LIVE MORE LIFELY!
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A Lifestyle Based in Life
Many holidays are celebrated at this time of year—each culture, it seems has it’s own traditional celebrations.
But there is one day that I believe can be celebrated by everyone, regardless of religion, race, creed, ancestry, sexual preference, or any other difference we may have.
And that is Winter Solstice.
This post is about a Christmas more than ten years ago, when Larry and I were living in Florida and had decided to opt-out of the industrial consumer Christmas. It’s from an earlier blog I had about Nature.
I realize that what I am about to describe here may seem sparse to some of you, however, keep in mind that where I am today is the result of about twenty-five years of inching away from commercial Christmas and moving closer to Nature. The original title was “Chrismas Debriefing” because I wrote it after Christmas.
I didn’t buy a Christmas tree this year, but one appeared on Christmas Eve. Larry went down to Home Depot to buy some hardware parts and came back with a Christmas tree! “They were just giving them away for free,” he said. He set it up and we put little white lights on it and the gold star on the top and it was perfect.
While Larry and I practice our lifely principles every day in every way we can think of and actually do, for us this extends to gift-giving too.
And while we no longer participate in “obligatory” gifts, we do give meaningful gifts to a small group of people close to us, and when we do give gifts we take the opportunity to give gifts that are “life-giving.”
A life-giving gift is one that contributes positively to the life of the recipient and also to all Life.
One year, long ago, for example, I gave everyone a bag of organically-grown oranges. They were new at the time and I had just had a life-changing experience of actually tasting an orange for the first time that didn’t have chemicals sprayed on the skin to retard mildew. It was actually one of the contributing factors for me in my switch to organic food and I wanted everyone I knew to taste the difference. I attached a little note making it clear these were organic oranges and explained why they were special. Everyone loved them. It provided a pleasure for the recipients and supported the life of the Earth. I still like to give food as gifts, particularly foods I’ve handmade myself from organic ingredients. It just encourages recipients to eat in a more life-giving way.
It’s now less than two weeks before Christmas and the other day I asked Larry’s Mom if she wanted a Christmas tree. She said yes.
I thought Larry and I would need to go buy a Christmas tree. But then this morning when I woke up I went outside and there was a potted Christmas tree just sitting there on the front porch.
I told Larry it was there and he said, “It’s our Christmas tree from last year.” I had completely forgotten our whole adventure about this tree!
Here’s what happened…
After our dramatic transformation as a result of spending two whole weeks living in an intact ecosystem near the Pacific Ocean, Larry and I made a decision to spend every Friday at a local beach we like. We’ve been going there off and on over the past few months to be in a different environment and breathe the clean oxygenated air while we work on a book project we’re in the middle of, so it just felt right to schedule every Friday at the beach.
This beach is very different from the one we had been spending time at during those two weeks away. There, the beach was very rugged with crashing waves. Though it is right near the mighty Pacific Ocean, it is in a little bay, protected from the pounding surf to the west by a wall of hills. So we get the very clean air, but quiet water. There’s aa sandy beach with waves lapping at our toes. People bring their boats and kayaks out to fish. Right now it’s crab season, so we see crab cages hoping to catch the prized Dungeness crabs.
Yesterday when I walked in the door at Carter & Co and saw the sprouting paperwhite bulbs pushing out to become flowers, I was reminded it is time to plant my paper white bulbs.
This is something I have been doing for so many years, I’ve forgotten when I started or why.
But I just love watching the paperwhite bulbs grow and present their flowers, even in the cold days of winter. It reminds me that no matter how cold and bare the world may seem at this moment, life is continuing on and new growth is on its way.
Yesterday Larry and I needed to go to the small town of St. Helena, California, to pick up my medical records from the hospital where I went to the emergency room after I fell and broke a kneecap last July.
It gave me an opportunity to visit, for the second time, a small shop called Carter & Co, which is on the main shopping street. I first found this shop last June, when we visited St. Helena to celebrate my birthday.
When I walked into the store yesterday, The first thing I saw was a table with a large—I think wood, I wasn’t paying attention to the details—flat bowl with an abundance of paperwhite narcissus bulbs, each one showing its aliveness by just spouting an inch or two. Next to them were several bulbs in containers that were already forced and showing their flowers, so you could see the end result of these sprouting bulbs. Without using any signage, you could see what you would get in the future if you purchased these bulbs and grew them yourself.
I have been writing a journal for…hmmm almost thirty-five years now. I started just before Larry and I met. I write it in almost every day.
I use a 8 1/2 x 11 spiral bound artists sketch book because I like the big blank pages, and it will hold a printed page or a cutout from a magazine or the internet. Now I’m drawing too, but for many years only words.
Every few months I need to buy a new journal and since I started using the spiral bound artists’ sketch book, I’ve also been buying a beautiful card to hide the logo on the front cover. And I always choose one that calls to me and reflects what is going on with me internally or in my life in some way.
For the past two weeks, Larry and I have been housesitting for our friend Joseph and taking care of his cat “Kitty” while he is away. This post is about the second week. Read about the first week at Re-creation on the Rugged California Coast – Part 1
Here’s more about what it’s like to live in this place out on the rugged edge of the California coast and also tell you some experiences we are having.
We are living amazingly close to a beach that is unlike any beach I have ever experienced.
This is not like “going to the beach” where you pack up your things and drive somewhere to a nice gentle beach where you can take off your shoes and have the waves kiss your toes. Or like the beach we used to go to in Florida where the waters of the Gulf of Mexico were so warm we could easily go play in the shallow water.
First, this beach is with me 24 hours a day…