Surprise! It Snowed! 5-17-17

I woke up to snow this morning and had to wait until first light to take some photos to
share with you.  It was swiftly melting and I discovered how challenging it is to take photos in the gloaming dawn.  It is also my anniversary today for the 28th year I’ve lived with my husband.  We celebrate 26th years of marriage in August.  Here is his gift.
I love it!  So cute and I so enjoy the dandelion and little pollinators and refreshing innocence.  When we met I wanted him to be my playmate and would sing him a little song my grandfather (the one in my photo in the “Cultivating Compassion and Kindness (About)” page of this blog) would sing to me, called “O Little Playmate“.  I’m grateful to have found the little video in the link to share with those of you who’d like to check out the song.
o dearest playmate
you came out to play with me
and make sweet music
~ Raven Ariana Simons ©2017
I feel so very grateful to you, o husband of mine, even in the cold rain and snow 😉
together for years
so very long yet so short
the passage of time
~ Raven Ariana Simons ©2017
adventures we’ve had
exciting sometimes scary
nature comforts us
~ Raven Ariana Simons ©2017

Like every couple we’ve had mixed blessings through out the years and it takes work to make a coupleship and a marriage.  I appreciate that we both have love in our hearts, work on gratitude, compassion, and kindness.  Strive to forgive.  Appreciate Grace, Mystery, and Beauty.  Love our family, pets, friends, and the creatures in our yard (that star in most of my photos) and the world at large, while appreciating trees, fungi, soil organisms, water, air, and all that keeps us alive on mama Earth. Work on realizing mistakes are information and opportunities to learn and grow (great because we both make lots of mistakes).  Love to play and create. Love lifelong learning.  Desire to foster creativity in others when we have a chance and do other acts of Service.

Happy Anniversary, Hubby, may we enjoy many more years together and continue to be blessed with double celebrations (insert heart here)!
Bright Snowy Blessings, Namaste, Namu Amida Butsu
Our hearts give thanks to the Grace in the Universe!
~ Raven

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Yes, I Will Be Your Valentine 2/14/17

small-valentine-2017-jpg-sigValentine’s morning is frosty and clear
So clear I  see my breath,
Hear frozen cracklings underfoot,
While watching you scrape the icy veil,
Clearing the windows for a clean view,
Allowing you to make it safely to work.

I return to warmth and furry friends
Already missing you.
I see the handmade gift you made me,
A cardboard heart with a question and words of love.

The sun shines on deep red roses
In an elegant vase bought years ago.
I imagine the vase rejoicing
As it has long sat empty and now
It is serving beauty once again.
roses-2017-jpg-sig
With your gifts and question
You spoke of loving feelings, tender intentions,
And a wish that we might put our feet on a spiritual path
That deepens loving connection.

This evening we will celebrate
With other couples dedicated
To each other and their coupleships.

We will share with each other,
Working on healthy communication, true intimacy,
And ways to deepen our bonds together,
A wonder filled opportunity.

I spoke my answer to your question
And will now write it here, Beloved Husband.
Yes, I will be your valentine.

With gratitude in my heart
I can say I have loved you from the beginning
And continue to love you in the present.

My prayers are that we take
A spiritual journey together,
Deepening our compassion, kindness, love,
And feelings of gratitude for all we have,
Including each other.

Happy Valentine’s Day
From your beloved wife, Raven!

rose-close-2017-jpg-sig
May your Valentine’s Day be filled with gratitude, compassion, love, and kindness.

Our hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!

Love – Geese, Flowers, and Hard Decisions We Sometimes Have To Make to Be Compassionate (10/5/15)

“Some years ago, I read an article about two people in the arts (alas, I can’t remember who they were) who’d been married for many, many years. Asked for the secret of their long partnership, they said: “We fell straight into conversation when we met, and we haven’t come to the end of that conversation yet.”

I can’t think of a better model for marriage than that. Or of a narrative more romantic . . . .”
~ Terri Windling
10:5:15 L geese 1 sigMonday, October 5, 2015 – On day 5 of OcPoWriMo and funny enough one of the harder aspects of loving was up on my plate today, choosing to say goodbye.  While romantic love between humans is often thought of when we are asked about “LOVE”, there is also the love between family members, friends (including pets), and some of us have love affairs with certain creatures not usually considered sentient (though science is beginning to prove otherwise).  Someone I know truly loves a grove of aspen trees.  Today I had a super difficult day when I had to choose to have a long-time family member and friend, our Sokoke cat, Zomo, helped over the Rainbow Bridge by our vet.  This was traumatic because Zomo didn’t like people, was bonded to me, and freaked out when put in the cat carrier for his final journey as a living soul in this incarnation.  Though my act was one of love and compassion, in his eyes it was a betrayal.  Even though he was suffering, he didn’t want this to happen to him.  The vet assured us that we made the correct choice to end his suffering, though it was one of the hardest compassionate types of choice to make.  She couldn’t tell us exactly what was wrong, but assured us that even if we spent thousands of dollars he was unlikely to make it as he was having fluid come up from his deep in his throat with a good chance that it was cancer.  He was drowning.  I haven’t included a most current photo of Zomo, because the pictures I took today showed him looking rough and not like his beautiful self, though here are a few photos of Zomo and Asad as kittens and adults (Zomo is in back in the cat tree, and that is him in the single kitten photo).  Asad was Zomo’s litter-mate and passed from cancer a few years ago.  Zomo would have been 10 years old in the spring.  Rest in peace my dear friend!  Is the Rainbow Bridge made of flowers?
Zomo and Asad kittens sig Zomo and Asad adults sig “hard to say goodbye
to my faithful furry friends
rest in peace dear ones”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

Zomo kitten sigMy photos taken for today include geese and flowers and I chose these because geese mate for life and flowers are often given as tokens of love.  Flowers and pollinators make love that allow a great diversity of life to flourish so beautifully on earth.
10:5:15 L agustache 1 sig 10:5:15 L geese sig “high in the sky geese
migration is happening
goose pairs mate for life”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:5:15 L flower sig 10:5:15 L agustache sig“bees share flower love
people love to share flowers
are flowers Earth’s love?”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

10:5:15 L rose sigNamaste, Namu Amida Butsu, Bright Blessings ~ Raven

Three Days – 2/20/15, 2/21/15, and 2/22/15

2:22:15 bee glass sig“pollinating fire
as we pray for all of life
each one connecting”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”
~ Pema Chodron
I didn’t to get my daily posts up from the 20th until today so I have added the hyperlinks in the dates in case you’d like to go back and see the photos and adventures on those past days (each post will have a photo for 2012, 2013, and at least one, maybe more, for 2014):
February 20, 2012 – 2014
February 21, 2012 – 2014
February 22, 2012 – 2014
Sunday, February 22, 2015 – Friday was cooling down, Saturday we had a little bit of snow, and today it is windy with snow expected in some parts of the state over the next couple of days.  One of my long time friends told me today that it looks like winter may be back.  I guess we’ll see from moment to moment, day by day.
Friday, February 20, 2015 – Definitely getting chillier and more wind, though the birds were out, but not a lot of the ladies.
2:20:15 robin 2 sig 2:20:15 crocus 1 sig2:20:15 g f 1 sig“waiting for your seeds
sitting on forsythia
while other birds eat”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:20:15 crocus op sig 2:20:15 g f 2 sigSaturday, February 21, 2015 – I woke up to snow, though it did melt pretty fast and there was only a small amount.
2:21:15 catkin drops 1 sig“the drops are perfect
holding upside down tree dreams
in the melting snow”
~ Raven Ariana Simons 
2:21:15 drop 1 sig 2:21:15 o g drop sig 2:21:15 dandelion drop sig 2:21:15 drop sigSunday, February 22, 2015 – Today was cold and so windy that the wind chill factor made me want to stay in the house.  I took a few studies of some of the leaves of my plants that live by my window with some colorful glass.  The honeybee votive candle holder at the very top of the page is part of the arrangement.
2:22:15 leaf detail sig 2:22:15 st fran 1 sig “such life in my home
and I don’t have to go far
to share, love, and care”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:22:15 leaves sig
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
~ Paul Coelho
2:22:15 odd leaves sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste and Bright Bee Blessings ~ Raven

To You With Love 2/14/15

2:14:15 bonsai pink a sig“But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips.”   ~ Kahlil Gibran
Flashback – Tuesday, February 14, 2012 – The green orchid is still hanging in there with the magenta/pink orchids. The lovely white and fushia orchids have wilted to a lovely paper like look. I call this arrangement “The Orchid Arch”.
February 14, 2012 sigFlashback – Thursday, February 14, 2013 – Today we had lovely blue skies and a little less air pollution just in time for Valentine’s Day!  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone 🙂
February 14, 2013 sigFlashback – Friday, February 14, 2014 – A pair of mallards in love 🙂
February 14, 2014Saturday, February 14, 2015 – Today I visited a beloved plant store, Cactus and Tropicals, to take photos to share lovingly with you.
2:14:15 lav sig 2:14:15 succulent blossom sig 2:14:15 white blossom sig“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, does the heart find its morning and is refreshed.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
2:14:15 succulent blossom 1 sig 2:14:15 blue sig 2:14:15 lady's slipper sig“beautiful flower
are you waiting for a bee
to help you make love”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:14:15 pretty pink sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste ~ Raven

The Promise of Rain Fulfilled 2/9/15

2:9:15 clouds trees sig“When caught under the weather of love, always choose the person who loves you unconditionally, and abandon the one who only loves you under favorable conditions.”
~ Suzy Kassem
Flashback – Thursday, February 9, 2012 – Here is a portrait of one of my angel fish.
February 9, 2012 sigFlashback – Saturday, February 9, 2013 – These leaves are a type of ground cover that live in the neighborhood.
February 9, 2013 sigFlashback – Sunday, February 9, 2014 – We’ve had lovely rain today and I took some photos of drops.
February 9, 2014Monday, February 9, 2015 – The sunrise clouds were beautiful and and the rain came off and on this afternoon, followed by a gorgeous sunset.
2:9:15 looming clouds sig 2:9:15 big cloud sig 2:9:15 w cl w:birds sig“a cloud swept morning
the promise of rain fulfilled
refreshing the earth”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:9:15 drop 2 sig 2:9:15 evergreen sig 2:9:15 drop sig 2:9:15 sunset sig“Precipitate as weather, she appeared from somewhere, then evaporated, leaving only memory.”
~ Haruki Murakami
2:9:15 w trees sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste ~ Raven

Clouds 2/7/15

2:7:15 rainbow edge sig“Look at those clouds,” said Jamie, gazing up at the sky. “Look at them.”
“Yes,” said Isabel. “They’re very beautiful, aren’t they? Clouds are very beautiful and yet so often we fail to appreciate them properly. We should do that. We should look at them and think about how lucky we are to have them.”
“Look at the shape of the clouds,” she said. “What do you see in those beautiful clouds, Jamie?”
“I see you,” he said.”
~ Alexander McCall Smith
Flashback – Tuesday, February 7, 2012 – I think that this planet is Venus. It is bright in the sky before the sun went down and the full moon rose!
February 7, 2012 sig
Flashback – Thursday, February 7, 2013 – These little starlings were right on the top of my street and looked very pretty with the sky.
January 6, 2013 sigFlashback – Friday, February 7, 2014This pair of ducks is part of a story that you can find on my post in the hyperlink for the 7th and 8th of 2014.
February 7, 2014 sigSaturday, February 7, 2015 – Today we had many different clouds from sunrise to sunset.
2:7:15 O sig 2:7:15 poplar sig“There’s something beautiful about keeping certain aspects of your life hidden. Maybe people and clouds are beautiful because you can’t see everything.”
~ Kamenashi Kazuya
2:7:15 birch cottonwood sig 2:7:15 w sig 2:7:15 catalpa sig“Clouds at dawn
and clouds at dusk
and clouds behind the catkins

Leafless trees
awaiting spring
and hope the rain’s soon falling”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
2:7:15 catkins sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste ~ Raven