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daily prompt food inspiration life lifestyles Mississippi picnic

Lifestyle: A Spring Picnic at Mississippi Petrified Forest

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/lifestyle/”>Lifestyle</a&gt;

The warming of the days bring on the urge to connect with nature. Mississippi is filled with exciting and beautiful places to engage the outdoors. On a recent visit to the Mississippi Petrified Forest we discovered a picnic area on the park property. Jess and I packed a picnic basket and journeyed to a park table surrounded by trees and a field. This was a calm and quiet area during the week with only a few people walking the grounds.

We decided to decorate the table and enjoy the simple pleasures of the nature around us. The trees were full of green leaves that moved to the light breeze blowing through them. There were birds chirping and small insects buzzing around the table. We were amazed at the serenity and tranquility of the spot.

With a full picnic basket containing a table-cloth, napkins, plates, candle, and goblets the table began to take on a festive theme. The food is usually simple and easy to pack. Our meal consisted of shrimp sandwiches, fruit, carrots, and baked beans. Shrimp sandwiches have become one of our favorite picnic foods. Grilled to perfection with a mix of jalapeno peppers and garlic the shrimp travels well as the ingredients continue to marry each other as time passes.  Jess and I love this time to connect with nature and reflect upon all of our blessings.

After the meal was finished it was time to take a gentle stroll around the field and trees. We walked and took photographs of the presentations of nature’s beauty.

IMG_4191

I reflected upon how some of the landscape reminded me of my grandmother’s land. As a child visiting my grandmother was an adventure. The land upon which she lived had many types of flowers, trees, and a large yard. This picnic area had pine trees and a large area of grass that blew gently in the wind. This walk and photography session were a pleasant relaxing memory.

Jess and I packed our picnic basket and camera as the day came to a close. It was getting to be late afternoon and we were relaxed and ready to head home. The day was wonderful and some day soon it will be time for another picnic.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: Lifestyle

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daily prompt happiness inspiration life lifestyles

Happiness: How to Wander But Not Be Lost

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/none/”>None</a&gt;

Most people aspire to be happy. There are stories, poems, and music that take on the topic of how to be happy. Many people wander throughout a lifetime searching for how to accomplish this goal. There are two types of wandering in this existence. One type is about sadness and the other about happiness. Nothingness is foreign to the group who are wandering without being lost.

People can wander and be lost. They are caught up in the struggles of life. None of the things given to them will make them happy. The daily grind of work wears them down. Their families are scattered and in disarray. Wandering is a curse instead of a blessing. Life is sad and disappointing. The path to happiness is forever elusive.

The more exciting and fun type of wandering is to be happy but not lost. Happiness is found through different paths of exploration. The word none is used far and between in this form of wandering. There are many avenues to this form of wandering.

The first avenue to wandering without being lost is through travel. Many people take extended trips to explore the world. It may be a trip into the past by exploring ancient artifacts from past civilizations. These may include the pyramids in Egypt or the ruins of the coliseum in Rome. Each has an exciting element of learning how ancient people lived. Happiness is achieved by experiencing the thrill of touching or seeing ancient items.

The second avenue to wandering without being lost is through minimal living. The concept of having few possessions is appealing to some people. There is happiness in using material things in more than one way. The minimalist finds happiness in limiting the amount of things owned and consuming less in the physical world. Inner peace is more important than possessions.

The third avenue to wandering without being lost is through loving relationships with other people. Love is a feeling rather than a material item. Love may be expressed in many ways such as the touch of the hand, a compliment, or simply sitting with someone in a time of crisis. This form of wandering without being lost is fun and exciting.

Some people wander without being lost in a family setting. Each person brings joy and committment to a unit of people. There is shared love and respect. During times of crisis a family is drawn closer with a common interest. The addition of people to the family is welcomed and encouraged. Each addition adds strength and stability to the family. Happiness is increased with this type of wandering when family members grow and succeed in life.

The fourth avenue to wandering without being lost is spirituality. The concept of something higher than oneself. To serve God is a wonderful and exciting experience. Wandering into someone’s life with no expectations except to serve is a wonderful feeling. Spirituality is also expressed in worship. There may be singing, meditation, chanting, or a combination of these things. Each experience is unique and exciting.

chapel in strawberry patch park april 24

The fifth avenue to wandering without being lost is through the search for inner peace. This is a special experience for people and there in no specific way to achieve this form of happiness. The wandering soul may explore many different paths to achieve the goal.

Some may try to obtain inner peace through humanitarian projects that will improve the lives of others. They may travel to countries where the people live in extreme poverty providing relief in the form of education or medical intervention. This form of wandering provides happiness and inner peace by helping the person focus on an external factor.

The sixth avenue to wandering without being lost is to focus on the land. There are people who grow flowers and plants in search of happiness. Each plant will represent a story in their lives. The cycle of life is wonderful and fills them with joy.

Other people will hike a path in the forest or canoe on the water.They find a deeper meaning in the beauty that nature provides. Nature is always changing and there is a new discovery around the corner waiting to be found. There is the renewal of life in each season that brings them happiness.

petrified forest water path 1 april 14

There is no clear path in wandering without being lost. It is a unique experience for each one of us. There is always a new adventure to be engaged in. Life is a wonderful experience filled with joy.  Do you wander without being lost? I hope that your wanderings are fun and filled with joy.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: None

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