~ “And with a broken wing she still sings. She keeps an eye over the sky. With a broken wing she carries her dreams. Man, you oughta see her fly.” ~ Martina McBride

Butterflies can fly broken and tattered. Their flight pattern changes constantly in order to avoid being caught by an enemy. The beautiful, winged creature in this photo had luck on its side, and managed to escape a predator by sacrificing a piece of its wing. The life span of an average butterfly is less than two weeks. This serves as a reminder to us that time is swift and precious, and this moment is all that we are promised.

It is said that how you live each day is how you live your life. So true.

Our life is now. It is the day so graciously gifted to us. It isn’t perfect. It isn’t without difficulty. And it doesn’t always resemble the beautifully filtered images that we glimpse on our phone or computer screen. Life is messy, and complicated, and magical, and beautiful, and joyful, and painful, and so damn hard at times.

But, our lives do not begin when we arrive somewhere, or complete something, or remedy a problem, or stop missing someone that we have lost.

Life doesn’t begin when we take that  island vacation, or finish our degree work, or lose the ten pounds that we believe is standing in the way of the perfect existence.

It doesn’t begin when we heal from heartbreak, or forgive a betrayal, or finish our kitchen renovation.

It doesn’t begin when we meet our soul-mate, or have children, or hold heavenly grand-babies.

It doesn’t begin when we tackle our demons, or overcome our phobias, or learn to stop pummeling ourselves and finally accept and love the person that we are.

It doesn’t begin when world problems are solved, or new politicians are elected, or when ugliness and evil is banished from this earth.

Life is today. Life is this moment. Life is all around us.

We must stop waiting for life to begin, and live fully from the deepest part of our soul. We must be grateful for each breath that we draw into our lungs. And we must keep our heart open, even when there are a million reasons to keep it closed.

The truth is, things will never be perfect. Those we love may never regain lost health. Human beings will continue to disappoint. Each new day brings with it glorious possibilities, as well as the risk of losing what we cannot live without.

But, we must remind ourselves that we are meant to be here now, and we are capable of soaring high – even with broken pieces and tattered wings. And we must believe that the more we hold, and help, and love those that need us…the more we live in the moment, the more whole we feel, and the more alive we become.

Fear nothing. Feel everything…and fly.

Peace and Love,

Carole Rose

Forgiveness on the Pond

“Therefore, dark past, I’m about to do it. I’m about to forgive you. For everything.” ~ Mary Oliver

The plan for my first post on this site, was that it be positive. Hearts, rainbows, and happiness would ooze from the computer screen. I would take a photo of a lovely nature scene, pair it with inspirational words and christen this space with light, love and positivity.

That was my plan, anyway. Nothing ever goes as planned.

I left my house, one morning, at the crack of dawn, when most of the world was still hugging their pillows, to get photos of a beautiful pond, in a state park, not far from my home. I arrived at the park, flung my precious camera around my neck and headed toward the pond – which is situated atop a steep hill. I ran up that hill, bursting with the anticipation of capturing the morning light, dancing on the water.

The view at the top, did not disappoint. The fog was hanging low in the air, the clouds were puffy and magical and a layer of sparkly, frost covered the earth. The backdrop of the scene was framed in a mass of mountains and the ground around the pond was surrounded with wild cattails. I love cattails and I love the fact that they symbolize peace and forgiveness. It is said, that when you present a cattail to someone, you are letting them know that you have forgiven them for having hurt you.

Looking through the camera, I walked around to get the best perspective, but instead of feeling overcome by the sheer beauty of this scene, I was overcome with a feeling of overwhelming sadness.

Uh-oh! There goes my hearts, rainbows and happiness post.

I stopped looking through the camera. I stopped searching for inspirational words. I stopped fighting the emotion and I fell to the ground. I sat there, with my yoga pants-wearing bottom, planted to the frost covered earth and I got quiet.

Pin. Drop. Quiet.

I began to recall the people in my life who wounded me – people I thought were in my past, people I thought I let go of, people I thought – I forgave. But, forgiveness brings feelings of peace and lightness and I felt such turmoil and heaviness. Perhaps I wasn’t such a forgiving person. Perhaps I wasn’t such an expert at letting go. Perhaps I had more work to do.

I found the place, deep inside, where I was storing hurt, fighting forgiveness, holding grudges and refusing to let go. I closed my eyes and I opened this imaginary, but very real, box of hurt. No hearts, rainbows, or happiness was stored inside. But I saw the faces of those that disappointed me, betrayed a confidence, hurt me to my core.

So. Many. Faces. So much weight I was still carrying around. Not yet released from the prison I constructed. Made of human bones – not iron bars.

One by one, I began to recall the time spent, the moments shared, the lessons learned – with each soul. I thanked them for the good things they gave me – that left me happier. I thanked them for the bad things they gave me – that left me wiser. I smiled at each of them. I wished them well. I imagined placing a wild cattail in their outstretched hands and… I forgave them. Then, I forgave the most difficult person of all to forgive – myself. I forgave myself for trusting the wrong people, taking paths – I had no business taking, working too hard to control things, trying too hard to please everyone and for holding onto all of it, far longer than needed.

On that frosty morning, with the fog hanging low, the mountains gracing the horizon and the wild cattails standing tall and proud – I let it all go. I felt happier. I felt lighter. I felt more whole – and in that holy moment of release, I realized, that I used happiness to push down sadness. I used lightness and hearts and rainbows to keep my head in the clouds. And in the process, I failed to deal with the heaviness, the hurt, the raw things that could only be dealt with, in the place they originated – deep inside and low to the ground.

There is freedom in letting go of whatever hurt your heart and in doing so – you clear a path for renewal and make room for more love, more light and yes…more hearts, more rainbows, more happiness – all the things the world desperately needs more of.

Who knew that in writing my first post, I would find clarity in the fog, warmth in the frost and forgiveness – in the fall to the ground.

Peace and Love
Carole Rose