Monthly Archives: July 2010

Night Moves

I love this time of year, not for the long, hot steamy days, but for the long, cooler fragrant evenings.  While a beautiful summer day is glorious, the potential for a magical summer evening  makes the beauty of  that day linger even longer.  Some days, especially summer work days, I long for the evening when I will be free to enjoy the delights of the evening.  Certainly, everyone has different ideas on how to enjoy a summer evening, but here are my suggestions for some good “Night Moves” …

1. Go outside.  You can’t fully enjoy a summer evening from your air-conditioned or fan-cooled home, you have to go outside.  You really do.  If its hot inside, that’s all the more reason to go outside.  It will only be cooler.  And if you can’t go outside, fling open  a window and lean out … a bit.  Look around.

2. Feel the air.  Feel how the evening air moves against your skin.  Truly, I am not kidding.  Notice the evening air against your skin.  It has a different feel every evening.  I love the feel of a crisp evening breeze against my face after a late afternoon rain.  But I also love those evenings when the air has cooled just enough to wick the sweat off  my arms from the 95 degree day.

3.  Go for a walk.  Do it with a friend or a spouse or your kids all in tow.  Or do it by yourself…that can be even better.  Move slow or move fast, take long strides or short ones, but move in a way that makes you feel good.  The evening is yours.  Enjoy the sights and use your senses, all  5 ….and more if you have them!

4. Stand under or near a pine tree in the waning daylight.  Then, inhale.  If you’re lucky, you will catch a gentle scent of beautiful fresh pine.  Its my favorite sweet perfume on a hot summer evening.  Wafts of summer pine, as well as,  ripe peach and newly shucked corn are all on my list of fine summer fragrances.

5.  Look up at the sky.  What color blue is the sky tonight?  I only ever think the sky is blue.  At midnight it’s that black, inky blue.  When the sun is setting, its silver blue  with rainbow colors,  pink and yellow, red and orange.  I’m not an artist, and I admire (okay…envy) artists who can paint the colors of the sky.  The sky probably has more shades of blue than possible names for blue.  Ochre pit blue would be a good sunset color name.  I like entertaining what other sky blue names there could be, and certainly, I’ve wasted time on lesser thoughts.

6.  Look for fireflies. I mean this as a metaphor.  My daughter would understand.  I keep asking her, “Where have all the fireflies gone?”  Sometimes I just don’t see them.  Fireflies exist in the summer, but they can be hard to find.  You have to carefully look for the magical, the special.  Look with expectation and you may notice some magic of nature –  a flower, a bird, a star in the sky –   that has special meaning for your life right now. 

7.  Stop and Pause,  before you enter your home.  Then, Listen.  Is the wind talking?  Are your neighbors listening to music?  Are crickets chorusing loudly?  Are birds calling goodnights to family members?   Hold on to the comforting sounds.  Think of them as the ringtones of your life  downloaded for free.   And allow all other sounds to be carried away by the wind.  

I wish you a good evening, all summer long. 

                                                                                             Life is fine,

                                                                                                Sarah

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Family of Man

Friday morning, on NBC’s TODAY show, Meredith Vieira interviewed a man who had risked his life to rescue a dog trapped in a Utah canyon.  When she asked him, in essence, had he considered that he was risking his own life to save a dog’s life, he replied …..”it was never a question”.  A shift has occurred and I don’t think its been fully acknowledged.  If this shift has not yet occurred for all of us, it has certainly occurred for many of us.  Dogs have reached the status of being part of the Family of Man.

I suggest that Zak Anderegg, the rescuer, responded with a gut reaction – a dog in trouble;  one of our kind;  rescue it!  Now, I’m certainly not  putting forth a genetic argument of inclusion.  But the qualities we love most about dogs –  unconditional love, loyalty, empathy,  curiousity and forgiveness – are the qualities to which we humans aspire. 

Ace in the hole: He saved dog trapped in canyon – TODAY Pets & Animals – TODAYshow.com.

Some people might argue that the social rules of dogs aren’t at the level of human interaction using this as an argument for exclusion from our family.  But then, social rules vary quite a lot in the human species.  Abundant examples of less than exemplary  human behavior abound. 

If you need further evidence for dogs’ inclusion in the  family of man, than it would be this. Dogs remain in the present moment without benefit of meditation or spiritual guide books.  They are present and grateful for the gifts at hand.  They enjoy the party of life.   And often,  dogs  lead us to that  party, in helping us find that joy.

Please give me no arguments on cognitive capacity or limbic brain processing.  I know what I know.  Dogs deserve to be counted in the roll call of family, micro or macro.   I count these dogs as family members, both past and present – Coco, Pepper, Max, Cicero and Jez –  I love you forever and for always.

family member Jez

                                                                                                              Life is fine,

                                                                                                                 Sarah


First Words

First words can be challenging or hard to find,  but they are always exciting.  I speak with some authority on this matter.  I’m a speech-language pathologist who works (mostly plays) with young children and often helps them find their first words. However, today is the day for me to find my first words. 

My decision to write my first post on this day is for one reason only.  C.F. used his first words with me today.  C.F. is a toddler I’ve known for over a year.  C.F. has only ever used a handful of single words and only with his mother.  He has not said words in the presence of his father, his brother and certainly not  me.

 But today, was a special day, a definitively “blue sky” kind of day or even a “blue sky with rainbow”  kind of day.  C.F. said 12 words to me today!   So in honor of C.F.’s sharing his words with me, I am taking a first step in sharing mine. 

blue sky with rainbow

                                                                          Life is fine,

 Sarah