Category Archives: Beauty

To awaken our soul

Love’s Philosophy

Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley



Quote for Today

Originally posted on From Ch'kara's Grimoire:


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A Father’s Love: Dancing With Kenzie

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. ~ Tim Valvano
Beautiful, beautiful video. For those of you who may not realize, this cuts VERY close to home for me. May not be safe for work, if you cry easily!



Love of Self – Charlie Chaplin

chaplin. love of self

As I Began to Love Myself – Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in
my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude
a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since
I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING
is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this
connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born.Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!


Beauty ∞ Dead Can Dance

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

Sit back and relax for the next 6 minutes.  Enjoy the beauty of mesmerizing music and spectacular imagery perfectly synchronised for our elevation.  The song is “Yulunga”, by Australian ambient music group, Dead Can Dance.



That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone, that we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us to believe.  John Berger

There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes.  Remember that nature is your great restorer Calvin Coolidge


Freedom ∞ Inspiring Change – Gina’s Professions for PEACE

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. Mary Anne Radmacher

I am reposting this article from Gina’s Professions for PEACE with her kind permission. The optimism Gina displays in her two blogs is absolutely infectious and exactly what these serious times are crying out for. She believes in the power of one to make a difference, and so do I. Won’t you please join us in raising our voices together to become one enormous chorus calling out for a better way?

I AM Somebody

Uplifted by hard-working and far-reaching organizations such as Playing For Change and untold others from all over the world creating hope-filled expressions of love and peace, I get inspired to raise up my own voice. To sing out ‘this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine’.

I have been sharing this sentiment a lot lately because I need to hear it. I must remember how important every voice is, or I lose hope. I begin to feel disheartened that little ol’ me cannot make a difference. But that is not the truth. So I shake off that falseness, and I claim my rightful place in the choir. A choir of global peace-seekers and light-workers.

Every writer sharing their truth and their journey. Every poet capturing beauty and longing for more. Every photographer looking deeply at the world and endeavoring to share their view. Every musician who captures those elusive notes from within their heart. Every artist using color, cloth, metal, ink, clay, paint and more to share the beauty bursting out from within them. Every chef who creatively combines foods and flavors, bringing out depths and heights for our taste buds and joy. Every neighbor with a smile. Every volunteering pilot. Every caring teacher. Every kind clerk. Every friendly bus-driver. Every compassionate doctor. Every loving human. We are all essential to the choir.

Yes, I use metaphors. Yes, I am a self-taught writer throwing it all out there in neophyte abandon.  But I have a passion for peace, and I have an inner pull that insists I share. I have to sing out and add my voice to our choir of hope. I have to sing out about promise. About everything that IS working. Let us focus on the many ways that peace is occurring right now, and help it grow.

I recall Dr. Wayne Dyer in one of his motivational PBS programs, saying [slightly paraphrased] “Right now there are approximately 800,000 people at war. However if we take into account about 7 billion people live on our planet, that means there are 6 BILLION 999 MILLION 200 THOUSAND people who are living at peace. This is a HOPEFUL statistic!” He was urging us not to collapse into despair and hopelessness at the news and negative propaganda, and instead focus on the fact that most people are at peace.
I needed to hear that so I paused the recording and watched it over and over, writing it down. People want peace. We want to find solutions. We want to help those at war to work things out. We want to help raise all children in environments of love, shelter, food, safety and learning.

This post celebrates the fact that we may be only one but together we make an impact! As an anonymous writer observed, Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.” . As someone who lives in a northern clime I have seen the spectacular beauty of tiny snowflakes drifting down, landing on backlit glass to show off their intricate designs before melting. And I have also been snowed-in by blizzards and witnessed the power of those tiny snowflakes banding together. Let us all band together. Let us all remember that every voice makes a difference. Do what you can. Sing out and add your own voice to the choir.


A handful of pine-seed will cover mountains with the green majesty of a forest.  I too will set my face to the wind and throw my handful of seed on high.  ~Fiona MacLeod


Everybody can be great.  Because anybody can serve.  You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.  You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve… You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.  ~Helen Keller


I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. ~Helen Keller


Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.  ~Mother Teresa


I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.  ~Mother Teresa


He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” ~ Matthew 13:31-32 NIV


How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world. ~Anne Frank


It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.
~Sydney Smith


Devote your income and labor to others…

And your very flesh shall be a great poem.
~Walt Whitman


Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.  ~John Wooden


Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.  ~Henry David Thoreau


In giving you are throwing a bridge across the chasm of your solitude.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.  ~Kahlil Gibran


Growing ∞ Lilacs, Ladybugs, and Rainbows

Honest Winter, snow-clad, and with the frosted beard, I can welcome not uncordially; But that long deferment of the calendar’s promise, that weeping gloom of March and April, that bitter blast outraging the honour of May how often has it robbed me of heart and hope? George R. Gissing

I love how you can find written words which express just about any sentiment you are experiencing.  It is comforting somehow to know that my frustration, or sadness, or joy, has been felt by at least one other person in this life in a very like manner.  We have lived in our house now for 11 spring seasons, but I have never paid such impatient attention to the arrival of springtime events as I have this year.  It’s as though I have years of stored up spring fever waiting to burst free.

Being preoccupied with our daughter’s care for the last 10 years, I really can’t recall the approximate dates of previous spring flowerings of our lilacs.  This year, the blooms finally began to blossom only in the last couple of days.  May 28 seems very late to see lilacs beginning to flower, but I am celebrating them none the less. Our last frost alert for this year was only 2 days ago, which is about 13 days later than the average.  We have had a very long and cold spring which, as Mr. Gissing expresses above, has been very difficult to endure.  So with all due joy and celebration, I am posting a few photos of this year’s marvels of spring – spring blossoms, ladybugs, and rainbows.






                            One flew on her hat so we had to search for more friends to join the party.





Growing ∞ Spring Has Sprung! Finally, Dandelions!

Dandelion Oh, hardy flower, disdained as weed, Despised for head of feathery seed, Your unsung virtues rate a ballad, Choice roots for wine, crisp leaves for salad.  Betty Gay

Any little one recognizes the intrinsic beauty of the dandelion.  Once we grow up and become obsessed with our neat and tidy lawns, they become our enemy (unless we are a little more forgiving of their presence, thereby earning the enmity of our neighbours).  For me, one of the true markers of spring’s arrival is the little bouquet of dandelions gathered without fail, year after year, by my young children (25 years now, and counting).  Here is this year’s collection.

Guess the year the posies below were gathered?

Although I have known for some time how healthful the dandelion is (twice the nutritional benefits of spinach), I have neglected to take advantage of the yearly free spring harvest available right outside my door. I vow this year to be more courageous and get those dandelions off our lawn, and into our salads, and smoothies, and …?  Did you know that everypart of the dandelion can be eaten? Dr. Peter Gail from Doc Weed’s Doin’s has written a book devoted to the benefits of dandelions, The Dandelion Celebration: A Guide to Unexpected Cuisine, and has posted about making a dandelion root drink here.

I have had a recipe for dandelion blossom wine sitting in my recipe box for about 20 years, gifted to me from a friend, which I have yet to use and would love to try out, but I think that is a challenge I will have to put off for yet one more year.  Here is the recipe for those who may have a little more project time available than I.  It’s done old-school style, so it may take a bit of deciphering.

I would love to hear from anyone who tries out the recipe!


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