Reflecting on Beyond….

The morning and evening skies have been glorious lately, making the changeable weather almost tolerable. I may not know what to wear, but I know I need to look up, to look beyond where I am here and now. So I was drawn to this amazing photo by my friend Gemma, entitled ‘The Stand’. I love how the picture is framed in the foreground, perhaps by trees or a doorway. The mist lends a mysterious mood to the scene while the sun seeks to rise above the dense clouds. How often are our lives like this scene? Perhaps we are too preoccupied with the day to day to look beyond our current circumstances, or too content or comfortable to consider the possibility of change. We put out heads down and soldier on, oblivious to the beauty just outside our window. Or perhaps our lives become shrouded in mist, devoid of color and light. One day follows another, filled to overflowing with ‘to do’ lists that never get done. Yet even when we cannot see the way ahead, God has prepared a path for us. Take time today to look beyond the mundane, to consider where you are and where you are heading. Listen to friends and family, who may be able to discern the path ahead, to see the forest when you can only see the trees. And remember, it’s always easier to look up, to look beyond, when we simply stop, and stand. Photo by Gemma Costa, entitled ‘The Stand’

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Reflecting on Presence….

This morning I spent longer than usual outdoors, waiting for the school bus with my five year old friend Patrick. It’s delightful to see the world through his eyes, and allow myself to be a child again. So I was drawn to this stunning photo, part of a series called ‘Being with Trees’ by my new friend Heidi Anne. I love the colors of the sky as the sun filters through the trees. The branches remind me of feathers, delicate and lacey. This morning the sun was rising behind us as we stood near the road. Patrick wanted to throw rocks, and it would have been so easy to simply say no. Instead, I said yes and made a game out of it. We both turned around to face away from the road, and into the sun. While Patrick returned gravel lost in the lawn back onto the driveway, I took into the beautiful view. I don’t know about you, but being present is challenging. There are days when the cares and concerns of this life clamor for my attention, pulling me this way and that. I can so easily convince myself to rush from one task to another, hoping for a few quiet moments at the end of the day. Then there are days like today, when I find those quiet moments in the midst of the most mundane errands. A child doesn’t need scheduled activities or expensive toys – a few pieces of gravel can easily become a delightful matching game. The quiet we so vainly seek may be found in the joyful noise of a child, fully present to what life brings each moment, each and every day. Take time today to seek quiet contemplation amidst the busy-ness of life. Notice the sky and scenery, or perhaps the faces of those around you, allowing their voices to meld together and blend into the background. Seek to be present to all that life brings your way, without judgment as to what is or is not important. And remember, sometimes all it takes to be present is to say yes, and turn around. Photo by Heidi Anne Morris, used with her permission, to see more of her photos, visit http://www.redbubble.com/people/heidiannemorris

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