Thankfulness, Day 22

Yesterday I left you all, and myself, with the thought that the sun will rise again. Normally, the husband and I wake up with the sun. Its rays come into our room and we are greeted by it. As I sit here and work on some homework and what nots, I’m looking out the window to our balcony and watching the clouds. Today is the kind of clear that makes everything seem so crisp. The clouds are huge cotton candy, the sky itself is the blue you read about. There are pockets of sunshine which dance on the puddles from the rain last night. 

  At night, even though I live in the city and it’s hard to see, I know there are millions and billions of stars. Planets gleaming down at me, comets, asterods and space debris. The blackened sky is velvet, the way I always knew it would be. The moon is up there too, a disc of bright hope, drawing everyone in waves. The clouds disappear gradually so that you really feel like if you try hard enough, you could see all the way to the edge of the universe.

  Isn’t that one of the first things you imagine? Being up there, amongst the ancestors and balls of gas? What’s out there? Are we alone? And so you begin to plan a way to find out.

Today, I am thankful for dreams. Not necessarily the kind you have in REM, but the kind that allows your imagination to run freely. The kind you get in trouble for having while you’re supposed to be focused on the task at hand. The kind that gives you fuel when you’ve forgotten why it is you struggle through the day. You give yourself into them, and you find yourself remembering the way you used to feel when your dreams were simple.

It’s easy to look at the past with rose colored glasses. To see what you had when you had it and wish you had it back. But the thing is, what you have now, what I have now, is what I was working for then. I didn’t know how hard it would be, I didn’t know what struggles were waiting for me. I didn’t know what great moments I would have. But I know that one day I will look back on the now, smile and shake my head. I can’t see all the messages and signs that the good things and bad things are teaching me. I can’t see where I’m going, I don’t have all the answers. But I know that I have new dreams and they will take me where I need to go. Until then, I just need to work hard and remember the value of dreams.

  

Thankfulness, Day 21

It’s taken me all day to think up a post for today. I feel like I’ve done a lot of great topics already. Did I cover everything? Certainly not. Am I done being thankful? No. And as seems to be my style, a story would benefit.

I can name a dozen ways to explain why I am the way I am. Sagittarian. First born. Cat person. Daughter of the eclipsing moon. INFP. Born-again pagan. College student. Vegetarian. Wife. 

All of those things affect a certain portion of who I am, but it isn’t an entire picture.

Who I am is a legion of people, all crammed inside one body. I am the one who fulfills duties, fulfills roles set out because of the choices that I have made (daughter, wife, sister). I am the one who devoted my life to learning. I am the one who chooses not to eat meat. I am the one who desires the company of a select few in place of being part of the popular crowd (maybe I am a cat). I am the one who looks within, observes more than judges and is left with more questions than answers. One who is born under an eclipse is more likely to be one who is driven by passion and consumed by it (A binary). I am the one who is many.
  Part of the reason I’m having so much trouble finding things to write about is because it is the end of the semester and I just can’t. I know that there is much stress, but it’s more than that. I’m not saying this because I want a bunch of people to reach out and say “You’ve got this.” I’m writing it because I promised to always tell the truth. And to tell only part of the truth is telling a lie. 

I can never tell the full story of my life, because it is not over. I wake up each day a new person, someone I was not the day before. Because I keep fighting to make myself better. And therefore, I am different each day. Not necessarily better or worse. Just different. But the thing is, it’s exceptionally easy to just get caught in the moment, in the same rut that consumes me each time and have to stop. It’s like making your way through the desert because you need to get out, but coming back to the same oasis because you can’t seem to find your way.

I feel like a burden. Like I ask for help more than I am able to give it. I make up for that in my mannerisms or at least I try to. But at the end of the day, my attempts take quite a bit out of me and I am reduced to being the same girl I was in high school: insecure, broken. Last night, I kept my very accepting husband up for a while because I had conviced myself that I wasn’t pulling my weight in our marriage. I was reduced to tears, wondering why it fell to me to be the one who had so many opportunities and advantages, but to be unable to use them.

I am smart. I am confident. I am succeeding in life (as much as I can, anyway). But not one single ounce of that mattered. My life became defined by a series of counter-facts: I am worthless. I am stupid. I am never going to succeed. And it’s a trend that I always feel coming, like a black cloud hanging low. Sometimes I forget words, or replace them with the wrong ones (yesterday I replaced “crutches” with “stilts” and couldn’t remember the word “sandwich”). Sometimes I just go blank-like a robot without emotions. And sometimes it’s like my entire life has been a lie and if I was happy-it surely must have been all pretend. I couldn’t understand why someone with dreams, goals and aspirations could be broken into someone without hope, happiness or inspiration. In the grand scheme of things, surely it wasn’t fair.

And that is what I focused on today. I’m not thankful for the hard times. To be that way would be ridiculous. No one wakes up and says “Oh thank goodness today is a really shitty day. I’ve had far too many good ones.” Instead, I am thankful for small things. A warm cup of coffee with chocolate chip cookie dough creamer. Rain hitting the window. It’s hard for someone like me, with so many binaries (like being introverted, but wanting to make friends/wanting to feel everything deeply, but not wanting to be consumed by feelings) to not get overwhelmed by days like yesterday. But in the end, I have to remember that there is only one truth that doesn’t ever change.

                                  The sun will rise again.

  That quote may be my tattoo quote, with an entire portion of skin dedicated to the most serene sunrise a tattoo artist can make, but we’ll see. The point is, I’m not thankful for bad days, hard days, or even the days which never end and suck you into a thick black depression. I hate those days. But what I am thankful for is the dawn. I am thankful that all things come to an end. And I am thankful that I am there to see the sun rise once more. 

Thankfulness, Day 20

More and more I find it hard to be an extended conversationalist. I write better than I speak some days and when I am at a loss for words, it is truly an off day for me. However, for the first time in far too long, I had a friend date today and I found myself stagnating in coversation. It was by no means anything she did. It was simply that I was so in awe of how amazing the friends I have are. And so, it is for her that this post is dedicated today. I may have taken over the conversation at some point, and I am eternally grateful for your unfailing listening abilities.

I am thankful for closed doors. 

Our generation is one that is afraid to make a commitment, to say “no” because that could mean an opportunity lost. Opportunities come infrequently for 20-something college kids and so we keep all feelers out, just in case. But there are benefits to being able to decide and take a stand. When you close a door, you are devoting yorself to the possibility of something better. You are taking the chance that you trust yourself and your decisions enough to make a change. And what is even better is that you’re approving your confidence. 

Not making a choice is making a choice. When you remain neutral, doors will close around you. And those are the worst kinds of closed doors-the missed opportunities. Wouldn’t you much rather have made decisions to stand by (even if they were wrong) than never know if you made a large mistake by not making the mistake? So yes, I most definitely am thankful for closed doors. 

But I’m also thankful for open ones. For example, it was a very large struggle for me to get out of bed this morning. It was warm, comfortable and my bed doesn’t care if I want to be in pajamas all day. But I knew that if I just got out of bed, I would get to enjoy time with my oldest friendship. And I took that chance. I had someone listen to my problems, and I listened. I was introduced to what is now my favorite coffee spot in Columbus and I walked 2 miles today. The thing is, I was scared. I was going somewhere new, somewhere I had never been in order to have our friend date. It would have only been too easy to blow today off and apologize with some lame excuse. But my heart needed a friend and in the end, I gained a great deal today. 

I talked to my friend (it was more like “fellowshipped” but po-tay-to, po-tah-to), found a great coffee shop (where the coffees are delicious, cheap, and named after authors-I had a Jane Austen and the guy made hearts in everyone’s coffee!!!) and faced my fears. All in all, very successful. Because I closed the door on my excuses and opened the one to my possibilities. My heart is full, my day was fantastic.

  

Thankfulness, Day 19

Nineteen is my favorite number. And although there are loads of things which are my favorite, I thought today’s post should be something special. So here goes.

Cool, crisp flowing sweetly

The hum of nature’s course

No one could ever deny the power

Of the unending force.

Maybe I should have done something a little more awesome. Like just come out and yell I FREAKING LOVE WATER.

But then again, maybe that doesn’t quite get it right either.

So today’s post is about water. There’s a quote (not sure who by) that goes something like “All things can be healed with salt water: sweat, tears or the ocean.” I love this quote, because for me, it is the most basic truth. Water is a force to be reckoned with, but it’s also the calmest of calms. It’s transformative and stationary. And water is magickal. As always, I have a story.

Once upon a time, I went to North Myrtle Beach. It was rainy the entire time, but that wasn’t so bad. From the parking garage, I could smell the salt water. It was something I had never before experienced. But my time was only just beginning. The first day we (myself and the group) went out to the ocean’s edge and I took a deep breath before removing my shoes and bolting for the water. It was freezing. But as the human body is a marvel, I acclimated and began to swim. I have a loose interpretation of swimming, as I didn’t go far-maybe 30ft.

It was the second day, when I woke up to see the sun, which led me to the most spiritual experience of my life. It’s my favorite story of all times. It was rainy, the waves were huge and not many people were out. I went (with a buddy) out in to the water, and just let myself drift. I went until I was nearly as far out as the boats and just stopped. My feet could not touch the bottom, the current was moving all around me and I have absolutely no idea how to swim (apart from keeping my head above water). I stopped and just began to breathe. Words cannot describe how it felt to be part of that moment. I sent out a prayer to the universe and just existed. My internal hum matched the roar of the waves and my heart thudded with each crash. I looked at the sky, smelled the salt and reached the closest thing to unadulterated bliss I may ever know. I looked back at the shore and couldn’t see the way people looked at the sea, or the way their hair was done or hear what they were saying. I was so far out that it felt like it was just the ocean and I. In that moment, I understood what life meant, and it really just wasn’t any more complicated than being alive. (Very zen, I know.) It sounds really crazy, but it’s exactly what I thought being religious would feel like. You know, the people always say they felt enraptured and convicted and moved? That’s only eclipsing how I felt in that moment. I went to sleep that night and the sound of the waves filled my ears and as I focused on my breathing, it was like the ocean was inside me too. 

Anyway, the story is much better in person. My point is that I never knew how powerful water could be until I was there, in that moment. And I am surrounded by water all day. Water bottles, water fountains, dishwater, toilet water, all kinds of things. But do I even appreciate it?

I started to after that moment. How many people do not have access to clean water? What kinds of trials do they face? How much water is wasted? How are we at 2015 and there are still people who have to choose between drinking water and taking a bath? I’m sorry the world has let you down. It’s time to rise up. Everyone deserves clean water. Everyone.

  

Thankfulness, Day 18

I’m not sure if I’ve done this topic, but you know what? If I have-there was a good reason. And since I’m going for it now, there’s adefinitely good reason.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Not the TV show, the real life people.

I consider myself to have a limited selection of friends, not because I’m picky or high maintanence, but because those are the people I trust. I’m friend-ly to everyone, but I reserve that title for those who truly mean it. And right now, as the time would have it-I have 3. That isn’t to say I have abandoned all the others, but right now, my life is blessed with those three and it will come a time when the number increases.

I was the weird geeky outsider who managed to retain some popularity as a high schooler. Not entirely sure how that works, but I think it had something to do with me being nice to people. Everyone knew I would help unless I needed time for myself, which I tried not to take often (except as a freshman. But you all know that story.) Still, by the time I started college, I had really only a couple friends left. I would say after graduation I went from 5 or 6 down to 2 or 3. And when college started, that number went up to 7 or 8. But now, I have three-one that I met in college, one that I didn’t really talk to until after college started but I’d known her since high school  and one that I’ve known for practically our whole lives.

The thing is, that length of time really doesn’t change all that much with friends. It’s about who they are as people. I may not see them all the time, or hang out every week, but if a text arrives, I shall answer it. If a phone call comes in, I shall do my best to remember where I put my phone before it goes to voicemail. My friends know I’m always down for coffee and wine (but I never D+D). I love heart to heart, meaningful conversations-sometimes lasting until bizarrely odd hours of the night.

They are the people I tell things to, that  complain to, that I listen to. They are the people (apart from my husband and family) that give my life meaning. And the thing is, we’re not all carbon copies of each other. I don’t want them to feel exceptionally put out there, so I’m going to call them A, B, and C. And I’ll pop in a little synopsis of me just for focus.

Me: I like coffee (a lot). I am an anthropology major with my eye on international affairs. I lived in a very small town with dirt roads and I used to work fast food.

A: Known since college started: In a love/hate relationship coffee, is dating a guy I helped set her up with, majored in history with an interest in law. Lives in a small town and has worked food for a little while.

B: Known since HS, met in college: Lives on coffee, is married with an ADORABLE little girl, works for Dave and Buster’s, really great artist.

C: Known FOREVER: Committed relationship with coffee, very devout Catholic, nursing major, lived in a small town and used to work in food.

Now you wanna know what’s crazy about all this? Even though we all met at different times, we all live within a half an hour of each other (or at least we did before 2 of us moved). Three of us went to the same high school, I took driver’s ed with C and only two of us frequent “curse words” as common vernacular. Interesting that we all could have known each other at various points in our lives, but it was at those particular moments that we met and stayed. And I am beyond blessed to have the three of them, who understand my level of crazy and have no problems adding in their own. Honestly, I would be lost without them. 

Thankfulness, Day 17

Where does the time go? We’re already almost done with the month, which means almost the end of the year (and the birthday of my husband and I). Today, I’m going ot come right out and say it: I’m thankful for stories.

I’m a sucker for a well-crafted story. I will stay up all night reading, I’ve been so in love with books that I’ll forget to eat, take them with me to use the rest room and all manner of devotions. But the thing I love about them most, is the way they stick with me.

Romeo and Juliet. Pride and Prejudice. Warm Bodies. Twilight. The Vampire Diaries. Sherlock. iZombie. Cinder. A Game of Thrones. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. F-R-I-E-N-D-S. 

I can tell you how each of these impacted my life, my outlook in some way or another and this is only the stuff I came up with in the first thirty seconds of thinking. Because I can come up with loads more. I promise.

A good story makes you remember what it’s like to be yourself while being someone else. A good story makes you forget yourself in order to be someone else. A good story makes you feel emotions that aren’t yours, recall details from the past which may or may not be “real” and makes you connect. But it is a great story that makes you do all those things while getting you to forget that all of that is found in the pages of a book.

Reading transforms you. You are no longer hunched in a chair, sipping on coffee. You aren’t even turning the pages. You’re witnessing heroic feats from the back of dragons, taking refreshment at an exclusive estate. You’re a willing participant in the greatest theater of all: your own mind. Because in the end, opening a great book is something that sticks with you. It makes you read just one more chapter even though you needed to get to sleep hours ago. 

And if I’m going on and on about books, why did I include TV shows and adaptations?

Because those have the possibility to alter your reality too. A great movie/TV show knows when to harbor secrets and when to pull out all the stops. A great movie/show will get you hooked with one liners and insider jokes. A great movie/show will cause you to forget that you have things to do, because you get to find out what happened to the characters at the end of the next episode (unless you’re waiting to find out what happened to Glenn, and then you’ll probably need to bathe and eat because it’s going to take a while). A great movie/ show will lead you to fall in love with that one character, and even though you know it’s a fictional character, if you ever met them in real life, they’d be your soul-mate, for sure. And just as you think you’ve seen it all, you watch that scene. You know, that scene and your world crashes down around you. You don’t understand how it is that anything will ever be the same and you think you might just have to give up watching it because it wouldn’t be right. But you come back anyway, because you just have to know what happens next.

And as the credits roll, the last paragraph on the last page comes to an end, it’s like saying goodbye. You know that you could alwyas go back to the beginning, but you know too much, you already know what’s going to happen. But you can’t live without the thrill of a good read/show/movie and you start over. You notice things that you didn’t before. Things that make you scream out SO THAT’S WHAT THAT WAS. And it’s like living the moments for the first time all over again.

It is those shows/books/movies that I refer to today. And I am fairly certain that without them, the world would be a much lonelier, boring place.

Thankfulness, Day 16

Today I am thankful. That’s what I set out to do, afterall. I wanted to change my attitude about the way I saw the world, just as I vow to do every year. And whether I’m thankful for abstract concepts or things which are very much concrete, I try to keep those ideals in my head, remembering the reasons why I’m thankful for them in the first place. Today, I could not find a concrete thing, so I went for the abstract. But before I get to what it is exactly, I think I want to share a story.

When I was a child and the all powerful “they” asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was a coroner. I was reprimanded for that answer, and was told that being a doctor was something I should want to focus on instead. I was five.

When I was in elementary school, I told people that I could heal them with leaves and would go around placing frsh picked leaves on any scrapes and injuries there were. I was then informed about germs and germ theory, and how there were things in motion about the way the body healed itself that I didn’t understand. I was 9. 

When I was in middle school, I thought I wanted to play volleyball. Although the season was tough, I lasted through it. I even become a valued player. I was told that quitters will never succeed and that even if I was completely miserable, I was not supposed to give up. I was supposed to suffer through it. (This advice did NOT come from my parents, but rather from the mother of another player.) I was 13.

When I was in high school, I assumed I could change the world and save everyone in it. I lost countless hours of sleep, cried with other people, uplifted spirits who were torn to shreds. It is then that I learned that if you really want to help someone, they have to want to hep themselves. I had been a pawn in the lives of people who soon forgot about my efforts, even though I never forgot about them. I was 15.

When I went to college, I thought it would be just like high school-something I could easily succeed at if I just paid attention. How wrong I again was. College broke through my assumptions an pinned me to the wall, beating me for my metaphorical lunch money. It was then that I learned that sometimes I will just know nothing. I was 18.

When I got married, I thought it would be just like dating, only my private life would become, you know-private. But it was then that I learned the true power of gossip. I was 21.

I’ve never fit into the mold neatly, or even altogether willingly. I’ve been too much of some things and not enough of others. People have used me as a way to see their own ends, just as I have done so to others. I have been to the depths of my soul, broken down by the hurtful words of bullies, who didn’t understand that the number on the scale, or the one which represented my bank account were not the things which defined me as a person. I have heard the hateful words of wellwishers, pushing me down paths that were more acceptable because it wasn’t right for “someone so gifted to be so morbid”. I have heard the lessons, felt the sting and have risen from my past, more alive than before.

Today, I am thankful that I was never quite right. I was always too much, or not enough. My heart came too big, just like my waistline and my bank account was never full enough. That I spent too much time hearing the cries of others and not enough time quelling slander directed at tearing me down. Am I perfect? Hardly! Am I bulletproof? Not a chance! I’m not a robot and words do hurt. But what I am is myself, and in then end, all that happened simply led me to be who I wanted to be-for all the exactly right reasons.   

  

Thankfulness, Day 15

I’m having such a hard time focusing on what I’m thankful for with concern reaching out for Paris and Lebanon and the victims of the earthquakes, as well as the funeral bombing in Baghdad. It hurts my heart, just as Ferguson did. It took me a good long while to decide what to even write today, as everything just seemed superficial in comparison. And what I inevitably came back to was compassion, empathy and unity.

  (I love this photo!)

Those words sound a lot like the script from V for Vendetta, and although I’ve made a post about Guy Fawkes, there are loads of life lessons that can be learned from those stories. Here is V’s introduction:

But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona. Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.

Although I love his aliteration, the eloquence is somewhat lost on our generation. So allow me to explain: 

“On this luckiest night, allow me, in place of common name, give a fittingly dramatic pseudonym. A theatrical veteran, chosen as both the victim and villain by the circumstance of fate. This personality, not simply vanity, is an outfit of the “members of the public” now long gone. However, this heroic instance of a long gone struggle stands alive, promising to destroy these bribed and deadly rats, holding vice and protecting the violently vicious and adamant violation of free choice. The only option is vengeance; a blood feud, held as a memorial candle notin vain, for the value and strength of it shall one day clear the steadfast and virtuous of blame. Truly, this soup of words teeters on being too wordy, so let me simply add that it is my very good honour to meet you, and you may call me V.”

I LOVE this introduction. Why? Because it breathes of the hope for a new world-a unified one. One where corruption and terrorism is no longer a thing, but where those who are just and virtuous will regain power and those who are corrupt will be no longer in power. And that’s what we need now. We need peaceful individuals to rise up, creating a unified world where hope, honor and empathy are the currencies, and hate terror and corruption are reduced to nothing. 

  So I guess, today I am thankful for people who agree to try to use love and peace as glue for our world. We are one world, not many countries. We are one human species, not several races (which do not exist). We are united, not split by anger and hatred. And I am thankful for people who also believe that. 

Thankfulness, The 14th Edition

Where to begin. I’ve been typing these blogs for two weeks now and I wanted this one to be about my new job and my life direction. And then yesterday happened. And now, I find myself at a need to say something about all of the above. So while I will get to the thankful part (the ability to make a difference), I must give a little bit of background first.

Yesterday, although I didn’t have class, I got up early, got dressed (complete with my hand-ornament cup of coffee) and prepared myself for an interview. I had confidence, but you know how those things are practically designed to induce fear regardless. (On a sidenote, I’d like to do a blog on the whole process, as I have sat on both the interviewee and the intrviewer side of the table and I think it’s important for people to know what happens.) So, on Friday the 13th, a lucky day for people like me, I walked into my interview and got the job! I am now the Graduate Studies Administrative Assistant for the Department of Anthropology. I work right under the grad program coordinator and she’s the nicest person I may have ever met. Anyway, so the job is mine!

Right after my interview, I went to see a most trusted professor. I’ve been really rethinking my life A LOT and I needed someone who has “been there, done that” to tell me what I needed to hear. So while I’ve been floating down a path of anthropology, I never really felt like I had one path in particular to belong to. I started as a bio student, switched to anth and couldn’t decide between physical or cultural. When I floated to the cultural side, I wanted to study the occult, religion and mythology. more specifically, the etiology of those things. But no one in academia is nearly as interested in those things as I am and I knew I would never get a job doing what I am most passionate about. So I put a spin on my idea and decided to focus on religious extremism and violence. She helped me plot down which direction to take that idea and everything. I owe her my future, basically and I will find a way to repay that debt. I decided to steer myself into international studies and diplomacy, through a joint anthropology and law degree. My future had a direction as of noon yesterday.

And then last night happened. A terrorist attack on Paris, and from what I’ve read, there was one in Lebanon as well. I was in third grade when 9/11 happened here in the States. I didn’t understand what it meant, nor the implications it would have on my life. But Pennsylvania really isn’t that far from Ohio and life changed, slowly at first and then more and more. So I understand that France has changes in store. I offer my prayers and thoughts to them, but also the Islamic community with no ties to ISIL, as they will most likely face prejudices far too grat from far too many ignorant people.

  So if I had any sliver of a doubt that international diplomacy was the direction I wanted to head before, I have absolutely none now. I have found my way to help the world, one peaceful mission at a time.

My heart goes out to those who have perished. 

 

Thankfulness, Day 13

Friday the 13th. Typically known as an unlucky day, but I want to see it differently. I choose to see today as a lucky day, a day in my favour. I have a job interview today with the administration of the department of my major and I really think that I stand a good chance to get it. I’ve packed a good mojo bag, made myself a giant cup of coffee before I left and now I’m blogging about it before I go up. (What else am I going to do for half an hour?) Last night I was working away, trying to get prepared for my day today, and hoping ot get ahead on the homework, when the idea came to me for my post today.

Today is different than the ones which came before. Today I will be thankful, of course, but today I want to be thankful for the sake of being thankful. Not all the time do I need a six page essay about why I’m thankful, or the inspiration for such (even though Ifeel very verbose today). 

I woke up still sleepy, afraid that if I didn’t set five more alarms (I’m one of those people.) then I wouldn’t wake up on time. I poured myself some coffee as the husband took the dog out and got dressed. In true Michelle fashion, I have a dress shirt, blue jeans and aqua converse. Everything is color cordinated. (I’m gonna save the reason why I’m wearing jeans for a different day.) I walked out of the apartment to leave and sure enough, I felt winter’s chill, and that excited me. I love winter. Not driving in winter, but existing in winter. And then I walked with my husband to his class and sat down to begin this post. It’s amazing to me that I can be so alive, so in the moment sometimes. (Everything amazes me at some point, but I feel great depths of amazement each time-so it counts.) 

  (Here’s an old picture of our puppy, just because I know you were all wondering haha. He’s been since groomed and shaved, but I don’t have a more recent picture. He’s a Havanese, born Christmas Eve 2012).

Last night as I was preparing for bed, I got on Pinterest, as I usually do. It is a great source of inspiration for me, as is the point of that website. And I got to thinking. When I was in church, prayer was a great deal of my time. Feeling sad? Pray. Feeling happy? Pray. Need a job? Pray. Need a friend? Pray. Have blessings? Pray. When I got out of the church (again, a post I shall save for another time), praying was something I retained. I like talking to the universe and to those who made it. (Maybe I should save my belief system for a different post too.) And I came to realize that even though I do not need a formal prayer like The Lord’s Prayer, The Shepard’s Prayer, Hail Mary or Our Father, a part of me missed having something that I could say that would be like a little ritual all its own. So I set to work on that before I went to bed. And may I present, A Prayer to the Earth Mother.

  

Sacred mother, living within,

Call to us by name

Your garden grows, rests and thrives

Now as we wait beside you.

Call us to action, that you may prosper,

Let your rivers run clear and sweet.

Fulfill our needs within your forests and glades,

And the grasslands, tundra and deserts.

May we never take for granted all the gifts you bestow

As protectors of paradise

And gather us back to you when our time comes

That we may nourish those who follow in our stead

May the full extent of our actions be shown to us,

As you are a just and nurturing mother.

Let us live amongst your finest creations

As equals, forever connected, 

With mercy and compassion as our guides.

So it shall be.