Me in the Middle ~ #Wordprompt ~ Tense

I was waiting for a WordPrompt from WordPress that would prompt some inspiration to write about. Now there’s a weekly WordPrompt and I was getting ‘tense’ because, as the month of September went by none were motivating me. There’s a lot of thoughts going through my mind about the word ‘TENSE’ (the last word for the last week in September).

Sketch by Mary Lou

“Live in the Present Tense, facing duty at hand, without regret for the past or worry over the future”

~ William DeWitt Hyde ~

This is me right now! Trying to stay in the present tense and doing what I need to do to meet each day in the most life-giving way. I want to live a simple life without stress or worry. I don’t need a lot of stuff. I just want to be happy in the here and now. The sands of the hourglass are slipping by and life goes by so quickly.

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Pixabay Image

“Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.”

~ Joan Lunden ~

Each of us has crises and traumas in our lives that leave us stuck in an unhealthy place. Stress and tension is a part of life. Some is good and some is destructive. How we navigate through it all by either giving up or moving forward means all the difference. I’ve learned a lot by visiting the past crises and tensions in my life, the bad along with the good, and putting in place a awareness from the lessons I’ve learned from my past. So, living in the past tense and learning from the past tense are two very different things. Revisiting the past to learn and move forward is freeing. The past and all the experiences in my life are what has made me who I am today. A person who is resilient and works through stuff, and understands the whole picture of a life well lived.

“As soon as you have a language that has a past tense and a future tense, you’re going to say, ‘Where did we come from, what happens next?’ The ability to remember the past helps us to plan the future.

~ Margaret Atwood ~

Me in the Middle ~ #WordPrompt ~ Free

Image by Pixabay

Looking back on my life, I’m asking myself ‘When did I feel free?‘ ‘What moments, as far back as I can remember, brought me a sense of freedom and joy?’

The past is gone. The future is not here. Now I am FREE of both! Right now, I choose JOY!

~Deepak Chopra~

Childhood ~ My early years of walking to the park in the next town over is a joyful memory of feeling FREE. It had a playground with swings, slide, wading pool and merry-go-round that I learned confidence and risk taking. The park also had a nature area with a stream that we could explore. There was no sense of fear in me as a child when I was at that park and I don’t remember it being crowded. The sense of joy and freedom guided me to move forward into a world that, in spite of the dangers and risks always there, I wanted to choose life.

A little girl swings high on a wooden swing on a cloudy day.(Pixabay)

Road Trip ~ On the Road Again ~ The feeling of being FREE when I’m ‘Goin’ places that I’ve never been. Seein’ things that I may never see again’. A Country Road is the best escape! Windows down, favorite music playing and the feeling of the wind blowing my hair.

Image by Pixabay

Leaps of Faith ~ Sometimes we need to take risks in our adult lives when we don’t fully know how it will end and what the outcome will be. Once the decision is made there’s a feeling of being FREE and a sense of hope and joy that decision will bring an improved life. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Those leaps of faith are always teaching new lessons about life!

Image by Pixabay

Finding Peace ~ It takes a while to realize that Life has no easy answers. No one else can give you those answers because you need to find them within yourself in order to find peace. This makes you FREE to just live your life fully and confidently that you have what it takes to bring you through no matter what comes your way.

Listen to the Wind, it talks. Listen to the Silence, it speaks. Listen to your Heart, it knows.

~ Native American Proverb ~

Me in the Middle ~ #WordPrompt ~ July

PLAY ~ “Play is the highest form of research.”- Albert Einstein

Susan Crouch Watercolor

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” ~ Mr. Rogers

My fondest memories of PLAY were mostly while being outdoors. From the time that I was little and throughout my childhood, my parents, especially my mother, made an effort to teach us through nature. Water was always a part of the teaching and we’d take family rides to streams, lakes and oceans. I learned to be respectful of the natural world while finding joy and relaxation as I played with a freedom not found indoors. I learned there were limits to that freedom and listened to the warnings of any dangers I might find in my adventures.

Me at the New Jersey Shore

My oldest brother was the nature lover in the family from the very beginning. His interest in collecting birds, fish, turtles was what drew the rest of us into exploring the best spots to explore the great outdoors. One place was a nature park with walking trails, streams and a pond where I could go ice-skating in the winter. I used to follow my brother when he explored the streams and sometimes wade through the water with him.

Me watching my brother explore

When I grew up and was raising a family of my own the best family play was visiting the county/state parks in the area. My five energetic sons could take off and explore which helped them release stored up energy. Their father and I could find ways to relax with a good book, take long walks or just sit beside the calming water. For me, water has always been my source of play and relaxation.

Now, just turning 80 and slowing down, I’m content to play with my ‘Water’colors. It’s a playing that keeps me centered during these troublesome times. I love the watercolor by Susan Crouch of the child playing at the shore.

And Wordle!! I play Wordle! Haha!

Me in the Middle ~ WordPrompt ~ April

I’ve been waiting for the April WordPrompt from the WordPress Team. It’s been a slow process of getting back in the groove for blogging. And now I begin! Pondering the word GREEN!

The Green Heart emoji 💚 depicts a classic representation of a heart, colored green. It is commonly used to represent love, support, close bonds, and admiration for things that have some relation to the color green, from nature to sports teams that use green.

Looking back over the years I find the color green leading me forward to LIFE and RENEWAL. A little girl learned the miracle of a small seed sprouting into a green plant by placing the seed in cotton and placing it in a glass. Each day carefully watering it and checking to see any signs of life. In Girl Scouts our uniforms were green. We’d work toward badges that included nature.

Junior Girl Scout Nature Badge

Ireland is the heritage of my family and green reminds me of Ireland in many ways! On my two week visit to Ireland we travelled the back roads of beautiful green scenery especially on the West Coast. The Shamrock is: ‘While trying to convert the Irish into Christians, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity with each leaf representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three leaves of a shamrock are also said to stand for faith, hope and love. A fourth leaf is where we get the luck from.’

a low-growing clover-like plant with three-lobed leaves, used as the national emblem of Ireland.

Even our society has recognized the color green as a sign of well being, moving forward and healthy growth. Our traffic lights are Red on top, Yellow in the middle and Green on the bottom. Red alerts us to those red flags, signs of danger to our well being. Yellow encourages us to proceed with caution and be aware of possible risks. And GREEN tells us it’s safe to proceed and move forward. Sometimes some unforeseen event will happen as we’re proceeding and moving forward. And that we can’t control.

‘Traffic signals control the flow of traffic through intersections. Even young children are taught what the three colors of the traffic light mean: Red means stop, yellow means caution, and green means go. Although traffic lights are now used for automobile traffic, their initial use came before the car’s invention.’ (TitleMax)

So there you have it! Why GREEN means good things for me (and you?). I like to wear green and more likely in March. I’m always thinking of Spring and Ireland!

Me in the Middle ~ WordPrompt ~ Bridge

WordPress is helping us break the blogger’s block. It just might work for me! It’s got me thinking about the March word prompt ~ BRIDGE.

Looking back over my life I can see the different ways that I saw a bridge, sometimes real and sometimes a metaphor. A bridge is a way to get you to the other side when it would be impossible to get there without a lot of difficulty.

It’s like a midwife assisting the birth of a new life. When we’re born we’re thrust into the world and the midwife is there to guide and make the process less challenging.

Growing up there were two bridges that come to mind; one is the George Washington Bridge and the others are the smaller bridges over brooks, creeks and streams while exploring nature around my area which was pre-suburban at that time. The GWB was ominous and high above the Hudson River, carrying us away from our little village in New Jersey into the concrete jungle of the big city. The brooks, creeks and streams were fun to cross over, leaping from stone to stone or across logs that were laid out for crossing the water.

One symbolic bridge was the moving into adult life which, for a young woman back in the late fifties and early sixties, was marriage and starting a family. Part of that symbolism was that the man you married would be there for you in a supportive way throughout your life together. A bridge to support you emotionally and financially during good times and bad. ‘Love is all you need’, only it wasn’t all you need.

Around 1970, as a mother of four little ones and watching the upheavals brought about by the Vietnam War, I turned inward to find peace and hope. My husband had moved from job to job and then unemployed. It was stressful times for us and for our country. There were songs that moved me to trust and hope that we would make it through. One was ‘Let it Be’ by the Beatles and the other was ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters‘ by Simon and Garfunkel.

That song, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters‘ had two meanings for me at the time. One was inspired by the Jesus Movement (Charismatic Renewal) which opened me up to a simpler faith. “The Spirit is within you.” The other was for myself ~ to be a bridge over troubled waters for others in my life. It brought me a centering peace. It helped me focus on my immediate responsibilities and Trust.

From that point on, bridge became a metaphor for me of finding a path to my inner strength ~ to be a bridge over troubled waters for myself in my own life guided by Love. At times it was through reaching out to others during a time a crisis and seeking a bridge to help me cross into better times. I learned the limits of others in their ability to be that bridge for me. I learned that I was, for the most part, alone on that path and trusted that there would be a bridge there for me as I moved forward.

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