"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Monday, October 13, 2014

Living In the Light

evening shadow art in my living room.

Depression is an ugly word. It's too bad it has so many letters -- because it deserves the designation of "a four letter word".  It's right in there with "hell", "crap", and "poop". (I'm trying to watch my liberal use of four letter words because the "kid" is always listening. He is a little tape recorder. He knows where the "play" button is and pushes it at the most inopportune times.)

Ronnie and I both fought depression a whole lot of our adult lives. Ronnie's was so bad, we lived in the dark.  We had room darkening vertical blinds over the big front windows in the living room and over the patio door in the dining room. With carpet that was nearly black, in the middle of the day, coming in from outside, you couldn't see where you were going.  It fit the words, "den" and "cave".

Our bedroom was the same, black as pitch.  I took down the heavy covers over the bedroom windows when Ronne went to a different crew at PPG and didn't have to sleep during the day anymore, but he fussed about the light in the bedroom.  When he started napping in the middle of the day as a way to relax and relieve anxiety, he always did it in the living room where it was still midnight.

And then he passed away.

beautiful sunrise
And I took down all the "room darkening" blinds.  For many years, we'd talked about getting new windows to help with energy efficiency, so I did that. I ordered windows with the least amount of panes for easier cleaning -- and they are so beautiful, and the world is so beautiful through them, I've never covered them up.  Deidre has curtains over her's and Seth's windows, but the living room, the dining room and my bedroom have nothing -- just a clear view of what's going on outside anytime I want to look.

Right now the sky is beginning to lighten.  The windmill is spinning in a strong north wind as another storm approaches. When I raise my window even just a crack, I can hear the leaves rustling, the waterfall, the morning birds, and Gallo Cogburn crowing.

Sunlight has always been a synonym for "joy" and "happiness".  Childhood songs such as "Zippedy Do Da!" mention "plenty of sunshine headin' my way!" Another song my sister-in-law, Linda, sang to wake her kids up was "Let the sun shine in, face it with a grin".

Deidre took a short video from the door of Seth's room one morning as he and I were playing "double fetch" with Breck Roscoe Gentry.  In the video, you can see the sun light streaming in my window. When I showed the video to my friend, Dawn, she said, "I love how the light shines in your house!"

morning sun splashing on this painting gives it a new look

I do, too!  One of the best gifts I have ever given myself is these big beautiful clear windows that let the sun shine in.  I appreciate them every time I walk into the living room and see the sun splashing across the floor or the walls, and when it paints itself across  the snowy ground of a winter scene I have right here by my computer, it adds a new "look" to the work of art.

Depression can't tolerate light.

Light is also closely associated to "knowledge". Knowledge to many means "education" and lots of it.  The more education a person has, the more "knowledgeable" they are considered.

But there are many different kinds of "knowledge" and they all seem to fit into two categories: knowledge that matters, and knowledge that doesn't matter.

The "knowledge that matters" is that which enriches your life, that which shines light into your personal darkness.  It is unique to each person.

I bought a meditation tape a year or so ago.  Since then I've received many e-mail invitations from that company, for free webinars on how to improve health, wellbeing and my "successfulness". I signed on for a new one but after checking into it a little further, I began to feel a reluctance to participate. I'm developing a distaste for these companies who are dipping into spirituality with the purpose of guiding people toward "successful" with the clear implication that the traditional definition, the "high dollar" life is the goal. You can't say it, and people won't believe you are actually successful if you don't have the expensive cars, homes, title, etc., etc., etc. But if you'll meditate their way, with their product, you'll be able to rake in all this good stuff, too.

I'm 65, I've probably either missed or dismissed my chances to be "successful" in the traditional sense. I don't have a $100,000 college degree, no title -- other than Mother and Neenaw, no big important job, no huge impressive salary, no Caddies or Lexus or mansion with multiple bathrooms.  I don't have any $35,000 dollar bird vases.

But I don't care.

What I have had the pleasure of accomplishing in my life is finding the information/knowledge that led me to having a sense of peace around most areas of my life.

While all the trappings of wealth are undeniably fun and exciting, being successful is having access to the deeper emotions like peace, appreciation for the blessings we have, a sense of safety, and that all is well. It's feeling healthy and energetic, being able to relax and enjoy our now, that connect us to our Source, our God.  When we are working and striving so hard to be successful, those feelings are not often present.

Step into the light of pure positive energy. Take the time each day to calm your mind, to get in touch with peace and contentment.

Then go out and get all that fun stuff!

Winter sunset -- awesome!


  1. I am grateful to know you Paula. And I love you. - Shefali

    1. Wow! Thanks, Shefali, my amazing artist friend!