“THE CYCLE OF LIFE”

“THE CYCLE OF LIFE”

Ahhhh, sweet organic corn on the cob from the garden.
You began your life planted as kernel-seeds in trays on the dining room table
which had been moved to the window to take advantage of the sun.
… no special lamps for you.
And still, you began to grow!

Each morning, there was ooo’ing and ahhh’ing as trays were checked
and your efforts to burst forth from the soil
were watched.

Ten tiny seeds.
That’s all you were.
And then came the day when you were strong enough to be transplanted.
You stretched to the sun and tassels and cobs
began to form

“Are they ready to eat, yet?”
“Not yet.  They need to be rounder at the bottom.”
The waiting time was long.
Very long.
And then …
finally …
the harvest!

First, two cobs for dinner
– then two more –
and then one night, dinner was
… corn cobs!
Just corn cobs
… from the garden.
Feast!

Ten little seeds, you served us well.
And now, your stalks have been cut
and your roots dug out to make room for the fall veggies
that are being transplanted in *your* place this coming week.
And the cycle of life will begin.
Again.

And
as it was with you
so it is with us.

A seed was planted
we began to grow, to bloom, and grow some more
until the day comes when we tire, begin to wither
and ultimately leave

And then
a new cycle of life begins.

corn

 Photo and Text © June Maffin (www.soulistry.com/blog).
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“CHOOSING  JOY!”

“CHOOSING JOY!”

The word ‘joy’ brings a sweet memory
of a woman given two names at birth:
“Gene”
… her parents were expecting a boy
“Dolores”
… the root of which is ‘sorrow.’

Gene Dolores
… not the greatest of names for a sweet little baby girl
who loved life, loved to laugh and loved to dance.

Raised in poverty, Gene Dolores had to leave school
at twelve to work and help support her family.
Serious health issues brought complications throughout her life.
It would have been easy for her to dwell on her misfortunes
and live life out the fullness of the meaning of her middle name.

Instead
she chose to live a life of joy.
A gifted dancer, she appeared on Broadway
and danced with many stars-of-the-day.
Ray Bolger was one of many
but he was the first
to recognize the “joy-within” her.

And so, Ray Bolger named her “Joy.”
When he signed this photo of the two of them in one of their scenes on Broadway
he wrote: “To Joy … “

“Joy does not simply happen to us” wrote Henri Nouwen.
“We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day”

Oh Mr. Nouwen, you are so right!
Joy Renault (her stage name) chose joy.
She made a choice to find joy in some thing, some person, some experience
and she became known as Joy
professionally and personally.

There are times when ‘life’ intervenes
… when happiness may be evasive.

But even in those moments,
joy is there for us
to choose.

Unlike happiness
… a feeling
joy is a choice
… a decision.

Joy Renault
… wonderful teacher
… wonderful mother.
I try to honour her memory
by following her example of
“Choosing Joy!”

momraybolger-1This photo of my mother and Ray Bolger
is a treasured memory as are Bolger’s words:
   To “Joy”  
   Here’s hoping I’m not too presumptuous.  Best always.  Ray Bolger”

Photo and Text © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
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“HIS NAME WAS JOE”

“HIS NAME WAS JOE”

“How has your day been?” he asked.
His name was Joe.

A simple question – not the typical “How are you”
that usually elicits an unauthentic response –
Joe’s question had a ring of authenticity.
She answered – honestly.
“It’s been a really shitty and sad day.
My friend died today and I’m really sad.”
Tears welled up and spilled down her cheeks.

His name was Joe.
He was quiet while checking items through the till
then told her he was sorry for her loss and said 
“I lost my mom last month.”
They shared “one-of-those-moments” together
and spoke of the importance of
“enjoying every moment with those we love
and making the most of this thing called life.”

Picking up the bag of groceries
she noticed a bouquet of flowers tucked inside.
“Oh, these aren’t mine.”
“Yes. They are for YOU.”
“WHAT???”
“They’re for you.  I’m sorry about your friend. 
The flowers are for you.”
The lady in line behind her
… cried.
He
… cried. 
She
… cried.
At the human-level
… they were strangers
At the soul-level
… they were friends.

She walked through tree-lined neighbourhoods
tears gently flowing down her cheeks
mindful of an encounter with the Holy Presence
whose name was Joe.

When she got home and unwrapped the flowers
she realized they were orange Gerbera daisies
… her favourite flower and colour.

In spite of personal difficulties and global angst
there *are* Joe’s and Jolene’s in our world
… and they are making a difference.

Joe may not have known the difference he made that day
but my friend did.
He made a difference in her life
and brought healing and hope.
His name was Joe.

orangegerbera

Photos and Text © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
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“HAPPY-OLD-WOMAN-LIVING-LIFE”

“HAPPY-OLD-WOMAN-LIVING-LIFE”

While the world continues
to go down the rabbit hole with Alice in Wonderland
there is, in one corner of the world
an elderly woman who is celebrating life
… rejoicing in who she is
… delighting in colour and laughter and wonder.

“Happy-Old-Woman-Living-Life”
I don’t know your ‘story’
but this I do know
… I like you.
A lot!

I like your ability to smile a huge smile without any teeth.
I like your willingness to be photographed with a towel wrapped around your head
… and your hair popping out from under it.
I like it that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
… and that you epitomize the truism that
life is far too short to stress about what tomorrow will bring.

I celebrate today and am grateful that
today I have
… lived
… breathed on my own
… walked to the store, mowed the lawn, canned applesauce
… begun work for a new Soulistry Workshop (“Healthy Grieving: Finding Your Path to Healing”)
… been “present to” someone whose burdens are huge and blessed by that time of sharing
… picked tomatoes from our garden and watered the veggies/fruit trees
… watched the news on tv and prayed for situations/people who are hurting because of the greed/anger/zest for power of others.
… lived life to the best of my ability with
love in my heart
peace in my soul
prayers in my mind
and resolve to ‘make a difference’ each day
… in making this world a better place
in some way
for some person
in some place
… even if it’s only
smiling at a stranger on the street
speaking out against an injustice
listening to a friend who is hurting
creating a handmade card and sending it on its way
putting fingers to keyboard and writing a blog post
… even if it’s only.

“Happy-Old-Woman-Living-Life”
… you are an inspiration!

rarinda

Photo (used by permission) © Rarindra Prakarsa (www.rarindraprakarsa.com)
Rarindra is a gifted photographer based in Jakarta, Indonesia who loves
to “capture people, culture & nature.”

Text © June Maffin (www.soulistry.com/blog).
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“WE ARE ALL UNFI”

“WE ARE ALL UNFI”

My name is UNFI.
I’m not pretty.
I’m not adorable.
And I’m not finished.
Far from it.

I am ‘unfinished’
UNFI for short.

But I am “becoming” finished.
So are you, dear reader, for
… none of us has yet ‘arrived’
… none of us is ‘finished’ – yet
In a way, we are all UNFI.

And just as the creator, June, who created me
delights in me
so too does the Creator who created you
… delight in you
… just as you are
… on the road to ‘becoming finished”.

We are all UNFI.   🙂

original-nameAn aside: UNFI is a puppet and in her ‘unfinished’ state, she was entered into the puppet category at the Fall Cowichan Exhibition and was awarded Second Prize.  And no, I’m not going to ‘finish’ her for if I did, she would no longer be my teacher and remind me that I have not-yet-arrived, that I am in the process-of-becoming, and that I too am UNFI.  🙂

Photo and Text © June Maffin (www.soulistry.com/blog).
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“DOING OUR THING”

“DOING OUR THING”

Sweet little bee, so industrious, so intense
I expected you to fly away
when I leaned in to take your picture.
But you didn’t.

You kept “doing your thing”
… working
… burrowing your head
… sipping sweet nectar from the flower in the garden
capturing Creation and God and Beauty
in a gentle yellow flower
as you, busy bee were “doing your thing.”

While pesticides, climate change, disease, habitat loss
are dramatically reducing the global bee population
we can help by
… keeping old stems, decaying wood, sticks
… leaving sunny areas of the ground mulch-free, so bees can burrow
… planting flowering plants to provide pollen and nectar
and by letting bees be our guide in “doing our thing.”

beeinflower-2

Photo and Text © June Maffin www.soulistry.com/blog
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