Kite Month

Kite Month

The end of March and into April is National Kite Month. For many, flying kites is something that children do, but on the Oregon coast, you will find all ages flying them. There you will see the traditional diamond kites, box kites of all sizes, dragon kites, the highly maneuverable sport kites that may take several people to operate and can do all sorts of things, and many other different kinds. Kites hold a special attraction for me for some reason. I used to fly a twenty-five foot dragon kite by the Pacific Ocean, but on my last move it got lost somewhere along the way. So sad.

Kites are interesting in that they symbolize freedom, but freedom with restraint, for they need to be held by someone on the ground, or they disappear into space. They can also represent a person’s dreams, in that we need to let our imagination fly free, but a dream needs to be tethered to the ground before it can become a reality. They can also represent impermanence, as at the end of the day, they are pulled back to earth again. And we mustn’t forget Charlie Brown and the kite eating tree! The last quote in the list below would be appreciated by him.

I do find the first quote by Leonard Cohen to be the most intriguing and haunting. It reminds us that as beautiful as a kite in the sky is, if we lose interest, it is gone, much like our dreams.

diamondkites

A kite is the last poem you’ve written
so you give it to the wind,
but you don’t let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.
–Leonard Cohen

Freedom is the kite’s response to the wind.–Marty Rubin

Then I let go. … That was my kite, and it was free. I’d let it go. It’d wanted so much to be free that I just couldn’t hold on, couldn’t hold it down. I smiled as I watched it whirl away – above the trees, above the birds, above the clouds, sparkling into the heavens, dancing free. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.–Katie Dale

You need to grab your dream out of the sky like it’s a kite and pinch the string through your fingers until you reach the spool.–Augusten Burroughs

 The optimist pleasantly ponders how high his kite will fly; the pessimist woefully wonders how soon his kite will fall.–William Arthur Ward

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.–Lauren Bacall

Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against–not with–the wind.–Hamilton Mabie

I fully appreciate the ability of trees to attract kites. They have special powers that way.–Charlie Dunton

kite-eating-tree-color

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Weed Appreciation Day

Weed Appreciation Day

Today, March 28, is weed appreciation day. It also was my grandmother’s birthday, which seems appropriate in that she was full of nature lore – when to plant things according to the phases of the moon, that sort of thing.

I am generally not one to give any liking to weeds. I have spent the last few days de-grassing my strawberry patch, and weeding and mulching various areas where I will soon plant vegetables. All summer long I grumble as I pull weeds not only from among my tomatoes and other veggies, but also from my flower beds. Like bad habits, weeds are easier to conquer when they are young and small, so I try to keep on top of them as much as possible.

And yet to be fair, if you look past the annoyance of weeds, some of them are beautiful, such as dandelions shining like bright gold in the sun, and others whose names I do not know with delicate pink or purple or white flowers. And you have to admire their tenacity, and the fact that they will grow where cultivated flowers won’t, in any little crack they can find. So I guess I can give grudging appreciation to weeds, even as I keep pulling them out.

Like them or hate them, here are some quotes about weeds.

dandilion

A weed is but an unloved flower.–Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.–Doug Larson

Don’t let the tall weeds cast a shadow on the beautiful flowers in your garden.–Steve Maraboli

But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people’s idea, not nature’s.–Author Unknown

When weeds go to heaven, I suppose they will be flowers.–L.M. Montgomery

First time I’ve picked weeds in almost a year. Definitely missed it. I love the smell of dirt and plant revealing their hidden nature.–Jeb Dickerson,

When life is not coming up roses
Look to the weeds
And find the beauty hidden within them.
–L. F.Young

Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do.
–Slim Acres

The strongest and most mysterious weeds often have things to teach us.–F. T. McKinstry

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.–A. A. Milne

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

RobertFrost

Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874, in San Francisco, though his family moved back to Massachusetts after his father died in 1885. Ever after, his poetry anchored itself in the soil of New England.

Frost became interested in poetry in high school, though he worked at several jobs before settling down to write. He married Elinor Miriam White in 1895. The couple lived in England for several years before returning to the States in 1915 due to the outbreak of the First World War. Once back, Frost embarked on a successful teaching career, as well as continuing to write poetry.

We often think of Frost as a poet of the innocence of an earlier time, but particularly many of his less popular poems are quite dark, and even haunting. He was a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry and became known as the “American Bard.” In 1960, Congress awarded Frost the Congressional Gold Medal. He recited a poem at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Frost died in Boston on January 29, 1963.

You can find links to some of his complete poems at http://www.poemhunter.com, among other places on the Web (or in your local library), but here I want to highlight some of his other sayings:

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up and does not stop until you get into the office.

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.

Yes, of course [this age] is materialistic, but the only way to counteract it is to create spiritual things. Don’t worry yourself about the materialism too much. Create and stir other people to create!

A poem … begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness…. It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.

Thinking isn’t agreeing or disagreeing. That’s voting.

Look up some of Frost’s great poetry and read for yourself.

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Growth

Growth

At this time of year, our thoughts turn to growth and new life. Most religions have a spring festival celebrating the new life that is beginning in nature. Christians have Easter. For the Jews, there is Purim and Passover. In Iran, they celebrate Nowruz, which means “The New Day” in Persian. It’s origins are in the ancient religious ideas of Zoroastrianism. Hindus celebrate Holi, a festival that welcomes the spring, which also celebrates Krishna, and the legend of Holika and Prahalad. Bonfires are lit to celebrate. Many celebrate the Equinox marking the beginning of spring. Most every culture does something to mark the turning of the year, and the return of spring with its promise of growth and ultimately harvest.

We humans also grow, though not with the same regularity of the seasons. Many do feel a newness of life and purpose at this time of year, however. But we can always take a step towards our growth whether it is spring, fall, or the dead of winter.

Sequence of a plant growing in dirt, profiled against a white background.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about growth.

The human way of growing is unique; it has no rules, and can occur in many ways.–Marsha Sinetar

The body grows slowly and steadily but the soul grows by leaps and bounds. It may come to its full stature in an hour.–L. M. Montgomery

Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.–Glenda Cloud

Do you want my one-word secret of happiness? It’s growth–mental, financial, you name it–Harold S. Geneen

Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.–Nikki Giovanni

Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.–Pearl S. Buck

He not busy being born is busy dying.–Bob Dylan

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.–Karen Kaiser Clark

There is always new life trying to emerge in each of us. Too often we ignore the signs of resurrection and cling to part of life that have died for us.–Joan Chittister

We all carry the seeds of greatness within us, but we need an image as a point of focus in order that they may sprout.–Epictetus

We were meant to grow. When we don’t grow, we seek diversions–some harmless (if unproductive), others destructive–to fill the emptiness.–Jim Clemmer

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.–Anais Nin

May you find the joy that growth brings with it this season.

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Listening

Listening

The quote I sent today (March 22) to Quote Lady’s Quote of the Day list is one I especially like: “We hear one another into being,” by Nelle Morton. Listening is a neglected skill in our modern world, and being actually listened to and heard is a precious gift. I spent most of my professional life in college libraries. At one place I worked, degreed librarians were considered faculty. At another, we were considered staff. And believe me when I say there is a rigidly adhered to hierarchy in academia. Faculty and students first, staff last or forgotten. After being faculty, it was frustrating to suddenly be a second (or even third) class citizen. One day the staff representative came to talk to me. He listened to all my complaints and from his attitude and responses, I knew he had heard me. Though nothing really changed, things were better for me because I had been heard.

Why not practice listening to – really listening to – someone today.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes about listening.

listen

Be a good listener; Your ears will never get you in trouble.–Frank Tyger

Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.–Sue Patton Thoele

Effective listening requires more than hearing the words transmitted. It demands that you find meaning and understanding in what is being said. After all, meanings are not in the words, but in the people.-–Herb Cohen

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.–Henry David Thoreau

I’m glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility.–Nikki Giovanni

It’s a mistake to think we listen only with our ears. It’s much more important to listen with the mind, the eyes, the body, and the heart. Unless you truly want to understand the other person, you’ll never be able to listen.–Mark Herndon

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.–Stephen R. Covey

And my absolute favorite from Shel Silverstein:

Listen to the mustn’ts, child.
Listen to the don’ts.
Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.
Listen to the never haves,
then listen close to me…
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.–Shel Silverstein

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Mister Rogers

Mister Rogers

Today (March 20) is the birthday of Fred McFeely Rogers, beloved of children for his gentle, encouraging Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. I was not a child when I watched it, but still I loved King Friday, Queen Sara, and especially X the Owl – among others – as well as the human folk, such as the always hurrying mailman Mr. McFeely.

Fred Rogers was a Presbyterian minister, and a songwriter, besides creating and hosting his television series. You may not know he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and some forty honorary degrees. One of his trademark sweaters is on display in the Smithsonian.

Rogers also gave us many great quotes. Here are a sample.

trolley

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.

There’s no “should” or “should not” when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.

As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has–or ever will have–something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.

Solitude is different from loneliness, and it doesn’t have to be a lonely kind of thing.

When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch.

Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.

If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.

In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.

I hope you found encouragement from this gentle man today. The world was richer because he lived.

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Gardening

Gardening

 

I recently had an email from an older woman who has been collecting quotes all her life, and was looking for someone to pass them along to. I accepted readily, and she sent me dozens of files divided by subject. The first one I saw was about gardens, which was serendipity as I have been thinking recently that I needed to do that as a subject on QuoteLady.com.

I love gardening. Even though where I live (nearly 4500 feet above sea level) we can’t plant outside until at least after Memorial Day, by February I am eager to get out to play in the dirt. Even now, I have herbs growing, and flowers started in a sunny south window, helped on by a heating pad and grow lights. My garden is all planned out, and soon I will be starting vegetables inside. In the warmer days I have been out mulching to hold down weeds in the vegetable beds, and have begun digging grass out of the strawberries.

Gardens are a lovely metaphor for life, with seeds growing into mature plants, the harvest, and the dying down as the season ends. Growing my own food and being able to share it with others gives me great satisfaction, as does growing flowers to brighten up the neighborhood.

It will likely be a while before I get the gardening quotes Sy sent me all online, but here are a few of the wonderful ones:

gardenwork

A garden always gives back more than it receives. – Mara Beamish

A garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature. – Jeff Cox

A garden is the mirror of a mind. It is a place of life, a mystery of green moving to the pulse of the year, and pressing on and pausing the whole to its own inherent rhythms. – Henry Beston

All gardeners know that in some way they work out their problems in the garden. There is no mystery to it. They are simply following Nature’s laws. Planting a garden is an act of optimism. – Marilyn Barrett

An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider all the other choices in life. – Cora Lea Bell

Anyone who thinks that gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year. For gardening begins in January, begins with the dream. – Josephine Nuese

Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes, it is a triumph of hope over experience. – Marina Schinz

How much the making of a garden, no matter how small, adds to the joy of living, only those who practice the arts and the science can know. – E. H. Wilson

Wishing good growth to all who read this!

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.