catnipoflife

Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!

Resonant Chamber

catnipoflife:

Don’t Like or leave without listening to the music! The methodology is totally awesome…phenomenal…magical!

Originally posted on SERENDIPITY:

See on Scoop.itIn and About the News

I published this a while back, but I thought it deserved another appearance. I find the music haunting. There’s just something about it. It is amazing and beautiful. Turn up your speakers, then watch, listen and be awestruck!

Click on the graphic (above) to see the entire production.

Animusic specializes in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, it was originally called Visual Music. It became Animusic in 1995.

The company is famous for its futuristic computer animations in which the music actually drives the animation so that the visual and the music precisely correspond. This is as close to “seeing music” as you can come.

Although other musical animation productions exists, there are differences. The models for Animusic are created first, then are programmed to do what the music “tells them.” Instruments appear to be…

View original 36 more words

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The Buzzard, the Bat & the Bumble Bee

If you put a BUZZARD
in a pen 6 feet by 8 feet
entirely open at the top,
the bird, in spite of its ability to fly,
will be an absolute prisoner.

The reason is that a buzzard always
begins a flight from the ground
with a run of 10 to 12 feet.

Without space to run, as is its habit,
it will not even attempt to fly,
but will remain a prisoner for life
in a small jail with no top.

******************

The ordinary BAT
that flies around at night,
a remarkable nimble creature in the air,
cannot take off from a level place.

If it is placed on the floor or flat ground,
all it can do is shuffle about helplessly
and, no doubt, painfully,
until it reaches some slight elevation
from which it can throw itself into the air.

Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

******************

The BUMBLE BEE,
if dropped into an open tumbler,
will be there until it dies,
unless it is taken out.

It never sees the means
of escape at the top,
but persisits in trying
to find some way out
through the sides
near the bottom.

It will seek a way where none exists,
until it completely destroys itself.

******************

In many ways, we PEOPLE are like
the BUZZARD, the BAT, and
the BUMBLE BEE.

We struggle about with all
our problems and frustrations,
never realizing
that all we have to do
is look up!

That’s the answer,
the escape route,
the solution
to any problem. . .

JUST LOOK UP!

******************

Sorrow looks back,
Worry looks around,
But faith looks up!

Live simply,
love generously,
care deeply,
speak kindly, and
trust in our Creator,
who loves US!

Share this with friends. . .I just did!

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Inspiration: Meeting the Challenge 2

Butterflies_DaisiesRoadsides are dotted with clusters of brightly colored daisies engulfed in rain-aided green grasses. The smiling face of each flower brightens the view of fields and ditches along nature’s highway. Butterflies flit and flutter from flower to flower beckoning “come dance with me.”  ~catnipoflife

Where do you seek/find inspiration? Perhaps you need only to simply stop, look and listen within your ordinary surroundings for its discovery may take little or no effort at all. Within our daily midst, sights, sounds and smells are waiting to be awakened, explored, enjoyed and shared.

Butterflies&Daisies1That which is seen with the naked eye is often interpreted differently from individual to individual. With each vision comes thoughts and emotions that may strike an emotional chord of harmony or cast shadows of discord. Through these visions comes the ability to put what is seen only once into words that can last for a lifetime. Of course, thoughts might instead shift to that of a camera with the old adage ‘a picture is better than a thousand words’ immediately coming to mind. But, oh-h-h, how many times has that miraculous once-in-a-lifetime Kodak moment been missed? How many times has it been said or heard, “If I only had my camera. . .” More times that can be counted for sure! Yet, the vision is still there, stored in the scrapbook of the mind. Each time a page is turned in the mind’s diary that vision reappears. The recourse: write about it!

Nature is overflowing in its natural awe-inspiring, breath-taking wonders, none of which more mystical, nor mysterious, than the butterfly. What is it about this delicate insect that unites the heart with the soul? Some might say it is its symetrical beauty, others feel it has sensory powers of healing, while many purely delight in its wispy nature. Its beauty is consuming, none of which more captivating than when feeding on sugary nectar. (View Beautiful Butterflies from around the world.)

One of the butterfly’s favorite sources of nectar is the flower, especially the daisy. Butterflies and daisies go hand-in-hand within the natural wonders of nature. Watching the butterfly feed is a wonder in itself as it perches atop the flower dipping deep with a strawlike tongue into the rich nectar, opening its wings wide, bringing them in again, all the while savoring each drop. Ah-h-h, but this sweet fluid is not the only treat these little insects enjoy. Did you know they also love fruit? Of course, that is totally understandable since the fruits of nature are filled with sweet, natural juices.

Book Connection – EchoesEchoes

Inside Echoes, Chapter Three reflects poetry surrounding the beauty of nature. The verses in this chapter reflect Echoes of Life. The poem Butterflies ‘n’ Daisies projects imagery in answer to the question Do you see what I see? Through its reading, you should be inspired as its words guide you toward meeting the challenge of your daily inspiraton!

Butterflies n’ Daisies

Come dance with me!

Mystical, magical butterfly
Holder of dreams, keeper of secrets
Touches so many lives
Bringing comfort without regrets

A simple message received
Or a challenge to be met
Inspires acceptance of life’s struggles
How to let go and accept

Fields of daisies, made of sunshine
Colors of splendor, a butterfly’s lair
Offer a place to linger and find solitude
Resting as though in thoughtful prayer

Butterflies and daisies, of rare beauty
Breath-taking in full summer sun
Reflect the colors of the soul
Instilling love and compassion as one

Kneel down in quiet repose
As though if part of someone’s plan
Let the daisies hug your knees
And the butterfly kiss your hand

Echoes©2004
Sharla Lee Shults

“The butterfly counts not months, but moments, and has time enough.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

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Inspiration: Meeting the Challenge

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~Leo Buscaglia (1924 – 1998)

LittleThingsAuthors are challenged in their writing to reflect senses that can be captured by readers in the manner in which they intended. A paraphrase of a quote by Plato (born c. 428 BC), “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” can be rephrased for the writer into “perception is in the eyes of the reader.” In order for our readers to perceive through their eyes what is proposed by our writings is often a delicate task. Word choice initiates feelings and visions, which if not chosen wisely could totally shift meaning in the wrong direction or portray a completely different image from its intentions.

For most of us, ideas come from our own experiences or stories related to us by family or friends. Thus, it all begins with our perception. It is much easier to feel an emotion by listening to a story being told or read aloud because of the tone and intonation of a person’s voice. For example, if an event depicted a scream in a scene, the actual sound of that person screaming could send chills to the bone, whereas if you read “she screamed as the door opened” might not provoke the same chilling reaction. Our voice, therefore, must become just as powerful but through the medium of the written word.

EchoesPeriodically I will post verses from Echoes. Within this volume of poetry are five chapters intended to tap into your senses as you focus on the following:

Family and Friends Do you sense the emotion?
I’m a BelieverDo you believe?
The Beauty of NatureDo you see what I see?
Good VibrationsDo you feel the spirit?
Whispers of YesterdayDo you hear what I hear?

It is hoped you will be touched by words that will evoke personal thoughts and ideas. As these thoughts surface, write them down. Such thoughts could trigger a poem, a story, a personal reflection. Who knows when someone somewhere in time might read them and how a life might be touched in the process.

One Final Thought

“Everything that we presently feel and see moving and taking place in our hearts, our minds, and our lives is His gift to us. We know not what it is or where it is going but He does and He gifts it to you. . .drink in His goodness, savor, and cherish every drop. He gifts it to me. . .I drink it in, savoring and cherishing every drop. May the verses to follow be His instrument of joy to you.”

Below is a sampling. For this poem and more heartfelt echoes, visit/scroll through the page link Echoes from the Heart. Periodically a new poem will be added for your reading pleasure that will hopefully echo emotion of your heart.

Family and Friends – Do you sense the emotion?

***************************************

Mornin’ Bustle

Sister’s in the kitchen
Flour from head to toe
Helping make biscuits
Kneadin’ the dough

Window’s open
Curtains flappin’ in the breeze
Mama wipes her brow
”Pass the milk, please”

Potatoes peeled and washed
Are set aside to drain
Thunder in the background
Quickly turns thoughts to rain

A poor man’s gravy becomes
A true Southern surprise
Country ham sizzlin’
Forming perfect red-eyes

Fresh eggs swiftly broken
Crackling in the skillet
Aroma quickly commands
“Come and get it!”

The table’s all set
Coffee steaming in the pot
Biscuits from the oven
Sat down while pipin’ hot

Thank you, Lord, for daily bread
Country ham and bacon
Grandma’s jam and all the rest
Ready for the takin’!

AMEN!

Echoes ©2004
Sharla Lee Shults

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Thoughts on the Easter Lily

Sometimes we ponder and ponder in hopes of eventually mustering the right words to tender an emotion, offer inspiration or purpose newfound knowledge. That is exactly where I found myself today as thoughts were enveloped in the “spiritual essence of Easter.”

Ah-h-h-h! The wonders of the Internet directed my fingers toward exploring its limitless boundaries in search of something overpowering. Webcrawlers fetched page after page delivering data, information, pictures, videos, etc.  At the end of the day, a plethora of windows had opened stroking my heartstrings with sights and sounds of wonder and passion. For every time a window opened a new window was discovered that led to another window and . . . Oh, my! Sounds like something venomous caught in a silky web waiting to be a tasty appetizer while life begins to ebb! Doesn’t it?

Needless to say, my efforts were not in vain. The words of my heart had already been written and laid to rest upon the sands of time to be revisited and never forgotten. Now, I share with you, my readers and followers, what thoughts I discovered on the Easter Lily. . .

Thoughts on the Easter Lily

“Rightly the lily is the flower of Easter. It lies buried in the ooze of pond or stream. There is  the grave of the dead lily that appeals to nostril or eye. But silently the forces of life are  dark and the damp to prepare a glorious resurrection. A shaft of green shoots upward toward the sun. This is followed by a cluster of tiny buds. One day the sun smiles with special warmth upon the dank, black ooze, and there leaps into the light a creature of light and beauty; it is the lily, an angel of the earth, whose look is light.”

—Author Unknown

Blooming of Easter Lilies

Having become totally absorbed in the thoughts on the Easter lily, click the video clip to the right and witness a time lapse of the Blooming of Easter Lilies.

History of the Easter Lily

How did the lily come to grace the fields of America? The cultivation of lilies did not originate in the United States for the lily is a native of Japan. History reveals the account of a WW I soldier, Luis Houghton, bringing a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to the South coast of Oregon in 1919. Houghton freely distributed bulbs to his friends and neighbors. Because of the events of WW II, the Japanese source of bulbs was abruptly cut off. Therefore, those growing lilies as a hobby noted the value of lily bulbs sky-rocketing and many decided to go into business on their own. At that time, Easter lily bulbs were known as “White Gold,” resulting in cultivators attempting to cash in on the crop. By 1945, there were about 1,200 growers producing bulbs up and down the Pacific coast, from Vancouver, Canada to Long Beach, California.

The Lily. . .

Of course, this post cannot end without my own personal atonement to. . .


T
he Lily. . .

Sounding of trumpets
Extol the most high
Rallying a crowd
No one should deny

Calls to drill and battle
Resound a time nigh
Echoing surrender
Or a battle cry

No white, just crimson
Adorn the fields
Beds of blood and bone
A battle yields

Within times’ passing
Ghastly signs disappear
Blades of bright green
Awaken thoughts held dear

Slender stalks emerge
Rising from earthy graves
Flaunting scaly bulbs
Pompous as ocean waves

Milky-white trumpets
Surge with praises toward the sky
Spiritual essence of Easter
Extols the most high

©2012 catnipoflife 
Sharla Lee Shults

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
Song of Solomon 2:1

Happy Easter to all and may your day be filled with blessings beyond words!

6 Comments »

Daily Reflection

We all write because we have a passion for sharing knowledge and understanding that will somehow embrace someone else’s life. Of course, with writing comes a lot of reading. Whether it is selected for research, entertainment or enrichment, each of us seek encouragement and reach out for visions in our own unique way.

A very important aspect of life is that of daily reflection, which comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. It is a means for sharing love, dreams and inspiration to send a heart racing, free a heart from grief, or perhaps offer a path for forgiveness.  Emotional journeys are the keystones for setting experiences or imaginations to paper. Poetry is a formidable mode of expression to soothe the heart and lift the spirit. Fiction explores a world seen through the mind’s eye and casts imaginations into depths often times seemingly unfathomable. Non-fiction offers a path to obtain information or to experience art and relive/revive history.

For whatever reason you write or desire to write, keep that passion alive! Let your fingers take their daily walks (across the keyboard or glide effortlessly with pen and paper in hand) as your mind expands all horizons working out the creativity stored in the scrapbook of your mind.

Everyone has a story to tell and every story has its time and place to be read among thousands upon thousands waiting to be discovered.

Reflect on your mental imagery and that which is stored in your Scrapbook of the Mind. . .

Scrapbook of the Mind

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wild flowers adorn a country hillside
Emanating shades of purple and green
Intermingled poppies add accents of gold
And overshadow new buds in between

Pastel colors gleam within a rainbow
Creating a hand-painted watercolor sky
Honeybees swarm feasting on sweet nectar
As passers-by dreamily let out a sigh

Fields of green expand the horizon
Rich in chlorophyll from the warm sun
Ardent admirers decide to linger
Tempted to take off their shoes and run

Tall twin oaks appear majestic in the distance
Offering cool shade after the summer rain
Travelers venture outward stepping into a picture
Wanting to remain, never to leave again

Visions through a rear view mirror
Capture picture-perfect images of a rare find
Eyelids blink at shutter speed
Storing mental pictures in the scrapbook of the mind

©Echoes 2004
Sharla Lee Shults

“Just as pieces stitched together in a quilt warm our bodies,
scrapbooks bind together memories to warm our hearts. “

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Ode to the Willow Tree

This morning my husband and I marvel at the sights of new budding in our midst: Tiny white blossoms emerging on the pear tree, the azalias bursting forth in colors of pink, white, red, purple, lavender, and bicolor, the flowering dogwoods exploiting their magnificence, and the new crepe myrtles exhibiting signs of their very first spring. Yet, I don’t think any are any more magnificent than that of the weeping willow.

     Only a few days ago what seemed to be only barren limbs, striped and naked from the winter, now launch the weeping willow’s cascading essence with sweeping, low branches beginning to droop toward the earth.

           Its pendulous canopy is nothing more than the epitomy of grace.

     Thus sparked my . . .


O
de to the Willow Tree

Oh thou lovely willow tree
Why is it you weep?
Is it raindrops dancing
On each tiny leaf?

Like encircling curtains
Pendulous branches fall
Cascading slender leaves
Extend outward and sprawl

Oh thou graceful beauty
Why do you so weep?
Are your branches heavy
From secrets you keep?

Myths and sorcery
Envelop your past
Many a love spell
Romances have cast

Oh thou soothing sight
Why is it you weep?
Are your limbs lonely
For someone to keep?

A haven of comfort
You offer each a place
Who venture underneath
For your wispy embrace

Oh thou willow tree
I know why you weep
Your tears are healing
So I peacefully sleep

©2012 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“Where there is a gracious heart, there is a weeping eye.”
—Mathew Henry (1662-1714)

Amid the pelting summer rains, the willow tree’s beauty never wanes.

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Couldn’t sleep……

Couldn’t sleep. . .’rain pounding’ sounded like my husband in the backyard hitting golf balls onto the roof, ‘lightening flashes’ appeared as spotlights exploding under extreme heat, ‘thunder roaring’ reminded me of our son learning to play the drums! Ah-h, the memories, how sweet they are! So, as I pondered such recollections of times past, I smiled to myself and whispered to my cat, Bootsie, “Let’s just go ahead and get up?” Of course, she yawned and stretched; then, gave me that cat look which indicated she did not want to be disturbed:)

Coffee was brewed in no time at all. A quick splash of water on my face revealed tired eyes from the lack of sleep but the day needed to go on. I donned my favorite robe (you know the kind that has all the knobby nodules but you just can’t seem to part with it) and ventured out onto the back porch. Not long afterward my husband joined me and we both listened to the rain as it ricocheted off the tin roof. What a great sound even during the wee hours of the morning!

Then, whoosh! As quick as it arrived, the rain decided it had stayed long enough and ventured forth toward a different destination. Hints of blue begin to peep around the clouds still floating aimlessly along looking like huge puffs of cotton candy. You know, the kind we use to gaze upon as a child and ponder what animal or caricature they represented in our brilliant imaginative minds! You haven’t been there? Well, you just need to give it a try on the next cloudy day!

Anyway, here comes the really funny part. With the steam rising from our coffee cups and smiling at each other between sips, all of a sudden, my husband looks up and says, “That cloud looks like a platypus!” I almost fell out of my chair! For at that same instant, I had glanced up from my cup and what did I see? None other than Mickey Mouse! Oh, dear, I do hope we were not looking at the same cloud.

Time for you to take a break and see what kind of clouds are waiting for you outside (of course, if you have not already). Before you go, click the links Cotton Candy Clouds and Smell the Rain. . .

“Nature always tends to act in the simplest way.”  -
Bernoulli

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Nature’s Doorway

What has your day been like today? Have you stepped outside to observe life at its best? Need a break from your daily routines?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is time for you to take a peek at Nature’s Doorway.

Are you ready? Then, open the door and come on in. . .
“All things are artificial, for nature is the art of God” – Thomas Browne

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Welcome to Catnip of Life

I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?

                                                                                 —James Thomson (Scottish Poet, 1700–1748)

Isn’t life completely surrounded by the raw touch of nature? Captivating moments are right before our eyes, music to our ears, within our very grasp and under our noses waiting to be enjoyed. To inevitably understand living, we must observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!

smelltherain1

Nothing like the smell of rain, the cleansing touch of nature!

The beliefs behind Catnip of Life expose nature as a diamond in the rough and its power to heal. Poetic verses reveal openness to the world around us and how simple everyday happenings and observances make a difference, not only in our lives but also in the lives of others. From reflections where happiness is found with the falling rain and sunshine eases our sorrows to experiencing The Thread of Life where life is given a second chance, there exists excitement, enchantment, emotion, heartbreak and contentment.

But, where do we begin? Man in his inherent nature commands daily strife. So-o-o-o, all the reason to take time to inhale, exhale deeply and breathe—breathe the breath of life. After that deep breath, close your eyes and ponder for a moment  this question: Have you ever stood in the pouring rain or taken time to actually smell the rain?

Click the page link catnipoflife poetry and scroll down to Smell the Rain. Take time to reflect on your life’s experiences. . .

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