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inspiration life Mississippi personal

A Sunday Morning Spring Rain

Its raining on this early Sunday morning. I awoke to the rhythm of the rain beating on the rain barrel outside my bedroom window. The sound of the rain is like a slow meditation. It reminds me of the nourishment that water gives to all living things.

Mississippi has a wet spring most years. Spring gardens are planted in mid March and the rain showers help the young plants grow quickly. The parsley and basil in my garden have already been harvested twice this spring. The wonderful fragrance and flavor have been added to my food many times. It is a time of pure enjoyment to the taste buds.

The rain showers have an effect on the soul as well. They act as a calming reflection on the drama of the day. Each slow dripping of the rain is a reminder to take a deep breath and relax.

Later in the day the slow rain will turn into a thunderstorm. There will be lightning, hard rain, and perhaps some hail. These storms remind me of the drama of life. It is like watching life play out on a live stage.

The first scene of the storm will be the thunder. The loud boom will be accompanied by bright and colorful lightning. This echoes our lives in this realm of existence. There will be issues that are on the horizon. The thunder is the warning of the issue and the lightning becomes the intensity. When the lightning is flashing around then the issue may be small and resolution will be quick. The issue will surround us but there will not be pain. After it is resolved we will not remember that anything has affected us. The issue is insignificant.

When the lightning begins to strike then the issue becomes deeper and more difficult to resolve. This may be a time in our lives when the soul is shaken by disease or loss of someone we love. There may be great pain to overcome and solutions not so obvious. Each strike is a deep wound to the soul. We feel helpless and may have lost the hope that life will return to normal. There is great sadness during this time.

Next will come the hail. Hail is caused by the water being frozen in the atmosphere and then falling to the ground when becoming too heavy to remain in the sky. Such as in life there are issues that churn in our lives and become so heavy that they must come to the surface. The issues may be small and come to the surface pea size or become larger and appear as a baseball size. They begin to beat down and cause damage to the soul. This scene may last for a moment or extend through a great length of time in our lives.

The amount of damage to our lives is dependent upon the size of the issue. Smaller issues are resolved and the damage is limited to one part of our lives. Other larger issues can cause hard damage so that we may never fully recover from them in this life. Larger issues may also affect the people around us. Their interactions with us change. Some people may support us. There will be others who will leave and never return.

The thunderstorm has reached the point where the heavy rains begin to fall. The rain beats down and covers the hail. The issues of life are now weighing heavily on our souls. This is when the others around us attempt to hinder our efforts to recover from the hail. These people may be purposely trying to prevent resolution of the issue. Often this takes the form of gossip about the issue. People will enhance the story for effect or invent a story to propel themselves to the center of attention.

There will be other people truly trying to help with the issue. Sometimes in the process of helping these people will hinder the resolution of the issue due to a lack of understanding.

Suddenly the rain will begin to slow down. There will be a steady rhythm like the beating of a drum. The steps taken to resolve the life issue will begin to work. The drama will begin to cease and there is hope on the horizon. People around us will begin to feel comfortable again. The damage has begun to be repaired.

white flowers at ms art museum april 20

Finally the thunderstorm will pass. In the horizon there will be a rainbow to remind us that the soul is nourished and renewed. There will be beauty in life again. We have weathered the storm and are loved once more.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

Categories
fragrance gardens inspiration life Mississippi nature

Mississippi Perfume : A Spring Adventure

Perfume
Fragrances are the essence of spring for me. Every spring the perfumes of the flowers and trees remind me of the wonderful life that I have been given. The fragrances are a call to the outdoors. They are the essence of the past, present, and future. Everyday holds a new beginning in the cycle of life.

The spring adventure starts in mid March with the blooming of the daffodils. These beautiful bulbs begin the show with their brilliant yellow and white colors. The promise is fulfilled that there is new life and renewal in the ecosystem. In Mississippi bulbs are popular and can be seen in gardens and on the roadways. The presence of these spring blooms speaks to the beauty of this state.

As spring continues to emerge the trees begin to bud and the wonderful sweet perfume in the flowers attracts the bees. It is a wonderful site to watch the dance of the bees and the flowers. The bees will fly from each bloom and with the wind blowing there will be harmony in the creation of new life. Soon the pollen spread by these bees will produce new fruit on the trees. The young fruit is the renewal of the life cycle in these trees.

bee closeup on clover april 7

The sweet fragrance of the spring will also bring the birds to the landscape. The birds will seek nesting places to begin a family. The renewal of life in the trees is an inviting place for birds to begin a new life. The new life on the trees provide an abundance of food for the birds.

Pine trees are abundant in Mississippi in the forest and in the suburban landscape. These trees send a yellow coat of pollen into the landscape. The fragrance of these trees is sweet and are the cause of many allergy issues in people. The yellow pollen show will continue for many weeks as the new pine cones emerge to continue the life of the trees.

pine tree in bloom april 1

Magnolia trees have beautiful large white blooms that appear in the spring. These fragrant flowers are large and shine brightly in the morning sun. They coat the landscape in many parks and yards. This wonderful flower is the Mississippi state flower.

magnolia group blooms april 21

Flower gardens are popular in the spring landscape. The bright colors and fragrances of the flower gardens are pleasing to the senses. Many people find peace and relaxation while working on these gardens. The fragrant flowers are nourishment for the soul.

Rose gardens are popular in Mississippi. Many people plant roses of various colors in the gardens. The sweet fragrance of these flowers attract bees, humming birds, and a variety of butterflies. The gardens are fun to take care of and to reap the reward of freshly cut flowers. The fragrance fills the house with calming scents.

mom rose garden april 1

The Mississippi Museum of Art has beautiful garden areas that are visited often in the spring. There is a section that has flower gardens planted in memory of loved ones  by museum patrons. These gardens have beautiful yellow flowers, roses, foxgloves, and grasses. The perfume of these flowers is a loving memory of those who have passed and the renewal of life.

There is a community nature park that has sections of flowers in the spring. These flowers appear on bushes that bloom in the spring. The vibrant colors and fragrance of the flowers attract bees and humming birds. This is a fun and relaxing thing to observe.

The spring attracts people to the outdoors. The sweet fragrance in the air is a call to people to renew their relationship with nature. Spring is the time of year when outdoor activities begin anew.

As the days begin to warm the people begin to reappear in the landscape. There are baseball games and races with walkers and runners. The barbecue grills return as people experience the appealing fragrances of food being cooked outside. This is the time for families to reconnect after the long separation of the winter months.

June soon appears and the spring fragrances begin to fade. Summer is on the horizon and there will be new perfumes in the air. The spring flowers will fade and give rise to the summer landscape. The temperatures in Mississippi are hot in the summer and people will begin to spend more time inside to escape the heat.

The fruit on the trees is maturing now and the bees have gone to more inviting landscapes. It has been a wonderful spring in Mississippi and the sweet fragrances of the spring flowers is now a wonderful memory. The future looks bright and all is well with the world.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: Perfume

Categories
art history inspiration life Mississippi

The Blanket Comfort of Mississippi

Blankets are coverings that comfort us. As a native Mississippian I am blanketed by the traditions and culture of the state. Mississippi is often considered one of the poorest states. I believe that poor is relative and that there are many things that give Mississippi wealth. There are seven areas that are explored in this blog.

The first part of Mississippi wealth is her people. They are a diverse group coming from around the world. We have a blanket of family and friends. The small town culture of people loving and caring for each other is abundant here. Through tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and fires there will always be neighbors to blanket us. In all disasters in this state the call for aid is answered immediately.

The second part of Mississippi wealth is her land. The landscape is green and lush in the northern and central part of the state. There is forest that blanket the state with vast trees and wildlife. There are  fields filled with crops containing food to feed us. The cotton that is grown to provide clothing for us.

In the southern most part of the state is the Gulf Coast. The vast Gulf of Mexico provides food and a beach for vacationers to enjoy. The barrier islands provide protection from storms and host an old fort that offered military protection in an earlier time. There are sculptures from trees damaged in hurricanes and a beautiful lighthouse to guide our boats home. This is truly a blanket of art and culture for Mississippi.

The third part of Mississippi wealth is the entertainment industry. This state is known for the blues and a variety of other music genres. Musicians young and old receive inspiration from the rich history of Mississippi. There have been aspiring musicians that have national competitions.

Writers have found inspiration in the tales of the people and the landscape. Many famous authors have called Mississippi home and speak of our culture. Many small Mississippi towns have been the settings for a wealth of stories. It is exciting to visit the towns that the stories told are based.

The film industry has taken an interest in Mississippi. Several small towns have been used as a background or set for a movie. Along with the famous actors several Mississippians have served as extras or have had parts in these movies. Our beautiful landscape enhances the story the movie is attempting to tell.

The fourth part of Mississippi wealth is the festivals that are held in small towns and communities. The delta has blues festivals featuring artists that are well-known and those that just beginning their careers. In another small town there will be a festival featuring tomatoes or crawfish. The crops provide income to the community and are celebrated.

One of the most entertaining festivals takes place in Neshoba County. Every year in August people come to this festival that features music, food, and politics. . This is a wonderful festival that brings in diverse groups of people. There are cabins that have front porches where people gather to enjoy conversation and food. In an election year many politicians gather to give elaborate speeches to encourage people to vote for them or their cause.

The fifth part of Mississippi wealth is the vast reservoirs and rivers. These venues provide entertainment and serve the water needs of the people. They provide ecosystems for birds, animals, and other wildlife. Mississippi protects these environments.

On a typical Mississippi weekend there will be fishermen, boaters, and people skiing in the calm waters. The parks surrounding these water venues have picnic tables and campsites for families. There are trails for bicycles and people walking. We are blanketed with the wealth of the outdoors.

The sixth part of Mississippi wealth is her spirituality. We are blanketed with a deep belief in God. Our culture is deeply rooted in this belief and is expressed in the way we live.

The final part of Mississippi wealth is the history of the state. Strength and resilience is blanketed from our rich heritage. We learn from our past and go forward into the modern world. There have been dark times where our culture has needed a correction. The people of this great state have risen to each occasion and moved forward to a more inclusive state.

I am proud to call Mississippi my home. It is a wonderful place to live and grow. This state is a good place to start and raise a family. Mississippi is blanketed in love.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: Blanket

Categories
art food gardens life lifestyles Mississippi museums

An evening at the Mississippi Museum of Art

The Mississippi Museum of Art is a wonderful place filled with many beautiful sculptures, paintings, and other works of art. During some months of the year there are special exhibits from artists all over the world. These exhibits range from contemporary works of art to paintings from the Renaissance. Each month the museum holds an outdoor event. This month the museum featured a band and a movie.

Jess and I packed our chairs with a snack and headed to the museum. The Mississippi Museum of Art has a large outdoor space filled with a grass lawn, patio area, and gardens. After picking a spot to watch the people and movie, I headed to the gardens with my camera.

The gardens are filled with paths separated by a large concrete entrance area. I headed to the garden section that has areas dedicated to the memory of loved ones of museum sponsors. This garden is filled with various colors of flowers and some grasses. It is a well-kept area and filled with visitors.

white flowers at ms art museum april 20

My favorite flowers in the memorial area are the foxgloves. The beauty of the colors in the flowers stands out among the green grass. I take several photos of the foxgloves on the path. These flowers stand in their full colorful glory.

foxgloves ms museum of art april 23

The next garden section is across the concrete area that is very well planned and groomed. There is a sculpture that welcomes visitors through this part of the garden. It has vibrant colors that shine in the afternoon sun. The path going through this garden has flowers and trees on each side. The various plants are a feast for the eyes and the fragrance from the flowers pleasant to the nose.

sculpture ms art museum april 23

I stop and take pictures of several flowers. There are some beautiful white flowers on a hedge along the back fence. These flowers are surrounded by trees and are across from a bed of tall green plants. There are other people with cameras taking pictures along the path. One is a young couple having engagement pictures taken by a photographer. The scene through the path is serene and tranquil.

It is time to return to our spot on the grass to snack and watch the people. There is an eclectic group of people in the crowd. Many of them have stopped at the food truck parked on the street. The smell of food from this truck is enticing and it is hard not to walk over to try some tasty treats.

The museum has a restaurant and a patio with tables for outdoor dining. This area is full with waiters bringing a variety of dishes to the tables. Most of the people in this section are dressed formally and have come directly from their jobs. All is calm and relaxing as the people dine listening to the band.

The museum has a small water feature with water spurting into the flat area like small geysers. There are several children playing in the water having an exciting time. It is fun to see their smiles. The museum encourages people to bring their families to this event.

water feature ms museum of art april 23

This month the band is playing contemporary music and the crowd is filled with young people. There are a variety of fashion styles in the crowd. Many of the people have dyed their hair to match the outfits they are wearing. Others have come wearing the costumes from the movie to be played. I admire the diversity in the crowd and how well they interact with each other.

There are many dogs in the audience as well.  They are content to walk and observe the crowds. The dogs sit with their owners during the movie and are extremely quiet.

After the sun has set it is time for the movie to begin. The movie is one of the most recent from the Star Wars series. Several members of the audience remark how the outdoor theater is a better place to watch the movie. This is a popular fairly new release that is free at this event. The audience is in love with the characters and visual effects of the film.  It is a good movie much like the old ones from the seventies and early eighties.

The movie has ended and it is time to return home. As Jess and I pack our things and move toward the truck I admire how a group of diverse people can enjoy dinner and a movie together. It has been a wonderful evening filled with conversions, food, a movie and flowers.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

 

 

 

Categories
camping culture daily prompt Earth Day environment forest inspiration intentional living life lifestyles nature spiritual story telling

Reflections for Earth Day

Immortality is an idea that most people contemplate in a lifetime. This idea is expressed in religion, culture, and nature. This is an exploration of immortality in nature.

The forest is an interesting ecosystem in the life it supports. There are birds and insects that have abundant lives on the food and water provided by nature. The trees and various plants thrive on the soil which provides nutrients. There is a continuance of the life cycle throughout this symbiotic relationship.

petrified forest water path 2 april 14

The trees have found an interesting way to immortality. Petrified wood is trees which have been transformed into stone through a process called permineralization. Using the ingredients essential for life the ecosystem is the way to immortality. Once transformed the tree is preserved for eternity.

In the mist of the living is the immortality of the preserved. Throughout the continuance of life these petrified trees witness the renewal of the forest. Every season brings rains, snow, scorching heat, and other changes in the earth that change the ecosystem. Yet the petrified trees remain the same.

The process of permineralization is a slow one which takes millions of years. During this time the journey of life continues and the forest changes. Through the years if the forest is allowed to progress naturally then the petrified tree will observe the changes from its original home. If the forest is destroyed by fire or other means, then the petrified tree is alone or moved from the ecosystem.

petrified wood april 14

What does this say about immortality in nature? Is life in stone renewal or is it just another journey into death? The answers to these questions lie in every person’s definition of life. I believe that life and death are a journey that must continue. Nature continues to change in life and every death contributes to renewal.

When the tree becomes stone it stagnates and does not participate in the renewal of life. Watching from a stone does not lead it to continue the journey that nature encourages. Therefore, true immortality cannot be achieved through permineralization. There is a loss of meaning and true death. There is no life for the tree beyond this stone state.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce