Category Archives: Random Thoughts & Contemplations

Silent Sunday

Ordinarily I would only share a photo and not write anything when I entitle a post as “Silent Sunday,” but I just finished reading this book and somehow it still felt fitting…

It’s a book about silence, hence the ‘Silent Sunday’ – get it?  😉

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned to you guys that I work in a library.  Many various books pass through my fingers each shift that I work and this one literally shouted at me when I came across it.  Funny that a book about silence would “shout.”  But seriously, the vibes – I just knew I needed to read it… the feel of it in my hands, the soothing color, simplicity and minimalist design of its cover, and the smooth, creamy texture and thickness of its pages, all spoke to me.  (If you also have ‘a thing’ for books, you might relate to what I’m talking about there.)  But it was the subject matter that called to me the most…

Earlier this past spring I had been feeling an almost desperate need to escape and get out of the noisy city.  It’s one of the reasons I arranged several different little adventures for this summer.  (Except, after the extreme heat and high humidity we’ve had this summer, I have now decided that I’d prefer the majority of my future little adventures to be in the fall instead of summer.)  Although my adventures were mostly out of the inner city and out in nature, I still didn’t really feel like I escaped all the noise.  Traveling creates its own sort of ‘noise.’  But I did have little moments along the way when inner silence found me.  And that’s what we’re really talking about, isn’t it?  And that’s the main point of this book.

The inside front jacket cover reads: “What is silence? Where can it be found? Why is it now more important than ever?  In 1993, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge spent fifty days walking solo across Antarctica, becoming the first person to reach the South Pole alone, accompanied only by a radio whose batteries he had removed before setting out.  In this book, an astonishing and transformative meditation, Kagge explores the silence around us, the silence within us, and the silence we must create.  By recounting his own experiences and discussing the observations of poets, artists, and explorers, Kagge shows us why silence is essential to our sanity and happiness – and how it can open doors to wonder and gratitude.”

It’s a different book than I’ve ever read before.  I’m not even sure how I would categorize it – I think I would call it philosophical more than anything else, and I enjoyed it very much.  It’s a short book, but one to read slowly, as to absorb all of the profound little nuggets of insight sprinkled throughout.

I had an interesting experience happen to me at one point while reading it.  I’m not entirely sure if it was related to what I was reading, but I suddenly experienced what I can only call a heightened sense of awareness.  I was reading it out on my patio – so, in this noisy city, when suddenly my sense of hearing changed.  All of the city noise became muffled and subdued, almost like my ears were plugged or I was under water, but it was only the ‘noise’ that was muffled.  It’s hard to explain… I could still hear completely clearly – the sound of the rustling of the trees was as clear as ever.  So I guess it was more like a shift in my awareness rather than a change in anything audible I was hearing or not hearing.  And there was an acute awareness of the plants in my garden, almost like I was sensing their life energy or something.  The big, heavy leaves of my zucchini were waving to me in the light breeze as if they ‘saw’ me.  I know that sounds weird haha!  I’ve had that happen to me one other time with regard to the trees.  I may have shared it here, I don’t remember, but it was a profound and deeply meaningful experience, and I was excited to have something similar to that happen again.  Like I said, I’m not sure if it was related to what I was reading or not, but it could’ve been.  Ya never know.  It could also just be that I’m weird…

Anyway, so I guess for this “Silent” Sunday I’m giving you guys a bit of a review on a book about silence.  And perhaps also a little insight into my weirdness!  🙃

 

Wishing you a wonderful, beautiful, blessed day!  May it be filled with moments of silence and peace.

 

My zucchini says “Hi!”

😉

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

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Bloom Like Flowers

 “The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

  

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Sunday Morning Senses

A distant motor hums

birds singing

trees swish in the breeze

 

Flowers blooming

an ant crawls

wispy clouds float across a blue sky

 

Fresh cut grass

an indistinct scent of flowers

damp wood mulch

 

Stiff, smooth pen between my fingers

the coolness of metal against the back of my bare arms

a faint breeze

 

Rich, flavorful herbal coffee

cocoa lip balm

a hint of floral somehow mingled in

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2019

 

~

 

Just a few observations as I checked in with my five senses this morning; grounding me in the present moment.

 

I don’t have a photo to share from my observations this morning, but here’s a random picture I snapped earlier this week as I enjoyed some peaceful moments by a stream…

 

Wishing you peaceful moments today…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Welcome June

Each morning as I sit down with my coffee and pick up my gratitude journal to write, the first thing I write down is the date.  Dates often evoke certain memories in me.  Does this ever happen to you?  Earlier this morning as I wrote June 1st, 2019, my first thought was “Welcome June!”  I love the beginning of a new month, and I love the month of June!

Here in Minnesota, June typically means that the danger of frost has indeed passed and gardening season truly gets underway.  The temps warm up, but it’s usually not quite up to the harsh heat and humidity of summer yet.  It’s like October in reverse, when the temps begin to cool, but not yet to the point of a hard frost and the days are still warm and sunny.  Not to mention, October is when the leaves start changing. Yep… October and June are my favorite months out of the year.  And September and May are close behind.  But sometimes September is still too hot and May is still too cold.  But May is a freaking bloomfest, so it’s okay that it’s still a bit cold.  I actually don’t mind the cold.  Maybe my favorite months are October and May, but I love June too.  Anyways, I’m rambling now…

Right after I had my “Welcome June!” thought, my very next thought was “June 3rd of this year would have been my 30th wedding anniversary.”  Ugh, didn’t want to go there.  Especially since I’m about to write in my gratitude journal.  But I decided to stop there and allow myself to ponder, to check in with myself and allow whatever emotions to arise.  Needless to say, there were a wide range of emotions, even with it being nearly 10 years since we split …

I’m not going to exhaust myself or bother you in relaying all of them, but I did want to share a text I got from my sister when I shared with her about it, because although it was just a simple thing she said, it felt quite profound to me and it was a good reminder.

Just for a bit of background… The 8:05 I have at the beginning of my text to her is a weird thing between my sister and I.  Usually it’s at 8:14 or 11:27 – our birthday dates that we’ll send a text to each other.  I don’t know why we do it, it’s just a thing we do if we happen to notice the time on the clock.  I almost always get a text from her at 8:14 in the morning, and you’ll notice her reply is at 8:15.  I guarantee you that she picked up her phone at 8:14 to text me, when she saw my text at 8:05 and then it took her a minute to type.  Speaking of the 8:05, once in a while we’ll still put the time at the beginning of other texts for no reason, just to be extra weird…

What I love the most is the end of her text – “Wait, it’s only June 1st, it sounds like you are in the past and the future at the same time… please join me in the present.”  Gosh you guys, how often do we do that?  Seriously!  Still!  Even though we know that the present is where to live and be.  I’m constantly grounding myself in the present moment.

But the mind… it’s always going isn’t it?  And we need our minds.  Haha oh God knows we do!  And I’m thankful for my mind.  I’m thankful it works properly.  And that is not to be taken for granted – some people’s minds don’t work properly, and they suffer so.  Sometimes we can cause ourselves a different type of suffering too, by allowing our minds to transport us into the past or the future and then lingering there too long.

Do you know what I’m realizing right now though that was kinda cool about all this too?  When I said that I allowed myself to ponder, to check in with myself and allow whatever emotions to arise… I was actually more of an observer this time.  And that’s the key!  I’ve heard/read many times that we should allow these things (our emotions/thoughts) to arise, but to be an observer of them.  And that is actually more of how this was.  I am not usually an observer of my emotions, I usually feel every. single. one.  Omygosh am I evolving?  Or maybe it was the text from my sister that snapped me out of it haha!  😉

When I came back to the present moment I noticed a Catbird mewing.  There is this one Catbird who always comes around and kinda sounds like its saying my name… “Jewy, Jewy.”  Sounds like Julie to me.  So then I sent this and my sister, who also has Catbirds at her place too…

I truly lol’d at that last bit!  For a good couple of minutes afterward too!  I love my sister’s sense of humor!  It matches my own!  I’m giggling now…

Maybe that can be a reminder… whenever I heard a Catbird saying my name I can check in with myself and make sure I’m staying in the present moment…

Birds all over the world are calling my name right now!  Hahahaha!

 

Welcome June!  🌼  Here’s to staying in the present…

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

 

Thoughts on a Thursday with Rumi

“What is the Heart? 

A flower opening” 

 

Rumi

 

 

Do you think the flower was afraid, to open?  I mean, sure, there’s the warm, radiant sunlight to bask in, the lovely breeze to caress its petals, but there’s also rain, hail, and even snow that can hurt, destroy and devastate – and we all know that you can’t trust the weather…

To open your heart is to be vulnerable, and who can we trust?  Who will nourish it and cherish it, who will appreciate and celebrate its deep mysteries and beauty?

I don’t know and I feel afraid.  But like the flower, it is in my nature to open…

 

 

 

May the warm sunlight and a lovely breeze find you wherever you are today…

 

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Morning Has Broken

I awake to the sound of rain gently pattering on the rooftop above me

birdsong drifts in through my open window

My eyes open to a dreary light

no sunrise with the rain 

Outside is drab and colorless, oh how I long for the return of green

As I stare out the window, a chaotic mess of tangled, twisted tree branches greets me

they seem to mirror my busy, scattered thoughts on this a.m

But I focus on the bird sounds

breathe in the fresh air wafting in through the window

I feel grateful the temperature is mild enough to even have the window open

grateful for ears to hear the bird’s sweet voices

grateful for the breath in my lungs

Traffic sounds increase, people who’ve awoken before me and are already in their cars hurrying off to their various places

I wonder if they heard the birds singing upon arising, or instead awoke to the blaring sound of an alarm clock

I feel grateful once again

grateful that I can awake gently, according to my own body clock 

Church bells ring in the distance

One noisy sparrow looks in at me through the window and begins squawking at me, as if saying “Get up, get up, early bird catches the worm!”

I have no worms that need catching, but I could use some coffee

and there’s a hungry cat meowing outside my door

So I arise

Morning has broken

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2019

 

I have no photo to share with this, but a song comes to mind…

Everything is a song…

 

Be blessed and have a lovely day!

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

 

Silent Sunday – Paddling Down Memory Lane

 

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1