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)



The Eyes of Love


Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

A grandmother and a little girl whose face was sprinkled with bright red freckles spent the day at the zoo.

The children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws. “You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint!” a boy in the line cried.

paw  paw paw paw paw

paw   paw  paw

Embarrassed, the little girl dropped her head. Her grandmother knelt down next to her. “I love your freckles,” she said.

“Not me,” the girl replied.

“Well, when I was a little girl I always wanted freckles” she said, tracing her finger across the child’s cheek. “Freckles are beautiful!”

The girl looked up. “Really?”

“Of course,” said the grandmother. “Why, just name me one thing that’s prettier than freckles.”

The little girl peered into the old woman’s smiling face. “Wrinkles,” she answered softly.

daisy divider photo: Daisy Divider-1.png

This story reminds me of the saying, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Its meaning can be taken literally as ‘the perception of beauty is subjective.’ In other words, it depends upon what one sees as beauty transpired from the heart. . .feelings of joy, peace, contentment or sadness, agitation, unhappiness.


The freckles of life are those little annoyances which if not perceived differently, lead to aggravation, frustration and unhappiness. The little girl in the story thought others saw her freckles as ugly which left her with a sense of unhappiness. This perception was challenged and changed through the eyes of her grandmother.

As a person ages, wrinkles are inevitable. They may be fine lines around the eyes or deeper almost rutted areas formed through years of hard work, worry and stress. The wrinkles of life add character but are too often perceived as making a once very attractive person ugly.


Whether freckles or wrinkles, true beauty is present when seen through the eyes of love. This is beholding to both humans and animals. Have you ever seen a cat or a dog with a blotch on one eye but not on the other, a straggly coat of fur that looks like it has never been brushed, a crooked jaw maybe stemming from an accident, one-eyed or eyes of a different color perhaps even crossed? How many times have you said, “Look at that UGLY cat?” or “Man, I would never own a dog that UGLY?” Are they ugly when someone cures them of hunger, heals their wounds, or cuddles them at bedtime?

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The ugliest person, place or thing can be the most beautiful in the world when seen through the eyes of love. Next time you see someone or an animal to which your first reaction might be “UG-LY!” stop and think about the fact that that person is loved by someone somewhere in time. To them, they are beautiful!

May you have a blessed day enjoying the beauty of the world through the eyes of love!




Even in times of hardships and sadness one can find beauty. That beauty to me is the beauty of heart. While tears may seem to never subside, the heart still remains strong within its rhythmical beats of life. Take life one heartbeat at a time relishing in each moment, never forgetting you are beautiful! Just stop & listen for a while.

Life has loveliness to sell, all beautiful and splendid things, blue waves whitened on a cliff, soaring fire that sways and sings, and children’s faces looking up, holding wonder like a cup. —Sara Teasdale (American lyrical poet, 1884–1933)

Treasures of the Heart: Moments Captured


Life is a trail of tears, the will to cope
A mountain of discomfort based on hope
It is a highway of dreams, a road very demanding
Out of balance at times, but not without understanding

Along life’s journey appear visions of despair
Wants and desires, times that seem totally unfair
While the expedition can be arduous and cruel
It can also be full of beauty shiny as a jewel

Life’s bounties offer gifts to lovingly share
Ready to be opened and handled with care
Its treasures of the heart tenderly unfold
Becoming moments captured within the soul

A kitten’s purr or a dog standing guard
These are life’s blessings in our own backyard
Images snapped with the blinking of an eye
Are stored in the mind’s diary never to die

Family and friends enjoy a wonderful relationship
Rallying around a campfire in fun and fellowship
Reminiscent of times past—love, lives and such
Stories echo memories thought of so much

Life is an incredible album of sad and joyful times
Echoing of discordant notes and melodious chimes
Count not the yearly months, weeks or even days –
Capture the moments encountered within each phase

©2013 catnipoflife 
Sharla Lee Shults


Sometimes all we need to end the day. . .

…is the beauty of the day itself.

This post was inspired by Penny Coho @TheWhyAboutThis. Visit Penny’s site for Sometimes all we need to start the day. . . You, too, will leave with inspiration just as I did.

Have a wonderful day, evening, and all through the night!

“The beauty of life surrounds us, open your heart and see through the eyes of your soul! ” ~catnipoflife


Inspiration: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty&BeastNO, not the fairy tale; YET, could there be a connection? Life is filled with wondrous beauty: Beauty is all around us – sights, sounds, and yes, even smells! But, so is the beast confronting us in many shapes, forms, and sizes. It may be buried in the heart, stored in the mind but not without light in the soul. Let’s take a look at the beast and the beauty to be found within.


Light from the Heart

Heartache manifests dispair. That is exactly what happened when the telephone rang and a quivering voice on the other end muttered, “He’s gone. His heart just gave out.”  The phone dangled from its cord as it slipped from my trembling hand. As though in shock, a stare into nowhere made time stand still. With tears descending without thoughts of ever stopping, visions of times together flashed through my mind as though I was turning the pages of the family album. Then, as quick as the ringing of the phone, the tears of sadness became tears of joy. He is home but not before leaving behind the reality of light always emanating  from my heart.



i’ll keep the light inside my heart
shining bright as the noonday sun
each day that passes will bring joy
as I see your face in your grandson


Light within the Mist

Fog slowly rolls in over the bay drawing cool moist air onto the coast. Dampness spreads a chill through the air causing goose bumps with hairs standing on end. A sea breeze hints of the cool freshness as tidal currents ebb in and out. Waves exploding on the rocks toss sea spray forward, backward, upward and outward, reflective of feelings that had been shuffled about and tossed aside. Standing on the edge of darkness, feeling cold and numb, life’s decision had to be made. Reality suddenly unfolds gleaming with inner light.

 bygone days of the sea dreamily subsist
as first light appears and the fog slowly lifts
reflections on a sunlit horizon
embrace the early morning mist


Light in the Darkness

The sun slowly slips beneath the horizon and you feel all alone as you look around the station. You just stepped off a bus as a ghostly mist of rain slowly descends upon the pavement. Eyelids blink away the tiny droplets revealing a shadowy figure in the distance. The beastly darkness obstructs your vision but not enough to block out the beautiful smile drawing nearer and nearer. Reality shimmers within thoughts of awaiting arms.

there‘s coldness in the dark
within a solitary place
but in the midst is hope
illuminating the space


“Hope is the greatest of the gifts we’ll receive.” – Beauty and the Beast

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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

Sharla Lee Shults

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


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