Posts Tagged With: clouds

A Certain Angle of Light

photo 3-5 copy 4Moisture pushes ahead of the straggling remnants of hurricanes limping far inland from the Pacific, bumping up against the northern and eastern mountains.

photo 1-5 copy 6A traffic jam of clouds fills the sky with swirling masses of whites, grays and blues.

photo 4-3 copy 10Cloud sculptures twist and swirl while light plays a melody in concert with the sound of distant geese calling out their imminent arrival.

photo 2-4 copy 3Dozens upon dozens of rabbits rush around drawing too much attention to themselves,  making use of the cooler morning hours.

photo 1-6 copy 3Sun breaks through the tangled muss of fluff with bits of light but little color.

photo 2-3 copy 5

Small birds twitter, tap, chatter, sing, peep, mimic, flit, flutter, flap, hum and tweet.

photo 4-5 copyLarger birds sit in silent patience.

photo 3-6 copy

A pair of hawks sweep low and silent along a path searching for the unaware and unwarned.

photo 1-5 copy 6I walk, finding more than animals, birds, sky, water, shades of green.

photo 2-2 copy 22I listen for solace and a different kind of silence.

photo 5 copy 4I look for something within myself as I walk the dawn.

photo 1-4 copy 20Thoughts clarify with each step I travel through this oasis.

photo-24 copy 29I gather courage and hope as I pass the creosote, palo verde and acacia.

photo 4-4 copy 2Each morning I claim sanctuary, and emboldened, face the day.

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Categories: Nature, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ain’t No Sunshine

It’s Gratituesday! Variety and consistency. Yup. That’s what I’m grateful for today. I know those two things seem to contradict each other but you’ll get over it and so will I.

I love knowing that if I get myself out the door before sunrise everything else will work out somehow.

I keep telling myself I’ll change where I go walking, but I crave the solitude and the surroundings. I take different paths, from different directions, I change it up in small ways and that’s all it takes.

sunshineThe predictability of the sun coming up each day keeps the world on track. The unpredictability of the colors, the clouds, the angle of light, the shift in shadow all make each morning a pallet of infinite variety. A paradox of consistency and change all in one for you to ponder every twenty-four hours.

Studies show that predictability and consistency contribute to productivity and contentment. But we also know that such things contribute to boredom and dissatisfaction.

And then other studies show that happiness more often manifests itself when change is a constant. What? Not major change, just variety, tiny differences make all the difference in happiness levels.

Some days, weeks and months in my life at least, it feels as if nothing is consistent or predictable except change. I can tell you from my own completely unscientific experience that such situations lead to feelings of high anxiety and unhealthy levels of stress.

I’m trying to embrace the variety and unpredictable state of my life. I’ve worked at that for a while now. Hence my daily gratitude journaling and weekly Gratituesday posts.

I’m also rather desperately trying to incorporate consistency and a regular schedule and other nice things like that into a chaotic life.

I’m having more luck embracing change than instilling predictability.

Balance seems the key word. And the most elusive quality. Gratitude sounds elusive today as well.

Let me take a different angle.

cloudy

Cloudy.

The sun shines here a zillion days a year. Okay, something like 287 days out of 365. That, my friends, adds up to a heckuva lotta sunlight. A glorious thing in the winter if you don’t like the cold. An unending series of boredom and heat in the summer if you don’t find some variety.

Sure we desert dwellers love the rain for its moisture and life-giving sustenance, but we also love it for the sheer difference in weather. Not sunny equals a nice change.

I’ve also lived in the Northwest where clouds and rain sang the same song every single day. Or so it seemed. Unending blue sky and sunlight, when it rarely occurred, felt heavenly for the sheer change in melody.

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered the same thing you got last time because you know you’ll like it? Of course! But that can get so boring! Try something new next time and appreciate the difference even if you like the same old thing better.

A PBJ for lunch every single day might give you a sense of security, of all’s right with the world, but that, dear reader, is an illusion.

Or maybe that’s just my life.

Maybe your life consists of predictable, on time, on schedule, knowing what’s ahead for the next year wonderfulness. I’m incredibly jealous happy for you. If that’s the case this whole post must come off as the strangest bunch of rambling you’ve ever read in your life and it’s a wonder that you’re even still reading. The following statement won’t even register on your reality meter.

Change is inevitable.

Change is the only constant. We’ve had this conversation before, I’m sure of it.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

I’m glad and grateful for differences, variety, something new, unpredictability, the wonder of what’s around the corner. Really I am. Really.

I’m also ready for some stability, some unmoving earth beneath my feet, a calendar with a schedule I can count on, a checkbook with reasonable numbers, a sun I know will rise in the east every single morning.

I just got done texting my cousin the following message: “Variety is the spice of life, or so I’ve heard. Unless variety is all you ever have.”

I’m just aiming for a little balance. Call me crazy. Call me nuts. Call me weird. I don’t care.

I’m still grateful for the whole mixed up mess of it all.

Not buying it huh? Well, then just listen to this song. Enjoy a classic.

~~~~~

Here’s Bill Withers from way back in 1971 totally getting it and giving it. His song says more in two minutes than anything I’ve managed to write today.

 

“Variety may be the spice of life, but consistency pays the bills.” ~ Doug Cooper

 

 

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Happiness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Winds Will Blow

Thursday Afternoon:

The current variety of stomach bug snuck up on me  from behind and attacked in full force with vengeance and slaughter as its only aim.

Thursday Night:

The wee hours brought a thunderstorm that parked itself over our house and proceeded to play a few frames of Bowling with the Gods. In my semi-delirious state I thought perhaps they’d be carrying me away when the games played out.

Friday Morning:

Surprisingly I woke in my own bed the next morning, spent, still spinning a bit but able to walk. I slogged to the front door and peeked out to see what havoc had rained down whilst I attempted sleep. A gray sky still hovered low and ominous save for a small area of sunlight valiantly attempting a go at it. I grabbed my camera and captured this image.

photo-19 copy 15

All gray sky but this one small area of sun trying to break through.

And with this scene I also captured a desire to go outside, under that sky. I wanted to capture a few lingering raindrops, to feel the fresh air on my pallid skin. More than anything I wanted to replace the rancid indoor air of my lungs with this ozone enhanced and rain cooled wonderful misty infused oxygen.

Friday Noon:

I’m sure I’ve never walked so slowly through the Riparian. My energy levels sat near zero, but my wish  outdoors drove me there almost as much as the car did. My slow pace lent itself to noticing things I sometimes miss. The overcast skies kept the wildlife active and vibrant where they’re usually subdued and snoozing at midday.

Friday Afternoon:

I’d certainly walked too far for how ill I’d felt the day before, but the effects of nature’s tender cloud filled  embrace had worked magic on my heart.

Saturday:

Here I share a few of the glories available less than one mile from my home. I think it’s time I made a regular practice of visiting there as I did a few years ago.

“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” ~ John Muir

Categories: Nature, Outdoors, physical health | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Clearing the Cache in My Brain and Wishing for Rain

I just need to say this…

You know that thing you do when your computer gets sluggish? Turn the whole thing off completely, then turn it back on. I think it’s called a hard reboot or maybe that’s clearing the cache.  Or maybe they’re the same thing or not at all related. I only know that if the computer or my smart phone behave badly, turning it off and then back on will often solve the problem.

I’m sorry If you’re a computer person and you’re cringing right now.

What I’m getting at is that humans need a process like that.

Actually, I think they do. It’s called sleep. Switch off for a few hours, ideally eight, and then restart. The human warms up and begins functioning as it should again.

sleep

sleep (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

The amount of sleep seems important, not just the off/on thing.

I’ve let my sleep take a hit the past couple of weeks. A little off the beginning, a little off the end most nights. And instead of eight hours, it’s more like six. Then a few five-hour nights and I get sluggishly slow in response times.

Add in a really short night’s sleep, say two or three hours, and bam. Sentences fall apart. New words get created that are gibberish. Driving isn’t recommended.

Even a nap just seems to aggravate things. I need two or three solid nights of uninterrupted slumber to get my groove back.

And another thing…

Virga, Valley, Mountains

Virga (Photo credit: sea turtle)

All day it’s looked like it wants to rain. That kind of teasing isn’t nice to do to desert dwellers. Give me sunshine, or possibly high, thin clouds, or actual rain splashing down from the sky onto the ground. But don’t do the gray sky, virga, smell of rain on the breeze thing. It raises our hopes.

Just saying.

And all this whininess is because…

Lonely Monkey Ape at Zoo

Lonely Monkey (Photo credit: epSos.de)

My cousin isn’t here anymore. And I miss her. Already. A Bunch.

Yup. It was a short visit. But we packed it full to the brim. Saturday felt like three days in one. Even today had a kind of time warp feel to it. Nice. She lifts my heart and makes life cheery and wonderful.

She’s getting on a plane any second here. So now I am feeling blue. It’s temporary. It’s that blue funk I’ve written about before. I’ll be okay.

I kind of need to wallow in it. Sorry to involve you. I’ll try to find a good joke, or story, or something fun for tomorrow.

To summarize…

  • Wish me happy dreams.
  • Pray for rain.
  • Feeling sorry for myself, but only for a little while.
Another Fun and Safety Guide

Another Fun and Safety Guide (Photo credit: Sam Howzit)

May the force be with you. Keep your hands and legs inside the ride at all times. Drive safely. Just say no to drugs. Call if you’re going to be late. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.  Have a nice day. And turn off the lights when you leave the room.

Categories: Mental Health, Relationships, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Singing and Dancing in the Rain

rainy dayIt’s Raining!  Hooray!  It’s rained so much that the park across the street, which is really a water retention basin in disguise, is filling up and almost ready for a few canoes or inflatable boats. 

Here in the desert, nothing brings out the smiles faster the sound of rain.  There’s no smell here more delicious than rain scented desert air. Nothing brings out the child in people around here faster than the steady drip and splatter of raindrops. It’s a joyful, snow day kind of excitement. We all become puddle jumpers, splashing with abandon, leaving the umbrella’s closed and getting drenched.  

The three girls under umbrellas who let me take their photo fifteen minutes ago, are now at the park running along the edges of the newly minted “pond,” no umbrellas in sight.  

Is there any movie scene more charming than Gene Kelly dancing in the rain?

“I’m singin’ in the rain

“Just singin’ in the rain

What a glorious feelin’

I’m happy again.

I’m laughing at clouds.

So dark up above

The sun’s in my heart

And I’m ready for love.”

Something about cloud cover and water falling from the sky puts sunshine smack dab in the middle of my heart, just like those lyrics say. 

I suppose if it rained often here, it’d be less delightful.

When we lived in the Seattle area the clouds were a constant companion, rain was as common as blackberries growing on the side of the road, and humidity was the norm.  Summertime occasionally let the sun peak through, and it didn’t get much warmer than the 70’s.  80’s was a heatwave there. 

Having spent 15 years in this desert now I’ve learned to cherish the few rainy days we have. We open the windows and doors and let the freshness waft through the house.  Here, rain is like a gem and we cherish the intermittent, the atypical, and the rare.

Let the stromy clouds chase.

Everyone from the place

Come on with the rain

I’ve a smile on my face

I walk down the lane

With a happy refrain

just singin’

singin’ in the rain… dancin’ in the rain…I’m happy again…

I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain…”

I suppose learning to sing or dance in stormy weather requires that we suspend reality or access the inner child in ourselves. Dancing in the rain means we’ve set aside worries and negativity, at least momentarily, in order to just enjoy that short moment. We’re not concerned about what anyone thinks about us.

It’s not always easy to do that, that’s for sure.  Sometimes the emotional or psychological climate we’re in just sucks the life right out of us. Singing and dancing are the last things we feel like doing.

It’s possible that’s exactly what we need to do.  

Whatever the weather is bringing you today, I hope you can find joy in it, see the beauty in it’s variety, cherish the changeableness in it. Maybe you don’t feel like dancing about it.  I hope you can find that sunshine hiding out in your heart and dance anyway.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Joy, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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