Wild Hearts

There was a time when I searched for hearts. Every place I explored, every mountain I climbed, every path I traveled. But I never found any. I believed they were not for me to find. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to see them, so I stopped looking.

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And then suddenly they were everywhere I looked.  These hearts from nature. Hearts that you find while not looking for them. Hearts that remind you that life is beautiful and wondrous and amazing.

I have come to see these hearts as symbols. Letting me know that the path I am on, is the right path. The right path for me and my heart.

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After a long period of healing, mending, and then opening and expanding. My heart is once again whole. And once again…wild.

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A Year of Grace

This year, my word is grace. It is a word that can mean many things to different people. It means many different things to me…

All things I aspire to be, feel and experience.

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As I think about my life and where my journeys have taken me and where they may lead me, I believe that grace is the perfect word as I begin this new chapter.

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Defining grace isn’t easy though so I looked to others for help…

“Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.”  William Hazlitt

And then I thought about what grace means to me. Fortunately I am surrounded by grace. Nature knows what grace is.

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The smell of the earth after a thunderstorm

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The sound of waves as they kiss the shore

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The quiet hush of snow falling

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The tender flowers blooming in the spring

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The leaves gently rustling in breeze

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The feel of the warm sun upon your face

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The enchantment of discovering magical places

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The reverence for the beauty that is all around us

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Grace is integrity and honor. It is doing the next right thing. It is moving forward and not having regrets. It is the small courageous voice that keeps us going.

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It is growth and learning and the wisdom that comes from sadness and pain. It is surrendering and letting go and turning over. Grace is crying and laughing. It is small moments and small miracles. It is open hearts and open arms.

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It is blessings and gratitude. It is faith and the deep belief that it will all be ok. It is finding serenity and peace. It is hope and optimism and truth. It is the hand of a child and the kindness of a stranger. It is friendship and compassion.

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Grace is light and love

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Most of all, I think grace is the ability to be still, take gentle breaths, and fall in love with life again.

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Here’s to my year of grace.

Small Moments

Small moments in time.

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We experience many such moments each and every day.

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I try to capture these through my words and my pictures. Sometimes it works. And those moments are caught. Their meaning, their essence, and their grace shines through radiantly and perfectly.

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While away for Christmas with my family, I saw and I felt and I experienced, so many of these small and wondrous moments.

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Here are my pictures of those moments. I hope that they convey the joy, the warmth, the love, the beauty, and the magic of how I am feeling this holiday season.

It isn’t necessarily the grand events or big moments that are the most memorable…

Instead, sometimes it is the small moments in time, that warm our hearts and bring us peace.

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Quarries and Metaphors

It’s no secret, my love for the abandoned quarries. I am smitten. I am captivated. I’m in love. And every time I go there I find more to love.

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But I had never been there in the fall. And so this weekend I went. And I fell further in love with these remnants from long ago. And I discovered more than I could have ever imagined.

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Fall at the quarries is glorious.

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Like anything there is so much more than just what’s on the surface. These scarred towering rocks and deep holes filled with shimmering water, tell a story. They tell of mans’ strength, determination, and spirit.

The piles of grout create mountains and things grow up on these mountains. From the wreckage and waste…new life begins. Standing on these enormous hills is breathtaking. The world lays open from every angle to savor and enjoy.

These rocks weather extremely well which is why they are chosen to grace so many building facades and memorials. They can survive all types of storms, and remain unchanged. Granite is not only strong and enduring but multifaceted.

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I often think of these magnificent quarries as a metaphor.

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A metaphor for my life.

Like the granite, I have survived and endured many a storm. And like the quarries, deep below the surface within my heart, is a fierce determination and resilient spirit.

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And so, I am drawn to these quarries…

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They remind me.

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And they inspire me.

Lovely Leaves

I say it every year.

I take a million pictures.

I feel amazement and delight.

And I find myself in absolute awe.

Autumn in Vermont is truly magnificent.

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The lovely leaves have captured my heart again this year.

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Those still in the trees…

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And those that have landed softly on the ground at my feet.

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Nature’s palette never ceases to surprise and amaze me.

They are all lovely, from the yellow to the red,  to every color in between.

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Such lovely, lovely leaves.

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Letting Go

The time has come. It’s time to let go.

I’m ready.

    I have been moving in this direction for a while now.

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Turning over stones, examining dark corners, and digging deep.

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Peeling away the layers that have wrapped themselves around my heart.

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    I have been remembering.

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And I have put the many wonderful memories in a good place.

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There is no lingering sadness, anger or resentment.

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Only understanding, compassion, and acceptance.

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I have been feeling. Despair and pain. Hurt and betrayal. Lost and alone.

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And then joy and peace and gratitude.

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For everything in life is either a lesson, a blessing, or a gift.

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This was a gift.

It gave me back myself. It showed me I could open my heart all the way.

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I could love with every part of my being.

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And that I can still grow and learn and believe.

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I’ve learned the difference between letting go and holding on. I choose to let go.

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Because letting go is the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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Letting go is opening a door, and clearing a path and setting myself free.

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And so I hugged him, told him I had loved him with all my heart, and then I let him go.

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Recreating Tracy

There’s a quote that goes something like this:

When you love someone you give them the power to destroy you. But trust them not to.

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I was destroyed. I felt as though everything I had believed in, everything I felt and thought was true…wasn’t. And my world crashed.

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In AA we call this hitting bottom. You can be sober and still hit bottom. I never knew that until these past few months. And I found that when this happens I have choices. I can start again. I can learn and grow from the pain. Or I can stay at the bottom.

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I chose to see it as an opportunity. A time to rebuild, recreate, rediscover who I am. But this meant some work on my part. It also meant that I needed to first feel all the pain and anguish. I had to allow myself to feel it all and not run away or try escape from it.

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Then I needed to take a good hard look at myself and my role in it. Looking back through the wreckage of my past…relationships and experiences and mistakes. Looking for clues and answers. I had to look honestly at who I was. Because I don’t want to hit this same bottom again.

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It isn’t pretty this self examination. But it’s what we do. What we have to do to find serenity and peace when our world falls apart. We are works in progress. Always. It never stops.

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And this process involves finding ways to forgive. Ourselves and other people in our lives. Forgiveness is freedom. Hanging on to resentments and bitterness is not and only plunges us deeper into the abyss.

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I found I am stronger than I thought. I found inside of me a joy, that despite any darkness in my life, always finds a way to shine through. And I found that I possess many wonderful qualities and that I can work on the not so wonderful ones. They are not permanent flaws or defects.

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And most of all I found that my heart, while seemingly broken, really isn’t. Just bruised a bit. The human heart is an amazingly resilient thing. It is limitless in its ability to mend and heal. It can and will feel love again. It is what a heart is meant to do.

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So I’m recreating Tracy. I’m polishing some of the tarnished parts and discarding some ideas and thoughts that no longer are needed.

And keeping the essence of who I am…

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