I’m not quite ready to come back to daily posts – perhaps next week. But I ran across this fabulous and uplifting song by the two youngest stars of the television series Nashville and couldn’t resist sharing it with you. Click on the word “post” to see the video and hear the song. Post by Maree de Marco. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Listening to these girls is a lovely way to start any day. Want to send a special thank you out to all of you who sent me get well wishes and prayers – it meant more than I can say!
“Modern medical advances have helped millions of people live longer, healthier lives.” Ike Skelton
I’m going to be off a few weeks – working at becoming the Bionic Woman, one hip at a time. (This will be my second and shoulder next). But the prospect of joint replacement surgery got me thinking about the incredible time we live in in terms of medical advances. I’m old enough to remember the very first heart transplant ever, to have had to reschedule my wedding because a beloved member of our wedding party had found a donor and was going to have a kidney transplant – a rare and tricky procedure then that is commonplace today. I remember discussing the prognosis for our friend and hearing the word that the expectation was that the transplant – if it worked at all – would give our friend five more years of life. He is, thank God, still very much alive and that was 45 years ago.
I remember too, a time when there was no such thing as joint replacement – if your knees went bad or your hips gave out, you lived with a lot of pain and wound up in a wheel chair. Arthritis is not a forgiving disease – you can slow it down but you can’t completely restore function once a joint is badly worn. But today, the miracles of modern medicine let us opt to replace knees, hips, shoulders with titanium parts or to fuse the vertebrae in the spine with metal rods. Most people come through such surgeries extremely well and after several months of physical therapy, they are almost as good as new! I’m pretty sure that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the kinds of advances that are going to keep people living and living well well into their second centuries of life. It is indeed a Brave New World – and I’m grateful that I get to be a part of it.
So I hope your first weeks of summer are filled with light and warmth and joy and I’ll see you when I get back around the end of the month. I’ll be looking forward to catching up on all your “discoveries” and creations when I get back
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Augustine of Hippo
I used to love to travel before my old bones started protesting and airlines starting charging so much just to pack enough clothes for a week, before direct flights from my small city became a thing of the past. When I was a bit younger, I drove everywhere I could, never minding 14 hour days on the road, loving the freedom to reach my destination by the most out of the way and indirect route. Nowadays…I don’t travel much and if I do it’s vicariously much of the time.
For example, I have friends who just returned from a 10 day trip to England. Personally, 10 days in the UK would never be enough for me. My mother and I once spent three weeks and have bemoaned the fact that we saw so little of what we’d have loved to see. We weren’t on “tour.” We were driving around setting only daily destinations as they struck us, stopping in out of the way places, eating in local pubs and except for a few “mandatory” tourist spots like Canterbury or the Tower of London, we found ourselves on narrow little country rounds and fell in love with Cotswold villages and forgotten ruins like the castle in Astley.
Worse than too short a trip – they took a similar short hop to France a couple of years ago – is the fact that my friends spent seven of the ten days on a ship going over! I’d have hated losing that time confined to a ship no matter how elegant. On an arranged tour, they missed this gorgeous little village in France called Loubressac. Considered one of the most beautiful medieval villages in all of France, it’s also one of the many “villages fleuris” or villages in bloom scattered throughout the countryside. This is the kind of place that deserves whatever time it takes to explore without having to settle for an hour’s stop on a tour bus.
I must admit I still get the travel bug something fierce and I’m longing to go back to Scotland to see much I missed and ferry over to Ireland. Perhaps…when I’ve rehabilitated my titanium hips enough to bear the flight over!!
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“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper”
How often has it happened to you…you have a wondrous, magical, incredible tourist destination in your own back yard…and you almost never go there? Or you long to see some other place completely forgetting that there are a million beauties right at home that you’ve never really seen?
I live not very far from one of the wonders of the world – Niagara Falls – and seen from either side of the border, it’s a majestic sight indeed. Day or night, just the sound of the water thundering over the escarpment and on to the rocks below makes one’s heart beat a little faster. Standing on a lookout that sticks right out over the river or riding the Maid of the Mist to get close, you get drenched with the heavy mist. You have to photograph through a plastic bag or be constantly wiping your camera lens. It’s an inspiring and almost overwhelming experience.
And yet, in truth, I have only been to Niagara Falls a few times – and that is only when out of state company comes to visit and they want to see what I take for granted. Each time I go, I see this wonder through new eyes – theirs – and discover something new…a reminder to me not to overlook the magical and wondrous sights right in my own back yard.
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I walked beside the evening sea
And dreamed a dream that could not be;
The waves that plunged along the shore
Said only: “Dreamer, dream no more!”
– – -George William Curtis
I’VE NEVER LIVED BESIDE THE SEA
I’ve never lived beside the sea
though I feel as if I have
but the sea fascinates me.
Its power, its moods, its vastness…are somehow
an endless source of inspiration to me.
I think of an ocean in a raging storm and I’m reminded
of the storms that life can bring to us
and the deceptive calm that often precedes them.
I think of the ship of my life
occasionally adrift, no wind to lift the sail,
and at times, no landfall or welcoming shore in sight.
Some nights the stars wink out
and all seems black and endless,
my astrolabe of little use.
But now and then I see a lighthouse
and I know that there is somewhere –
in a friend’s heart, a lover’s touch –
a light to guide me through.
I think of the journey each of us is on…
our own personal quest for peace,
for truth, for wholeness…
the journey of self-discovery –
and it takes me to the sea.
© Lianne Schneider
This digital painting is from my “Sea Stories” collection and you can see the rest or purchase a print at http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/
Purchase a print or giclee canvas of this image at http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/featured/light-in-the-darkness-lianne-schneider.html