Are You a Deadhead Today?

While I was tending to my small flower garden this morning, the birds were very busy getting breakfast.  A red tail hawk that recently took up residence in the upper branches of our oak tree screed loudly, as she tended her babies.  Life’s rhythm could be seen, heard and actually felt.

Then I noticed what I was doing to my flowers.  As my mind pondered life’s rhythm, my fingers automatically removed any dead or dying blooms from the plants.  I was “deadheading” and not even thinking about it.

Then it hit me – what would my life be like if I deadheaded all of the imagined grievances, past hurts, frustration and anger that I carry with me?  What space would open up and how would my life change?

I know what happens with my flowers when I tend to them lovingly and deadhead regularly.  New growth appears in the stem that had past blooms removed.

Why wouldn’t the same thing happen to me?

That question hung in my mind as I took the photos that appear in my blog this morning.  It resonates in my heart as I closed my eyes, and stood in grateful appreciation to God for this insight.  It resounds in my veins as I start my day.

Why not me?

Great Summer Read

When was the last time you happened upon a book that hooked you by the cover art, then grabbed you by the marvelous characterization?  (Warning: I love books about transformation, healing and growth. So if you tend more toward war books, science fiction fantasy or vampires, this blog may not be for you.)

For those of you who are still with me, I just finished a great novel by Barbara O’Neal, called The Secret of Everything.  The cover was intriguing, depicting a young woman climbing up old stairs, peering around a door into the unknown.  A black and white sheltie mix is gazing up at her in adoration and protection.  What was she looking for?  Of course, the title piqued my curiousity…what was the ‘secret of everything?’

The story is about Tessa Harlow, a single  woman in her late thirties who discovers, quite by accident, that she is not who she thought she was.  Tessa is fiercely independent and passionately lovely, and her quest for truth becomes the journey she never knew she had to take.

As she learns more about her past, Tessa’s heartbreak almost crushes her spirit, until she makes a leap of faith and shares her loss with Vince Grasso, a stranger who is strangely familiar.  The adroit use of the New Mexico mountains provides a dramatic setting for Tessa and Vince’s love story.  Intertwined in the plot are several characters who break your heart, but in the end, love prevails.

An added bonus are the wonderful recipes shared as part of the story.  Food, lovingly prepared for the characters, helps promote healing and new insights.  The sense that preparation of that same recipe in your life might bring about the same results makes you want to try it out for yourself.  Sharing the recipes that are part of the story is a delightful way to connect the reader to the themes in the book.

If you are looking for a great summer read, that will capture your attention and your heart, The Secret of Everything is just what you need.

Fathers are All Around Us

Today is Father’s Day, a time to celebrate the men who have played an important role in someone’s life.  Whether he is a dad, step-dad, caring uncle or concerned grandfather, men who love someone younger than themselves all display characteristics of “fatherhood.”

The concept of  “blood relations” has fallen away in the realities of today’s social and moral standards.  Adoption, same-sex marriage, and blended families make it almost impossible to adhere to strict bonds of blood.  That may have worked in feudal times, when life’s complications boiled down to survival with your “clan” but it surely does not apply in today’s world.

So that leaves us with the question of how to define “fatherhood.”  I think it boils down to this…if you are a man who has established an emotional relationship with someone younger than you, and you guide by loving advice, provide consistent, unwavering support and encouragement, then you qualify to be called a “father.”

But the best way to find out is to ask the other person.  You might be surprised by their answer!