My husband is the coxswain for our rowing club. I don’t row the big team boats, so when he coxes on Tuesday and Thursday after work, I stay home and work a longer day.

When he came home this evening, he told me that the rowers rescued a small bird that had somehow fallen into the river. It was too waterlogged to fly and was flapping frantically, struggling to stay afloat. Maneuvering the boat next to the bird took a little time, what with being careful not to bump it or create a wake that would swamp it. Once the boat was in a good position, one of the rowers picked the bird up out of the water, and the crew brought it safely to shore.

Word-art that says "Compassion."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

We’ve had a lot of rain around here the past couple of days, so I wasn’t sure about the rowing plans that my husband and I had yesterday. The weather forecast said that there would be a break in the rain by late afternoon. When we got down to the boathouse, though, it was still chilly and a light rain was falling.

As it turned out, we didn’t mind the rain because we had comfortable rowing jackets and the water was fairly calm, even with the drizzle. It was good to be outdoors. Although our feet got wet, otherwise there was nothing at all to worry about. We felt glad that we went ahead with our plans.

Word-art that says "Calm."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

June 3, 2021 · 2 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

Over the Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I rowed in the Dogwood Masters regatta in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  That’s our favorite place to row because it has perfectly straight, well-buoyed sprint lanes, and we like the Southern warmth after our chilly Ohio winters. Of course, we’re out of practice after not traveling for so long, but we much enjoyed getting back in the world again and seeing our friends (and competitors) from other rowing clubs.

I thought that I’d be much slower racing my single, but my time was only about ten seconds slower than in the 2019 regatta. My husband pointed out that there wasn’t as much current this year, which slowed everyone down by about ten seconds, so I hadn’t actually lost any speed.

Meg racing a single at the 2021 Dogwood Masters regatta.

The boat in the center of the photo is mine (yes, I know it looks tiny, but these boats are so long that it’s hard to get everything in the picture). I crossed the finish line second. Because there were two older women in the race (who are on the left of the photo, several boat lengths behind me), I didn’t get a medal after their age handicaps had been figured into the results. Still, it was a good day in the real world.

When I sat down to write a Nurturing Thursday post after a long and busy day, not much came to mind right away. Outside the window, birds were calling to each other as the daylight faded from the sky. I took a breath and just sat there quietly in the desk chair, without trying to force myself to be productive about writing a blog entry or doing anything else. The world seemed to slow down around me. I became aware of my heartbeat, the gentle breeze from the ceiling fan, and the texture of the carpet under my feet. Everything had gone still. For the moment, there was only the simple joy of being.

Word-art that says "Joy."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

May 26, 2021 · Write a comment · Categories: Musings · Tags:

As mentioned on this blog in October 2018, I had gotten frustrated with an old coffee table that needed replacing. It was still functional, but the veneer was flaking off, and and its unusual dimensions (long and narrow) meant that I hadn’t been able to find a comparable table after many online searches.

Old wooden coffee table with chipped veneer.

I reminded myself that it was only a piece of furniture and there was no reason to let it bother me, but I still felt stuck whenever I looked at the table. Although it was obviously no big deal in the grand scheme of things, it triggered a “life shouldn’t be this hard” feeling anyway. When my husband and I first set up our household more than 30 years earlier, some friends gave us the table, which was old even then. We liked the dimensions and thought we’d get a new coffee table after a while, but it didn’t happen.

So, with hopes of turning my stuck thoughts in a more constructive direction, I wrote a blog post describing what I wanted in a new table. I saw it as an exercise in attracting good things by being more precise about what I wanted, and I titled the post “Placing an Order with the Universe.”

Despite my efforts, it didn’t seem like the Universe was much inclined to take such an order. One of my specifications for the new table was that it should be an affordable mass-market item easy to buy online. I spent many hours searching for oversized coffee tables on furniture store websites, with no success. Every time I washed the old table after we ate pizza or hamburgers on it, I had to be careful not to rip off more splinters of veneer. I tried to tell myself that I should be grateful for a comfortable life anyway; but in truth, I felt annoyed whenever I looked at the old table.

One night last winter, my husband still had work to do because a big project was behind schedule. I was waiting to cook dinner and was half asleep on the couch, feeling cranky about being deprived of sleep because he hadn’t been ready to eat at a reasonable hour. I looked at the worn-out old coffee table and got even more irritated. Then I finally thought, we have happy family dinners, and that’s what matters.

I could feel something shift in my subconscious mind just then. Somehow, it seemed almost like I had moved a physical object into a more comfortable position. Then another thought occurred to me—why had I been assuming that a custom-built table would be too expensive?

When I next looked online for coffee tables, I went to a marketplace site for custom items. Almost at once I found a reasonably priced solid oak table in a style I liked, which could be made in custom sizes and colors. Although the vendor had a bit of a backlog, that didn’t bother me after all the time I’d spent searching. I have been enjoying the table since it arrived last weekend.

Wood coffee table in front of couch.

Now, every time I sit on the couch and look at the coffee table, it lifts my mood and reminds me that I go through life surrounded by abundance. If a new table had been easier to find, I probably would have taken it for granted. So, I’m giving the Universe a five-star review for sending me both a lovely coffee table and a valuable life lesson.

The flowers I planted last weekend were flourishing when I went out to water them this afternoon. They have grown noticeably and look like they’re enjoying the sun and warmth. Like the flowers, I’m starting to feel newly planted in a better place, too. But I need to keep in mind that I am still putting down roots and sending up new growth, so I need to be gentle with myself.

Word-art that says "You gotta nourish to flourish."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

I haven’t yet gotten around to planting annual flowers, mainly because the weather has been chilly and going outdoors just hasn’t seemed as inviting. But it was comfortable today, the sun was shining in a clear sky, and I’m definitely going to do my planting this weekend. Getting connected with the earth doesn’t just nurture the garden; it also takes care of the soul.

Word-art that says "Take care of yourself."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

May 6, 2021 · 2 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

These days, with so much change in the world, it’s hard to picture what the future might look like. Sometimes I feel that I’ve lost all sense of direction and am spinning all around like a weathervane in gusty, shifting winds. When that happens, I remind myself that whatever paths I may take, there will always be dreams to inspire me and wonderful surprises along the way.

Weathervane arrows with the words "dream" "love" "hope" and "believe."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

On Tuesday morning, before getting started on my workday, I had a bit of indecision about what sort of image to put on my digital art display. The weather was cloudy and the forecast called for thunderstorms, so I considered a painting of a Florida scene with clouds looming over bright greenery before deciding that it didn’t quite fit a chilly Ohio morning.

Painting of Florida wetlands on a cloudy day

(Image credit: Georgrpe Buckner)

After a while I decided on a picture of empty gondolas parked in Venice with a bit of sun coming through the clouds. That didn’t work too well either because the sky just got darker in real life, and thunderstorms did indeed start rolling through. I wasn’t looking at the art display anyway because I was just sitting at my desk focused on the computer, so it didn’t really matter. My husband had been planning to row with some friends, but that didn’t work out because it was raining at the boathouse too.

Still, it was a mostly good day. I got a very nice surprise when a coworker sent me an email saying that the charity committee had chosen me as the featured volunteer and will post an entry about me on the internal website. It’s always good to be appreciated at work, especially when I hadn’t known that I was being considered for any special recognition. That left me feeling pretty cheerful.

This week I’ve not been able to stay as calm and relaxed as usual. Some of it has simply been a matter of not getting to bed early enough; but I slept well last night and still don’t feel altogether back to my normal self, for reasons that are mostly unknown. The human brain has its quirks, and sometimes cause and effect are less than clear. So I’ve been taking it easy and, when my thoughts wander, bringing them back gently with a reminder to just be with myself.

Image of a brain overlaid with words like "Sense" and "Observe."

(Image credit: John Hain)

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.