeze the last drops of sunlight out of the day (ie: old age, death, disease), long after the sun has gone down.

But...there is a sunrise the next morning.
No matter how desperate the day ends, the sun will come up tomorrow. Life is a circle and just as it ends --- so it will begin. In my belief, that beginning is in heaven. That's where faith takes me.
In nature --- that beginning comes with the dawn. Although there's disease, death, and the night is full of marauders who thrive in the darkness, with the morning comes fingers of light and life. You appreciate the morning. But, I know that you understand the night too. Without the nighttime, there would be no morning.

When you're feeling down --- wait, patiently for the dawn... It's there, within your reach, just hold on tight and be patient".

Jan Verhoeff


As always...Nature prevails.






















NEW JERSEY SHORELINE, March 2010


Photos on this website taken by Danielle Simone unless otherwise stated.





Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Trails: the sunrise of the season


Whenever Spring arrives, sunrises mean more to me. A sunrise symbolizes 'new' and 'beginning' and 'promise' and 'life' and 'hope'...all those myriad of things that occur in Spring. Nature raises her 'curtain' and begins her awesome show.

It's small, even minuscule at first. Here in southeast Colorado, a bit of purplish Kochia weed peeks through the more protected, moister places. You're driving on route 50 to Lamar or La Junta and notice that the cottonwoods have a slight yellowish hue (tiny buds swelling under the new warmth of the higher sun). As you struggle through your first cup of coffee or tea, you notice the sunshine on a different spot on the table.

The sunrise happens in Nature's wildlife as well. I awoke to the incessant pecking sound of birds making nests under my bedroom eave last week. Robins have invaded, actually several weeks ago, a welcome sight indicating warmth on the way.

As we walked across John Martin Dam the other evening, hoards of tiny, fervent bugs buzzed over the sides of the dam. Soon, the swallows will arrive and enjoy their 3 seasons of bug fodder.

Join with Nature in her seasonal debut. Pick up a Bountiful Garden catalog and order your garden seeds. Order some chicks from Cackle Hatchery and ready a warm, cozy chicky spot in your barn. Turn up your garden soil, rake it smooth for planting. Wash your walls, your windows. Clean out the garage.

Wait a minute! Maybe a cup of Celestial Seasons Tension Tamer might be my next move....

Nature prevails!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

TRAILS OF NATURE; Everywhere

Nature is everywhere, and everyone has a unique relationship with the universe around them. Some are satisfied with the morning sun shining next to their coffee cup through the window of their 17th floor apt in New York City. Others crave the danger and interaction with Nature on the slopes of Mt. Everest. Some people can not kill an ant, their respect and awe of Nature is so complete and pervasive. One way or another, most of us interact with Nature, even if only to shovel the snow from our sidewalks or shake the rain from our coats.

Whatever your relationship with Nature, the point is – you have one, as Nature IS the air we breathe, the land we walk upon, the food we eat, the breezes in our trees and the sunshine that begins and ends our days – whether we see it or not.


My connection with Nature includes a deeper than physical relationship; I doubt I will ever be capable of explaining it succinctly, but this connection includes the need to share it.


Nature’s power is obvious through her volcanoes, tsunamis and plate tectonics, while the awe of her beauty is clear through her sunsets, sunrises and wildlife. Life – its origins, evolution and oddities, both on Earth and throughout the universe, are complex, and in reality – still new and unexplored by humanity.


What are your thoughts about Nature? Do you dream of the future flight of the Condor and the Eagle, as told in Incan prophecy? Do you ski through snow-laden slopes? Do you revel in the coolness and buoyancy of her waters through an early morning swim? Do you enjoy the laughter and innocence of children through your day-care services? Or is your passion exercised through chasing tornadoes for your weather related position at NOAA. All questions, concerns or comments will be addressed; let’s explore and share the trails of Nature.


As always, Nature prevails.

NATURE PREVAILS

No matter how far you travel from home , nature prevails.

Whether you study the comeback of an endangered species or patrol your park on your morning run as a park ranger, keep up the grounds in your summer seasonal city park position, dig up fossils for your next book on Dinosaurs, head your scout troop on a trek through the high Sierras, film a documentary on volcanoes at Mauna Loa in Hawaii, take rafters down the Colorado River, pick up trash along the road, drive semis long haul, fly emergency supplies to a hurricane-struck New Orleans or serve on a search and rescue ski patrol, Nature is your guide, your worst enemy and your avenue of travel. There is no avoiding Nature in this Universe; she is everywhere, everytime, everyplace…so long as we continue to breathe her air.

Accepting Nature in her complete attire takes understanding of her pervasiveness, acceptance of her power and our minute position in that schematic, as well as preparedness for her more grand gestures such as frigid temps, high winds and tsunamis. Nature is high-maintenance; boating in the afternoon sunshine under gentle breezes may evolve into a powerful thunderstorm in a matter of minutes, packing tornadic winds and killer lightning. Skiing down an expensive, blemish-free slope in the high mountains may instantly turn into a life and death avalanche. Basking innocently on a beach in India may be your last vacation as you realize the ocean that just rose 100 feet in front of you leaves you no avenue of escape. Living at the base of a volcanoe may end your life.

Nature also warms us, quenches our thirst, provides our food, calms us with her breezes, protects us from the ravages of space, keeps our feet planted firmly on the ground we call home, and most certainly provides the profound air that keeps our lungs inflated and our heart pumping.

Nature watched over the microbes as they blossomed into life in our oceans four million years ago, she applied her creativity as she continually rearranged her continents into their ever-evolving shapes and positions, she cried over the millions of lives lost during the history of wars, she surely smiled with pride as her myriad forms of life rebounded on Earth after thousands of years of planetary disasters.

Nature surrounds us in the vegetables of our gardens, the butterflies on our flowers, the breezes in the trees under which we rest on a hot afternoon; she brings us peace and relaxation as we enjoy the tapping of a gentle summer rain on a tin roof; she certainly feeds our soul through the gentle hug of a friend as we mourn a Loved one.

Embrace Nature in your life. Help a turtle across the road; separate your recyclable items; plant a tree; leave your car parked once in awhile and walk. Look around occasionally and count your natural blessings. You’ll improve your blood pressure, slow down your heart rate, bring a little peace into your soul…bring joy into your life.

As always, Nature prevails.

daniellesimone@centurytel.net