Category Archives: Musings on Life and Beauty

Monkey Bars

For the last several weeks, my daughter has been on a mission to conquer the monkey bars.  With 5 soccer players, we’ve been at plenty of playgrounds in the last 8 weeks (when it wasn’t raining or snowing) and she’s been practicing at every one.  At last, she came running to me this week to announce that she did it.  Naturally, we had to have a little monkey bar show for Mom to celebrate the moment.

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As I watched her display her new skill, I pondered for a moment the weeks of trying that built up to this.  I thought about how she refused to be discouraged every time she didn’t make it.  Instead of thinking about her failures, she continued to focus on how badly she wanted to do it.  And she believed she could conquer those monkey bars.  Little wonder that she was so triumphant when she reached her goal!

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I know that in the big scheme of things, the monkey bars are a non-issue.  When she’s all grown up, it won’t matter that she did this.  But in a way it will.  It matters that she accomplished something that was important to her.  It matters that she knows she can try hard things, work at them, and then do hard things.  It matters that she knows she can do a hard thing and make it fun.

I wondered what kind of monkey bars I’m struggling with right now.  Some of my monkey bars are things I want desperately  to learn; others I would probably never seek.  But whether our monkey bars are chosen or thrust upon us by the realities of life, we are just like my daughter.  We can try hard things, work at them, and end up not just doing them, but having a great time.  Isn’t it wonderful to have children on earth with us, to remind us of the lessons of life in such simple ways?

Peacocks

peacock

On a recent preschool field trip, the peacocks reminded us how beautiful they really are.

When I was a girl, my uncle had peacocks at his house, and I remember hunting for the feathers.  I had forgotten how enormous these birds look when their feathers are fully extended, and how blue they look.  It took my breath away to watch it (while I also wondered why I decided not to take my zoom lens).

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It was also interesting to watch the strength it took from these birds to keep the feathers in a fan when a breeze was blowing:

The poor guy had to work hard to keep them out of his face.

But here’s my question for you.  Have you ever seen an albino peacock?  If not, check this out.

albino peacock

Sorry about the view of the cage.  Only one little spot was bent and would fit my lens in it, and this beauty was nowhere near that spot.  I know that I’m a sucker for the color white, but this bird was stunning.

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I was fascinated.  All those feathers, and totally white.

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albino peacock side view

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Amazing.

I was really touched by the beauty and majesty of these birds.  I remembered a favorite quote:

“Never lose an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting, a wayside sacrament.”   -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Glad I got to see the handwriting this morning; what a lovely signature.

Hopeful Homemaker

Happy Mother’s Day!

These are the wildflowers (aka weeds) that my younger children gathered for me for Mother’s Day.

Perhaps it’s the economy, which has reminded me that things don’t really matter much, or perhaps my heart is just more tender this year, but I loved them.  I loved the homemade cards, the honest way in which my 6th grader admitted that the card he made me in music class was really done because it was worth 200 points, the way some of them sweetly cleaned their rooms as a gift to me (and apparently without any encouragement).

But back to the wildflowers.  I overheard a conversation among children as three of my younger ones hunted with two neighbors for their bouquets.  I could hear them running from spot to spot and exclaiming “My mom is gonna love these flowers!”   Over and over they would ooh and aah at how lovely their gatherings were.  At last, not wholly getting the purpose of the picking, my three year old son said “My dad is gonna love these!”  The whole group giggled.  Then the neighbor boy said to him, “Your Dad!  Dads don’t like flowers!  They like cool stuff!”  Very kindly they all then filled in my little boy on the cool stuff that dads like, such as skateboards, bikes, cars and so forth.  It’s a good thing moms like flowers, because they sure made my day.

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