Rise

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Yesterday morning started in a beautiful way. The dew was heavy and the sun came out strong.  Fog hung in the air everywhere along my morning commute path. The way that fog moves is fascinating, especially in the first of the morning light. It RISES. Even on the surface of the lake, when it meets the sun, it rises.

That will be my analogy for the day; when the sun shines on me, RISE.  Allow my spirit and being to be lifted.  Use the sunshine as a catalyst for dissipating anything negative into nothingness until only clarity exists.  Yes.

Shared Path – by Guest Blogger Robert Hooper

Along this solitary path I travel; The Path to Nowhere. The Path that leads to Everywhere and to Anywhere

I stop and smell each flower, receiving all its nectar my senses can gather.

Even though, I am rather generous in my passing by, in leaving some of my own nectar along the way.

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Agate Friend (6 of 6 in a series)

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Memories of my grandma immediately come to mind when I look at this precious agate. She frequently nurtured the “rock hound” in me, taking me to a secluded area of town where big machinery dredged the floor of the Mississippi River and dumped the riverbed rocks into huge piles. We would look for hours through the multi-colored stones just to find the precious agates. My minds’ eye clearly recalls the day that I found this friend agate, whooping and hollering until it echoed. This was the biggest agate I had ever found and the lines are so beautiful inside the reddish exterior.

Agate Friend’s Message: Look closely at my color and shape. Years of flowing water and sand have semi-polished me and enhanced my heart shape. I have been your center, your heart stone for many, many years. I represent your passion and joy and remind you of what it felt like to find something so simple, yet precious. I ask you to not only remember that your heart will connect with the most simple things in life, but to know that those are the most precious and dear.  Also, whoop and holler once in a while and celebrate your delights along the way!

Petrified Wood Friend (5 of 6 in a series)

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This piece of petrified wood is from near our home in Northwest Louisiana.  We had been on a walk in the woods not long after I moved here, when my husband came across it and gave it to me. I simply like carrying a piece of Louisiana with me, and petrified wood is not too common.

Petrified Wood Friend’s Message: (very soft) I am not only a local gift, but also a connection to the earth in general.  Many trees that fall will return to the dust of the earth.  But some, like me, chose to modify and become firm instead of soft, fulfilling my desire to remain a part of the landscape.  In doing so, I leave a physical means to identify my role in Nature and Louisiana.  This can serve you well, if your desire is to consistently choose your own course and not be governed by common assumption.  You can forever become a part of the landscape of Louisiana by representing who you choose to be.

Arrowhead Friend (4 of 6 in a series)

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An arrowhead from my family collection, found in a field on the James family farm near Millville, IA.  This one has the tip broken off, so it was not included in the collection of intact arrowheads.  It means loads to me simply because a Native American held it and created it, and holding that piece of history is priceless.

Arrowhead Friend’s Message: My message is brief but strong. You notice that my tip is broken. Some might view  me as “imperfect” but it means that I accomplished the mission I was given. I achieved the intended throw and acquisition of food.  I will remind you that whenever you feel defeated or ready to give up, keep your focus, accomplish your mission, and the reward will be yours.

Sacred Stone Friend (3 of 6 in a series)

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This is a most precious stone to me that came from the home of the famous Louisiana artist, Clyde Connell.  I acquired it on a visit through the home when I was considering buying it.  She is the role model that inspires the artist in me.

Sacred Stone Friend’s Message: I know you carry feelings of guilt about “stealing” me from the home, but you need to know that, in fact, I had chosen YOU. Out of the hundreds of stones in the home and on the property, I was one of the smallest, hidden in a basket that appeared discarded.  Even though I was covered in dust, you recognized the signal I sent, and carried me home to remind you not only of the lady who is such an inspiration to you, but also to be a constant reminder to draw on Nature and the world around you as your inspiration.  Also, please do be gentle on yourself, like the smooth softness you feel when you hold me in your hand.

Holey Stone Friend (2 0f 6 in a series)

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This is a holey stone that our friend James Nihan sent us from the Piney River in Tennessee.  A precious gift, and anything that reminds me of him, his music, and our retreats in TN makes me smile.

Holey Stone Friend’s Message: Beyond being a gift from a friend and holding fond memories, I symbolize how to adapt to surrounding as I did by allowing water to flow through as well as around me. This created a “path of least resistance” and allowed me to “travel” downstream much more than other stones that stayed in place for years.  It can be the same for you and I will serve to remind you to remain open at your center and allow life to move fluidly through you and around you, and serve to assist you on your path.

The Stone People (1 of 6 in a series)


I decided to once again carry a medicine bag with me every day. It will actually be my inspiration bag.

After laying down to sleep last night, I spent a few minutes thinking about what to put in the bag. I concluded to use only my most precious stones that I have collected over the years.

First would be the holey stone that our friend James Nihan sent us from the Piney River in Tennessee. A precious gift, and anything that reminds me of James, his music, and our retreats in TN makes me smile.

Next is a stone that came from the home of infamous Louisiana artist Clyde Connell. I acquired it on a visit through the home when I was considering buying it. She is the role model that inspires the artist in me.

Third, an arrowhead from my family collection, found on the James family farm near Millville, Iowa. This is one that has the tip broken off, so it was not included in the collection of intact arrowheads. It means loads to me simply because a Native American created it, and holding that piece of history is invaluable.

Also, a piece of petrified wood from near our Louisiana home. Robert and I had been on a walk in the woods shortly after I moved here, when he came across it and gave it to me. I simply like carrying a piece of Louisiana with me, and petrified wood is not too common.

And one would be the agate that I found on the island in Guttenberg, IA and is the biggest one of all i have ever found. Even more special, my grandma took me to search that day at the big river bed rock pile that was dredged out from the Mississippi River, my “homeland”.

So laying in the dark, my mind’s eye saw each of these 5 stones in the palm of my hand. I smiled at them, and felt so appreciative to have them in my collection of nature gifts.

Then, in a state that I cannot be sure was awake, asleep, or somewhere in between, the stones took turns one by one, and each floated up from my hand to eye level and hung in the air. For each stone, I empathically told it why I had chosen it, and thanked it.

Then, to my surprise, each had a story to tell me!

Over the next 5 days, I will feature each stone and its’ message in separate blog posts. Keep checking!

But Whyyyyy?

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The feeling of watching the sunset last night was so strong throughout all of me that it must have jogged memories that got me to wondering about the “whys” in life.

Young children to frequently ask “Why?” It’s a stage where we are learning how the world works and how it responds to us. We question the function and existence of things so our minds can accept and understand. Why do I have to go to bed?  Why is broccoli yukky? Why did goldfish die?

Now that I am so much older, I still ask “Why?” but for different reasons. That question relates to my feelings, not my knowledge. I wonder why sunsets and flowers and rain clouds and dragonflies make me FEEL so great! Why do I smile so much? Why do I enjoy peace and quiet? I don’t even need the knowledge of having them figured out to get good feelings about them.

So WHY did it take me so long to recognize this?  WHY would I even want to question it?

Faith in Gray


I left the office today and the skies were overcast. I was almost happy about that after our recent triple digits. I thought, “this gray is good!”  

The analogy came to me immediately. The stress I am feeling about all of the polarized topics lately, politics, social issues, personal issues, etc., has left me without my gray areas (comfort zones). Feeling too strongly one way or another or thinking that anything needs to be “black or white” is out of balance for me. 

I miss my gray areas. But I do have faith that I am in the process of getting back there. I have faith in gray.