Friday, June 1, 2012

Lessons from the Butterfly

1. Float on a cloud, on a breeze, and let life take you where it will.
2. Be comfortable with admiration.
3. Move gently through life.
4. Allow great transformation to occur.
5. Live every moment to its fullest for there are few moments.
6. Avoid danger and predators.
7. Sip and savor each drop of nectar.
8. Embrace your beauty.
9. Live with dignity and grace.
copyright © 2012 Michelle A. Potter

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Life

At this time of year, life breathes and grows all around me. The bluebird nestlings lay together in the nest, cuddled together in a pile of down feathers. Their beaks open wide, offering up a basin for the food that will nourish their growth. The young butterflies flit from bloom to bloom, stopping at small puddles to quench thirst. Their youth is displayed by their crisp and colorful wings without blemish or tears. Fox kits frolic outside the den waiting for mother to return with food. They pounce and play, practicing for adulthood.

As I watch these youthful creatures move from birth to youth, I am filled with joy and wonder. Life is a gift, and they move through it with zest and zeal. They remind me of my youth. Their innocence and tenderness reach out to touch the youth that still lives inside me. I am imbued with a sense of protection and purpose. In my desire to protect them, I protect the girl in me. As we age, there is a tendency to find boredom in what has been seen and done before. By allowing curiosity and wonder to breathe and grow, we see things with  new eyes. We see the same thing in a new way. We see and live a new life.

copyright © 2012 Michelle A. Potter

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cycle of Life and Death

Nature surrounds events of change. The act of change is an ongoing force in the universe, in the natural world, and in our lives. Sometimes change means birth. Sometimes change means death. This week, I experienced two deaths of animals in my garden. These are not pets, and I am not as attached as I would be if they were. I mourn their passing nonetheless. They were a part of my garden, my world. I will miss getting a glimpse of them as they wandered in and around the plantings. I know sometimes I am not aware of an animal's passing who dwells in my domain. For some reason, I was made aware of these two.

Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.  ~Lao Tzu

One was a female robin who had made a nest in an arbor and laid a few beautiful blue eggs. Ecstatic and full of hope, I tenderly walked around to avoid the arbor on most days so as not to disturb her. Just the other day, she became trapped by turf netting and died. The other was a black swallowtail butterfly whose wings had become damaged preventing it from flying. This is the way, the cycle of nature. Even my mourning is the cycle of nature. Today, I looked out and saw about six other robins flying from tree branch to tree branch. They seemed paired off for breeding. A few stopped by the birdbath and moistened their feathers. Another black swallowtail butterfly was laying eggs on parsley leaves in the herb garden. A new generation begins. Birth begets death. Death begets birth. The circle of life continues.

I am linking in with Live and Love Out LoudBumbles and LightProject Alicia:

<em>Leap Into Spring!</em> Photo Challenge”></a>
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copyright © 2012 Michelle A. Potter

Friday, April 6, 2012

Things That Make Me Smile

No matter what mood I may be feeling, no matter what circumstances present themselves, there is always something to be happy about--whether it be a memory or an experience.

Some Things That Make Me Smile:

- the way the light dances on the amber leaves of a Japanese maple in the wind

- the fervent and boisterous song of the very small, yet stalwart, Carolina wren

- my husband's attempts to make me laugh which are usually successful

- the way my cats curl up in a circle, tilt their heads under, and stretch their toes out

- the first blushing of a full tomato on the vine in the vegetable garden

- the fragrance of Carolina Jessamine blooms as I walk by them over and over again

- the cottony and fluffy texture of Lamb's Ears between my thumb and forefinger

What makes you smile?


I am linking in with Live and Love Out Loud, Bumbles and Light, Project Alicia:

<em>Leap Into Spring!</em> Photo Challenge”></a>
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copyright © 2012 Michelle A. Potter

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Go with the Flow

Go with the flow. What does that really mean?

From the Urban Dictionary:

- to not attempt to exert a large amount of influence on the course of events, whether a specific series of events or events in general

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them--that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ~Lao-Tzu
Sometimes I am able to adopt this philosophy as I move through life, and sometimes I am not. Sometimes I feel as if I must take life's hand and guide myself along as quickly as possible. Snags, hiccups, wrong turns are not appreciated. I feel as if I am the river, and I must keep things flowing in a particular direction. Later, I realize I am not the river. I am in the river, and I do not have complete control over the river.

Smile, breath and go slowly. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
For now, I have decided to stretch my arms out over the water and let the river take me where it will. I am floating, drifting, relaxing. I can see the tree branches reaching over the riverbank as if to greet me as I pass. I wave and smile, and sometimes I rub against a leaf from these branches. It feels soft and supple. The ripples on the water vibrate and sing, producing calming sounds that ease my journey. I smell the sweetness of moss as I pass a meadow of grasses and wildflowers. I know not where I am going nor where I will find a landing. I am going with the flow.

copyright © 2012 Michelle A. Potter

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Creating Peace

I realize that creating peace is more complex than we often consider it to be. People, cultures, beliefs all play a part in developing peaceful societies and a peaceful world. I think the difficulty comes when we attempt to find agreement. Many want others to behave and believe as they do or there will be no peace. It is not the beliefs that cause the problems. It is the lack of tolerance for varying views, varying beliefs.

If we could only consider love as Shakespeare so eloquently described it in his Sonnet 116.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.  ~William Shakespeare

Peace could then be a normal state of being. With this idea, perhaps love and peace can work beyond boundaries, beyond enemy lines...

copyright © 2012 Michelle A. Potter

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Pause in Time

Have you ever wanted to stop time just for a moment...

to savor,
to rest,
to observe,
to breathe,
to wander?

There are times when I want to live in the space between moments and escape from the daily obligations and deadlines. In the corner beside a second of time, I would open the door and find respite away from any measure of space or season or age. I would wander the corners of my thoughts that I rarely have time to explore, letting notions flow and drape across the width of my brain. Creativity would run free, uninhibited by limits, boundaries. My attention could focus singularly on ideas, rainbows, textures, feelings. The call of discovery is the only voice I would hear.

Clocks slay time...time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life
. ~William Faulkner

We often talk of escaping for a day at a spa or for a week on vacation to rest and relax. I wonder if there could be a day, now and then, to escape from responsibility and explore the senses, discover our thoughts, and frolic in freedom and creativity.
copyright © 2012 Michelle A. Potter

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rain, Storms, Life

Outside, I can hear the rain pounding against the windows with a steady beat. Once in a while a drop hits a piece of metal and tings. If I were more of a musical person, I could develop a composition around the various tones made by the raindrops. Sometimes the rain slows, and there is a steady hum of water flowing. If the wind rises, the raindrops are thrust against the house, and I can hear water flowing and gushing down the side of outside walls. Later, the rain stops and there is a lull between rain clouds. The birds become more active and begin to sing. Squirrels race down trees and begin foraging. Branches allow the puddles of rain to drip away and dry.

Is this a metaphor for life? Storms come, they escalate, we struggle to find a way to manage, and then the storms are over. We breath again, we relax. We resume life.

copyright © 2012 Michelle A. Potter