The Price of Paradise

As I ventured into the post office the other day, I overheard a woman on her cell, "Yes, we live in paradise, definitely paradise around here."  I thought about that for awhile, as the sun shines bright and clear while friends in the midwest are under a winter storm watch with 5-10" of snow on the way.  I thought about not having to bundle up in the cold and fight the snow, about the beautiful view and weather I enjoy all the time.  But then I thought about the community of friends, family, volunteering, restaurants and gatherings that we left behind.  And then I really got to thinking about the strength of community.  Community creates bonds between people, it protects, shelters and loves.  Community adds a rainbow to life.

But, building a community takes time. Think about a community you belong to ~ how long did it take to build the bonds between the people in your community?  I feel it can take a lifetime to build a strong community around you.  I miss the community we built in the Midwest.  Sure, people tell me I'll adapt here ~ join a church, volunteer, get a job, join a group.  They say I'm friendly and outgoing so I'll have no problem meeting people.  But, I can be friendly all day and still not meet people that I like and relate to right away.  It takes time, but being new, I don't want it to take time, I want what I left behind.  I want my community to enjoy my paradise with me.  

So, I ask, is the price of living in paradise worth giving up a community?  I don't know, only time will tell, but until then my friends, appreciate and value your community, whatever it is and hold it close.

Many blessings from my paradise,

Mary Lynn

Sunset on the Prairie

As I walk the path in our prairie, capturing the best images to share with all of you, my heart aches. I find peace in this prairie, it is so good for my soul; a daily communing with God, nature and all things beautiful.  A quiet, peaceful solitude that my creative soul yearns for.  

 Photo by Prairie Grace Designs

Photo by Prairie Grace Designs

But, my heart aches because the time has come to say goodbye.  We are moving on ~ far, far from this native prairie we restored.  Opportunity knocks.  I'm melancholy, but I will find peace again in the surroundings of the Pacific West. It will be different, but no less beautiful, as I search for new vistas to share with you. My inspiration will now come from the majestic redwoods, the crash of the ocean waves and the aroma of the eucalyptus trees along route 1.  

Creating a different business model awaits me. Prairie Grace worked for me here, on the midwest prairie.  I was filled with inspiration from our prairie, but I didn't stretch and grow like I needed.  I became complacent. Now I look forward to taking my creativity in a new direction. I need to shake off the dust and spread my wings, taking the things I've learned here to new levels out west.  

Change is good for the soul, but pulling up roots and replanting them takes strength.  As my husband once said, "If the soil's not right, the roots don't take".  So, my friends, time to find new soil for my roots, and I promise to nurture them carefully. 

The sun may set on the prairie tonight, but it will rise again tomorrow.

The Not-So-Pretty Path

I love pretty, but lately the not-so-pretty has taken over my life.  The garden path may look pretty, but upon close inspection, it has weeds and invasive plants that need to go. The piles of decorating magazines, each one pretty in itself, when sitting in piles ~ ugly.  All that stuff that I put in the basement to "go through" someday...well someday is here and it's not so pretty. It's keeping me from enjoying the pretty stuff ~ the early summer blossoms in the prairie, planting annuals in the gardens, the sunsets viewed from the porch.

The not-so-pretty has invaded the pretty and it's turning ugly!  I'm learning that the time taken to "go through" stuff is precious time taken from enjoying the pretty in life.  You see, all this stuff to "go through" takes a lot of energy, as well as time.  It robs me of a certain joy because it's always on my mind.  Especially now, as we begin to pack our belongings for our cross-country journey, reducing our footprint by 2/3 of its current size.  Until it is done, it is always on my mind, it never leaves.  

But it doesn't have to be this way.  Once the not-so-pretty stuff is "gone through" and the clutter is cleared, the view is much prettier. The view of life, the view of the sunset, the whole view.  I'm sharing this with you because I don't want you to be robbed of precious time to enjoy the pretty in life.  Take time now to get rid of the not-so-pretty.  If you have a box of stuff laying around that you need to "go through", do it now, don't wait, don't put it off.  

Enjoy the pretty my friends!

A Meadowlark for the Journey

I spied a meadowlark today, such a pretty sight!  Growing up in a small town on the edge of the country, meadowlarks were a common sight.  Perched on fenceposts, the meadowlarks' singing reflected the quiet beauty of the surrounding pastures and prairies.  I loved spotting these birds on fenceposts while out walking or driving in the country, such a happy sight for me.

 Image is an OFO site photograph

Image is an OFO site photograph

In recent years, the meadowlark population has declined.  In seven years of restoring our prairie, I've never spotted even one meadowlark, so disappointing!   I thought our prairie was the perfect place for meadowlarks, so imagine my thrill today when I heard the joyous sounds of this lark and spied his bright yellow breast.  He was at the top of a fruit tree on the edge of the prairie, singing to his heart's content.  I ran for my binoculars so I could catch an up-close encounter with this favorite bird of mine.  I hope he stays.

Now, as I slowly work dismantling the personal affects of our house, readying it for staging and for sale, I will take time to pause and listen for the song of the meadowlark.  Maybe his song will bring quiet peace to soothe my soul.  Maybe this meadowlark will become a sought after symbol along the way.

Until tomorrow,

Mary Lynn


New beginnings

April 1st, April Fools's Day, first day of a new month, new quarter, new outlook, just in time for spring.  Today may be called many things, but I shall always think of the first day in April as  "April showers bring May flowers".  These showers can be viewed literally or figuratively, bringing physical rain or life's ups and downs of rain.  Some showers last longer than others, some are harder to endure, but rest assured, flowers will pop up in a glorious show of beauty after the rain.

From this rain comes change.  Freshness springs from the earth.  Color is everywhere, spirits soar under sparkling blue skies.  Hard to think of change as difficult, but it can be for many, as it is for me now.  Our lives are leading us to embark on a new journey, thousands of miles from what I have always known as "home".  Moving is change, but moving can mean growing and oh, how I need to grow.  

I've a need to chronicle this journey, so I'm starting my blog on this very first day of April, when "April showers bring May flowers".  I hope to bring you many flowers as I walk through the rain. As Chinese philosopher Lau-Tzu once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".  This is my step...

Until tomorrow, 

Mary Lynn