Nemophilist


Nemophilist (n.) – Origin: Greek – Definition: A haunter of the woods; one who loves the forest and its beauty and solitude.

So many forests in so many countries with so many people with so little time. Park forests, mountain forests, island forests, animal forests.  I cannot say all of this better than the people I am quoting below.

“And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.”

– John Muir

“Gold is a luxury. Trees are necessities. Man can live and thrive without gold, but we cannot survive without trees.”

– Paul Bamikole

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“I found far more answers in the woods than I ever did in the city.”

– Mary Davis

“In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me.”

John Fowles

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
― Herman Hesse

forest: roth; michele; mark; sustainabilitea; becky; Mason; Eddie; paula; phillip; Ingrid; cherie; cepcarol; sandy; paul; sue; rebecca

Smultroställe


Smultroställe (n.) – Origin: Swedish – Definition: A special place discovered, treasured, returned to for solace and relaxation; a personal idyll free from stress and sadness.

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.  ~Alex Haley

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When I first read the word – Smultroställe – I thought to myself, “This word means family.”  OK that’s a lie.

When I first read the word – Smultroställe – I thought to myself, “What the heck is a smult-tro-sally”.  So i looked it up and thought to myself, “To me, this word actually means happy place”  The second thing I thought to myself was, “How in the heck do you pronounce this word?”

In complete transparency, I still do not know how to pronounce it, but I can unequivocally state that my smultroställe is not just my family but it is my every person in my world who has existed in my happy place.  Every person who has taken the time to reduce the daily drama and make me laugh.  It is every person who has laughed with me and not at me. (Even when they ARE sometimes laughing at me.)  It is every person who has chosen to spend time with me to create the millions of happy memories that I currently own.  The memories that I will have and cherish until the day I die. The happy memories that I will have and carry with me until I go beyond death.  Maybe to infinity and beyond.  My smultroställe is YOU.

I found my happy place the minute I saw you.  ~Sherrilyn Kenyon

To my million smultroställes.  Come on, you know who you are!

The most beautiful things are not associated with money; they are memories and moments. If you don’t celebrate those, they can pass you by. ~Alek Wek

I am a collection of thoughts and memories and likes and dislikes. I am the things that have happened to me and the sum of everything I’ve ever done. I am the clothes I wear on my back. I am every place and every person and every object I have ever come across. I am a bag of bones stuck to a very large rock spinning a thousand miles an hour.  ~Macaulay Culkin

When you finally discover your happy place, your soul will be more easily protected from all the darkness around.  ~Christine E. Szymanski

I collect memories. I look for opportunities to try new things, go to new places, and meet new people all the time.   ~Marcel Wanders

Happy places and memories:  Inspired; Suzy; Keyne; candice; Roth; kk; trent; Anita; carol; Rebecca~MM; Kait; Pete; Shweta; Smelly; Rad; Paean

Selcouth


Selcouth (adj.) – Origin: English – Definition: Unfamiliar, rare, strange, and yet marvelous.

Catatumbo, Venezuela

2010-2012 I worked in Venezuela. It was my first posting and my experiences there, changed my life.  In fairness, every place that I have lived outside of the U.S. has changed my life.  However, Venezuela has left a selcouth impression on my soul.  The people and their love of their country.  The beauty and the rare opportunities that were made available to me during my time there.  I took a short trip to the Catatumbo river near Lake Maracaibo.

What causes Catatumbo Lightning in Venezuela?

Image result for catatumbo venezuela

Catatumbo lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela. It occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. It originates from a mass of storm clouds over nearby mountains, and occurs during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour.

I did not have a good enough camera to capture the lightning show.  So the above picture is a stock photo on Catatumbo. Even that does not capture how amazing and cool that was.

Even more amazing was the floating houses near where we stayed.  Like my own children rode bikes in our neighborhood, these kids had tubs, boat/cars and would paddle to their friend’s houses.  The people were amazing and friendly. I was amazed at the color, the beauty, the smiles of the children and adults.  It was truly my favorite place to work and live in my current job.

It’s a place I will never forget.  I hope that one day Venezuela will be returned to the people who love and miss their country.  I frequently think of Venezuela and my time there and I usually have a bittersweet feeling of happiness that I could have been there when I was mixed with sadness that it does not appear to be a place I will be able to revisit any time soon.

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering. ~Paulo Coelho

Venezuela: Lea; Barbara; Austin; Owens; Max; mic; Tom; Cole; Sara; Eli; Liam; Isaiah

Resfeber


Resfeber (n.) – Origin: Swedish – Definition: The restless race of the traveler’s heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together.

I have had so many people tell me that I have been a very lucky person.  I have been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.  I’m lucky that I have a job.  I’m lucky that life has gifted me with so many great things.  I’m so lucky.  LuCk LucKluck!!

This accusation has always confused me. I used to try to argue that point.  The point being that luck did not have much to do with who I was, where I was, or really,  anything in my life.

What we call luck is the inner man externalized. We make things happen to us. – Robertson Davies

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. – Thomas Jefferson

I used to try to explain that I had been given opportunities.  Opportunities that I chose to accept.  I used to try to explain that I had been presented with choices.  Choices I had to decide on and decisions I had to make.  One of the biggest choices I have had to make in life was to keep moving forward and to try not to look back, dwell on the past, and have regrets for the choices I had made.  This was not always easy, but the truth is, you cannot change the past, so why go there.

“Don’t look back and ask, Why? Look ahead and ask, Why not?”-Neil Patel

If Cinderella went to pick up her shoe; she would of not had become a princess.

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When you have butterflies and you’re feeling anxious and you have anxiety or are nervous, that’s when you’re most powerful… A lot of people, instead of honing this power and using it, they allow it to just consume them. 
― Jon Jones

I know that I have made mistakes in my life.  Everyone has.  I just chose to no longer beat myself up over them.  I always tried my best to stand back up, dust myself off, and try .. try.. try again.  Just go for it.  Do it.  I try to be reasonable when presented with choices.  I try to make the best decisions with the situations that I have to choose from.  Sometimes, the making of the decisions was nauseating.  Sometimes, there were very few options in front of me. Sometimes, I had to close my eyes, hold my breath, and just keep moving.

In the end, I just made the decision and went with it. I mean, what’s the worse that could happen?  Death? Possibly.  However, I did the work, made the decision, took the chance… often with a great leap of faith.  AND tada… here I am… and there I was… and here I am again.  Would the other way have been better?  I will never know.  Would I even want to know?

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Sometimes there are no words to help one’s courage. Sometimes you just have to jump.
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Those who don’t jump will never fly.
― Leena Ahmad Almashat

All I can say is… the view is often more beautiful .. the life is often unexpected..  the bad is often followed by the good… the ups are often followed by the downs and then back to the ups.. It all flows in a circular pattern.  It’s tipsy, topsy, turvy, and sometimes upside down.  You really can’t have the best without the worst or the tippy without the toe.  There is no such thing as one without the other. Take that leap and fly, baby fly.

My whole life has been spent walking by the side of a bottomless chasm, jumping from stone to stone. Sometimes I try to leave my narrow path and join the swirling mainstream of life, but I always find myself drawn inexorably back towards the chasm’s edge, and there I shall walk until the day I finally fall into the abyss.
― Edvard Munch

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Resfeber:  umesh; swede; allen; rad; mousumi; suzette; frank; johna; reggi; reena; beth; nimue; Rob

Vorfreude


Vorfreude (noun) Origin:  German | The joyful anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures.

Two more weeks and I’m off on vacation!  Woot Woot.  I have built in a couple of mandatory road trips.  Last year, I flew in and out of my home town with the expectation that I would take a short road trip during my time with my family.  2020 ended up being all about dad and due to him being sick, it never happened.  So this year, I am flying in and out of Seattle which will force me to  drive from Seattle to Spokane.  It’s a great 4-5 hour drive through some beautiful country.  Valley to plains to mountains to rainforest to ocean.  My second trip will be to Oregon to check out some areas for future reference.  No solid plans, just a solid plan to hit the road with some fun tunes and a carful of random gas station snacks.  Nothing makes me happier.  I mean in general.  A lot of things make me happier but road trips top the list.  From childhood to my most recent years, they are my favorite memories.  I can’t wait!

“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” – Jon Bon Jovi

“Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” –Jerry Seinfeld

“I get emotionally attached to the cars ahead of me on long road trips.” – Unknown

“That’s why I love road trips, dude. It’s like doing something without actually doing anything.” – John Green

“It doesn’t matter how old you get, buying snacks for a road trip should always look like an unsupervised 9-year-old was given $100.” – Unknown

Vorfreude:  Imi; moom; Andreas; Ab; lauren; sexy; moms; 365reasons; glen; raeventure; stephen; Faye