I see trees

 

Sometime in the near future NASA is going to reveal that they have found the center of the Universe.

A lot of people are going to be crushed to find that it’s not them.

I am growing so incredibly frustrated with the materialistic, self-centered, selfie society we are becoming.
Rampant consumerism has a firm choke hold on the throat of moderation.
Savings have dwindled, debts have soared, and landfills are heaping with the scraps of our throwaway mentality.
Self-obsession and promotion has become the new normal. We’d rather film a person beating someone up than stop to help them.
We are becoming too power obsessed, fighting for our little scraps and destroying everything in our path in the process.

I fear that we are losing our humanity.

 While I always tried to avoid participating in such a life, I was forced to live along side it. Fortunately, in the downsizing of my existence I was finally able to walk away from it completely. Once free from the pursuit of a larger everything I have embraced normalcy. I have welcomed my average. I celebrate and surround myself with the regular. And I have never been happier.

One of my favorite movie scenes is from The Great Outdoors, starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd. They are in Canada on vacation, sitting on a deck overlooking a lake. Dan Aykroyd, a materialistic businessman, goes off on a tirade about what he sees when he looks out over the water. He describes a vision of future Industrialization, urban sprawl, forestry, and medical waste dumps. John Candy’scharacter is a simple man, and when asked what he sees, replies
“I just see trees.”
He is then summarily berated for being short-sighted and simple. Sorry to say, but that’s me, I just see trees.

In order to appreciate the world we have to take our eyes off of the screens and look up and around. We need to appreciate the power and beauty of nature. The beauty is everywhere, the power rearing its mighty head unpredictably. Both manifest in subtle sights and awe-inspiring displays. The flight of the bird, starlit nights and sunsets, the reflection of foliage on the still waters of a pond on a late fall afternoon. Such sights fill me with wonder and give me cause me to question my place in the world and to seek a spiritual connection to the Universe.

The looming mountaintop, the endless horizon seen from the beach, the mighty Oak, the rushing river, wind tearing through trees, waves crashing and receding with a massive riptide serve another purpose entirely. They remind me of how small I really am in the grand scheme of things. Instead of being intimidated, I embrace it.

I recognize my relative size and overall significance in comparison to the Universe. I know my place. No man is a match for the mighty tide, despite his wealth, power and amount of Instagram followers. Man is only a force in, not of, Nature when he embraces his fellow man. But instead of coming together as an advanced society we have drifted apart and we are regressing. Our humanity is whatmakes us great, the increasing lack of it is destroying us.

Thisis a call for humility,
A wake-up call to recognize and embrace our smallness.
A damper of ego and hubris.
For less stuff andmore quality.

To just see Trees…

Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Laketra BFF and I’m pretty psyched. This whole “award” thing is pretty new to me but it’s nice to be noticed and I will participate if for no other reason than to thank Laketra for the nod. She’s a Social Worker with a beautiful soul and she writes about everything. I recommend you check her out. Thank you so much for thinking of me!

For those of you that don’t know, the Liebster Award seeks to highlight new/newer/newish bloggers. When you are nominated, you are summoned to:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award logo.

2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you.

3. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award.

4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

5. Let the bloggers know of their nomination!

Here are Laketra’s questions for me:

 

1.) Why did you start blogging?
I was going through a very challenging part of my life and I thought it would be therapeutic to put my thoughts out there. Once it’s out you have to feel better. In addition, I was curious if anyone would relate to my story or tell me I’m nuts.

2.) If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?
My father to be alive
A beautiful life for my children
The eradication of hatred…everywhere

3.) If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?
Again, my father

4.) Any advice for your 13 year old self?
Be yourself. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Lighten up.

5.) If you had to change your name, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change my name, I’m a Junior, named after my father.

6.) Favorite food?
Comfort food from my childhood. Mac and cheese, Hot Dogs and beans, Spaghetti and meatballs, a greasy Diner Burger.

7.) If you were a super hero, what superpowers would you want?
To live forever, to see the future, and to control Karma. Good people get theirs and bad people…well the Karma bus will back right over them and I’ll be the driver.

8.) What is your top strength?
People skills. I study them, I understand them, I can read them, I can handle the worst of them, and I’m nice to all of them.

9.) Read any good books lately?
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. Ripped my heart out.

10.) Dream job?
Anything working with kids. Adults are formed, there’s so much to be done with kids to help give them a better future. So much more than money. Since my disability I have been volunteering a lot. This summer I will volunteer at a retreat for the entire families of terminally ill children. It’s not a paying job but I would do it the rest of my life.

11.) Favorite childhood memory?
Weekends at the lake surrounded by family, friends, sunshine and water without a worry in the world.

My nominees. Now, my understanding of the Liebster is that it is for new(ish) bloggers so I don’t want to exclude any of the amazing bloggers that I read daily but highlight just 6 that are really worth checking out. Blogs that are about a year old or less.

1)The Daily Tales of Gregg Savage https://dailytales.com.au/ 

Gregg has taken on the amazing task of producing one children’s story a day for a year. His stories are amazing and full of metaphors, some subtle some not so much, that we adults could learn from. He really speaks for the kids, check him out he’s great.

2) badparentingweb https://badparentingweb.wordpress.com/ 

Funny, real and fun to read, this blog walks you through the life of a young parent and teacher. He’s got a great eye for the world and a keen sense of humor.

3) Karyn’s Domain https://karynsdomain.wordpress.com/

Ever wanted to drop everything and just hike? To really experience nature? Karyn’s blog is a heartfelt, earnest exploration of new chapters and fond memories.

4) MSGraceful…NOT!  https://msgracefulnot.com/

Grace is a funny, witty, brutally honest blogger who writes often, but not exclusively, about life with MS. She is a powerful force in the chronic illness community and she is a hell of a storyteller. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

5)Bojana’s Coffee and Confessions to go https://bloggingwithbojana.com/

Bojana’s writing skill is only surpassed by thought-provoking subject matter. From motherhood to her childhood and everything in between, Bojana will leave you thinking, and possibly rethinking, for days and hours after.

6) Brandewijn Words https://brandewijnwords.com/

Brandewulf, or “the Wulf” is a guy that decided that by night he wanted to explore his poetic side. I’m glad he did, this guy is great. His poems can’t be described by a non-poet like myself in any other way than “wow“. The imagery and use of language is some of the best I’ve ever read. Plus he’s a storyteller as well.

Here are my 11 questions for my nominees, should you care to participate.

1) Why did you start blogging?

2) What do you like most about yourself?

3) What would you change about yourself?

4) If you could sit on a park bench and talk with anyone for an hour, living or dead, who would you pick?

5) Who would you pick to play you in your biopic?

6) What is your favorite childhood memory?

7) What one food would you pick if you were stuck on a desert island?

8) If you could, would you ask for a do-over for any period of your life?

9) What smell reminds you of your childhood?

10) Who is your biggest influence?

11) Does your family know about your blog?

 

 

Alright, that’s it! This was fun! Thank you again to Laketra for the nomination!