Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beach Run At Sunset

Beach Run At Sunset

"It is (often) the quiet gesture which carries the most significance -
the one which suddenly directs the symphony."

- Mary Anne Radmacher

Setting her surfboard down on the sand, ever so quietly she was inspired to run... setting sun, sand, a withdrawing tide, summer warmed waves... an elegant symphony... I was simply grateful to be in the audience.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

An Opportunity...

An Opportunity

"Never squander an opportunity to tell someone
you love or
appreciate them."

- Kelly Ann Rothaus

My long-time friend Melinda was in town for a convention this weekend, and the time she could meet was when Southern California weekend freeway traffic is a snarled and tangled mess. Still... given our almost-four-decades-old friendship, and the fact she lives on one coast and I am on what east coasters consider the "left coast" of the United States, it is rare for us to have an opportunity to meet... and I was not about to miss the chance. Fortunately, the train was running this weekend at the perfect time, and I figured out how to catch it ... the photos tell a story of how my opportunity to meet my wonderful friend multiplied into an abundance of unexpected treasured moments. I am so happy to share them with you as a simple sweet reminder to never miss any opportunity to show love and appreciation...

Thank you, Melinda - you are loved and appreciated.
Thanks for such happy fun and dinner!
See you next time...

This song is for you - You've Got A Friend...
(Carole King and the words - sing out, girl - sing out loud!)

And another opportunity:  Very special words of appreciation to all those individuals and their families who have given our country - and us - their service in our armed forces! I do not know who the soldier was sitting across from me on the train - but I heard him say "I love you" when signing off of his cell phone call, just as I was getting off the train. Thanks, Peace and God's protection to you and yours, kind sir!

Friday, June 24, 2011



"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou are more lovely and more temperate."
- William Shakespeare

This week a friend of mine talked about how the difficult times in life prepare us to really take in the goodness when it finally comes along. Perhaps that is why when you see dazzling summer flowers in unexpected places you just want to take a moment to stand there in that display of life's brilliant sunshine - a whole world of hope lives right there within those petals... just look closely and pause for even just a minute... take in the simple goodness. I promise you will be glad you did...

Wishing you a beautiful weekend of sunshine in unexpected places...

Summer Alley

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Long Summer Day

Long Summer Day

"Happiness flutters in whilst we rest among the breaths of nature."
-Kelly Scheaffer

Some long summer days you snuggle deep into the comfort and afterglow of a day that has been lived in simple happiness: marshmallows are roasted dark brown and squeezed just-right between graham crackers and Hersey's chocolate; laughter fades into yielding yawns and whispers; damp and sandy beach towels are wrapped tightly around shivering shoulders and one-last-swim suits; the ancient glow of bonfires burn down with the setting sun; and waves breathe deep tide sighs preparing for night's peaceful covering. 

It has been a good day... I do believe God is smiling.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer paths...

Summer Path...

Summer paths to consider…

Resting beneath a stand of genial shade trees…
The waters of a fountain singing to the air…
Iced lemonade in a beaded crystal glass…
The first lick of a hand-scooped ice cream cone…
A friend’s words (or photo) that stirs a breeze of inspiration…
A stranger’s out-of-the-blue unassuming smile…
A lithe stride encircled by a graceful white cotton dress…
A daddy’s tender kiss against his child’s cheek…
A song of hope being sung…
The first and last page of a book that changes you for the better…forever…
Being in the company of love…
The gentle scent of a white rose of peace …
A heartfelt prayer receiving a reassuring answer…

Friday, June 17, 2011

Open Door

Open Door

"When one door closes, another opens;
but we often look so long and so regretfully
upon the closed door that we do not see
the one which has opened for us."

-Alexander Graham Bell

Something I have noticed is that the feelings that surround many endings - the regret and longing for things to be different - are important and worthy of tenderness. Like a child rocking gently in a loving mother's arms, the good rest that comes after you cradle those feelings into calm, simply prepares you for the path and the open door beckoning you forward... your heart belongs to you again and you are ready to walk through into the newness that awaits you...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bloom in Grace

Bloom in Grace

"Every time a flower blossoms,
God demonstrates His grace."

- Marianne Williamson

I notice that I am most at home in Grace. To me the simplicity, comfort and courtesy of grace is like a soft rain falling on a parched field... "choose grace" is the best whisper of direction I ever receive when I harbor indecision or discontent (whenever I have chosen other pathways that have more to do with fear I have simply found disappointment - and I do not feel at home). Life is often so complex and stiff, in response I choose the comfort and pure bloom of Grace...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Shared Secret

Details of A Day... Shared

"It is only possible to live happily ever after
on a day to day basis."
- Margaret Bonnano

This little girl and I never met except in our joyful hearts - we were in the very same place... in the very same moment... beneath a crisply-starched desert summer sky... the air was soft and kind... a sweet melody of an exquisite meal lingered...in that day...in that moment... we shared life... and we both shared the delicious secret of living happily ever...

Wishing you a happily ever after day...


Friday, June 10, 2011

Roaming the Clouds

Roaming the Clouds

"The contemplation of eternity within the very moment of life."
- Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)

Today, I like to think of elegantly roaming the clouds while holding on to the idea that captured within each moment of life is an eternity.

Wishing you a Friday and weekend of eternal moments that give your spirit a flight so worth living...
and then remembering...
eternity captured twice...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Child's Rose...

3 and 4

"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks.
Most of the time we are simply not
patient enough,
quiet enough
to pay attention to the story."
-Linda Hogan

A small favorite story...

When my children were little I wanted them to fall in love with how the earth will bloom so kindly in response to your care. I chose roses for the lesson. In the mail came the crisp Jackson & Perkins catalog, and I said, "choose any rose... your rose... and you will plant it... and tend it... and it will become yours..." The crisp pages of vibrant rose photos (you could swear the scent was captured right there in the paper), grew dog-earred and tattered with indecision and the back and forth of the tiny fingers; alas, the decision for the "one" rose became too much to bear for a small child, and so my heart grew to welcome "two each"... "choose two"... the plastic bags came in the mail and they were not what my children expected (what is?). The photo of the rose on the bag matched their wee heart's desires, but the stiff, barren stick jutting out of the top of the bag held such disappointment. And that is precisely where the magic began... in the moment of disappointment where, without knowing, they were a sweet whisper away from what was to begin...

The flower bed was readied with good brown soil and holes were dug (with assistance), and the seeds of anticipation were sown... each day my children visited their roses and peered longingly at the sticks, until one fine day the tiniest of buds appeared, followed by miniature unfurling leaves, and then a small tucked-in ball grew, and from there (by now I imagine you have guessed at the end of this story, for it has a happy ending...)... a rose appeared... not just "any rose"... it was "their rose" through and through. And my child and their treasured rose stood in the shimmering sunshine and simply bloomed magnificently and proudly... together...


Monday, June 6, 2011

life and love

life and love

"Life is the flower
for which love
is the honey."

-Victor Hugo

"...and the greatest of these is love..." for which I am truly, truly grateful...

for both the gift of life and my gifts of love...

wishing you the blessings of another day well lived and graced with joy... extended outward...

(thank you ryan, candace and my grand baby girl...for the cake of love...)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Giving Hands

One Giving Hand

"As you grow older,
you will discover that you have two hands;
one for helping yourself,
and the other for helping others."
- Audrey Hepburn

One year ago today - which also happens to be my birthday - I left an area I had lived in for decades, where people I love still live. I moved because of work and the grace of a dear ones loving and believing-in-me referral - the recession's impact had also forced me to broaden my viewpoints on what my next step would look like. The majority of my career has involved helping others identify and obtain environments where they can live comfortably and, hopefully, where they would also "bloom". My current work - although different - is simply an off-shoot of that dedicated purpose.

Also a year ago, because of the work, I became a stranger in a new town - unfamiliar with even the simplest resources (a good grocery store, coffee shop, book store, or the best roads to travel) ... a year later, that is no longer true. With time and effort, I now live in a community that embraces me and I return the hug wholeheartedly. Yesterday, my new community surprised me with a beautifully designed birthday cake, happy song, and generous presents that reflect some things I love (how very kind of them to be paying attention).

My life has become a joyful rhythm of giving and receiving... I am grateful to welcome in another year... and I am also so very grateful for my communities - both old and new - that make up the beautiful, distinctive tapestry of my one precious life.

Thank you for your hand in my life; I adore this blog community...
I wish you abundant joy and God's blessings in return...

About Me

My photo
I have always been inspired by my Grandfather's particular generosity and encouragement, along with his love for others and nature. His spirit lives on, and the influence is quietly with me as I write and share. This is my small offering that I pray will bless others and allow them to become Simply Inspired. warmly, karen -xok.
Each day provides its own gifts.

- Marcus Aurelius

Thank you for visiting with me here...welcome.

please be courteous

Unless otherwise indicated, the photos and writings are by Karen Holmes. You may link; however, the material on this blog is copyrighted and requires consent for duplication. For permission to use information from this site, please contact Karen Holmes via email. Thank you for your consideration.