A little glimpse of Joy

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.
~William Shakespeare

I think I came across my first Joy encounter last week. Of course, there’s been some moments of happiness, but like we discussed earlier this year, Happy is not necessarily the same feeling as Joy.

This Joy encounter came from an unexpected source….the cancer radiation treatment center. Yes, you heard correctly.

Entrepreneur was scheduled for three radiation treatments last week. We drove to the hospital entrance for radiation patients with more than a little anxiety building about how these procedures could end up. Radiating the brain….the stuff of which anxiety is made.

It was a dreary, chilly, spring day with on and off rain showers. Much like our frame of mind. But as we drove into the private parking area for radiation patients, this is what greeted us.

A sea of yellow daffodils planted between the reserved parking spaces and entrance.

I felt my heart lift as soon as I saw them. Of course, they didn’t negate the harsh reality of what was about to happen inside, but for a brief moment, I was caught up in the beauty of the moment. I thought of all the hours it must have taken to plant these bulbs last Autumn. I thought what a wonderful gift to those experiencing the challenging darkness of cancer.

And, I noticed some of these splendid blossoms had been mercilessly beat down onto the ground, unable to hold up against the spring storms. What a shame, I thought. So, I rescued them to live in vases in my home. There is some poetic justice in this, right? 🙂

Joy. It can surprise us in the strangest of places.

For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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Quotography: Import

Quotography-import

The intellectual life may be kept clean and healthful,
if man will live the life of nature and not import
into his mind difficulties which are none of his.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is an excerpt from a much longer essay titled Spiritual Laws. While many of Emerson’s transcendentalism ideas do not align with my personal, Christian beliefs, I do agree that intuition, insight and inspiration are spiritual gifts and can be nurtured by many different things, one of which is being aware of the beauty of nature all around us. Through our experiences and interaction with nature, we’re able to understand how interrelated we are with creation and our Creator; that there is something divine and mystical in nature, and when we embrace its beauty, we touch a bit of the divine deep in our soul.

I agree, in part, with Emerson’s writing that …A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men. We need to guard our hearts and minds from importing things that derail the beauty in our lives.

Participating in Quotography with Kelley at the road goes ever on

Have you been a dandelion puff?

Dandelion72
Texture by Kim Klassen, Return at 100% Soft Light

I was a dandelion puff…Some saw the beauty in me and stooped quietly to admire my innocence. Others saw the potential of what I could do for them, so they uprooted me, seeking to shape me around their needs. They blew at my head, scattering my hair from the roots, changing me to suit them. Yet still others saw me as something that was unworthy and needed to be erased. ~Nicole Bailey-Williams

Beauty and worthiness is in the eye of the beholder and nothing reflects that mindset more than a dandelion! Children admire the beauty of both the little drops of yellow that pepper the lawn, as well as the irresistible urge to scatter the puff balls to the wind as it suites them. Herbalists uproot the plant and change it to make teas and other remedies. And the consummate gardener considers the lowly dandelion unworthy to be included in their garden’s finery.

Do you ever feel like this? I ran across this quote and it really made me think. I believe we all feel like the unsuspecting dandelion puff from time to time.

Some people enjoy our presence, seeing our beauty and potential.
Some people want to change us into something that only satisfies their needs and wants.
And others may not see our value at all, preferring that we simply fall off the face of the earth.
Yep, I’ve been a dandelion puff.
Linking up with Tuesday Muse and Texture Tuesday.
Tuesday Muse
Texture Tuesday

 

Ralph Lauren doesn’t get it

Mega-fashion company, Ralph Lauren, owes all women a huge apology.

By now, I’m sure everyone has seen the photo of the emaciated, PhotoShopped model looking more like an alien Bratz doll than a human. What on earth were they thinking?

Thinking?

Obviously there was little, if any, thought that preceded the idea of putting this beautiful model’s head on an anorexic, stick figure of a body. For heaven’s sake, someone get that girl a candy bar. God help her if she ever became pregnant and had to give birth with those hips.

Aside from the obviously shoddy ‘shopped work in the creative department, the underlying message is simply disgusting…to be gorgeous and fashionable, wear Ralph Lauren and look like a third-world-starved waif.

lauren

Seriously?

Hasn’t anyone told Ralph that eating disorders among women may be at epidemic proportions? The UNC School of Medicine found that 75% of women between the ages of 25 and 45 suffer from some degree of eating disorders. And I’m sure many of those women can attribute their slide into self-loathing to the photos shown in “fashion” magazines. I find it reprehensible that these types of companies still continue to promote such an unrealistic view of the female form. To say nothing of perpetuating the unattainable, perfect fantasy among generations of men.

Guess Ralph didn’t get the memo featuring the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Too bad. They are evidently choosing to be part of the problem instead of part of a healthy solution to the perception our children have of what it means to be a beautiful woman.

Dove girls

Where is the chocolate?

Ralph Lauren doesn't get it

Mega-fashion company, Ralph Lauren, owes all women a huge apology.

By now, I’m sure everyone has seen the photo of the emaciated, PhotoShopped model looking more like an alien Bratz doll than a human. What on earth were they thinking?

Thinking?

Obviously there was little, if any, thought that preceded the idea of putting this beautiful model’s head on an anorexic, stick figure of a body. For heaven’s sake, someone get that girl a candy bar. God help her if she ever became pregnant and had to give birth with those hips.

Aside from the obviously shoddy ‘shopped work in the creative department, the underlying message is simply disgusting…to be gorgeous and fashionable, wear Ralph Lauren and look like a third-world-starved waif.

lauren

Seriously?

Hasn’t anyone told Ralph that eating disorders among women may be at epidemic proportions? The UNC School of Medicine found that 75% of women between the ages of 25 and 45 suffer from some degree of eating disorders. And I’m sure many of those women can attribute their slide into self-loathing to the photos shown in “fashion” magazines. I find it reprehensible that these types of companies still continue to promote such an unrealistic view of the female form. To say nothing of perpetuating the unattainable, perfect fantasy among generations of men.

Guess Ralph didn’t get the memo featuring the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Too bad. They are evidently choosing to be part of the problem instead of part of a healthy solution to the perception our children have of what it means to be a beautiful woman.

Dove girls

Where is the chocolate?