Searching for Small Blessings

A house in chaos. A challenging night’s sleep. Ant carcasses all over the floor. An absent partner. A dwindling bank account. Insurance documents that have gone AWOL. Dentist appointments and dance recital photos.

Add them all together, and it feels a little difficult to view the world with gentler eyes. Yet, I am determined.

I sit on my deck listening to the wind, and find a place of peace.

I read the words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh in Gift From the Sea, and find a message of patience:

“To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should like empty, open, choiceless as a beach–waiting for a gift from the sea.”

I search for the moments of blessing from this past week. I suddenly recall I owe belated thanks for two blog awards offered to me this week, despite my disappearance in the blogosphere of late. The first was The Versatile Blogger Award from Zencherry who embraces life with joyous abandon! I always appreciate her comments and her attitude to life. Please go and visit her!

The second award came from Stuart over at bornstoryteller who gave me the One Lovely Blog Award. Stuart and I lead similar lives and face similar struggles as we try to find a way to live our passions and thrive creatively. We even have the same blog design. :) I am truly grateful for having “met” Stuart and inspired by his work and his passion. Thank you for the award.

Now that I have thanked both of them, and recognized the blessing of being honored by people I admire, I am now going to break the rules by NOT passing the awards on. Why? Because of the journey I am on. I am beginning to recognize the value of focusing on the project and creation, rather than on the numbers and the recognition. I find myself drowning and overwhelmed when I think things like:

  • will I ever be published?
  • why don’t I have more followers?
  • why aren’t my stats higher?
  • am I as good a writer as ______?
  • why does _________ get so much attention while I don’t?
  • why didn’t __________ give that award to me?

Those questions lead only to more chaos.

So, I am choosing not to promote more competition by passing on awards. I try my best to honor quality posts by commenting and linking to them and sometimes even recommending them for Freshly Pressed status. I support my favorite bloggers by visiting them as often as possible, and interacting with them on a regular basis. I cannot choose who is the loveliest or the most versatile or anything else, because I have finally come to the realization that blogging (for me) is not about competition or recognition, but about sharing and writing and challenging myself to improve as a writer, an artist and a person.

This new sense of understanding and clarity is a blessing.

Yesterday, I shared my favorite place, the Botanical Garden with my brother, Steve (who you may know as Taochild). We are both at a place of transition in our lives. We are both seeking to change negatives into positives and reinvent ourselves in a world of confusion. As we walked, I felt joy in myself, because I could walk in such a beautiful place, and I have the ability to change my life even when it is difficult.

As we approached one of my favorite places in the garden, a pond that is home to creatures of all types, I began to listen with my heart. The song of the pond was absolutely amazing. We tried to capture it on Steve’s phone, despite the drone of the lawn mower in the distance and the chatter of people who, of course, decided to stop and talk right behind us.

The first place we listened. The Gazebo lies across the pond.

So we moved into the shelter of the overlooking gazebo, and listened. I pulled out my idea notebook and my journal. I handed him the notebook and said, “Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write about the sounds of nature.”  This is what I wrote:

Sproing

Trill

Chirp

Sproing

Kerro

Flutter

Foghorn

I sit surrounded by communication expressed in a language just beyond my understanding. Frogs calling, spring, kerro, perhaps two species searching for a mate. Birds singing trill, chirp, chatter, peep, flutter– a universe of warnings, beckoning, challenges, celebrations. In the distance, the drone of the lawn mower–human intrusion in a world we don’t own. The giggle of a child. Flutter splash, a bird diving for sustenance or simply resting in the collness of the water. The breeze sings, a low rumble in the ears carrying with it the scents and messages of unknown flowers. I am surrounded by the melodic symphony of silence.

Moments like that are moments of blessing.

As I waited for Steve to finish writing, my mind remained open and alert to the moment and I saw this:

Light reflecting on the water bounces up to dance on the rough-hewn wood of the gazebo. It is a virtual song.

After our walk, we had lunch and ate the MOST DELICIOUS FLAN in the history of the world.

The ability to see, smell, here, taste, touch, experience, wonder, live, breathe, write, sing, dance, hope, and dream all are the true blessings of existence.

Even on dark days, it is possible to find hope.

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