Poetry Sunday: The Waiting Game

 

 

The Waiting Game

 

 

Sitting in the airport

waiting for the plane,

Where is the pilot-

here we go again.

 

 

Waiting for the shuttle,

where are we to go,

Does the driver know the way-

unfortunately, no!

 

 

Waiting for a meeting,

will it be starting soon.

Three hours later and no word yet,

oh lord, it’s almost noon.

 

 

Waiting at the grocery store,

waiting in this line.

Do I really need these items,

my patience is out of time.

 

 

Now the traffic stops again,

I sit and ruminate.

Six lanes going nowhere fast

so I wait, and wait and wait!

 

 

It seems with all this technology,

all the ways to go,

We are not really moving anywhere,

except at a snail’s pace, slow!

 

 

So what to do with all this time,

of waiting and nowhere to go?

 I’ll just make up this little poem,

and remember to just go with the flow.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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I wrote this poem a few years ago while waiting a full day to testify in a labor case for a former employer’s dispute.  It was frustrating waiting in a room for 6 hours with nowhere to go and no phone…..just a book and a pen and paper.

As I wrote it, I thought of all the times I have had to wait in long lines…..the end wasn’t quite developed but I was able to revisit the poem and find a perfect ending recently.

 

These pictures are from a recent trip waiting hours for flights….a perfect illustration!

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about The Waiting Game.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Our Lost Stories

 

Our Lost Stories

 

Our stories lost between the pages of time

Whispers no longer heard

Dates on gravestones never seen.

 

 

Who were these souls

Their names forgotten?

Who is remembering their sacrifices,

Their tears, their joys, that brought us here?

 

 

Their legacy is ours

Whispered from one generation to the next

Forever on the wind as the dust stirs

Part of each cell and fiber-

A family found again; our heritage.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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I found this poem that I wrote a few years ago, in an old journal.  It may have come about when I was trying to work out some of my family’s ancestry.  I thought it would a great poem in honor of my my father’s family on this Father’s Day here in the U.S.

The top picture is of my father’s family in the early 1930s.  He is pictured lower right and my Irish grandmother, Margaret, behind him.  The other’s are my aunt (grandmother’s sister Esther), uncle (Fred, Esther’s husband) and cousins (Esther and Fred’s children, Myrtle and Fred).  The bottom picture is from around 1901 and is my grandmother’s baby picture.  We are discovering many old pictures of family we do not know or cannot recognize as the only one left now is my mother who has the accumulated history of her family and my father’s.  It is sad to have lost these family stories with each relative who is gone now.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about Lost Stories.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: The Wild Child

The Wild Child

 

A wild, playful child alone in her world

A digger of the earth joined in its holy sepulcher,

In solitude she finds her truth

Becomes her most vulnerable self

Belongs not to the world, but of it

Not to anyone but herself alone.

 

 

She will not sacrifice who she is.

She is everyone, everything, and no one.

She is surefooted now on her personal quest.

Believing in her most precious self.

For she lives her truth-

 

 

Willful, dogged, persistent in her accountability

Integrity flows abundantly, courageously

Loving kindness kindled and generously shared

Delivers on her word and deed knowing limitations

 

This wild child was born a thousand times and lives now, again, and will forever.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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 As I was contemplating recent readings, the term Wild Child came up and this poem poured forth.  It is autobiographical, and it is a song to all of us who are working on our inner selves.  I offer it to all who are called or feel like a ‘wild child’ as I move into my 61st year.

 

And yes those pictures are of me when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  Both pictures hold very fond memories, as I loved to swim, and go fishing.  That was the first big fish I caught, a lake perch.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about The Wild Child.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: A Renewal

 

A Renewal

 

My tears glisten in the sunlight

And drop, nourishing the seed

That lingers within.

 

 

They streak my red cheeks

Making rainbows, sparkling

On my eyelashes.

 

 

A renewal has sprung forth,

New sprouts warmed-

Born from the tears of joy.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

 

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On this Earth Day, we celebrate 48 years of awareness about being kinder to our home planet….to protect our environment even in the wake of the horrible policies and environmental agenda of this country.  This poem has many levels….a renewal of my garden, the earth and of me personally that always happens in spring with new growth.

The pictures are of early organic lettuce growing in my garden last year.  With our cold spring I have not started my lettuce in the garden yet.

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about A Renewal.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Dear Kindness

 

Dear Kindness

 

Dear Kindness:

 

You are the best part of me~of all of us.  And we desperately need to let your light shine out from our hearts and souls now more than ever.  I am feeling lost, forlorn and deeply dark within as your light is being overshadowed by hate and fear.

 

You have taught me that to know you, to be part of you, I must make a commitment.  For you are a practice~one I must exercise daily or become atrophied, rotted, forever in despair.  And only with practice can I know you better, can I become more accomplished at letting your light shine.

 

But most of all I must not forget that kindness must be given willingly to all; nature and mankind alike.  None must be forgotten, none must be left out or left behind.  Nor should I forget the most important kindness, to myself.  For without that I cannot hope to bring you to the rest of the world.

 

So as I move forward, dear kindness, I must not lose faith in you.  I must remember that I do not have to live in the dark recesses of a hopeless, anguished world.  Not as long as your light is stoked, fed and tended within….bringing out the best in me!

 

© Donna Donabella 2018

 

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I am bringing you another epistolary poem from a letter I wrote in April of 2016.  This one has been edited quite a bit in light of the world in which we live.  A world that is desperately in need of kindness….for all.  And not easily found.

The pictures are of a spring wreath looking out into my March spring garden covered in snow.  The crystal stick is a special rainbow maker from a dear friend.

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about Dear Kindness.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

 All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: I Flow Like Water

 

I Flow Like Water

 

It starts with a drop falling,

A stream melting down the mountainside.

It bubbles up through rock and crevice.

Moving over, around and with each obstacle encountered on its way.

 

 

Each break and fall brings renewed energy

Moving with grace and determination,

It may ebb but does not cling for long

Coursing forward, onward through darkness and light.

 

 

With breakneck speed it joins itself to the larger body

Into the communal whole it tumbles fearless

Merges to the vastness beyond the separate, singular drop

Becoming something greater, brimming beyond its boundaries into the unified flow.

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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I recently have been reading May Sarton’s, Journal of Solitude, and Brené Brown’s, Braving the Wilderness.  Both books have been speaking to me of my path, my inner work.  And this poem was born of that reading and work.  It is how I feel myself evolving.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about I Flow Like Water.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Breath of Life

 

Breath of Life

 

The wind blows through me; the breath of life.

It restores me.

The soft rustling, white noise calms me-

Enveloped in a warm, cozy blanket.

 

 

Cool breeze on my skin like wading in a creek.

Waking my senses,

I rise to the scents and smells-

New grass, fragrant blooms, leaf mold.

 

 

The drone of bees blends with the wind chimes.

Their music tickles my mind.

Dozing, bringing a deep peace-

Descending, melting throughout my being.

 

©Donna Donabella 2017 

 

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While listening to the stillness of late summer, early fall, there were few sounds but the wind.  These sounds filled me with the breath of life.  And this poem poured forth.

 

 

The pictures here are of fading sunflowers…they bring me such peace when I look upon them in fall.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about breath of life.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Life’s Happiness

 

 

Life’s Happiness

 

 

For here the wonders of the world behold

All wrapped with a stately bow,

Forever in my heart will I hold

My life’s happiness to be told.

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2016

 

 

 

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I have debated about publishing this little poem as it was so short, and I wondered if it was finished.  But I believe at this point it is perfect.  Of course I may change my mind eventually.

It was created as a mantra to go back to in times of need….it says it all for me.  The yellow roses here are from my garden and represent ‘Happiness‘.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about life’s happiness.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

in my heart

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Weaving A Life

Weaving A Life

 

 

When I first looked at the spider, all I could see was a creepy vixen waiting to trap and enslave her prey.  But now, I notice the webs, the homes lovingly created to provide food, shelter and a home to nurture her young.

A mighty creature, the garden spider goes about making beauty all over the garden.  And she also helps keep a healthy habitat for all creatures who rely on the food chain.  Sometimes eating, sometimes eaten~she is essential!

Old tales tell of Grandmother Spider stealing a piece of the sun.  She rode her silken threads back to earth, with her treasure tucked under one of her mighty legs.  And if you look upon her web today, you can still see the sun’s delicate pattern woven there.

And the Ancient Ones wove a spectacular tale about climbing to heaven on spider silk.  Perhaps that is why dream catchers are made in the shape of a spider web.  To catch our dreams as we climb each night into the heavens.

 

 

Silken threads glisten

New patterns made on life’s loom

Woven in a moment, a blink

 

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

 

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I love watching spiders in our garden.  They make incredible displays from spring into summer and even into fall, where their handiwork glistens in the dew.  You can see those displays below.  They always seem to be weaving a life as they spin their webs.

I created this haibun, to sing their praises.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their Poetry Pantry link up.

web (1)

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about weaving a life.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Muddy Waters

 

Muddy Waters

 

 

Muddy waters take me in

Take me down to nourish my skin

Skin made tough

Skin made thin

Through life’s adventures

Through life’s sins.

 

 

So soak it up and banish all ills

Fill me deep, realign my will

A heart made true

A soul made joyful

A powerful voice

Now once again skillful.

 

© Donna Donabella 2017

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I had not written much since last August due to a shoulder injury and due to a need to travel inward….a self-imposed time away. But on a sunny day in early April when I began my new journal habit, this poem flowed forth trying to break the ice damn that had built up.  It was how I was feeling sitting in my garden waiting for it to wake up….and hoping my creative juices would do the same.

 

The pictures above is of my early spring pond a bit muddy, and below my later spring pond full of life and water lilies.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about muddy waters.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Taking Back A Life

 

 

Taking Back A Life

 

 

There is a change coming

Riding high on this mighty wind.

A soulful stirring

A door opens

I stand upon a threshold

Pausing now-

Eager to cross yet fear holds me tight in place.

 

 

The scent upon the breeze stirs my every cell

Filling me with a joyful excitement

Brushing my skin-tingling-

I am awakened.

 

 

Toes stirring, ready for this chance

Taking back a life full of promise.

Not knowing where we are headed

Is the best part of this journey

Coming alive.

 

 

So here we go!

Taking – that – first – step

Toward my destiny…. no looking back!

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2017

 

 

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This poem came streaming out of me after I finally let go of my fears and attended a writer’s conference.  I knew this was going to be a big step towards fulfilling my destiny, and that once I entered, and crossed the threshold, there was no turning back!

 

The pictures here are hummers visiting the garden this year…they represent pure bliss and joy!

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about taking back a life.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: This is for us…..

 

 

This is for us……

 

 

I scratch the earth

to plant a seed,

and watch it grow and bloom and green.

 

 

And I scribble these words

across a page,

to capture my heart as I wrinkle with age.

 

 

You splash fine colors

on a canvas blue,

with red and orange and all manner of hue.

 

 

And you scramble an egg

whipped together with ease,

adding onions and herbs to create a feast.

 

 

We dance upon life’s stage

whirling round,

playing on our heartstrings melodious sounds.

 

 

Oh this beauty of creation

we bring to life every day,

brightens our world in moments we give love away.

 

©Donna Donabella 2017

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It has been almost a year since I have written here on this blog….since I injured my shoulder and had to listen to my body and really rest which meant no writing or gardening (I am right handed and the injury was to my right shoulder).  I learned to be more left- handed….and it has been a good rest.  I have discovered much about myself and my journey while away.

 

I had no clue when and how I would return to this blog and writing poetry.  But the day my beloved Aunt Mary passed (July 3rd) I wrote a blog post on my other blog and 3 poems.  This poem is one of them.  It seems the floodgates are open again.  This poem is based on my interpretation of a quote I used on my tribute post to my aunt.  It captures my essence and my purpose these days and how much Aunt Mary has influenced my life.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

… so this is for us.
This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love
and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know
because the beauty is in the act of doing it.
Not what it can lead to…
~Charlotte Eriksson

 

I am joining  Poets United for their Poetry Pantry linkup.  The roses here have been blooming in my garden for weeks in honor of my Aunt Mary Rose.

 

 

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I leave you with a another image about creating.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Finding My Core

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Finding My Core

 

 

I stand here at my center

while all around me seems to be falling apart.

Senseless violence.

Memories of loved ones, now gone,

bubble up to open the wounds of my heart.

 

 

And it is in these times I seek my core,

a need to express my true self.

Nothing dancing off the tongue,

but words conjured up from deep inside.

 

 

They express the swirl of emotions.

They provide a base of stability to stand on.

They yield a sliver of light shining in the dark.

They form new boundaries, places to explore.

And they heal the wounds that can break me in two.

 

 

Words call me home when I find this core.

So I seek this poet’s heart to find the words

that make a dwelling place for me.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

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This poem came to me recently in the aftermath of yet more killing, carnage and fighting in the world.  I felt the pain deeply, and needed to connect to my inner core. Where I am reminded, that a beautiful sunrise means each day starts anew and anything can happen.  The sun represents for me healing light, and connecting to my true self.  It is always shining deep inside me, I just have to be aware of it….especially if I lose focus.  And with all the pain and suffering in the world it is easy to lose focus especially for this highly sensitive person.

 

The flowers pictured here are native Rudbeckia hirta that shine throughout my garden like the sun all summer.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog, and Sanaa@A Dash of Sunny for her Prompt Nights every Friday.  This week’s theme is “Hate’s a parasite that rots the Soul. ”  We are to write a poem which helps dispel hatred.  This is my take on the theme, and how I deal with the hatred I am finding more and more around me.

core collage (1)

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about finding my core.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

core

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Box Full of Darkness

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Box Full of Darkness

 

 

I open this box again.

Its dark demons still survive there.

The bruises, the slaps, the cuts-

Pain still runs deep in the scars.

 

 

You told someone recently you remembered me fondly.

And my snort of derision was a surprise.

Maybe a slap back.

But this ‘box full of darkness’ has risen again.

 

 

No longer all neatly wrapped and stored in the attic of my heart,

Where it had burned a hole.

White hot with searing anger,

With anguish and betrayal.

 

 

And as I gaze upon this box, I know it is never forgotten.

But it no longer defines me.

Abused, Used, Victim!

No this box I hold, shows me I am a survivor.

I have risen.  Strong of heart, shame resilient.

 

 

And while I may feel some residual pain,

And a tear may appear at the corner of my eye,

This box, oh this holy, blessed box is your gift to me.

One you never knew you gave me,

Perhaps the only one you ever gave me.

 

 

And so I keep this ‘box full of darkness’

Neatly wrapped in the attic of my heart,

Where now it holds a special place on the altar of my soul.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

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“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” ~Mary Oliver

 

I read this quote some time ago, but could not wrap my brain around it.  How could darkness be a gift?  And then when I was doing some inner work, something happened to bring the quote’s meaning home.

 

So as the ah-ha moment penetrated, I wrote this poem.  A victim of domestic abuse from decades ago, the poem is based on these painful memories.  And they have not, nor will they ever be forgotten or define me.  I have forgiven, and moved on…..and this beautiful box full of darkness is now not something that holds me down or holds me back.  No, instead it has freed me.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog, and with Sanaa@A Dash of Sunny for her Prompt Nights every Friday.  This week’s theme is “Passion makes the world go round”.  Although this is a painful and dark poem, it is dealing with subjects passionate to my heart….forgiveness, letting go, resilience and healing.  All important things happening in my life right now that I am passionate about on my journey.

box collage

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about a box full of darkness.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

box full of darkness

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Finding The Compassion We Need

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“Today I began to criticize myself and look at myself with a judgmental eye… but then instead of going all out in that direction, I stopped and I began to understand me. And then I began to be patient with me. And then I began to feel a softness in the middle of my chest. So then I concluded that I can understand and be patient with me, just like how I am always understanding and being patient with everyone else. Why? Because I deserve that, and more.”

C. JoyBell C.

 

 

Recently I was able to participate in two online courses about self-compassion.  Even though I felt that I had made great strides in this area, when both of these courses almost simultaneously hit my Inbox, I thought I would explore this topic a bit more.

 

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Surprisingly at first, I encountered all sorts of resistance within.  But this only confirmed, I needed more work on self-compassion, and  I knew I was going to learn more about this very important topic.  As the above quote says we deserve understanding, patience and above all else love.  And not from outside ourselves….no we must seek that love inside first.

 

 

In life we all face circumstances that are difficult to handle…challenges like the death or illness of a loved one….pressures at work or of losing a job.  Busy schedules where we try to juggle more than is humanly possible.  And with these trials, we also find failure.  All of these can seem to happen at once until we fall into a heap thinking we can’t handle much more.

 

 

DSCN4421And what I have discovered in these impossible moments, is that I need to turn inward, and tap into my hidden reserves.  What powers these reserves, and allows us to survive?  Quite simply it is love.  Not just love from others, but love of ourselves….really the most important gift we can give to ourselves and others.  For when we love ourselves, the tribulations of life can seem to melt away, and our capacity to love others increases tenfold.

 

 

One of the most important things we can do when building our self-compassion, is to identify the barriers to love we have created.  For me the need for perfection used to bog me down.  Starting from childhood, and on into my adult life, I would berate myself for making, what I viewed as, stupid errors.  I have had a long history of putting myself down that was perpetuated by some well meaning adults and teachers who continually pointed out my mistakes.

 

 

DSCN4542Changing an answer on a final that resulted in a grade of 98 instead of 100% would put me in a tailspin where I would call myself ‘stupid’, say ‘how I knew better’…’what was wrong with me’…and causing me to obsess on this mistake for months.  Nothing was acceptable to me but perfection.

 

 

And there were other thoughts and emotions that built up barriers causing more negative talk.  The list can be endless:  resistance, worry, fear, self-doubt, procrastination and frustration to name a few that have plagued me.  I have worked hard over the past 5 years or so to break through these self-imposed barriers.

 

 

DSCN4478What did I do?  It really is quite simple, and a bit brave, if I say so myself.  I recognize these moments where I engage in negative self-talk, and I stay in the moment with them….I feel them, where they reside in my body, and then I give myself a bit of self-love.  I tell myself, out loud usually,  ‘I am doing the best that I can in this moment’.  Then I recognize that indeed I am doing my best….and I let go of the emotions tying me down.

 

 

Sometimes when I would rush and drop things or make a mess, I would look at why this was happening….and again this would require me to stop, focus and be in the moment.  It became easily apparent, that I was rushing because of time constraints or wanting to finish…. so I would tell myself to take it slow and be in the moment more.  And when I slowed, and focused, I would enjoy the task.

 

 

DSCN4664Each time I focused and stayed in the moment I sensed an easing of these negative emotions and self-talk.  There are many practices to help with this process, and I have learned some new techniques, from the courses I took recently.  I highly recommend Open Your Heart To You from Sandra@Always Well Within, and Self-Compassion taught by Kristin Neff & Brené Brown@Courageworks.  Check these courses out to see when they will be offered again.

 

 

We can easily turn our self-doubt around, and embrace our own inner love.  We just have to have a little courage to stay in the moment, and break through any barriers we have encased around our own hearts.  And you can start by smiling at yourself a bit more, and realizing that you deserve love too.  Speak to yourself as you would a good friend…..you wouldn’t berate them, right?  Give yourself a few words of encouragement by being your own best friend…..you will be amazed at what that self-compassion can do for you!

 

 

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How do you give yourself the love and compassion you need and deserve?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of different purple irises that bloomed in my garden this spring.  In the Language of Flowers, they symbolize ‘Compliments to you’.  I can’t think of a better way to express self-compassion.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words self-compassion.  I welcome you to download this photo and share it.

self compassion

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Nature’s Healing Balm

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“What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more,
to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks
where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes,
or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that
tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!”

~Helen Keller

 

 

When spring gets into full swing….where the flowers are coloring the landscape, and the warm breezes drift around me carrying intoxicating scents….I am calmed, I am rejuvenated, I am healed.

 

 

And it isn’t just in spring….it is anytime I am in nature really.  I have a strong need to be here where I can observe a special world that moves to its own slow rhythm and pace.  Being surrounded by the constant noise of machines and voices, the smell of exhaust from engines, the bright light of screens, and the endless push, push, push to get things done, I need a place to go where I can feel a healing balm descend on me body and soul.  Where I am reminded to breath slowly….to look and listen…to take in the world around me with every sense I can muster.

 

 

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But there are rules when I enter nature’s world….and these rules must be observed if we are to get any healing effect from it.  You must surrender to this world in silence….open up your eyes and ears.  Breath deep, and drink in every smell.  Feel the temperature, the air and light on your skin.  Be there in the moments that present themselves.  And for heaven’s sake, bring no electronics with you…well maybe a camera from time to time to capture a bit of it.  We cannot notice this special world when we are engaged in looking at a screen or talking to another person.  This is a world to enter alone.  To give ourselves to fully.

 

 

Recently, I have been keeping a digital journal of Moments of Fulfillment in my garden.  Moments I am beginning to write down in a journal and on my other blog, monthly.  The moments that bring light and lightness to my heart.  Where I feel at home, and at peace.  Let me show you a few of these moments that have been a healing balm for me this spring.

 

 

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When a sky, this color, presents itself, you must capture the moment in your mind as you sit and gaze on it….just by looking at its magnificence I am instantly calmed.  And the tears that well up in my eyes, at its miracle, match the raindrops still on the branches of the tree.

 

 

 

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Sitting on the Wall Garden, I can watch the first pollinators roll around in the crocus pollen…they are drunk and high with their first drink of spring.  And the high is catching.

 

 

 

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The tiniest of bulbs are now popping up all over the garden.  And because the landscape is so bare, you can’t help but notice them…..in blues…..

 

 

 

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And pale pinks….nestled in and among the new growth and spent debris of last year’s garden.  Hardly noticeable sometimes unless you stop and look closely.  Even getting down on hands and knees.  Sometimes I will even lay upon the earth and stare at their beauty.

 

 

 

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There are surprises around every corner.  A clump of dried grass is so much more upon closer inspection.  The thought of new life, or life that never came to be.  Pondering the mystery brings me solace.

 

 

 

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And visiting nature after a refreshing rain can bring its own special beauty.

 

 

 

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One of the most incredible sounds is the sweet song of the spring birds.  Calling to each other.   Whistling a tune.  They just seem so happy, that each time I hear their songs, I break into a smile that lights my heart.  For me there is no better healing balm than nature…whether in my own garden, or in a park across the street, or a nature center across town.

 

 

Where do you find solace and healing?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of the recent early spring in my garden.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words the healing power of nature.  I welcome you to download this photo and share it.

touch of nature

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Wildlife Lessons: A Survivor’s Tale

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“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.”

~Yann Martel, Life of Pi

 

 

 

I had a different story for you today.  One that started out with beautiful spring skies, and warm breezes, birds chirping and arriving to their summer homes a bit early.  And then the bottom dropped out, and we had this….this frigid cold, and snow….days of snow.  Snow that froze my daffodils and hyacinths to the ground and kept them there for 4 days.

 

 

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Snow in April is common here.  We get dustings, and even up to 3, 4 or 5 inches.  But it melts fast.  In all my days here, I have never seen so much snow in April, 8 or more inches for 2 days, and no melting even when it stopped.  Cold January and February temps, in the 20s and teens, instead of normal early April temps in the 40s and 50s.

 

 

And as I tell this story, our snow is still here.  And my flowers are still suffering.  But the more poignant part of the story was not about me, and my whining about my poor flowers.  It was about the birds, and especially the American Robins.  They came back in March.  The last to arrive were here on the first full day of spring…our lovely warm spring that has disappeared.

 

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We have loads of robins who visit us.  They pair off, and make their home claiming the land between every 2-3 houses.  Staking their territory to start their home and raise their young.  And our pair has been coming here now for 3 years running.  We know because the female greets us every morning by banging on the window.  She is the only one to ever do this, and she has been doing it now for three years.  But that is another story you can read here.

 

 

 

DSCN3136The robins are used to a bit of snow, and cold.  But this snow swallowed the ground, and not a bit of it was left uncovered.  Why is this significant?  Because robins eat worms and insects in spring, which were nowhere to be found in the snow.  See my poor daffodil buds languishing in the snow.

 

 

 

DSCN3151And it didn’t dawn on me that they would be suffering until I saw this.  Our female struggling in the Barberry branches.  At first I thought, why would she choose to perch in this thorny bush, where the branches are vertical and packed tight with barely any breathing space.  And then I saw it….

 

 

 

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She was eating the berries formed last fall.  We have never seen any birds eating these berries.  Which is a good thing, as the seeds then are scattered (if the birds eat the berries), and this invasive bush colonizes in forests pushing out the native understory plants.  But this day I was glad for the barberry berries as were the robins.

I do have lots of berry producing bushes that are native and preferred by the birds, but those were picked clean in late summer and fall.

 

 

 

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Another sign they were eating these berries, was the tell-tale red droppings in the snow, and on my front porch bench.

 

 

 

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They found evergreens or trees with dense branches for some shelter, but their isn’t much here as the trees are not leafing out for another month.  For birds to survive the cold, it is essential they have food, stay still, especially if they can’t find much food, and use their metabolism to generate heat. And they puff up their feathers to keep the cold air away from their skin, and trap body heat.

 

 

 

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Of course they need water to drink, but all puddles and ponds were frozen.  So at first, I saw them eating snow often to stay hydrated.  As the snow on the driveway and roads melted and formed tiny puddles, they drank from those.

 

 

 

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Seeing their little foot prints in the deep snow, broke my heart.  They seemed to prefer staying on the ground, even sitting on top of the snow in sheltered areas.

 

I have plans to take out the barberry bush in the next year or so, but I will make sure we replace it with a nice berry producing bush, and maybe add a couple more along the side of the house just in case.  After all, we have lots of bird friends who like berries, so the more the better.

 

 

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I guess I should have realized the burden this unexpected weather would put on these birds, but we are so used to seeing birds here all winter.  Of course our full-timers, as I call them, are acclimated to our climate and know how to survive.  Unfortunately for the visitors, they are not used to this, but boy they are wired to survive, and find what they need.

 

I was buoyed by their feistiness, and their determination.  It pulled me out of my snowy weather doldrums, and made me see the bigger picture beyond my flowers….which I bet may survive after all.  I won’t count them out yet either!

 

 

 

With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday.  I am also linking in with with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week.

 

 

Note:  I’ll tell you the nice spring critter story next month, and give you any updates on the robins.  Also please excuse some of the pictures…between the weather, dirty windows and screens they made for some dark and out of focus shots.

 

 

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

survival

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-16.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Perennial Life

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Perennial Life

 

 

A beautiful spring.

Next a strong summer,

Moves to a waning fall

As blossom and leaf are shed.

 

To winter slumber,

Emerging slowly.

Renewed with the warm spring breezes,

To flower once more with vigor-

Begins the cycle again.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2016

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As a gardener, I often see my life’s journey as parallel to the seasons in the garden.  This poem was written after one of those reflective moments.

 

Pictured here are Oriental Poppies and their seedheads.  They have such a unique look, and I am struck often by their mandala tops.

 

 

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These are the same poppies in bud and flower.  I love the crinkly, papery petals resembling crepe paper.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog, and with Gillena@Verses for her Monday WRites link-up.

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

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about a perennial life.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

perennial life

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-A New Life

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A New Life

 

 

First kiss.

Such bliss.

Standing at this entrance way,

As One,  will be joined this day.

 

 

Joined as one this day

Pure love delightfully displayed.

Tears of joy shed all around,

Souls collide in sparks abound.

 

 

Watch the sparks from this collision

Can’t be stopped that’s love true mission.

The current builds, this pair transformed

And now, a new bond is formed.

 

 

Formed today this bond is spoken,

With vows never to be broken.

Hard work is needed, and a grand wish,

For a new life started with this first kiss.

 

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2015

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I wrote this poem in October after attending my niece’s wedding.  The first 2 lines were a song in my head, and the rest just came after.  I was playing with an idea for a form, to work the first line of the next stanza from the words of the last line in the stanza before.  It was a challenge, but fun.  And I rather like how it turned out.

 

The pictures at the beginning and end of the post are of my niece, Christina, and her husband Colin, Mr. and Mrs. Murtagh.  The mosaic is my parents’ wedding picture from 1954, and my wedding picture from 1997.  In my wedding picture, my mom is pictured far left standing, and my niece was the flower girl.  She was 10 years old.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog, and Sanaa@A Dash of Sunny for her Prompt Nights every Friday.  Thanks for the invite Sanaa! Please visit these fabulous poetry blogs to read some more wonderful verse.

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

 

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about a new life.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

new life

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Conversations In The Garden-On Patience

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“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” ~ Abraham Maslow

 

 

 

I have been working with the amazing Sandra Pawula, from Always Well Within, in her new venture, The Joyful Wisdom Letter and Circle.  Sandra sends a letter once a month with a unique theme to work on.  As she says……

 

I created the Joyful Wisdom Letter to help you overcome these pesky states of mind and live your full potential.  The Joyful Wisdom Letter offers a unique transformational process, which delves deep but moves at a relaxed paced.

The Joyful Wisdom Letter is not about “sexy” or “epic” or “big.”  It’s about being true to your essence, whatever that means for you – from leading a quiet life to dancing in the bright lights.

 

 

DSCN7502Let me just say that the letters so far have been life changing…..especially the one about Patience.  To say I’m impatient is an understatement.  I have learned to cultivate a bit more patience since I began gardening.  Waiting for veg seeds to grow as I work on weeding, or trimming plants.  Trying to learn a bit more about a plant that is limping along, so I can apply the lessons in order to help it grow.

 

 

These small garden lessons have helped me some, but little did I know when faced with a challenging situation, I would find the tools I needed deep inside to move ahead in growth, and not step back into safety thanks to Sandra’s teachings.

 

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It was the phone call we never want to get.  Middle of the day, and why was my husband calling me.  He had gone off with his lifelong buddy for a trip up North.  When I answered there was silence, and then his voice, odd and monotone.

 

 

They had been in a car accident, he was OK as was his friend.  My husband recited to me that he had broken his thumb and was waiting for an ambulance.  It was awful…they hit head on.  All I could answer was OK, try to listen and not react….‘stay calm’ was what my heart was telling me while my brain tried to race in panic mode.

 

 

 

DSCN7767And in the midst of this phone call, I found myself unusually calm.  He was alive, just a broken thumb.  But my mind still tried to race.  With a broken thumb, I’ll have to be ready to take over some chores and responsibilities, and give support….oh boy I am not good with that.

 

 

An hour went by and his friend called back….I couldn’t make out much of what he was saying as he seemed to be in shock.  They were headed to one of our local hospitals.  But they are waiting for the ambulance as the first one took the family from the other car.  They were OK too.  Really unbelievable all were OK, as the collision was 50 miles an hour head on.  They would let me know which hospital they were headed to soon.

 

 

So I waited for the next phone call.  I decided that as I was waiting, I better get showered, clean up the dishes, and be ready to go…oh and grab a bite to eat in case I couldn’t later.  As the time ticked on, I found myself doing other chores and writing to pass the time.  I still was unusually calm…..but why weren’t they calling me back, it had been 2 hours!

 

 

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Finally, I called them.  I had not wanted to be a nagging, needy wife, which is why I waited, but something told me the wait was over and I needed to know what was going on.  I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach just writing about this.

 

 

I reached them by phone just as they were working on my husband’s thumb….hearing him shout in pain did not sit well.  But I finally found out where they were.  I jumped in the car.  I made a concerted effort to drive the speed limit, and not rush….’stay calm’ was still my mantra.  No reason to rush as that would just add to my anxiety.  I made it in great time as traffic was light by that time of day.

 

 

I did have a bit of anxiety trying to find parking, but finally with the security guard’s help I found it.  I walked in as they were finishing up.  His thumb not broken, just dislocated, and he had some stitches.  But what had not been apparent in the phone call, was that his strong wall of tough composure was broken.  This accident had shaken him to his core, and it was here he would need my support.

 

 

DSCN8611I did not panic, I did not cry….instead I found the lessons from Sandra deep inside me.  My practice of these had ingrained them in me somehow, and I had found a new strength, and new ways to respond to this scary situation.

 

 

 

My old habit of responding to stress with more stress was quashed for now….I remained calm, and calmness rewarded me.  I decided to perceive this situation as one of gratitude….thankful he was alive, and not harmed except for the thumb.  This joyful perspective helped me to help him too.

 

 

My life changed that day….and not for the worse (thankfully again), but there was a shift.  I suddenly knew what really mattered.  I had a new feeling deep in my soul…a knowing that I was somehow different as was my husband.  We could lean on each other, ‘in sickness and in health’.  I knew that he was there for me, as he had demonstrated on numerous occasions.  But I was never sure how I would respond when called….now I knew he could count on me too!

 

 

DSCN8740This new found sense of calm and patience has continued in my life….not perfect….but one where I can realize when I am slipping back, and can catch myself.  I am not sure how these new lessons will show themselves as life goes on, but I know that with dedicated awareness and practice I change any habit or tenderly tend any part of me that is in need….and this knowledge gives me solace.

 

 

 

How do you practice patience?  What new lessons are you learning?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of asters from my fall garden this year.  They symbolize patience.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words On Patience.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

aster patience

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.