The Importance of Patience

We’ve been having some really great temperatures here in Nova Scotia for the last few days. +30 makes it feel more like summer than spring.

Hubby is ploughing the garden and I noticed he had some seeds out earlier. Feels a bit early to be thinking about planting but there are some plants that do okay in cooler temperature. I’m sure we’ll be having many days of temperature dips before summer technically arrives. It wasn’t that many years ago that we were hit hard by frost here in Nova Scotia the first week in June.

That’s when trees and plants are beginning to grow. I live in Christmas tree country and, believe me, it was brutal. The new growth was damaged severely. People were worried. What would this mean to the future of the Christmas tree industry?

But low and behold, the damaged trees healed with time and today they virtually show no signs of the damage they incurred. In fact some might say they look even better than before!

Things heals over time. What is required from us, is patience. (I actually needed to hear that message myself today.)

There is a reason it is said that patience is a virtue. Having patience is not always easy. We sometimes want to know what’s going to happen even before it happens.

Today will be an inside for me to do a little writing and some house decluttering. While I don’t consider myself a packrat (maybe I should) things eventually pile up. But as one friend said, if you haven’t looked at something in years, do you really need it in your life? She has a point.

Enjoy your weekend and this fine weather while it lasts. And wherever you are, may you allow patience into your life today.

To Complain or Not to Complain

Have you ever thought about the number of times you complain throughout the day, or if not you, then someone close to you, maybe even someone on social media? I’d like to say that while many of have problems expressing our emotions, we do quite well in the complaint department.

The definition of complain is to “express dissatisfaction or annoyance about something.

Pandemic woes, the high price of fuel, supply chain issues, these past few years have given all of us plenty to gripe about. I’m in no way disputing that. Nor am I using this post to be complaining about us all complaining. Instead I’d like it to be a positive post.

It is true there is a time to speak up and express our concerns about things. It is how change happens. Nothing can ever change if a problem is not brought to the forefront. Sometimes if we express our concerns, we can make change happen for the good but complaining about it amongst ourselves just keeps us on that hamster wheel. I feel this endless complaining about things we have no control over isn’t helpful or healthy.

I’m not perfect. I’m willing to bet you aren’t either. I sometimes find myself pulled into a vortex of negativity. I’ll be honest, sometimes it almost feels good to complain. Good for a short time, that is. Spending the day thinking about all the things that is wrong in our world or the world in general can be like a disease that keeps spreading…but if we allow it.

I’m not suggesting that life should be this huge big ball of positivity because we all know it is not. But there are things we can do when we find ourselves slipping into that endless vat of complaints. For now, I’ve decided to avoid watching too much about the war in Ukraine because it is so heartbreaking. No, I’m not sticking my head in the sand, but watching the same horrors again and again is probably not so good for my mental health. Yes, I will stay informed. But I need to step back for a time.

So, setting all complaints aside, I’m going to mention something positive about my day. From my kitchen window I can see the wooded area surrounding the lake. After the foot of snow we got from the last snow storm, it was such a surprise to look out and see patches of ground where the snow had melted completely. This all happened yesterday when the temperature got up to +10. Spring, I thought gleefully. Yes, gleefully!

I’d seen signs of it in February, some pussy willows and robins (and for a time the snow was completely gone.) But we all know that while Spring might give us glimpses of herself in February, she does not completely show up until March or even April. So needless to say, the sight of bare ground in March feels like a small win for me today. Because maybe, just maybe Spring is slowly closing in on us.

Since this is a post about NO complaints, if you choose to leave a comment, please make it something positive. I am working toward a goal to have an entire day without complaining. Wish me luck and enjoy the rest of you day in a positive way!

The March Robin

Sunny but cold on the first day of March here in Nova Scotia. It’s hard not to think of that saying that if March comes in like a lamb will will go out like a lion.

This little robin sits in the apple tree outside our kitchen window. I can only imagine that it’s waiting for warmer weather, as are many of us. Robins have been showing themselves for weeks now. For some this represents Spring on the way, others look at it as a sign that many stayed here for the winter.

My first round of edits for my fall MG novel is now back safely in my editors hands. There were a few near catastrophes when my word doc put up a protest one morning but I was able to avert (I won’t say a near disaster) but certainly a mini disaster.

I am still waiting for the title to be settled upon and to see a cover. I will share these as soon as I know.

Here’s hoping that this sunny first day in March will be the first of many. Forget about the lion. It’s time for the lamb to step up.

The Season for Birdhouses

When I was young people built birdhouses in the spring hoping to entice some feathered friends to move in. Most of those neighbours were swallows, but sometimes other birds would take up residence. Hubby still builds birdhouses and with all the extra time on his hands I’m sure construction will continue in the weeks ahead. Last year we had a family of chickadees as well as the swallows.

Here is the latest duplex that Hubby made completely out of recycled material. I hope the birds appreciate his efforts to reuse.

I realize that this house probably does not exemplify the meaning of physical or social distancing that is so important at this time, although I think so long as the birds don’t object they will be fine. In fact, I’m willing to bet on it.

In some ways I consider myself fortunate during these times of the COVID 19 pandemic as we have 7.5 acres to roam around on. Our property also boarders a lake. Yesterday, I sat by the water’s edge, felt the warmth of the sun on my face, and for a time I stayed totally present. I didn’t think about what all was going on in the world, the all the worries about the future and exactly what the world would look like when we finally come through to the other side. I didn’t fret about the launching of my book this spring which is obviously on hold. I pushed away my sadness of not being able to visit with our grandchildren in the coming months and the reality that rural living means poor internet access for many of us. We are not even able to set up virtual visit.

So I sat there yesterday, taking in the beauty and feeling totally grateful for the moment and the entire day which couldn’t have felt more perfect. The air was quiet and I could hear the sound of water trickling from one place to another. There was a trio of Canada geese peacefully maneuvering their way across the water. Ducks quacked and fluttered their wings. The geese honked.

As I sat there looking out across the water, I thought about the people who lived in our home before us. I thought about how much harder life was for them back then and how hard they had to work. They did not have any of the modern things we take for granted these days; washing machines, dishwashers, TV, computers. I wondered if they ever had the chance to just sit by the lake watching and listening or if they were just too busy to appreciate it all. I thought, what a shame it was if they didn’t.

As it is important for us to remain hopeful during these uncertain times, please remember that there have been many before us who have faced adversity and came through stronger. We will too. I will leave you with this wonderful symbol of hope.

 

Stay strong. Stay at home. We will get through this.

 

Another Blast of Winter in Spring

Winter just doesn’t seem to want to go away this year. Here in East Dalhousie we were blessed with about 10 cm of snow last night. Some of it melted during the afternoon, and the eaves are still dripping. That said, we’ve been told to expect another 15 cm overnight. I’m not sure what will happen to the tulips in our garden that suddenly burst through the ground late last week, but I’m hoping they’ re hardy enough to survive this next blast of winter weather this spring. But this is not unusual for spring, nor is our complaints that winter just doesn’t want to give up. Still, with each warm day we’re granted, hope stirs inside us. That’s the one thing about hope. It seems no matter how many times we’re disappointed with the outcome of something, we remain hopeful that next time the results we’re looking for will finally show up.

It’s like that when writing a book. Most times it takes several attempts before I end up with the results I want. Some authors write many drafts before they declare the story completed. I tend to edit and revise as I go along, and often never get a first draft completely written out so I have no idea how many drafts I go through. Back when I was writing Flying with a Broken Wing I became dissatisfied with the story and even stopped working on it, so sure I was that it was never going to amount to anything, let alone anything publishable. So I took a break from it and went back to it many months later filled with new hope that this time I was going to make it to the end. And I did!

I actually started the book I’m working on now about the same time that I started Cammie Takes Flight, and while Cammie’s been a book now for nearly a year, that other book is still waiting for me. I don’t expect I’ll ever be a fast writer. Many times I feel as though the story is struggling to find me. Sometimes there’s a lot of static in the way. But when the lines finally become clear, sentences and paragraphs begin to fall into place. That’s when I know for sure the story I’m working on will not get abandoned along the wayside.

And while I’m hopeful that spring will soon be here to stay, there is definitely no guarantee. Just as there is no guarantee that the story I’m presently working on will make it into book form. Still, amidst the struggles and frustration, I try to remain hopeful. It may not always be possible. I sometimes fall into a rut and become discouraged even with three published books and over forty published short stories. I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in this. We all become discouraged from time to time. But it’s our ability to pick ourselves up time and time again, to find that small bit of hope and run with it as fast as we can, that is responsible for all the accomplishments we achieve in life.

I’ll leave you with this quote that I find particularly inspiring. Maybe you will, too.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Winter Photos

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you…. In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. ~Ruth Stout

Here are a few snowy photos taken at Black Duck Lake yesterday after Saturday night’s snowstorm. DSC04758

DSC04754

Before this happened there was scarcely a scab of snow to be found. It looked more like spring in these parts than winter. Not only that, the temperature was on the plus side all week long. Nice, since we’d just come through a cold snap.

But, Mother Nature decided to remind us that winter is far from being over. Although spring was flirting with us, she certainly isn’t ready to stay anytime soon.

DSC04731

I’ve been busy writing this winter, as you would expect. The cold weather makes me want to stay close to home and put a pot of soup on the stove to scorch  simmer. I  also have some reading to catch up on– along with all the usual boring things like housework– as I wait from spring to  arrive again.

What are you doing this winter? Are you enjoying the beautiful scenery or are you hoping for an early spring?

Don’t Let Crappy Keep You Down

We’ve had a bit of a crappy spring here in Nova Scotia, and of course we’ve been grumbling. There have been scarcely had any sunny days in May, and April wasn’t much better. Still, we have to count ourselves fortunate that we haven’t been plagued with floods, fires, tornadoes or earthquakes. Really, what right have we to grumble with all that’s going on in the world around us? There is so much for us to be grateful for.

Last week I won two books by entering online contests. Our son also graduated from university on Friday. Then too, I won on the lottery! That’s right, a whopping 5 bucks, but a win no less. There is a lot in my life to feel grateful for.

Today, as I wandered around outside, I also felt gratitude for all the new spring flowers and blossoms that are opening up. Just think, in spite of our crappy cold damp weather, they still recognize that it is spring. They’re out there doing their part without complaint.

The same could be said for us. In life, we are often plagued with difficulties. Things don’t turn out the way we want them to. We have to work harder than we’d hoped to achieve our desires, and we become disappointed when failure smacks us upside the head again. Why can’t things go along smoothly? Why can’t we get the things we want in life?

Still, there is usually something for us to look toward with gratitude. It doesn’t have to be something huge. It doesn’t have to be something as remarkable as having one of your kids graduate from university. What’s wrong with winning a book or even five dollars? What’s wrong with the sight of spring blossoms, their sweet aroma filling the air around us?

When discouragement sets in, and we’re ready to give up, don’t forget to acknowledge the good that is already there. When rejection comes my way, it’s so easy for me to forget about all the times an editor sent word that my work has been accepted. Remember that one disappointment should not take away from all the positive things that have come our way. Yet, I will admit, it is easy to forget when we’re down there in the pit of despair.

Sometimes we just have to dig our heels in further and keep on going once we’ve tried our disappointment on for size. Got to remember that it’s okay to try on the ugly things just to see what it looks like, but no way are we going to take that ugly thing home with us to keep.

So, here are a few blossoms for you and for me. A reminder that, even though things may be crappy, life goes on. We’ll still get where we want to go eventually. The apple blossoms don’t seem to realize that the weather’s been cold and dismal here in Nova Scotia. They’re still willing to show up regardless of the weather. So, how about you?

Signs of Spring

Yesterday, I was writing about Christmas and making lists. Now I’m back to blogging about Spring… Wonder why?

In my little corner of Nova Scotia, the pussywillow is one of the first signs of spring. We anxiously watch to see those tiny white bits of fluff break through their winter jackets.

Here are some pussywillows my husband picked just yesterday. December 5th.

Could it be? I mean do you suppose?

I like to think that anything is possible even if it is not probable.

Is It Really Spring?

Spring seems to have arrived early in Nova Scotia. Buds are swelling, mayflowers are blooming, and the lakes have been free of ice for weeks now.

And people are suspicious. They want to believe, yet they aren’t quite sure. What if this is just a taste of spring and they’ll wake one morning to find that winter has returned? They’ve been sending out warnings.

“Don’t get too used to it.”

“We haven’t seen the last of the snow.”

I choose to ignore the warnings.

Over the Easter weekend we had record-breaking temperatures. While Halifax was basking in 25 c temperatures, the normal for this time of the year is 5c. It’s been simply wonderful.

I’ve decided it doesn’t matter what might be waiting down the road because I’m going to enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures today.

I’m posting a photo of some Mayflowers my Aunt picked for me over the Easter weekend. I only wish you could smell their fragrance.

I say, enjoy the gifts we are given and, try hard not to worry about something that might never come to pass.

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Follow Laura Best on WordPress.com
  • Laura Best

  • Blog Stats

    • 99,969 hits