Monday, September 01, 2014

September Rose...

There's something hauntingly sweet about watching a tea rosebush set out new buds even as summer's breath begins to hint at crisp days and frosty nights. These buds blossomed over the weekend (she probably felt it in the air that September was near). And, yet still she pours her energy into forming another new bud...and another...and another. All with no guarantee that these will ever get the chance to fully blossom.

She worries not that she's blooming so late in the season -- she just carries on fulfilling her destiny to share beauty and fragrance in her corner of the garden. As long as she is able and the weather permits.

Perhaps she teaches us a little carry on pouring our lives out for the pleasure and goodness of others, even when frosty days threaten to 'nip' us in the bud.
Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone ....

You are probably well aware of a poem cum song entitled The Last Rose of Summer. Penned in the early 1800's by Irish poet, Thomas Moore, and then set to an old Irish folk tune, it became an immediate success. It still remains one of those favourite pieces that vocal artists, new and old, enjoy singing and to which audiences love listening.

Here is English Soprano Laura Wright sharing her rendition of it -- this has to be my personal favourite.....

Wishing you a beautiful first day of September*´¨)
> ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
> (¸.·´ (¸.·´ * and a wonderful week ahead! *


Photo source:  (c) Brenda Leyland, 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Simply Sunday: Sunrise Glory

The Sky Painter, (c) Brenda Leyland 2014

 It was still dark outside when I got up and came into my office. Having had a good sleep, I was wide awake and wondering what to post this morning. Hubby's head was still buried deep in his pillow. Shhh...

As the minutes passed, I glanced out the window and caught a glimpse of something special happening in the clouds out west. Knowing it wasn't a sunset just yet, I realized Sky Painter was up to something special today. Pale pinkish hues stained the edges of the still dark clouds that stretched  across the skies from east to west.

Grabbing my camera, I ran out the front door. Oh my goodness........ Oh My God (in the most reverent and truest sense)..... Although this photo has caught some of the beauty, it barely does justice to what I saw Sky Painter creating right in front of my eyes. Talk about glimpses of heaven.

It says in the Psalms that the heavens declare the glory of God. I believe He is the True Originator of all the beauty that we see in our world and the universes beyond.... and this morning I feel so blessed to have eyes to see such exquisiteness first thing in the morning. I share it with you in the hopes you will find joy in it too.

Wishing you joy in your morning*´¨)
> ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
> (¸.·´ (¸.·´ * and a gentle kiss atop thy head! *
Brenda  xox

Friday, August 29, 2014

A New Look For Fall

Fresh new look for autumn, 2014

Today, suddenly, my hair was too long. And it looked like heck when I got up at 3 this morning to go to work at the local performing arts centre. Two days ago it was still okay, but this morning I knew it was time for an emergency phone call to my dear hairdresser. V-a-u-n, can you squeeze me in today? Vaun, being a true hair stylist from heaven, made room for me.

Never shall I forget the first time I walked into her shampoo shop many years ago. I'd seen her ad in the local paper -- been looking for a new stylist -- and I was drawn to her face instantly. I just had that knowing I would be easy and comfortable around her. That's important, isn't it, to feel peaceful with one's hairdresser. After all, you're both looking at your hair and face in the mirror when your hair is flat against your wet head, with that unflattering, silly dust cover around your shoulders, and you're sure hoping she's not saying in her head, not sure what we can do with this one, but we'll give it our best whirl.

Making an appointment with Vaun was one of those best decisions of my life. Lots of new, wonderful things came out of that little ad I saw. I had been off on sick leave at the time, my dear father had passed away a few weeks earlier, and my young nephew was battling his own cancer war at the time. So, you can imagine, I was battle-fatigued, missing my dad, spending time with my sister and her darling son at the hospital, worn to the core in my body and soul... I knew I looked it too.

Well, that dear woman gently folded me into her arms and heart when I walked in... just as if we were old friends. I don't know now for sure if she actually hugged me that first time, but I felt enveloped with a wide open welcome that was like a hug (and not oozy-smoozy).  She said, Come in, Beautiful, even though I knew I looked anything but. My torn heart lapped up her warmth and friendliness -- which by the way spills out on all her clients, I've seen it -- and I came away not only with a fresh new haircut, but with a new sense of  being alive and refreshed.

I've never forgotten it. We never know what kindnesses we bestow on people by walking in that royal law of love. And Vaun is one such woman. You can tell that all her clients love her. Because she makes us all feel beautiful... and special.  And she means it. I love her for that.

So there's the story... after my haircut, I stopped at the library for a coffee and a browse through the latest edition of Artful Blogging. I then pulled out the draft article that I was having trouble with at home on my computer, and sitting there surrounded by the atmosphere of creativity, the log jam broke... suddenly I knew how to finish it. I'd been tired earlier in the day, but I came away home and felt as if I'd had a nap. Even though I hadn't. It was a wonderful afternoon. And I'm grateful for these blessings that came my way today.

I hope you've had wonderful blessings come your way too. Sometimes they seem a little hard to find, but in my quest for living a beautiful life, I've come to realize they are everywhere, if I have the heart and eyes... and willingness... to see.

Sending you hugs and a bouquet*´¨)
> ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
> (¸.·´ (¸.·´ * of loving thoughts! *


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Sea Change

Claude Monet, Fisherman's Cottage on the Cliffs at Varengeville, 1882

"I go to the sea to breathe"

~ Maryanne Rademacher Hershey

I live in a landlocked spot in Canada.... far, far from any seashore... west coast or east. But I've been longing for the smell of salty air and the feeling of wind blowing on my face and hearing the call of seagulls as they swoop and glide on warm air currents. So, lately, when looking for suitable photos for blog posts, I'm drawn to water and seascapes where shades of blues and grays and greens give a feast for my sea-hungry eyes. And isn't that painting by Claude Monet such a feast?

Then when Christine from Vista Woman sent me the quote above by Maryanne Hershey, I realized, yes, ever since I was a girl it has been the sea and sand in my mind's eye that I would go to in order to 'breathe' and find peace of mind. For the glimpses of the ocean I'd had as a child when our family visited aunts and uncles and cousins -- who were so lucky to live on the west coast -- gave me a lifelong love of the sea... and, yes, the seagulls too. What is it about being by the ocean that refreshes, restores and rejuvenates?

Now I want to go to Victoria and watch the boats on the Pacific Ocean. I want to take a ferry to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. I want to take a voyage across the Atlantic (on the Queen Mary 2) and visit places like Cornwall, England. 

And maybe what I really would love is a day (or two) to sit on a perch like Monet must have done for this painting... to just sit and watch. Listen. Feel. Be quiet with my thoughts. Or have no thoughts. And as my soul quieted down from the buzz of life, I might start to notice, like the artist, how the colours shift and dance as the light changes. And by sitting here I might feel my soul, even my body, begin to shift and dance back into divine order. Maybe I would feel whole again. Less scattered. More able to go back to the up-side-down world, refreshed and able to sing through the storms, bless others with kindness, and bring little touches of heaven to my corner of the world.

Apparently Monet could sit in one spot for hours -- while his fellow artists ran here and there for the next best spot to paint -- to study the way the sun glinted off the water, how the colours deepened and softened, how the light changed as the day lengthened. Perhaps that's what made him such a brilliant painter of colour and light. He once said that it was on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way.

"I know that to paint the sea really well, you need to look at it every hour of every day in the same place so that you can understand its way in that particular spot; and that is why I am working on the same motifs over and over again, four or six times even." ~ Claude Monet

Through observation and reflection.... yes, that's when we discover things. That's also when we hear the tender breathings of our heart. Just to be in that place of stillness so that Someone Dear and Divine finally gets a word in edgewise, because we've stopped long enough to listen. The light starts to shine in the darkness and dull waters turn bright with jade-green and aquamarine and deep Prussian blue.
As I watch the early morning light shift into full scale daylight, here on my perch that is far, far away from any seashore, somehow I am transported. I smell the salty air. I feel the wind on my face... and hear the seagulls calling.

I begin to experience the sea change.  I can breathe again.

 Here's wishing you a*´¨)
> ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
> (¸.·´ (¸.·´ * a beautiful day! *