The Dance

Enjoying nature was one of many activities that John and I enjoyed sharing. We visited many botanical gardens, beaches and parks wherever we lived. On one of our first vacations together, we travelled to Fort Myers and stayed in a resort right on the beach. One of our days was spent on Sanibel Island, home of several wildlife refuges. We devoted an entire day at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

There is a four-mile scenic drive around Sanibel Island which is home to hundreds species of birds, reptiles, palms, seagrapes, myrtles and other native vegetation. John loved watching me enjoy my passion – photography. He drove along the dike so that I could snap away. Whenever we saw something that caught our attention, especially a flock of wading birds, we stopped to get a closer look.

As we drove slowly along the dike, I saw a lone Little Blue Heron off in the distance in the bay. He caught my eye, and I asked John to stop. We got out of the car and walked up to the edge of the water. The heron was the only bird in sight, but he put on what we later called a “happy dance” through the shallow water. We were thrilled to watch and I captured the show in several still, sequential photos.

The Little Blue Heron stood in the “knee-deep” bay, and my first photo was one where he appeared to be looking at himself in the water like it was a mirror. We imagined to ourselves that he wanted to make sure his feathers were all in place, and he looked handsome and presentable.

Gazing Into The Water

After a few seconds, all of a sudden he spread out his wings and stood on one leg. And then he started running through the water towards us. As he ran, he held his head high and held his wings out like angel wings.

Dancing Dancing

He glided across the shallow water flapping his wings up and then down and turned making a semi-circle wake in the water. Then, as suddenly as he had started his “dance”, he stopped. I caught him in this beautiful, graceful stance. His wings were held out as he stood on one leg, as if in a “Karate Kid” pose gazing into the water again.

Karate Kid Pose

He stood there staring into the water for several seconds, and we were sure he was pleased with what he saw. He stood up once more, raised his wings and continued sprinting and splashing back towards where he started.

Look At Me

All the while, he danced solo as if he was wooing a mate to join him in his tango, “look at me, look at me, I’m here waiting for you!” It was a lovely sight to behold; while we stood there, he never enticed a lady bird to join him.

We decided to return to the car and continue along the dike. Before John started the car, he grabbed my hand and looked into my eyes. He told me how much he loved me, and I said the same back to him.  As we drove away, I told John, “that heron’s soul mate is just sitting back waiting for us to leave.  They just want some privacy.”  And we smiled . . .

John and I lived Richard Bach’s quote everyday: “Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.” We made each other’s life come to life; we were blessed with a once-in-a-lifetime bond.  He didn’t have to dance to woo me; he had me at “hello”.

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Let’s Have Coffee in the Morning . . . Just the Two of Us

One of the simple things we loved to share was coffee in the morning, just the two of us.

Some of the cooler mornings, we sat on the patio to listen to the birds. We were fortunate to have a blue bird family nest in one of the blue bird houses and have two clutches this year.  What a beautiful and peaceful sight to watch the mama and papa birds fly in and out to take care of the babies!

Some mornings, we watched “Good Morning Tampa Bay” to make us smile.

Some mornings, we had coffee with our favorite pumpkin bread. Our little “fur-babies” love pumpkin, too.

Most mornings, we just sat and enjoyed each other’s company, just happy to sit in the same room.

My morning coffee’s not as good when I don’t share it with you.

My day’s not as good when we don’t start with a walk through the morning dew.

Whatever we share is worth more than diamonds or gold.

If you are beside me, and I can take your hand to hold.

I pray each day to God above,

and thank him for bringing you to me and showing me true love.   ~ Your JB

Please cherish all the moments with your loved ones, no matter large or small, for you never know when one might be your last. Bea Positive every day . . . “rain or shine, it’s gonna be a great day.”

Hope Springs Eternal

Easter Lilly Bud

Hope Springs Eternal

 

While Easter 2015 was almost 10 days ago, I captured this Easter lily in my garden after a spring rain. It’s perfect and unopened with freshly fallen rain appearing like teardrops rolling down the bud. But instead of tears of mourning, these raindrops symbolize tears of joy for a beautiful bud which will soon fully blossom. The lovely Easter Lily symbolizes Life, Purity and HOPE.

Hope is a feeling of expectation, anticipation — an optimistic attitude of positive outcomes. While life can throw us unexpected curveballs, it’s important to never lose hope. Even when it seems impossible in the natural, God always has the last word. As St. Clement said,

“If you do not HOPE, you will not find what is beyond your HOPE.”

My wish for you is that these positive images, history and even mythology about the Easter Lily leave you with optimism and hope. What better time than the Easter Season to remind us that Jesus Christ offers us eternal HOPE!  We have a couple of lilies getting ready to bloom.  We will enjoy their beauty as well as the reminder to HOPE so that we will find what is beyond our HOPE.

  • Often called the “White Robed Apostles of Hope”, lilies were discovered in the Garden of Gethsamane. According to tradition Lilies grew up where Jesus Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in His final hours of sorrow and distress. No wonder that during Easter, these lilies signify the resurrection of Jesus and HOPE for eternal life!!
  • In early paintings, the Angel Gabriel offers the Virgin Mary pure white lilies announcing that she will be the mother of Jesus.
  • St. Joseph is depicted in some paintings holding a lily to his virgin wife, Mary.
  • Other paintings pictorialize saints bringing white lilies to Mary and Jesus after His birth.
  • According to legend, the white lilies were formed when Eve cried repentant tears upon leaving the Garden of Eden – symbolizing that true repentance leads to beauty.
  • Roman mythology links lilies to Juno, the queen of gods. While Juno was nursing her son, Hercules, excess milk fell from the skies. Part of the milk remained above the earth, forming a group of stars called the Milky Way. The remainder of the milk fell to the earth and sprung up as white lilies.

Always remember to Bea Positive and always remain full of HOPE!

Sources:

from http://extension-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/publications/lily/lily.html

“Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,” compiled by Ivor H Evans. Harper & Row, 1989, p. 663

It’s in the Valleys I Grow

Back in the early 2000’s, I was on a major roller-coaster of emotional turbulence.  My friend, Angie, gave me this poem, and I’ve kept it all these years.  It seems that just when things are going well, you get thrust into a valley.  So when you think you may be stuck in a rut — or in a very deep valley — pull out this poem.

I hope this poem gives you encouragement and strength to grow through whatever valley of life you have experienced or may be going through right now.  “Bea Positive” that any storm in your life has a purpose!

Growing in the valleys

The Old Man with the Umbrella

It was a rainy, cold January morning. My husband had a check-up with our primary care physician. We go with each other to keep each other company while waiting. Most of the time, we don’t even speak to each other, but we’re together. He usually reads a magazine, and I observe and listen to others waiting with us.

Our doctor’s specialty is rhematology so he cares for older patients – older than us, that is. This morning, it wasn’t very busy. An older gentleman came in a few minutes after we had been sitting. He was the only one who bothered to bring an umbrella with him. He signed in and then sat in a chair next to the water cooler. He placed the umbrella between his legs with both hands placed on top of the handle and watched the TV.

After a couple of minutes, the young office assistant behind the window called his name, Mr. Osborne. I could tell he was hard of hearing, and sitting next to the water cooler didn’t help him hear the young lady calling his name. She called him a couple of times, raising her voice each time. When he finally realized she was calling him, she asked him, “Mr. Osborne, I don’t have you down for an appointment today.” He shuffled over to the window.

She told him again that she didn’t show an appointment for him. He pulled his smartphone out of his pocket. The calendar on his smartphone showed an appointment for that day. He was a bit agitated, so she told him she would check with another assistant. He returned to his chair and propped his hands on the umbrella.

She came out to the waiting room several minutes later to speak to Mr. Osborne. She informed him again that he didn’t have an appointment that morning. She said that he had called the week before and changed the appointment for the first week in March. He looked at her and said, “now, why would I call you and do such a thing? I need to see the doctor today.” She told him she would see what she could do and returned to her desk.

Mr. Osborne continued to sit with his hands on the handle of the umbrella. He put his head back against the wall and appeared to fall asleep. Several minutes passed, and she called to him. Again, she called his name several times, and he finally woke up and heard her. She told him they would make sure he saw the doctor.

About that time, my husband came out and we walked towards the door. Mr. Osborne looked like he had started napping again. I’m not sure how long he had to wait, but when we left, he was still sitting with the umbrella propped up, hands on the handle, head propped up against the wall.

For some reason, Mr. Osborne made an enduring impression on me. As we drove home, I wondered out loud if he drove himself to the doctor’s office himself and hoped he would get home safely. It also said that a confused mind must be scary – since he didn’t remember calling and changing his own appointment. At a red light stoplight, I turned and looked at my husband. I told him that I am so thankful that neither one of us have to sit alone in a waiting room.

I hope you enjoy this Bea-utiful Christian song called “God Made You For Me” which I dedicate to my soul-mate and loving husband who always tells me “Bea Positive” through all of the ups and downs.

Candlemas

Candlemas is a Christian holiday also known as “The Feast of the Purification of the Virgin” and “The Presentation of Jesus”. Described in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:22-40), Joseph and Mary presented baby Jesus at the Temple 40 days (inclusive) after his birth. On this event, Mary completed the ritual of purification after childbirth and performed redemption of the firstborn son, Jesus.

Why do I bring this up, you ask? I suspect you have a 2015 calendar which marks February 2 as Groundhog Day. The origin of this U.S. event was first documented in a diary entry by James Morris on February 4, 1841. In the diary reference, Mr. Morris pens “if the groundhog sees his shadow he pops back for another nap, but if the day remains cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.” (Source: History Society of Berks County, Reading, PA).  The date that the groundhog “peeped out” was February 2 – Candlemas!!

So, on Monday, February 2, we will anxiously await to hear whether or not Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. We will also know the new reigning Super Bowl Champions. Now, you know that February 2 is Candlemas – 40 days after Christmas Day – the redemption of Jesus as Mary’s firstborn son and where Simeon prophesied the redemption of the world by our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Bea Positive and Bea Redeemed as we start a new week and new month.  Enjoy this Scottish poem about Candlemas, a forecast for the winter season:

If Candle-mas Day is bright and clear,

There’ll be two winters in the year.

If Candle-mas be fair and bright,

Winter has another flight.

If Candle-mas brings clouds and rain,

Winter will not come again.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day

Here’s to a Happy 2015!

With the new year just hours away, lots of people are trying to figure out their resolutions for the new year.  How about “let’s really have a happy new year”?

Here is a list of 9 things that Happy People tend NOT to do.  So, here’s to Bea-ing Positive and Happy in 2015!!

Happy people stay happy because they:

  1. don’t blame others for their problems.  So that means taking responsibility for your actions and your choices.
  2. don’t overact to the present moment.  Remember, “this too shall pass”!
  3. don’t use negative language.  Bea Positive!
  4. don’t feel trapped.  “There is a great future in front of you; you can leave your past behind.”  Joel Osteen
  5. don’t focus on a single passion or relationship.  Diversify and Bea Open to new things and people!
  6. don’t dwell on past failures.   As Joyce Meyer says “I may not be where I need to be but I thank God I am not where I used to be”!
  7. don’t spend more time than necessary around unhappy people.  As they saying goes, “misery loves company”, which is truer than you might believe unless you’ve experienced it!
  8. don’t gossip.  Keep your word and confidentiality.
  9. don’t procrastinate.  “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”  William James

 

See http://goo.gl/6TJAET for the entire article “9 Things Happy People Don’t Do”

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