What Does Hope Look Like?

 

Once in a while, I reread this encouragement from an online interview with Charlotte McConaghy, author of the novel Migrations. I share it here, hoping it will encourage you, too.

The interviewer asked, “What does hope look like to you?” McConaghy answered, “It looks like all those little moments of kindness and generosity. It looks like taking the time to consider our impact on this world and what we want it to be. It looks like making those decisions, the daily choices that are small things for individuals but add up to big change when we all take part.”

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

 

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Like the Glorious Rose

 

“We can walk across the lawn in the morning dew, smell the grass and pick a dandelion, because, like the glorious rose, it has a beauty all its own, as do all things, if we will only learn to look for it.” – Joan Chittister, The Gift of Years

 

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

 

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Go Out to Go In

 

“There’s a sense of wonder, a joy, a gratitude that can only be accessed by returning to the childlike practice of experiencing the moment with as many senses as possible. There’s a peace that can only be found by lingering and noticing. If you’re in the habit, it doesn’t take long, just a pause really, a breath or two to take in the moment, to be inspired, to be enriched, to go out to go in.” – kh, Linger: 365 Days of Peaceful Pauses

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

The Lure of the Distant

 

“Look underfoot. . . The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Don’t despise your own place and hour. Every place is the center of the world.” – John Burroughs

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

 

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Daily Frenzy and Creative Calm

 

“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”

A.J. Muste

(This quote is often misattributed to Gandhi)

 

I meet regularly with a small group of artists to nurture our creative natures by freely expressing ourselves with a variety of material—paint, pen and ink, pencil, pastels, torn paper, and a mix of other tactile material like shells, seedpods, feathers, buttons, and beads. Before we begin, we sit in silence, breathe deeply, and let the frenzy of the day drain away so we can relax into a creative calm. Of course, art comes from emotion, and that emotion can just as often be angry or grief-stricken as well as serene. But calmness doesn’t preclude emotion or even emotional intensity; calm simply helps us deal better with those deep, intense soul emotions that are often hidden or distorted by our daily frenzy. Moving into peace requires moving in peace.

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week—a Mother’s Day gift of jasmine:

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Possibility

 

I dwell in Possibility—

A fairer House than Prose—

More numerous of Windows—

Superior—for Doors—.

– Emily Dickinson –

 

Think of all the windows and doors that open when we dwell in what’s possible and move that direction. Peace is possible. Loving kindness is possible. Walk that path and watch the windows and doors open not just for us but for others as well.

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week—and shadow of the week:

 

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Beneath Birdsong

 

I’ve started a practice of trying to listen beyond or underneath the shouts and clangs and alerts and clashes that demand attention. I’m trying to rediscover soft sounds, the hums, the sighs, the whispers. It’s like trying to pick out one instrument’s musical line while listening to a symphony. Right now, underneath the birdsong, there’s a soft whispering whoosh. I think it’s the sound of wind in the trees. It ebbs and flows and reminds me to listen for the constant, soft undertones of wonder, joy, peace, and hope in each day, the life-giving grace of love’s whispers. – kh, Linger: 365 Days of Peaceful Pauses

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

If you want me to send these thoughts to your email each Sunday, simply sign up on the right.

Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

To Feel the Joy

 

“When a man plants a tree he plants himself. Every root is an anchor, over which he rests with grateful interest, and becomes sufficiently calm to feel the joy of living.” – John Muir

Two words in this quote stood out to me: grateful interest. What a wonderful lens through which to observe the world—not just by seeing but also by listening, touching, smelling, tasting. May we experience the world with grateful interest so that we can become calm and feel the joy of living.

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

 

Shadow of the Week:

If you want me to send these thoughts to your email each Sunday, simply sign up on the right.

Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Morning’s Gift

 

The rising sun traces

outstretched elm branches,

kisses budding tips of topmost twigs

with a warm, bright white glow

like lit candles

honoring this new day.

Wrens and cardinals chip and chirp,

overjoyed with the spreading warmth of sunrise,

with the fresh gold-green fringe of hackberry,

butter yellow buds of forsythia,

delicate white dogwood,

show-off pink azaleas

and whispers of a gentle breeze.

I step outdoors to sit in the sun,

to breathe Spring,

to be witness to silent, stretching leaves,

to birdsong and bloom.

But they need no witness.

It is I who need this,

I who need to witness

their existence,

their persistence,

their extravagance.

It is I who need this hope

of a new day.

– kh –

 

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week—lily of the valley:

 

Shadow of the Week—A windy downpour left a puddle on a plastic tablecloth and tossed leaves onto it. When the sun came out, the floating leaves cast this shadow:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.