Sunshine

By Teresa Smith

The sun to guide us by day. The moon to watch over us by night as we sleep. God loved us so much he gave us a night light. Any of you have children who were once afraid of the dark? Remember getting those night lights with the cartoon character they loved most on it? I remember I bought my son that cooler one as advertised on TV. It was shaped like a dog and it reflected stars on the ceiling. He would not go to sleep until I turned it on each night. I never wanted him to feel afraid, so I comforted him with the light just as God comforts us.

Just the other day, as I was sitting in the parking lot waiting for my son to be dismissed from school, I saw the sun in the sky surrounded by clouds and thought it was an analogy of what we are going through at this time on earth as human beings. We are surrounded by the cloud of Covid-19, but the sun is shining through the clouds showing us there is hope on the horizon.

We are not alone. Our light is shining on the pathway to our new beginning. So hold on, keep the faith, and keep fighting and we’ll see the dawning of a new day.

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The Absence of Your Presence

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When gathering in groups routinely, various roles emerge. The leader leads, the followers follow, and the rebels rebel. Sometimes each of these exchange roles as time goes by, however, when one leaves the group the absence of the members’ presence is felt. Why, you may ask me. It is because the dynamic of the group has to change again. A valuable piece of the puzzle is missing leaving a void that must be filled by someone or something. The silence of the missing group member speaks volumes. It is as if they were never noticed before the moment they left.

This new development can be considered a negative or a positive depending upon who you are within a group. Some may breathe a sigh of relief that the person is gone, while others may in some ways mourn the loss to the group. Still others will seem indifferent pretending not to even notice the change. But they notice all right. They notice that something is dfferent.

I am letting you know today that the absence of your presence whether in a group or on this Earth is felt by those you leave behind, walk away from, abandon, or even those you dance away from like a sweet aroma passing by your nostrils as you go about your day. We matter! That is one thing that cannot be denied. So, make your presence known even in your absence.

Being Invisible

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We are bombarded with images every second of our lives. The media throws ads at us nonstop. We’re on our devices constantly looking at screens filled with images, information, and misinformation. We devour these images and fill our minds with endless pictures that we sort into categories, like beautiful, ugly, scary, etc. Practically everything that we see dominates our thoughts during the day and enters our dreams at night. But is what we are seeing always real? Are images and what is on the outside most important, or is the invisible more real than the visible?

Just think of all the things we cannot see with the naked eye, that are more powerful than the things we see. The wind is powerful at times, right? The air that we breathe cannot be seen, but we need it to survive. This virus we’re all fighting right now cannot be seen with the naked eye, yet it is very real. The effects of the virus can be seen at times and at other times, and in varying cases the effects are invisible. Most images are made up of pixels. These pixels fool the eye into seeing the entire image. Sometimes what is seen is not even real.

I tend to think of being invisible as a sort of superpower. Just think, a few months ago nobody even noticed all of the essential workers and no one saw this virus enter America. All those people working behind the scenes are a powerful force that keeps America moving forward on a daily basis. That person who feeds the hungry in private, makes an anonymous donation, lifts your spirit when you’re down, calls to make sure you made it home safely, prays for you to get better without telling others, and loves you unconditionally while no one else knows is an invisible hero. And for those of you who believe in God or a higher power as I do, you know that God is the ultimate invisible hero with endless invisible superpowers.

So the next time someone treats you as if you are invisible, remember your superpower and continue to use it to defeat the enemy.

My Son’s Birthday

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My teenage son has just turned a year older. This means he’s a year closer to becoming a grown man, a year closer to possibly leaving for college, and a year closer to being independent. He’ll make all of his own decisions soon. Yes, the good ones and the bad ones. He will also face his own consequences.

I can only hope I have done a good job at preparing him for all that he will face. Providing him with necessities is one thing, but preparing him for life is a whole other thing. I’ve given him the gifts of private education and martial arts training at Tae Kwon Do. I’m very proud to say he is a black belt. However, the most important gifts I’ve given him are love and teaching him to be a caring human being.

He is more focused as he’s growing. He’s more sure of himself, more confident. He knows what he wants, and he goes after it. I’m sure I taught him that. He listens to my advice more carefully now knowing I speak from experience.

He tries to help and protect me now in a way similar to how I’ve been protecting him all these years. His heavy voice now fills a room like a sonic boom. He’ll soon pass me in height. Later, he’ll be driving me around. See how the roles reverse? I’m eagerly awaiting that last change.

A Chill is in the Air

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Autumn brings both beauty and brisk weather. All the golden hues of leaves are about to burst out into view where I live. I took a nice brisk walk today in the area where my child goes to school. The decision to park across from the school and wait until he would be dismissed on this half day was made after he realized he’d left his phone at home and the privileged parking lot his school has provided for parents, like me, to park in was filled with cars from a movie crew this morning. So, I parked the car, and decided to walk around and explore the area around his new school. Up until this point, I’d only ventured out to the Dunkin Donuts franchise about three blocks away. Today, I was going to take a much longer walk. Google Maps provided me with directions to my destination. It was only 0.6 miles away. I could get there, shop, and be back at the car by the time my child was dismissed from school. So, off I went into the great unknown.

The first few minutes of walking were a breeze, however, after going a little further I noticed I was walking uphill. Now, I had not done this kind of walking for quite some time. So this was beginning to be a daunting task. “Should I turn back?”I asked myself. “Of course not!” I answered reluctantly. So, I persevered and reached my destination. While browsing around the store for bargains, I pondered in the back of my mind, “How am I going to make it back?”

Well, one thing I could do to make my trek back to the car easier would be to make fewer purchases. Or I could purchase only lightweight things making it easier for me to carry things on my walk back. Either way, the walk back would be somewhat easier because I’d be going downhill this time. Everyone knows downhill is easier than uphill, right? Well, that would remain to be seen.

As I left the store with two bags in each hand, I thought about how great I’d feel about having walked a little more than a mile today at the end of my journey. Heck, in my twenties I’d walk two miles a day just going to and from work on foot. Back then I didn’t have a license nor a car and I hated to ride on public transportation. So, I’d walk to work everyday: winter, spring, summer, and fall. I digress. The wind kissed my face softly and more intensely at times as I walked at a moderate speed downhill passing few people on this blustery day. Discovering businesses in this neighborhood I never knew existed, and imagining the bags were like dumbbells, I’d lift them up and down while waiting for a chance to cross the street at each corner. “What a workout?” I thought as I approached the car.

After putting my bags in the trunk, I eagerly sat inside my car thinking, “What an achievement!” I must do this again someday soon.

How are you spending your autumn days? I hope you’re getting out and about. It’s nice to feel the wind on your face once in a while. Remember retirement means doing things you didn’t have time to do while you were working. Here’s to hoping your autumn days are happy ones! As always you can reach out and share your thoughts about my podcast on any of my social media platforms. Talk to you later. Peace!

This is the script I wrote today for my podcast. I’m posting it hear for anyone who reads my blog and wonders what my podcast may be like.

Seasons

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My last post was about the fall or autumn season. As I sit in a parking lot surrounded by trees, mostly green and some with leaves just beginning to fade into a mustard type of yellow, I think of how we all as people have our seasons. When we are children, we’re all shiny and new. As teenagers, we blossom quickly. As adults, we are not as green as we once were; we are more knowledgeable and more guarded. As we proceed into the fall and winter of our lives, our hair like the leaves on these trees fade. Only black, blonde, brunette, or red hair fades into gray. And sometimes as humans we fight to prevent the new season from coming, instead of embracing the beauty of it all.

Like the leaves on the trees surrounding me, I know it will all begin again in the spring. My niece is about to welcome a brand new bouncing baby girl into the world soon. This baby will be the newest leaf on our family tree. Yet all seasons are beautiful and necessary. Enjoy your season, no matter which one you’re in right now.

I originally wrote this post on October 10, 2019.