Some of you may be wondering why I am repeating my 100 days of happiness. Honestly, one day I was walking along the trail feeling so thankful for the sweet scents enveloping me, the gently breeze, the wildflowers swaying gently as I passed….. I reflected on how many of these wonderful daily blessings grace my life bringing me joy.

We all know there a lot of negative things happening in our world. I decided to remind myself about the many joys that brighten my little world every single day.

I love the practice of being more keenly aware of all the beautiful bounty of happiness I can tap into whenever and wherever I choose.

I find the more aware I become of the happiness quotient that is available to me, the less the negativity depletes me. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Plus, I can do this on Instagram now too.  J

Breaking Camp

I have been on my personal adventure out here in Cheyenne for over a year now. It has been such a wonderful experience I really hate to see it end. But it is time to break camp. The joys of this part of my life’s journey are so sweet, so dear to my heart, it is very difficult to pull up and go home to Missouri. But thinking about returning to Marty and our home on the bluff brings tears to my eyes each and every time I let my mind wander there.

I can’t part without paying tribute to the people and experiences that have made this time so memorable to me. For one, I have treasured living so close to Beth. We have not lived close to each other in 14 years and we made up for missing those years together. We have shared so many wonderful talks, walks, and tender moments. It is really a gift to know that my daughters are my best friends and to live within six blocks of one of them has been a gift I will remember always.

And then there’s Elly. She brings a smile to my face everyday – she is a little package of joy this adventure has gifted me. I am so incredibly grateful to have developed a strong bond with her I know we will always share. It is terribly difficult to think I will not be seeing her almost every single day.

Then there’s the friendship I have developed with Chase. My goodness, what a nice person and what a wonderful father and husband he is. I love our chats and the times we share fixing dinner together. I am lucky to have had this time to get to know him as a good friend.

Of course a good deal of my time has been spent  helping people all over the state of Wyoming learn about the health insurance marketplace. At first the task seemed a bit daunting due to the fierce independence of these folks, and the political tenor of most of the people that live here. But, I was part of an incredible, dynamic team of people who pulled together and drove the miles, suffered the hours and the weather conditions to do the good work out here.

I feel like I have been part of a team that has gone into battle and has grown stronger and wiser from the challenges we faced, and the people we helped. Being part of this grass roots effort taught me so much. I have been in the trenches with my colleagues and I believe all of us have grown wiser from this work.  I know we will look back on this experience in years to come and know we were part of the birthing of something new and important in this country.

But so many signs are showing me it is time to move on, to break camp here. I look forward to stoking the home fires again with my sweet husband. And I know there are new opportunities, new people to meet, and new ways to serve.

I am smiling through my tears.

Sacred space

There is something about fall for me. The weather, the colors, the stars in the sky, all take on an even deeper meaning for me in the fall. I become very introspective – pondering about our world and my place in it.

The days become shorter, and there is more time for candlelight, in my game plan. Candlelight has a very special place for me, having been entranced by it as I sat through many a Catholic mass growing up. Even when the ritual and the priest’s ministrations became long, the flickering of the candles at the altar kept my attention. And I absolutely loved to put my coins in the long slit in the metal stand that held the red votive candles in front of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

And God knows, there were even more candles at the funeral masses I had the good fortune of singing for with the rest of the fourth grade choir at St. Michael’s. I learned you needed lots of candles to honor the presence of God in the room.

Thus, it should be no big surprise that Marty and I have been eating by candle light for years. And when the evenings get longer and longer, the whole garden room is alight with the votive candles I light in every corner.

Of course at one point Marty commented that “this feels like church!” And he really doesn’t need that. But I do.

I know our home is a very special place. It is alive with art, every room filled with the furniture pieces he has lovingly crafted over the years – and all of the paintings and sculptures he traded furniture pieces for. The tables are graced with pottery vases and bowls, hand-forged iron candlesticks…….. every piece a loving gift from the maker. And that creativity mirrors the Godness of each of those artists and crafts people……………… creating a very sacred place,  a place that emanates spirit in each and every room.

And music has been added to the space over the past couple of years. Marty can be found practicing Irish airs on his guitar for hours at a time – the music adding a new dimension to the soulfulness of our home. Even the sweet melodies that I can sometimes evoke from my dulcimer contribute to energy that abides there.

So candle light is part of the ritual of celebrating our sacred space each and every day. And additionally, ever since Marty was fighting the ravages of cancer, I have lit a candle in the kitchen to call healing angels to assist us in that struggle.

People sometimes ask about us why we don’t “go to church”. We do. It is where we live.