Thursday, May 3, 2012


So many icons and symbols tug at us emotionally. For example, think of religious icons that are pertinent to you, or conservation icons, or charity icons. Each one can pull an emotional drawstring around our hearts. But perhaps none more so than the one representing LIBERTY.

Although the statue itself is awe-inspiring, she pales in comparison to what she represents. We are free! Nobody owns us and we are free to be ourselves. We can choose our careers and where we want to live. We can choose if -and how - to worship. We can choose how to spend our time, money, and energy. We can disagree with someone (hopefully respectfully) and be protected against persecution. We can fall in love with, and marry, someone of different religion, culture, ethnicity, social class, or education.

Freedom is such an incredible gift that I hope we never take for granted. And during those dark and gloomy days we all have when things aren't going right and life seems out-of-alignment, let's remind ourselves that we are free...for these three small words have the power to help brighten any dark and gloomy day.

We are free!
Photo Inspiration

We are free.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Outstanding People Stand Out.

Don't be afraid to stand out as you stand up to be counted.

This blog doesn't espouse any political, religious, or economic view. I believe in harmony and balance in all aspects of life. However, it saddens me when I see people too afraid to stand up for their beliefs for fear of being judged, ridiculed, scorned, or prejudiced against. Surely this goes against the grain of who we are as a nation and as a people?

A big part of freedom is that we are free to discover our own beliefs, values, and views; so when I see people being bullied into not speaking up and standing out it bothers me dreadfully. Don't misunderstand me, I think everyone should believe as I do :) but I want everyone to choose to think that way and not be bullied into it. Without this free choice, freedom is just another word.

Bullying is a huge problem in our schools today. And here's an uncomfortable thought; I wonder if children are emulating what they see happening by and in society where, so often, bullying (not persuasion) seems the norm.

We must persuade - not bully - people
into believing something
otherwise freedom is just another word!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Back to the Future

We all hear that history repeats itself; but don't you sometimes wonder if what we see today is a precursor of what's to come?

I'm not prone to worry; however, somewhere in the back of my mind I wonder if, someday, life will move backward by a few centuries. I don't buy into the apocalypse theories and don't think we or our children will see this backward shift, but I grow concerned when I see the lack of harmony between the earth and her inhabitants.

People in developing countries understand the need for harmony. I'm not being Pollyanna about things here; life in developing countries can be extremely tough, far more than it should be in this technological age. But there's a knowledge-base and an inherent respect for nature there that we seem to have forgotten or ignore; and that alarms me.

New knowledge and progress is important, but in our haste to develop let's remember that some of the 'old' knowledge remains crucial!

In our hast to develop,
let's remember that some of the 'old' knowledge
remains crucial. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


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Is it just me, or do you find yourself acting a bit like a 2-3 year old as you mature?

My mind is constantly active and it seems these days that my main question, just like that of a 2-3 year old, is "Why?" Why is hardwood called hardwood when it's not necessarily hard? Why are flower petals so fragile? Why do some mosquitoes live for only a few days (or, better yet, why do they live at all?)

My current favorite is: Why do butterflies have such beautifully patterned wings? Oh I understand about camouflage - but camouflage could be accomplished with less beauty. So why? I think I'm driving my loved ones nuts; but it's interesting to see the children trying to find explanations for these things. And I hope most fervently that I'm planting the seed of inquiry in their minds.

To me, inquisitive minds are the mainstay of life; they're what keep us interesting to others and what staves away boredom when alone. Perhaps that's why so many young children have an affinity with their grandparents; they're asking the same questions!

And while you ponder that, ponder this too; why do we discourage young children from asking 'why'?

Hard wood, fragile petals, and gossamer wings;
we have to ask, 'Why?'

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are you living in the lap of luxury?

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Luxury is comparative.

I learned this during one of my life-changing experiences while backpacking in India.

Wanting to watch the sunrise one day, I arose early and ambled, half-awake, to the ocean. As I took photos of the sunrise, trying not to capture all the people (adults and children) who were on the beach, I had an epiphany. Even though I was raised in a poor family by Western standards, I was actually living in the lap of luxury!

Some of the people on the beach were returning in the boats with their early-morning catch. Others were finishing their morning duty of collecting food from still-wet sand. Children were putting in a day's work before school; and I was still half-asleep, sitting with my camera watching all the activity. And as simple as that sounds, to many people in the world, that is the epitome of luxury.

And at that moment, I felt the most humbled I'd ever felt. Life is inequitable, we know that; but let's at least appreciate our good fortune and not take it for granted. 

Life is inequitable;
let's at least appreciate our good fortune and not take it for granted.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Friend is...

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We all realize the importance of friendship.

I don't know why these baby birds make me laugh so much, but in my mind's eye they're like three old friends, dressed in their finery, sitting on a park bench gossiping and putting the world to rights. I can even hear them talk (preferably in a Welsh accent...think Dylan Thomas):

1: Ooh, did you see Sara go out last night?
2: Well, let me tell you she wouldn't have left my house looking like that-
3. Aw, come on you two! She's young. I remember when you...
1. Don't you tell that story.
2. Oh go on, I want to hear it again..

I think that looking at these three birds, huddled up watching the world go by reminds me once more of how important and precious friendships are. And though I know that no more friendship quotes are needed, I can't seem to help myself. To me, a friend is someone who knows you at your best...and sees you that way no matter what!

What do you think a friend is...?

A friend knows you at your best
and sees you that way, no matter what!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

May the Force Be With You.

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Let's be honest, I don't have a clue about what 'the force' is nor why it should be with whoever 'you' is.

So I asked my children and had some muddled story about it being all around and that it was powerful and that it could levitate things. As they began talking about someone not liking his son, I said, "Oh so the force is a bit like the ocean," and my very delightful children laughed!

But hang on a moment; they laughed at me? At least my 'force' is tangible and real and beneficial. Theirs is...well, I still don't know what it is. But the point is that whatever magic is portrayed in movies, I bet we can find a real equivalent in some eco-structure of life. Just consider the electric eel's capacity to zap things with electricity, or how phosphorous at night looks like fairy dust.

So I challenge 'May the force be with you' fans to look around to see what tangible forces they can find in nature.

Now this is bound to catch on!

May the force be with you.