Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How did my kitchen get that lived in look? This picture shows the pre-Easter brunch prep. Working the four jobs the past few weeks...no its been months, my time in the kitchen and in the house shows. My lack of time shows. I have a lighter week this week with two of the four jobs off so getting time to bring my attention and some elbow grease to cleaning up my digs will feel great. We were able to power wash and paint the porch. I still need to paint part of porch to finish but having the floor and the stairs finished is a great start.

The thing that drives me crazy about doing these jobs is the steps of prep to get ready to do the job. Take the porch job as an example. Okay...so before I could paint the porch, it needed to be cleaned off of the furniture, plants and stray cat bed/food area. It needed to be power washed and swept as the leaves from the trees seemed to have a magnetic attraction to the floor. As I painted the floor, I realized that I need to trim the hedges near the stairs so that I can paint the front columns. When I trim the main bush, I might as well, do the other hedges because I have the clippers out. (I can really get carried away with the clippers, as I newly learned with the power washer...how cool.) Realizing that the bushes needed trimming, I remembered that we needed to get some manure and top soil in the garden and on the bare spots on the lawn. Getting grass seed to those bare spots in another job that needs to be done. I will need to rough up the soil with the new garden tool so that the grass seed will take. Now, we can start thinking of some plants: herbs, tomatoes, and coleus for Chris. It is so easy to scatter when doing jobs because each individual job has many sub-jobs that need to happen before the job even gets started. No wonder I am tired!!

So back to the kitchen....... I notice that the kitchen is a good barometer to what is going on for me. If I am messy, the kitchen looks it. When I feel clear and focus, the kitchen is usually neat and clean. Now for the rest of the house!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Answers

There are times when this seems like a great place to get the answers to all life's questions....or all the questions I have about my life. The purpose, the plan, my sacred contracts....all that good stuff. This picture makes me think of that place....the place to go to sort out all sorts of life's questions. There is something so strong in being by the ocean.....the connection between this world and everything else. I love that sense of being part of something much bigger than the every day mundane. I get the truest sense of that type of connection by the ocean.

Being by the water has always been a part of my life. Thinking through the issues going on in my life probably started when I was a kid. I remember sitting in the rowboat at the beach and thinking about what was going in my life. Family issues were usually at the forefront of those times in the rowboat. Later, going to the "big beach" with the big waves was a great treat. I also found a great sense of peace at the big beach. Deciding on my career and where I would start this career was another problem that I took to the beach one summer. Walking on the breakwater and watching the ferry arrive in the Old Harbor of Block Island, I knew that I would begin my teaching career close to home and not in the Virgin Islands, as I had hoped. A few months later, I used my time by the ocean in St. Thomas to come to terms with going by home rather than stay in what I thought was an impossible situation. I guess I am glad that I had the opportunity but I do think that was so impacted by that turn of events in my life. Later my time at the beach was to again come to terms with the end of a love. For a long time, being at the beach brought up such sadness. The ocean symbolized all the times by the beaches in Bermuda and all the fun I shared. Being at the beaches here brought up a deep sadness and it also brought up a deeper healing. In my early thirties, having beach days with my godchildren brought that wonderful sense of playfulness back to the beach. I found that sense of fun again at the beach and I will always be grateful to my godchildren for that.

I enjoy the beach now, but in a different way. I have learned how to apply sunscreen more often and to be near the bathrooms. I have learned how to wear my reading glasses under my sunglasses. (This is something I won't do with the godchildren). I have also learned to enjoy the time at the beach and let it be. Even though this all sounds mundane, I still know that the beach is a sacred place for me. When I get to the beach and allow myself to get quiet and connect, I listen. Not just to the sounds of the seagulls, the foghorns or the rolling waves, I listen to that all-knowing, all- loving voice.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Block Island: The Return

Block Island.... a place of reflection. I had not been to Block Island in over 15 years, I think. Last week we had a combination field trip/working meeting on Block Island. It felt great to see that piece of my past. The roads looked so familiar, yet, I could not find the guest house that I stayed in with Dot years and years ago. It was right on the side street by the ferry dock and it should have been there....but it wasn't. Some of the familiar buildings were spruced up over the years and others were showing the effects of their years.

Having someone visiting Block Island for the first time made our trip even more special. I think at one point she must have been on overload with all our side stories of this little place. Even with all the chatter, there was space in the day to enjoy the quiet, the calm and the beauty of this wonderful place. I still felt I had time to reflect as I looked out over Mohegan's Bluff. The enormity of the ocean is a great stabilizer, putting all the little stuff in perspective. Watching the waves crash over the rocks was actually comforting. The blues and greens of the water invited oohhhs and aaahhs from the group. Most of all there was a connection to it all that made the day so wonderful.

We got to visit a farm on Block Island with some wonderful animals. Even the animals seemed to know that they were in some special place. I loved Jane, our boss, describe the animals arriving at the farm and running into the pasture as if returning home from a long trip. I can totally relate to how they must have felt...I think a part of me felt that way too.