Simple Is A Feeling

Simple Is A Feeling

It is the day after Christmas and I feel content.  My family cooked together, watched Bob Ross paint a winter scene on Netflix (sounds boring but we laughed and laughed and were amazed) stood around a fire in the snow with the dogs, listened to music, attended a candlelit solstice yoga class at Sandpoint Hot Yoga , walked, worked a puzzle, shared meals with friends and enjoyed each others company.  It was a simple and beautiful winter scene.

20161220_135320
Stunning snow covered Lake Pend Oreille;

I am grateful to my friends and family that understood that both my kids and myself don’t need much.  Gift cards, a paid month at the gym, a massage, books, Christmas money and music were some of the thoughtful gifts received.  Nothing needs to be exchanged, and we do not need to find closet space to house a giant haul of gifts. With all the recent purging it feels exactly right.

20161220_175142
A gift of tiny succulents, perfect for a tiny house!

Occasionally here in North Idaho we will experience earthquakes, nothing terribly devastating, just enough of the ground shaking to look at one another and say “Did you feel that?”  It catches your attention, provokes some conversation and we move on with the day.  This week while I was finishing another collection of items for the donations pile, I stopped and had that same earthquake sort of moment.  Suddenly I thought, “I can feel it.”, the house actually FEELS lighter.  The realization stopped my busyness and I thought … this is it …. this is what simplicity feels like.  The house is gaining space, some of it hidden in drawers and behind closet doors, but the open space is there and I can sense it.

I am also noticing that since the house is already free of much clutter, keeping it that way takes very little of my time.  It’s nice to come home and have a tidy space to greet me.  This week my kitchen will receive some attention,  digging into the corners of the cupboards, pantry and fridge. My guy has a habit of dating jar lids when he opens them, which at first I thought was rather OCD, but now I know exactly how long that favorite salad dressing has been sitting on the shelf and really should be tossed!  Sounds like the perfect detox for the new year.

May your season also be filled with simplicity,  the people you love, and the miracles that surround us every day.

20161130_035838

With 2017 right around the corner, pour love and light into your world …

Hillary D.

The Games We Play

The Games We Play

During the cold, dark, short days of winter the puzzles come out, it’s how I avoid the temptation to slip into sleep before 7 o’clock every night because it’s been dark for hours already.  The title of the latest winter puzzle is “The Games We Play”,  and it’s full of nostalgia as I have always loved board games.  This however is not a particularly cozy, happy post.

As I searched for the spinner to High Ho Cheerio, I was listening to the television when a story about the White Helmets of Syria came on.  These are volunteers who dig out survivors after a brutal bombing has occurred. They look for legs or fingers or any other visible body part and begin to frantically dig away at the rubble with bare hands, and time is of the essence to save victims from suffocation.  My Hi Ho Cheerio search became irrelevant as I watched the images come across the screen of the horror that is Aleppo.  I have no reference of suffering at that level and felt overwhelmed to be sitting in a safe and warm home lit softly by Christmas lights, with plenty of food, clean water and my family.

 

20161219_061036
Warm on a cold winter night.

It is always a worthwhile exercise to connect with the suffering of others, it keeps our humanity in check. Life often hangs by a fragile thread and while I cannot change the reality of those living in Aleppo, I CAN be mindful of the energy I put out in to the world.

Today was my test. It was just ONE OF THOSE DAYS.

The kicker was dropping off a mass mailing of report cards (mass mailings tend to provoke tension from the onset), only to have the postal lady call as I was three blocks away that I needed to return because all the envelopes were 20 to 40 cents short on postage. If there hadn’t been half the population of the county waiting in line when I returned I might have had a memorable moment in the post office.  I return to the school, reweigh the envelopes (which the majority were under the 1 ounce limit…thank you very much) and headed home.  My sons friends were listening to their music that tends to set my teeth on edge and sitting at the puzzle.  I looked at their impressive progress and said, “Whatever you do, DO NOT FINISH THE PUZZLE, that is the best part!”  Realizing I need to get a grip I retreated to a quiet room.

I remind myself that my “bad” day is nothing, nothing other than an inconvenience. So I say a small simple prayer for those who are fighting … for Aleppo, for cancer, for loneliness and homelessness, and hunger …  I make my family a delicious vegetable red curry and I feel so, so terribly blessed.

20161219_061007

Peace and Love,

Hillary D.