Some days seem made for day dreaming. When worries seem far off and the sun is shining and you let yourself just enjoy being wherever you are at the moment. Today I left work and had my lunch in the park. Fairview park to be specific. There is a pond there called Dreamland Pond. I was born here in Decatur and grew up here. I have spent many afternoons in this park over the years and yet I never knew that this pond had a name until recently. Now I find myself gravitating there for lunch on sunny days. Today I actually took some self portrait pictures because I was enjoying the moment so much I wanted to see what I looked like. Did I look as relaxed as I felt ? About a year ago a very good friend was coaching me through some hard times. He suggested I take self portrait pictures to help see myself more clearly. Over the past year I have taken quite a few and the results have been more than revealing. Some of those pictures show a woman going through a major life struggle, I hope I won’t be seeing too many more of those. But todays pictures show a more thoughtful and yes ” dreamy” Laura….which seems appropriate since I spent my lunch hour at Dreamland Pond.
Have you ever been wandering around town or someplace new and been confronted in bold type with some message that seems put there especially for you ? This seems to happen to me quite often and since I always have a camera on me, I always snap a picture to remember what I am supposed to learn. Sometimes I think of this as God speaking to me through the objects that cross my path. Sometimes the messages are up-beat and sometimes they are more solemn.
Here in my hometown I have places that I have referred to as my personal Meccas. There is one in particular that I use when my heart seems intent on feeling sorry for itself. I go there to wallow in misery and cry if I need to. I use this place to purge my soul of all the down emotions so that I can move onto something better…This place I go is actually a beautiful place to sit and wallow, or just think. The only reason it became my place to go to and purge my soul is because it’s name is so appropriate. I think the name Mud Flats is perfect for the kind of feelings that I often go there to purge. I just kind of stumbled upon this fact one particularly sad night. The whole concept of mud or mire just seemed to fit the feelings that were weighing down my heart. The curious thing is, is that mud flats is actually a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the lake. So by the time I have loosened all the mire in my heart, I can then sit back and repair the spiritual damage before I get up and leave. I leave the mud and the mire there on the flats and go home pounds lighter then when I got there.
This moment is what we have. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Today, this moment is the one we are living. I try to keep that in mind always. Life is full of stumbling blocks and challenges, some cannot be solved in that very moment. Some have to be allowed to grow, age and mellow and then the answer just sort of reveals itself. For those times, I try to remember that This Moment is the one that counts, it is the one that is here and now and will be the lesson that serves me tomorrow.
I had the opportunity for a spur of the moment road trip. I had to take my Mom down to southern Illinois to meet up with a friend. I decided to go a little further south and re-visit one of my favorite museums. The National Quilt Museum. This museum I would qualify in one sentence: ” A Feast For The Eyes ” You do not in any way need to be a quilter, or even interested in quilting to love this museum. The quilts on exhibit here come from are genres in quilting and can be categorized as works of art. They are like exquisite paintings in fabric. The quilt museum displays men and women quilters both as well as quilters from other countries. The building itself is delightful and if you are interested in quilting you can sign up for one of their many workshops with master quilters to guide you.
And if there is one thing the city of Paducah knows how to do well it would be the creation of the most astounding and decorated floodwall. The city of Paducah sits on the banks of the Ohio river, one of the nation’s main water ways. The Ohio river along with rivers like the great Mississippi and the Missouri were the roads for westward travelers in a time when there were no roads. Like most river towns Paducah lives with the threat of the river overflowing and flooding the historic downtown. In response to this on-going threat the city has built a floodwall and this floodwall they have decorated with beautiful mural depicting scenes of national interest, technological advancements, scenes of life in a river town and local monuments. The effect is both astounding and charming all at the same time. The floodwall is visible both from the National Quilt Museum and from the Historic Downtown.
After 25 years of living an exciting and wonderful life overseas, I have come back to my home town, to the place that created the foundation of me. It has often been said that you can never go home. I suppose this is basically true. Home will never be the place you remember from your childhood. It will always look different through the eyes of prolonged absence. But there are times when going home is the only answer. Sometimes when life has gotten so strange and big, when the journey has taken you off in so many directions all at once, going home can actually be a way to center oneself again and combine the person you were with the one you have become. And sometimes when the road you seemed to be traveling so peacefully comes to an abrupt halt, coming home can be like a jump-start into the next chapter of life.
<iframe width=”425″ height=”349″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/e2hqiIYoS8w?hl=en&fs=1” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Whenever I find myself in a new place I ineveitably end up looking for a place to think, to get away from everyone and everything and find solitude. A place to commune with myself and absorb and take in all that is around me. It may sound strange but I find it absolutely necessary. When my senses are being bombarded by new faces, new experiences, new flavors of life, I find that I need to find a place to go to and absorb it all, take it in, weigh it and balance it and finally make it mine. If we are truely the sum of our experiences I don’t want to miss a thing. I want everything to count.
It has taken me a long time to get to this place. I feel fortunate to have made it this far. Life has a way of taking unexpected twists and turns until we finally realize that we are part of the Journey. The journey is life itself. Accepting the changes that life brings our way is always challenging and always enriching. I didn’t always believe this but coming to this point of acceptance has been the biggest part of the journey I am ready to move forward now..