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.

Wishing You Peace

“Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day.”

~Helen Steiner Rice

 

I have decided to honor my inner voice and take some time off from writing and blogging. I will be back around the New Year.

 

During the season of Christmas and the Solstice I go deep within to take stock of myself….and I have learned to hold onto Hope and Love, for myself and all humanity.

 

So I wish you peace, love and blessings during this holiday season….give yourself the gift of hope and rest….yes even rest, during what can be a hectic time.

 

 

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-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.

Poetry Sunday-A Smile

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A Smile

 

 

A smile stretches,

And cracks open my heart.

Letting a soft, warm light

Illuminate the fringes of my world.

Spreading from head to fingertips to toes.

This glowing feeling,

Happiness, emanating back

to the corners of my upturned lips.

Stretching further,

And exposing my burning core

set ablaze with delight and peace.

 

© Donna Donabella 2015

 

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This poem popped into my head as I was flying to Colorado for my niece’s wedding.  The warm feeling that a smile can bring, and how easily it can change your attitude.

 

 

 

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.

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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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Special Note:  The pictures here are selfies taken at various times over the last 2 years without a cell phone, as I do not have one.  I used the Photo Booth app on my Mac.

 

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

smile

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-Reframing

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Reframing

 

 

I move on slow footsteps,

In the opposite direction

To the farthest shore

To sit with myself.

 

 

Away from conformity, from perfection,

From fear and moral outrage.

 

 

Turning my face toward the moon

A softer reflection catching my tired eyes.

Seeing through a darkness revealed

A truer light less inflamed.

 

 

Casting long shadows of beauty all about me

Only seen when glimpsed from this new vantage point.

Empathy-A different perspective gained,

Found as I move on slow footsteps,

 

 

In the opposite direction.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2015

 

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As I was contemplating the strife of life and the tragedies in the world, I was feeling sucked in…becoming enraged, hopeless and fearful.  And in an effort to pull myself out of this and look for a solution, these words came pouring out.  I believe we need more compassion in this world, but first we have to start with empathy….both will make a huge difference in the world.

 

 

 

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.

moon 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.  

 

And I am joining in another wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

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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Special Note:  The pictures above are of the full moon in October right around Halloween.  Below is the almost full moon from the same month.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about reframing my outlook on life.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

reframing moon

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Acceptance

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“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Am I beautiful?  I think now I can say that I am.  Oh not in a conceited, ‘love me, look at me everyone’ kind of way.  No just for myself.  I would not be judged a beauty in today’s world if we looked at outward beauty only.  But I am not consumed with being or thinking myself beautiful.  No instead I like and love myself…that is beauty to me.

 

 

And it has been a long time coming to accept myself as a beautiful person inside and out.  When I started high school I was 5 feet tall, and weighed about a 100 lbs soaking wet with naturally curly frizzy hair that did its own thing.  I wore tortoise-shell glasses (all the rage) which of course made me a ‘four-eyes’….or in other words an easy target for bully-types.  And I had not blossomed yet, so there were no big stares from the boys.

 

 

DSCN4441We were and still are bombarded with messages of being beautiful, and trying to achieve an image of beauty that is outside ourselves.  Add to that I was not outgoing, but instead a shy, introverted girl who was a dreamer in a sea of 3800 students.  So I was content to keep myself to myself…not letting many people in.

 

 

Now some 40 years later, and many experiences under my belt, I am just beginning to accept me for who I am…and I am learning about who I am again.  I think I was always trying to play a role in an effort to be liked or accepted never quite understanding that keeping these masks on would do more harm.

 

 

And although it is scary to strip off the masks, that is what I have done in the past 10 years.  And it was not always easy being alone with myself.  I had been learning in the last few years to be more accepting of others and not to judge them, but I had not given myself the same courtesy.

 

 

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It wasn’t until I started listening to the messages coming from within, that I saw just how judgmental I was with myself.  Being with those feelings and messages, has helped me to realize that I too deserve a break.  I am only human.  I am still learning, and will be for a long time to come.

 

 

I think the biggest lesson was when I could finally stop beating myself up for things I did or didn’t do, and finally accepted some self-compassion.  The self-sabotage ended, and the messages were ones of self-healing.  If I was trying to change a habit or incorporate a new healthier one, I no longer berated myself when I slid a little down the slippery slope.  Instead I just got back up and started again.  And it has become easier starting fresh each day.

 

 

The biggest thing I have done for myself has been to finally say, “I AM ENOUGH”, and really mean it.  Warts and all….imperfections, bad habits, fits of temper…you name it, it is me….beautiful, wonderful me.  I am really grateful for myself as I am.  And as I feel I want to change things within myself, I do.  Mostly to feel better, and be a better person…to be happier.  And isn’t that what it is all about.  Being happy in our own skins!

 

 

DSCN8317We are all on our own paths….we can only be where we are, and who we are right in this moment.  So let’s celebrate that.  Let’s celebrate all the wonders that make up our unique selves.  I’ll start….

 

 

 

 

Here’s to this 58 yr old, 5 foot tall woman who doesn’t look her age….who is kinder and gentler with herself and others….who is having more fun, practicing healthier habits (as I must now)…who is still the introvert and the dreamer….a creative being who loves to tell stories and share them.  She is my hero….I love her and I like her a lot….she is my best friend and fierce protector.  She is beautiful and enough just as she is right now!

 

 

Special Note:   The flowers shown here are pink lilacs.  In The Language of Flowers, lilacs represent beauty and love, and pink represents admiration and appreciation.  A perfect flower to herald the message of self-love and acceptance.

 

 

 

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I leave you with more thoughts about acceptance and being enough.  Feel free to download this photo and share.

acceptance

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Love In My Garden

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Love In My Garden

 

 

Love is whispered as the gentle breeze blows,

And catches the light in the morning glow.

 

 

It sparkles in the early dew,

And kisses each flower as the day renews.

 

 

Sit in the garden now and drink it up.

Let nature be your loving cup.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

 

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By the time we get to June in the garden, the scents and sights are intoxicating which is how this poem was inspired in June of 2014.

 

 

 

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.

 purple flowers

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.  

 

 

 

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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Special Note:  The flowers in this post grew in my late May, early June garden in 2014.  I chose purple flowers because they represent dignity, pride, success, accomplishment and admiration.

 

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I leave you with a few words about love in my garden.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

 love in the garden

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

End of Month Potpourri-February 2015

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“Cherish the beauty and cherish the pain, both will give you experience and you will never be the same”

~ Nikki Rowe

 

 

It is the end of the month, and time for a little Potpourri.  A bit of this and a bit of that.  And I thought I would dip into the Women’s Circle of Joy assignment again this month.  February’s topic dealt with the idea of and our thoughts on the word Cherish.  The Women’s Circle of Joy group is led by, Cigdem Kobu of Peaceful Triumphs.

 

 

I don’t think I have ever thought much about the idea of cherish or cherishing.  And truthfully this whole concept, at first, had me a bit perplexed.  For my husband, cherish means sweetly thinking of old memories.  But my immediate thoughts turn to something different.

 

 

DSCN9192Cherish evokes thoughts of love….but maybe more….or maybe a bit different from love.  When I cherish someone or something, I not only hold them dear, but treat them dearly.  There is a tenderness and nurturing that happens in cherishing.  There is adoration, encouragement, treasuring, support, comfort.

 

 

I think perhaps this word, cherish, is the linchpin of love, or more specifically that deep soulful love.  I can say I love chocolate, but do I cherish it.  No, not really.  And I do love a brilliant, colorful sunrise.  But do I cherish this sunrise?  Yes, in this case I believe I do….because of the incredible soulful emotion that it brings to me….I somehow feel comforted by this new dawn.  And I treasure being in its presence.  I am lost in its essence for the 15-20 minutes it might last.  I can’t get enough of it as it changes, it deepens and morphs until the sun finally is revealed brightly burning.

 

 

And so it is when I love and cherish someone.  And we say this word in our wedding vows….love, honor and cherish.  But I never considered what those words really meant.  Somehow, on some level, I knew there was a mutual cherishing love between my husband and me.  One where we have grown together and still do.  Where we support each other in very different ways.  We love all of the other person; those things that are funny, comforting and even those things that annoy us.  And those annoying things, I think, are most cherished, as that what makes us who we are….our true essence.

 

 

I think those loves in my life that didn’t work out, failed because there wasn’t any cherishing.  The love was bright and burning, romantic for a while, and then it was gone.  And when I reflect back now, it seems they didn’t last because there wasn’t a deep support for one another.  Deep down my soul knowing I wasn’t accepted fully, wasn’t treasured for who I was.

 

 

DSCN9199And when did I first know that cherishing love?  I was lucky to know it from my loving parents who indeed cherished their children no matter what.  Even when we made mistakes we were cherished.  We were forgiven, taught a lesson perhaps with consequences and allowed to fall and make mistakes again.  They cherished us enough to allow us to learn and grow with their guidance and support.

 

 

“But for the most part, love is a recognition, an opportunity to say, ‘There is something about you I cherish.”

~Raymond E. Feist

 

 

And since I have experienced this cherishing love, I have found a deeper love and acceptance for myself and my gifts.  And each moment of my life is special; shared by and with those I cherish.  And I cherish the natural world around me supporting it as it gives back beautiful sights, sounds and smells.  I cherish the life lessons, both those that have been joyful and those filled with excruciating pain, as they are both special for what they have taught me and are still teaching me.

 

 

The exercise of contemplating this word Cherish has been quite interesting.  I encourage you to think about what you cherish in life.  From a simple smell, that brings back deep heartfelt memories, to a song or sound.  These things we cherish are what makes our life so much richer, so blissful, so very delicious.

 

 

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Note:   The Paperwhite flowers pictured here are said to be an aphrodisiac because of their intoxicating smell.  They also represent respect, modesty and faithfulness.

 

 

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I leave you with another thought about cherishing.  Feel free to download this photo and share.

cherish

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Creativity Continued

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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.  ~Scott Adams

 

 

 

Well the photo challenge for August is over, but there are some more photos I want to share that I really love.  Love was the last word on the last day of August and a most appropriate word to convey how I feel about these pictures.  And I am featuring black and white photography again as I have really loved experimenting with it.  This first photo shows the dew in the garden as the first rays of morning illuminate it.

 

 

I hope you like these additional monochrome photos.  I am linking in with The Weekend of Black and White, and with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.  And I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

stickley chair

This my favorite chair.  I love it, and it was a gift from my husband many years ago.  It is a Stickley Morris spindle back oak/leather chair that reclines like an antique recliner with pegs.  I used this chair a lot when I was recovering from surgery.

 

 

 

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A favorite shelf of some books I love.

 

 

 

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This intriguing picture is my cement porch which steps down to the front step and then to the brick sidewalk.  I love the lines and the progression of the patterns.

 

 

 

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The cattails in the pond are lit up by the morning sun, and are contrasted against the bright foliage.  These are a favorite sight from my window.

 

 

 

DSCN3638This is a favorite view from the French doors inside to the patio in the late afternoon.

 

 

 

DSCN3649And if you look closely at the wicker chair on the patio (from the picture above) you can see how the shadows of the plants play on it.  Here it is in closeup.  I love the contrast of the dark chair, the light and shadows.

 

 

 

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The gazebo is a favorite subject of mine to photograph.  I love how it looks in the late afternoon shade as you can see clearly through it to the fence and meadow behind it.  It is interesting how the gazebo slats line up with the fence behind it.

 

 

 

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And finally I really loved how the bee house looked in the late afternoon shadow of the ash tree it was hanging on.

 

 

 


I leave you with
 a bit of a sentiment that tells how I feel when I explore my world with a camera.  I hope you can capture your own enthusiasm in something creative.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

flower creative

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 Heavy Heart

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“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.” ~Walter Anderson

 

I have come to recognize the tell tale signs of grief.  They sneak up on me and cast me down into an abyss that I struggle to climb out of.  It has been happening for the last 16 years since my father died.  They are momentary lapses into sadness for no apparent reason.  And luckily these melancholy moods don’t last as long as they once did.

 

It is hard for me to deal with grief because my dad was the one I could talk to when I was heart broken over the loss of a pet or a relationship.  Or when there was a tragedy in the world and I was at a loss as to how this senseless act could have happened.  He knew I took these sorrows hard.  That my heart would shatter into a million pieces because I wore that heart out on my sleeve for all to see.  I loved completely, and so the loss was also as complete.

 

I had not intended to write this post.  I actually had two other topics I was wavering between, but I just couldn’t write them.  Something was blocking me, and it needed to be let loose.  I really had no idea what was going on with me just that I was in a very low place.  And then it became clear what was happening as those tell tale signs appeared again.

 

DSCN1597With the recent happenings in the world I am feeling very vulnerable.  Feelings of great sadness seem to bubble up at strange times causing me to withdraw or hide inside myself.  And I know these actions will not help, but for now all I can muster is to lean in again and let the tears flow and the love pour out into the universe hoping it will have an effect.

 

I am fighting the urge to curl up and just stay numb, not even venturing out into my garden which at least usually brings me some sort of solace.  And I can hear my father’s words helping me fight my way back….I can feel his strong arms hold me up, and I draw upon the strength of loved ones whose mere offering of a hug are sometimes just enough to bring back the smile and light my heart again.

 

The key for me at this moment is to appreciate life itself.   Yes it seems the most important thing to feel right now.  Sharing my hope for peace, treating others with kindness, spreading loving thoughts and actions out into the world help keep me strong…keep me resilient.  These actions are helping me move on and heal….and maybe in my doing of these seemingly trivial things the world will heal a little more too.  At least I hope it will….it is all I have at this moment.

 

Special Note:  The marigolds pictured above represent grief.  Such a sunny flower that somehow brings me solace.

 

The picture below is my gift to you this week.  These words helped me know that we must keep the love going…after all as the Beatles said so many years ago,

“All you need is love….love is all you need.”

strength

 

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