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In memory of a Mississippi soldier on Memorial Day

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The small Mississippi farm has been the source of survival for the family for a long time. It has been 10 years since the father of the family committed suicide. As the oldest son it has long been his responsibility to take care of the family business. Things have now changed as his mother has remarried and now it is his time to explore the outside world.

The young man is excited as he rushes home to the small farm in Mississippi. He is almost out of breath as he reaches the house with the news. The army recruiter at the small country school has informed him that the college scholarship has arrived. There is now hope for a new life. His smile radiates as he tells the family.

The Mississippi university has been a wonderful time in the young man’s life. The army program has given him structure and confidence. The days are filled with classes and study. There are football games and parties on the weekends. The years pass quickly and soon it is time to move to the next phase of life.

Graduation is here and the air is filled with anticipation and excitement. The engineering degree being awarded today has given him a job with the highway department and entrance into the army reserve as an officer. There is great hope for the future.

There is a war going on across the world in a small country. The army has requested his presence in this foreign land. The young man is frightened as he boards the plane. Life will be hard again and survival is not certain. He is deeply moved by the suffering surrounding him. His view of life will never be the same.

The young man has a wife and children. They anxiously await his return and read the letters he sends with great joy. The war will end soon and he will return. That day will be glorious indeed. The years he spends in a foreign land are difficult but there is a home in Mississippi waiting for him.

The young man is now home and returns to his career in engineering at the highway department. The army reserves are now his secondary job. This is an exciting time in life as his family and career grows. There are birthday parties and family vacations that make his life complete.

The years pass and the young man is now middle-aged with a career, house, and family. The army is still part of his life because of the army reserve. He serves his country in a dual career as an engineer and an army reserve lieutenant. The income from each of these provides him a comfortable living.

The middle-aged man now has time for recreation. His favorite past times include fishing at the local reservoir and playing guitar at his home. This day the sun is out and he is strumming the guitar by the pool while cooking food on the outdoor grill. Life is wonderful and he reflects on his blessings.

grill guitar chair may 5

The world is at war again and the older man reads with great interest the newspaper. His rank as a major with a career as an engineer make him an important part of the war effort at home. He wonders if the world will ever be at peace again. The army reserve has sent him to war college to learn how other countries in the world operate. The older man views these and hopes that diplomacy instead of war will bring the world to peace.

The older man has been promoted to the rank of colonel and is now at the time of retirement from both the army reserve and engineering career. He is looking forward to more time to be spent with his family. Both places of employment give him fond farewells and congratulations for a job well done.

The older man’s family is now larger and spread out. There are now grandchildren to sit and listen to the stories of his life. He again pulls out his guitar and plays around the pool. The grill is sizzling with his signature barbecue sausage.  He smiles with gratitude at the life he has been given.

The man has reached old age and his health is failing. Time grows short as he reaches out to his family and others in a time of reflection. The old man tells of how peace is how the world should be. He reflects that war should be a last resort. There is no glory in seeing the suffering of others. In the end war only brings misery to mankind.

As an engineer the old man has built things throughout his career. Wonderful bridges that he has pointed out to his family every time they drive through the state. He reminds them that bridges connect people to one another.

The family mourns as their father has passed away.  Through the comfort of hospice care he has been granted a peaceful passing. They reflect upon the blessings of having known and lived with this man. His life lessons will remain with them for life.

strawberry patch park memorial april 24

The spirit of the man looks down upon his loved ones and smiles. God has granted him this one final glimpse before moving on to Heaven and eternity. He reflects upon the love given and then turns and walks into eternity.

**In loving memory of my father and uncle who heeded the military call and truly believed that peace between all nations would bring us together. They are gone but never forgotten.

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Alaska: A Tour of the Yukon

Alaska

Alaska is a wonderful place to explore and visit. The cruise ship had pulled into port and we prepared for our tour of the Yukon in Canada. The air was crisp and cold as we left the ship and got on the bus. The sun was bright as it beamed down on the snow surrounding us.

Our tour guide was a friendly fellow who lived in this small town. The small town had the appearance of an old west type of architecture. There were several buildings that were painted white with red trim that radiated in the sun as we passed by.

We passed through town and listened to the stories of how the people lived and survived the cold climate. Our guide was older and preferred to live in town during the tourist season and fly down to warmer climates during the harsh winter. He was proud of this town and his face shined with the telling of each story.

We passed over the Canadian border and there were beautiful snow-covered mountains and valleys to greet us as we made our way to the Yukon. The land was untouched by humans and the beauty of the land began to beckon me.

Our first stop was at a small park where people frequently camped and fished. It was an extremely primitive campground surrounded by trees with deep green leaves and a lake that had small animals surrounding it. The ecosystem was alive and drawing me into the stories of this land. The life cycle of nature was in harmony and it was beautiful

Along the way to the Yukon there are many animals in the mountains that are close enough to get a picture. Often the tour guide would suddenly stop and we would move forward in our seats with a jolt. There would be no napping on this tour. There were bears and wild goats that would pose for pictures in the distance.

The Yukon became famous in the 1800s for the promise of gold. People came from many places seeking their fortunes. The Canadian government would not allow people to enter the Yukon without a year’s supply of food and other life essentials. The ecosystem is harsh and the people allowed to enter were prepared. I loved this life lesson in planning and perseverance.

In the Yukon there is the world’s smallest desert. It is a beautiful piece of land that appears to blend in well with the ecosystem. The day of our tour it was covered in snow patches.

Alaska 2

It was time for lunch and we stopped at a small restaurant that was included in our tour. The food was wonderful and consisted of barbecue ribs, cooked potatoes, peas, and bread. Home cooking is wonderful in all parts of the world.

After lunch we walked across the street to view a beautiful mountain with a lake in the front. The lake had an interesting variety of colors that changed with the seasons. In the spring this lake is dark blue in the deeper parts changing to light green in the shallow parts of the lake. The mountains surrounding the lake have dark green trees below the higher mountain rocks. Truly God is an awesome artist to have created such beauty.

After taking photographs we left this wonderful place and proceeded to our next stop. It was a ghost town that featured a small gift shop and post office. The town was well-preserved with old abandoned buildings and railroad tracks. There was an old train car on the tracks outside the post office.

It was a wonderful experience for the soul to imagine how life had been in the times when this town thrived. The people lived off the land and brought their gold to be measured and converted to currency. An interesting time in the history of the Yukon.

We returned to the tour bus and began our trip back to the cruise ship. There were more stops along the way to take pictures and observe the wildlife. I enjoyed the peacefulness and harmony of the land. The wildlife has adapted to the seasons and thrive in the ecosystem.

Returning to the United States clouds and rain have descended on the landscape. A deep fog has developed and the roads are hazardous. Our guide is familiar with the road and we arrive back at our ship without any issues.

It has been a wonderful day to experience the beauty of the world God created. Alaska is a wonderful place to visit and full of adventure. My soul is nourished and at peace.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Volunteering: Infusing Life With Joy

cropped-white-flowers-at-ms-art-museum-april-20

We live in a world that is filled with turmoil. There is war, poverty, and disease. The news leads us to believe that this what consumes the world and there is no hope. Many people believe that there are several solutions to world issues. I believe that one of the best ways to conquer world issues is to begin at home.

Volunteering has been a part of my life for sometime. The concept of using the gifts that God gave me is appealing. These are some of the ways that I have been using these talents for the last several years in my local community.

Hunger is an issue in many inner city communities. This is often a hidden issue that not many people realize is occurring. We are used to seeing the severe effects of hunger on the television. But here in America there are many people who are not able to feed their families for the entire month. These people have jobs but the money will run out before the month ends.

One solution to this issue is the food banks, community centers, and churches in my local area. Many people frequent these places in hopes of help in getting enough food to fill the end of the month until the next paycheck.

blueberry cobbler may 14

It is easy to help these centers by buying additional food every week and making a donation each month. A large number of people are reached through these services and it is a great feeling to know that I helped someone in their time of crisis.

Another issue in my local community is homelessness. There are a fair number of people without a home in the inner city. The city that I live in provides a fair amount of services to aid in this issue.

Volunteering in local shelters and in missions designed to help the homeless is a great way to help conquer this issue. Many homeless people are grateful for someone willing to bring them food and clothing. It is a comfort to many of them just to have someone listen to the issues that caused them to become homeless.

homeless bill standing may 6

A simple way that people can help the homeless is to fill a small plastic bag with soap, some change, toiletries, and crackers or small cans of meat. This small gesture will help many of the homeless survive until they are ready to seek help for the issues that sent them to the street.

Medical insurance is an issue that is greatly debated in this country for the last several years. It is not an easy issue to solve. A part of the solution to the issue in my local community is to develop small free or low-cost clinics to the uninsured and high deductible health insurance population. This population is quite large.

I volunteer at a church based low-cost clinic once a month. This clinic is busy and is filled with people having minor medical issues. These clinics are not designed to deal with major illnesses or disease processes.

It is a blessing to be able to aid people in the clinic and provide basic health information. There is a lack of education on many of the common disease processes in this country. The people entering the clinic are given a basic health screening and seen by a doctor. These clinics are staffed by volunteers and there is no compensation.

For many of the people who enter this clinic it is the only medical care that they will receive. Education is important and the people we served repeatedly tell us how grateful they are for this service.

Another area that I volunteer in is summer camp for inner city children. These camps aid the children in areas that are often not available in other  areas of their lives. One summer I taught piano to a small group of students.

One day each week for two months they were given lessons in how to play the piano and music. Several of these children were quite gifted and acquired enough knowledge in music to apply to the arts programs at their schools.

Volunteering has been a great blessing to me. I am unable to change all of the world’s issues. My soul is nourished by the things that I have learned from the people who I have met. They have given me far more than the talents that I have shared with them.

Community service in the form of volunteering is easy and only takes a small amount of time. Can you find the time to give of your talents to solve some issues in a your part of the world?

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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An Adventure in Skipper’s Tall Tales

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Piper and I were in the yard playing ball. It is such fun for Piper to throw the ball and for me to chase it. Sometimes she can be good leader of this pack.  After returning the ball to Piper several times I notice a squirrel in the yard. They are more fun to chase than a silly green ball.

I laid down in the grass in a strategic position so the squirrel would not see me. Slowly I inched closer to the squirrel. The squirrel was munching on some bird seed in the feeder and did not notice me. At just the appropriate moment I sprang into action and began to chase the squirrel.

squirrel eating grass in park march

We ran across the yard until we reached the six-foot fence. The squirrel leaped to the top of the fence and onto the roof of the house. The squirrel turned around and laughed at me. I quickly spread out my large golden ears and began to fly onto the roof. The sudden realization that I could fly startled the squirrel and the chase continued all over the roof.

I almost had him until my ears hit a lull in the wind and I slid to the ground. Fortunately I was given a reprieve from the fall on the ground and was uninjured. Piper was upset with me flying onto the roof but calmed down once she realized that I was not hurt.

It was time to return to the park for the family’s Memorial Day picnic. I decided to let Piper drive this time since there was so much traffic. We arrived at the park and headed toward the picnic area. The table was filled with all sorts of great smelling foods.

There was the aroma of the barbecue sausage cooking on the grill. A piece of this wonderful meat fell on the ground and I quickly grabbed it. It had a slight spicy taste as I was eating it. These people have a talent for cooking.

The table had baked beans, potato salad, and several other great smelling dishes scattered in a pattern. Then I saw the most wonderful dish of all. It was an apple pie with a brown crust. Apples are my favorite snack in the entire world. That apple pie would be mine.

Sitting in the middle of the table it was going to be a challenge to get the pie. The wind was calm now so flying was not an option. But then I saw the trampoline sitting close to the table. I formulated a plan and sprang into motion. Jumping on the trampoline I began my routine. There were several children around so I decided to add some acrobatics to this adventure.

Skipper

First came the normal up and down motions and then I decided to spice things up a bit. It was fun to do somersaults high in the air. Jumping this way also made it easier to get to that apple pie. After a few extremely high twists and turns I aimed my next jump toward the apple pie.

Flying into the air I flew across the table and grabbed the pie. Landing on the ground with my prize intact I scurried to a spot behind a tree and began to enjoy my feast. Every bite was a joy to the senses. The aroma was of a freshly baked pie and the taste was super sweet.

Soon after finishing the apple pie I did not feel very well. All of a sudden my super powers seemed to have vanished as I fell into a deep sleep. The shade under the tree provided a cool space for my nap.

About this time Piper noticed that the apple pie was missing and came in search of me. She panicked as my breathing began to labour from eating all of that sugar. For a few minutes it appeared as if I might die. But God gave me a reprieve. My breathing quickly returned to normal.

I slept for eighteen hours and then awoke to find Piper gathering our things for the return trip home. The sun was shining brightly as we prepared for our trip home. I took one last trip down the path by the lake.

This time I decided to stand in the water and take a cool swim before returning to the car. Piper was ready to leave so I left the water with only a small fishing bobbin as a prize.

We made it home safely without any issues. It was a fun trip and I anxiously await our next adventure.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Skipper’s Tall Tale: An Adventure in Persistence

Skipper

The early morning clouds were scattering a sprinkle of rain from the sky. Things are being prepared for a Memorial Day visit with family in another state. I am Piper’s dog Skipper and things are getting hectic. Everything is packed and in the car waiting to begin our trip.

I am determined to drive on this trip. The back seat is boring with just my blanket and toy. Now if there had been a nice steak bone in the back we would not be having this conversation. Piper has put me in the back seat with the air conditioner running and gone to make sure the front door to the apartment is locked. That woman is obsessive sometimes.

I am determined to drive at least for the first part of the trip. While her back is turned I jumped into the front seat and have locked the doors. When she noticed the doors were locked she went into panic mode. It was so funny watching her face turn red and start running toward the locked front door. She even dropped her purse on the wet sidewalk.

I decided to honk the horn as she ran to the manager’s office to get an extra key to the apartment. The neighbors came to their doors and there was much laughter as she came back with the manager. The rain is coming down harder now and I turn on the windshield wipers. Back and forth they go spreading the rain from the windshield on Piper as the manager gives her the extra key to use for the apartment.

Normally there is a fee for this service of an extra key.  I honk the horn again and the manager is laughing so hard that she waives the fee and thanks Piper for the entertainment for the day.

Piper gave in to my desire to drive. She exclaimed that taking a nap while riding in the rain would be a great idea. I bark and we begin our trip for the holiday weekend. It is now pouring down rain and the roads are slippery as we drive down the interstate. People are staring at us as if they had never seen a dog drive a car before.

I see a highway patrol car and remember how fun it is to play a game of chase. Quickly I step on the accelerator and am now going one hundred miles an hour. The patrol car quickly enters into a chase which goes on for about ten miles. This is so much fun.

Piper wakes up from her nap and tells me to pull over. The officer is dripping wet as he approaches the car. His expression was priceless as he sees a dog driving the car. I tell him that he is dreaming and that dogs do not drive cars. Angry at first but then laughing he tells me to either slow down or let Piper drive. I agree to slow down and not cause anymore issues. It would be a shame for Piper to spend the weekend in jail.

We arrive at our destination and everyone is excited to see us. I am thrilled to see everyone and explore all the exciting new scents in the yard. We relax for the rest of the day and I am excited for the picnic tomorrow at the local park.

The next morning the sun is out and the rain has left a fresh scent in the air. The clouds in the sky are beautiful as they move slowly in the wind. Piper has decided that we will  walk in the park this morning. I see a bank on the river where some ducks have decided to rest. This is going to be fun.

red headed duck strawberry patch park april 24

I jerk the leash and make Piper fall on the ground and let go. The ducks are so close that I almost catch one before he dives into the water. Missing the duck does not phase me as I plunge into the cold water and begin to swim. There is a turtle on a drifting log in the way but I attempt to jump over the log and splash into the water on the other side.

turtle sunning strawberry patch park april 24

The duck escapes and I return to the shore to check on Piper. She is fine but a little annoyed at me. I wonder why because my adventure was fun.

I decide to give Piper a break until meal time. There is an apple pie on the table and it has my name on it. Someday soon there will be another installment in this adventure. You will have to wait to see if I survive???????????

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

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Soul Searching in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Survive

The Grand Canyon National Park is filled with beautiful open spaces between the canyons. It is one of God’s great blessings to be able to observe the natural beauty of this place. The blue, orange, pink, and brown hues grow deeper as the sun moves throughout the canyon during the day. It provides a canvas to explore and discover new things within our souls.

It is difficult to imagine that the Colorado River carved this canyon. The river appears so small in the vastness of the crevices of the canyon. There are many places in the Grand Canyon to park or hike that are quiet and serene. It is easy to listen to God and search within your soul for answers to some of life’s questions.

It was a curious time in my life. I had a job that provided a comfortable income but no real challenges. Each day it was a chore to get out of bed and go to work with a positive attitude. I felt like a trapped animal unable to move on.

The relationships in my life were also a drama. Everything was always in turmoil as the people around me were content to argue and perpetuate bitterness and hatred. It was taxing just to get out of bed and deal with life.

The people surrounding me were miserable. They had substance abuse issues and were unwilling to seek help. Manipulation ruled their lives and had a profound effect on mine. It was not a joyous time in my life.

Change is a difficult thing. When we are familiar with everything in our lives there is a strange sense of contentment. We believe that everyone in our lives is essential to survival no matter what the cost.

One morning while visiting the canyon we parked the truck and walked out onto one of the canyons to observe the surrounding area. After a few minutes I decided to sit and absorb all of the beauty surrounding me. It had been a difficult year filled with decisions and this seemed the appropriate place to sort out my feelings about life.

I slowly relaxed as the sun and the morning coolness surrounded me. Taking deep breaths it felt like I was becoming a part of the canyon. The sounds of nature were clear and in harmony. There were a few birds rustling the bushes in searching for food. A whistling sound in the wind was harmonic as it cascaded across the canyon.

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The issues that had been bothering me melted away and seemed small in comparison to the world now surrounding me. For a brief moment it was just me sitting on this canyon. Living in that moment was a freeing experience.

I meditated on this canyon for a while praying to God for answers on how to go forward in life. In the silence I had a revelation and now the answer was clear. It was time to move on.

Standing up I took one last look at the vastness of the canyon. The blue, orange, red, and purple hues appeared to be sparkling in the reflection of the afternoon sun. Walking back to the truck I felt more alive than I had in a long time.

It was now time to return home and put into action the revelations that I had on the overlook of that canyon. Change was still frightening but now there was a renewed sense of purpose in my life.

I had decided that the best course of action was to leave the world which had been my home for many years. It took some research but I found a new city filled with nature and all the things that I enjoyed. It was time to move on and create some new dreams.

Finding a job in a new city was not as difficult as I had imagined. There is an abundance of opportunity if you are willing to search for it. The new job promised to be challenging and provided opportunities for advancement.

I moved to a new apartment and began the process of searching for a new group of friends. Talking to all the people I came into contact with provided a network of people with similar interests. It was not long before this network became like a family to me.

Many years have passed since that day on top of the canyon. Leaving all the friends that I had ever known was difficult but worth the journey. There have been many adventures and life is joyful. My soul is nourished daily with the love and companionship of my husband and friends. I have no regrets and each day thank God for his guidance and blessings. I survived that season of my life.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Totem Poles: An Adventure in Culture and Remberance

AlaskaI got off the cruise ship and admired the landscape surrounding the dock. This was one of the last stops on this Alaskan adventure. Everything is so beautiful here and different from Mississippi.

The small town was directly off the dock and had a unique architecture to the buildings. They were two stories and made of wood with brightly colored exteriors. Each shop had its own unique goods to sell. The buildings fit in perfectly with the mountains in the backdrop.

I adjusted my coat and hat as we entered the small boat for the tour. It is cold in Alaska this May morning with a bit of a biting wind. The boat is going to take us on a tour of an old fish factory, a rain forest, and a totem pole village. This was going to be an exciting day.

The fishing factory had provided employment and food to the people of this Alaskan island for many years. I was impressed how the people of this cold land took advantage of the natural resources surrounding them. The factory had been closed for many years and now it was a museum. The history and resilience of the people in Alaska is fascinating.

The last stop on this tour is a totem pole village. It is a wonderful site to behold. In a circle are very large totem poles. They are extremely colorful and are beautiful in their tall structure.

The native Alaskans believe that everything comes from Mother Earth. They do not tear any structure down but allow Mother Earth to retake it. There are many old abandoned buildings falling down on this island. They will continue to deteriorate until Mother Earth completely recycles them back into the soil.

This deterioration is a wonderful example of the symbiotic relationship the people have with the land. Each thing taken from the land is returned and nourishes the environment. The same principle is true of the totem poles.

The native Alaskans used the totem poles as an impression of their culture. The totem poles are constructed out of wood and have elaborate carvings in the wood. The colorful carvings represent different parts of the belief system of the people.

There are times when a deceased person’s remains are inserted into the totem pole. The pole serves as a representation of that person’s life. Each event in that person’s life is represented by a carving. It is an interesting testament to life.

While viewing some of the totem poles I pondered at how our lives would be depicted if this was a common practice. Would our lives be depicted as a positive influence filled with love and joy or would the totem poles reflect our negatives influences such as hatred and bitterness? It is an interesting question for each of us to answer.

Each totem pole has a series of carvings on them that represent parts of the culture. The Alaskan totem poles have carvings of animals in them. Many believe that these animals will guide their deceased loved ones to the spiritual world.

Other totem poles have carvings that represent a certain part of a family’s heritage. Each impression is used to express what is important to be passed on to future generations. This is a wonderful legacy.

The totem poles remain until Mother Earth reclaims them. The totem pole deteriorates and returns to the soil where it provides nourishment. This is a continuance of the cycle of life.

Before leaving the totem pole village we visit the gift shop. I find a small totem pole that has been carved by the native Alaskan people. It is small and has beautiful vibrant colors. There is a small card attached that indicates the artist. I wonder what the artist had wanted to express about his life in this small carving.

We return to the tour bus and proceed back to town. We are instructed to look out the windows of  the bus while passing over a bridge. There is a bear gathering and eating salmon from the creek. This is a common occurrence as people and animals live in harmony in this community.

While standing in the cold biting wind waiting to get back on the cruise ship I look at my small totem pole and reflect on the impression the tour has made on me. From this time forward I will try to fill my life with positive influences. Perhaps if a totem pole was erected as my grave marker it would reflect a life of service to others.

Finally we enter the cruise ship and it is warm again. I am blessed to have been on this tour and my soul is nourished. The totem poles have made a wonderful impression on me.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Reblog: https://writingforme1961.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/what-we-really-need/

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 […]

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Geysers: A Life Lesson from Nature

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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.

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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

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culture daily prompt inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi

The Adventure of Living an Intentional Life

fallen limb in reservoir outlook march 31

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.

pelahatchie bay river 1 april 12

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

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via Daily Prompt: Adrift