Music & Lyrics

Music fills voids in my life. Different music, different purpose, different void. For example, New Age and Instrumental are great for relaxing, studying, or just noise cancellation. It also helps if I’m anxious about something, like, oh I don’t know, Covid-19, racial unrest, sexual harassment, terrorists, idiot politicians, and the list can grow quite long. Pop is more for gettings things done around the house. Or if I’m feeling depressed. Put on some Pop music and household chores go a little bit faster, a little bit easier. My mood is lighter while I’m listening to Adele stomp all over a man or roll in the deep. I listen to Christian music when I want to commune with God or just sing His praises. And rock music is for when I want to beat someone over the head and so I listen to Rock music instead. It’s not a perfect system but it works for me.

I love the Beatles and Barry Manilow. (Don’t judge me, Barry was an amazing songwriter and singer). I also enjoy Garth Brooks, Adele, Lady A (previously known as Lady Antebellum), Lady Gaga, Barbra (no last name needed) The Four Seasons, Boz Scaggs, Celine Dion, Casting Crowns, Wayne Watson, Ed Sheeran, Elton John. Do you know all of those?

Music lifts me up to new heights where I can just… be. Just be the music. It erases the world in a good way and fills me with hope and joy and happiness. It’s like waking up to light breeze on a warm spring day. Music is everything. I can’t imagine a life without it. I believe the Bible says there is a lot of singing in Heaven. I can’t even imagine how amazing that will be. Zephaniah 3:17-18 in part says, “He will take delight in you with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Wow. Jesus is going to sing. To me. Can’t wait.

When I was at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, I had two students working under me. They were from India, married, and lovely. Jimmy Chinoy and Naheed Kapadia. I taught Jimmy how to drive and, let me tell you, that was an experience! He had to learn that the lines on the road meant STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE! It’s funny. Now. Back then, not so much. Jimmy loved classical music and turned me on to it. We had a conversation once about the importance of music in his life and he said he would rather go blind than be deaf. I simply could not imagine being blind but he could not imagine never hearing music again and would gladly give up his sight if it meant he would not lose his music. Of course, I can’t imagine losing either. I’d rather lose taste or smell before sight or sound. Not a choice I would like to ever have to make. How do you choose between the sweet smell of spring lilacs or the taste of a fresh, ripe peach? The sound of music or the face of your loved ones? Makes me shudder to even think about it. But it shows what was most important to Jimmy.

Pop and Christian music bring me more than the tune, they bring me the words and meaning of the song. I find that, as a woman, I can read or write or watch TV and still carry on a conversation. But with music, a lot of songs just take me over and I have to pause a conversation or task just to listen to the entire song, maybe sing along with it. Music moves me. The words move me. The feelings put into those words move me. Some songs have a bridge that is so stirring to me it might bring tears, depending on my mood while listening to it. I’ve been known to play a song over several times to hear that part.

That’s why movies have music. Have you ever watched a movie without the sound on? Try it sometime. Watch a scene, rewind, and play with the sound muted. You might have to laugh at what you see because without music, it may look a bit comical. Trust me on this, I’ve done it. Movies lose a lot, if not most, of their mood, their tension, without music. TV shows as well. What’s a sitcom without its laugh track? Your family around the dining room table. It’s just life. Add a soundtrack to your life and I bet a lot of it can be pretty funny.

Take an hour and plug into some music. Close your eyes and allow yourself to drift along to the tune. You’ll be better for it.

Gratitude and Attitude

Piised off and ready to change some things.

Today I am juggling both anger and sadness and trying to find some gratitude to balance the mix. I’m sure most people out there are as exhausted by our current pandemics as I am. Pandemics, you say? Plural? Yes, plural. We are in the midst of a viral pandemic and a racial pandemic. Neither has an easy cure and both have the hope of millions for those cures. One we have lived with for many years, decades, without acknowledging that it was a crisis in waiting. The other came upon us slowly but because those in charge in both China (hiding it) and America (ignoring the signs) did nothing about it for so long, it became so much worse than it had to be. So much more deadly than it should have been. And it’s still growing despite what some people are saying to the public. And now more and more young people under 30 are getting sick. Why? Because they think they’re immune.

And we all suffer for it. For their ineptness. For their arrogance. For their selfishness. For their hatred. We suffer both of these pandemics now at the same time. And I find that my attitude towards it all fluctuates between apathy, depression, hopelessness, despair, and anger. Anger at not doing more about the first problem and anger at those who did nothing for so long about the second. I can’t be angry at others for doing nothing about racism since I also did nothing. I didn’t ‘see’ it. Because I have friends of all colors and backgrounds, I was blind to the plight of the black male in this country. Now, after reading these stories, I am stunned that we have allowed this to happen. And continue to happen even now. Even now when the streets are running over with protestors, police and politicians still find ways to oppress and hate and justify their actions. And it slides my attitude over closer to the anger side of things. I’m all about protecting the underdog. Standing up for what’s right. Standing against injustice. I want change and I want it now. But that’s just me. I’m impatient about these kinds of things.

So I’m looking for some good out there. I read in an article from CNN that some scientists think the Polio vaccine might be promising against Covid-19 because they share the same viral background. This is a positive thing to dwell on. And I see people rallying together, praying together, holding on together, no matter their skin color. And I am encouraged. Encouraged that the future may well be a little bit brighter than I thought it might. There are several young people under 30 who I love and care deeply about. Many more who are the very young children of people I care about. And all those I have no connection to at all. I pray that the future is better for them to live in. I pray that they forgive us for the mess we have allowed to fester. I pray that we make enough changes in the world to start to reverse the damage we’ve caused. The damage we’ve allowed to happen.

I find myself having to adjust my attitude towards those in power, those who don’t do things that way I think they should be done. Those who oppose those things I hold dear. Rather than lower myself into feelings of anger and hate, I pray for these individuals to receive enlightenment while there is still time to make changes for the better. That’s hard. I ask that they be smarter and care more about us than themselves. More about the future of this world than about their own pocketbook. I pray that some of them look in the mirror and realize that they don’t like what they see. And change.

So I strive for gratitude instead of my usual attitude towards those currently in power. I strive for hope instead of anger. And I pray that God has mercy on us.

Being Horizontal

Ah, the joy of being horizontal. Being able to wake up when my body tells me it’s time to be awake rather than having an alarm clock rudely intrude on my Zzzzzs. Waking up to birds singing or rain pounding on the windows is so much better than hearing the persistent buzzing of an artificial alarm. Now, my alarm was always nature sounds anyway so I shouldn’t complain. I purchased a high-end clock with sound machine built in and I could set it to anything from white noise to rain to birds to ocean waves. And that would be enough to go to sleep to (it faded out over 90 minutes) and wake me in the morning. But. I was still being awakened before my own internal clock said it was time to rise and shine.

Now, I loved my job. I’m a graphic designer and loved my most of my jobs for the last 20-odd years. I also trained and supported other designers in my last company, something I also loved. And I enjoyed the people I worked with so much. Intelligent, talented people who became family to me. When this last company started having money issues, (it’s a newspaper giant. Or was anyway.) it started feeling less like a family as they made cuts to the staff over several years. It’s been hard to let go. Things in the office started to change. It became very political and all about who you knew rather than what you did. Or how long you had done it. It became less and less like family. Laying off people with decades of experience and hiring young kids right out of college. Read: cheaper help. One day my entire department was eliminated, right before Christmas; so cliché. And just about three months after the president told us to our faces that it wasn’t going to happen. Now he is gone as well.

So, while at first I was hurt and sad, and cried my way out the door. Oh, not for the job; for the people, my people, my family. I’m okay now. I desperately miss working with my friends every day. I miss seeing them every day, sharing lunch, laughing and joking, and just being around them. I miss our potluck Mondays. It’s a bit like a divorce, you move on but sometimes it just sneaks up on you when you least expect it and hits you hard and hurts so much. We still connect on Facebook, especially lately with all the racial and Covid-19 pandemics.

Taking a nap in the middle of the day has become a lovely thing. From about 2-3pm I snooze and wake up to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. (I love my iPhone!). Just lying there is such a luxury I never had before when I was working. When I lived in California, just south of Santa Cruz in a town called Aptos, we had a hammock in the garden. The weather there is wonderful year round so laying in the hammock, whether or not I napped, was so soothing; under two trees, soft breezes, perfect weather. No humidity or mosquitoes. Those were the days.

Now, after most of the world around me is slumbering, I lie in bed, reading some new book I got on Kindle Unlimited. I wear reading glasses that have blue-light protection so it doesn’t keep me awake. I guess I just prefer the quiet of this time to read peacefully without interruption.

And so, not having a job to go to, I sleep in. And because I’m creative and need an outlet, I work on creating pages for my coloring books or women’s journals that I hope will someday flourish on Amazon. Or even better, through a publisher. And now I’ve started a blog. All to give my creativity a release so I don’t explode or something. Sometimes I fight insomnia. I was still awake at 4am the other night, um, morning. Sometimes I fight depression. Lately I’m wondering about the meaning of life and what is the point of it all. So I write. It’s a good outlet. Hopefully one or two people will read my blog and enjoy my words. Maybe follow me. Maybe ponder what I’ve written or get a good laugh or just smile for a minute.

Or I’ll just inspire someone to get horizontal and take a nap. I think it’s that time again. Zzzzzzzz…

Life just isn’t Fair

I have been dealing with a lot of problems in my life. Working on finding a new place to live, finding some kind of job for a little additional income, health issues. Typical human stuff. Nothing life threatening, just draining, exhausting at times.

But I have a friend who is battling for her life. Battling brain cancer for the last three years and defying all odds. Still working full time, still active in the garden, not as strong as she used to be but, oh my gosh, she keeps on keeping on. Recently she’s had several small strokes and now a blood clot in her brain. This makes me so afraid for her and sad and angry. She’s a good person, the best. Why can’t cancer go pick on the bad guys? Go find some pedophiles and murderers and rapists and attack them. Go hit on the drug dealers and mafia members. Pick on the racists and misogynists and hatemongers. Leave the good people alone. This world would be a better place.

Cancer is a nasty disease. I lost an aunt and an uncle to it. I watched how it took a big man with thick, jet black hair and turn him into a frail, 90-lb, white-haired old man. I was young when it happened so it was shocking to me to see something like that. My aunt, his wife, died much later and didn’t have this shocking transition. At least not that I saw. She was just gone. Both were lifetime smokers.

My parents were both lifetime smokers as well but never got cancer. My mom got emphysema and coughed really bad and my dad had strokes for 7 years before dying. These all happened over 25 years ago. My uncle about 40 years ago. So it’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with cancer and death.

I’ve never smoked a single cigarette in my life. I did breathe in the smoke for my first 18 years and have asthma as a result. Now I cough like I had been the smoker.

So I feel that life just isn’t fair, at least not to the good people. But then, who am I to judge what is fair? This is a deep question and I grapple with it. I have a difficult time finding an answer. Not sure there is an answer. Doesn’t stop me from wondering, pondering the great mysteries of this life.

God promises us that He gives life, that He loves us. John 10:10 says “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” This is a promise I cling to. Reading that verse now I realized that the meaning may very well be for the next life. That life may be in the next one, not this one. For those who don’t believe in or know God, this may sound strange or crazy. But God has filled me with His Spirit and saved my soul. This life was never promised to us as being fair. The next one will be.

Christ the Redeemer, Portuguese Cristo Redentor. Colossal statue of Jesus Christ at the summit of Mount Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. It was completed in 1931 and stands 98 feet tall, its horizontally outstretched arms spanning 92 feet.

Without Change, there would be no Butterflies

I am not a fan of change. Even when change is sorely needed. I like to know that tomorrow is known and will be pretty much the same as today. Oh, not the moment-to-moment events, but the overall ‘everything’ of life. I’ll live where I live, same furniture and surroundings, have the same friends, etc. Everything will be familiar, not new and strange.

I like the sameness of every day in one place. Then all I have to do is change up the little things to brighten up each day. Go to lunch with a friend, visit a museum or park, just sit outside and breathe in fresh air while reading. Take a road trip to the ocean, it’s three hours away now. When I lived in California, it was only a mile away. I guess I too it for granted that I could jump in my car, drive down the road, and be walking on the beach in a matter of minutes. Now, it’s a planned excursion with difficult parking and a forced overnight stay.

Not that new and strange doesn’t have its own appeal. I’ve moved across country several times. The last move was from Santa Cruz, California to my current home in North Carolina. Why the move? Well, I work in high tech and when I got my degree in 1995, I was one of a kind. There just weren’t many designers out there with computer experience, experience in Photoshop, etc. Experience writing the code that built a website. And I was in demand. But once Photoshop became popular, savvy designers took classes and learned how to be more current in their skillset. So I suddenly found I had a lot of competition and since I was in a bad work environment, I started looking for another job. But the nearest good ones were in San Francisco and that was just too much of a commute. Plus living expenses would be out of this world. Even more so today. This time, the change was going to have to be big. Really big.

So I looked for cities out of state. Somewhere there were a lot of tech jobs. New York was out of the question, too many people, too much cold and snow. Ugh. Raleigh, North Carolina and Austin, Texas came onto my radar. I knew no one in either place but a friend suddenly moved to Raleigh so my choice was made. I flew in for a few days and fell in love with all the green and the trees. And without a job prospect in sight, I rented an apartment sight unseen, packed my car with some belongings and my cat and off we went to drive across the country to land in Raleigh on July 4, 2005… to what felt like 110° and 100% humidity. I stepped out of my car, instantly drenched, and thought, “what have I done?” I left beautiful, temperate Santa Cruz, California for this? Oh, man, big mistake. But I settled in, turned on the air, and made it home. Two weeks later I found a church to call home. A few months later I found a job. A few months after that I moved into a better apartment complex.

In the now, I miss California every day but I just want to have that home base that remains the same. In fact, I’m looking for a new place to call home, someplace permanent, forever, right now. At least in this life. Some new spot to settle in and make my own, to look around and feel like, yes, this is me and I feel safe here. I feel at home here.

I have made some amazing friends here. People I love and respect and enjoy spending time with. I miss my west-coast friends, but love the ones I have here as well. And my church is the best one I have ever attended. I fit in here pretty well. I’m more liberal than most people here but we find common ground enough to make friendships work. And work well.

I’ve realized that even though I miss California for its weather and ocean and lack of bugs and humidity, I can settle in here and call this place home. Took me 15 years to come to this but something changed in me along the way. Something has accepted that this is home now. That’s a good thing. I guess some change is good.

I have gone from caterpillar to butterfly several times in my life. I like this iteration a lot. Even though I’m semi-retired and self-employed, I’m doing more creative things than ever before and overall I’m happier here. So maybe this is my last evolution for awhile. Right now, I’m enjoying being a butterfly.

When will it End?

Predictions just came out that up to 140,000 will die by July 4, 2020. Wow. My state is one of those with high levels of cases and deaths. I have asthma so I am overly cautious but this news makes me rethink my current actions and I will likely go back to where I was two months ago by staying away from everyone other than my roommates; and even staying a good distance from them as well. I am a believer, born-again Christian, Christ follower. I know where I’m going when I die. Not that I’m in any hurry to move on. That being said, this virus concerns me. Mostly because my affairs aren’t in order, which they should be. And because of the expense of a hospital stay if I get sick and survive. A hospital is the last place I want to be right now anyway. Am I right? And then there’s the matter of who will have to take care of property when I’m gone. No, I’m not being morbid, just trying to think rationally. Trust me, for a creative type like me, that can be difficult and take some crazy turns along the way.

So, where does that leave me? Wondering. Wondering where this virus is headed. When and if it will end. Will the virus mutate before someone finds a vaccine/cure? Will it kill another 100,000 before we are able to stop it? 200,000? Will one or more of my friends get sick? Will someone I care about die? Tough questions. Right now I just wish everyone would be more careful because you aren’t just playing Russian Roulette with your own life, you’re playing it with mine. And every person you come in contact with. And every person they come in contact with. And so on. Parents, grandparents, babies. Can that get through your thick skull? This self isolating is a short-term minor inconvenience. Yeah, it sucks. It’s a pain and it’s boring and it’s mind-numbingly making us all crazy.

But it’s the right thing to do and will save lives.

Will we head into November standing six feet apart in order to vote in a new president? I would risk it to vote for Joe Biden and rid the world of the stain currently residing in the WH. Will the racial tension ease while Trump is still in office? I doubt it. I worry that it won’t, hope that it will. But that is going to take a lot of time and effort. And if it does ease up, will that stop the forward progress we’re making because of the protests? I hope not. There is so much for us to be concerned about, to worry and agonize over, to pray for and wish for and demand. And remember the Me, Too movement? That’s still a thing. That is still on my mind. I hate to even mention it in case it makes it seem that I take racial injustice lightly. I do not. But blacks and women and the sick are all suffering right now, just to different degrees. This world needs a do over and we seem to be in the midst of a great change.

Black lives matter, kill Covid-19, Support Me, Too. In that order. That’s where my thoughts and prayers are aimed right now. In that order. Remember it.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Golden Rule. I think I live by that most of the time. Sure I take missteps, am misunderstood, open my big mouth and say something without thinking. Most of us trip up once in awhile. But my heart, my intent, is to treat everyone with that same regard I’d like in return. Be colorblind. Be compassionate. Leave the world a little better than how I found it. Spread joy. Amen.

The Tipping Point

I woke up this morning after having slept like the dead. Which is a good thing because last night I was still awake at 3:30 and wondering why I was still horizontal. I could get up and vacuum. I could open my laptop and write something. I could grab my Kindle and read a few chapters, something I often do in the wee hours when I find myself as wide awake as I am at high noon. But no, nothing motivated me to move and do something, anything, other than to lie there and wonder…

Why were there so many people in charge who were only out for their own advancements instead of caring about the rest of us, which is what they were hired/elected/appointed for? Why do we allow it? Police have been mistreating blacks, men in particular, for decades, centuries, but it took watching a murder live in front of our eyes that really opened our eyes. It was the tipping point. It took something so heinous we couldn’t ignore it any longer and we revolted. Good. Finally. At last.

I’ve lived my life always having friends of every color. I’ve dated a black man, an hispanic man who was deaf, a monster I was lucky to escape from, a sweet, kind Asian guy, a missionary’s son, a co-worker once or twice. They were all the same… they were men. Just men. The male of the species. Two eyes, two hands, two legs. You get the picture. Human beings. Because, after all, I’m a human being as well. So I should hang out with other human beings. I don’t judge them for the bright pink dress shirt they wore one Sunday to church or the tattered jeans they couldn’t bear to throw away. Or the old stick-shift Rambler on it’s last legs they named Rita. I didn’t look away when their hair was a mess because they slept on it wrong and didn’t comb it before heading out the door. I didn’t laugh when one turned up with a bad sunburn, making him more red than white. And I didn’t judge them when their skin color was a beautiful golden shade or a deep shade of brown or a lighter shade of black. They were not their skin or their culture or their history… they were human beings and they were my friends. They were nice and I enjoyed their company. They were happy and funny and compassionate and caring.

Me, I’m white. A very pale shade of white. Brown hair, hazel eyes, pale white skin. I actually have about 18% Native American in me, though you can’t tell by looking at me. My dad is from South Dakota so I think it may be Sioux. I have a friend I adore who is black. Her ancestors came here from Nigeria. She is smart, happy, kind, and beautiful inside and out. I have great love for her. We bonded at work many years ago over a shared background and a love for God. I convinced her (pushed and hounded her) to go back to school to get her Masters degree. She’s brilliant and needed to do more with her life than being stuck in the dead-end job she was in. She finally did it and moved away to go to NYU. She graduated, met a man, married him, and now has two babies! I’m so proud of her. And I miss her. But when we talk or get together, it’s like no time has passed. And I’m happy my friend is happy. Then there’s a sweet, adorable black guy I used to work with and am still friends with. On Facebook we recently connected over this current racial crisis. He shared a heartbreaking memory from when he was a kid and a racist neighbor scared him about calling the police on him for no reason other than he was chasing the football that had gotten away from him in his game with his friends. I can never understand his pain, his perspective. But I can support him and understand that he has gone through things I never will. I can be a shoulder to lean on, so to speak, a sounding board who will always listen with an open mind and an open and caring heart.

I have white friends as well. And a Vietnamese guy who I also adore but haven’t seen in many years as he is 3,000 miles away. I have black friends, a Filipino friend, several gay friends, an Italian, two guys in India, a German, Muslims, Jews, Christians, brown hair, blonde, blue- or brown-eyed, bald, skinny, fat, old, young. My primary doctor, Anu, was born in India, came here at the age of two, and she is awesome. You get the idea. They are all just human beings. Yes, I see the color of their skin. It would be ludicrous to say otherwise since I’m not blind. What I will say is that skin color doesn’t play a role in how I feel about someone or how I treat them any more than whether or not they dye their hair or wear Hawaiian shirts or love dogs over cats. It just doesn’t come up. Although the dog over cat thing might be a dealbreaker. My worst, scariest experience with another human being was with a white male. So there you go.

What does play a role? How they treat me and others. What their standards are. Do they treat people in the service industry with the same respect they use with their managers at work or their professors or anyone else in authority? Do they treat women as well as they treat men? Do they talk well of others who are different or do they make snide remarks about (fill in the appropriate group name: black, women, gays, etc.). How do they treat animals when they think no one is watching. Do they treat women like sex objects, laugh at jokes when other men do this? Example: Did they laugh when Trump boasted that he could grab a woman by her private parts and get away with it? Or did they condemn him for that? Do they demean others or try to embarrass them to make themselves feel superior? Do they strive to make life better for others or look for ways to take what they can get no matter who it hurts? Do they look up to people of quality or people who will step on anyone in their way to the top? These are the tells I look for in a person.

Hate fills up your heart with darkness and empties your soul.

I would think being a racist or a misogynist would be exhausting. Hate is all about you, not the other person. Life is far too short to have hate in your heart. Hate fills up your heart with darkness and empties your soul. Let go of the hate, for all our sakes. Find something good to focus on. Go out and sit for a while in a park and just listen. Listen to the wind blowing through the trees, the birds singing their songs just for you. Look at the colors of nature, breathe in deeply and smell the flowers and grass. Close your eyes, tip back your head, and absorb some life-giving sunshine.

Right this minute, it is pouring rain outside my window. I love the rain! I love the sound of it, the smell of it, the clean air the day after. I love that today I don’t have to go water my tomato plants because nature has done it for me. Isn’t that something?! We are all the same just half a millimeter below the surface. Isn’t it something better than fear and anger and hate? Oh how I wish everyone could see with neutral eyes and heart. See the world as a whole, see the human race as one team, like the amazing Chicago Cubs who finally won after years of waiting. They were a team and they stuck together and finally, one day, they won the World Series. Took them a hundred years but they did it because they were all on the same team and so they worked together to achieve their goal. We, as humans, are all part of the same team, Team Earth. Team Terra. Team Human. It’s natural to have difficulties and disagreements. And there really are mentally ill sociopaths out there who are outside the realm of human existence as we know it. But those are the exceptions. Most of us are just normal, everyday humans who need to let go of petty beefs and discord and anger and tension. Let it go, you will feel so much better if you do. Care a little more about others than you care about yourself. If everyone did this, what a wonderful world this would be. Yeah, that’s right, I quoted a song.

Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8

Twittering Birds

Spring is in full bloom here and the birds are going crazy with their songs and flights of fancy, swirling around each other in the air, flying effortlessly to and fro as they show off and compete for a mate. There’s a nest in the eaves that has eggs in it, babies to come soon! There’s a large brown rabbit (or is it a hare?) in the yard, taking large hops across the lawn that’s filled with clover, nibbling here and there. This morning I saw a White Crane hanging out around the pond on the property where I live. He’s around a lot. And two Guinea Hens, mates I think, that walk around eating the large bugs that inhabit the south. Wish there were a hundred more of them to decimate the bug population. Why did God create these foul things anyway?

I live in a house on 9 acres, sharing it with a friend and her hubby, who own it. It’s fairly quiet and peaceful here most days. The only human noise coming from a distant road or the occasional lawn mower. More, there is bird song. And that’s just fine with me. Today I’ve seen several Cardinals, the Crane, Guinea Hens, and quite a few other small birds like sparrows, finches, and wrens fluttering around. My bedroom window faces a huge tree, and quite a few smaller ones, and it is home to more than a few birds and squirrels. I listen to tweeting and chirping and twittering and cooing. And the occasional pecking of a Woodpecker. It’s an amazing symphony as good as any that humans might try to create with strings and wind instruments. There is no interior design quite like the design that Nature has placed before us.

Now, green is my favorite color and spring and summer bring it out in abundance. Then the explosion of color from plants and flowers from the pink Tulip Magnolia and showy Redbud in early spring to the early purple Crocus to the multi-colored Impatiens, Hydrangeas, Lilies, and assorted wildflowers. All of which brings out the butterflies and dragonflies, beautiful winged creatures that seem to float on the air. Watching one brings me joy.

It all fills my eyes with wonder. And it fills my senses, these sights and sounds God has laid out for us. And I find that I am grateful.

Gratitude and Stuff

How do you find some gratitude in today’s world? A big question that’s hard to answer, if not impossible at times. I see hate exploding around the world, the fear of Covid-19, racial tension at every turn. I can’t turn on the news without being battered by it all. How one human being can be so full of hate and disregard for another. How can one human murder another and still go home to a family and sleep at night. How can leaders advocate this hate, this prejudice, this unrest; advocate violence against peaceful protestors. And the result for me is stress, anxiety, depression, fear, worry. I have friends who are at high risk for this virus, friends who are black and at high risk for police brutality, friends who are gay and at high risk for hate crimes. I have white male friends who think they are the ones being discriminated against, lol. Talk about being blind to the truth. Maybe now they see the view from the other side. Of course, they support Trump so there you go. The blind leading the blind. Or should I say the evil one blinding the naive?

Either way, I’ve decided to try to find something to be grateful for each day. Today I am sitting at a friend’s kitchen table, cat sitting while she and hubby are out of town. There is a wall of windows in front of me and nothing but trees in full leaf so you can just see the clear blue sky peeking through. I hear so many birds singing praises to spring. There are squirrels playing and a deer came by earlier to nibble on grass and drink from the bird bath. This is something to be grateful for and I am grateful that I have this morning, these moments, to savor.

I’m grateful for Jesus and my salvation. I’m grateful for friends who stand by me and support me, pray for me, love me (despite my many shortcomings). I’m grateful for being part of a good church with good people and pastors who preach the Word of God, not some man-made rules and regulations. I’m grateful that I can breathe today.

So even through all the worry and concern and, yes, anger at what is happening around me, I have found a few things to be grateful for. I’ll try this again tomorrow.