ALL ROADS LEAD TO SOMEWHERE…and that’s where I’ve been for the past month. After 28 days on the road; after crossing 11 states and 15 major rivers…a familiar road led me back home!
After nearly 3,600 miles, I can truly say each turn and each straightaway brought unexpected views and amazing vistas. Some were paths; some were dirt roads; some historic drives; some interstate highways; and some should not have even been where they were!
I believe even more now than before that there’s only one reason I venture down the pathways of life…and that is to find New Journeys on Old Roads.
Welcome back! I’ll begin posting stories, photos, trip routes and ramblings over the next few weeks. Follow along…let’s travel across this great country of ours. See part of America through my eyes!
What does it take to stand out in the crowd?
conviction of purpose
commitment to values
courage to own every decision
Sometimes it takes just one act of courage; sometimes it takes many occasions strung together through a lifetime.
Turn your uniqueness into the loudest voice among the crowd. Make the right choice for you. Stand strong through it all.
You’ll never regret an action based on your conviction.
But you might regret remaining silent.
Sometimes our fate resembles the fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom; but we hope it; we know it.
Johann Wolfgang van Goethe
In every winter’s heart, there is a quivering spring and behind the veil of night there is a smiling dawn.
If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.
click link below to hear musical version of Joyce Kilmer’s ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A TREE featuring Mario Lanza, recorded 1952
Printed Lyrics to Only God Can Make a Tree
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the sweet Earth’s flowing breast
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain
Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree
Joyce Kilmer (born as Alfred Joyce Kilmer; 6 December 1886 – 30 July 1918) was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled "Trees" (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914.
Winter sunshine is a little elusive. It hides part of the day and then rushes out to warm the barren trees just before the dark of night engulfs them again.
There are many people as cold and lonely as those leafless trees. What if you were the only person who had the answer for them? Is it possible you are the only one who can touch a broken heart or a saddened soul? That’s a huge gift to be entrusted to you.
My experience tells me if you begin your day with the belief that you may be able to touch a person’s heart, you will. If you have been chosen to be the person, for reasons unknown, there’s no way you can keep it to yourself. A heart full of joy and sunshine must be shared or given away.
It’s just impossible to out give love. There’s no replacement for the gift of a kind word to a troubled life. Just imagine…you have that gift within you.
Share it willingly and abundantly. You will be blessed beyond your imagination.
Have you been searching for a more peaceful existence? I was; and when I let go of my concerns about what people might say if I put my feelings on display, I found the best part of myself.
Revealing your inner thoughts on a public forum are sometimes frightening because you are opening yourself up for criticism. I know that to love and be loved, you must be available. Now I know to be accepted and accepting, I must make myself available, too.
If you are afraid of your emotions, your thoughts, or your opening up to others, there’s only a few answers for that.
- One is to be bold.
- Another is to be brave.
- Another is to know it’s your time.
- And, finally, believe you deserve the best life has to offer.
Love yourself. Then you can love others. Give them the best YOU you can give
Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.
I glanced at the calendar this morning. I don’t really need to do that to know what day is near. Each year I begin to feel it permeate my thoughts for weeks before. I need no calendar for that purpose
It’s been a few years since a friend of mine left this earth. Among my circle of family and friends, we have had time to experience life without that precious presence.…it doesn’t seem right…it doesn’t seem fair… it doesn’t make sense…
There’s not much of anything you can do about it when a person’s time is up. Obviously, you can mourn. You can stop living yourself. Or, you can decide to do your best to carry on. But you are not the keeper of time or extender of life. You have no input or vote on that.
But then you ask yourself:How am I going to get through this world without them?
You need an answer for that, so you dig into your psyche and you try to reach into your heart and you can find nothing that really explains why it happened and what you are supposed to do about it.
Then, with time, comes the answer. In a moment of clarity and perception you understand the simplicity of that answer.There’s nothing you can do about the fact it happened & most likely nothing you could have done to prevent it.
Your job is to continue on without them. Maybe you can make a memorial to them; perhaps continue a legacy they began; you can live your life…that’s all. The choices are few but it’s evident the only plan left for you is to honor the person with a permanent place in your thoughts allowing and not rejecting those thoughts. It’s not a bad thing to think about a person who is no longer breathing on this earth.
I’ve discovered one way to honor your loved one is to talk about that person. Think about that person. Tell your family about that person. Especially tell your children about that person. Share with someone else who knew them in a different way and you’ll have a new light shed on the person you loved. It’s OK to have all those feelings because you still love them. That doesn’t have to die–it can live on in you and those with whom you share your memories.
The only way I’ve been able to make it through such losses is to remember the good things, and time itself takes care of the bad things–they begin to move to the rear of your thoughts. Oh, sure, you can harbor them and hang on to them but to what end? That is no honor to your lost one.
When the thought of their absence is so real it hurts, that’s okay, too! Spend a moment in that thought…and then think about another time, another memory, another story. Perhaps a smile will cross your face or you might even laugh out loud at what seemed a silly thing back then. Allow yourself those beautiful and funny thoughts…that’s okay too.There are no rules, no guidebook, no right, no wrong. It never gets easier—it just gets different!
That’s what I’ve learned from experience. My hope for you is that you find people around you who allow you to talk about your loss and your feelings. I hope you have special memories that become more precious now that they have been entrusted to you to keep. That’s a big job…to keep the good of a person going. But you can do it—with love, hope, prayer, faith. Then trust in all the memories you have to become the stories for others and create that as the legacy for your loved one.
If you are reading this and you have lost a friend or loved one, I am sorry for your loss.May you find peace in the midst of your pain.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ If you need more help than you’ve been able to find, there are professional people for you. Look around your community for churches or organizations that offer counseling, or call your local hospital or contact your minister/rabbi/priest. For those related to a military member/veteran, contact your local Veteran's Affairs office or your military base commander/chaplain. Here are three organizations online where you can find help immediately.
I love the mornings–early before the world starts to make noise, before the cars taking people here and there drown out the sound of the birds singing their good morning song. There’s nothing like the new day to set out to do some good thing–to try to make the hours worth the living–to reach out to someone.
Although it’s always in my mind that I should do those things, how many days have I squandered just watching TV, sleeping late, thinking of myself and never accomplishing even one of the goals I know life expects and deserves of me.
Often it’s just a word of “hello“ or “how are you doing“ that can make the difference in someone’s lonely heart. And can you imagine if they are hurting and in pain and lonely what words like “have a good day“ or “you look lovely today“ could do for their spirit.
I’ve spent years rushing and being a part of the noise the world hears. There has been day upon day that I spent complaining or gossiping or thinking bad things about others, and that wasted my energy and left me with nothing accomplished. When do we finally learn that those things are worthless if we have not accomplished anything during those hours between rising and retiring at the end of another exhaustive day?
I think it’s now! For me, I am finding such peace and joy in the day that begins early listening to the birds sing their arias and the quietness of the world around me strengthening my soul.Johann Wolfgang van Goeth said:
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words.
Shall we join together to make our days worth the living and be worthy of the next day that comes our way–if it is to be.
Make each day you are given be worth the living.
LOVE as though you have never been hurt before,
SING as though no one can hear you,
LIVE as though heaven is on earth. —Souza
______________________________________________________The story below came to me via an e-mail friend. I couldn’t let the heart of the story pass without sharing it with you. An old woman wrote this letter to her friend. The last line says it all!
I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.
I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.
“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.
I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.
I’m guessing–I’ll never know.
It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special.
truly is a gift from God.
Take a few minutes to share this with a few people you care about, just to let them know that you’re thinking of them.
Life may not be the party we hoped for,
Click to listen to the touching song “The Dance” by Garth Brooks