Perseverance (and Love)

I just got an email from a friend  who is a really good man. He just wanted to share a bit of joy with me that he experienced this week: An orchid that he’s had for over a year without any sign that it was ever going to bloom has started to show a little bud, and, at the same time, a poinsettia he’s had since Christmas 2011 is starting to bloom after over a year as well. My friend is very humble, so, again, he just sent the pictures to share the joy, but I see so much more in the beauty of these delicate flowers: his patience, his love, his care, and his perseverance. He didn’t give up on these plants, plants that I would have long thrown out as they had served their “purpose,” as they were useless as decoration or seasonal accessory. My friend saw these plants are something in his care, and he took that role seriously. Nature rewarded him for it, beautifully . . .

Orchid-bud

Poinsettia

Morning Glory

morning-gloryThis morning, I went for a hike up the mountain, and I was reminded of something very important:

Sometimes, we don’t need to say anything at all. It’s all out there already. All we have to do is to be still and listen.

Clover – Joy!

Today I was in a really bad mood–I mean, REALLY. The kind when you’re mad at everybody for everything. SCREAMING mad. (Felt like I was played for a fool by a client, but I won’t get into that here, wouldn’t be cool . . .). Anyway, what typically works if I can get my duff in gear is to get outside, hike, walk, whatever. Well, today, I went for a bike ride through the vineyards with my husband instead to blow off steam. There was still plenty there, believe me, and when he wanted to stop to take a picture for his blog, I just about blew my top. SH*&. Don’t wanna stop. Hrrrrrrrr. Mpfhhhhh.  Grrrrrr. Reluctantly put my bike down in the grass by the side of the road and looked up . . . and here is the picture that unfolded before my eyes:

Riding-in-the-Vineyards

cloverjoyedThe lush green grass and the shade of the olive trees beckoned me to come sit. I sat and leaned against the first tree in the row and took a deep breath, inhaling the goodness of the earth, the smell of clean dirt after a misty rain, the new growth of spring. Ahhhhhhhh. Everything was so gentle, so good, so real.

I’m better now. Thank you, Mother Earth, for holding me so tenderly in your arms and reassuring me in gentle whisper that yes, all is as it is meant to be.

Peachy Drive-By

Peach blossum on the hillToday we went for drive in the country, like people used to do in the “olden days,” and everywhere we looked, there were beautifully radiant blossoms on trees–spring is near!

I took a few photos, and this one to the right is of what appeared to be a peach tree (I looked at peach blossoms in google images, and that how I think I know . . .). Because it was a little blurry, I chose the “rough pastels” filter out of all of the artistic filters in Photoshop to get a look that I liked. It actually feels wrong to mess with nature, as the blossoms are so perfect, but I’m not “messing with nature,” I’m just playing, inspired by the great beauty of today. Thank you, Mother Nature, for your gift.

A Logo

Well, since I call myself a designer and I’m talking a lot about what I feel and not what I do, I thought today I’d post one of my new logo designs.

I was hired by a local non-profit organization called “Friends of Pioneer Park” here in Calistoga to design a logo for their new organization. They formed to raise funds and do some of the work necessary to refurbish the old gazebo that is in our town’s park.

Below is a picture of the gazebo as well as of the preliminary design I just submitted to my client.

Image

The gazebo in Calistoga’s Pioneer Park

The gazebo has an intricate metal Victorian-era scroll at the top which immediately caught my eye and mezmerized my thoughts around this logo. And, voila, here it is:

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Looking for a Gift

Hmmh. Introspection time again. Fessing up time, to be more correct. Today I actually was stupid enough to go looking for the gift of inspiration. STUPID. I was up on a mountain, Mt. Tam to be specific, and gazed over the panorama unfolding in front of me. “Oh, this would be a great shot for my ‘inspiration’ blog,” I thought to myself. Here it is:

Mt-Tam

Nice, huh? Yeah. And then I thought–WITHOUT FEELING–“now I’ll go looking for a little green leaf and take a picture, and then I have something brilliant to write into my blog, such as ‘the gift of inspiration can come in many sizes, large and small . . .’ and there’s my super-duper blog entry.”

Didn’t find the leaf though, felt rushed, expected something to just pop out at me, got a little stressed because we were on a time limit . . . bla, bla, bla. Corny is not inspiration. Pre-meditation, planning for inspiration–Does not work. Ridiculous.

Where is my authenticity? Inspiration is a gift. One that is freely given when one is PRESENT enough, authentic enough, at peace enough, to receive it. Going and looking for it–not gonna work. Not even for an assignment, much less a grade.

Windows

Window When I was working at a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program, one of their amazing addiction counselors shared a story with me that was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. It is the story of love, of grace, of gratitude, and in that, a story of inspiration and the greatest beauty in life. It is called “The Window on the Heart” by  Kent Nerburn, and you can read it here. It is part of his book Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life.

Bear

In Loving Memory of our Bear

One of the reasons I love this story so much is that it reminds me of the beautiful gifts I receive many mornings when I step out and walk up the mountain a ways to where our dear big dog Bear is buried. Standing there, I take a deep breath and become present not by the nature that surrounds me but by the memory of the sweet, loyal, unconditionally loving dog Bear, feeling how much he would’ve loved to have been here this morning with me. Gently, as if guided by a loving heart, I begin noticing the grass swaying in the morning breeze, the sun gently extending over the sea of fog. Another day, and I get to be here. This is my window. I am alive, in love.

Moving Home

Today I moved my office from a professional building downtown back home, into one of the bedrooms left behind by our youngest, who is now a junior in college. She is the one who has held on to every little piece of paper that reminded her of something she had done and who hasn’t changed anything in her room since she moved off to college, so I was REALLY suprised when I asked her if she would mind if I set up a computer in her room. “No, Momma, make it your room, move your whole office in there, you deserve it!” was her response. WOW! Moving my office home, where I could work in my PJs if I wanted, have three little fat sausage dogs snoring at my feet, have lunch with my husband . . . oh, my heart be still!! So today, we did it. Moved all the furniture home, except for the conference table (anyone want to buy it–I’ll post pictures and a link to craigslist this week!). I am happy. Happy about moving home, happy about my daughter’s loving response and support, happy to be where I am.