Hunger

DSCN3789Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.  ~Les Brown

 

 

I have been restless these days.  I am not sure what is behind it all.  Perhaps the fact that spring and summer flew by without me being engaged in the these critical months.  Months I crave for time in the garden and renewal.  But alas they are gone…and fall is quickly blowing through.  Soon it too will be no more, and I find the abyss of winter daunting.

 

This cold, frozen season will bury us under her canopy of white…frigid winds howling daily seeping into every crack and crevice .  Frost covering everything like an ice palace.  And while I love the slow, healing time of winter, I loathe its lingering.  It finds us in November, usually, and stays until late March and many times not leaving until April.

 

I am tied to the land here.  It is hard to explain, but every spring I am filled with a deep hunger to start again.  Plant new seeds and watch them magically grow as if I have given them life.  I can plant seeds in winter and grow them under lights, but that artificial light is not enough for them or me.  I long for the warm sun to bathe my skin and give life to the soil once more.

 

I have projects lined up to sustain me for the four to six months of winter’s exile.  Exercise and creative pursuits like drawing, designing and writing.  But there is something I am hungering for…it is a deep longing I cannot yet put into words.  Something is coming, born on the wind that blows through my life.  The seeds planted now to wait through this long, agonizing winter to come.

 

DSCN3774

And though I have no words to describe it yet, it is there none-the-less.  I wait, I pine, I plan, I prepare.  It will be here soon.  And will I be ready…can I ever be.  I will embrace the challenge and change that waits for me with trepidation and joy.  I can almost see it as the fog lifts and is burned off by the bright light of the sun waiting to show the world what will be.

 

So now I hunger for this change.  A soulful longing brought forth finally.  Something I must touch, I must do, I must see.  It is an absolute yearning that I will put every fiber of my being into until I lay, prostrate exhausted unable to move any muscle.  It is deep inside me needing to be voiced, to be seen.

 

Have you ever had this hunger?  If you have, then you know it and I need not describe it for you any further.  If you have never hungered like this, then I cannot describe it further for you as it will make no sense until you feel the deep pull inside you.  But oh if you hunger as I do right now, grab hold of it and ride that howling wind for all its worth.  I know you will not regret one moment of being pulled, whipped and blown about as it finally lights upon the new green growth ready to unfold.  Reborn, newborn a passionate hunger attained.

 

 

Note:  The rudbeckias here represent Encouragement, Motivation in the Language of Flowers.

 

***********

 

I leave you with another thought about motivation and hunger.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

 

rudbeckia

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Late October Evenin’

DSCN4082

Late October Evenin’

 

Darkness descends upon me a little earlier every day,

As colors seem to leap from the trees to paint the sky.

The cold winds howl through scraping branches,

While my bones ache a bit more now.

And as the last slip of light hastens me home-

Soon I will feel the hearth warm my soul and bring gentle rest.

 

© Donna Donabella 2013

 

__________________________________________________________

I first wrote this poem last fall as I observed the fall sky and the colder evenings.  It was originally published on my garden blog, Gardens Eye View, on November 4, 2013.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

 

sky collage

 

I am also linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

********

 

Special Note:  The sky here is what I see in autumn outside my door as the sun sets in all its splendor and the blue hour descends.

__________________________________________________________

 

I leave you with a bit of a sentiment about the lure of the evening as the light fades.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

DSCN4085

 

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

A Saboteur Heals

rose

“Sometimes you hit a point where you either change or self destruct.” 
― Sam Stevens

 

Life sometimes brings you messages, signals that if you pay attention will serve you well.  I missed many signals for a long time.  And while life brings on its own stresses some jobs add to it.  But we can manage stress in our lives, if we can see it happening.  I did not see it happening for a long time.

 

Stress builds up in your body and disrupts all your systems.  You don’t eat regular meals, you gain weight, you work long, long hours and bring work home.  You are on call with little time to play or have hobbies or exercise.  Years of bad eating habits don’t help….I have been a sugar addict from a very young age.  And more and more illnesses escalate and can bring you close to death.  I had several wake up calls, all unanswered.

 

But life kept intervening, thankfully, and I started to pay attention.  Change my diet…harder to do but not impossible.  Exercise….start slow and have fun with it.  Take time to do the things you love….absolutely.  So why could I not sustain it, keep it going?

 

I have tried to change some habits.  I knew my health depended on it.  I added meditation which helped with some stress. I would give up sugar only to run right back bingeing on it until I was almost sick.  I would start an exercise regime knowing I couldn’t sustain the time needed.  So why were these bad habits that got me into trouble not changing?  They crept back in, and even a little was enough to start the unhealthy cycle.  And when I finally stared hard in the mirror, I realized I was sabotaging myself and not really wanting to heal.

 

rose paint

“My illness, I well knew, had been entirely brought on by myself by such negligence of my own health, as I had felt even at the time to be wrong. Had I died, it would have been self-destruction.” 

 Jane Austen

 

I am still wrestling with this and trying to figure out why it is hard to make these changes…and maybe I am afraid that all the effort will not work yet again mostly because my heart was not in it.  But regardless I know I need to do something.  And I am determined to go down this path of healing now that I have decided to retire.  The retirement itself was for my own health.  But it is not enough.

 

What is important for me is that I heal the whole me….mind, body, spirit.  I have worked first on my mind and spirit.  And I have made great progress in these areas.  So now it is time for me to heal the rest of me.  And this is the hardest work.  And I will make false steps.  I will fail.  And I will make small steps forward and big steps back.  But the important thing is that I not give up.  That I not engage in that incessant negative self-talk that always sabotages my efforts.  That instead I keep the picture of perfect health front and center.  Yes I do believe that this idea of already having perfect health will finally diminish the saboteur until she is finally silenced.

 

Note:  It is said that if you cannot find an herb to treat your disorder then try the rose.  The rose is said to be a panacea and can treat stomach disorders, kidney and bladder disease, gallbladder, exhaustion, skin problems and more.

 

***********

 

Update 3 months later:

This post was originally published July 7, 2014 as my last post for Vision and Verb.  It was a bittersweet time as I did not want to say goodbye to writing for Vision and Verb.   I had just begun 7 months earlier and had so much I wanted to share with this incredible group of women.

But things will end as they must and we must find our next path.  And this blog was born from that change.  So I thank Marcie the founder of Vision and Verb for pushing me out of the nest a little sooner than I had anticipated.

And to the tribe I found at Vision and Verb, thank you for continuing to show up here and support me.

 

 

I leave you with another thought about healing.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

healing wound

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

 

Poetry Sunday-Mending

IMG_3766

Mending

 

 

Like the frayed edges of my favorite shirt,

Warm and comfortable with the holes.

 

 

Torn pages of a special childhood book,

Smudged with memories.

 

 

Worn photos, now the colors fading and antique,

As if that time will be gone, forgotten.

 

 

Scars lighten, barely visible,

Fully healed, the wounds still linger.

 

 

But less tears shed now with the mending,

The knitting of the tears that ripped the heart.

 

 

A restoration has begun,

A spirit made whole.

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

__________________________________________________________

I have been going through a healing time this first year of my retirement.  This poem conveys the tears (crying) and tears (ripping) of that healing.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

helenium

 

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

********

 

Special Note:  The helenium pictured here represents tears (the crying kind).  In this case healing tears.

 

__________________________________________________________

 

I leave you with a little bit of sentiment about love and life that can still come even from the tears.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

 

IMG_3717

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

 

Quiet Hopes

 DSCN5280

“The greatest joys in life are found not only in what we do and feel,
but also in our quiet hopes and labors for others.”
 
― Bryant McGill

 

 

Do you dream?  Not the dreams of night, but more a ‘hoping in your heart’ dream.  A hazy, lazy daydream of what might be.  Imagining yourself living a life you did not dare to dream.  Or of achieving something that was but a fantasy all your life.

 

I am finding I am dreaming more.  Dreaming of those places I have always wanted to visit.  Special walks where I can see sights that were unimaginable to me except for what I may have seen in pictures.  And one of my dreams is to write more…to write books.  I have many books down deep inside waiting for a voice, and a way to find the light of being published.

 

 

DSCN5712

And I have loftier dreams.  Dreams of a deeply found peace and love in the world.  Kindness first as a way to greet those we know and those we are just passing by.  Joy, health and bliss that come out of the dreams of others who dare to imagine they can find a cure or a better way.

 

I think it is good to hope.  But really it is most important to dream.  If we never dream, I fear we will be lost.  And just like these snowdrops pictured here that give us a hope that spring will finally follow winter, I am hoping that my dreams will find reality as I come out of my year of observing, discovering and just being.

 

 

Note:  Snowdrops mean hope in the Language of Flowers.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I leave you with another thought about hope.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

hope

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Still Life

DSCN2690

Still Life

 

The heat of my days is gone,

now a tinge of coolness on the wind lingers.

 

Soft colors faded from the garish summer sun,

as light shines at an angle, my perceptions skewed.

 

Gone is the black and white, the absolute.

Born is the gray, the in-between that stays.

 

Locked in my periphery, soon movements far afield will dim,

all will stretch out before me barren, a new canvas.

 

Awaiting the first brush strokes of fresh color,

a novel design-now the whisper of a dream awaits.

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

__________________________________________________________

I am participating in The Personal Photo Challenge hosted by Donna@Cottage Days and Journeys.  This month’s challenge is called Still Life.  So I decided to create a poem about how my garden has become a still life as it fades and withers to winter, and that it still has life as do I as I age being reborn again.  There are multiple meanings in this poem but you can also take it at face value.  I hope you enjoy the poem.

 

I am also joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

 

And speaking of wonderful verse, my friend Susie@Life.Change.Compost has written a  beautiful poem she is featuring this week.  I encourage you to read it…you will be glad you did.  Susie is a gifted writer and I look forward to her posts.

 

still life

 

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

********

 

Special Note:  These vases were some of my favorite still lifes from this past summer.  All were created by me with flowers and foliage from my garden.

 

All photos were taken on auto mode and processed in iPhoto (so nothing fancy).  The first collage was made in Fotor.com and the last image created in PicMonkey.com to add the text and frame.

 

__________________________________________________________

 

I leave you with a bit of a sentiment about dreaming.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

still life dream

 

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Finding The Productive Path

DSCN4221

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”  ~ Steve Jobs

 

 

I am a couch potato by nature meaning I enjoy just sitting.  Sitting and and reading.  Or sitting and glancing out my windows at the gardens and nature around me.  And I love to sit and watch old classic movies from the 1930s and 40s.  It is my ultimate escape from work, worry and engagement with others.  I use it as a numbing technique when I am overwhelmed or need to shut myself off.

 

And since retiring, I have found I needed that numbing for a while.  A cocoon to encase myself as I healed and rested.  Being a workaholic for so many years, it would seem it would be hard to sit still.  But not so.  It was easy to fall into the habit.  Not have an agenda.  Not have any set ambition for the days, the months ahead.

 

Oh yes I had my garden blog and I had big plans for my garden, but life intervened and my health issues forced me to rest more than I had planned….No you are not going to go out and spend hours, days and weeks beating up your body to make-over gardens.….They are not ready, you are not ready.  So this was what I was relegated to do…just sit.

 

DSCN4201So I did just what my body told me to do for 5 months initially.  Then this summer, I broke free a little and allowed myself to explore more with photography.  And I started this blog as a vehicle to continue the exploration, the creative endeavors and the healing.  But I never stopped mostly sitting and observing.

 

It had become part of me this waiting and looking.  This quiet time to see deeply into the landscape of my gardens and my soul.  To see what would be the productive path.  What I want to do and love to do, not wishing for a different life or hoping things would change.  But a deep knowing this was what I wanted to do now.

 

And there will come a time soon when I will be ready to move on again.  To add the next steps in my journey.  But developing the habit of waiting, looking and now intuitively knowing has been more productive than any other work I could have done.  It is the lesson of slowing down I had not been able to master.

 

Now not just “busying” up my day, but following what the heart and soul desires.  Floating through the day like a butterfly searching for the sweet nectar.  Then alighting there to drink it in until full.  Moving only when the sun sets, to start again the next day to find my next source…my desire.  It can be anywhere you know as long as you take time to sit and look for it.  And I will know it as it waits for me to follow along again floating on the wind.

 

 

Note:  Goldenrod means encouragement in the Language of Flowers.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I leave you with another thought about living a full life.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

DSCN4212

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Reflections

IMG_1940

 

Reflections In A Garden

 

Old weary bones feel the ache now…

stems broken and strewn,

petals blackened and faded,

rain and snow will beat it all down,

back to the earth.

 

 

Tiny seeds linger, though, in rich soil…

after a long rest,

surging up and breaking through,

life beginning again,

always a new start.

© Donna Donabella 2014

 

__________________________________________________________

This poem was created to go along with the change in seasons I am seeing now.  The garden is ending, and my life has been changing with retirement.  I am linking in with Weekend Reflections where you can see photos of reflections from all over the web.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

reflections collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and  with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

********

 

Special Note:  These images here were all taken of my wildlife pond during the spring, summer and fall.

 

__________________________________________________________

 

I leave you with a bit of a sentiment about reflections of life.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

 

reflections

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Saying Goodbye

IMG_2568

 “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”  ~Ann Landers

 

I have been toying with the idea of retirement for a few years now.  As I neared the 30 year mark and 55 years of age (the markers for qualifying for retirement from public education in my state), I was sure I would retire the first year I was eligible.  But a funny thing happened as it approached, I became unsure.  Always saying yes I am retiring…no hesitation…. while inside feeling sad and unable to understand why I was feeling suddenly so confused.

 

Why was it so hard to let go of a job after 30 years especially when the last few have been very difficult.  It wasn’t until I read this passage that a bit of light started to niggle at the corners of my consciousness.

 

 In life, goodbyes are a gift.  When certain people walk away from you, and certain opportunities close their doors on you, there is no need to hold onto them or pray to keep them present in your life.  If they close you out, take it as a direct indication that these people, circumstances and opportunities are not part of the plan for the next step of your life.  It’s a hint that your personal growth requires someone different and something more, and life is simply making room.  So embrace your goodbyes, because every “goodbye” you receive sets you up for an even better “hello.” Mark and Angel Chernoff

 

DSCN1843There it was.  Simple really to understand but equally difficult to put into practice.  Letting go of my past life to embrace this new journey into the unknown is scary.  It feels like I am going into a haunted house in the dark of night not sure what pits and falls might be around the corner.  Can you feel the fear mount…the butterflies in my stomach…the hair on the back of my neck standing up…chills running down my spine.  So how do I deal with all this fear and simply let go?

 

It is hard to say goodbye to a big part of our lives, but it is necessary to move into the next best phase.  To transition, a part of me has to die.  So that grief I have been experiencing is only natural.  In fact it is necessary.  And as I have slowly removed this veil of grief, I am looking now toward the light shining bright for me as I retire at the end of this month.

 

And as I move on there will still be tears, there will still be confusion.  I will be learning to walk all over again on this new path in these brand new shoes.  I am not sure if retirement is a death, a rebirth or a reconstitution of one’s self.  But above all it is a celebration.  Time to celebrate all I have become and all I have learned as I finally let go.  I am most grateful for it all-good and bad.  And I welcome this next phase and its precious gift as I say goodbye, and get ready to say hello world it’s me and I am so happy to be here!

 

Note:  Butterflyweed means “Let me go” in the Language of Flowers.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Update 7 months later:

This post was  originally published February 21, 2014 as I was getting ready to retire on March 3, 2014.  And retire I did.  It felt strange for about a month.  Almost like an extended vacation.

But with many health problems cropping up, it was the best decision I could have made as I found I needed surgery in mid-May to repair a hernia.  The surgery and recovery were more extensive so the gift of retirement so far is for me to heal.  Physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

And I am grateful for every moment I have to slow down, watch the critters in my garden, pick flowers, take photographs, create new meals, harvest the veg garden and just be.  I plan to do a follow up post about my retirement soon.

 

 

I leave you with another thought about letting go.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

DSCN9110

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.