Wishing your day filled with love through and through
Nor it be altogether clamorous
With time for solitude as interlude
During the morning, noon and thereafter
As you truly enjoy Valentine’s Day
Amid all the festiveness of the holiday season come times of remembrance… Christmas past, family and friends gone but not forgotten. There is an overwhelming sense of sadness that at the same time brings on smiles of the heart. The joy, the laughter, the silliness within the seriousness of the time. With Christmas, there is always music, special music. Some of the melodies have been passed down from generation to generation while new ones hit the scene with the changing times.
Gone, yet ne’er forgotten
Music to relive the days
Happiness within sorrow
’Til the last memory fades
Sharla Lee Shults
To all who have loved ones in Heaven this Christmas, may you find joyful peace with family and friends.
Have you ever thought about the difference in thankfulness versus gratefulness? During hot, dry spells, you are thankful for the slightest hints of rain or during the winter, you are thankful for the day falling snow finally wanes. On the other hand, you are indeed grateful for the presence of nature, the nurture that Mother Nature brings to the earth in the forms of nourishment, care, shelter, guidance, inspiration. Being aware of your surroundings interjects feelings of thoughtfulness which in turn makes you truly thankful thereby expressing gratitude for all blessings received. Inner spirit is at peace, heart and soul.
Being thankful, giving thanks
Go together hand-in-hand
One without the other
Makes for a lonely stand
Be thankful for many blessings
Each new day may impart
Specially those unexpected
Which arrive heart-to-heart
Give thanks in return
For those blessings received
Since unspoken words
Can’t be quickly perceived
Be thankful for troubled times
Reaching out to those concerned
For without painful mistakes
Lessons cannot be learned
Give thanks for the little things
From strangers and loved ones alike
Whose genuine thoughtfulness
Presents a delightful heartstrike
Be thankful for each morning
With which a fresh start begins
Giving thanks for daily blessings
Until the day finally ends
Turn thoughtfulness into gratitude
A work of heart, a practice of soul
Find pleasure giving to others
A notion that never grows cold
© 2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults
In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
—Albert Schweitzer (Alsatian theologian, organist, philosopher 1875–1965)
Feelings of thoughtfulness naturally bring on acts of kindness, which make for a better day any time of the year. Even though November 13th is set aside as a day of celebration, let it only be the beginning of random acts of kindness to last all year!
Opportunities for random acts of kindness are everywhere. We just have to take the time and allow ourselves to do something memorable for others. November 13th, World Kindness Day, is a good day to remind us of that. The good news, is that kindness doesn’t always require spending. A nice letter, a compliment, or even your time can make someone smile.
Are you a city slicker born and reared in the country? A country boy or girl living it up in the city? Country born, country stayed or city born, city to this day? Much is to be learned from both sides of life. The sleepy country side isn’t for everyone nor is the flipside, hectic city life. One may seem pale in comparison to the other so venture forth seeking the brightness of each. If you live in the country, take time to visit the city. If you live in the city, get out into the country for rural goodness.
Life in the City
Welcome to the city!
May I show you around?
A concrete jungle
It has long been called
A mighty fortress
Glaring, surely blaring
Sights amid sounds
All around the city
Hold you spellbound
Daytime, nighttime glamour
Makes you feel like new
Singing, dancing, engaging
Nothing you can’t do!
Hustling, bustling city squares
Crisscrossing asphalt streets
Coffee shops by the dozens
Invite strangers to meet
Spectacles, smells, odd routines
Invite strangers to stroll
Events in a city park
Offer a grassy knoll
A haven for many
Sin city to a few
Life in the city
Never bids adieu!
Welcome to the city!
Ready to wheel around?
Hail a taxi
In a heated rush
Paint the city
With your own life’s brush!
Sharla Lee Shults
Quote for the Moment: A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.
—Margaret Mead (American cultural anthropologist, 1901–1978)
Have you ever felt like walking directly into a picture? The image being so clear, so persuasive you actually felt the scene? It could be you’ve imagined a setting from books or magazines you read or heard described. What drew you in could be the pleasantry of the landscape, the land, the horses or the people. The image became so implanted in your mind nothing could stop you from searching for such a place. You drove, drove, drove until you found it! Maybe after reading that will be the guidance you need to seek your own spot in the countryside.
At dawn beads of morning dew
Dance across spiders’ webs
Reflecting the rising sun
As pale light strokes the sky
An oratorio of frogs
Birds, mammals, creepy-crawlies
Generate the essence of song
Bringing on a tender sigh
Wide expanses of green-on-green
Adorn the rolling country hillside
With wildflowers, gems of beauty
Joining the horizon’s edge of blue
Just up the road two horses
Grazing alongside a field of buttercups
Look upward toward earth’s edge
In the forefront of the panoramic view
A wooden farmhouse in the background
Stands naked within the scene
Surrounded only by fields of green
Serene, natural beauty
An old country farmer
Plowing his corn field nearby
Reflects on life’s duty
With a swift wipe of his brow
Chickens scatter noisily
As eggs are carefully gathered
The plumpest of the plump hens
Tries to escape supper somehow
Such is the countryside manner
Where thoughts lost in daydreams
Leave imagination unbound
On wings completely free
Holding hands, shoulder-to-shoulder
Sittin’ upon the grass
Bears glory in the countryside
Now that’s the place for me!
Sharla Lee Shults
Quote for the Moment: When I go out into the countryside and see the sun and the green and everything flowering, I say to myself —Yes indeed, all that belongs to me!
—Henri Rousseau (French Post-Impressionist painter, 1844–1910)
So, what is your side of life…city or country?
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing today, pause in reflection on whom or what you are truly grateful. You may find the naming easy coming rather naturally or you may find it takes some thought, time and effort. Remember, regardless of whether easy or hard, the goal is giving thanks and being grateful for all you have. There is a lot to be thankful for…all you have to do is sprinkle a little catnip into your life embracing the cherishable moments being careful not to let the little things go unobserved. These are the true riches in life!
Consider that which you’re truly grateful
What would be at the top of your list—
Friends, family, loved ones, favorite pet
Something you simply cannot resist?
Material—here today, gone tomorrow
Proposes value not set in stone
But when it comes to everlasting life
It is priceless—it and it alone
Life’s filled with cherishable bounties
Each to be considered on its own
Not to be thought of haphazardly
Instead measured from birth until grown
As a tiny infant you learn dutifully
Survival outside your mother’s womb
With loving care, nourishment of adoration
You grow up going forth in full costume
From childhood to young adult
Life flows as a river of dreams—
First crush, first date, first kiss
Without worry or so it seems
Once into the world of adulthood
Life takes on a whole new meaning
Gratefulness is the bounty of life
Which is only the beginning
As the days turn into months
The months forge ahead into years
Passing by all too quickly
Memory slowly disappears
The tick-ticking hands of time
Move in only one direction
The only way to step back
Is merely in life’s reflection
Live each day for its moments
Not simply day by day
True riches of life excel
In all you do and say
Sharla Lee Shults
Could it be that the mystic gratefulness in the depth of every human heart sings with “a still, small voice,” and is easily drowned out by the noise we endure and the noise we make?
—Bro. David Steindl-Rast O.S.B. (Catholic Benedictine monk, b. 1926)
Teeny tiny little kisses between family, loved ones, too, have been tradition since exposed in film in 1922. These express fondness in lieu of passionate emotional kisses. Children especially enjoy Eskimo kisses since a tickling sensation nose-to-nose warms the heart inciting smiles, giggles, happiness. Such kisses are not limited to human factors alone. What about the velvety touch nose-to-nose with a kitten or the wet, sloppy kiss nose-to-nose with a puppy? By chance you may find some odd couples in nature… a horse rubbing noses with a goat, a baby fox with a doe, a dog nuzzling a rabbit.
Gentle little kisses
A brush of the nose
Soft, tender caresses
Language without words
Bids hello or adieu
Sweet, childlike kisses
Emanate “I love you”
Merely a breath apart
Wisps like butterfly wings
Tickling right to the heart
From eye to eye
To nose to nose
Smiles do expose
Both giver, receiver
Sigh with a grin
Nuzzles on a cold day
Glow from within
Sweet, tender kisses
Whisper sweet nothings
As part of life’s song
From the tiniest baby
To your most beloved pet
Little Eskimo kisses
You don’t easily forget
Sharla Lee Shults
A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.
—Ingrid Bergman (Swedish actress, 1915–1982)
For the funny bone…
Raw, rare beauty…that’s the diamond in the rough! It exists within the yard clutter of overgrown grass, scrubby shrubs, deciduous trees being housed in the most conspicuous, often non-conspicuous places. Eruptive, wildly beautiful engagements mix with snapshots of ethereal beauty as Mother Nature balances auras of delight with intensity. From the opening gates of dawn until the final curtain of daylight, nature channels its power of enchantment bringing you to your knees or lifting your spirits skyward. At the closing of day through the midnight hour, from dusk ’til dawn, nocturnal creatures add to your world of imagination with fascination.
Awaken to the raw power of nature
When crashing waves, lightning cavort
Embark on a journey of pure imagery
Where the mind’s eye is the transport
Blend the defiant power of nature
With wonderment amid fascination
Draw on the earth’s primordial spirit
Charisma amongst imagination
Succumb to nature’s wilder places
Mysticism within self-awareness
Become lost in nature’s miracles
Of healing, transforming consciousness
Perceive rapid-flowing rivers
Cascading through rocky terrain
Imagine deafening sounds
Waterfalls, hammering rain
Evoke visions of pure impulses
Those of unbridled natural power
Peaceful before quite overwhelming
Surpassing any meditative hour
Observe nature untouched, unpolished
Like finding a diamond in the rough
Leave with a better understanding
Of yourself interestingly enough
Proclaim the exhilaration
A freedom deep within your soul
It’s observing life at its best
Totally under mind’s control
Sharla Lee Shults
The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.
—Daniel Defoe (Journalist, 1660–1731)
Easter brings blessings to all who believe
Joy in celebration this special day
Hope in all the tomorrows to come
Wisdom in following the right way…
Comfort in the fulfilled promise
Fellowship in the spirit of love
Truth in divine faithful guidance
All by the hands from Heaven above
While enjoying Easter with family
Take a seat at Mother Nature’s table
With her intoxicating, bold “buffets”
Bountiful, readily available
Arrange a bowl of fresh cut flowers
To bring cheery greetings in early morn
Soak up pure inspirational goodness
While enjoying what sunbeams adorn
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.” — 1 Peter 2:24
Happy Easter to all and may your day be filled with blessings beyond words!
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. . .
“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.”
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.
Of course, this post cannot end without my own personal atonement to. . .
The Lily. . .
Sounding of trumpets
Extol the most high
Rallying a crowd
No one should deny
Calls to drill and battle
Resound a time nigh
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
Surge with praises toward the sky
Spiritual essence of Easter
Extols the most high
Sharla Lee Shults
“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
Song of Solomon 2:1
I am one of Kellie Elmore’s writing bandits at freewrite Friday. Kellie invites all who would like to participate to please join her. Rules are simple. Follow her prompt and write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes she will provide a word prompt, a phrase prompt or like today an image prompt. There is no time limit so even if you miss the Friday, the writing window is always open. New here? Read the intro.
Here is Kellie’s latest FWF prompt:
This house has a story…what is it?
Having passed by the old place seemingly hundreds of times, today I decided to stop. This would be my last time. There are too many ghosts wandering its inner halls, too many secrets that need not be aired—our secrets. Nothing should remain for nothing’s left to be shared. With time’s passing has come the hour to finally let go. Tomorrow the bulldoziers will arrive at 6 A.M. to demolish what remains standing, it will soon be gone. At least outwardly anyway.
Memories will remain along its grounds that can never be bulldozed down. Some good. Some not so good. It is called life and in that house, overall life was good. Happiness and heartache can be measured with each board readied for its original construction. Great-granddaddy toiled and labored felling trees for just the right wood to be milled and planked. Stone blocks were hauled uphill from the creek below and set in for a solid foundation.
I can still sense the aromas from the back kitchen—hot apple pies, cinnamon spiced cider, homemade breads—that make my mouth water and stomach churn simply from hungering for the good ol’ days. Sounds of laughing in the backyard with the screen door slamming over and over again bring on a smile and tears at the same time.
Voices echo from the kitchen window calling me inside for the last time.
Echoes through broken glass
Whisper of times long past
Love’s endurance, young lives lost
Survival whatever the cost
Echoes within dawn’s pale light
Reveal a hurrisome sight
Early morn kitchen chores
Shadow sunny outdoors
Echoes in scorching, noonday heat
Bare tired, aching body and feet
Needing a shady place to rest
Leaves any desire hard pressed
Echoes when day is done
Hover ‘round the setting sun
Toil ’n’ labor at last o’er
When day’s light is no more
Echoes of the whippoorwills
Pierce the air across the fields
Visions of standing hand-in-hand
Long for a shooting star to land
Echoes of voices in my head
Forever alive, never dead
Wooden structure may be gone
Memories live on and on
Time for parting words to be said
Filled with echoes of joy, not dread
‘Tis the end of an old way
Time to begin a new day
Other Writing Bandits to Visit: