Thursday, December 31, 2015

End-of-Year Reflection

As 2015 turns into 2016, there are a few hours left to slowly frame my thoughts. Inside, the quietude takes hold and circles the house. Sometimes, the alone space is unsettling. Today, it recognizes time standing still before the ball drops to herald in a new year. 

In my quiet space there are posts and poetry to read, cookies to bake, and silence to be broken as the family returns. For now, I sit back to lean in and listen to the stillness. I recall the drenching rain that pinged during the night and surreptitiously entered my dream space. I hear the low drone of the television and the furnace humming loudly. I immerse myself in the quiet, noticing all as I wonder.

I think deeply about my 2015 one little word listen that served me well. It provided companionship on days that needed such and supported me in ways to broaden my perspective. I found it lurking in corners of conversations, in social gatherings, and on reflective walks. I listened to hear a tiny voice inside rise to meet my pen. Some days words were woven easily and other days words were stuck but the act of listening provided me space to digest what was said when a response did not readily come. 

I refer now to what I penned on January 6, 2015 realizing that from one word others followed. Did I accomplish all that I sought? I think so but there are so many more words surfacing and roads to follow. Will I hear the sounds as I travel onward?

I write in silence before the New Year's Eve festivities begin, knowing that there are many across the globe also in their alone space doing the same. 

...and so readers, I end one year and approach a new one with eagerness to see what it brings.

If inclined, please join my fellow #NYEDChat moderators and me as we discuss the new year and new directions on January 4, 2016. 

This year's journey has led me to many connected moments with colleagues around the globe. Voice matters so I continue to reach out.

Christmas Spirit

While Christmas Day has passed, the Christmas spirit lives on until January 6th in my household. As a child, the Feast of the Epiphany, referred to as Little Christmas, gave my family the opportunity to continue to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. I extend this tradition with a special wish for 2016. 
May the Christmas spirit of peace and joy be reflected around the globe, allowing people to see the world in a different light. 

The song, Christmas in America, offers an uplifiting message for the holidays. Using my 2015 one little word, I listened intently to Pat Benatar's version of the song and captured its feeling in a condensed version with add-ons. 

It's Christmas in America.
Time to pause and 
take a stand.
Place troubles on the side
for smiles to be on hand. 
It's Christmas in America.
Let the angels sing
songs of everlasting peace
as freedom sounds ring:
-peace round the world,
-one nation under God.

God blesses the USA each day as the spirit of Christmas continues throughout the season.

And the angel said to them, 
fear not, for behold, 
I bring you good news
of great joy that will be
for all the people.
~Luke 2:10
"And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." - Luke 2:10

"And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." - Luke 2:10


May the Christmas spirit live in your heart and thoughts bringing you joy and peace as you start your 2016 journey. 

Please visit Holly Mueller's Spiritual Journey Thursday site to read the thoughts of the community of writers. Each post is a gift to be shared.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Celebrating Imperfections

Not all moments in life are Hallmark ones although I must admit that thought is appealing. While preparing for the holidays, visions of a sugar plum "perfect" Christmas as often seen on the Hallmark channel kept popping in my head. Creating the ambience for a warm holiday home certainly helped set the mood but did not assist in navigating through life's issues. 

Looking back, I once again realize that all that the glitter is not what makes a Christmas special. The reason for the season is not about perfection but about celebrating the imperfections, the snags, the realities of daily living. Today, I celebrate the imperfections of holiday hustle and bustle that broke the flow. Reality poked holes in preparation time when the electronic panel on my stove broke down. The water once again leaked under the utility sink and the connectivity issues in the house loomed while I was designing Autumn's Palette GalleryBeyond these glitches, I found a message. Hope brings each new day joy if you believe in possibilities, recognize the importance of family connections and the power of faith that binds.
"Life is not always perfect. Like a road, it has many bends, ups and downs, but that's its beauty." 
~Amit Ray, World Peace: The Voice of a Mountain Bird
I thank Ruth Ayres at Celebrate This Week for her thoughtful post, Messy Christmas. It let me step back to ponder on this week's Holy Family Sunday homily about a teenage mom who bore a son in a barn filled with animals while her husband faithfully stood by her. Although this scene is not your "perfect" delivery picture it is powerful in its simplicity and message. Despite the angst and discord of the world there is hope and belief in possibilities. Faith allows the imperfections of life to become reflective vehicles as we transverse the roads of each day's journey.

Today is Slice of Life Tuesday so please visit Two Writing Teachers to read other bloggers' slices. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Unveiling of Autumn's Palette Gallery

to the glory of autumn and prepare to be immersed in the splendor of the season as it unfolds in poetic thought.

on each digital inspiration that captures the brilliance of a season of different perspectives and offers contemplative moments during the holidays.

Inside the walls of Autumn's Palette Gallery you will find a colorful tapestry of seasonal splendor created by a community of reflective writers from various walks of life. 

As you browse through the collection, you most likely will agree with John Ruskin's statement: Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty. (submitted by Ramona Behnke).

Do you remember when autumn days were full of rustling leaves swirling in patterns around you? Listen to the video below to allow for a few moments of white space time that will carry your heart back to the start of autumn.

Find fall once again through the various digital inspirations in the gallery .

No Spring, nor Summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face.
~John Donne, The Autumnal

Fall's Brilliant Entry - September

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,...
From September. 1918  by Amy Lowell
Courtesy of Diane Mayr

Autumn's Palette Gallery walk starts with a thankful heart

and a call to reflection.

While viewing the gallery be carried away by George Winston's Autumn.

Sing praises to October's brilliance. 

All those golden autumn days the sky was full of wings.
~Laura Ingalls Wilder (offered by Christy Rush-Levine)

Listen to U 2's perspective on October.
contributed by Sean Gaillard

View the celebration of autumn leaves in Kyoto, Japan.

See the season of Autumn through various lenses.

 Halloween Musings

"Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
~William Shakespeare

Although this was not shot in October,
it is a fitting one for Halloween.
In November, the earth is growing quiet.
~Cynthia Rylant, In November

December Changes 

Inspirational Musings

Student Voices Capture Fall's Uniqueness

Photography Corner

Perhaps, you would like to create your own artistic expression for the following autumn scenes. (You can leave your thoughts in the comments' section below for viewers to read.)

It is my hope this gallery provides a sensory tribute to the season of autumn from its brilliant majesty during September and October to November's transition and finally to December's stark bareness. As you browse through the gallery be immersed in autumn's palette for some reflective moments during the busy holidaytime to read and reflect. 

Parting Thoughts:

"Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."
~William Cullen Bryant

I love how autumn eases in and then slips almost unnoticed out the door. 
~Laura Shovan

I extend thanks to all of the contributors for their personal perspectives that created a zen-like walk through nature's garden here at Autumn's Palette Gallery.

Please leave a response in the comment section to recognize the efforts of the gallery contributors. This gesture of community spirit is appreciated. 

You can visit the previous seven Reflect With Me Galleries
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
~William Shakespeare

It has been a pleasure to present the colors of Autumn through a poetic lens. Voice Matters!