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!

Diamond in the Rough

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.

Diamond In The Rough.jpg

 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

©2015 CatnipofLife
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)

Diamond-in-the-rough

3 Comments »

Blessings at Easter

Happy_Easter

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

cv-line-divider-hi

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

Easter-blessings-peace-with-love

“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

4 Comments »

The Lily

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. . .

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

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.

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

6 Comments »

Free Write Friday #40: Image Prompt

Writing_BanditI 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?

Old_House

Image Credit: We Heart 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…

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

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Other Writing Bandits to Visit:

Tracesofthesoul

dorothychiotti

poetryshack

phylor

Heidi

Joseph Hesch

buildingalifeofhope

Talicha J.

Colline

michael

Roberta

Lorraine

Author’s Thought

5 Comments »

Friends vs. Friendship

Piggies1

Piggies can be our friends!

During a lifetime, each person will encounter innumerable friends. They will come. They will go. Some will be remembered. Some won’t. Many will be real. Thousands will be virtual. Yet, we call them all ‘friends’. There is really no separation. Some we see. Some we don’t. These are our circle of friends.

What makes a person a friend? Can someone be called ‘friend’ yet not truly be a friend, only act friendly? Everyday conversation occurs during which someone will reply, “Oh, he’s my friend!” or “I know her. She is a friend of mine.” Has this happened to you? Have you ever paused in wonder as to what made you identify a person as a friend? Each of us will have different thoughts and answers to that question.

We have work-friends, buddy-friends, intellect-friends, fun-friends, the talker-friend and the listener-friend. There is the big brother or big sister and of course, the friend who is like a mom or dad. Some even earn our trust as we accept them into our hearts without question. Each plays a significant role in life.

Now turn to friendship. Any difference?

Friendship is a form of love, passionate in the sense of caring and understanding but not erotic. It is resting your head on someone’s shoulder and crying out of sheer happiness or sobbing uncontrollably in times of sorrow. It is that person holding you so tight you do not want him or her to let go for you are no longer capable of separating one person’s tears from the other. It is disagreeing and finding harmony in disagreement. Those are the personal lasting friendships.

Today, with the advancement of social networking, friendship does not get applied to many situations. The friends in this environment are acquaintances that people do not even know and probably will never know. Yet, comfort can still be found, it is simply within written communication, rather than in person.

Each of us can be a friend, associate with friends, and form lasting friendships. Those that last are the ones which we truly celebrate. In other words, a celebration of friendship is when you are not only told you have dirt on your face but your friend helps you clean up your mess! This is our blessing of friendship.

Angel of Friendship

friendship_angelstar-divider-lineA cloud floats from Heaven
To rest upon a shoulder
A soft, billowing pillow
Where an angel abides

Quietly, gently resting
‘Til needed to leaven
Heaviness like a boulder
Laying worries aside

Who is this angel?
Quintessence of loyalty
Bearer of charity
Who offers companionship…

Listener with quiet understanding
Sunbeam smiles radiating harmony,
A messenger of amity
Ensuring a lasting relationship

Who is this angel?
This angel is the angel of friendship

Echoes©2004 Echoes
Sharla Lee Shults


6 Comments »

Kindness

Today, February 17, is celebrated as Random Acts of Kindness Day. While it is a good idea to designate a day for kindness, it is most important to never let any day go by without showing you care…for the humble and meek, the weak and strong, from the youngest to the oldest, critter and creature, human or pet.

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What indeed is so hard about being kind?

Kind Words and Kudos

A young child and an elderly woman
Waited patiently to cross the street.
An offer of a helping hand
Received the reply, “Please.”

Safely across to the other side,
The young child softly cries,
“Thanks for helping my grandmother.”
Then, she hugged me around my knees.

An elderly man seated in a café
Sat alone sipping a cup of coffee.
The expression on his face wasn’t one of grace
For he appeared all solemn and glum.

A quick glance made me smile his way
Hoping to help make his day seem better.
When he smiled back suddenly in return,
I knew that one smile helped him overcome.

Kind gestures make good echoes
For there is a hidden power in kindness.
One kind word or sweet smile
Brings joy to the heart the minute after.

Remembering© Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults

Random_Act_of_Kindness

11 Comments »

Raindrops & Rainbows

All across America, the world in fact, is indescribable beauty often referred to as visions of grandeur. Each day presents itself in living color with sights, sounds, even smells that tempt and tease innermost emotions. Skies may be crystal blue and cloudless, or dark and dreary with hints of an impending storm. Even within the storm lies beauty…a calm at the end of which one may be lucky enough to sight a rainbow.

What awakens your senses of a forthcoming rainbow? Is it the sight of cloudy skies, the smell of oncoming rain, or the sound of raindrops pelting the earth? Perhaps lightening pierces the haziness of morning and rolling thunder disturbs the short-lived stillness of the air with news a storm is approaching.

With each sense comes anticipation of sighting that well-known arc across the sky whose splendor boasts a colorful array of pastel hues. The RAINBOW!

Have you ever taken the time to count how many colors you see in a rainbow? Is there a set number or a continuous innumerable spectrum of colors? Speaking of colors, what about Roy G. Biv…ever heard of (him)? Are the colors the same for every rainbow that comes into view?

O-o-o-o-ooh! So many questions. Why not add a couple more: What actually forms the rainbow and is there a connection of rainbows to raindrops? Afterall, the RAINbow and RAINdrops both have ‘rain’ in common!

Did you know?

To see a rainbow, one must have both rain and sunshine,

A ray of sunlight enters and is reflected inside a raindrop, thus breaking white sunlight into colors,

There is never a single size for water drops in rain but a mixture of many sizes and shapes,

The sun is always behind you when you face a rainbow and

The center of the circular arc of the rainbow is in the direction opposite to that of the sun.

In other words…

The Rainbow
 
Since the beginning of time
Questions arise again and again
Like how far away
Does a rainbow start and end?
*****
How far away are the raindrops
That capture the sunlight?
The nearest may be miles upon miles
Yet sparkle in the daylight

 The rainbow is nature’s gift
After the cleansing rain
Is each one unique
No two ever the same?
*****
Can the eyes of two people
Seize the same rainbow in time?
Each observer sees different raindrops
Making each vision sublime

 Size of the raindrops
Sets the color’s purity
Does bigger mean brighter

The smaller less clarity?
*****
What makes the colors
As vivid as can be?

It’s all about angles and light
The colors that we see

   A red band on the outer edge
A primary rainbow declares
Yet what happens when
A secondary rainbow appears?
*****
Are the double rainbows

Mirror images of each other?
Colors of the second reverse
Complimenting one another

Seven colors
Tiny prisms beget
Orange, yellow, green

Blue, indigo, violet
*****
Another question arises
Since above are only six
Have you forgotten
Red is first in the mix?

 
Where, oh where
Is that pot of gold?
The one we’ve heard about
From the days of old
*****
It’s the rainbow itself
That’s the golden prize
What greater splendor
Than right before your eyes!

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

May each rainbow sparkle with the seven colors of the rainbow: strength, joy, sunshine, harmony, faith, wisdom and spirituality.” ~SLS


6 Comments »

Just One Look

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Every season sings its own personal song

from the eloquent watercolors of spring to the harmony of early summer bees & blossoms through the golden glowing essence of Autumn into the naked landscapes cloaked in white during Winter.

Regardless of the season all it takes is...

Just One Look

simple_dividerJust one look toward the far horizon
Captures an expanse beyond words
Limitless possibilities exist
Disturbed only by joyous birds

simple_divider

The sky, land and water connect
With discriminate attitudes
Ever present, ever changing
Dependent upon nature’s moods

simple_divider Glory in the springtime
Initiates visions without stopping
Greening hills, warming sun
Buds erupting and wildflowers popping

simple_divider

Family time summer excursions
End with strolls along the sandy beaches
Rising and falling blue-green sea foam
Occasionally unveils sea conches

A winding road in autumnsimple_divider
Demands a stop along the way
Gazing toward the earth’s edge
Reveals a breathless close of day

simple_divider

Snow-capped mountains of winter
Stand majestic out of reach
Valleys through which rivers run
Grant swift passages of each

simple_dividerJust one look upward and outward
Spans a view altogether incredible
Senses emotionally enhanced
Emerge surprised and totally audible!

catniplogosm1©catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each.
—Henry David Thoreau (American author, poet, & philosopher, 1817–1862)

simple_divider

See the countryside from A Bird’s Eye View

Watch this second video to get the true perspective of the eagle!

7 Comments »

Magic

“Have you opened your eyes to the magic that is surrounding you at this very moment? Imagine it and bring it to life!
~ Roxana Jones

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Magic. Do you believe in magic? If your answer is ‘no’ my question to you is “why not?” Magic surrounds you every single moment of the day. There is magic in the air, in the woods, in the mountains, by the ocean, right in your own back yard. It is invisible yet can be seen. It is silent yet can be heard. It is intangible yet soft to the touch. How can this be you may ask? It’s magic!

When you gaze upon the smile of a child, how does that make you feel? Think about receiving a tender kiss from a loved one, do you tingle from head to toe? What about the times when you hurt so bad only to have someone give you a hug assuring you everything will be okay?

Does it make you feel all warm inside? Those feelings…how do you describe them?

Magical!

DividerPNG

Watch the raindrops dance across a flower
catch a ray of sun, feel its power   
brush windswept hair from your face
feel the elegance of Chantilly lace

Bathe in watercolors when the sun rises
open your eyes to all the surprises
cherish the twilight, dusk and dawn
mystic beauty each hour doth spawn

Toss a softball with a child
tickle a baby, watch her smile
save a caterpillar, let it be
butterfly wings you’ll soon see

Lay your head upon someone’s chest
feel the heartbeat as you rest
cry when it’s time to depart
let the tears cleanse your heart

Sense when another draws nigh
breath softly a soulful sigh
listen to birds’ sing off key
magic through your veins flows free

catniplogosm1©catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Magical-mornings-glisten

7 Comments »

Free Write Friday #38: Word Bank

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreIf you have not participated in Kellie’s Free Write Friday, she has extended an open invitation. Read the intro. Would love to ‘see’ what you have to say! You may write in any form you choose for the prompt as she will never discourage your pen, but she encourages you to try your hand at free verse for the exercise.

Oh, Kellie, this is a good one! Since my husband and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary Summer 2014 let’s see what I can conger up using that ‘train’ of thought. What’s the connection you might ask…pearl represents the 30th anniversary and we were just discussing that only a few minutes ago.

Two avenues ran through my mind so here are my thoughts on…

train – burlap – fiction – pearls – vertigo

The train rolled into the station under a canopy resembling burlap. Like a character out of a fiction novel, I stepped onto the platform into open arms. Something cool ticked the back of my neck as you gently clasped a strand of pearls around my neck. Thoughts began to whirl as though I was experiencing an attack of vertigo. “Welcome home, Darling!” you whispered. “So glad you made it back home for our anniversary. I love you!”

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Pearls

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

The Our Pearl Anniversary

What a grand day to celebrate
30 years that’s a milestone in this day
When divorce is real, not fiction
Where a little thing can get in the way
picky, picky, picky

It’s little gifts should really matter
Whether made of sap
That’s honey, of course
Or one of burlap
the LITTLE things

Gifts from the heart
Even a ride on a train
Holding hands in the park
Strolling at night in the rain
no umbrella

The memorable vacation
A cruise away from the snow
An eventful memories
Without the slightest vertigo
ice cream for breakfast

30th anniversary WOW!
My head whirls and whirls
What a grand day to celebrate
Its symbol: iridescent O-o-o-oh! pearls
cultured or opalescent

©2014 Sharla Lee Shults

Here are a couple of others to ponder and reflect upon:

graypoet says:

http://graypoet.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/oh-boy/

parallel universe says:

http://paralleluniverseblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/free-write-friday-2/

9 Comments »

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