Archive for the ‘life’ Category

A Bright Spot in the Forest

March 4, 2011

A Bright Spot in the Forest by Cheryl McDonald

Do you ever have weeks where you think everything is going along great. You feel good, projects are going well, you have an awesome sense of joy and excitement about what is coming to fruition and then suddenly one morning you wake up in a cold sweat and wonder- “What will become of me? Where am I going? And How am I going to get there?”

That is what happened to me this morning. I was awake at 3:30 having a worry fit about what will happen in the future! So after some deep breathing, some writing in my journal and a prayer to bring me back to sanity, I fell back to sleep and when I awoke a couple of hours later, there were ideas and directions on what to do next right there in my mind where just a few hours ago had been chaos and fear. Wow! Sometimes I feel like that little yellow flower in the image at the top of the page- surrounded in the deep dark forest fighting for just a bit of light and fresh air.

Living the nontraditional life that I live, can be an interesting challenge. Learning not to listen to the fears of others is probably one of the biggest challenges. What I am working to accomplish is beyond reason sometimes, and yet deep down in my heart I know that I am on the right path and that this creative path that I am on is bringing much to this world that is needed.

Finding the path of our destiny is difficult for many to figure out. For me it has been easy to know but harder to follow and stay focused. Each day I find more and more to be grateful for and more that I can share. Each day I have all that I need and more. When you think of your version of security, can you really say that it will be there forever, no matter what? I know that the flow of life that I experience daily is as secure as it can get. No matter what, and that is what I know today.

Cheryl McDonald is and artist and philosopher who now lives in the desert in Southern California. To see her latest work please go to www.cherylmcdonaldcreative.com or www.passionsatplay.com

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Karma works both ways- good and bad

January 2, 2011
Angels Abound by Cheryl McDonald copyright 2010

Angels Abound!

It often seems that we talk about karma as if it is only about bad stuff- you know- Somebody does something mean to us or someone we know and we say- Well he’ll get his, because ‘what goes around comes around’.

Well it has occurred to me today that it also works on good things we do.Why just today? Who knows, however a light bulb went on and so here goes another blog.

As you know if you read my blog that this has been a very eventful year for me. Lot’s of major changes- Last January 1st I was living in an apartment on a hill overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Today I am living in a beautiful home in the Mojave Desert. Last year I had 3 sisters, now I only have 2.  But what has not changed is that I am utterly and completely surrounded by love. Family, friends, I even find love arriving from perfect strangers on a daily basis.

I often get impatient with myself because I am not seeing enough progress forward, however when I look back over the path I have traveled I realize that I have had a very rich and beautiful life and that I have been able to share the gifts I have been given with many people in many places. I also see no reason why this will not continue and that is a very exciting prospect.

I have been thinking the last few days about the holidays, expectations, past experience, traditional and non-traditional, and all of this has led me to believe that there are planned blessings and then there are those that are completely spontaneous and can only be explained by angels and guides in my behalf. I think our traditions- the way we celebrate are more like planned blessings- we choose to create and bless ourselves and our families by including them in how we celebrate. Spontaneous blessings often not even acknowledged, because we do not realize their presence. We take them for granted.

For several days this week I was down taking care of a recovering from surgery daughter and 7 & 8 year old boys recovering from colds and on Christmas vacation with lot’s of rain. A bit challenging since i have never had boys and it has been awhile since I was around that much energy. This was certainly not the Christmas our family had planned. With all of the changes going on in all of our lives, we were all looking for a little bit of normal, traditional, relaxed holiday sharing. Money has been tight for all of us this year and we were doing few gifts, but lot’s of delicious foods from family traditions and just sharing the time together. So emergency surgery on Christmas day was not on the agenda and it really took the wind out of our more traditionally planned holiday.

This is where the spontaneous blessings started kicking in and the planned blessings took a pass. All of the plans we had made to share the holidays with friends and family dissolved into taking care of the family and making the best of the situation. Here is where some really amazing blessings arrived. For instance the chief of surgery being on call and doing my daughters surgery. A hospital full of amazing, caring, joyful individuals who were working on Christmas, but happy they could be there to take care of us. Or the next day when my son-in-law was driving through the rain on the freeway and was missed by a swerving car crossing several lanes out of control. There were so many blessings, I cannot tell them all. We also did manage to create a little bit of normal the day after Christmas which worked out just fine.

So now recovery is happening and life is going forward. I came home on Thursday with a very nasty cold. So once more the planned blessings- holiday parties and dinner with friends had to be canceled and New Year’s Eve I was feeling pretty down. But guess what- once again I am completely surrounded by love and spontaneous blessings abound! Like the cool gift from one sister of a remote for my camera- “so I would have something to play with while I was recovering” , or the huge bowl of fresh steaming bouillabaisse from neighbors across the street, or the man who was riding his bicycle down the street as my car came to a halt in the middle of the road. He stopped and helped me push it out of the street. And then last night as I was getting ready for bed, my throat so sore I could not speak- a phone call from my other sister and her friends who were helping her celebrate her birthday and they missed me. We had all been together last year for the occasion and this year I could not be. So they called and we all sang her happy birthday- even me in my very froggy voice. It was such a wonderful experience to be so loved.

So I guess what I know today is that the love we share with others weaves it’s way through life and comes right back and wraps itself right around us once again. And that is a joyous thing.

Happy New Year and may your year be filled with an abundance of spontaneous blessings and planned blessings as well!

Cheryl McDonald is an artist and photographer in Southern California at the base of the Eastern Sierras. To see more of her work please go to- www.passionsatplay.com and www.cherylmcdonald-art.com

So this is the next big Adventure!

August 12, 2010

Well it is not Monday and I really don’t have any new pictures to share, just some observations. Hope you can indulge me.

The passing of my sister Linda has created an incredible void in my life. I knew we were close, but did not realize just how much I depended on her joyful observations and enlightenments every week.

I have decided to move into the family home. Not sure for how long, that will depend on several things. But hey- one day at a time…

So I have started moving my things down from San Francisco a van load at a time. I think doing it in bits and pieces will be better for me than one fell swoop- as they say. It gives me time to drive, to ponder, to clean and organize and also to exorcise the ghosts and memories of 45+ years of being connected with this house. I remember when my parents built it, I was 11 years old I think.They hired a contractor, worked with him on the design, the layout and the materials. My Father was an electrician and a very handy man having grown up on a farm, so he/we did a lot of the work ourselves. I remember painting all of the walls- choosing colors with Mom. Finishing the kitchen cabinets and choosing the fixtures for the sinks, lighting and all. It seemed like such a big house, and still is compared to where I was living in San Francisco. 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms a big yard and a beautiful kitchen. The garage has been converted into a room and will become my art studio. I have visions of fruit trees, vegetable garden and a place to entertain.

I remember being a teenager in this house, an above ground pool in the backyard and a pool table in the family room. I remember the night of my wedding and the after party my parents had here for their friends. I remember my children running through the living room and my Mother asking them to slow down! so they would not fall into the sliding glass door.  There have been so many good memories of happenings in this house and there has also been much sadness in this house. The illnesses and passing of both parents and my sister. The heartache that all of that has entailed. It became a dark, sad place that none of us really wanted to be in. Amazing how that can happen over the years.

I really had no expectations of taking on this project at this point in my life. I just knew Linda was going to get better and I, having given up my apartment in SF in June, was going to be traveling and house-sitting and exploring, helping Linda as I could. Well that all changed in July.

So rewind, reverse, change directions and here I am with a beautiful home that needs to be loved. It needs to be filled once more with laughter and creativity and joy and beauty. And even though I really had no intentions of being the one to do it, I am now stating the intention that this is now what I want to do. This is the place I want to be and this is the task I have set for myself.

There will be a lot of work, a lot of change and a lot of sorting and clearing of memories, things and a lot of healing. I am looking forward to building a life, an art studio and a home here in the desert.

At some point soon, I hope I will be ready for visitors, right now I have my work cut out for me! And I must say it is all good.

blessings

Cheryl

Cheryl McDonald is the owner of Passions at Play Art & Design. She is an artist, illustrator and designer, working in photography, watercolor and more! To see some of her work.

passionsatplay.com

cherylmcdonald-art.com