Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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A Gift

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Have you ever fallen under nature’s spell

walking in the cathedral forest

with sunbeams streaming down from heaven?

It is a gift from the Creator

Maker of heaven and earth

Creator of the universe and willow bark

crystals and all that we need

for healing and nourishment.

When we fall under the spell of nature,

we honor the Creator, God, The Great Spirit, Yahweh, Allah, Goddess –

Creator of Gaia, her trees, flowers, rivers, oceans

and all kinds of beings that fly and crawl and swim and walk.

We were made to love this gift of love,

to protect and cherish the wonders of the earth.

Mother Earth is a living organism

Blessings to you on this Earth Day.

SOCS

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was the word, “spell,” brought to us by Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-2217/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


6 Comments

A Quick Update: JoAnna of the Forest is Back!

 

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I’ve been wanting some anonymity on my blog, so I’m returning to my blogging roots as joannaoftheforest. One reason for the change is that I’ve decided to publish my memoir under my maiden name to protect the privacy of several individuals. It might make marketing a little more complicated in other places, but it will give me more peace of mind. For updates on the book, you  can sign up for my monthly newsletter and/or like my Facebook author page via the side bar to the right.

I appreciate the loving support of my blogging family, and as joannaoftheforest, I’ll be able to let you know when my book comes out.


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A Forest of Dreams

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In the face of so much sadness and violence in the world, one community came together and created something beautiful.

When they didn’t get the grant they applied for, Professor Janna Robertson and Matt Carvin, the director of Dreams, an arts program for at-risk youth, put their heads together. The goal was to paint a mural on a 240 foot wall to beautify the neighborhood known as Northside where Dreams is located. They decided to ask community groups to sponsor creatures to inhabit the Forest of Dreams. Over 1000 volunteers worked on the mural, and I was honored to be one of them. We worked in the rain and the heat, with lots of ants and other crawly things, and I loved every minute of it. Not only was I doing something I loved, but the  consistently positive attitudes of the people around me gave me hope. I’ve never before seen with my own eyes such a diverse group of people working together to create something so beautiful.

My assignment was to paint a heron reading a book using a rough sketch as a guide. The heron was sponsored in honor of  Dr. Bertha Todd, a veteran educator and civic leader who served as an important mediator during the racial tensions of the early 1970s. The book represents Dr. Todd’s memoir, My Restless Journey, which I’m looking forward to reading. (If you’re interested in purchasing the book, contact me via my contact page.)

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The heron took a few weeks to finish. Then, I added the two bunnies below to another section of the mural, as well as the white rabbit in the bottom left corner of the top photo.

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Among the forest creatures, you’ll see scrolls which tell this sweet story:

 There once was a deer, small and gray,
Lost and lonely, only a stray,
The deer was alone but did not know why
So he lifted his gaze to view the sky.

He yearned for the welcoming stars,
And wished on each one from afar,
Until, suddenly, one star grew,
Revealing a world he never knew.

 In this new light, he saw colors bright
A forest filled with fantastic delights
And amazing creatures unlike any type
He had seen on his side of the night.

He played and talked with them,
Gave to them and got from them
Sage words, gifts, and most above
Acts of kindness and boundless love.

Voices in the wind from souls long gone
Sung to him, the words of a song:
Grow, reach your antlers to the sky
You weren’t born with wings, but you can fly.

So he leapt into the starry night
And became a constellation bright
A Prince for all to see
A guide for those who dare believe

A wall is not always a wall
Sometimes it is not one at all
When you paint the world with dreams
Barriers are not what they seem.

A dream is not just a dream
But a place to start, a place to leap.

By: Jamie La Londe-Pinkston

 

Here are some of the creatures who live in the Forest of Dreams:

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Kids Makin’ It is a program where kids make things from wood. I thought it was very cool that the owl’s wings look like wood.

 

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Memory Tree

The Memory Tree honoring those who have passed on.

 

Deer

The deer

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The deer close up

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”                    Margaret Mead

 

For more information, visit the Forest of Dreams Mural Website


8 Comments

Get Outside!

Boone Hillside w trees   I love it when a bad mood changes in what seems like the blink of an eye. Feeling tired and overwhelmed after work, like I just wanted to take a nap, I decided instead to tackle a couple of seemingly big decisions to get them over with. One of them was what to have for dinner. The other had to do with a complication in my daughter’s college financial aid application. After being on hold for about 15 minutes with the financial aid application help service lady who was patient and nice, but would not give me a clear answer, I presented both issues to my husband and daughter outside on the back deck.

    The financial aid issue actually took less time than the decision to go get a couple of pizzas, because we had to decide on the toppings. What initially seemed like complicated issues when I was tired worked out easily when I got outside.

   Two things helped in solving what were really minor issues. Asking the two people I love the most for their input made perfect sense since they would be affected by the decisions. (Having been a single Mom for over 10 years, I occasionally think I have to figure everything out myself.)

     The other thing that helped, which I think is more profound because it was less obvious, was that I got outside. Our wonderfully overgrown yard was lush with greenery in the late afternoon sunlight. The trees start to take over in the summer because they know I love them. The mimosa, which some people call invasive, provides a tropical-like canopy with its feathery pink flowers.  I have long dreamed about having a little house in the forest. For now, I have brought a bit of the forest to my little house.

     Sometimes when I get home from work, I’m feeling so tired from sitting and typing at a computer inside an air conditioned office bundled up in my sweater where I work as a counselor, listening compassionately, and at the same time, objectively trying to help people change their thoughts and actions, all I want to do is take a nap.  Sometimes I do take a nap. Naps are great when you are old enough to feel refreshed by a twenty minute snooze instead of feeling groggy like when you were younger.

     But sometimes I go out in the back yard and my whole perspective changes. I get energized and refreshed just by being outside among the trees and listening to the music of the birds and insects. I usually start by doing something practical like picking up dog poop which can be surprisingly satisfying in its simplicity. You don’t have to think too hard about it. You just have to watch where you step. Then, if I allow myself the time, I get to puttering. I could be trimming back a bit of overgrowth, saving the young magnolia I should have moved when it was smaller from the grapevine, or moving a seedling or a “weed” I find attractive to a better location.  Once I get to digging in the dirt I am in the zone.  I’m only vaguely aware of the mosquito and perspiration on my arm as I breathe the cleansing smells of the earth.  There is something about the benevolent influence of nature that nourishes me on a spiritual level and brings me back into balance. When I finally come inside to wash my hands, I look in the mirror. My hair is a mess, my nostrils are slightly flared and my eyes are bright.  I smile at myself feeling alive.

    My mood changed drastically for the better just by going outside and being in nature.  So, tell me: what can change your mood like that?

Wild Woman

Me, on a mountain trail, with messy hair, feeling alive!