Peace. Love. Vermont.

DSC_0456Nothing unfurrows my brow like a few days in Vermont.

DSC_0469 (2)We visit as often as we can.

Breathing feels easier.

DSC_0515 (3)Right about now the meadows fill to overflowing with daisies, black-eyed Susans, buttercups, and Indian paintbrush.

Vermont feels wide, wide open and all that green, green space makes me feel like whatever’s all tight and taunt inside me is unfurling – and free.

DSC_0513 (2)There’s a farm ’round every bend in the road and pastures full of horses, cows, and sheep.

In Vermont, it’s cool talk to all the animals, because … well, why not?

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DSC_0368 (6)Maybe there’s some sort of simplicity to be found here, a respite from other, more common complications and worries.

Or maybe it’s not the place, but me. Maybe it’s me who’s different here.

Could be. Might be. May be.

Maybe I change.

DSC_0333 (7)When I’m in Vermont I feel like my most true self. And something I can’t quite explain happens to me every single time I cross the border.

DSC_0526 (2)Vermont, I love you and I know you love me right back.

DSC_0518 (2)Peace. Love. Vermont.

 

go gently

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Go gently into Monday.

Smile first.

Be the better start to someone’s week than they anticipated.

Look for soft spots to land.

Live this moment – and only this moment – one by one by one.

Aware. Grateful. Calm.

First things first and save the rest.

Find a moment in your day to lift your face to the sun,

Or close your eyes and breathe.

Or both.

Savor life.

Step lightly.

Be the peace you wish to see in the world.

 

 

 

life lessons: begin again

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Life always feels more hopeful when I wake to sunshine.

It’s quiet, but for the birdsong, and I feel ready – to begin again.

Do you ever wonder about the commonalities of human thought? The feelings we share? The need for our self-actualization? I understand differences like culture, life experiences, and opportunities – but what I’m wondering today is: Do other people feel like I feel?

See the thing is, I want more for myself and from myself than I’m currently giving to myself. Mostly,  I want to learn to be as gentle and as kind to myself as I try to be to others.

Because lately I feel off track.  And when I lose my way – for what feels like the umpteenth time –  there’s a feeling of defeat or sense of failure, some internal yardstick I fall short of or inner voice droning on and on in the middle of a sleepless night about my misplaced priorities and the promises – to myself – I’ve made and broken.

Again. And again.

Ideas and inspirations I’ve never followed through with. Details I’ve forgotten. Friendships I’ve left unpursued. The dinners I’ve ordered out and cakes I baked from a box.

On the list are the omissions I’ve made. Things I should’ve said and didn’t. Things I said I wish I hadn’t. Emails I never answered. Some buyer’s remorse and how very much money I’ve spent on retail therapy. Calls I never made.

I remember – every morning – how I chose the night before to endlessly scroll Instagram instead of reading the book I’ve been waiting to read.

I think about the weight I haven’t lost. The pizza and wings I selected over a simple salad and grilled chicken. All those ounces and ounces of water I never drank.

And what I want to know is: Do we all hoist the yardstick? Do we all value what the voice has to say?

Because if we do, if we have this commonality about us, I want you to know: I’m learning not to listen.

And I’m learning to begin again.

Today.

Today the sun shines, the birds sing, and I’m ready.

Whatever goals you’ve let lapse. Whatever dreams you’ve forgotten. Whatever hopes you still hold in your heart.

Today … you can begin again.

 

 

today

About 14 hours will pass from the time I leave home this morning until I return much later tonight. And as I’m about to start walking the thousands of steps I’ll walk in this day, I find myself wondering how I’ll be changed by the time I return.

So much of life changes slowly, too slowly almost to recognize any change as it’s happening.  But I wonder if I focus on the noticing of the steps, minutes, and hours in this day, I’ll be able to observe more closely the subtleties of a life — my life.

Because sometimes, of course, life change is more dramatic, sudden, and infinitely more unpredictable. According to the Ecology Global Network, 210,000 people will be born in the 14 hours I’m away from home and 88,424 will die. Beginnings and endings. And every bit of living in beween.

In the 24 hour revolution of this single day, the earth journeys 1/365 of its way around the sun.

And we’re all along for the ride.

Day up to down, wake to sleep, we’ll live the day we’ve been given. We’ll speak, daydream, smile, share, hug, read, write  and maybe pray.

Hopefully, we’ll listen – maybe even more than we speak. The people in our lives have a lot to say.

We’ll worry, debate, and weigh our options. We’ll answer and ask questions. We’ll plan, opt-in or out, and make decisions.  We’ll talk, text, email, and call.

We’ll think. We all have a lot on our minds.

Some of the day’s 24 hours are scheduled. If we’re lucky, we choose how we spend the rest. We’ll eat, drink, sleep – some soundly, some restlessly. Maybe we’ll spend the day inside. Or out. We’ll exercise or not. Adventure or stay home.

Come what may, we’ll find our way.

The world’s out there waiting for me … and you, too. Ler’s walk out into it – arms wide open and willing to change and be changed.

One thing’s for sure: no other day in your life will be lived exactly like today.

country road

I reckon my feet know where they want me to go … walkin’ on a country road.

~James Taylor

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The smell of this Sunday’s stroll brought me back to childhood.

I lived two weeks a summer visiting family in northern New Hampshire, skinning my knees, chasing after fireflies, and plucking wildflowers from fields filled with long grasses and a whole bunch of bees.

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I could smell all those memories yesterday afternoon walking on a country road.

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We kept company with goats and turkeys, and we’re newly nodding acquaintances with an old Mack truck backed up into the woods.

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Country roads are like that.

You never know who or what you’ll meet along the way.

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Nothing fancy out there, probably, but the breathing’s easier and life feels just that much simpler.

It’s like finding a little bit of freedom.

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Because when you’re walkin’ on a country road, the distance may be long – but the pace is slow.

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And the burdens don’t feel quite so heavy.

 

walkabout

Spring’s here, summer’s coming, and I’m going walking.

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Every day, probably, but especially on Sunday.

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Each Sunday, I’m planning a walkabout. You know, a walking tour somewhere away and beyond the usual. Somewhere new and undiscovered – at least by me.

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And I’ll share it all here – with you. You’ll see everything I’ve seen along the way.

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Like a blogging picture postcard.

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Maybe a line or two? A note from one life traveler to another.

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P.S. I hope you write back.