IV

Menelya ~ Wednesday

'Tis a day of fog and misty rain. Mountain tops are shrouded in clouds and mystery. The very air is moisture laden and also a bit chilly. All is still gray and glossy with fallen rain. Any color jumps out from the gray environment and adds constant surprise. It is a time of transition. Winter is doing its best to hang on and spring is peeking around the curtain, ready to fulfill its destiny. Folks everywhere are wearing smiles and heavy winter coats have been relegated to the back of coat closets.

After several months of dry winter weather, the moisture feels very good. Usually, rain and mist is with us until June. After the first of July, the air turns dry (again) and hot. But evenings are warm and delightful. Mornings are crisp and full of the early pink light of a new day. In my northern mountain valley, most folks come alive and relish in those warm summer days. Truly, they seem to go on forever and life becomes very simple.

playful Bonnie

According to our new kitty, Bonnie, simple is best. After taking much time to purchase all manner of toys, she has decided that paper wads and tinfoil balls are the best of play things. She turns her back on all the colorful shapes of different toys and literally attacks her paper wads. A slightly unrolled piece of brown paper is great entertainment. Anything that makes noise is fair game. However, her favorite game of all is to stalk me. When I catch her eye and then quickly duck around a corner or piece of furniture, with big eyes, she drops her head and becomes very still. As I slowly raise my head and take a peek, down go the tips of her ears. If I hold very still, she slowly sneaks up to me and jumps, patting my cheek with her paw. Of course, I make a big deal of it and break out laughing. Then, off she goes to hide behind something else and the game starts all over again. Even though I am the bigger of the two of us, I usually tire first. However, it really is quite humorous.

In this troubled world, perhaps a simple game of hide and seek is a good prescription for happiness. It does produce a healthy dose of laughter and from what I’m told, that truly is the best medicine.

May you laugh and act silly ~ Tasarwen

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III

Anarya ~ Sunday

A gentle valley surrounded by mountains frosted with snow from top to bottom, a brilliant blue sky with just the hint of wispy clouds, and the shadows of tree lace casting delicate line-work across sidewalks; these are the wonders experienced during one of my first bike rides of this year. The feeling of freedom is intoxicating. After a long and dark winter restricted by icy sidewalks and cold winds, the freshness of crisp early spring air brings a bouncy spirit and a happy heart. Just being out-of-doors expands my thoughts and my mind jets off into the distant horizon, flushing out silly introspection. My world has been enlarged and my horizons have moved off into infinity.

There have been many times when I have been troubled. Quickly, I step outside at night and looking up, witness stars going on forever. My world is snapped into perspective. With a sigh I realize that everything I am involved in is very small in comparison to the universe. It never fails to make me realize that the troubles of my life are not so very troublesome after all.

The addition of arborvitae around our patio has created the feeling of living at the edge of a forest. The pergola overhead has provided a dabbled shade and just inside, I am enchanted with the light. It is a wonderful feeling to have created the ambiance of a forest by such simple means. Of course, I am feeling impatient and would like for the arborvitae to expand and to grow taller. Being cocooned by a wall of green is a delight and during the long months of winter, it will provide a pleasant diversion. Best of all, it shields us from the prying eyes of neighbors and the birds can cavort endlessly within the lushness of the bushes.

Along with the evergreens, we also planted a crab apple tree. Most folks care not for the fruit of a crab and I would never dare to plant one near a sidewalk or driveway for applesauce would be quickly produced. However, as a result of planting one in a yard, the fruit can be used to make crab apple jelly or compost for the garden. Our little tree is an old fashioned crab and already has a beautiful shape.

Our yard is very tiny, but by scaling all projects down, a magical environment is being created. I love the thought of taking several years to layer one project over another, thus creating a lushness and beauty that belies the yard’s size, therefore proving that loveliness has nothing to do with largeness. Such it can be with a simple life. Beauty is not necessarily the portrayer of greatness. It can drift in with quiet wings and be most unobtrusive. But beautiful it is, even in a tiny size.

May you see loveliness in the smallest of things ~ Tasarwen

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II

Valanya ~ Friday

Rarely do I succumb to a day of rest. However, this morning I decided that it was wise to do so. Allergies have taken me prisoner. There is nothing alive outside to give off pollen at this time of the year, but when the snow withdraws from streets that have been sanded, dust is pervasive. Consequently, I have been attacked. Soon the streets will be cleaned and spring rains will wash away winter’s debris, but for the moment I have decided to stay quiet for part of the day.

winter lace

Beautiful blue skies have blessed us and make for a lovely backdrop to tree lace that has yet to fill out with green raiment. Every branch and twig is swelling with new life and the transformation is exciting to watch. One day, very soon, color will burst out everywhere. Very quietly, near the soil, bulbs that I planted last fall are beginning to creep out of their sleepy dens. Little points of life are poking up, creating a spiky look to my garden. Those tiny moments of pleasure, give me such happiness.

While talking to a very wealthy family member last week, I mentioned how blessed I feel that my basic needs are fulfilled, such as good food to eat and the means to pay for the heat that keeps our cottage warm and snug. Immediately, he shot back that I was only “existing”. I have not one kind person in my immediate family so this rude retort did not surprise me. However, he is wrong. Being so thankful for the most basic of needs being met is most important. Considering that I appreciate the smallest of things, I am wealthy beyond belief. Blessings surround me. Just the act of always being on the lookout for these tiny jewels, keeps me busy. Great material wealth and the lust for it can certainly blind a person. They are missing out on one of the most delightful occupations of living. Looking for blessings (small though they may be) is always a joy.

When talking with family members who have great wealth, I am always struck how unhappy they are. They are always concerned with money and things. They are also concerned with what others may think. To me, it is a type of bondage. How free it is to fly below the radar and go quietly along, hardly leaving a footprint or an unkind word. It is the mark of a quiet and tender spirit. Me thinks courtesy and fine manners are worth much more than gold.

However, I do admit, it hurts when a family member says these things to me. I am but a simpleton to all of them. They have not a clue as to the depth of my character. They do not know me. To be totally accepted is something I have never been, by any family member.

There is a great possibility that this could be a very sad thing, however I am so blessed that I smoothly travel along a path that is quiet and simple. It is the path of true contentment, no matter what the circumstances may be. It is a good path to be traveling along. Bliss is my companion.

May you never miss the small things ~ Tasarwen

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I

Menelya ~ Wednesday

mountain sunrise

Very early this morning, I was awakened by the purring of Bonnie. For that is the way of baby kitties. Every baby kitty I have lived with has been an early riser. As I lay cocooned within my pile of quilts and blankets, the peace of an early morning slid over me. The pre-dawn sky was the color of dark blue ink, promising a new day. Very dark it was, as I crept back up my stairs, holding tightly to my warm cup of coffee. Slowly and silently, the indigo blue transformed into a lighter shade of blue. Thick clouds have spread across the horizon, separating mountaintops from rooftops. The quietness is lovely.

As I strolled around our small yard a few days ago, there was a balminess in the air. Snow is beginning to melt and grass is just starting to show itself. Shrubs are still shaped like bunches of brown lace, but not for long. Winter has been laughing at us by dumping wet and heavy snow, mostly at night, but by mid-day it has melted. It is a time of being one way for a few hours and then teetering back to another way soon after.

Winter has given me the time of rest and idea producing thoughts I have needed. Now, I find myself at the “starting gate” waiting with baited breath for that first warm day. I am most happy thinking about planting large evergreens around our patio. The patio is covered with a pergola and I have lovely ideas of spending time out there under a candle chandelier in the evenings and sipping coffee early in the mornings. Quite a while ago, I purchased a wrought iron table with little chairs covered in roses, just for a special spot in the corner of the patio. My mind drifts off toward images of all my large containers, filled with flowers that spill over their edges.

We have plans to place a picket fence around part of the yard, including the vegetable garden. Along with the fence will also come an arbor. I have given it much thought as to what I should plant over the arbor. I think it is a common dream to have roses over an arbor, but I am thinking of other vine-like plants as well. As romantic it is to stroll under a rose covered arbor, luxuriating in the fragrance of rose petals drifting down upon ones head, pruning climbing roses is a very brave undertaking. Those thorn covered canes defy haircuts. I have discovered a new (to me) nursery in my little town and they have informed me that they have many exciting ideas about different vines.

The doldrums of winter are beginning to drop slowly away and the fragrance of a new season is in the air. Each year, I am always surprised at that first burst of energy that comes with the first promise of warmer days. It is time to take advantage of this positive energy and move forward to a time of enjoying my various projects, instead of merely thinking about them. A spirit of happiness has spread over me. I am in a good place.

May you be inspired by change....of anything ~ Tasarwen

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