Life Cycles

During my evening walk, I discovered this joyous little sight:


My first thought was – “and it begins again”.  This is very likely the first generation of Monarch Caterpillars in our area for the year.  We have been enjoying these many sights of Spring for the past 3 weeks here in Michigan:

The Monarchs though, they are more than Spring.  They are the ultimate representation of life and life cycle.  The promise of transformation and beauty that happens in each life.  True, you have to eat (and poop) a lot of milkweed; hang yourself upside down while you morph into a cocoon and drop your head on the ground, and then take a couple-week nap.  Then comes the magic!  Out of that tiny shell you emerge, patiently waiting while your wings fully open and dry – and your magnificence is visible for all to see.

To find this little cat today was especially sweet.  We had planned to do some clean-up work at our little cabin but decided to have a rest day instead.  A trip to the airport to bum around with Piper was the alternate plan.  What a blessing to run into friends and share an impromptu picnic and wonderful conversation.  To laugh, share a meal, and talk about life (not “the virus”, the riots and unrest, the economy) – just everyday things.  The kind of things that a few months ago would have been considered mundane.  Today – they felt like rare and precious jewels.  The time spent with Judy and Ray was a treasured treat.

I have been privileged to have several of these special times since returning to Michigan.  I have spent time with Mom – doing “stuff” (planting flowers, catching up on some computer stuff with her, cooking, grocery shopping, lots of talking, and making jam).

Bill helped me bring to life some plans I found for DIY planters for vertical gardens made from a pound of nails and 4 old pallets.  My brother helped by locating the pallets.  Bill provided guidance and some muscle; I pulled nails, drilled holes, cut boards, pounded nails – and voila – a vegetable stand and a flower/herb stand!  They are in our yard at the campground – a spot of green growing things for me to lose myself in.  We are planning to stay planted for the summer and part of the fall since everything in the world seems in a state of unrest.  Here is the before:

The “in progress”:

The finished product:

I am excited at the thought of posting “after” photos once the plants have settled in.

Lessons and Gratitudes from life:

  1. Family, friends, moments, kindness – this is what life is about.
  2. To Do Lists are great – don’t try to put everything on today’s list. Save some for tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.  Make sure that you have relax time on your list each day.  That way you can take time to look around and appreciate everything.img_0131
  3. Roots are a good thing – they are part of your foundation and tell a part of your story.img_0132
  4. Taking your vitamins and supplements to maintain a healthy immune system make your nails and hair grow! I learned how to give myself pretty nails (first time in my life I’ve had nails that aren’t peeling, broken, or ugly).img_0126-1
  5. I am so grateful for Mr. John – and am looking forward to seeing him in October. We will discuss flowers and recipes and life, and he will work his magic with my clumsy attempts to keep my hair short.  I am also grateful for Beth giving me a haircut while we were in Texas – that child is multi-talented!
  6. I spend more time looking others in the eye – really seeing them. Especially those wearing masks.  You can see beautiful smiles in their eyes.
  7. Speaking of masks…I see them as a sign of respect. Wearing them when coming into contact with others – especially store employees/health care settings/post offices – where they have to wear a mask – that is one small way I can convey my thanks for their willingness to provide their service – to show that I respect them and their family.
  8. Grace and gratitude – the ultimate attitude adjustment!

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