“Acts of Kindness”

I recently read that teachers in Connecticut schools are asking their students to do “26” acts of kindness during the month of December.  This is a beautiful tribute to the innocent children and teachers who lost their lives during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, CT.  Tomorrow (December 14th, 2015) is the third anniversary of the infamous day that shocked us all as a nation.  The season of grief for this event is still not over.  Yet, we are to acknowledge the parents, family members and teachers who pursue change in our society as the Sandy Hook Promise and change in our culture of kindness as a legacy of their beloved.    

As new playgrounds are built in the state of Connecticut, they are being named after the children and teachers who lost their lives during this tragedy.  I visited one in Watertown last June and it was a very moving and emotional experience.  I could not help but feel ache in my heart and can only imagine the loss, the sadness and grief that still exists in the community of Newtown every day.

To all the Sandy Hook Elementary school children and teachers that are not with us December 14th, 2015 – please know that we honor you all and we will never forget the gift and contribution of your lives.

_DSC3499

Leave a comment

“You Raise Me Up…”

This is a dedication to those who have provided inspiration through love, through kindness or acts of community service.
“When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary
When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me
 
You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be
 
There is no life – no life without it’s hunger
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly
But when you come and I am filled with wonder
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity
 
You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be…”
                                                                                                                        Josh Groban
Leave a comment

“Service with a Smile…”

_DSC7749   _DSC8019   _DSC0157

After publishing the husky puppy photographs in recent posts, some friends asked for current photographs of my beloved Siberian Husky – Nikki.  Well, here she is with her beautiful smile to share with all of you.  She is my loyal companion and was really quite resilient during and after the September flood here in Lyons.  In fact, I can say that she has been extraordinary with a new change in her behavior.  As most know, we were displaced from our homes for two months.  Once we returned, everything was changed:  the landscape, homes and people’s lives.  It seems as though Nikki sensed the change in her town and stress for everyone here.  Consequently, she has created a new “job” for herself.  She wants to walk on Main Street every day and greets everyone that she approaches.  She looks at people, flashes her smile and then waits…  Of course, people are enamored with her beauty and immediately stop, compliment her and start to pet her.  Nikki cuddles with everyone that she meets and before the interaction is over, they are smiling too and I think Nikki realizes this as well.   It seems as though she has become one with her soul purpose to bring comfort and joy to the lives of others with the pure essence of her personality.  She is being compassionate, caring and a source of inspiration and peace even for a few moments in someone’s day.  My Nikki is a role model for service to humanity … and, she does it with a smile!

Leave a comment

“A New Day…”

As we recover from the flood in Lyons, CO, I try to find beauty in each new day.  Sometimes the beauty is in the acts of kindness that I have the privilege to witness.  Volunteers still work each and every day.  It is not uncommon to see many planting trees or spreading grass seed to foster native grass growth in the areas impacted by the flood.  Last week, there was a crew of women from the local jail doing their supervised service work.  They were sweeping the sides of roads with brooms and I became teary-eyed observing the integrity of their actions.  I shared with their supervisor how grateful I was for their diligence and she asked me to share my thoughts with the young women.  As I expressed gratitude from my heart for their service, they began to cry.  They had no idea how their actions were lifting community spirits so much and were so grateful to hear my words.  The time it took for this interaction changed my life and I know that it changed theirs as well.  Each new day is an opportunity filled with choices and moments of gratitude can be transformative.

Leave a comment