It’s the Little Things

Do you ever take the time to  notice and reflect upon an unexpected flash of nature?  A couple of months ago I looked out of my back window and was amazed to see petunias bursting through a crack in my pavers. How pretty they looked among the hard, gray stones that encased them. I don’t grow any petunias in my yard so that made this sight even more fascinating. It seemed like it was reminding me that beauty can be found anywhere.


Recently, I came face to face with a hummingbird that paused in mid-air and looked directly at me for about ten seconds while I was sitting on my front porch. This amazing creature was only about twenty inches from me. That glimpse into each other’s eyes felt meaningful, like a reminder that all of God’s creatures are one.

While sitting on the same porch two weeks ago, I turned around and saw a huge, green praying mantis crawling along the sill of my front window. I stood up as he came close to my shoulder. Even though we are “all one,” I wasn’t sure that I wanted him crawling along the back of my neck. I went to get my camera and returned to find him climbing up the shutter. I hadn’t seen a praying mantis in a few years, let alone one this large. It is said to be a symbol of stillness and peacefulness. Maybe he was encouraging me to continue in the meditation practice that I’ve been struggling to make a habit.

Praying Mantis

Could it be that signs like these jump out at us when we get so caught up in our busy lives that we don’t take the time to feel or reflect?

An unexpected smile or reassuring touch from a stranger can brighten our day if we take the time to notice and appreciate it. A quick hug or kiss form a loved-one can do the same especially if we are not expecting it. Do we take the time to feel and appreciate the love in these actions?

The sky is filled with never ending hues of color and unique cloud formations. How often do we look at it or take the time to notice the gentleness of a breeze blowing across our face?

The world is full of love and beauty; we have only to take the time to notice it. Although focusing on it will not remove the bad and ugly that exists, it goes a long way in enhancing our quality and enjoyment of life, as well as bringing more of these lovely experiences into our existence.

My Go-To Place

The walkway at Riverwinds

The walkway at Riverwinds

It’s where I go to think things over and sometimes to write. For me, it’s a nearby place of inspiration and gentle breezes that stir the soul. Located in Thorofare, New Jersey, Riverwinds Community is bordered by the mighty Delaware River.

Behaving as a writer and not a photographer, I grabbed my writing pad rather than my camera, when my daughter unexpectedly suggested a visit during a recent day of Indian summer. I would have preferred that these photos came from a camera, but I have to admit that my cell phone did a half-decent job.

Early signs of Fall

Early signs of Fall

On a clear, warm day like this, I was reminded how good it felt to be alive as I glanced out over the river. At times, the soft sounds of the waves lapping at the shore were lost int the roar of the planes landing across the river at Philadelphia International Airport. Nonetheless, there seemed a strange sense of harmony between the solitude of nature and the intrusive sounds of a busy world.

Plane landing across the Deleware River at Philadelphia International Airport

Plane landing across the Deleware River at Philadelphia International Airport

Maybe harmony is the key here. Perhaps those times in the past when I came here for confirmation of an important decision or comfort for a troubling situation, it was harmony I sought and received.

A powerhouse of humanity - the Philadelphia Skyline seen faint in the distance.

A powerhouse of humanity – the Philadelphia Skyline seen faintly in the distance to the right.

Of course, some people still throw trash into the river. I was reminded of my post, Sad Signs of Spring from early 2012 as I looked down at the bottles on the beach.

Trash on the shores of the Delaware River

Trash on the shores of the Delaware River

So how about you? What do you do or where do you go when you want to think things over or need to relax and get away from the everyday hassles of life?