I’ve been watching TV, ok I’ve been mesmerized by Netflix. Instead of looking for what is new, I’ve been watching older shows. I’ve seen all the Twilight Zones from the 1960’s over the years until I have them memorized, so I started with Night Gallery which ran in the 1970’s (that I actually remember as […]
It was a cool summer morning in the mountains of Wyoming. We gathered our things and headed to the car. This day we were going to be catapulted into the adventures of Yellowstone National Park.
We were staying in Cody, Wyoming which is a small town that is about forty-five minutes from the park entrance. It is a beautiful town with old buildings that feature a wild west type of architecture.
Driving along the highway there are large rocks surrounding us absorbing the early morning sun. The rocks are covered in orange, pink and dark purple hues that are reflecting in the sunlight. God has provided us these beautiful canvases to observe on our way to the park.
After entering the park we stopped at the visitor’s center and planned our day. The visitor’s center is surrounded by huge dark green trees and some wildflowers. The brilliant yellow and white colors of the flowers are vibrant. There is a small breeze blowing through the trees reflecting rays of sunshine from above.
The first stop this morning is the geyser region. Old Faithful is a geyser that has been erupting at a fairly consistent time for many years. We approach the visitor’s center at the geyser region and check the schedule. There is about ten minutes before the anticipated eruption so we find a seat along the wooded path to observe.
People are gathering to watch the geyser erupt. The stands are full as the geyser begins to erupt. It is a fascinating sight to watch the hot water being catapulted into the air. Beginning with a small ripple of water anticipation grows as the water continues to build into the air. Hot water is hurled approximately twenty feet into the air for a few minutes and then slowing sinks back into the ground. It is a wonderful site to observe. Nature is beautiful in its displays of drama.
After the eruption ends the crowd scatters to explore the geyser area and other parts of the park. We gather our things and begin to walk the wooded paths around the remaining geysers. I am in awe of the natural beauty of this national park and begin to wonder the lesson that these geysers teach us about life.
Geysers are unpredictable in their eruptions. The same principle applies in life. We never know when the next crisis will occur. Our lives will be calm and all will seem to be going as planned.
Then a crisis will occur and we will have to deal with an issue. The issue may seem small in the beginning. If the issue is dealt with then life can proceed without drama. However there are times when the small issues of life begin to build. We allow them to heat up within us and stretch into all parts of our lives.
Like geysers these small issues continue to build up inside of us until we can no longer hold all of our emotions inside. Then there is a huge eruption. Our emotions explode and come to the surface in a grand fashion.
There may be anger associated with these emotions and cause violence in our lives. Some people express these emotions by causing harm to other people. This may take on the form of mental or physical abuse. The eruption is dangerous and there are no easy answers to its resolution.
After the eruption there is a time of calm again as we resume our lives. The eruption may have only been temporary like a tantrum from a small child. When the issue is resolved life will return to normal. We learn to head off the next eruption by learning how to cope with life’s issues.
Other eruptions occur on fairly regular schedule like Old Faithful. They consume us and our emotions erupt each time something does not go our way in life. These are challenges for us to find a permanent resolution in life.
Such challenges may take the form of homelessness or consistent unemployment throughout life. These are difficult issues and are not easily resolved. They may require the help of trained professionals to guide those affected to resolution.
It is time to leave the geyser area and explore other parts of the park. We watch Old Faithful erupt one last time before moving on. It is inspiring to watch the geyser send the water up into the sky. The water recedes back into the ground the same as our issues in life. I am grateful that we have the opportunity to solve life’s issues and can learn from the beauty of nature.
copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce
The morning was cold and the rain was coming down in sheets. I had been in this new city for about a month and my life was adrift. Gathering my things and heading out to work it seemed as though the weather was a reflection of my life at this moment.
It had begun as an exciting adventure with high expectations. After graduating from nursing school there had been a job offer in a city far from home. It would be my first time to live so far away from family and friends. The new city seemed to offer everything that home lacked.
The loneliness had set in about two weeks into my new adventure. There was a lot to do in this new city but no one to share the experience with. Getting out of my car at the hospital I was pondering on how to solve this dilemma. The wind was pulling at my umbrella this morning as a car splashed water on me as I crossed the street. The parking lot was across the street from the hospital. At the time solving the issue of loneliness in this new city seemed out of reach.
It is an enlightening experience caring for people who are ill. When taken into perspective I realized that everyone has an issue and there are solutions to life’s problems. This is the point where I decided to explore the city and make new friends by living intentionally.
Intentional living is exploring life by doing things with a purpose. There was a reason that this new city was appealing to me. It had beautiful mountains with trails to hike and rivers with rapids to kayak. There were beautiful sunrises and sunsets to observe. There were music venues that featured up and coming artists. It was a city filled with life.
I began my intentional living by attempting to make new friends. People are really quite friendly when asked about their interests. It was not long before I found a few people with interests similar to mine.
The next weekend I met a few people at a local river where kayaking was popular. The river sparkled in the morning sun and the morning was cool. It was not long before we were laughing and exchanging stories of the river. At noon it was time to stop and have lunch. We had packed coolers filled with food and found some shady spots among the trees to picnic.
One of our conversations was discussing how lonely it was to be in a new place. Many of the people with me were travel nurses who changed locations every three months. They commented that living intentionally was a great way to fully experience the adventures of a new city.
In each new city they would choose the activities that interested them. Then plans would be made to do each of these things. They would not be adrift because everything would serve a purpose. This made each new adventure fun and exciting.
We finished our lunch and began to kayak down the river once again. The temperature had risen and the cool river water felt wonderful. Going over the rapids increased the joy in this trip. Soon we were back at our starting point and everyone headed home. It was a wonderful day.
Back at my apartment I began to apply intentional living to other parts of my life. Exploring the history of this city was important to me so I began to visit the local museums. At each museum there was usually someone from the area who would explain the local traditions. It is easy to find friendly people in most places if you take the time to ask people about their surroundings.
I also began to apply intentional living to my finances. The new city was expensive and I had wondered how to make ends meet. My new job paid well but there are times when my wants did not meet the budget. By living intentionally I was able to do everything that was truly important to me. Letting go of the small things enabled me to have an adventure and save money.
After two months in the new city I was not adrift. Things were no longer overwhelming and now it is beginning to feel like home. Intentional living has been wonderful and made this journey a joy. The weather is warm now and I am excited to continue this adventure.
copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce
Audio provided by my husband Jess Pierce
Lighthouses are guiding beacons for ships at sea. They announce that land is ahead and act as a guide into the harbor. Many lighthouses are located on inlets and shine a light to warn ships that danger is ahead. The light is a navigation tool that acts as a protection device.
Mississippi has several lighthouses on its Gulf Coast. These lighthouses are magnificent and beautiful to observe. They are a lesson in searching for the light that leads us home. We all look for navigation in our lives that lead us to a safe harbor. The example of the lighthouse acts as a guide for us to look toward the light to bring us home.
Life has many challenges that take us out to sea into dangerous waters. Like a ship sailing in the ocean we look for a beacon to lead us to safe harbors. One of life’s challenges is to provide our families with food, clothing, and transportation. When employment is plentiful the lighthouse serves as a beautiful building to observe.
In times of hardship and job loss the light acts as a beacon to navigate us to safe harbors. The lighthouse may be the community that surrounds us. Friends and family lend support and hope that the hard times will pass. The light surrounds us and new opportunities arise. Resolution is in the harbor.
Lighthouses may present us with a guide to adventure. Sailing to foreign lands in search of new experiences provides a light for many restless souls. Lighthouses in these places provide a navigational route for adventure. There is beautiful scenery and other cultures to be explored.
When our adventure in foreign lands is complete we set sail for home. There may be storms and rough seas that send us off course. In our attempts to find the way home we always search for the lighthouse. There is hope that the waters will calm and a familiar harbor will be found. When the light beacons from our home lighthouse there is great joy.
Lighthouses may guide us in the exploration of who we are as individuals. Sitting on an inlet alone the lighthouse gives us a chance to explore our souls. The solitude of observing the ocean and its cycles gives us an opportunity to look inward. The soul may find relaxation and nourishment in the observation of the life around the lighthouse.
For some troubled souls the lighthouse may serve as a fearful guide. They may lose themselves in the deceptions of the world. These souls may see a reflection of light on the harsh sea and see death as the only option for a safe harbor. Sometimes these souls may be saved by other souls. The souls that have found their way home by following the true light coming from the lighthouse.
Lighthouses may act as a guide for us in our spiritual lives. The light in the house may represent where the strength in times of adversity comes from. We see God standing firm in the lighthouse guiding us out of the harsh dangerous sea of life and into the calm harbor of His arms. There is comfort and new life in this safe harbor. We are filled with joy and renewal.
Lighthouses may serve as an inspiration for art. There are people who paint lighthouses in beautiful watercolors. These artists see the lighthouse as an object to be admired and posted in a gallery or on a wall in someone’s home. The lighthouse in the picture serves as an inspiration to begin or end a person’s day.
Some people come to visit the lighthouse as a vacation adventure. These people bring their families and review the history of each lighthouse. The lighthouse may have been a haven for previous generations. The lives of these family members are wrapped in the history of the lighthouse. The lighthouse is a guide for these people to find the home of their family heritage.
All working lighthouses have a person that serves as the keeper of the light. This person lives and works at the lighthouse. The life of the person is one of solitude and great responsibility. This person must be aware of all the dangerous conditions surrounding the lighthouse area. His job is to navigate the ships and guide them to the safe harbor. It can be a lonely job.
Lighthouses guide us in life through symbolism and the physical world. For ships the lighthouse is a beacon for safe navigation on the way home. The rest of us marvel at the light that emits from the lighthouse. It represents beauty in the world and serves as a guide for us to find our way home. We are no longer unmoored.
copyrighted by Debbie Pierce 2017 All Rights Reserved
The magnolia tree is a large majestic tree. The large white blooms are beautiful and decorate the Mississippi landscape. The magnolia tree has a long life span that may extend to 120 years. This is a possible life of a suburban magnolia tree.
The magnolia tree was born in a field in central Mississippi. At that time the field was filled with different types of trees. The young magnolia tree thrived in the ecosystem and grew to a large and healthy tree. There were few people in the area to disturb the ecosystem.
As the years past the magnolia tree began to put on beautiful white blooms. These blooms were numerous and an occasional person would happen on the tree and admire their beauty. The magnolia tree was happy and content in the ecosystem that nature provided.
Slowly over time the ecosystem became disturbed as people began moving closer to the field. There were rumblings of houses, businesses, and golf courses being built and getting closer to the field.
The pollution from all the building began to change the ecosystem. The environment was descending into a period of deep decline. There were fewer resources for the magnolia tree to draw from for survival. All around were plants and trees dying. This was frightening to the young tree.
As more time passed the magnolia tree began to see more human activity. There were more people passing by on a daily basis. This was a time of great change in the world and the tree observed young men in uniform carrying guns. The world was at war and the magnolia tree hoped that the field would be spared from the violence.
More years past and the world was again at peace. The magnolia tree noticed there was an expansion of young children surrounding the field. The tree watched as the plant life and other trees were cut down. It prayed its life would be spared from the death surrounding it.
The magnolia tree was spared and a local park was built around it. There began to be a large number of families coming to the park. A creek was created to supply water to the surrounding area and the ecosystem began to flourish once again.
The years passed and the magnolia tree was happy and content once again. There were many trees with squirrels and birds to commune with the tree. The families took care of the park and everything was in harmony.
One day there was a storm producing many inches of rain. The land was devastated by the sudden influx of water and debris. The people left their homes and the park was abandoned. The next generation of people moved in and had no interest in the park.
The magnolia tree survived the flood and was saddened by the changes. Now the abandoned park was filled with trash and drug dealers. All the surrounding trees and wildlife were dying around it due to neglect. The magnolia tree was frightened since its survival was threatened.
More years passed and a new generation of people moved into the neighborhood. They were a generation that believed in change and renewal. There were new homes built and old homes renovated and given a new life. The park was cleaned up and the ecosystem restored. There were sprinklers installed and the creek was restored to give the ecosystem the water it needed to regenerate.
Slowly the ecosystem began to recover. The magnolia tree was relieved and began producing beautiful blossoms once again. The squirrels and the birds returned singing their songs of joy.
The magnolia tree continued to observe these changes with great joy. Perhaps the people now occupying the neighborhood and park would remain. This thought gave the magnolia tree great hope for the future.
The years past and the magnolia tree grew to be extremely old. The park and the neighborhood continued to change but this time the trend of preservation continued. It was with great hope that the magnolia tree put on its last blossoms. Time for the magnolia tree to live in this physical world was growing short.
One of these great magnolia blossoms deposited a seed on the ground. This seed was nourished by the nutrients in the ecosystem. Soon the seed grew to be a young magnolia tree growing in a healthy ecosystem. The cycle of life began again in the park healthy and happy.
The old magnolia tree passed away and the shell of the tree returned to the ecosystem to help the renewal of life. There is gratitude for the privilege of living a long life and the ability to observe the changes in the ecosystem. The spirit of the magnolia tree now resides in Heaven and is resting in the knowledge of a life well lived.
copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce
Psalm 18:2 New International Version (NIV) 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. When you look around today does your world seem out of control? Everyone seems to be on edge. […]
Howdy Readers, Today I want to write something on kindness. It’s not actually a topic it’s just my views on what I saw today… First of all, let me begin with what I saw today. I was walking down the road just to change my mood and relax my nerves a few minutes ago. I […]
Our actions in life can make us notorious. Some people are famous for the jokes they tell and others are known for their kindness. In my family there was a great-uncle known for his tall tales. Jim was an average size fellow and a little overweight. He was an older man when I knew him and loved to sit and talk. Jim could spin a tale from thin air.
The community church would have a potluck dinner one Sunday a month. It was a wonderful gathering with a variety of food on the tables. Jim and his wife would join this group and often there would be stories exchanged in the afternoon. The storytelling would last for hours as each person told a tale. Finally it was Jim’s turn to take the stage.
There was a morning Jim went fishing at a lake near his home. The morning air was cool and the sun was beginning to shine on the lake. The glimmer from the sun made it a little difficult to see the swells from the fish rising to the top of the lake.
There was a small island not far from the fishing spot. It had tall trees with thick green leaves and some brush on the edge of the water. There was a large gray alligator sunning itself on the banks. The alligator had huge eyes and briefly opened his large mouth. He appeared to announce to the world that this was his territory.
Jim took note of the alligator’s presence but continued to bait his pole with a minnow and then threw the line into the pond. The red and white bobbin moved around in the water as the minnow swam around looking for safety. In a few minutes it settled down and all was quiet.
Relaxing on the banks of the lake is calming and nourishing to the soul. The sun was warm this morning and acted as a warm blanket. The sounds of the birds and crickets around you sound like a lullaby. It is easy to fall into deep thought or fall asleep listening to the sounds of nature.
Jim was almost asleep when suddenly the line jerked and the bobbin went down into the water. He stumbled out of the chair and quickly pulled on the line. The fish fought and was splashing in the water as Jim attempted to pull him in. In all of the commotion the alligator who had been watching this action decided to join the struggle.
The alligator moved toward the fighting fish and opened his wide mouth in an attempt to steal the fish. Jim was unwavered and pulled the fish back from the alligator before he could eat it. The alligator was also unswayed and moved in closer to the pole in another attempt to get the fish. This back and forth struggle went on for about ten minutes before Jim let the alligator have the fish.
It seemed that the battle was over until Jim decided to throw rocks at the alligator. This agitated the alligator and he swam to the bank to come after Jim. The fishing pole was the only obstacle between them. The alligator grabbed the pole and Jim began to fight for the pole. After much back and forth pulling action of the pole Jim decided to let go.
The alligator took his prize and returned to the calm bank of the small island. Jim was exhausted but not deterred as he grabbed a new pole and baited the line. Tossing the line back into the water Jim sat down and resumed his calm stance in the chair.
All was calm after this encounter and it was soon time to return home. The alligator was content with his prize and Jim returned home with a stringer filled with fish. His wife was waiting for his return with the food for the evening meal.
Jim waited patiently for his wife to inquire about the events of the day. She finally asked how the day had gone and he began to weave the tale. His wife laughed and stated how glad she was the alligator had been content with the fish and fishing pole. It would have been sad to lose Jim.
The group of people at the church lunch laughed as they heard the end of the story. Many wondered if Jim’s ability to tell a story was inherited or learned. They all agreed that being notorious for telling a tall tale is a wonderful blessing.
copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce
I wrote about an adventure with squirrels on a Sunday morning in my bird feeders. In the end there was a truce called and an area was set up to feed the squirrels in an attempt to keep them out of the bird feeders. This is an update on how the experiment is coming along. The experiment has been a farce.
It was not difficult to pick a spot to set up a buffet for the squirrels. The yard has fruit trees that are not producing this year so putting the food between them seemed like a great option. Carefully laid out it looked like a nice addition to the yard.
In the beginning the squirrels enjoyed the new feast put before them. Munching on the cornucopia of bird seeds appeared to be a dream come true. Soon the squirrels invited their family and friends and the food ran out quickly.
This is the point where greed entered the picture. The birds coming to the lower feeders would savor the seed and leave some for the late afternoon visits. The feeder looked extremely appealing to a few squirrels and the truce was broken. I was again in the midst of a bird feeder war.
Greed in animals is much like it is in humans. So many times we see things and become envious. Contentment with our lives is gone and now is the time to seize things from where the grass appears greener.
Again taking my broom out the door to the squirrels I look like a cartoon character. Picture a woman in her robe chasing a family of squirrels with a broom. Truly a funny site to see. A new adventure each day as the family of squirrels runs to the fence, sits on it, and appears to be entertained.
The days pass by and there is a new character in this drama. I love God and He has an interesting sense of humor. Today is the day the hawk enters the drama.
My yard has a few trees and the bird feeders are in the part of the yard that is flat and covered with grass. There is no place to hide and to escape the squirrels must run over a retaining wall to the fence and run over roofs of houses to the woods to escape. My neighbors do not have trees because our neighborhood was developed in a field.
The hawk lands on the fence and the squirrels run when his presence is sensed. The hawk does not appear to be hungry today as he sits and observes the site. He continues to sit on the fence for a while and then flies off into the nearby cluster of trees.
The next day the squirrels return to the bird feeders bypassing the area set aside for them. Greed has totally taken control and now there will be no site off-limits to them. This persists for a while because I am out with the broom again.
The hawk reappears this day and now he is looking for a meal. The squirrels scatter and the hawk is on the prowl. He goes for a squirrel that has made it to the roof of the house next door. The hawk dives for the squirrel and misses him as the squirrel scurries into the covered gutters on the house. The hawk then leaves for the day.
The next day there are fewer squirrels in the yard and they mostly stay in their appointed area. The cover of the few trees provide a little protection against this predator. All seems well for them until the hawk returns this morning.
Again the hawk goes for his prey as the squirrel who has decided to come into the unprotected portion of the yard to eat from the bird feeders. The squirrel runs frantically toward the fence and scurries to the top post. The hawk swoops down and hits the fence. Both are unharmed and the squirrel escapes.
For the last several days the squirrels have not returned to the yard. I have removed their buffet spot and all is now peaceful in the yard. There is now a family of blue birds in the bird house. The song birds have returned and are feasting on the seed from the bird feeders.
The hawk has not returned since the last squirrel incident. He can still be seen flying near the yard in the woods across the empty field behind my neighbor’s house. For now the bird feeder wars seem to have ended.
My broom sits near the door in case there is another episode in this drama. There is a calmness in my soul as I listen to nature and the sounds of the song birds. The bird feeders remain full and all is well with the world.
copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce
The morning was beautiful in the Grand Teton Mountains with the sun shining through the trees. On top of the mountain it was still cool enough for a jacket as my friends and I were looking for which path to hike down. There was one sign that indicated a one mile hike and the other path was a six-mile hike.
On the sky lift coming up to the top of the mountain I could see beautiful green meadows and a stream flowing down the mountain. This was a day trip and lunch was packed so my friends chose the six-mile path down the mountain. It was going to be a beautiful day to observe and be a part of nature.
The first part of the trail was rocky and the descent was a little difficult. At times it was a struggle not to fall and twist my ankle. The scenery was beautiful with green trees and dew still on the grass. There were song birds in the trees and my soul was refreshed by the sounds of nature.
As the day progressed the temperature began to rise and the heat began to settle into the day. There was now a field filled with beautiful yellow and white flowers to cross. The wind was blowing making the flowers appear to dance in the field.
This field had tall grass and the trail was difficult to see. I jumped several times believing there to be snakes in the grass each time the wind blew across the field. It was an adventure trying to photograph this beautiful spot without giving into the fear of dangerous wildlife.
Soon we came to the river flowing down the mountain. It was cool and inviting and there was a spot to picnic. We lay down blankets and unpacked our food. Our lunch was wonderful and tasted better to us due to the hike. Six miles of hiking in the mountains is different from the flat land and small hills in Mississippi. We were tired and grateful for the break.
After the meal we hiked some along the river bed. There were many rapids crossing the rocks of the river. The rapids had a certain calming melody that helped to relax my now aching legs.
As we progressed farther down the mountain it began to rain. The rain shower did not last long and the sun began to shine. We could now feel the humidity and the heat beating down. Finding some shade we sat down and enjoyed some cool water.
We were now more than half way through our trip and began noticing the wildlife close to the trail. There were squirrels and a variety of birds. As I moved closer to take a picture of some birds there was a bustling in the trees. Coming closer to see what was moving a moose came out of the brush.
He was a large brown moose and had huge antlers. We had been advised that there were moose in these mountains and to maintain a distance from these animals. They had occasionally attacked people.
The moose was approximately six feet from me. His size was intimidating and I was beyond frightened and almost in a state of panic. For a brief moment it appeared that time stood still.
I stood completely still as the moose surveyed me contemplating what to do. Then in an instant the moose turned and ran in the opposite direction of me. Not one to stay in a dangerous situation I ran immediately in the direction away from the moose. It was about half an hour before I calmed down.
My friends were entertained from watching this drama. They would recount and embellish for years this encounter with the moose. Many would wonder why no one thought to take a picture of this scene.
Nearing the end of the trail it was time to sit down and take a break again. We had reached the point on the trail where there was a barn with horses offering rides for a fee. Many people passed us riding horses on the trail wondering why we looked so tired.
Finally we were at the end of the trail at the parking lot. My legs felt like spaghetti and I was in pain. It would be several days before the soreness left my body. Still the scenic route down the mountain was worth it.
I will never forget my encounter with that moose. The precipice of that moment will linger for a lifetime. It is still a story that resonates at some barbecues as we remember our adventures in this journey through life.
copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce