Walking in Beauty


The Awesome power of Mother Earth.

The Awesome power of Mother Earth.

This sunflower was growing in my daughter's backyard. It gave off so much beautiful energy I had to take the photograph. Copyrighted 2007 by Barbara Mattio

This sunflower was growing in my daughter’s backyard. It gave off so much beautiful energy I had to take the photograph. Copyrighted 2012 by Barbara Mattio

This statue is in the gardens of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2012

This statue is in the gardens of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2012

If you want to find beauty and peace, close your eyes and spin around. Open your eyes and you will find it everywhere. Once you find it all around you, then look inside and you will find the beauty of your soul, composed of pure white light. If you don’t really want to find beauty, then you will find what is dark and ugly. I, for me and my life choose the beauty. And I rejoice in the choice every day. Even on the bad ones because beauty is just around the corner.

The Danger of Reading the Newspapers


Caribbean sunset. Photo taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio.

Caribbean sunset. Photo taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio.

I have been a news hound my entire life. I want to know what is happening. There are times when I am almost sickened. Yet I watch and try to understand why we humans commit the deeds that we do. I have friends who no longer watch the news or read the papers. I accept their right to make this choice. However, from my point of view, the deeds will happen anyway. But that is for each person to decide. I know that I have allowed pain into my heart that I could have escaped.

I have been unable to close my eyes to events, to chemical bombs, mass shootings, police shooting unarmed men. My soul prays and my heart hurts. I think if we turn away, we are giving into evil, to a dirty vile world.

So my remedy is to seek beauty. There is so much which surrounds us and we have but to look. Beauty is the antidote to evil and hatred. It might be a sunset, the fragrance of a flower, or a surprise email from a dear friend.

Courage is required to walk this journey through life. Some people are stronger than others. We can only do the best we can at the present moment. The gift of beauty does help us journey with bravery, strength, and dignity. I strongly depend on beauty. I surround myself with it and I metaphorically breathe it in.

I don’t say I don’t cry for victims because I do. But I hold on to my truth. I hold on to the memories which lift me up. I rejoice in the people who give me strength. Friends are such a rich resource in our lives and are worth more than gold.

It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers

While I was building neat
castles in the sandbox,
the hasty pits were
filling with bulldozed corpses.

and so I walked to the school
washed and combed, my feet
stepping on the cracks in the cement
detonated red bombs.

Now I am grownup
and literate, and I sit in my chair
as quietly as a fuse

and the jungles are flaming, the underbrush
is charged with soldiers,
the names on the difficult
maps go up in smoke

I am the cause, I am a stockpile of chemical
toys, my body
is a deadly gadget,
I reach out in love,my hands are guns,
my good intentions are completely lethal.

Even my
passive eyes transmute
everything I look at to the pocked
black and white of a war photo,
how
can I stop myself.”
——Margaret Atwood, feminist writer
Author of The Handmaid’s Tale

Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Photo taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2011

Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Photo taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2011

“Glory be to God for dappled things—-
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow,
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim,
Fresh-firecoal chestnut falls, finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced–fold, fallow, and plough,
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled ( who knows how? )
With swift, slow, sweet, sour, adazzle, dim,
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.”
——–Gerard Manley Hopkins

Garden grown and photographed by Barbara Mattio. Copyright 2009

Garden grown and photographed by Barbara Mattio. Copyright 2009

Late Summer Garden


I have a small garden. After my last gardens, I have a tiny one. But it is filled with Perennials and Annuals and some shrubs such as a Smoke Bush, Lace-top hydrangea, and some evergreens. I also have a container garden on the front porch. So here is a peek.

Red petunias and hardy Hobiscus

Red petunias and hardy Hobiscus

                               Photo taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Photography taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio;  2013

Photography taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio; 2013

Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio;  2013

Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara
Mattio; 2013

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my garden. I would love to see yours too.

Poems to Soothe the Heart


Praying hands that mean so much to God

Praying hands that mean so much to God

Many scholars feel that Rumi is the greatest poet the world has every known. I think they are quite possibly right. But I do love the poems of many gifted poets. I would like to share a couple of them with you today.

We Point to the New Moon

“This time when you and I sit here, two figures
with one soul, we’re a garden,
with plants and birdsong moving through us like rain.

The stars come out. We’re out
of ourselves, but collected. We point
to the new moon, its discipline and slender joy.

We don’t listen to stories
full of frustrated anger. We feed
on laughter and a tenderness
we hear around us.
when we’re together.

And even more incredible, sitting here in Konya,
we’er this moment in Khorasan and Iraq.
We have these forms in time.
and another in the elsewhere
that’s made of this closeness.”
—-Rumi

Midnight Question

“Near midnight, in disarray, you come asking,
is it still like this, my love,
when your‘re old?”

Who would refuse to answer?
The same was heard
before the creation of the universe,
“Am I not your Lord?”

Whatever’s poured then must be drunk.
It may be pure soul, merely grape-wine,
or some combination, but say Yes,

as I have many times,
as we all once did in unison
outside time and space.

Never regret that answer!
—Hafiz

“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” —Rumi

Radiating energy and light as you meditate or chant

Radiating energy and light as you meditate or chant

Fleetwood Mac


This is the video from the Fleetwood Mac tour we went to see last night. Rhiananon is my song and has been since the seventies. It is my fall back song during trying times and what makes me lift my voice in joy. Everyone who is at all musical has a song, I think. Music is important to my life. It is the soundtrack for my bio. I love many kinds of music. Classical, blues, jazz, Zydeco, Swing and rock. Classic rock, hard rock and hair bands. But this song touches my heart every time I hear it. Musician friends have often played it for me. Music is part of the beauty that I incorporate into my life’s journey.

My first Beatles concert was when I was 13 and music renews me and keeps me young at heart. My inner child is alive and well according to my grandkids. My inner child still loves the rock concerts and I can scream and sing with the best.

I don’t think we need to completely grow up to be responsible adults. Love is one of the best reasons not to. Too many adults have forgotten how to laugh, love, and accept the events in this life which we cannot control.  This love helps us not to see the differences in people, but to lovingly include them into our friendships, families and worlds. It doesn’t matter what is beautiful to you, just surround yourself with what works for you and share it with all of the people you meet. Love is the glue of the cosmos and available to everyone. Thanks for letting me share my concert with you!

The idealistic teen years

Don’t ever lose your joy in life

Jimi Hendrix quote

Jimi Hendrix quote

Sunrise


There is a certain unique beauty to be found in the sunrise. A new day filled with hope and excitement. Well for some people. I must confess I am a night person. The night owl is one of my companions. I will often sit on my porch on summer nights and just meld with the stars and the sounds of the night. There is a sweetness and calm to the night for me anyway.

I was in Watertown, NY with friends many years ago. My friend Rick was a musician doing a gig up there. It was a fun night filled with music and laughter. People began to finally wonder off and my friend Rick and I decided to go for a ride and ended up at a Revolutionary fort and battleground. We sat and talked and talked and did solve the world’s problems. I remember the exact moment the sun began to rise. We sat there and watched it grow and glow. It became breathtakingly beautiful.

It’s beauty haunted me for a long time. It did not, however, change me into a morning person. But those moments, sitting watching the fabulous sun greet us with its pure beauty touched my heart and mind. It is one of those moments you store away to remember another time. These moments are important for us to have. We all need to record the important and impressive moments on our hearts and souls. They are able to help you through the hard times. They can make you smile when no one else is. They remind you of what is important in your life.

“Let every dawn of the morning be to you as the beginning of life. And let every setting of the sun be to you as its close. Then let every one of these short lives leave its sure record of some kindly thing done for others; some good strength or knowledge gained for yourself.”  —John Ruskin

No matter how your biorhythms work, make each day count. May we all extend a helping hand, a kind word or an unselfish act. May we all live each day with the goal of creating our highest good.

A starry, starry night

A starry, starry night

The new day begins with the sunrise

The new day begins with the sunrise

The Blessing of Trees


1000 year old trees in wales

1000 year old trees in wales

I really love trees and the energy they give off is truly amazing. They are so strong and protecting. They help keep the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Mother Earth needs that assistance.When I was a little girl, I used to think trees sleep in the winter. And woke up in the spring.

“The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.

The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea,
speaks to me.

The faintness of the stars,
the freshness of the morning,
the dewdrop on the flower,
speaks to me.

The strength of fire,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.

And my heart soars.”
——Chief Dan George

 Truly Magestic Tree

Truly Magestic Tree

Our most secred scripture is the “holy book” of Nature

“It is written on the arched sky,
It looks out from every star…
It is spread out like a legible lanuage upon the
broad face of an unsleeping ocean.
It is the poetry of Nature,
It is that which uplifts the spirit within us…
—Thomas Berry

A tunnel of trees

A tunnel of trees

Oak Alley Plantation, NO; Acrylic on stretched canvas;  By Barbara Mattio

Oak Alley Plantation, Lousiana; Acrylic on stretched canvas; By Barbara Mattio

\

For Our Mother Earth


amazing dolfins

“I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete,
The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and broken.
I swear there is no greatness or power that does not emulate those of the earth,
There can be no theory of any account unless it corroborate the theory of the earth,
No politics, song, religion, behavior or what not,
Is of account, unless it compare with the amplitude of the earth,
Unless it face the exactness, vitality, impartiality, the rectitude of the earth.”
—–Walt Whitman

"The

Peace is Important to Saving Mother Earth


watergardenpicnic

A Peaceful Picnic Among the Water Lotus        

Hello, everyone. Have you ever noticed how you can look at something over and over and not really see it? I have and I have realized something. What I have realized is that we need peace and we need to heal our planet. We must do them together if we are going to have any success. The concepts need to be interwoven for strength and workability.

If we work hard and accomplish healing the planet, and we end up in another World War, it won’t do much good. If we learn to live peacefully with each other. To love others as we love ourselves. If we manage not to fear the differences in cultures,skin color, or beliefs and we haven’t healed the planet, well, we will not survive either. So we must all work together to make this entire plan work. The full commitment of every person, government and religion is necessary.

We can’t do it without work, love, acceptance and honoring all that is sacred. What is sacred? Everything is sacred because Divinity is found within everything which breathes and lives. This includes our planet. So we need to find a way to weave the threads of the lives of all sentient beings together to form a strong yet beautiful tapestry that will reflect the love and holiness that is here among us..

 

 

lovinglifeandnature

The Beuaty of Nature in our World is something that we must preserve

Peace

Peace flows into me

As the tide to the pool by the shore;

It is mine forevermore,

It will not ebb like the sea.

I am the pool of blue

That worships the vivid sky;

My hopes were heaven-high,

They are all fulfilled in you.

I am the pool of gold

When sunset burns and dies-

You are my deepening skies;

Give me your stars to hold.”

                      ——Sara Teasdale

                                Teasdale won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1918

DSC_0135

Lake Erie Sunset; Huntington Beach, OH; Photo by Barbara Mattio