Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Coffee Shop Quartet of Conversations

It amazes me what connections happen if you’re open and just start conversations! Last week I walked into a local coffee shop, ordered a mulled cider with whipped cream, and found a satisfying corner in which to read and write. I made great progress reading a helpful book called The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People, then a stylish gal sat down on the couch across from me.

When she tried to figure out where the plug was for her phone in a case with 1/2-inch rivets, I helped her, and then we started talking about her phone case. That conversation led to talking about why she was here: to surprise her sister because it was Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend.

This lady with 4-inch heels, Tamara, loves horses, her five sisters, and knows over five languages. After a while, a guy with a cane who had lost his hearing aides came and sat down in our cove. He introduced himself as Peter, and we all talked about the weather.

Finally, Tamara’s brother-in-law came back and surprised his wife and daughter with their aunt! We all introduced ourselves and talked a bit.
The family eventually moved where there was more space, Peter told me about how going into the military is a good career choice, and then he had to get home, so my cove cleared out. Tamara came back to get her studded phone and said good-bye.

I’m so thankful we started talking! The care and life of the conversations just kept growing as more people arrived. A seventy-year old man grinned at the one-year old niece, and she laughed back. The sisters hugged and were so happy to be together.

The generations need to interact because it reminds us where we have been or where we are going. The smiles, stories, and hugs release life, and so now I’m more open and eager to have this kind of inter-generational experience again! All you need to do is find a corner in a coffee shop and start a conversation…

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Running for the train: Thoughts on Scraping By

Yesterday as I backed up to leave for work, my car was making way too much noise. I got out and found out that my car had a flat tire in the driveway, so I had to pull it on the street and run  3/4 of a mile for the train. I made it in about 7 min. with 3 minutes to spare.

Coming home, I caught the orange line to get to near Oglevie, and then I looked at my watch, it was 4:30 and I wanted the 4:35 train, and I took off galloping. I ran awhile, then got caught in the crowd, and once I got in the station, it was 4:35, and this guy in a red jacket booked it past me, so since he was doing it, I could too! I took off running behind him.

I saw that a train wasn’t leaving yet, but then I saw the conductor give the signal, get aboard, and I leaped on past him while he turned the lever to shut the doors.

I have never cut it that close– it was 2 seconds wiggle room. Whew, that wasn’t the safest thing to do, but I was glad to be on that train and be getting home to change my tire.

I had a sort-of Frodo moment, leaping past the conductor (who is jolly and nothing like the nasty creatures Frodo jumped past), and just making it.

It’s wonderful when we plan to have enough space and time to make a peaceful transition, but there’s many times when we just scrape by.

Knowing how to still be peaceful when you’re just scraping by is a skill that I’m learning. I want to be perfect and do things perfectly, but that is not possible. I’m learning to rest in the fact that you’re still loved even when you hit too many potholes and forget to check the air in your tires so one goes flat, and get late to work, and let the kids get under your skin, and you have to apologize, and then run for the train again and just make it. Yes, I was scraping by, but I’m loved, accepted, treasured, desired, thought well of, and good enough in God’s eyes. And scraping by adds a little spice to life…running for the train is sort of fun…sort of…

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The Power of a Pause…

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A pause can be many lengths:
seconds within a conversation,
minutes between text messages,
hours between emails,
days between phone calls,
weeks between visits…
years between seasons of friendship…

Pauses come in announcements, “And the winner is…” and when you’re not sure what to say. You take time to think and touch base with what you are feeling.

The pause from taking a breath adds oxygen to your blood, but in my mind, it also adds light and air to the relationship…taking a day between talking causes you to appreciate the person even more when you hear from him again…

In the past I’ve had the tendency to panic if I don’t hear from someone for a while(especially in the beginning of a romantic relationship when you’re still in that relational limbo, unsure stage). This “light and air” concept has really been helping me. Let the relationship breath…let there be a pause…take time to hear your heart…you can try to control this relationship, but it won’t work, so relax and pause…

Purposeful pauses add power to whatever you are saying. It helps people think about what you just said before you move on to your next thought.

Not cluttering up the words and saying the simple truth in a clear way.

It shows you have self-control and don’t just let words fly.

Pauses show you care about what you are saying and are putting thought into your words.

Think about music: Pauses add to the beauty and variety of the music. A pause before a crescendo builds anticipation and the adds to the surprise of when the powerful music returns.

Take the time to pause, feel what you are truly feeling, and process the life you are in right now. You’ll be glad you paused …
because you might be surprised by what you hear…