Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Freedom and Love



crisp skin of snow cracked
soft inner belly below
welcomed our foot steps

grass threads through a heart
-shaped opening embroidered
window spring’s waking


You can see where her legs were shaved for her iv and blood draws :-(





Do you see the tiny heart? Love is everywhere!







Nefi's grave site in the woods.

Thank you everyone for your kind concern, prayers and comments. Ellie’s health, at least from the outside seems to be improving daily; no seizures in two weeks, her condition for now appears to be stable. I’ve said to some people recently the only changes this week have been diaper changes. But that's not really true, the sparkle is back in her eyes and a spring is returning to her steps, the closer as we approach the new season. If I hadn't witnessed her horrible seizures and her gradual recovery, (and wasn’t frequently changing diapers throughout the day, and Gordon taking night shift) it would not be obvious that anything was amiss. 

One lovely morning this past week Ellie and I went through the gate beyond the fence and into the woods. Typically I do not take her into the wilderness anymore, because ticks are drawn to her like magnets on a refrigerator, but I have not seen any yet and she had just been Frontlined. We have both been feeling pretty cagey in the house, so off we tromped (well I tromped in my big boots, she bounded) through the remainder of snow still blanketing most of the forest floor. Enjoying freedom, the scent of fresh air, she put her nose to the ground.  Although dogs do not "speak" they have a language all their own through movement, facial expressions, tail wags and well, you live with someone for ten years, you know what they are saying and she clearly wanted me to follow her. In a small area a short walk between brambles and over fallen logs, soft brown soil was visible; the snow had melted in a circular patch. She had led me to Nefi's grave. Her canine nose guided her to the place where her sister-friend’s body was resting beneath the earth. I shed some tears, amazed that while there was snow nearly everywhere else, this spot was bare, but for the heart-shaped stone we had left as a marker. I thought of Nefi’s gentle spirit, imagined the warmth of her little cat soul melting the ice so that new life could grow there in a few more weeks. I felt deep gratitude for Ellie, I wondered if perhaps she was giving me a teaching and offering comfort. While our bodies are temporary, love lasts as long as we remember someone. Who knows what cognitive thoughts a dog has, and how much is our own longing to create meaning out of the simple fact that the sense of smell is one of the most powerful tools animals, including humans share in awakening memory. After all, she stood with us in the cold, as we placed Nefi’s cardboard coffin in the ground, not much more than a month ago. And I suppose after her own close encounter on the edge of life recently, if she is indeed capable of such complex thoughts, she might want me to know that it will be ok. That she won’t really be gone when I can no longer see her brown eyes or pet her curly poodle hair, or feel her breath on my face when she stands next to the bed and pants to get my attention in the morning: “Wake up Mom, a new day has begun!” A part of her essence will cling to my heart, just like Nefi’s, and Lev’s, and Ginger’s and Clyde’s and Ebony’s and Tiger’s (these are the names of our family cats, beloved through the years), and all of the many people whom I still love but no longer walk the earth, too many names to mention.

And this awareness is freeing, like a walk in the woods after long days spent indoors, isn’t it? Not worrying that the “someone’s” we love will ever really be gone, as long as we are here to remember them through scents and sights, tastes and sounds, objects left behind and stories. This does not mean we will not grieve, and miss them, we will. And life will continue, for that’s what life does. Every bud on every tree and bush rising toward the blue sky knows this. 

Pesach, Passover is rapidly approaching. When I take down the aged metal soup pot that belonged to my Nana, my maternal grandmother to prepare a vegetarian version of her matzah ball soup, she’ll be present through the fragrance of carrots, parsnips and fresh dill wafting through our kitchen and memories restored to life.

A busy week ahead: 
eldest daughter home on spring break
a zillion appointments
preparing for guests (dear friends coming up from TN)
readying the house for Pesach

Thanks for stopping by, I'm sorry if in the midst of all that is happening I do not have a chance to visit your lovely blogs :-(




86 comments:

  1. Ah Laura - exquisite poetry and as always the crunch of wisdom sparkling and bracing as the crunch of snow I can feel beneath your feet as you stand with Ellie surrounded by warmth in the cold, by spring and rebirth and the loves that live forever pulsing ever on beneath and, yes as you illustrate, part of the cold. Always held, always embraced, love truly is immortal.

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  2. Ah Laura - exquisite poetry and as always the crunch of wisdom sparkling and bracing as the crunch of snow I can feel beneath your feet as you stand with Ellie surrounded by warmth in the cold, by spring and rebirth and the loves that live forever pulsing ever on beneath and, yes as you illustrate, part of the cold. Always held, always embraced, love truly is immortal.

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  3. Laura, I am so glad Ellie is feeling better. Amazing and tender story about your walk with Ellie. Ellie is such a cutie, take care and have a great week. Happy Passover!

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  4. Laura, this post about brought me to tears. I am so glad that Ellie is recovering. So wonderful that you and she had a walk in the woods as you did, and almost a miracle that she led you to the place where her 'sister' was buried.... Yes indeed, those who no longer walk the earth ARE still with us in so many ways. And, perhaps dogs have an understanding of things greater than we know! May Ellie continue to recover and bring you joy as you bring her joy! (And thanks for sharing in Poetry Pantry today....)

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  5. wow the heart shaped one is so fantastic. I am so looking forward Passover this year... :)

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  6. i am glad of the recovery and seeing ups up and about....that found heart is amazing...and love your little verse as well...spring renewal to you....

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  7. This post spoke volumes to me.
    The buds surrounding my cottage
    look like yours
    and I smile when you shared
    friends from Tennessee.
    Wonder
    are they my neighbors :)
    I send you much love....

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  8. So glad she is doing better!!!!!!

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  9. A beautiful walk, and I love that first haiku.

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  10. It is looking like spring. So glad to see Ellie out and about.

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  11. so ein schöne Herzen..:D
    die Natur ist startklar..nun fehlt die Wärme

    LG vom katerchen der einen guten Start in die neue Woche wünscht

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  12. I'm so glad Ellie is better. I've had similar feelings about my deceased canine friends who have passed through my life. I love your pictures. Here, Spring is announcing its arrival with strong winds. Hope you enjoy your company Laura. Visit me when you can. I understand.

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  13. Just about the poem above--I love your vision of awakening with love as lens. And I see that this applies to healing and your cross species relationships as well. May spring come in with strength and vitality!

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  14. I am so glad that Ellie is doing better and I am glad that you are with her--Beautiful write--thank you!

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  15. Wishing you a blessed season!


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    ~ > < } } ( ° > <3
    > < } } ( ° >

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  16. Such tenderness in this whole post. I think our pets are highly telepathic. They may not have the same type of thoughts we do, but I think they have emotional literacy far beyond ours.

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  17. Wishing Ellie a speedy recovery and lots of smiles to you and your family!

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  18. A beautiful blog post - your close-up photos are stunning, especially against that vivid blue sky and the snow heart is beautiful - what a lovely photo.

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  19. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt blues.

    Happy Blue Monday, Laura.

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  20. Love to hear good news. Ellie looks healthy and beautiful !
    Thanks for dropping by :)

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  21. These outbreaks are gorgeous. Beautiful macros! Greetings.

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  22. beautiful post as always and so glad that Ellie is healing... and yes love is everlasting... xox

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  23. Love IS everywhere, if we but open our eyes. And your snow photo is an utter delight!

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  24. Happy to see her recovering along ~ Liked the images specially the heart shaped ice ~ Spring is on the way ~

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  25. Wishing the best for Ellie.
    Love the heartpatch of snow!
    Have a wonderful time with daughter and friends!

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  26. Glad Ellie is getting very well again. Lovely pics you have here, Laura!

    Hank

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  27. Oh Laura, beautiful post and what a beautiful girl you have!!!!!! I LOVE that she led you to the grave - yes, a teaching, and she knows her time is short. Heartrending to go thru losing them but, as you say, they are never really lost. I love the heart-shape in the snow, and also the heart shaped stone. Sigh. This post brings tears. I still so miss my boy. Always will. No one ever loved me as he did.

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  28. Love that grass snow photo.
    Love is is Everywhere. You are love.

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  29. A lovely day with your beautiful Ellie. Animals know so much more than we give them credit for. I'm glad you're there to comfort each other. Hugs to you, Laura.

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  30. Laura this post was so touching! I am so happy Ellie is gaining her strength~ Animals amaze me-their insight and kindness. I love what you shared, so touching and profound...I needed to read this post today. To be reminded of how my dog makes me feel. We both love nature and this post, took me there~ Thank you Laura
    @>------- I'm touched!

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  31. Thank you for taking time to visit me today. I read about Ellie's health journey and I can feel your concern so much. We are poodle lovers and now have our third little poodle in our lives. We love her dearly and because our last poodle lived to be 15 we too had many months of caring for our sweet girl before we lost her. Ellie is beautiful and she is in my prayers for her return to better health and happy days. Honestly, I think like you about the expressions and intelligent minds of the poodle breed. They are amazing with their ways of communicating with us. I am sure she remembered your sweet cat when she went to her grave.

    Wishing you happy days.
    Jeanne xo

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  32. Beautiful pictures. Lovely poem. I'm very ready for spring.

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  33. Those buds with a backdrop of blue sky fill my heart with joy!

    Blue Shoe

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  34. Spring is around your corner, Laura. I do hope that Ellie will be able to enjoy it. I have said a prayer for her and will continue.

    We lost our dog, Adi, a beagle, on September 17 last year at the age of 16. She would have seizures about every other month and they scared us to death. It is hard for me to imagine having ten in one day. Each one I thought would be her last breath.

    At the end, she would have several seizures a day. At the end she could not stand. I'm praying for you, and your family too. I am getting very sad, I miss my Adi.
    Adi was a very good dog (link)
    ..
    Did you know that dogs go to heaven. They are a part of God's Creation that is eagerly awaiting the end times so they can be with God.

    Read Romans 8:18-22
    "(18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. (19) For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. (20) For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in the hope (21) that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. (22) For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now."
    ..

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  35. Wonderful pics! I played too. Mine are here and here.

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  36. Wonderful photos. Great to hear that's she's better. I played too. Mine are here and here.

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  37. Very nice post.

    I cant help but notice that the heart shape in the snow was made by a growing plant. Its not a coincidence that the flowers burst through the snow - its only growth that gives us warmth.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  38. The heart patch is lovely. I love all the photos of the buds...nature is magnificent! Love the tribute regarding the pot for Pesach.

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  39. She's beautiful!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  40. Oh dearest Laura, I'm so glad that Ellie is doing better and able to tromp around the woods with you, leading you to love and memories. Aren't our animal companions absolutely amazing? I've latched onto Eckhart Tolle's name for them: "Guardians of Being." The lessons and love they share are overwhelming at times, but still gratefully accepted in wisdom and grace. Continued blessings and healing to you both.

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  41. Lovely shots Laura. The grass heart is beautiful. I am glad to hear Ellie is recovering. Dogs are bundles of love, and always have enough to share with everyone.

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  42. Yes, it is a busy time with Easter preparations and all but I couldn't help reflecting on the bond between a dog and his/her owner... there are no words and yet you share them perfectly here. Ellie is beautiful and I rejoice with you that she brings you much joy!

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  43. Old friends, gone but not forgotten. And now the opportunity to share a celebration with friends whose company will be a great pleasure and blessing. Enjoy!

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  44. I agree with Gary, she really is beautiful, and she is probably just as glad to be with you as you are to be with her.
    K

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  45. Great to hear Ellie is doing better. She looks like she's wearing little furry ankle boots. :o)

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  46. Poetry in words and picture. All the best to Ellie!

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  47. glad to hear she's doing better and wishing you a lovely spring time and much joy with the upcoming visits...

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  48. aww sweet and beautiful. Happy she is recovering and feeling better.

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  49. Glad your pup is doing better, Laura. I am huge animal lover, we have 4 dogs, a cat and a parrot. Love the pics of Spring approaching.

    Pamela

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  50. i hope your lovely girl continues to improve to return to 'normal' without any further seizure activity. bless you.

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  51. I'm glad she's doing better. Lovely shots.

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  52. I am sorry for the loss of Nefi and am happy that Ellie is improving. My sister (who is a vet) feels that animals grieve in their own way as she has seen it so many times. I think we underestimate our fellow planet inhabitants... hugs to you..Michelle

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  53. So sorry your sweet Ellie has been through such a trauma. Our dogs are like our children and I can see that you feel the same way.

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  54. Fabulous photos and gorgeous poem. I can see why my piece touched a chord with you....

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  55. It's so good to hear that Ellie is feeling much better. YAY! Have a wonderful fun-filled week ahead!

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  56. LOved your post. Will be thinking of your beautiful poodle girl. I have 4 small poodles myself. Ellie is a lovely colour. I had a poodle once who had epilepsy so she was on medication.......that took care of the seizures.
    I must follow your blog now so that I can see how she is doing
    Janice

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  57. What a lovely musing on life and love and treasuring both. It is a gift!

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  58. Thank you for these quiet moments here today. Soul candy. Love that Ellie has found some spring in her step.
    Sending big love and light to you !

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  59. Very beautiful photos for SWF!Thank you for it and have a nice weekend!

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  60. Lovely post, good to see Ellie is on the mend. Have a nice weekend.

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  61. Yes, a beautiful heart, delicious ...

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  62. I'm so glad to see Ellie feeling better - that you both got to tromp around a bit. I admire you, Laura. I truly do.

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  63. Hoping for a great "homecoming" for your daughter and visiting friends. The buds are really showing a good sign of spring. Take care....

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  64. I like how the spring is peeping out slowly.
    Great series of shots.

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  65. While you await bud-burst, we are patiently waiting for our leaves to turn . . .

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  66. It's so nice to see that you and Ellie are feeling well, bounding happily through the trees and snow! Your description of your walk was lovely. Animals are simply amazing! The photos of all the hearts and buds made my heart sing this cold Spring morning..

    Wishing you a blessed and happy holiday season with your loved ones.
    xoxoxo

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  67. Budbursting in the snow... we have the same here in the Netherlands. I LOVE your photos and it's good to see you walking with Ellie - enjoy nature, enjoy life!

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  68. Very Nice!

    Thank you for visiting my blog. :-)

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  69. Beautiful pics. Happy sky watching.

    My sky.

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  70. Wonderfully creative photography ~ Sorry, though, with me, your dog steals the show ^_^

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  71. Ah the heart in the snow with green poking through.
    Have a beautiful spring.

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  72. Lovely walk in the woods. I, too, was out photographing tiny buds today! Happy weekend!

    Mother Spring

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  73. a walk, a poem, an opening heart discovered in the snow with ellie. my best wishes to you both.

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  74. thank you for this honoring of love. i felt that i was right beside you in the woods acknowledging the power of love to extend and thrive beyond time and space.
    your way of seeing straight through the heart is a gift and a blessing.
    xoxoxxoxo

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  75. perfectly chosen words for haiku
    and for all the rest...
    the budding of remembrance
    the love that never dies,
    all such beautiful thoughts.
    And that soup sounds delicious.
    ♥♥

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  76. I love the heart-shaped opening in the ice and the poem that goes with it...

    Thank you so much for visiting my page. I wish you a great week ahead! :)

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  77. So glad to hear she's feeling better - what a sweet pup. Enjoy your busy week!

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  78. Wonderful photos, I like those tender spring buds, wonderful!

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  79. I walk into your little forest a bit delayed. Wishing I was bounding. So glad to hear Ellie is. And isn't something what they know. There are hearts are in tune with ours. Beautiful hearts, stay strong, be at peace. Now to read your latest post. :-)

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  80. You must know my belief about animals - that they are all angels, wrapped in fur, come down from heaven to model unconditional love. Your Ellie sounds like a special soul, heaven sent.

    Blessings, my friend, on this and every weekend.

    Carolynn

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  81. Oh, your sweet sweet Ellie. How good it is that she is being surrounded by the love she has so freely given to you and your family. This post brought tears to my eyes. And you're right, the love is never lost...

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