A fragrant presence

As the chill slowly rolls across the Florida peninsula in this our first real cool air this year, sweaters are fetched and everyone tests their heat source to make sure it works without smoking the household out of its comfort zone.

Enter. We picked up a fireplace insert to help heat the house without actually starting a fire. (It is much healthier and no ash to deal with, nor sparks. Controlled by a remote, it keeps the living room and downstairs quite warm.)

And I thought of people and fragrance, and candles and warmers, and scented car bars and more.

How sweet it is to be able to smell again after having had covid months ago.

Once in a while, I get a hug from someone who has great cologne or perfume.

Yes, another weakness. It is actually part of my budget, lotion and perfume. No compromise there. Twice a year, usually during those large sales, I visit a couple of my favorite stores and stock up.

Now I have peppermint body wash and am delighted.

How could smell have such an effect? That just the smell of coffee, or scented candles can brighten my day?

I had a friend years ago who sold makeup for a special company and every time I saw her, she was beautifully put together and wore this fragrance that was invigorating.

I actually bought the bottle and eventually ended up selling the same products myself because I love them so much.

So why am I writing about all this smell stuff tonight?

Perhaps, more than anything, I hope that my inner spirit will be as the fragrance of Christ.

Lord, do Your work in me.

May you have a blessed evening, all. Know that God loves us.

Reach

Fixed my hair. Check.

Brushed my teeth. Check.

Got ready for choir practice and church, and drove there, arriving on time. Check.

Enjoyed the sweet fellowship under the cathedral.

Ebb and flow.

Returned home to do some scrapbooking.

Oh, and I made some cornbread to go with dinner. Used vegetable oil instead of butter (what was I thinking?? I never do that.) To me, it was intolerable.

Blah.

Fetched some hangars off the back of my bedroom door and figure that is one goal truly met. Placed them in the laundry room where I wash and hang my uniforms.

Tonight, I wonder why people think you have to be a rock star to be amazing. Or famous. Or anything that is noticed by all.

Do you have to have a fabulous house, an enchanted life? Do you have to impress? Or is it ok to be ordinary?

Looking back over my family’s heritage, I can say that not one of them were what I would consider famous, or known by huge numbers of people. They worked hard, kept clean houses, donated to charity when possible, went to church and invited neighbors and friends to dinner.

Collectively, my family has inventors, teachers, artists, businessmen, government workers, night watchmen, beauticians, homemakers, seamstresses, girl bosses (we call it being assertive), and more.

And of my family who maintains a presence online, they are pretty simple people, post a few things to be social. Realizing a need to connect, we enjoy seeing pictures of what we are all doing.

Yet reaching the masses, not so much.

And I think of my writing and whether it will blossom (I have written for newspapers, and those days are over, as I have launched a new career that I love, while also maintaining my love for creative writing.)

I say all this to present a question.

Am I using my writing to help people, and are others touched or motivated, inspired or encouraged by it?

I hope so.

What gifts we are given, when shared, shine on the world around us and help us all reach our dreams.

Side note.

Was also grocery shopping today, and heard a young lady singing in the parking lot of the grocery store, and a few aisles away, heard a young man playing a concert violin.

He had a sign for donations, but wow, his contribution to this beautiful day was so worth any money people could throw his way.

I saw the young lady in the bakery, and told her she had a pretty voice and that she needs to sing like that everywhere she goes because the world needs more of that.

So here is my offering for today’s blog.

May we all sparkle with the stars we hold in our hands and toss them frequently about, giving light and warmth to those around us.

Relish the Middle Moments

The view from the top of a mountain is exhilarating, and yet, it is the path to get there that recharges your soul.

A quick search of social media, and a friend of mine said “Wow it looks like everyone is having a good time.”

Is it not true that we post our highs and occasionally, lows, yet the Middle Moments evaporate?

People prepare for retirement, get ready for a wedding, shop for a party, study for the degree, get shined up for an appearance.

The pinnacle is reached, and then what?

A former New York Times reporter, most likely quoting something she had read, said “Enjoy the Journey.”

Are you?

It’s a question I have asked myself many times. It’s easy to respond with a professional “fabulous” with gusto when someone asks you how you are doing.

Professionals are highly skilled at masking negative emotion, having learned to put the best face forward.

And yet.

Let’s just get real here, all of us. We each know our load.

Those on display are seen for a moment in time, and yet nothing is said of their Middle Moments.

The Middle Moments when you have trashed the manuscript for the umpteenth time. The ragged seconds when a person digs in with resolve to finish a project, while fielding phone calls of family tragedy or one more bit of bad news. The quiet minutes, alone, or hours, or days, or weeks, or months, where nothing seems to be happening.

One gentleman I know lives in a very elite, expensive area of Hilton Head. An accomplished man, by the world’s standards. Rising from a poverty stricken life where he and his siblings were oft without the necessities of proper food and clothing, he endeavored early on in life to not settle for the status quo.

“He studied all the time,” said one of his friends, noting they couldn’t even go surfing on summer break without him toting a text book to keep up with his reading.

The Middle Moments.

Is it possible to both reach for your goals and also just enjoy this Moment in time? To breathe in and out, to be thankful for the little things? To be uplifted by song, good art, great books, coffee with friends? To keep the bubble leveled on the positive?

The Middle Moments.

Get to the point.

Celebrate your place in time. Sparkle even if you are not acclaimed as “the best,” “the fastest,” “most beautiful,” “the smartest,” “most accomplished,” “already there.”

Celebrate you and enjoy the little things that make you and others happy.

And perhaps, the Middle Moments, where you string pretty lights for the sake of their glow, or ponder a firefly on a starry night, or muse a tune for which you have no words, can be those moments you will one day look back and recall, “These were the best days of my life.”