365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 91

ROOSTER

Along time ago I was going through a rough time and I had a great friend from Texas. Rooster was his name and he had a bigger than life personality. I wondered a lot back in those day when my ship was going to come in. Rooster was a man who had lived live fully and now at the twilight of his life, he was doing his best to love people right where they were. One afternoon I visited him at his RV which was parked across the street from mine. He was having a tough time breathing because the Santa Ana winds were blowing the desert sand everywhere and this was messing with his very bad lungs. “Rooster,”  I asked,” when is my ship going to come in?” He paused, letting my question sink in for a few minutes then he starts laughing. I looked at him laughing with him not sure why but he had a contagious laugh so I couldn’t help it, Then he said,” Well darlin’ I’ve had several come in during my life time only they all ship wrecked later on.” That set us both off and we couldn’t stop laughing for several minutes. Then he stood up, his over 6 ft frame filled the 30 ft. trailer he called his home on wheels. He pulled me to him and gave me a big bear hug. I never had gotten hugged from my father so I closed my eyes and imagined that if my own papi was still with me, I’m sure that’s what it would feel like. I dedicate this post to my dear friend Rufus Maxwell AKA ROOSTER. I know you’re in heaven my dear friend and we miss your cock-a-doodle-doos you used to do every morning from your trailer. That seems like a whole other life time ago. Happy Saturday blog world 🙂

365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 90

A few weeks ago I was sunning myself in my back yard. It was around 2 in the afternoon and I was thinking that I’m so glad to live in a desert climate where the winters are mild and I can enjoy the sun, while my relatives who live back in the midwest are freezing their butts off 🙂 The yard was quiet when suddenly I looked  up and saw the most wonderful creature hovering just 3 feet from where I sat.

My hummingbird, as I’ve called him since then, just stared at me in flight and we beheld each other for several seconds, neither of us afraid  and at perfect peace with one another. Time stood suspended for an instant. I held my breath, afraid that if I exhaled, he would leave. Then as quickly as he came, he was gone. He flew to a nearby Oleander bush and I begged him to come back. I wanted to hold on to the moment but he was done. I looked at him high up on the bush and I said good-bye knowing it was over.

That moment I’ll never forget and I immediately called my Mama and told her about it. She told me that because I’m such a calm person my good energy drew him to me. I like that!

My son loves how I can draw flowers and birds. He has asked me to do some detail work on his acoustic guitar in the past and I love indulging him. This week he asked me to draw him a humming-bird because he had gotten tired of the old design that had been on his guitar for a couple of years now. So I did and I’m sharing it with you on today’s snap shots of life. I wish you a wonderful start to your week end!!

Hummingbird Symbolism

The hummingbird symbolizes many different concepts. Because of its speed, the hummingbird is known as a messenger and stopper of time. It is also a symbol of love, joy, and beauty. The hummingbird is also able to fly backwards, teaching us that we can look back on our past. But, this bird also teaches that we must not dwell on our past; we need to move forward. When the hummingbird hovers over flowers while drinking nectar, we learn that we should savour each moment, and appreciate the things we love.
The hummingbird has powerful spiritual significance. In the Andes of South Americathe hummingbird is a symbol of resurrection. It seems to die on cold nights, but comes back to life again at sunrise.Hummingbird is the creature that opens the heart. When the hurt that caused us to close our hearts gets a chance to heal, our hearts are free to open again.

It is not commonly known that the fluttering wings of the hummingbird move in the pattern of an infinity symbol – further solidifying their symbolism of eternity, continuity, and infinity.
By observing the Hummingbird, we see they are seemingly tireless. Always actively seeking the sweetest nectar, they remind us to forever seek out the good in life and the beauty in each day. Amazing migrators, some Hummingbirds are known to wing their way as far as 2000 miles to reach their destination. This quality reminds us to be persistent in the pursuit of our dreams, and adopt the tenacity of the Hummingbird in our lives.

365 Snap Shots of Life” Day 89

The Sacred Hides in the Ordinary

Have you ever ordered something from Ebay and when you received it you were disappointed because the item you purchased was smaller than the picture on the ad showed? That happened to me this morning when I received my Feng Shui wind chime. So I hung it up on the patio and it’s so small, the backyard swallows it up. Then I set out to find the positive in the negative as I normally do. I reminded myself I like small, dainty things and that helped. Then I thought about returning it and it wasn’t worth the hassle. I decided to keep it.

Just now Esther, my second daughter came home from having gone to lunch with her youngest sister. She was so excited because she brought home a butter fly. I looked at it as it sat contentedly on her index finger. Esther thinks it’s injured, I think it likes her. Then I remembered the little wind chime I hung this morning. We have to have eyes that see and ears that hear what isn’t obvious. My small mini wind chime , that tiny butterfly reminds me that the most precious things in life aren’t usually perfect. We have to be awake enough to appreciate those serendipity moments that come to us in our every day lives. Esther’s butterfly felt   enough at ease  with her positive energy to come light on her finger. Is it injured, as my daughter perceives,or  perhaps it didn’t want to die alone.

In this world we live in where perfection is demanded at every step, you have to on purpose make yourself slow down enough to look past the imperfections in things and people so you won’t miss the sacred in the ordinary. After God created everything He said His creation was good, NOT perfect. Maybe He left it open to interpretation and what I get from that is that He made things good-giving them the room to  become BETTER. So next time you deal with a disappointment, challenge yourself to see the sacred in it. It’ll be hard at first but the more you practice that, YOU will become better.

365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 88

The Stage

Have you ever felt like you’re the one everyone depends on for seemingly everything? You’re the one people try out their best  and worst lines on. You’re the one they leap, twirl, tip-toe, prance  and dance on. You’re covered will all sorts of scuff-marks and scratches. There are days you don’t feel special; in fact you have days when you’re so exhausted that you just lay there.

Welcome to that part of life I’ve come to embrace and dubbed “The Stage”.

If you’re a parent you’re acquainted with being the stage for your kids. You’re the one they try their best and worst lines on. You’re the one they try their firsts on; from crawling, to first steps, then jumping, running and eventually dancing. You’re covered with all sorts of scuff-marks and scratches but you keep going nonetheless because out of those, you know dreams are launched. And, as parents we all have days when we feel overlooked, ignored and forgotten. The activity continues though because you know the show must go on.

You know that at the end of the performance you’ll get no credit. The actors will be lauded. The director and his crew will receive pats on their backs. The lights will shine but you’re underneath it all. Still you don’t care because when you’re called to be the stage, you know that without you, they won’t have a place to stand on. Without you dreams won’t come true. Much is said about great performances; little is ever mentioned about the stages they played on. It takes great confidence to be a stage. You must have a firm grasp on yourself; a knowing that you are a vital part of the show’s success.

When the lights go out and the audience goes home, you’ll just lay there, quietly fulfilled, resting for the next performance.

-Eva Santiago 2012

365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 87

Education Requires Conversation

Education is not always  about opening textbooks, taking tests where you regurgitate the information you had to memorize in order to get a passing grade. Education is also not just having an instructor who shows you a new skill. Education requires conversation.

I can look back on the teachers I had when I went to school and the ones who are still with me, are the ones who didn’t always make the class crack the book open. In 1oth grade I had Mr. Griffin for World history. He was an eccentric man. He was in his 60’s, dressed impeccably and told the best stories. He had been a quarter back in high school ,went on to play in college; served in the military, I think he went to Korea. After the war he came back and became a commercial airline pilot.  If  Mr. Griffin would have said he ran for president, I would have believed him. He interacted with us on a daily basis. Don’ task me what I learned about world history in his class. I did learn that he was a deeply caring human being who liked his students. I never saw anyone sleeping in his class either.

When he would assign reports and students asked him how long or short did the report have to be Mr. Griffin always said,” Like a ladies’ dress: Long enough to cover the subject and short enough to keep it interesting.” I chuckle because I’ve used that same line on my kids in the past.

Mr. Griffin also hated  PDA which was always common in the last few second before the bell rang. Often I’d see him step out  and yell at the couples making out in his hallway,” Stop swapping slobber will ya?!!!”

True education requires conversations where both the teacher and the students interact and share ideas as well as argue points. Mt. Griffin shared and at times he’d let us do the sharing. Great teachers ought to also be able to learn from the students. My kids have taught me so many lessons along the way. Just today I had a conversation with my almost 16-year-old daughter where she helped me see something in a new light.

Last year I held a writing group in my home. The group consisted of kids my kids knew. I’d open up with a free write;  a time to let them unleash whatever they wanted on paper. Afterwards they had the chance to share if they were comfortable. At first, the idea turned them off because they thought it would be like regular school. Once they saw that they had the choice whether to read their writing in front of others or not, they became bolder. Pretty soon every writing session was amazing because these kids had somewhere they could come to where they would be heard. We all learned from each other and that’s what’s most important. Our writing time turned into sometimes deep, other times hilarious conversations. I miss those times because I met some exceptional young people.

Talking about education is like learning to dance by reading a book. You might get the basic technique down but you won’t really be dancing until you actually get on the floor and risk making a fool of yourself. Education requires conversation because that’s how you as a teacher, know that your students are learning and your students will know you care about them;because you value their views and opinion. After all, the teacher isn’t always right.

Love requires relationship. – Unknown

365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 86

CONTENTMENT IS A GIFT

I went to the store yesterday and I bought a wind chime and a hummingbird feeder. Once back home, I put the wind chime on my deck in the back yard. I hung the feeder from a limb on my olive tree with hopes that they’ll come to visit me. Then after dinner I sat on the swing listening to my wind chime sing as the wind caressed the pipes. My son came out and sat next to me. He said he found it amazing that I take pleasure in such simple things. And I told him it’s because I’m the kind of person who can enjoy a $10 wind chime more than a big screen TV.  Why is that?

I found out a long time ago that contentment is a choice as well. When my kids were all in the toddler stage, there were days where I found it hard to be content because back in those days they were my main focus. I had no time for myself and when I did make time it was to gather my scattered thoughts on paper to try to make sense of what was happening inside of me. That’s when I decided to purposefully sit back and watch my kids play and interact together and that day I found a sweetness in my choice to be a stay at home mom.

Not too long after that, I would listen to Joyce Meyer on the radio and she’d talk about being content no matter where you are in life. Gee,  everyday I tuned in , it was the same message. Being a quick study, I caught on that I was right where I needed to be and that in order to be content in my present state, I had to appreciate it first. So I decided to get down with my little ones and finger paint with them. This is what awakened the artist that I’d never dreamed I was before. Contentment brought me to a place of self-discovery and I’m so glad I chose to make friends with her. She’s a gift that keeps on giving!

So I invite you dear reader to examine your life and see if you’re lacking contentment, ask yourself what can you do about it. What’s robbing you of finding true contentment? If you’re content already, hang on to it no matter what because you and I both know it took some time and struggle to attain it.