Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

Kripalu Mindfulness Outdoor Experience Guide & Life Coach – Get Outside. Go Within.


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Finding Beauty and Hope In Nature

During these trying times, everyone needs to remember to focus part of their day on self-care. Whether that is five minutes of breathing, exercising, creating a healthy meal, meditating for 15 minutes or 30 minutes, painting, or spending time in nature. Stress is not good for our bodies, minds or spirit. For me, meditation and being outside in nature have allowed me to maintain my health, sanity, and connection to spirit.

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Pine Hollow Arboretum which is located a short way from my home. This has become my home away from home during the worldwide pandemic. Being in nature, walking the trails, listening to birds, walking barefoot, enjoying a sit-spot, and taking time to be mindful has been perfect way to enjoy life and get away from the news for short periods every day.

“Magic is seeing wonder in nature’s every little thing, seeing how wonderful the fireflies are and how magical are the dragonflies.” ~ Ama H. Vanniarachchy ~

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When I first arrived at the pond I noticed dragonflies of all sizes. This is not always the case and the varying sizes was a welcome surprise. They flew over my head, around me and through the reeds.

There were so many dragonflies flittering near the pond along with frogs of all sizes jumping and croaking. With the frogs croaking and birds singing what a lovely serenade.

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The trees were especially beautiful throughout the trails tonight. Although it was hot, the shade of the trees provided a welcomed relief from the heat.

Leaf shadows decorated the trees throughout the walk. I took some time for a sit-spot, breathing, and reflecting. Such a peaceful experience finding beauty and hope in nature.

My daughter gave birth to a daughter at home three weeks ago. She did not want to deliver in the hospital as her husband and her little boys would not have been able to visit. A home deliver was the best choice for her family. Thinking about my new granddaughter and watching the dragonflies lay their eggs gave me hope. Hope that our world will continue. We will overcome the pandemic, the political unrest, the illness and death, the separation from loved ones, economic uncertainty.

My new granddaughter will be remembered by her home birth during the pandemic. Her four year old brother present immediately after her birth to count her little fingers and toes. Her 18 month old brother not really understanding for the first three day. He has overcome his sadness, since nicknamed her Babe.

The dragonfly larvae may stay in the water for up to three years. This gives me hope as they have been around since the beginning of time, surviving catastrophes throughout the centuries. Dragonflies have been on Mother Earth for over 300,000 million years and here they are today still reproducing.

During the pandemic my family has witnessed the marriage of my great-nephew in North Carolina on Zoom. We attended a funeral service for a very close young friend. Then the birth of my granddaughter. We will soon celebrate the birth of another new family member in October. Life goes on.

We have to continue to have hope for a better future. If we could each focus on the future, on staying healthy we will be ready for the other side of the pandemic. What can we each do to bring beauty and hope in our lives?

We can exercise, eat healthy, meditate, spend time in nature. This is what has allowed me to maintain hope during all of the recent changes. I am one of the fortunate ones who has been working remotely, lucky enough to have walking trails nearby, healthy food to eat and prepare at home, electric, water, medical insurance. Not all have the same during the pandemic and I keep them all in my thoughts and prayers.

The one thing I can do while not able to be with others is to take care of myself. Self-care has been very beneficial. To keep sanity, someone living alone needs to have ways to maintain their health. If you are living with others, the house can seem small and crowded, even if you live in a large home. We all can benefit from self-care. For me, nature has been my go to. You may prefer exercise, running, drawing, writing, singing, dancing, creating or taking a nice bath. Even if you only take ten minutes a day, do yourself a favor and take time for yourself. If living with others, encourage them to do the same.

Please take care of yourself and allow yourself some time for self-care. This is more important now than ever.

If you already take the time, what are you doing to add self-care in your life? Please share.

Love and Light!

 


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WPC – Magic

This week, make some magic.

“Everywhere we look, complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh ~

Isn’t that the truth – complex magic of nature is everywhere. Many times missed while frantically moving to keep up with our hectic schedules,  yet slowing down to notice the everyday magic brings joy and peace into our lives.

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Autumn in upstate New York State

Do you take the time to notice how beautiful the trees are dressed in colorful Autumn leaves? What about after they have shed those glorious colors, do you observe the magic of their existence?

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Nature is filled with magic – our existence is magical. Your heart beats, your lungs breathe, you digest your food without even thinking about it. Our thoughts become creations in words, paintings, buildings. Mother nature shares her creations with us daily in a spider’s web that appear overnight, bees pollinating, the beautiful patterns and actions of butterflies and dragonflies. All this along with the wonderful sounds and smells of nature which can’t be captures in a photo.

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”  William Shakespeare

May you find magic in nature to embrace on a daily basis in the shadow on the floor, the curtain dancing in the morning breeze, snow covering the earth, breathing the fresh air of the ocean breeze, floating in a kayak on a lake, jumping in a mud puddle, or seeing a beautiful reflection in water. Simple things in nature are free for all to share.

Be childlike. Below is a photo of my 13 month old grandson who helped us see magic in a lone leaf dancing across the road and in his moving shadow.

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If you would like to view other submissions for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/magic/

Love and Light!


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Magic in Nature

A week ago Monday and again on Sunday a friend bundled up and took a walk in the nature preserve behind my home. We placed my new Nikon camera in the backpack and headed out the back door. Each day brought its own beauty. One one occasion we went out after there was a freeze and on the other it had warmed and their was some snow on the ground.

After walking through the woods for a while we decided to pull out the camera to see if we could capture the magic of the droplets that looked like little crystal lights on the limbs.

Droplets delicately hanging from the thin limbs

Droplets delicately hanging from the thin limbs

It was breathtaking and very fragile. If we moved too quickly the droplets fell to the ground. My friend sneezed and several fell as I was taking a picture. We laughed and began to walk a little more cautiously. Below is a close up of one of the droplets.

Look closely and you can see the reflection of a pine tree

Look closely and you can see the reflection of a pine tree

As we moved on toward the pond I wanted to capture the beautiful colors of the reddish tree with greenish-white moss but discovered a little surprise after the photo was taken.

Initials found in a tree

Initials found in a tree

It wasn’t until I went to check the photo that I notices the initials. There was a thin layer of ice on the pond and I became fascinated by the leaves floating in the water just under the ice. They resembled a gel candle with flowers suspended within.

Fallen leaves caught within the ice

Fallen leaves caught within the ice

I must have taken ten photos of the leaves in the water. The picture below is one that I felt especially connected with. Some of the leaves are frozen within the pond, while a couple are suspended in between freezing and free, and two others are on top of the water but appear to have their underside caught in a thin top layer. You can see the water froze while in movement.

 

Leaves in various stages of freezing

Leaves in various stages of freezing

In the photo below you can see even more closely that moment in time was captured when it became frozen. There is a little wave in the water that froze while in movement. It seems as if the water and leaves where enjoying the flow when the icy air capture them in the moment.

Love this! A moment captured in time.

Love this! A moment captured in time.

Then while sitting and enjoying the view one straggler leaf floated along on top of the ice as if skating.

The lonely skating leaf

The lonely skating leaf

It was a beautiful experience and every time I hike out in back there is a new discovery. This time it was a wooden bridge.

Looks like it is slanted but it is really due to the way the boards are laid.

Looks like it is slanted but it is really due to the way the boards are laid.

There is a brook that runs through the preserve as well as a couple of ponds. It is a treasure right behind my home. I feel so blessed. This is me touching a tree to soak up the energy of Mother Earth. As you can see from this photo the ice was no longer clear and smooth. It had frozen, melted a bit and after the snow froze again. It will no longer have the clear smooth surface.

Soaking up the energy of Mother Earth through the tree

Soaking up the energy of Mother Earth through the tree

What I have discovered while being in nature with a camera in hand is that I slow down and begin to focus on the close up as well as the whole of the forest. It is in the close up view that we can see a whole world that most people miss in their busy lives. If we could all learn to take time to slow down and enjoy the small things we may just learn to live with less and enjoy life more.

Love and Light,
Sandy