Poetry Sunday: Kiss the Sky

Kiss the Sky

 

Undulating waves at the end of the day

Bid farewell to the sun’s last rays.

 

 

And shimmer against the gathering clouds

As they raise their voices on chords aloud.

 

 

With the moon’s rise illuminating their path

Their throngs kiss the sky as they roll on past.

 

 

I wish them well as they travel along

And hold in my heart the last strains of their song.

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 


In late November, while walking at dusk with the moon rising, my husband and I witnessed thousands of geese migrating over us….we lost count at 30 groups, moving higher and higher as they sang their glorious song of farewell.  This poem was created on that walk.  I will be taking a hiatus from blogging for a few weeks to devote time to enjoying the season without the rush.  I’ll see you after the New Year.

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


I leave you with a few additional words about the Kiss the Sky.  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: Spring’s Song

Spring’s Song

 

Light flickers at the edge of my sight

And rouses me from sleep and the dark of night.

 

 

Breaking before the warmth of a fine spring day

With fire in the sky riding the sun’s drowsy rays.

 

 

Only whispers of a cooling breeze tickling the dew

Finding open windows to gently waft through.

 

 

The birds lullaby adds to my tranquil repose

As I open my eyes and wake from this languid doze.

 

 

And sweet honey scents drift through my dreams

Waking the shadows with dancing, dappled sun beams.

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 


I wrote this poem as I thought about those first true warm spring days where the light, and sounds and scents all change and add such an excitement.  And I am dreaming of those spring days now and that light, and the sounds and especially the scents.  All are gone in winter….replaced by a different canopy.

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


I leave you with a few additional words about the Spring’s Song.  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: Surrendering to the Light

 

Surrendering to the Light

 

Dark and dingy on this misty day,

Soul searching in the weathered decay.

 

 

Once colored gems found among the green,

Soon all is gone to a barren scene.

 

 

Quiet melancholy heavy in the air,

Tears rush forth while heartache is declared.

 

 

Let the grief well up, spew and flow,

While the water washes me clean as I let go.

 

 

This wearisome heart must not yield to the disdain,

Surrendering only to the light and a restful peace regained.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 


I am thrilled to be back blogging and writing again.  It has been over 4 months, and I am feeling healed and much better.  I aggravated an old back injury, had vertigo and then blood pressure issues (not related to the vertigo).

I started this poem when life had me down and the weather seemed to amplify the sentiments.  With this rainbow last week, on a particularly warm November day, I was remembering what is important in my life if I am to live it to the fullest even on the darkest days.

 

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

 


I leave you with a few additional words about Surrendering to the Light.  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 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: 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 Wonder…

 

I Wonder…..

 

 

I wonder what the bird sees when he sees the sun rise.

As he calls across the meadow and the forest far and wide.

Does he see what I see with my wizened hazel eyes?

Yes, I wonder what the bird sees when he sees the sun rise.

 

 

I wonder what the bird thinks as the sun burns bright in the sky.

As the colors shift to azure blue and clouds come rolling by.

Does he think what a beautiful day to go out for fun-filled fly?

Yes, I wonder what the bird thinks as the sun burns bright in the sky.

 

 

I wonder what the bird smells on a warm earth-scented day.

As the flowers open and leaves stretch out to bask in the breeze and play.

Does he smell the aromas of berries ripe and seeds on tall stalks as they sway?

Yes, I wonder what the bird smells on a warm earth-scented day.

 

 

I wonder what the bird feels while grasping the branch so tight.

As the rain pours down, and winds whip round, giving one a fright.

Does he feel the awe beneath him, is he enveloped with delight?

Yes, I wonder what the bird feels while grasping the branch so tight.

 

 

Is there color in his day, and sweet delectable bites?

Is he anxious to be winging and soaring to new unimaginable heights?

Does he feel the astonishment I do when he gazes at nature’s sights?

Yes, I wonder all this as he softly sings me to goodnight.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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This poem’s opening line came to me one day when I was walking out on a bright lovely morning, hearing the birds singing.  And I wondered……

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 Wonder.  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: Born of Water

 

 

Born of Water

 

I was born of water; body

Surrounded by and made of creator’s tears,

Unwilling to enter this landlocked life.

 

 

And whenever I can, I return home-

To a vast sea, breaking against rock and shore.

Spraying me with turquoise delight

Swirling, swimming around my limbs-

These disappearing as I am reacquainted.

 

 

I long for this reconnection again,

For a homecoming.

And I will venture far on a pilgrimage,

To reunite my soul with my lost aqua world.

 

 

Each visit will have to sustain me,

Until I can come again.

Perhaps for a longer visit.

Perhaps to live closer one day,

Perched on the water’s edge

For my daily communion.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2017

 

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I have long known that the ocean is my home.  I come home to the ocean and am reconnected to my creator…..my soul.  There is an exhilaration I cannot find anywhere else on this earth.  And I long to be in its environs whenever close.  So upon a recent visit to the ocean, I was reminded of this deep connection….to the creation of life in the soup of the sea.  And this poem poured forth.

 

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 Born of 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: Given Freely

 

Given Freely

 

Sometimes in the most hurried, stressful situations, it is worth our while to remember that a smile can light up our world….it can light up the whole world.  One small act of kindness, can change everything around us.

 

So with that in mind, in a very busy airport recently, I decided to make it a point to smile at everyone.  To excuse myself as I weaved and bobbed.  To joke with, and be polite to the TSA agents as they examined my bag one more time.

 

Even if smiles were met with frowns, and thank yous were not forth coming as I gave away space at my table or in line to get food, I still smiled.  I still persevered, and kept kindness front and center.  Letting it pour forth from my soul.

 

And what was the effect of this grand experiment?  Well, I cannot tell you it made any difference in anyone else’s life, but I know it did mine.  I was calmer, happier and more centered.  Each smile I gave away, made my day brighter.  And I have to believe it helped shift the world a little, that day, to the kinder side of life.

 

 

Smile given freely

No cost exacted save for

Soulful connecting

 

© Donna Donabella 2017

 

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This poem, a haibun, was an experiment I decided to conduct in a crowded airport.  To smile, be courteous, polite and kind no matter what.  Not an easy task when traveling as it is a stressful time made worse by time constraints, tired feet, discourteous people and knowing I am about to be strapped into a cramped space for hours while flying 35,000 miles suspended above the earth.

The pictures are fun selfies I created in a course I took using the phone apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

 

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 given freely.  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 New Year

 

Dear New Year:

 

It feels good to write your name on this page….another year older, new numbers for this new year.  And the new numbers come easily to my pencil and fingers.  Most years, I will continue to write the old year, correcting myself numerous times as if I cannot let go….not fully accepting the change the new year brings.

 

But not this year, 2018.  It is as though I have erased the old year and never want to write it again.  I certainly never want to see it again~or so I think!  Yet this new year looks foreign and foggy to me.  I am not sure what to make of it, except it feels good; stronger with lots of promise.

 

So I begin this New Year with these thoughts….I will Tend this year lovingly for myself and others.  A bit more kindness and love given.  A bit less judgment and fear.  Yes 2018, I am remaining open for you and all you will bring.  Hopeful you will make sense and bring some order to this world.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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I wrote this epistolary poem in my new journal as the New Year began.  The flowers pictured here are commonly known as Amaryllis, scientific name Hippeastrum.  Red amaryllis are often associated with the holiday season, and typically mean determination, beauty, and love.

 

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 New Year.  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: Savoring

DSCN4390

 

 

Savoring

 

For me, food was always an after thought.  Something I had to have to fuel my growing, in-constant-motion- child’s body.  Grabbing a bowl of cereal here and there; a quick sandwich.

 

And into adulthood, this still was the case.  I had my favorites, but still food was merely fuel to be gobbled, rushed, downed and then move on.  Eat at my desk, eat on the run.  Never really savoring.

 

Instead the moments of food bliss were kept for those special treats:

 

The home-made chocolate chip cookies still warm from the oven.  The gooey chocolate-covered fingers licked clean.

The ice cream that I lingered over, and licked slowly off the spoon, tasting the swirl of flavors from lips to tongue.

 

I was lost in the moment with these sugary treats.  And these moments increased with age until sugar was the only thing I savored.  Now, no longer can I dally with sweets.  Instead, I relish the sumptuous taste of the fresh pea or tomato picked from the vine.  Warm in my mouth.  Luscious, now savoring these.  The rush of a sugary addiction transformed.

 

Sweet licks and morsels

Lightly dancing on my tongue

Moments now savored.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

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This poem came from a prompt given to me a couple of winters ago challenging me to write a poem about enjoying food.  I have never had a problem enjoying food…there was little I didn’t like.  And sugar was my favorite food….in any way, shape or form.

But with age, has come issues with food.  The need to reduce sugar or eliminate it as much as possible.  Gluten, acid reflux, no preservatives, eating organically all add to the issues where my food intake is now very healthy, and I have made peace with the changes as I turn 60.  This is my haibun poem paying homage to savoring food throughout my life.

 

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

chesecake collage

The pictures here are of my husband’s award-winning cheesecake that he made for me two years ago on my birthday!  One of those rare sugar times.  The picture below is of the peas I savored from my garden well into summer.

 

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

savoring

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: Nature Speak

Nature Speak

 

Dewdrops of rain kissing leaf and flower,

Cool crisp breeze cleanses my soul.

The hum of bee and cicada fills the air,

Sun warms my skin, lulling me into a trance.

The leaves bend with the wind,

Keeping time with my heart.

The flow of life all around me,

As I stand in this one moment.

© Donna Donabella 2017

 

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I was reading a wonderful book, which inspired me to write a stream of consciousness poem in one minute this summer…staying in the moment.  So I went out after a rainstorm, sat on my step, breathed in and observed for one minute (OK 3 minutes) and wrote my thoughts and observations from the heart.

 

The pictures here are of bees going crazy for my native Summersweet bush flowers this summer…it has a dreamy scent.

 

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 nature speak.  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: A Most Extra-Ordinary Life

 

 

A Most Extra-Ordinary Life

 

 

Though your smile fades from this place

it shines deep inside of me and all

who have known you, loved you.

 

 

Your life’s breath, extinguished here on Earth,

now a forever light that burns brighter through me,

around me and into the ethos.

 

 

I quiet to hear the faint whispers of your voice

telling of a passion for life;

your legacy I now embrace.

 

 

And I will sing your song to capture it forever;

to share it in these words, in a smile,

or a hug or a deed most kind.

 

 

As tears splash this page, they are joyful

celebrating the ordinary life of a most extra-ordinary woman~

whose greatest gift is enduring love.

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2017

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This poem is a remembrance for my Aunt Mary who passed away July 3rd.  A dear friend said to me that dwelling on missing her would only bring sadness and depression….but celebrating her light would bring me solace and peace.  I liked that idea and this poem came to me the next day.  You can read my tribute post to my aunt here.

 

I am joining  Poets United for their Poetry Pantry linkup.  July 12th was my 3rd blog anniversary….what an amazing 3 years of creativity it has been.

 

The picture at the top is of my Aunt Mary with a few sweet peas, snapdragons and lavender.  The vase below is more of these same sweet flowers.

 

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I leave you with a another image about an extra-ordinary 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.

Midweek Poem-Innovate

innovate-allium

 

 

Innovate

 

 

Words fall, swirling around my brain today

As the world softens about me-

Bringing up new ideas to spark

This New Year–this new path.

 

 

Stretching,

Opening a bit more.

Integrating all of me into one wholeness

A word drifts around my periphery.

 

 

Speaking its name.

A newness, a change

Butterflies now in the pit of my core

Giving me a push forward.

 

 

Comfort disappears with this word

A movement in a different direction.

To explore free

from my self-imposed bonds.

 

 

Allowing me the freedom to go

to places I never dared to dream!

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2016

 

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I wrote this poem at the new year, as I was contemplating my new word for the year, Innovate.  I have written a couple of posts about this word and what it means to me, and how I planned to incorporate it into My Mantra.  So after 6 months with this word, I find it still serves to push me a little further outside my comfort zone, and take new steps forward toward my dream.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their Midweek Motif.  This week Susan is giving us the theme ~ ‘The Song of a Single Word’.  I am also joining in with Sanaa@A Dash of Sunny for her Prompt Nights.  This week’s theme is ‘Dreams‘.  As Sanaa says, ‘We all have them. We strive for something which at first we deem impossible. But as they say, the key to realizing a dream is to focus on its significance, cause then even our smallest steps and victories will take on a greater meaning.’   My word for the year helps to focus me on my journey toward realizing my dreams.

 

 

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

innovate-bleeding heart

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-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-Dear Imagination

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Dear Imagination:

 

 

You come to me on crayon-colored rainbows

scrawled on envelopes and walls.

You ride on the wind with swings flying high,

and bike spokes pinned with cards, clapping like hoof beats.

You roll down hills laughing so hard

you can hardly breath.

And you plunk down in a meadow plucking yellow and white petals

to the tune of, “He loves me, he loves me not!”

 

 

 

You are part of my soul.

Maybe its most important part.

You have been with me for all my life.

And you are my saving grace.

You are what makes my heart sing.

I am forever yours.

 

 

 

Now there have been times I may not

have been open enough to hear you,

But rest assured I will not let

Fear, Worry, Doubt and Self-Judgement shut you out.

Your voice will sing to me all my days,

and we can ride the clouds to new adventures!

 

 

 

As we lay under the leaves of maple and oak and ash.

And dream of forts, and pirates and princesses.

Making braids of grass and playing tunes on leaves.

Laughing until we can hardly breath.

 

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

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I am bringing you another epistolary poem from a letter I wrote in April.  This one is special, recalling my inspirational days of childhood.  I have included pictures of native purple lupines which represent ‘Imagination‘.

 

 

 

 

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

lupines

 

 

 

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

dear imagination

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 Lesson-As Spring Unfolds

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“One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us.”

~Black Elk

 

 

 

As spring warms up, the birds come flocking to our garden.  Many have visited before, and return to find feeders, nesting areas or boxes, and a habitat in which to raise their young.  Chemical free with lots of plant debris.  And water….a nice pond to drink from or bathe in.  More on the pond in another Wildlife post in the months ahead.

 

 

And each critter who wakes or visits, teaches us lessons in how they live, cohabitate and survive.  So here are some of the mid to late spring visitors to our garden.

 

 

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Squirrels naturally assume that wherever they are, is the place to be.  We have found many black walnuts in and around the garden; some eaten, some forgotten.  The squirrels love to play around and explore every nook and cranny of the garden, high and low.  I can tell you this favorite perch on the wren house had to be vacated once the wrens were back.

 

 

 

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And what a surprise to see this baby bunny just out of the nest.  In March, we saw a pregnant female near the big ash trees in the center of the garden.  I could not find the nest, but eventually, once they left, I saw the small opening.  It is not uncommon to have a nest in our garden each year, but this year they nested early because of the very warm March weather.

 

This little babe was hiding in the middle of a bunch of daffs absolutely still (see last photo at end of post).  I almost didn’t see it.  It eventually moved more to the edge of the daffs the next day, and then it was gone.  We see a small bunny around our neighbor’s shed so perhaps we will see her in our garden eating the clover that is flowering.

 

 

 

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Pollinators were cautious of the warm March weather, and were slow to emerge in April.  But once they did, they were busy making nests in the bee house we have.  I am not good at identifying bees, but these are small solitary bees.

 

 

 

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The pond also awoke cautiously in later April.  Frogs…..

 

 

 

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and toads.  This is a female toad laying eggs for the first time in the pond.  I’ll have their story for you this summer.  And I’ll show you the pond project that has been a roaring success for the critters.

 

 

 

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Pileated woodpeckers live here year round, or so it seems.  They have been busy in the garden since February, digging holes and getting the insects that have been living in trees and stumps..  This female visits often.  I plan to have a post about these majestic creatures this fall.

 

 

 

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Finches live here all year round too.  They eat the dandelion seeds, in spring, that are all over the back lawn…which is mostly dandelions and clover.  The Goldfinch looks very happy, and the House Finch looks like he got caught in the act.

 

 

 

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Red-wing blackbirds came early with the robins this year.  They returned to their territory and nesting areas, and many visited the suet feeders, especially this March and April as the cool weather kept their insect diet at bay.

 

 

 

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Other familiar year round faces are the Cardinals, here, and the Song Sparrow in the picture at the top of the post.  Cardinals sing all year round too.  It is a beautiful song.

 

 

 

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But as May dawns, I look for two migratory birds to return to the garden….the Baltimore Oriole….

 

 

 

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….and the Ruby-throated hummingbirds.  We put up feeders, for both birds, but more birds prefer the Oriole feeder, even the hummer above.  Both birds arrived a day apart in the evening, and were exhausted taking long drinks and resting on the feeder.

 

 

 

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Our oriole feeder holds sweetened water, and cups for grape jelly.  And as we were refilling the jelly, the Orioles couldn’t wait to partake…..you can see we didn’t even have to hang the feeder.

 

 

 

oriole feeder collage

And Orioles (left and top right) are not the only ones who love the sweetened water and jelly.  Downy Woodpeckers (center right) visit frequently, along with Catbirds (lower right), Sparrows and a newcomer to the garden…..

 

 

 

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…Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.  A stunning bird isn’t it.

 

 

 

wren collage

I wasn’t sure the Wrens would return.  I heard their jolly, bright song for weeks and finally they were ready to nest.  It is fascinating to watch them carefully make a nest of small sticks….turning the sticks in their beaks and handing them off to their partner in the box.

 

 

 

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And last but not least, the Cedar Waxwings returned in late May right around my birthday.  Always the best present!

 

 

I am struck by the spring lessons of caution and focus as I observed, looking back at our visiting and year round critters.  Pollinators and pond critters took their time not being lured out of hibernation too soon.  And I was cautious too as I observed an early spring that turned back to winter.  And those critters that came too early, weathered the storm and showed me such resilience.

 

Once the critters arrived for spring, they were focused on their chores of finding food, and procreating.  I too was very focused with garden chores this spring.  And we will see the fruit of their labors soon enough with baby frogs and baby birds being added to the garden habitat.  I hope to see the fruits of my labors as well as the garden season progresses.

 

I am sharing these lessons with Beth@PlantPostings for her wonderful Garden Lessons Learned meme.  I hope you will join her.

 

 

So there you have some of our mid to late spring visitors.  I have at least two more spring stories coming in the next two months….both about the pond.  What critters are showing up in your garden this spring?

 

 

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 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.  Please check out all these great blogs.

 

 

 

I leave you with another thought about the lessons to learn from looking deep into nature.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

look nature

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.

Beyond Words: Spring At The Lake

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“Silence was the cure, if only temporarily, silence and geography. But of what was I being cured? I do not know, have never known. I only know the cure. Silence, and no connections except to landscape.” 

-Mary Cantwell, Manhattan, When I Was Young

 

 

I wanted to wrap up this series with another trip back to the lake across the street.  Several months ago, I started this series called, Beyond Words.  I wanted to showcase different spots I find, in pictures, with as few words as possible.  I have been focusing on the lake across the street; already seen in late summer, late autumn and winter.

 

 

Now as we are full into spring here, I thought it would be interesting to see how spring unfolded in late April at the lake.  It was chilly still in April.  Some days were warm, and many nights freezing cold.  But still life moved along, and the leaves just started to show up on the trees.

 

 

So let’s see what early spring looked like, at the lake.

 

 

 

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This is the iconic view as you pull up to the beach.  Picnic tables and grills to the left in the trees, and the playground and bathhouse to the right.  Of course the still lake in the background is always a peaceful sight…..when there are no swimmers!

 

 

 

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The beach wasn’t much different, just a bit greener as the grass grew quickly through the sand in spring.  Soon the machines will be there to dig up the sand, sift it and get it ready when the beach opens this weekend.  For now, geese and gulls are making the beach their home.  And watch out for those cigar-sized goose droppings.

 

 

 

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Closer to the shore you can see all the grass and wood debris that continues to wash up on shore, all needing to be cleaned up too.

 

 

 

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Looking left toward the jetty we can see it is just beginning to green up, and tall grasses will grow out into the lake soon.  Mallards are likely nesting along the shore.

 

 

 

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Again looking toward the little cove, we see all the tall grasses and weedy plants, along with small trees greening up too.  I love how the lake was still and calm making it a reflecting pond.

 

 

 

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As there were no fishermen on the lake or boats yet, I turned around toward the woods that were alive with activity.

 

 

 

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Looking up we can see visitors stopping by.  I was unsure who this was….perhaps a sparrow.  And I was checking out the woodpecker holes to see if anyone was claiming them as a home.  And you can see the maple trees were first to leaf out.

 

 

 

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I decided to walk the path to the bench.  It looked a bit lonely at the edge of the grassy beach.  Lots of bright glaring sunlight around mid-morning.

 

 

 

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I turned back around toward the right again, and saw clouds were beginning to roll in, almost giving the long view, out to the point, a foggy appearance.

 

 

 

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As I walked away, I turned back to look through the woods where the sun was still shining….this view will remain etched on my brain.  I will not be back to the lake for the rest of spring or summer, as it will be overrun with people soon….basking in the sun and splashing in the water.

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed these trips to the lake.  I am not sure what spot I will pick next to highlight, but I’ll let you know.  But for today, I am out celebrating as I turn a young 59!  With this post, I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.

 

 

 

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Special Note:  Oneida Lake is the largest lake entirely within New York State.  It has a surface area of 79.8 square miles, and is located northeast of Syracuse and near the Great Lakes.  There are several parks, marinas and beaches along this lake that spans several counties.

 

 

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

celebrate 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 Creating a Sanctuary

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“Who will free me from hurry, flurry, the feeling of a crowd pushing behind me, of being hustled and crushed? How can I regain even for a minute the feeling of ample leisure I had during my early, my creative years? Then I seldom felt fussed, or hurried. There was time for work, for play, for love, the confidence that if a task was not done at the appointed time, I easily could fit it into another hour. I used to take leisure for granted, as I did time itself.”

~Bernard Berenson

 

 

Many days I felt like this.  Hurried, hustled and bounced about.  Feeling time was running out, and I had accomplished little.  And even after I ticked everything off my To Do list, more was added instantaneously.  Never time for leisure, relaxation or rest.

 

 

 

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I always dreamed of a safe haven away from the flurry of life….where I could go to get away even for 5 minutes to regain my sanity.  And when I thought about this place I saw the ocean or a meadow….flowers or a beach.  Each of these images are healing for me, and immediately ease my pain and renew my soul.

 

 

 

IMG_5627So when I designed the bones of my garden, I imagined flowers and water there in a special spot…and with it the sound of water.  It was clear that a pond would be the perfect spot to have water and flowers.  And that pond had to have a waterfall, so I could have the healing sound of water nearby, especially since I don’t live close to the ocean.

 

 

 

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It was easy to decide where to place the pond….as close to the house as possible so we could have easy access, and hear the water flowing over the rocks.  Where I could sit on a large rock at its edge and look out over the garden of my soul…my sanctuary!

 

 

 

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And once created, this place took on a magic all its own.  I discovered that my sanctuary was also a safe haven for others who wanted to share it with me.  They didn’t talk, they just hung out with me in the moment….they were my quiet solitude companions that added their song to sing me to sweet solitude and peace.

 

 

 

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I am of course referring to the frogs, toads, birds and insects who also call the pond their home, and their sanctuary.  They bathe here, and give birth here.  And some have made this place their home too.  We commune and talk, but mostly we just sit in peaceful meditation marveling at how incredibly beautiful this place can be.

 

 

 

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I look forward to every spring when we put the pump back in, and the pond stirs to life.  To see the tadpoles and frogs awake.  And the lily pads start forming on the surface, knowing the flowers will be along soon.  To watch the reflections in the water.  This is my heaven on earth….my special haven for healing.

 

 

Have you ever created a sanctuary for yourself?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of my pond in its first year of bloom.  While it is a bit overgrown these days, it is still my sanctuary, and beloved habitat for so many who share the garden with me.

 

I will be taking a week off, and will have another post next Thursday, the 26th!  It is a special day for me….

 

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I leave you with a few additional words on creating a sanctuary.  I welcome you to download this photo and share it.

sanctuary

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.