Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Treetops and Pancakes

For in every adult there dwells the child that was,
and in every child there lies the adult that will be."

- John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

I was sitting in the garden of a charming cafe sipping my latte and waiting for pancakes, when I thought to tilt my head back and look up. The light was ever so softly beginning to break through the "May Gray" (as they call it here in these parts), that I just had to take a photo of the view to share. As I pulled out my camera and was about ready to click this shot, a small toddler with bright red hair, who was sitting on his Daddy's lap, said in the best "outside voice": "Why is that lady taking a picture of the sky?" I became delighted by the thought that in that particular magical moment I was the one practicing childlike observance... how very reassuring that I have not forgotten.

Wishing you childhood remembrances... including pancakes! (Yum!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Egg of the Phoenix

"Change is the constant,
the signal for rebirth,
the egg of the phoenix."

- Christina Baldwin

Many good changes are going on, which is also my way of saying I am sorry I have delayed leaving bits of inspiration here to share... thank you to those who have been so kind to gently nudge me back and say that I have been missed.

Even if life seems to be changing very quickly, there is a particular contentment in looking for signals of rebirth... I will do my best to flutter back to share new happenings and insights.
In the meantime... wishing you the joy and blessings of summer anticipations.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Heaven on Earth...

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth."

- William W. Purkey

I was first introduced to this quote by my son... in the photo is his daughter (my "Grand little girl"), who was lost in her own world of wonder, and living the words as she danced with her shadow. Indeed...heaven on earth.

As you celebrate Easter, may you be filled with the joy of your own heaven on earth.

God bless you...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


"We all take different paths in life,
but no matter where we go,
we take a little of each other everywhere."

- Anon.

Life has been busy lately. These photos were taken at the Botanic Garden near my home. I worked on an Herb Festival event there, and on setup day, I took some time out to wander off to other parts of the Garden for a small reprieve. These paths are what I found... I wanted to share them with you...

Thank you for gracing my life-path... enjoy your day...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mixed up Balancing

Yesterday I was working on a rather big project and doing my best to balance a notebook, cell phone and take photos...
This morning I smiled as I reviewed my collection of yesterday's snapshots and saw the photo of my shoe (which I had not realized I had taken) as I stepped along the pathway leading to the Walled Garden. And then I smiled even more as I was reminded of  the simply inspirational message below from Dr. Suess:

“You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.
You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.” 
 Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Wishing you great balance (and surprise offerings of inspiration) as you step along today's life path.
Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Light from Within...

"People are like stained-glass windows. 
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed
only if there is a light from within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I happened to notice this bottle capturing the fading sunlight just right. Although the room was darkened in deep afternoon shadows, the beauty was undeniable and inspirational. This is the gift of a life lived beautifully from the inside out... a place where age is of no significance except to expose what is most  graceful.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Leaning to the Sun's Kiss...

"The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze."

- Julian Grenfell

My childhood was spent "back East" until my folks moved us all to the West coast. All these years later I still look for the strong indication that a season has changed. In California I need to look closer for those changes, which also seems to allow for me to cultivate a higher regard for life's small beauties during any transition.

Where ever you are today... I wish you small glories and quivers of goodness as you "lean to the sun's kiss"...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Red Wheelbarrow...

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel 

glazed with rain

beside the white

- William Carlos Williams

My father, who passed away some time ago, left me with a particular legacy of having a high regard for red wheelbarrows. The color red was important, as was the simple timeless functionality. When I spot a red wheelbarrow, or re-read time and again William Carlos Williams' The Red Wheelbarrow poem, my father flits back into my life like a bird on the wing. Others never really leave us... 

yes... so much depends upon a red wheelbarrow...and I am grateful...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Love this Moment...

"Love this moment,
and the energy of this moment
will spread beyond all boundaries."

- Corita Kent

I happened upon these sweet pansies with a joyful teardrop of remaining rain glistening in the late afternoon sunshine... I loved the simplicity of the moment so much I wanted to share it... I hope you enjoy...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valiant Stair-step Strives...

It is not the critic who counts,
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly,
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms,
the great devotions,
and spends himself in a worthy cause;
who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement;
and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

- Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt

Simply, and with great hearts of dedication, all across our country (and other countries) former excellent executives are clicking computer keys - letter by letter - working hard to sharpen their technology skills. Hands that long ago worked hard to move up steps to well-earned supervision placement, have returned to once again feel the deep ache and notable satisfaction of manual labor; only now their bodies have grown older (yet they have found a strength they had not realized still remained). Former outstanding managers, who treated others with profound respect, have cultivated an even greater skill of respectfulness as they have endured the scrutiny of interview evaluations, or even the emptiness of no response. The now-common term "homeless" has spread a wide net in unthinkable ways; yet, it has also more clearly and graciously redefined what "home" is really about. 

As Teddy Roosevelt so succinctly points out, the steps to recovery exist in each dedicated individual who remains in the arena - no matter how small an action. Each time we click a computer key to learn new skills, or endure another interview or rejection, or revisit work that we thought we had grown beyond, we cultivate remarkable grace and fortitude for our futures. And home is what lives within each of us - we can choose to say: "My home is right here within me in the form of love and comfort I give out to others." 

And all of those precious whispered vows and promises to "carry on" are becoming the stair-steps to a greatness that is just beginning to unfold... I have hope. I hope you do, too...

(The stair-steps in the photo were taken at the Santa Barbara Mission - those steps have marked time and the perseverance of many - most prominently the Franciscan Friars - since the early 1800s... something to think about...)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Becoming A Blessing...

"The buddha seed is the part of everyone that has the capacity for wisdom....

Knowing that a buddha seed is present in everyone changes the way we see things. We are all more than we seem. Many things do not wear their true nature on their sleeve. What you can see and touch about an acorn, its color, its weight, its hardness, length, and width will never hint at the secret of its potential. This secret is not directly measurable, but given the proper conditions over time it may become visible.

There is a natural yearning towards wholeness and wisdom in us all as well. This varies in strength from person to person. It may be quite conscious in some and deeply buried in others; it may form the focus of one life and lie on the periphery of another, but it is always there. Wholeness is a basic human need."

- Becoming A Blessing 
"My Grandfather's Blessings"
by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

I read this passage yesterday evening once again, and savored the sweetness of the "buddha seed" message. I am reminded of it as I look at a spring bulb and understand that what I am seeing at that moment is not its ultimate beauty and potential... knowing this allows me to cultivate patience and kind regard for the blessing that is coming...I am glad and grateful...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Like A Bird...

"You get up like a bird,
You stretch,
You own the morning."

- John Maxwell

Yoga this morning... oh how I love to stretch and feel gratefulness that my body is responding like an instrument singing a well-practiced song. We often forget how much our bodies work so hard for us in the tiniest of ways and with such unperceived ease (bending, stretching, reaching, rejuvenating)... today I am remembering with thankfulness. The day is alive with gentle invitations - and I can only smile because I know that the choices are waiting to be lived...

Wishing you a gentle and beautifully inspired day...

Thank you for gathering with me here... I am so grateful for you... 

Thursday, January 26, 2012


When you possess light within,
you see it externally.
- Anais Nin

My heart aches when a loved one is struggling hard to heal... I seek better understanding with prayer and in nature. When I take time to briefly seek quiet, I am able to rediscover the light that lives within me. I feel a beacon of goodness prompting me to create a new framework of hope - one that will also help my loved one to feel optimistic with the gentle influence. Into each life comes shadows and light... today I choose to dwell in the warmth of gentle Light...

Passing along to you wishes for a light-filled day...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Anything may happen...

"The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. 
No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. 
And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot. 
The possibility is always there."
- Monica Baldwin

Things seem to be getting a little too serious lately (hence my too few blog exchanges)...and then this van, parked at the edge of the sea, comes along to spark a delicious sense of possibility. I can only smile really big in response (and wonder how those paw prints might look on my car...). Wishing you the inspiration of possibility... 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In the Details...

"The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time,
but in their significance to ourselves, 
they find their own order...
the continuous thread of revelation."
- Eudora Welty

My father liked to play a game with me and my siblings... actually, as these things go, it became a teaching tool. We would walk down the street of a small town and every so often my father would stop and ask us if we remembered what was in a shop window we had passed, or what was on the front porch of a certain home (or even what color the home was painted). We would try to remember and guess, and then we all would wander on back to the spot he had mentioned to see how much we had noticed. With time, a cultivated and playful discipline of looking for the details materialized... and has never left me. As you journey through your days, I hope you will take the time to notice the details of your life and become more simply inspired...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Paris Pleasures...

"When you die
God and the angels
will hold you accountable
for all the pleasures you
were allowed in life
that you denied yourself."

- Anonymous

As a New Year begins, I wonder if you will join me by dreaming of "all the places you will go" in 2012? 

I loved the premise in the recently out New Year's Eve movie, where one of the lead characters has cultivated a "Bucket List" and through a very innovative "spirit of inspiration," she was able to "travel to" and discover her heart's desires right there in her own backyard... lovely thought, don't you think? 

Therefore, without even stepping on a plane, I bring a little Paris to you today in these images - I hope you will enjoy. I also hope you will be simply inspired to create some of your own traveling desires right there in your own backyard!

Bon Voyage!


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.