What life is really about….

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As the eve of a hectic work day pulls the shade of night down over the day, I am blissfully distracted from the bewilderment of the myriad of events that unfolded to create that hectic day.  I am fortunate to be able to cast those disquieting moments aside and dwell on the touching moment from the previous night.

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Making cakes is a process I enjoy immensely.  It truly allows me to lose myself in the creative process and pour my heart into something I love.  I create with the purpose of wanting to make the occasion that much more special by making a simple birthday cake into a much more personal experience.  Very rarely do I get a glimpse through the eyes of the intended recipient but on Saturday night I was able to see the joy from the other side.

I was the one holding the cake as the birthday song began.  I was the one to present the cake to a very surprised birthday girl.  And I was the one who most appreciated the tears of joy that welled in the corners of her eyes.  It was a truly touching moment for me.

Her reaction made every ounce of my effort worthwhile.  Her heartfelt emotion made every tedious detail on that cake worth each extra moment I took to make them as close to perfect as I could get them.  It may be just a Scrabble cake to some but to her it was the first personalized cake she had ever had and I was moved to tears to be the person that created that memory for her.

That one moment will play over and over in my head as I am laboriously working into the evening hours on my next cake project.  And when my wrists are tired from kneading fondant and my hand is beginning to shake with exhaustion when I am trying to pipe the last details on a cake, I will remember the look on her face and summon that next wind to keep going.

Life is about counting the memories and not the calories.

 

 

 

The map of a place maybe someday I’ll go

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The caution beacon flashes.  It warns me that the lane ahead may close, yet I feel compelled to keep driving in the direction I’m headed. The pavement is smooth and somewhat welcoming but I shift gears to slow my trajectory.  The road winds in a multitude of twists and turns and, even with the subtle warnings,  I can’t turn back.  The excitement of what potentially lies ahead is enticing.

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The spirits of ‘what could be’ sit on my shoulders and continue to whisper sweet somethings in my ear, urging me to go forward and see what lies beyond.  If only the road I am travelling were not so treacherous.  If only those hair-pin turns would straighten for just a moment so I could gauge what lays ahead but the exhilaration of the unknown is like a drug.  Perhaps it warps my sense of reality and, just perhaps, it wants me to be excited by the unknown.  It wants me to feel exhilarated by the element of danger.

I feel the pull to press down on the accelerator.  My engine revs and I shift gears to make the ride smoother.  My carriage rockets forward, almost on auto-pilot, seeking the true ride that it feels is its destiny.  I follow that road, taking the blind corners and skilfully maneuvering the obstacles that inevitably fall into my path.

This road may be fraught with uncertainty but I am obliged to see where this artery of excitement will take me.  The beat of its life echoes with mine and I am a casualty to the incessant drumming in my veins.  The caution signs no longer have meaning and I fall victim to the thrill of the ride.

I keep driving and as my trek continues the sun begins its journey to meet with the horizon and the cascade of hues is breathtaking.  The warm glow of the dying fire in the sky reaches my skin and I am awash in the embers of the end of the day.  The stars begin to mottle the night sky and the promise of another day lies in wait.  The vehicle I find myself in continues on its journey to see where this road will lead, hoping the beauty of the scenery is a portal of what is to come.

I will enjoy the journey I am following on the advice of my inner compass.  If the adventure ends, at least I can say I took the road that beckoned and truly enjoyed the scenery along the way.

Variations, revisions and shifts, oh my.

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“People will tell you that change is a good thing.  What they really mean is that something you didn’t want to happen at all just happened”.

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Change is inevitable but it propels us in a direction we were meant to go.  For us to evolve as human beings and a human race, we need change.  Stagnancy does not promote growth in any aspect of our lives. The way we handle that modification to the bigger picture can be as important as the evolution itself.  Change is always possible but it’s not always easy.

Deviating from the familiar is a daunting task. Routine is a comforting way of life but resistance to change is futile.  It’s going to happen and anticipating that deviation, embracing the new path and seeing its potential, will help to alleviate some of the stress that change brings.

Change may insert itself into your life so stealthily that you don’t even see it coming.  Jobs change, feelings shift, relationships evolve for better or for worse, but we have to set our sails to catch the winds of change rather than try to go against that new wind gust.  We must adapt to the metamorphosis and realize that, even if we are not comfortable with the direction of the variance in our lives, change will bring us to where we are supposed to be.

Change should not be viewed as unfavorable.  Change is just change.  It will always be lurking in the shadows of our lives, waiting to invade our inner sanctum and threaten the balance we hold so dear.

Think of change, not as an ending but, as a regeneration.  A change is gonna come….and although the prospect may be frightening, perhaps what is waiting at the end of the evolution is something better than you ever could have imagined.

Oh, the things you’ll see

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cloud porn

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Hours after a summer rain,

the skies are host to what I like to refer to as “cloud porn”.

It is my guilty pleasure to watch the shapes change,

to watch what or whom the sky would like to reveal.

I didn’t see the face with the big sunglasses,

smiling from the sky,

until I added the picture below.

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It’s not narcissism if someone else writes it

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He wandered in from the past like a daydream.

The words in his email hung in my reality like a cartoon balloon.

I had spent months trying to track him down,

hunting him like he was an endangered species,

 trying to bring him back into the safety of our tribe.

But he was in the wind.

He left no scent of his trail and he had found refuge in his own world.

 After leaving the chase behind,

we became the hunted and he, in turn, became the hunter.

There is a muted sound that is made

when two worlds collide.

It is the sound of making right what was wrong,

of discovering things you hadn’t realized were lost,

of filling a space you had forgotten was empty.

 And even after all the time that has elapsed,

some days it feels like he never even left.

He is that consummate friend you know will always be there,

even if it is twenty-five years later.

He is the man who any mother would be proud of,

(and other mothers would have a crush on).

He is a man I am honored to call my friend.

It is not often you can find another heart on a sleeve

that recognizes that placement as a strength and not a weakness.

He is a kindred spirit, a confidant,

and he is a friend I will not let disappear again.

When a Bubble Guppy goes from a mystery to a memory

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Life is a perplexing thing.   There is no rhyme nor reason to the circumstances of our daily existence.  If there were a giant book of instructions and an elongated list of logic explaining the happenings in our lives it would be in a language nobody could decipher.

We are not meant to know the meaning of things that occur while they are happening.  We are merely challenged to learn from the events we encounter and use that knowledge to enhance our future.  I found myself in the middle of one of those moments last week.

They were a lovely family, originally booked to visit the lodge in July but had to postpone due to a medical diagnosis that required immediate action.  Even after rescheduling their vacation, a last-minute trial became available to help battle her recent diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Two trips to St. Margaret’s Hospital during their four-day “vacation” were made much more bearable by their one “magical” day at Shamrock Lodge.  I was extremely fortunate to be a part of that magic by being asked to make a “Bubble Guppy” cake for her daughter’s 2nd birthday.

I had no idea what a Bubble Guppy was but my longing to make this vacation memorable was overshadowed by my ignorance and this is the cake that arrived at their table and made three generations of their family smile….especially the two older generations.

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I will forever remember driving home that afternoon to finish the cake for an early celebration because her treatment came first.  I will always cherish the look on her two-year old’s face when she realized this cake was for her and it was a Bubble Guppy cake.  And the moment that I will hold closest to my heart is being a part of a celebration that may not happen again if the medical trial fails.

Life is a perplexing thing.  But watching a family hold each other close and truly celebrate together helped me slightly dispel the mystery.

Life is about commemorating the moments we are able to celebrate.  Life is not about worrying about what comes next or what we may miss.  Life is about making the most of the time we have together and living in the now.  Life is about having a Bubble Guppy cake and being able to share it with the family at your table, not ever considering they may not be there for the next birthday celebration. And life is just about being with those who you hold closest to your heart for as long as you can.

If I have learned anything this past week, I have learned that life is too short to spend on things that are not number one on your list.  If there is something you want, chase it.  If there is something you yearn for, pursue it.  And if there are people in your life that make your days brighter, do everything in your power to make the sun shine on them for as long as you can.

You never know when that Bubble Guppy will revert from a cherished memory to simply a mystery.

 

 

Six legs, two wings and a whole lot of perspective

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Yesterday I noticed a bug on the outside of my car window.  I know that sounds like a strange opening line for a blog post but that bug, after stubbornly hanging on for the 5 kilometer ride, began to represent something much more than just a bug on my window.

I had all but written him off during the first kilometer but I became more amused as one kilometer stretched into two, then three, and his sheer determination would not allow him to let go.  Wind billowing at his wings, he held on to his place and his tenacity began to rekindle my creativity.   His utter disregard for common sense made my brain kick into writer’s mode and that bug made me realize how important it is to hold on to the things you truly want.

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Despite the fact I had a few giggles thinking of how that little insect reminded me of Kevin Kline hanging on to the plane at the end of A Fish Called Wanda, I was reminded of an important life lesson by a 6-legged black and red bug with a stinger and an attitude – if it’s worth hanging on to, do everything in your power to make sure you don’t let it go.

This somewhat hypnotic suggestion made me want to grasp my writing a little bit tighter.  I am fervently holding onto the window that is my blog and doing everything in my power to not let this journey slip away into the chaos that is summer.

Although this season is moving at great speed, like the wind funnel swiftly rushing around the dynamic insect that held fast to my car window, my resolution to hang on to the things that are important to me is just as strong as the will of this tiny bug to hold tight to its ride.

Sometimes it is the little things that truly bring the big things into perspective.  SN