This Side Of The Daisies

As I stare at my omnipresent cellphone quietly giving it thanks that I don’t have to bother with it when time goes through its change, it makes me feel some kind of way. I hardly wear a wristwatch anymore, but have welcomed the smart watch that actually sits in the box it came in, rather than on my arm. I purchased it because of the fitness tracker feature and I liked the fact it did more than just keep time. I think I was really bored that day when I purchased the watch, needless to say, I’m not that impressed with the little gadget, but how can I be when it stays inside that box?

Talking about time, I remember this time last year, walking into the house from a gold-mining trip with my oldest son only to get the disturbing news we had just entered a lockdown. Covid-19 made its debut! Even though its been around for a while, Covid decided to go global. Little did we know our business would shut down, toilet paper would become a necessity hard to find anymore, and our lives would change. And boy, did it!

We learned to appreciate fresh air and ” I don’t have time” had become an outdated excuse. We accepted the fact that those conversations about who does what and when it needs to be done was no longer on autopilot but we all agreed that we should survive! During this time of uncertainty, I reflected on many things, especially things that were very important to me and understanding “quarantine” finally became reality. I dove into my bible studies and it has helped me to reconnect to my spiritual side. I embraced the time allotted me to work on my arts and share them with my surrounding neighbors. I even recharged some old batteries in my physical being and started a work-out routine that I have been faithful to and its paying off.

Just like many of you, I have experienced many ups and downs this past year and at times, I really couldn’t see the sun for those dark clouds which hung around for quite some time. I have given much thought to those who have lost their lives to this dreaded pandemic and the lives of those who were left to grieve such a horrible loss. But many people were left to cope with sudden death, and there were those who are left with the haunting grief and sadness from not being able to be with their loved one as they breathed their last breath. These images stick in my head and brings tears to my eyes as I understand all too well the gripping fate of losing a loved one more times than I care to mention.

However, I am thankful that we made this far even though we lost so much, we didn’t lose each other and the value of life is so precious and priceless because we do not set a value by material possessions, our successes, titles, etc, even though our government seems to put an economic value of life upon us, the real value comes from within, from our actions and attitudes, the wisdom we learn as we grow then pass it to our children, how we live and how we love but most importantly, how we learn about our own value, our worth and how we contribute our lessons in the lives of others. Its not what you were born with but what you choose to do with it. None of us know exactly where this year will take us, but we have the lesson we learned from last year to remind us to love whole heartedly and never take for granted our loved ones, our friends, our planet.

Every morning I remind myself to be happy that I opened my eyes and feel the breath of my cat, Lily breathing closely in my face reminding me it’s time for her to eat. I am so thankful that I get to write about things while sipping on hot tea and trying to explain to the other cats that I don’t need their help writing my blog. I am so blessed to be on the other side of the daisies and I feel honored to be given this time that I can work on and improve myself to give back to God who gives me life and my fellow earthlings whom we all share this same big rock and make my time something worthy of giving an account for when my time comes to stand before God. But until then, life goes on……

Fight For Sanity

I hear your portentous roar as you blast my last ounce of peace
Leaving thoughts scathed, only to conspire my joy to incessantly cease.
Once a trickle, now your favoring gales, pursues its course to kill
Relentless force, dark clouds churn, your felon winds no longer still.

You blot my mind into a dark canopy above my culminating sights
This ineluctable arraignment within my being is the trying hour I fight.
The storm continues his grim seduction drowning me in the depth of darkness
Where lies my strength in this pinnacle of time, renounced from my tender catharsis.

(If you suffer depression, don’t stand in the fury of your storm alone. Don’t wait until you’re bent from the beating of its thunder where you must crawl your way out. We can’t control nature’s fury, but we can control the horrific winds of depression by reaching out for help. I have suffered a very deep dark pit where longing to die was my prayer. I tried to reach out for help only to be told “just snap out of it!” I learned I could not trust my sanity with just anyone, for not everyone understands depression and you need safeguards whom you can trust to throw out that life-line when you need it. If you are a sufferer or know someone who is, don’t be afraid to ask for help, it could save your life).

A Higher Love

Robed in starry wonder as the tick of time carries on,
Through the space of the eternals, love dances like angelic swans.

A starlet brow across the expand is wisdom from the high throne,
A silvery delight from a world far away, designed by love that’s unknown.

Time is resplendent enchanted by hues of the grand design,
We exist for sacred worship upon this rock, our mortal shrine.

May peace be our gate we enter and gather like stars thereof,
May love be our splendor and fly us beyond the pinnacles above.

by Jane Hardin

Misty Rain

Misty rain come softly, dampen my unquenchable soul
Awaken the delusion of love’s emancipation
For on winged l’amour shall your hallowed dew flow.

May the rain soften burdens, water barren deserts within
Augment my place of dry mournful plight
Then forth love shall arise and to heights love shall ascend.

Come oh misty rain…

by Jane Hardin

Photo by Internet Wallpaper

Love Of My Soul

My heart to thee I succumb to your passion,
I melt in your scent fall into your ascension.
Touch my lips orchestrate your love so tender,
I whisper dance me sweet in all your splendor.
Lose me in your heart where I long to stay,
Where love beats unrestrainedly passions never fade.
I simply adore you O’ love of my soul,
I want I need you please never let me go.

by Jane Hardin

I Wait

I waited for you to crash into my life
And leave me breathless
I waited for your touch to make me feel alive
And love to compel us

I waited for my wings to spread and take flight
And fly us beyond the stars
I waited for lovely unconsciousness of sprite
To free us from these bars

I waited for your fingerprints upon my skin
And your signature across my heart
I waited and waited for love to begin
And love found not its part

I waited for you to realize my love for you
And us to be as one
I waited and waited but you wished me adieu
Yet, I still wait while your heart runs

by Jane Hardin

The Sacred

The thirst for your voice, the sweetness of your words, oh how they fill my void
Take me to the fount where you pour into my soul a drop of your wondrous joy.

The flow caresses me in soft, tender light from the wondrous face of heaven
Oh you, my most high, dismantle my throes and acquit my throne of leaven.

Embrace me, under your sacred wing from whence my help doth come
Allow your steadfast truth to cleanse the heart of this broken one.

With bright’ning hope on rays of light that penetrate the depths within
Send forth your burning flame of love let the sacred in hearts live therein.

by Jane Hardin

He Prepares The Heart

So often, mankind departs from simplicity immersing himself in the cares and pursuits of his own doings. He becomes scattered among the throes inside his heart and delves into the paroxysm of his mourning. Oh what sullen temperaments we bring upon our own beings! I for one have held that title of guilt and the hauntings that were attached to its veracities that never faded. But God in His simplistic yet mysterious and sovereign ways came inside the darkest of dark and took hold of that which had settled and made its home inside my heart and sentenced those very antagonizing holds to death and tossed the remnants into that sea of forgetfulness far beyond my realm, as far as the east is from the west.

This morning I sang a song, one that we all are familiar with, one that rises from within us every Christmas season, and I do realize it’s not Christmas, but a song that inspires my writing today. “Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room.” “LET EVERY HEART PREPARE HIM ROOM! I stopped here and pondered on those words, “let every heart prepare him room”. How do we prepare a heart? How do we make room for Him? God! First of all, we need to make room by clearing out all the stuff whatever that stuff might be, clutter, lots of clutter perhaps and as for me, my clutter was stashed in every corner and empty space, its no wonder my mind was consumed to the point I couldn’t form a complete sentence in my thoughts, nevertheless the clutter had to go and it wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen on my own doings.

I began to wonder if my heart was a stanza of allegory or fable, whatever the mode of accounting was, it was not stable in any sense of the word. A coupe of weeks ago, I broke! I gave in to the battle of my mind. I found myself grieving deeply of my past sins. Sins I had already been forgiven of but had not forgiven myself. I wept bitterly until my eyes became swollen and burned from intensity of my groanings. I felt far from peace. Far from anyone who meant anything to me, far as in deep exile. A sorrowful constraint that words do not describe. I told God that I accept my lot in life and I didn’t expect blessings from Him nor did I feel worthy. But little did I know that God was already preparing my heart for this season in my life. And indeed, what a blessing it truly is!

In 2016, on a cold Wednesday night, I sat on the back pew during a bible study in church in Aiken, S.C. Each person was given a little sheet of paper with nothing on it but a scripture from the Bible. Mine was from Isaiah 57:15. I tucked the little piece of paper in my Bible and after service ended, I went home and read my passage. I really didn’t think much of it, nor did I consider it relevant and left the little nugget inside perhaps for another space and time. As the years have passed, I have often seen the paper while flipping through those sacred pages of the word of God and would read the passage but no magical phenomenon occurred, no light bulb moment intervened, until last night.

Since that night in 2016 my heart was being prepared through pruning. As a Christian, it’s necessary for God to prune our hearts since we are chosen to bear lasting fruit. And more times than not during this pruning process, God seemed millions of miles away. He seemed distant to the point that I felt He had separated himself from me. But as truth will have it, He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He might step aside to allow his Spirit to do deep works in our hearts but he will NEVER abandon you. This depth is a journey not an overnight miracle, and in my heart there was a lot of pruning to be done. God also prepares the heart through repentance like the heart of king David. God wants first place in our hearts and if He isn’t first place then He is a jealous God. If He is not first place, then we should do a census on the idols and destroy their very nature to make room for our Creator. What is your heart representing spiritually? Its a good question one we all should ask ourselves.

Last night, while tip-toeing, so-to-speak, through scriptures, that little bible verse handwritten on that little piece of paper fell out. If you know me, you know I do not believe in coincidences. I picked it up and sat it on the table beside me. I read a couple of chapters, random chapters nothing that seemed to be a characteristic of any particular aspect of any certain emotion I was feeling. Just a mere moment of reading just to be reading. But I quickly learned I had an assignment to be where I was exactly when I was there. I picked up that little piece of paper to put back inside my Bible. I stared at it for a moment wondering why I had kept it for so long. I knew the Bible verse, but something deep inside me told me to go back and read it again.

Isaiah 57:15 NIV “For this is what the high and lofty One says- He who lives forever, whose name is Holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'” I knew this was a divine appointment. So I began to study those two words, “lowly” and “contrite.” My eyes welled up in tears as I took sincere notice of what contrite really is. In Bible terms, a contrite heart is a heart that is filled with a sense of guilt and a deep longing for atonement, penitent, a show of deep remorse. Someone like me who had been broken from her past, full of regret full of deep sorrow, and from deep moral earnestness, someone who even had nerve to ask God to allow her to go back and start all over. That’s how deep I had plunged and how contrite my heart really had become.

After reading this verse I broke yet again. This time, it was tears of joy, thankfulness, gratitude to God who was opening my eyes to a fact that He indeed had forgiven me but I had to forgive myself and the only way I could do that was to know that God truly understood my heart and know He was and has been with me through all this lingering sorrow. He knew this day would come hence preparing my heart for such a time as this since 2016 in a church on a cold Wednesday night, holding that little piece of paper that has more meaning to me now and will always reside in the address of the book of Isaiah. This may seem minute to someone else maybe perhaps even you, but to me it has been a major feat in my walk with Christ. One I could not wait to testify of.

I felt every regret, every remorse, every guilt being lifted from my soul just knowing that the God who lives in a high and holy place also lives inside my heart, my contrite and lowly heart where his love broke through and gathered all of those emotional infirmities and healed that brokenness and restored comfort to me where now my words are words of praise to Him.

If you are experiencing the same realm of emotions and are not sure of where your heart is when it comes down to the matters therein, God wants to meet you in your place of need where He will prepare your heart for the healing that you so desire. It’s a process, but soon your joy will come in the morning and you will find yourself immersed in the love and compassion God has for each and every one of us if we only share our sorrows with him. Sometimes, you can only communicate with tears and that’s okay because to God, our tears are a language and they are so important to Him that He puts them in bottles. He knows the story behind your tears and He is there to comfort us, heal us and give you joy that you will not be able to explain. Man cannot do this for you, no licensed therapist can come close, only the One who designed and created you can bring you this completeness.

Cats Cotton Balls And Ideas

Cats are wise, lovable, mysterious, quiet, adorable, soft and the list goes on but these aren’t the only characteristics that they have. When I was writing my fist novel, I had twin cats named Optimus and Rodimus Prime. They both were faithful and loyal to the nightly gatherings at the computer where they tried to sneak and type when I wasn’t looking. It was quite frustrating then, but when I look back I can’t help but laugh at their sneaky, clever little ways that I can’t help but admire. I remember one occasion, I had a phone call, and when I finished I turned back to my computer to find two paws on my keyboard, one on each side while the two cats laid innocently behind my laptop. I looked at my screen to find an entire paragraph of letters and numbers and two very not-so-innocent green eyed Japanese Li’s staring back at me from either side. They recognized the tongue in cheek expression and both scattered quickly. It’s worth mentioning, my novel is dedicated to them. Below are the Twins.

Rodimus Prime on the left, Optimus Prime on right

Two days ago while removing nail polish from my finger nails with cotton balls I had an idea to make a snowy Christmas tree. I gathered all the supplies I would need and placed them neatly on my desk. I always place everything neatly when I began, but my cats rearrange everything when they make their entrance. This day was no exception! I no longer have Optimus and Rodimus, but I do have 10 rescue cats that we take care of and four of them are inside cats. In saying that, you must be asking yourself how do I get anything done? The answer is simple. I don’t! It doesn’t matter what I am doing, writing, doing arts or sitting quietly sipping on hot tea, one of the four from their elite circle comes for a visit, sometimes two at a time, they clear a space on my desk and make that space their own . Allow me to introduce you to them, Hemingway, Shakespeare, Lily and Grayboy.

our oldest cat, Hemingway
A brother and sister, Gray and Lily

And they all occupy the right side of my desk when they please.

I will do another blog about the cats later, but now I want to share a little bit of my creation. I explained above my idea of making a snowy tree from cotton balls, so after the cats each had their moment of glory, I was finally able to tackle my project. I won’t go into much detail of how and what, I just had a moment that lasted all day or two where I created four small Christmas trees to decorate the studio with. God only knows, it needs all kinds of love up here.

I started with the snowy cotton ball tree.

It may look like like a mound of marshmallows that’s delicious enough to eat, but the cotton balls really outweighed my expectations. I also used a candle holder, red sequins, silver glittered berries and silver flower petals all from my tree branch projects from previous blogs. But I did not stop here.

The above tree is made from pearls, lace flowers, some jute and jingles, bling trim all on printed Christmas music paper shaped into a cone. This made a really cute cone tree and gave me many different ideas to make more, in fact, I made two more cone trees that are made over candle holders like the cotton ball tree. One, very simplistic, yet elegant tree made from white paper doilies, pearls and topped with a small, gold glittered ball ornament and the other was also made from cotton balls, sequins and the printed Christmas music paper and a quilled, blue snowflake. It looks more like an upside down ice cream cone and I’m fine with that. Although I am not into whimsical that much, sometimes you just wind up with something totally different than what you had planned especially when you’re working as fast as you can to try and finish, you know, working against the clock!

After working on my Christmas delights and trying to entertain the cats that were determined to take over my projects, or perhaps my attention, I stepped back to snap a photo.

This blog is ode to the kitties that never cease to amaze me, make me smile and bring so much joy into my life…

Inspiration Of A Tree

For several weeks I have watched and observed the transformation of the trees I see every day. They have gone from summer greens to autumn’s vibrant hues and now, those leaves are dropping and scattering on the ground changing the landscape even more. I have a certain fascination for trees! No, I am not into witchery nor do I worship trees, but I hold in high regard the respect and admiration for our Father God who created them and appointed unto them such a large responsibility to our planet and environment. These amazingly efficient plants (the biggest plants on earth) provide oxygen, they clean the air, stabilize the soil and the Wildlife Federation make claims that the trees are the lungs of the earth as they absorb pollutants and also filter contaminants in the air. Let’s not forget the canopy they provide for the birds and shade we love to crouch under.

As I have studied and admired the trees, I became inspired to bring my studio to life with branch art. As those creative ideas began to flood my brain, I wasted no time implementing a plan.

We had a storm a few months ago that took down a couple of trees in the back yard along the tree-line. I will not cut branches from a perfectly good upright tree but I did find what I needed from those trees that had fallen over and from those same trees, I will be making more branch arts. Those dead trees aren’t useless after all.

I made a trip to Home Depot to purchase silver, metallic, spray paint and that was all I invested in my art. I already had fairy lights and the vase which I will be using for one of the projects.

I found some very nice branches with pine cones still attached and decided to use those. I fell in love with the silver, metallic paint, but I did not want to give the branches a foil look so I used a little allowing some of the natural wood to shine through just to give it a wintry effect. I added some floral pics I had painted and went heavy on the glitter to give character to my creation and threw in some gold, glittered ball ornaments. I had recently purchased a hurricane glass from the Dollar Tree, and I decorated the bottom part of the glass with diamond wrap and large crystal gems. This really gave “sass” to my project.

I also made a huge wall piece behind my desk on the brick wall. To this one, I also added fairy lights and a few hanging hearts that were spray painted as well. I haven’t made my mind up yet how to position the branch on the wall, but here is a photo all lit up.

I didn’t stop there, I also made a large branch piece to hang over my bed. I absolutely love the fairy lights at night as it gives a warm feel to the room, but my cats love it too and have broken a few pieces from the branch, so I will be making another to replace it.

I also decided to make a BOHO style hanging for another wall where I used one of the broken branches from the piece over my bed. I only used one piece of wood , some jute rope, yarn, pearls, beads, ball ornaments and a large metal heart I decorated with bling and a cross. I liked how it turned out, to me, it has a primitive feel to it.

But I wasn’t quite finished with my tree inspiration. I felt compelled to design and quill my own Fall tree. I had a beautiful copper plated frame in my supplies stashed away, and I used it to frame my art. I wanted my quilled tree to have a wind blown effect with a few fallen leaves below it. I could not help but hum to the tune of an old 1945 song called, Autumn Leaves as I worked on my piece. It took me a couple of days to complete it, but that old tune stayed right with me.

The photo above is the tree that has been my inspiration, and continues to inspire me. I suppose nature has a way of removing distractions and fills my heart with awe even if there is an old building behind it. I learn a lot from nature as it teaches that nothing is permanent and seasons come and go. Even in these difficult times we face each day, the beauty of the trees will still be there even when winter leaves then bare, and when spring makes her round, nature will spring forth with new life thus reminding us that life goes on….