Archive for the ‘Daily Post’ Category

Tubing down the Chattahoochee River

Tubing on the Chattahoochee

—–Last summer, I had the chance to participate in one my favorite summer activities—tubing down the Chattahoochee River. I would be meeting up with a group that had camped in the area and the tubing excursion was the last of the activities for the weekend. Like all back country adventures spotty cellphone service made it difficult to reach the group by phone so I would make the drive with the hope of meeting at the designated time. I left my house around 9 am to make the two-hour drive to the Chattahoochee River head waters. I arrived on time and found a parking spot right across from the outfitter. My group should have been there already, but they were nowhere in sight. As I waited, the line at the outfitter began to grow. It was now around noon and prime time to get in the water for the two hour ride down the river. I sent several text messages, but after no answer there was no way to know if they were on the way or if I had missed them. I decided it was best to get in line before it grew any longer. As I stood there, I kept looking for my group, but by the time I got my tube and boarded the bus, it was clear I’d have to go it alone.

—–The bus ride over to the launch site was filled with groups of friends and families casually laughing and joking as the bus maneuvered the busy streets. I was the only solo tuber and wondered if I should have waited a little while longer for my group. My previous tubing trip had been with a large group that decided to link their tubes and experience the length of the river together. It was lots of fun, but not without hang-ups, literally. Occasionally, someone would get snagged on rock or some other misfortune and as a result would have their link disconnected so the group could float on. We reached the site and I launched into the cool waters wondering what was in store. On the outset, there was an immediate traffic jam. All that could be seen for several feet ahead were neon green and pink tubes. The sun shined down brightly on my head and for relief I would dip my hand in the water and pat my face with the frigid waters. It wasn’t long before I settled in and the current began to swiftly take me down river. I laid back and let the sun warm my limbs and face. It had been a while since I had taken in this much sun. As I moved down the river, the trees overhead framed the sky and for moments on end my mind would float away and thoughts flowed in and out like the current of the river. When my attention came back into focus, my eyes would catch the view of fellow tubers enjoying the same experience. Groups tethered together would be run aground on the rocks which required someone getting out and ushering them around the obstacle. Unencumbered, I would float past these groups. After witnessing this scene over and over, it hit me that my solo experience on the river was vastly different from those around me. It was easier for me to see what was ahead and negotiate the obstacle with relative ease. For long stretches, I would drift down the river half asleep until my tube caught the edge of the river or tangled in some brush. I was unencumbered and worry free. My thoughts and priorities all my own.

—–My trip down the river paralleled my life in many ways. On many ventures planned with friends and partners circumstance forced me to go it alone. At first things were scary. I worried if I could handle it on my own. The first steps were filled with doubt, but as I made my way fear was replaced with empowerment. Uneasiness replaced with strength. My wings had spread. I had taken flight and my destination was in sight. I could trust my ideas. I could trust myself. Now, I approach life differently. I start out on my own and invite friends and partners once the foundation has been laid. If they join in I am excited. If not, then I go on my way. No expectation and no disappointment and my tube keeps floating down the river.

The Natural Order of Things

worry free

            I am a planner more like a worrier.  And yes, I know worrying never changes anything.  When I embark upon something new, the inside of my brain resembles a fine tuned production facility…on steroids!  Thoughts are whizzing about my head filling it with EVERY scenario known to man.  At times, I wish I could just flip a switch or hit the easy button to make all of the thoughts go away.   I realize more than ever that life does not have to be a taxing routine.  I can be happy and successful without a rigid 10 step approach.  I’m taking a step back and letting balance establish itself through the natural order of things. Who cares if it’s not on a spreadsheet or if we take an unconventional path as long as the end result is the same.

Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky

animated-blue-sky

            On a rather mundane evening, I was watching TV and a commercial comes on.   Not paying attention to the ad (to this day I still don’t know what the ad was about), the song and the lyrics caught me by surprise.  It was as if someone reached into to my subconscious, collected all of my thoughts and summed it up in this one verse, “Excuse while I kiss the sky.”  This melodic anthem surged through my veins.  Each chord echoed in my bones and left me wanting more.  My spirit had been touched and the floodgates of my soul opened up for the first time in a long time.  There was something liberating about that verse.  Limitless possibilities abound if we can only see beyond the “Purple Haze.”  The sky is calling.  Its deep, blue hue and its billowy clouds are our true home.  Imagination knows no boundaries.  Dreams are made a reality.  Ambition takes flight. We rise above all that seeks to drag us down if only we look to the sky.  Perspective is gained when we rise above our atmosphere.  Clear and visibility unobstructed.  I want to take up permanent residence in the sky where the sun beats down on my face and the warm glow within stirs my soul.  I need the blue skies, the sun upon my face and no obstacles to an otherwise perfect view…..Excuse me while I kiss the sky!

Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky

animated-blue-sky

            On a rather mundane evening, I was watching TV and a commercial comes on.   Not paying attention to the ad (to this day I still don’t know what the ad was about), the song and the lyrics caught me by surprise.  It was as if someone reached into to my subconscious, collected all of my thoughts and summed it up in this one verse, “Excuse while I kiss the sky.”  This melodic anthem surged through my veins.  Each chord echoed in my bones and left me wanting more.  My spirit had been touched and the floodgates of my soul opened up for the first time in a long time.  There was something liberating about that verse.  Limitless possibilities abound if we can only see beyond the “Purple Haze.”  The sky is calling.  Its deep, blue hue and its billowy clouds are our true home.  Imagination knows no boundaries.  Dreams are made a reality.  Ambition takes flight. We rise above all that seeks to drag us down if only we look to the sky.  Perspective is gained when we rise above our atmosphere.  Clear and visibility unobstructed.  I want to take up permanent residence in the sky where the sun beats down on my face and the warm glow within stirs my soul.  I need the blue skies, the sun upon my face and no obstacles to an otherwise perfect view…..Excuse me while I kiss the sky!

Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky

animated-blue-sky

            On a rather mundane evening, I was watching TV and a commercial comes on.   Not paying attention to the ad (to this day I still don’t know what the ad was about), the song and the lyrics caught me by surprise.  It was as if someone reached into to my subconscious, collected all of my thoughts and summed it up in this one verse, “Excuse while I kiss the sky.”  This melodic anthem surged through my veins.  Each chord echoed in my bones and left me wanting more.  My spirit had been touched and the floodgates of my soul opened up for the first time in a long time.  There was something liberating about that verse.  Limitless possibilities abound if we can only see beyond the “Purple Haze.”  The sky is calling.  Its deep, blue hue and its billowy clouds are our true home.  Imagination knows no boundaries.  Dreams are made a reality.  Ambition takes flight. We rise above all that seeks to drag us down if only we look to the sky.  Perspective is gained when we rise above our atmosphere.  Clear and visibility unobstructed.  I want to take up permanent residence in the sky where the sun beats down on my face and the warm glow within stirs my soul.  I need the blue skies, the sun upon my face and no obstacles to an otherwise perfect view…..Excuse me while I kiss the sky!

Climbing Emotional Hurdles

      Image

      The weight is almost crushing.  I feel pinned to my bed while my mind races thinking of
all the things left to be done.  I can’t get up and I can’t move.  The feeling of dread looms over
me like a dark cloud.  The forecast is bleak and has been for years.  For a fleeting moment the
sunshine breaks through and reminds me of sunnier days long past.  I know I can have those days
again if I can climb this last hurdle.  Life’s left hook has left my mouth bloodied and my knees
are weak, but my determination propels me forward.  Every day there is a small victory with
each task that’s completed I know I am making steady progress. 
      My feet are on the last rung of the ladder and I see a sunburst on the horizon.  The sun on
my faces strokes my spirit and I use it to muster all my strength.  There is no turning back
because the whole is too deep.  My experiences of the past are just that my past.  I am up too
high and falling backwards is not an option, but the butterflies in my stomach won’t grant me
rest.  “Why,” I ask myself, but I know the answer even before the question is formed.  I am on a
pilgrimage called life and I have spent what seems like a lifetime in the valley.  The summit is
before me, but I am not certain I have the strength to climb.  One hand grips firmly the next
rung while the other falls away as I rest my head.  Keep going.  I am almost there.
]

Feeling Satisfied

*****2013 has been a remarkable year. It started off with uncertainty and became more difficult as the year progressed. A pivotal moment came when my Dad decided to forego his cancer treatment and opted to go under the care of hospice. Knowing there would be difficult days ahead, I girded myself to deal with what was to come. Fortunately, not everything was gloom and doom. I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in some great hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Those trips allowed me to forget reality for a little while and be completely enamored and recharged by the beauty of nature. It felt good to forget even for a short time. The summer was tough and I was homebound along with my Dad. It was during that time I realized hospice nurses are angels in disguise. They were often times my only visitor. The only constant I could depend on. As the days progressed, I felt the prayers of family and friends give me strength. In those final moments of my Dad’s life, I held his hand as he passed from this life to the next and I could rejoice not in what I had lost, but in the gift I was given. He was not perfect by any definition, but so much more than others had been given. When I spoke of him as a father during the services, it was easy to start from my earliest memory of him and trace his presence in my life all along the way. I am a better person for having been his daughter. He was the source of my quiet dedication, my resilience and my grace.

    I sit here the day after Christmas as shoppers make their mad dash for holiday deals and I am comforted by feelings of satisfaction. For so long, I was always trying to “get, get, get.” Whether it be some new experience on some material thing, I never felt satisfied. There was always wanting, always some desire to propel me forward, but not anymore. I looked in the face of death and came out on the other side. All the things that use to bother me don’t anymore. The pressure cooker of life burned away the impurities of my character. I saw my faults and my weakness for the first time and I was honest with myself. This year has taught me what is important and given me moments of true clarity and moments of breakthrough that I could build upon and take into the New Year. I reject judgment. I reject pettiness. I accept my faults. I accept the faults of others. I am peace. I am light. I am alive.