The View at the Top

As a writer, I often muse about what I have learned in my life and would want to leave that if people heard with their heart would make a difference to their lives…it would be…

NEVER, NEVER, EVER GIVE UP…ON YOUR GOALS, DREAMS, VISIONS AND ESPECIALLY YOURSELF..❣

No matter how many times you failed, no matter how dire the circumstances seem…or how long the fight…how much you feel like quitting

No matter how tired…rest awhile and get back up…just get back up

I have read so many articles and books…listened to every available video and program that I could get my hands on after my dissolution of an 18 year marriage in my mid-30’s…I had to walk away with nothing to my name…I had no means to keep my children…one child that really needed my help…the other opting to stay with his father because I did not have the money to give him the things his father promised to give to him…living in a car…and on and on…the knock downs and knock outs kept coming..

In the years in between…everything I tried to accomplish failed…the dreams I held in my heart and would not leave me alone…all shattered…there were successes…but there always seemed to be more failures and falling short of the cherished desires that I held unto tightly…wrapped in dirty discarded disappointments…

But I couldn’t give up…there was always a spark hidden underneath all the ashes of my life…I would read something that came my way…and the dying ember was fanned into a small fire and the rekindling of hope keep me hanging on through the years…

Recently I woke up on a quiet morning and realized that many of my dreams/wishes had manifested…I had been given the gifts that I had asked for on my “Christmas” list…not in all the exact physical detail that I thought I wanted…but definitely the “feeling” that I wanted in my life…

After my divorce, I made a list of the attributes of a partner that I felt would be a “soul mate”…someone that would be a yin to my yang…I spent years…literally😣 on dating sites searching for the “one”…there are definitely plenty of fish in the pond…over the years I went through over a thousand profiles…hundreds of online conversations…a few I thought might be compatible…but no one fit…and I felt I was too old and maybe just a friendship would be satisfying…

Then one day in 2018..26 years later…I received a pen pal request from a man halfway across the world in South Africa…a nice gentleman who offered to help me turn my profile photo right side up…we shared a love for photography, traveling and the same spiritual beliefs…he was intelligent, well read, gentle and kind…although an engineer is about as opposite to a creative personality…but yet the same…enjoyed music and art…he had even taken dance classes…

We wrote, and messaged daily for months…it was easy being open and free to express myself to someone that I shared so much with and was thousand’s of miles away…and would probably never meet in person…he was easy and gentle…very accepting and I felt that I could be supportive with some experiences that he was dealing with at the time…I had been there and done that…

There was no way that I could ever have come up with the way that this part of my life unfolded…a definite surprise package…now living in beautiful South Africa with a man that has made my life so incredibly magical every day…

Although life hasn’t all been wine & roses…especially when his cancer diagnosis was said out loud…just a little over a year after I arrived…9 months later after surgery and heart rending chemo side effects…we reached the other side…Mr. P rang the bell after his last chemo treatment was a few weeks ago and he has been given wonderful news that his stats are normal…full of gratitude and would not change one second…

I had several businesses that I had to abandon or didn’t get off the ground for one reason or another…one wish I have always had was to be able to leave a business for my children…a few days ago one of my children asked about helping with a business idea…how awesome is that…

I wanted to travel…see the world…and now our plans include Turkey and France…🤞 this year

I had lost a photography business when my divorce occurred…now I have photographed some of the most exquisite beauty in nature…

I carried a story around with me or some years and now I am writing a fantasy novel…which may take me awhile, but is so much fun…

I do think that maybe there are things I could have done to expedite the expression of my desires…I think there were times I was stepping on the brakes at the same time I was stepping on the gas…but I believe a large part is that is that I just wasn’t at the place I needed to be to or it wasn’t the right time…

And there are still things in my life that are waiting to be realized…but you have to ask and believe…trust and hope…God said, “Ask and ye shall receive”…He will give you the desires of your heart as you wait and trust in Him…and believe me, there will be things that you don’t receive that later on you will be glad that you didn’t get…

Never ever give up and enjoy the journey and if you are in a place where that seems impossible…sit with gratitude in nature…keep the flame burning in your heart…if all these things have been “gifted” to me…a simple girl born in the cold snowy winter of a small farming town with one stop sign…then it will happen for you…

With much love and magic for your day…

Renée🦋

Paw Prints on Our Hearts🐾

It’s 5 o’clock and I catch myself waiting to hear the clicking of her toenails as she abruptly skids into the kitchen…asking for her dinner…but there is only the silence…Mr. P thought he caught a glimpse of her in when he was working in the garden…she loved being outdoors

No banal platitudes or trite quotes…words feel meaningless or at least extremely inadequate at the moment…with an inability to convey the heaviness and tumultuous of emotions…

Summerstrand, PE

Arriving in South Africa in July 2019…often I felt lost and alone in a place where everything was unfamiliar and devoid of family and old friends to hold unto…Mr. P and the lady Whiskey were my saving grace…

…when I arrived here last year…she & I started out with a common bond being two old ladies…well, I should say…just more mature…with bum left hips🤣…when Mr. P would go to work…I talked or cried…and she listened…and she understood…we became inseparable…where ever I went…she followed and laid down beside me to keep me company…it was as if she knew that it was her job…she was my friend…

Mr. P was of course her first love…her alpha…she had been with the family for almost 15 years…he trained her…took her for her favorite walks…she really adored him❤ and he loved her❣

Two worlds swirled together…creating a love that doesn’t make a lick of sense to the rational part of our brain…but somehow it touches the dreamy and devoted parts…our heart…and that is where she’ll always be…

…I wish she could have stayed just a little while longer…at least until Mr. P completed the chemo…and I think that she tried…when she ran limping down the hall her last morning to say good morning and give her love greeting…

People (and Pets🐾) come into your path for a reason, a season or a lifetime

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do with that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty…

To provide you with guidance and support…

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually…

They may seem like they are a godsend, and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die…

Sometimes they walk away…

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand….

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled…

Their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has now been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON.

Because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons.

Things you must build upon to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life…

Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime

–Unknown author

Most everyone and everything in our lives is often transitory…and life is brief…with your whole being…embrace the sweetness of life…and even the pain for it teaches and imbues with wisdom (if we let it)…fill each moment with gratitude, passion and purpose…forgive, forget and release each transgression quickly… relentlessly pursue joy…and never bypass a moment to express your love…

Prayers that your day will be filled with love, much laughter and the magic of life.

Day 55…Elephants

Addo Elephant Herd

“There is a mystery behind the masked gray visage, and ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires and the sea.” ~Peter Matthiessen, The Tree Where Man was Born

I unequivocally enjoyed our trip to Addo Elephant Park…with the zebras, ostriches, kudu, water buffalo, warthogs…all the expected and much more…it was the majestic elephants which just took my breath away…incredibly fastinating to watch…and I don’t believe that I was the only one…

Like a Troop of Baboons Around the Watering Hole

Lesson #1…Live in a community…There was such a sense of community…you can see their love and enjoyment of each other… it is rare that they live alone…most thrive by living in clans with family and friends…strong social ties have been proven to increase longevity…

Mud Bath Enjoyment

Lesson #2…Flap your ears…happiness has been linked to a longer life…and definately will increase the enjoyment and quality…

The Gang is All Here

Lesson #3…Eat your veggies…and don’t forget about the roughage…elephants typically eat grasses, small plants, fruits, twigs and their favorite tree bark…and they live to about 70 years of age…

We sat and watch a elephant troop…led by a very large Matriarch…who, you could tell, was utterly frustrated that she had to walk around a stupid group of humans in their tin can cars…she didn’t stomp or scream…or create any huge ruckas…

She just kept walking and dumped a huge pile of excrement next to our cars…we had to laugh…and sometimes, I believe…we need to do that that too…figuratively, of course…when people and situations get in our way…anything that threatens your self respect, peace of mind, or self-worth…just “cluck it” and walk away with dignity (and attitude of course)…just saying…

Day 53…The Beautiful

There is a beautiful quote by Helen Keller that I love…but, then again, her perspective was different that most of ours…

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller

It has been a little while since I have published…and there has been such sublime and delightful colors that have been interwoven in my life tapestry since arriving here in South Africa…but still there are the intermittant darker colors that contribute to the breathtaking exquisitness of my life…

Without the dark threads…the colors would not be so vibrant…and I think…maybe as noticable…the loss of seeing my children every day reminds me to let them know often that they are missed and loved…and that I am so blessed to have such “beauties” in my life…such memories…

The dark thread of the knowledge of the fragility of life…how transient and fleeting…brings such deliciousness to each kiss…to each cuddle…to each morning warm carress of the sun…teaching me to remember to embrace each moment…for life scurries so frantically away…

If I could send a message that would be heard and understood in the heart…it would be that…LOVE LIFE…be fully present in each moment… full of purpose and passion…each gut-wrenching…tearful…laughter…dreamy…euphoric filled moment…for each breathe that we take is full of magic and miracles…