It’s the space between words on a page that make reading enjoyable. It’s the space between notes in a musical score that makes listening pleasurable.
Hint #3 — Globally there are eight species of pelicans. Only two of the eight species live in North America. During my sabbatical, I won’t see any because they’re wintering in states south of my geographic location. If it were summertime, however, I might be gifted with a sighting.
Life has spaces.
Some are shorter than others—the space between breaths, blinking, and heartbeats.
Some are longer than others—the space between cell phone upgrades, careers, and changing homes.
Life happens in the space between. And it’s meant to be savored.
Do you give yourself enough space?
Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”
On the return leg of a road trip to Montana—we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. To see it, you’d think you’d just stepped off a spaceship onto another planet. Here’s a photo of the terrain:
According to the brochures we received at the visitor’s center:
“Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush—a volcanic wonderland that is fun to explore. In 1969 NASA astronauts Alan Shepherd, Edgar Mitchell, Eugene Cernan, and Joe Engle explore the monument while training to visit the moon.”
It made me think about life on other planets; lifeforms we refer to as “Martians” or “Aliens.” If they visited us, they’d probably feel extremely out of place. On the flip side of that coin, we’d probably feel extremely out of place on their planets too.
Walking along I saw what looked like a leaf laying on its edge. Curiosity piqued, I went over and took a closer look. A katydid!
The detailed veining on their green, oval-shaped bodies makes each one look like a leaf— phenomenal camouflage when you spend the majority of the day eating leaves in tree tops and don’t want to be seen by a predator.
With ears located on their front legs, katydids rub their front wings together to sing. Preferring to walk and climb, they have the ability to fly short distances, but do so only when they feel threatened.
This little gal wasn’t scared of me. In fact, she let me give her a ride out of traffic on a twig.
When I travel to the San Diego area I make a point of visiting the meditation gardens at the Self-Realization Temple in Encinitas. Located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, their aquatic gardens are home to colorful koi fish and lotus flowers.
A lotus flower grows from the bottom of a muddy pond rising upward, emerging at the surface where it blooms into a beautiful flower. At night the petals close and it sinks beneath the surface only to re-emerge in the morning with the sunrise.
In my perspective, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s observation, “No mud, no lotus,” is a lovely metaphor for the human experience.
Hummingbirds — their name comes from the fact that they flap their iridescent wings so fast (about 80 times per second) that they make a humming noise. They can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down.
Using strategically placed salvia, hyssop, and a sugar-water feeder, we’ve intentionally created a hummingbird hideaway. “Build it and they will come,” they said. That’s an understatement. They’ve come all right—in droves—and I’m enamored.
Once I started researching these colorful little creatures, I quickly discovered that they hold a wide variety of symbolism in different cultures around the globe, but there are a few core similarities:
Cairns—we saw them aplenty when we climbed Ben Nevis. We noticed quite a few in Nova Scotia. We spotted them as trail markers in John Muir woods, on Palomar Mountain near the observatory, and now in the shallows of the Boise river—in this case, parents built them symbolically, one cairn each for a family of seven.
Used by people around the globe, cairns — human-made stack of stones — serve many different purposes:
Utilitarian: to mark a path, territory, or specific site
Spiritual: inviting passersby to stop and reflect
Ceremonial: when placed within a circle of enclosing stones
Memorial: when friends and family members voice a fond remembrance of a loved one while adding adding a stone
Symbolic: the uses are endless including love, prayer, and artistic expression