Introspective Insights

Introspective - adj: Examining sensory and perceptual experiences. Insight - n: The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation.

Songbird Surprise

One of our fall family traditions each year is walking through the local nature center to see the changing leaves and observe wildlife. Each year we see something new and one of our favorite activities is feeding small songbirds along the path. We put seed in our hands and stand as still as we can until they perch on the tips of our fingers to gather the bounty. Last year we found that the birds really loved a couple of us, but were skittish with the smaller kids. This year, they landed on all of us and we got some great pictures.

bird pic

Every time one of these little creatures lands on my hand, I am amazed at how beautiful and finally crafted they are and how each one looks a little different. From far away, there is no way to tell the small differences between them. They look into my eyes as if to greet me in their own special way. Some gather one seed, others fill their beaks until extra pieces fall out as they fly away.

Each one approaches us differently and quickly chirps to notify friends that we are there. We all learn to not jump when they land as they always seem to swoop in without us having a clear view of them. One perches on my phone as I take a picture. Some buzz by my hair, one lands on my arm, each amaze me with the vigorous flutter sound as they fly away.

The views gorgeous, the temperature just right, and these sweet, delicate birds – just the right therapy I need today.

Panoramic of Nature Center

Love for the Latte
What can I say? I’m in love with my latte. It greets me in the morning – frothy, tasty, and warm in my hand pushing out the cold, slowly waking me up. This love for the latte – I can’t imagine a day without it. However, I’m guessing like most of you, I wasn’t born a coffee drinker.
I started drinking coffee in my teens – I remember my first cup – my Dad handed it over to me and asked, “Do you want anything in it?” It seemed like a test – so I paused…cream seemed safe. Sugar…that didn’t seem quite right… I drank a few sips black…I held back my pucker face. I stirred in the cream. “Better?” he asked and I nodded. Somehow I knew I had to get through that cup. I was definitely not a “regular” yet.
Fast forward to college – I didn’t know it yet, but I was about to experience the holy grail of coffee shops – Water Street Coffee Joint. The original location – across the street from Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo is what all coffee shops should aspire to be. Quirky and quaint in a tiny, old converted gas station near the train tracks, the original building was so small, 2-3 people could barely stand in line to order at the same time. The sunshine logo in yellow and orange with the cobalt blue background and mug were perfect (still is). We were always crammed in and sometimes you could not find a seat – but you waited anyway. Their mocha was the stuff Folgers coffee dreams of being when it grows up and starts wearing makeup and dressing fancy. The fresh cream (lightly flavored with vanilla) alone was enough to make you want suck down that heart racing, rich chocolately dream drink. Jerry did not drink coffee UNTIL he had a Water Street Mocha. He was converted – right then and there.
True story – we went to Chicago during those years and went to Starbuck’s for the first time. We both ordered mochas – mistake number one. What we didn’t know then that we know now is that a Starbuck’s mocha in my opinion is their worst latte drink. We didn’t finish our drinks – it tasted like –*gasp* the fast food of coffee!
Fast forward to now – I’ve been converted to Starbucks. Maybe I have gone backwards on the coffee snob continuum by admitting this fact, but it is all about the love of the latte. Give me sugar free vanilla and breve with that kickin espresso and that first sip is divine – every time. We have duplicated it on our home machine and I have my cobalt blue mug and saucer where I sit and pine away…remembering the days at Water Street. If we lived closer, I would be there…
Enjoy your coffee today, friends.

We Celebrate Anyway

The last several weeks have been really trying for our family and extended family. We’ve suffered through illness, untimely death, and other stressful situations. Over this past weekend, I felt as if I were at my breaking point, but I found that keeping up with my thankfulness journal really helped me keep perspective on everything.

Today on Valentine’s Day, I’m reminded of the most important things to celebrate – love, family, and the decision to celebrate.

We celebrate by giving each other cards, candy, hearts, flowers, and small gifts. But it is not the gifts that matter – it’s the people giving those gifts that we hold near to our hearts. If I chose to look at the circumstances around me, there would be no reason to celebrate – I could easily be depressed or exhausted, or just look for the simplest way to get through the day. But instead we celebrate anyway – in the midst of the pain, fear, illness, waiting, and sorrow. We choose to take a different path – to choose joy in the simple act of giving paper hearts, homemade cards, and cookies.

I wear a cross around my neck occasionally. It took me a long time to decide if I wanted to wear one because I didn’t want to dishonor what it stood for or disrespect Jesus’ sacrifice by my bad behavior while wearing it. The cross – the symbol of ultimate suffering during Jesus’ time becomes a symbol of our salvation – a treasured and honored reminder of new life from horrible suffering and death. We choose to make this awful thing represent eternal life.

Ultimately I believe we have made it through these last several weeks by choosing to believe and have hope that this is not the way it should be, has to be or will be forever. We don’t always get it right, but I believe that God if faithful. He has shown his face to us during this trying time.

We choose to celebrate anyway and welcome the joy of this love He has given us.

Feet, Glorious Feet

At times you will find that profundity eludes me, so I just have to go to silly land for a bit.

I have a confession to make…I love my feet. Yes, this is a sincere, unabashed love for my piggies.

When my fat little toes are polished – they gleam like wiggling jewels and I can’t help but stare at them. I take a peek and just smile to myself.

That whole barefoot and pregnant thing? Yea, I was all over that! How could I resist the urge to walk around with my feet burrowing into the carpet – feeling the softness between my toes?

Toes in the grass? Yes indeed! Toes in the sand – why not? Toes on the cool, tile floor – mmmm hmmm.

Wait…what?

It’s winter?

Awww shucks, yes, that is a bit of a downer. Poor little chubby things are stuck in socks, slippers and shoes…fighting the good fight to get out. The occasional appearance yields naked little toe nails – a bit shy and bleary eyed from the bright light. Not sure if they want to touch that tile floor these days…content to live in the ugly brown sweater socks.

It’s OK, little lovelies…spring will be here soon…maybe we should try that pretty Spring Fling nail polish to warm you up? Ahhhh yes, I thought you might like that. 😉

Poetry Jam

Megan over at Sorta Crunchy is celebrating the last day of National Poetry Month and I though I would join in the fun. Be sure to check out her favorite poem by clicking here.

Here are some of my own poems written over the last few years. I’m not great with naming these things, but have tried to name them something.

Coffee Shop Confessions

As I sit in my corner vantage point in Waterstreet
I see caricatures of reality
A snowflake etched in glass
A love letter in a handkerchief
A copper sun on the ceiling
A poet in the corner

It quiets as they all leave
Serenity pours out of the speakers
What seen before me is reality?

Everyday Chaos

Incessant chatter, word upon word
My participation wanes
Until I become a catatonic observer

Dusk

Clearing black sky
Clouds floating away
The Cheshire cat moon smiling
Twinkling light in the distance
The crisp night ahead of us

To Write

Books, books, and more books!
How I long to read them all
Lose myself in the pages
Experience what I don’t in life
Be happy that I don’t have that life!
Read about great truths for eternal knowledge
Read silliness and laugh
Look at pictures and wonder
My desire to drink it all in, all the time!
To become part of the book, whether truth or fiction

But to write a book –
So much harder to do
But necessary to understand and reflect on life
Difficult to express the mundane in the pages
To be unleashed, to write at will!
Whether it be serious, scholarly or just plain trite.
What good is it?
What purpose is served?

My random thoughts fill this space
This page that may hold the complexities of my mind
Or the experience of existence.
Where am I going?
I started out asking this question
And know nothing more here.

Purple pen gliding over the pages
As I listen to the chatter in the cafe
Do they know how loud they are?
Mixing into a stream of confusion
Some voices standing out in random patterns
“The trees are pretty,” says the father to the daughter
“I stopped by and saw it,” the loud man on the couch

Kitchen topics with my love
We are here together
We share our thoughts –
Our perspective –
Our experience

My thoughts blend with the din –
Rising and falling –
Until silent

My pen is stopping
I’ve read this randomness and strangely
I am happy