In the desert, resilience and beauty are constant companions since one is the reason for the other.Photo taken near Carefree, Arizona
A fortune-teller can’t know our destiny! They can’t unlock the door that hides our fate. The entrance into our future is uncertain, even when we get right up to it. The door may be heavier than we ever would have thought, or it just might open with the slightest push. But no matter the weight of the door, it’s always there – standing between us and what lies ahead; like a dream waiting to be dreamed, a smile waiting to be smiled or a tear waiting to be shed.
Photo taken in Austria, near Salzburg.
“Come closer! I can’t…quite…reach…it!”
After devouring his much anticipated morsel from the little girl’s hand, this animal proceeded to nibble on the sleeve of her jacket – something she did not anticipate!
Photos taken at the Kansas City Zoo
In this season of wish lists and gift-giving, perhaps this is what children REALLY want:
Hide me, seek me,
chase me ‘round the tree.
Catch me, hold me,
bounce me on your knee.
Rock me, hug me,
cheer me when I’m sad.
Nurture me, enrich me,
forgive me when I’m bad.
Surprise me, delight me,
treat me to your laughter.
Excite me, train me,
give me a task to master.
Comfort me, soothe me,
heal me when I’m hurt.
Protect me, warn me,
help me stay alert.
Notice me, advise me,
correct me when I’m wrong.
Enjoy me, cherish me,
miss me when I’m gone.
Prepare me, lead me,
expect me to be kind.
Calm me, quiet me,
allow me to unwind.
Support me, guide me,
encourage me not to quit.
Humor me, indulge me,
spoil me just a bit.
Praise me, inspire me,
teach me how to pray.
Believe me, trust me,
find me if I stray.
See me, hear me,
answer me when I call.
Accept me, respect me,
love me most of all!
This is not a new poem – I wrote it for my grandson when he was 6 months old. You know, when our children and grandchildren are babies, we have such dreams for them! We are positive we can make their little world nearly perfect. Then life happens; we get overwhelmed, they get more demanding and we realize that perfection is not even close to attainable, nor should it be! But raising good, respectful, happy children isn’t impossible. We must simply remember what’s important to THEM!
I pictorialized this photo with a “colored pencil” edit.
Over the mountain is a new horizon. Dangers may lurk, but I am not afraid.
Photo taken at Maroon Bells, Colorado
Hunger! The feeling is foreign to me. I doubt I’ve ever truly been hungry in my life. Oh sure, I’ve had cravings from time to time and I’ve been hungry if I missed a meal for some reason, but I don’t recall ever feeling a pain deep inside that signals the need for food.
I’ve had my share of perceived need – of wanting something so bad I could taste it; but that’s not hunger! I’ve had an appetite for knowledge, a desire for success, a thirst for recognition and a yearning for respect, but that’s not hunger either.
I often wonder, with humanitarianism being so “trendy” these days, how it is possible not to get the right resources to the right place at the right time for those who are suffering the most. I remember when I was little my parents would say, “clean your plate, there are starving children in the world!”, and I would say, “well, let’s just send it to them then!” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
I have no answers. I don’t know the missing formula, but I do know that ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Donate food, lend a hand, say a prayer, make a difference – not only at this time of year, but always!
Photo taken at the The Henry Doorly Zoo In Omaha, Nebraska.
Relax a while, my precious boy,
who fills my heart with so much joy;
But don’t sleep long, for goodness sake,
we’ve much to do when you awake!
Explore and play and have some fun…
you’ll sleep again when day is done.
My goal is the same every year: to construct an atmosphere in my home that family and friends find festive and cheerful for the holidays. Something different, something special. As I drag out the boxes of decorations and put up the tree, Christmas music drifts through the house. I spend hours putting each ornament in just the right spot on the tree. I make sure there is equal distance between the candles on the fireplace. I iron the stockings so they dangle perfectly from the mantle. There is color everywhere! Towards the end of the day, I find myself longing for normalcy. If my objective was cohesive style, I fear I have failed. I’m not sure I like what I see!
By the time I finish tweaking the decor, it is night. I fix my gaze on the sparkle of the tree; its lights are the only thing in the room with me besides darkness. Because no other sounds distract me, I can almost hear the frazzled thoughts as they leave my mind, like tiny bees taking nectar from a rose. Who cares if things aren’t perfect? I begin to think of the holidays as a book. During the day, I can open the book to all the merry, jolly, jumbled pages for the sake of the season. At night, I can close the book all together for the sake of my own peace of mind.
I find myself enchanted by the lights on the tree and I sense an atmosphere of festive joy. Hadn’t that been my goal all along?