Solitude May Bring Peace In Chaos, But Life Was Not Meant to be Lived Alone

Sunday, February 20, 2022

 Have we realized it yet?  That nobody is missing the material things.  We all miss the company of others, great conversations, and a hug.  That's what life is all about.  -Joshua Becker

I came across this quote today on Facebook and it really rings true.  It's been almost two years since the pandemic changed the world as we knew it.  As difficult as it's been in so many ways, it's almost impossible to list all the ways life has changed.  Even for those who were never convinced the pandemic was real, those who continued life 'as normal', the world around them is different.  The opening quote says it quite accurately - we miss the company of others.  I know I (and the writer of that quote) are not alone in that sentiment.  The past two years have been an exercise in isolation, even when we're in public we don't see faces.  We see eyes above a mask.  Thank God we've reached what looks like might be the brink of normal.  

During these two years, we've done our best to cherish the unchanged, the familiar that was left untouched, and to savor those things that replenished our voids.  For us that meant the company of immediate family, a few close friends, and hobbies that this new lifestyle afforded the time to pursue.  I'm grateful that one of our favorite pastimes was not affected by Covid.  Our road trips continued and more than ever served as an elixir of sorts to help medicate and distract from the pandemic that wouldn't quit.  Even when we enjoyed views from dirt roads where we rarely met a passing car, or saw another human being....our drives, the views, the scenes that were brand new and those old familiar ones all served to transport us out of the 'life post pandemic'.  While nothing would have cured what ails us better than the company of unmasked acquaintances, a church congregation, or a big hug from an old friend, a ride through the serene Grafton Lakes State Park was medicine enough for one afternoon and a reminder that while life for humans has changed - nature carries on.

 At a time when it feels like life will never be normal again, a visit to the familiar, to a happy place cures the blues.  Life isn't completely unrecognizable.  We just need reminders.  When we force ourselves to step outside of ourselves, we are reassured.  And we are reminded.  At the end of the day, and at what is perhaps the only end we're going to get to in the pandemic....what matters most is not how much we acquire.  It's not things, or money, or climbing a career ladder.  It's the relationships we have with fellow humans.  It's how we live - not where we live, how big a house we live in but who we share that space with.  While we've all learned how to survive the isolation, that's not the way life is intended.  We are meant to be with others - to talk, to eat, to share ideas, to hug and to support.  This last photo demonstrates that - TWO people walking together.  We can live without things, but we cannot live without each other.  Hopefully we've all figured that out these last two years and may we never take the company of our friends and loved ones for granted again.  

How ever you survived these past two years, whether you've managed fine or are hanging by a thread, I hope this drive through Grafton Lakes State Park gave you a moment or two of peace.  I hope it brought you a sense of calm and a bit of optimism that life as we know it is within plain sight and when whatever normal we return to, I hope that you hug everyone you've missed and a few people just for the joy of it.  They need it and so do you!  

Joshua Becker is a minimalist, a best-selling author and speaker:    Anyone who knows me, or has seen my home tours on here knows I'm not a minimalist, but his point above is one I subscribe to and his articles about decluttering and focusing on what matters most in life are inspiring.  Follow him on Facebook to learn more:                                                            

Observing Life Among Our Backyard Birds

Saturday, February 12, 2022

 Relationships are like birds.  If you hold too tightly, they die.  If you hold too loosely, they fly.  But if you hold with care, they remain with you forever.

One of my greatest joys is sharing my outdoor space with the birds.  We feed the birds year-round and in return for a good meal, the birds who frequent our feeders provide us with endless entertainment and occasionally some life lessons.  

It's fun to observe the constant flurry of activity at the feeders, particularly the variety of visitors that stop by for a snack or in some cases, a feast.  While there are regulars, there's always that occasional surprise visitor - this year a lone robin who has adopted the feeding habits of the regular diners.  This robin has decided to expand his dining horizons and is now eating from our feeders, a first for us in our 40+ years of bird feeding.  Of course, switching from ground feeding to sharing a perch to dine means dealing with some friendly and occasionally aggressive competition.

We never have summer bluebirds, but come October or November a small flock returns to take advantage of the ample food supply. In addition to sunflower hearts, our bluebirds enjoy dry mealworms, suet and peanut butter balls. Those are a big favorite with all the birds.

A heated birdbath makes for quick and handy hydration ....or warm bath.

Occasionally things get testy and patrons forget their table manners............

And sometimes there's a bit of confusion about who got there first..........

Mostly though the birds co-exist, peacefully taking turns, sharing the wealth and demonstrating the ability to take advantage of a moment to stop and rest and enjoy the sunshine.

If the feeder is empty...take advantage of the space to rest!

We need to be more like the birds in respect each other's space, not be too judgmental, share, rest when necessary and make room for new friends.  But even in the best circumstances, sometimes a bully comes along and tries to ruin the fun........
Beware of those kinds of intruders and when they show up, and they will, don't let them steal your joy.  Stick together, defend your territory and never let them see you sweat!

“All birds find shelter during a rain, but the eagle avoids the rain by flying above the clouds. Problems are common, but attitude makes the difference.” 
Thanks for stopping by Life As I See It.  I hope you enjoyed today's post.  If you did, be sure to share.  For more like this, check out my Directory under the category 'Animal Friends".  
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