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: 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: 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: The Yearnings of Spring

 

The Yearnings of Spring

 

There is a deep, urgent longing to break this icy dam winter has cast over me.

 

Where my skin again feels the glowing warmth of the sun,

Where bare feet are tickled by cool, soft, new grass,

Where my eyes catch the young, fresh growth of plants emerging,

And I breathe in the earthy scent of the garden thawed.

 

Where my hands cast seeds imagining a future harvest,

Where the heady perfume of new flowers overwhelms me,

Where every buzz and chirp has my heart beating faster,

And where the water splashing the rocks in the pond invites me to play.

 

As I patiently wait for spring to arrive, I dream of merging with nature.

Yearning to break this icy dam winter has cast over me.

 

© Donna Donabella 2018

 

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Even with the vernal equinox coming this week in the northern hemisphere, the first day of spring never quite arrives according to the calendar.  It shows up when it is good and ready…each year a different date.  And this year winter is unrelenting, and March seems to be the new February, with cold and almost 4 feet of new snow in the first two weeks.  Now we are frigid again with snow piles everywhere….no spring thaw in sight for weeks perhaps.  So as I wait, I am thinking about what I am yearning for when spring finally does show itself in earnest.

The pictures are of native Bloodroot from my garden.  They are one of the first native flowers blooming.  You have to watch for their blooms, and savor them while you can, as they fade fast.

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 Yearnings of Spring.  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: Dear Sky

 

Dear Sky

 

 

Dear Sky:

 

I bask under your brilliance,

I sigh as you lighten through the hours.

 

 

I relax as you color my end of day,

And I contemplate beneath your moon and stars.

 

 

Your colors emerge and delight;

They renew my soul and sing to me.

 

 

Yes, Dear Sky you are my muse,

My life giving breath, and I honor you.

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

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Another epistolary poem, in the series I am writing, from a letter I wrote in April of 2016.  This poem was written on a morning of brilliance as the sun rose.  I hope to post one of these a month.  I will be taking time off for the rest of December….enjoy your holidays and I will see you around the New Year.

 

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 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, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: He Watches

 

He Watches

 

 

P e r c h e d

Ever alert

Ready to spring into action

Clever as he amuses himself

Youthful exuberance

all the way

          to the

                     tip of

                                        his long

                                                        tail.

 

 

This is who I met as he eyed me cautiously.

Sized me up with those pale green eyes, curious.

Not too affectionate, but willing to connect with a touch.

PERCY-of many breeds, with proud Latin name.

‘Effective Hunter’

 

© Donna Donabella 2017

 

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I wrote this poem after meeting this amazing animal.  He is a rescue cat that my nieces fell in love with.  He is thought to be part Persian and has an abnormally long tail.  A kitten when they brought him home, and 6 months old when I met him.  He made quite an impression on me, wrapping his long tail around my heart.  And this poem came leaping out of me on the trip home.

 

 

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 Percy-He Watches.  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.

Wildlife Lessons-The Magic of Toads

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“I believed then – in a deep, easy way that is impossible for me as an adult – that there was more to this world than meets the eye. Trees had spirits; the wind spoke. If you followed a toad or a raven deep into the heart of the forest, they were sure to lead you to something magical.”

~Jennifer McMahon

 

 

 

When we had the pond built, almost 20 years ago, we had high hopes that lots of critters would visit or make a home there.  And we have seen our fair share of critters come to the pond….frogs, insects, turtles, snakes, birds….and the list goes on.  The most consistent visitors making a home, in the pond, has been the frogs laying many eggs every year (see picture above).

 

 

But my favorite, yet elusive, visitor to the pond has to be the toads.  Although we hear the toads, we only see them from time to time as toads are generally nocturnal.  The American toad (Anaxyrus americanus, formerly Bufo americanus) is the species of toad found here.  They love areas with moisture and plenty of insects…..which is exactly what you will find in our garden.

 

 

We heard the toads again in early April, and they seemed quite close each night calling with that amazing long, trilling sound.  So imagine my surprise when we saw them not soon afterward…..

 

 

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I was so surprised because we had never seen two at once, and certainly not in this amorous embrace.  Of course in this position it was quite evident that the large rust colored toad was the female and the smaller the male.  The female makes her home just outside the fence in a small garden we have, and we see her burrowing herself in for the winter, or uncovering herself as spring warms the ground.

 

 

 

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We see the smaller male toads here and there, in the garden and pond and even some tiny young toads.  But we have never seen the making of those little toads.  Not wanting to intrude on these two, I took pictures and quickly left them alone.

 

 

 

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It is interesting to note how the mating ritual takes place.  Males go to shallow ponds, and call to females.  When the female arrives, the male actually grabs or hugs her (the lady must be willing if the smaller male can grab the female twice his size) until she discharges her eggs.   As the eggs come out, the male fertilizes them by discharging fluid with sperm onto the eggs.  I actually witnessed her continuing to push out two long strings of eggs looking like a necklace of black pearls.  See them draped all along the vegetation above.

 

 

 

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If you look closely, you can see the eggs are covered with a jelly like substance in long tubes. The toads found the perfect spot for the eggs; shallow water with vegetation near the irises that had not bloomed yet.

 

 

 

developing toad eggs

Like frogs, once the toads lay the eggs they leave them to develop on their own.  Eggs begin to hatch in a few days.  The process can take up to 10-12 days before the eggs become tadpoles, and then they fully develop into toads in about 2 months time.  American toads usually survive only a year or two in the wild although we have seen the large female here for a few years. Most tadpoles don’t survive very long becoming food for snakes, and frogs.

 

You can see the development of the eggs above over a 10 day period.  We have not seen the toads yet, but they should be emerging sometime this month we hope.

 

 

 

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Here are some additional facts about the American Toad:
  • Toads don’t cause warts, but the American toad produces a toxin that can be harmful if swallowed, or if it gets in your eyes.  So be careful if you handle toads.  We leave them alone.
  • When the tadpoles are ready to leave the pond they emerge usually in groups.
  • Tadpoles have several ways to keep predators at bay. They swim close together in schools, and stay in very shallow water that is thick with vegetation.  We have lots of that especially around the cattails so perhaps we will have several surviving toads emerging soon.

 

 

Special Note:  I wrote a poem about our toads and you can find it here….Ode to A Toad.  The picture at the end of the post is of our House Wren feeding its babies recently.  The wrens have fledged, but we still hear the Wren’s song in the garden.

 

 

 

What wildlife lessons are you learning as summer begins?

 

 

 

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 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 studying nature.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

 study 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.

Wildlife Lesson-Early Spring Critters

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“My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather.”

 ~Loire Hartwould

 

 

 

As spring (March 21st) dawned in the purply-pink sky, there was a perceptible shift in the air, urged on by the warmer spring weather.  As we walked around the area and observed our surrounds, we were greeted by crowds in the trees, in the sky and on the ground; crowds of migratory birds who had returned here early to nest and raise their young.

 

 

Of course it was different when the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) came around in mid-February.  The birds scattered to find warmth as it fell on the coldest weekend of the year with -20F temps and -40F wind chills.   It was lonely and the trees were pretty bare.  Now weeks later, the birds are showing up to usher in spring right on schedule….March 21st.

 

 

 

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When we returned in early March from our trip out west, the weather had warmed a bit and the peepers were singing us to sleep.  And when I walked around our pond, the first week of spring, I saw tadpoles swimming.  The frogs are usually not long off.  The first are usually the Northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens).

 

 

 

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Prior to the new birds arriving, I noticed the Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) were pairing off and looking around for nesting sites.

 

 

 

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And American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), along with various hawks, were seen gathering nesting materials.  This crow was ripping bark from an old vine growing in the meadow.

 

 

 

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Canada geese (Branta canadensis) were also returning, in droves, in mid-March, littering the skies on their way to the lake across the street.

 

 

 

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And many blackbirds descended upon us as spring started….Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater), and Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula).  A few Red-winged Blackbirds were back in February, but the raucous noise of the males returning to their nesting sites was a glad spring chorus in late March.

 

 

 

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But I knew spring was here, when we heard the familiar banging on our front windows.  Our female ‘crazy-toes’ American robin (Turdus migratorius) was back to claim her nesting site, our garden, for her third year.  The banging meant she was back to fight the imaginary robins in our windows.  You can read more about our journey with her here.

 

As I report on the events of the start of spring in March, April receded to winter with snow and cold.  The robins were especially struggling, and you can read about their struggle here.  They seem to have made it through and are now building their nest next door at the abandoned house.

 

 

So there you have some of our first spring visitors.  I will update you on more spring critters next month….April warmed, and the critter activity has been busy!  What signs of spring are you seeing in your area?

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

I leave you with another thought about the lessons to learned from the singing birds.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

birds sing

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-April Spring

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April Spring

 

 

The soul stirs under bright April skies,

Raw and cold, with warm sun, clouds rolling by.

 

 

Rain pours down and pools throughout,

Replenishing the soil; pushing worms out.

 

 

Everywhere in the garden is the rush to grow,

Fresh green foliage wrapped with bright colorful bows.

 

 

More voices join daily in the garden’s song,

First robin’s, then peepers all the day long.

 

 

And my heart quickens its beat on this glorious stage,

As April moves to May and writes a new page.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2016

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April springs are unique and special.  The weather shifts from cold and rainy to warm and sunny, even within the same day….trying to settle.  This year it has been very unsettled.  The blooms continue to pop up more and more throughout the garden decorating garden beds throughout….much like presents with bows.

 

The flowers here are pretty spring bulbs known as, Chionodoxa, or Glory of the Snow.

 

 

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

glory of snow collage

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 April spring.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

april spring

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-Crocus

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Crocus

 

 

Petals unfurl,

with shouts of joy!

A youthful gladness-

finally enjoyed.

 

 © Donna Donabella 2012

 

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One of the first bulbs to bloom, early in my garden, are the snow crocus pictured here.  They shout spring with splashes of color all over the garden.   Wishing everyone a joyous Easter!

 

 

 

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

crocus collage

I am also linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles 2016.

 

 

 

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

crocus

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.

3/5/12

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.

wedding collage

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.

My Manifesto: An Innovative Life in 2016

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“Making the beginning is one third of the work.”  ~Irish Proverb

 

 

 

As the year was coming to a close, I decided to wander out to my meadow.  Really a sanctuary garden, wild, with native plants, a couple of birdhouses and trees.  It lies just beyond the fence.  It is a place of quiet, curiosity and peace…where I can commune with nature and wildlife.

 

 

 

DSCN1160And it was here, while I snapped pictures of the dried and tattered plants, that I realized I had a full and abundant life.  I was lucky to be alive, to have relatively good health, a partner who gave me support and unconditional love, and family and friends who were still there for me.

 

 

 

I started to think about the upcoming year.  What would it hold?  What did I want to accomplish, how did I want to live out this next year of 2016?  I had recently adopted my word for the year, INNOVATE.  And I was thinking how this word would guide me.

 

 

 

DSCN1187I was also thinking what color this year would be.  I have been working with the Colors and Numbers, by Louise Hay, since 1998.  Each year has a number, unique to you, that matches with a color.  And when we tune into the color of the day or year, we can find more harmony and flow in our lives.  I have found this to be true, and I enjoy the colors.  Before I tuned into colors and numbers, I was wearing too much of one color especially black or gray.  This exploration of color was much more creative and fun.

 

 

 

You don’t have to believe in colors and numbers to have fun with it.  And when I explored this year for me, I realized it was a Personal Year 4.  But not just any 4, a 22/4.  Meaning, when I added my birthdate and this year, I got 22.  The color for the 22/4 year is coral.  And its significant meaning, Greatness.  And when I coupled it with my word for the year, Innovate, I saw a wonderful synchronicity developing.

 

 

 

This 22/4 year, superior accomplishments could be DSCN1164achieved…maybe writing and
publishing that book….it has been on my mind of late
.  It is also a year where I can have success, if I work on big plans for the good of the community.  It is said to be a powerful year.  A bit daunting and exciting, and definitely a year to Innovate.

 

 

 

As I tried to make more meaning of all of this, I decided this might be the year to create a manifesto.  A manifesto is quite simply a written declaration of my intentions, motives, or views.  And I am making mine for one year.  Not really goals per se, but more how I intend to live this Innovative life in 2016.

 

 

 

Creating a manifesto, is a work in progress so I hope to refine it as the year progresses….check in and see how I am doing.  And hopefully make this a yearly practice, if it helps organize and further guide me.

 

 

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As I Innovate my life in 2016, I am living a life:

 

    • Seeking out new destinations to explore
    • Inspired by creativity
    • Spent in the arms of nature more often
    • Of new experiments with growing, cooking and eating new foods
    • Of new habits that facilitate innovation, creativity, health and happiness
    • Moving more each day; stretching my body, mind and spirit.
    • Of gratitude and abundance
    • Of courage showcasing my talents to the world
    • Connecting with more people, more often
    • Of beauty surrounding me inside and outside my abode
    • Tuned into my creative channels allowing them to come forth and flourish
    • Serving my spiritual and intellectual needs

 

 

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Do you have a guiding word or phrase for the year?  Maybe a manifesto?  How have you decided to embrace the new year?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are from my meadow at the beginning of winter.

 

 

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

innovation and vulnerability

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

reframing

 

 

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.

End of Month Potpourri-October 2015

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“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” 

~Jim Bishop

 

 

 

The morning of the full moon in September, the sun promised to rise in a glorious fashion.  The last bright star still glowed as the sun peeked over the horizon.  So I went out into the garden to see the sunrise from different vantage points.

 

 

 

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It was such a magnificent experience to bask in the first rays of light…..

 

 

 

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…..with the colors expanding across the sky!

 

 

 

sunrise collage

Yes the inset is a later close-up.

 

 

 

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I spent quite a bit of time near the back fence watching the sunrise over the meadow.

 

 

 

meadow sunrise collage

I shifted to capture the pergola in the sunrise.  I thought it would be a great backdrop.

 

 

 

grasses at sunrise collage

As would the grasses waving to greet the day.

 

 

 

sunset foliage collage

Then watching the sun setting later in the day, I saw the glory of the fall foliage on fire in the golden light of the setting sun.

 

Fall is one of the most beautiful times in nature and in my garden.  I hope you enjoyed this glorious day with me.  I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Kara@A Spirit of Simplicity for Tuesday Afternoon where we are invited to celebrate a nice slow day in a busy week.

 

 

 

I leave you with a bit more sentiment about creativity and joy.   Feel free to download the photo and share.

fall foliage

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

End of Month Potpourri-June 2015

seedhead drawing

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”  ~Maya Angelou

 

 

One of the people I was introduced to in the April Love course, I wrote about last week, was Andrea Schroeder.  She has a wonderful website called, Creative Dream Incubator.  And it is here where I was reconnected with my creative dream, and began drawing again.

 

 

daylily drawingAndrea has a great free 10-day course called, Give Your Dream Wings, and I loved this easy 10-minute a day class.  It finally gave me the push to connect again with that wonderful artsy side of me that has been hidden and tucked away to languish for almost 50 years.

 

 

That side that colored in coloring books for hours….who made her own paper dolls, clothes and all, and loved every one of them…..who adored the messy paints in art class, was never really nurtured or encouraged.  In fact quite the opposite.  I was told in veiled comments that I had no real artistic talent.  Art classes became drudgery and painful in middle school.  And I was politely asked to leave the chorus in 8th grade…..I was enthusiastic, but tone deaf so it was best for me to leave so there weren’t any awkward moments during concerts.

 

 

coneflower drawingI was asthmatic and uncoordinated too so no sports for Donna.  Actually my Physical Education teachers never marked me absent, so I never had to make up classes as it was best for me not to be there since there were less accidents in PE class when I wasn’t there.  So I knew I had to take to my books, and my studies, and excel there as all other outlets were closed off.

 

 

 

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”

~ Georgia O’Keefe, artist

 

 

Maybe had I been introduced to artists like O’Keefe, and given encouragement, I could have stopped the constant messages of not being good enough, not being creative, not having any talent except for being book smart.

 

 

hosta leaf drawingBut no matter, that is all old, old water under a bridge I care not to cross anymore, as I have found my inner creative again.  And I am once again connected to that dream of exploring this once closed off area…..no fears, no judgments….just creating, trying and moving on with exploring more and more ways to create.

 

 

So where did I start?  Well I got a little boost from my dear, very talented friend Mary…she is a wonderful artist (although she will not say she is….but she is).  And 5 years ago, we started a little weekly ritual called, Art on the Patio.  She was working part-time and so was I, and she offered to teach me to draw and use watercolors.  At that time, I was not in a good place with self-confidence….actually I was at a very low spot, but wanting to stretch myself a bit and try things I had long put off.

 

 

pot in chair drawingWe met almost weekly for 2 months, and here in this post you can see my first attempts.  The first drawing at the top of the post is my first drawing of a seed head in my garden.  Our art studio was my garden where we would sit at my patio table, under the umbrella, surrounded by a garden with healthy goodies to munch on.

 

 

And if it weren’t for Mary, I would not have had the courage to begin this creative endeavor again….we are thinking of getting our Patio Art time started again as we are both retired.  In the meantime, I watched a video of Andrea’s on her website about drawing Mandalas.  And you can see the start of one below.  I draw them daily in my journal after meditating.

 

 

mandela 2So where is all this heading?  I don’t know, and frankly I don’t care….I am just so excited as the creative spirit is with me again, and my child-like anticipation and wonder has taken control.  I plan to take a free art journaling class next that is offered on Andrea’s site.  It is wonderful to find so many things offered for free especially when finances are a bit restricted with retirement.

 

 

I have my new journal waiting to be filled with even bigger mandalas and other creative works.  And those blank pages, are not scary to look at any more.  I believe wholeheartedly that we can live an inspired, creative and thrilling life by doing what excites us.  And exploring things we want to know more about or see and do.  Each little step we take in this direction opens up new paths, new doorways into new aspects of our lives we never thought would come about.

 

 

pink flower drawingWho knows what the next big thing will be….and I am so OK with that.  I want to open that new box of crayons again, and smell that new smell….see the new perfect tips ready for me to wear them down to a nub.  This has been a long time coming getting back to my artsy side….and even acknowledging that I have an artsy side is a big first step.  Because we all do….we just forgot it, or never had the chance to explore it.

 

 

And I promise, Mary, if we do some more art on the patio, I won’t get all judgy and try to compare myself to you or anyone.  I will just be me, and let the experience wash over me like a gentle wave of water bringing me new life and exhilarating every cell of my being.

 

 

 

Special Note:   All the drawings here were done in my first attempt at drawing, under the tutelage of my friend Mary 5 years ago on my patio in the summer.  I am sharing these drawings for the first time, and that is a huge step for me.  These are a great start, and I hope to continue to draw often as I meditate with my creative side.

 

 

 

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

leaf drawing

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-A New Path

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A New Path

 


Feel the light, the heat

the strobe of bright rays.

Yellow, orange warm-

energizing new life into every pore.

 

 

My eyes are shut

to its blinding glare,

But it still leaves behind

flashes of burnt red.

 

 

I am planted,

rooted to the ground.

Absorbing the life flow of it.

Bringing me back.

 

 

On new found ground I stretch,

erect reaching for it.

Feeling its warm love bathe over me;

healing renewal and peace….

 

 

I am ready for the journey-a new path, a new life!

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2015

 

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I wrote this poem after watching the sunrise almost daily during the first year of my retirement.  And sunlight was particularly healing to me this last year.  Now I am feeling ready to move on, and what better time to declare that than around my birthday….pssstit’s on Tuesday!

 

 

 

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.

sunrise 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 was invited to link in with Macro Monday Mixer hosted by Stephanie@allthevs.com.

 

 

 

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:  These sunrises were an inspiration recently as I watch dawn break from my bedroom window.

 

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

light

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-March 2015

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Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.

~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You

 

 

 

In my neck of the woods, here in the northeast, spring takes her sweet time.  She slowly walks into my garden, and in March she is just beginning to yawn.  Consequently as others are showcasing their lovely spring blooms, I am still watching the snow melt.

 

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t beauty in my garden.  And for this End of Month Potpourri, I thought I would show you some of the beauty of late winter.

 

 

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The sun comes streaming through the trees and bathes the garden in early morning light as spring comes closer.

 

 

DSCN0403The trees glow first as the sun splits through the bare branches, even those covered in chilly ice crystals.

 

 

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It creates a rainbow on the snow as it sparkles.

 

 

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Early shadows cast a blue glow over the snow-covered garden.  You can see the melting snow is creating creases in the landscape almost like a creek running underground.

 

 

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The sun at high noon is shifting its shadow, and glaring off the surface of the melting snow.

 

 

DSCN0757A couple hours later, and the shadows have moved farther along the fence playing on the snow.

 

 

DSCN0726As the snow melts, it creates ripples and dimples….making it appear as if we are watching ocean waves frozen in place.

 

 

DSCN0733And then it will shift, looking instead like sand dunes on a desert of snow white.

 

 

DSCN0749And there are other playful shadows, such as this one from the patio table, reflecting its intricate scroll work.

 

 

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As we get closer, it appears as if we can see right through the melting snow to the water beneath.

 

 

DSCN0754And even closer still, a few frozen bubbles….

 

 

Those bubbles mean the snow is melting, melting, melting…..soon to be gone.  And all that wonderful water, in the snow, is nourishing my garden and the spring blooms that lie underneath waiting for spring to step into the present.

 

 

 

 

Note:   The branches at the beginning and end of this post are of my dwarf willow trees.  As spring has sprung, and rain takes the place of snow, they are covered in the jewels of spring raindrops.  Soon they will burst forth in pussy willow flowers.

 

 

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I leave you with another thought about the change of the seasons and weather.  Feel free to download this photo and share.

bad weather

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-Timeless Images

 artist

Timeless Images

 

 

 

The mirror looks back at me

A face, strange and foreign somehow.

 

Ruddy, wrinkled

Laugh lines deep, crinkling at the edges.

 

A care worn complexion still fresh

A body older, fragile, stiff with painful bending.

 

And yet within this vessel, exists

A soul still full of wonder.

 

Seeking answers, scarfing up knowledge

Playful, dancing through life.

 

She is there sometimes on the surface

But often over the years kept far down.

 

Admonished, ‘act your age’

‘Be an adult’, were the words heard far too often.

 

She has fought her way back

An old soul, still youthful, a child.

 

The glint, that spark

Still there in her green eyes.

 

Mischief, seeing the new

Seeking joy; neverending.

 

Her smile blazes

Her laugh infectious.

 

Yes, the mirror looks back at me

But it is the child, that’s all I see.

 

Now forever born again, new each day

For each moment the possibilities boundless-timeless.

 

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

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This poem was also created as we were SOARing through the sky on our way to visit family at Thanksgiving.  Lots of wonderful poems flowed as we flew that day, and this one came easily as I have been reflecting on life since retirement, and anticipating seeing family.

 

The pictures in this post are all of the author, me.  The top one was taken last year.  One of the only selfies I have ever taken.  The first collage is from Christmas when I was 2 and my high school senior portrait from 1975.  The second collage features me as a young teacher in the mid 1980s and my Kindergarten graduation picture in 1963.  The last picture is my faded and creased baby picture.

 

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.

dd collage 1

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.  

 

dd collage 2

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:  You can see my facial expressions haven’t changed much in the last 57 years.  I don’t usually like my picture so there are few that I have kept.  But as I age, I have come to accept my pictures as I accept myself, and am happy to share them with you.

 

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I leave you with a little bit of sentiment about life, acceptance and aging.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

dd baby 57

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.