oh give me to a rambling man… or just let me ramble

Well….

Year two is complete. I’m free from school for the summer–unless I decide to take Summer courses–which I really don’t want to do. I’m tired.

I’m tired of being an adult, really. I wrote that in my journal the other night… mostly because if you say it to other people, they smile knowingly as if to say, “Mmmhhmm, and it doesn’t get any better. Get over it.” I’m in a place where I have decisions to make, and I really don’t feel like making them. I’m being melodramatic though, things are good. I AM sad that I haven’t been able to write much on this blog lately. I plan on MAKING myself write something weekly, just because it’s good to empty my head.

It just seems like there’s so much stuff I want to do doing the summer (play and sing music, write, paint, craft…), but I also just want to veg. Then it’s over.

I’m feeling hopeful though, my attitude is my choice, and as always–I prefer to keep my head in the clouds :).

There will most likely be some extensive world travel in my future, and I’m just excited to get out of my routine and serve. It’s nice to finally have a goal start to become reality.

All in all, I’ve been settling and stirring up all at the same time. I love my family more than ever. Honestly, I would rather be with them than with anyone else. I want to get more of my music and writing out there. It’s the stuff I love to do. I want to simplify. I have people on my heart, and I’m trying really really hard to be faithful in the little things, because I really fail at the little things a lot.

I want to read wholesome things.
I want to make beautiful things.
I want to speak healing things.
I want to love more.

So that’s where I’m at, my little raindrops. Life is an interesting thing, but never let it pull your head from the clouds.

-HH-

The Lemony Writer… No, Not Lemony Snicket

I have felt very much like a lemony writer lately, almost a lime-ish writer but not quite. Because you all are probably baffled by now, and thinking I have probably lost my mind (all the cool kids are doing it), I will expound.

My ideal, and the place I am generally at in the absence of school work, is what I like to call the ripe peach writer. All I need is one good bite, and the creative juices come running out. I feel like writing, the writing comes, ahhhhh…. inspiration.

The place I have been stuck for this last semester, is the slightly more tiring lemony writer. I have to squeeze myself to get the words to come out. They’re there, mind you, they haven’t disappeared, but in the ceaseless flow of reflection paper after reflection paper and essay question after essay question, my precious ideas have bottled themselves into little capsules waiting for me to work up the stamina to wring them out. In the past two days I have read two books and written two book reports. Tomorrow the tally will be three. The collected words from the respective authors are taking the precarious seat in the front of my brain: easy to file, easy to fall, easy to never return. I suppose I should be glad that my own thoughts are taking up a more permanent residence in the lemony pockets in my brain, but… ehh, maybe I should invest in a juicer.

Fortunately, the lime-ish writing state seems safely away with the end of the spring semester drawing near. Anyone who has ever juiced a lime can guess at what I mean. I’m sure there are VERY juicy limes out there, but the type I happen to hit generally take some work before they relinquish their nectar. In fact, a firm squeeze rarely does any good. Results are won only by digging the fingertips deep into the lime and violently demanding payment. I’m not sure if my poor little noggin would survive that abuse.

No, I look forward to the day when my genius *giggles* becomes a peach again. Though I have to say that I infinitely prefer lemonade to peach juice. Perhaps the struggle makes it that much sweeter. Either way the words will come, and when they stop, I’ll pray for more.

~Noggins in the clouds people!

-HH-

When Life Hands You Lemons… Make Salad?

I’m somewhat stealing this post from my friend Chloe, but I came across the pictures today… so with full credit to her and her blogging- here, I will expound.

Last month I was visiting her and for lunch one day she made salad.

“You don’t have to eat the lemons.”

She had just thrown them into the mix of leafy greens, garbanzo beans, peppers, and carrots for color and maybe some juice, but I am the type of person who was raised to eat anything that was placed in front of me, regardless of my preference. So shrugging my mental shoulders, I stabbed a lemon with some lettuce and chewed it up.

It was good! Really good, rind and all. The lemon rind isn’t bitter like oranges are, and combined with the other vegetables and balsamic vinaigrette, the sour wasn’t overwhelming.

I thought it was interesting how life can be like that- we avoid the lemons, or try to sugar coat them, when in reality we should just try them. Who knows? You may actually end up liking them.

Try both this week; the real kind AND the kind life throws at you.

Pessimists pucker at lemons. Optimists smile and chew.

Keep those heads in the clouds~

-HH-

The Ballad of the Lemmings *part one*

Come, gather ’round as the sun falls asleep, to hear of a tale that the ancient oaks keep. A tale of two children born from seeds magically sowed; both small like the faerie folk in yon’ tales of old.

This story begins as the grass grows the dew, and the mists peel away leaving the sky lapis lazuli blue. Two lilies spring up, faster than norm, the petals revealing two small babes; human in form. First noticed by mother quail in the tree.

“Oh, dear me! Oh, dear me! Are those babes that I see?!”

All of her flapping and fretting drew a crowd; rabbits and chipmunks, even night animals! For she flapped and fretted so loud. The animals began clamoring and jabbering ’till their tongues turned sore. Not a thing like THIS had happened in the forest before!

The fox who was keen and as slip as a whip said, “Leave them there! It could be a trap,” and gave his whiskers a twist.

Turtle, a cautious creature, disagreed with the fox, “That’s all good for you and for me… we’re safe! My shell even locks. But those babes are in lilies grown up high to the sky. What if they were to fall… and… gulp… die!?”

“Your concern does you credit, old Turtle, my friend,” said the pert flying squirrel as he rolled from his den. “But you would have been better off had you been raised as I. Just shove the babes, let them fall, and see if they fly.”

“You are a fool silly Squirrel! Scatter brained and busy as a bee; take your opinions and *sniff* wings and go back to your tree. ”

ALL of the animals turned and looked in respect to whom spoke; for it was Owl, rudely awakened and standing stern on his oak.

“And you Fox; you are too cunning and crafty for your own good. Slink back to your pile of sticks in the wood. Turtle is closest to an answer, I guess… but we still don’t have a way out of this mess!”

“Oh Owl, yoo hoo!” A little voice called. It took Owl a second to find Ma Lemming (though she was on her hind paws). “I’ll take these two and raise them as my own.”

Owl replied, “But you already have little lemmings waiting back at your home.”

Ma Lemming nodded her head with a tear and then sighed, “But I can’t leave them homeless, just dropped from the sky.”

Owl shrugged his consent and flew the babes down. Everyone crowded to see. Rabbit said with a frown, “They have no fur Lemming, can you fix that? I don’t know how!”

Ma Lemming just smiled, “Nor did my own at the beginning; these two will be alright for now.”

The Thin Places

A week or so ago, my dearest darling, Rubyring and I were talking about books and imagination and whatnot, when she accidentally spelled fantasy- “fantasie”. We laughed, and then I remarked that I rather liked that spelling better. It looked more… like a word from my imagination. It looked more like what real fantasie should be. Upon both agreeing, we wrote a definition for our new word:

Fantasie means more than Twilight or Harry Potter. (Sorry to any fans out there.)  It refers the beauty of mind and soul… the world in our subconscious, all things beautiful and imagined.  Things are only impossible when they cannot be imagined.  All possibility is contained within imagination.

Things that are in our imagination are existing in our imagination… thus, they exist! Okay, okay, I know… it’s a little heady, but conversations and readings and feelings that had been compiling for months, all began to tie in.

The ancient Christian Celts had a term for the moments when heaven and earth seemed to collide- the thin places. I instantly latched on to this concept- The thin places. The places where the breath of God blows my hair; where the greens seem greener, and the blues, bluer. How lovely. How absolutely wondrous!

Now you may be a dry old codger who is wondering, “Why does this matter? Thin places… BAH HUMBUG! And what does imagination and fantasie have to do with it anyway?!”

IT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS

We must be able to see the thin places in order to find them, but so often our eyes have become scarred over. We have blinded ourselves to the thin places. A blooming flower is merely a chemical reaction; no longer a happening of wonderment and awe. We have lost our fantasie. Don’t you see? Our fantasie is our ability to accept happenings and feelings that are outside of our realm of understanding. We lose our fantasie when we are so uncomfortable or embarrassed with it, that we explain it away.

No matter your theological persuasion or life background, to limit the scope of what our omnipresent, omnipotent God can do is a prideful, hard, and self-reliant thing to do. I believe our failing comes when we say, “God, that’s silly… I don’t like it. Perhaps you should work in a more logical manner? Maybe you would consider removing some of the wonder and mystery, and replace it with some calculated facts?”

Why do you think Jesus praised childlike faith? A child can imagine a mountain jumping into the sea, or calling the stars by their names… they might even imagine a tea party with the stars. This fantasie/faith is the same that can surrender at Jesus’ feet and submit to be carried on His back. This is a fantasie that can see the thin places. That embraces the thin places and runs to them, because HE is there.

I don’t believe that there is anything much sadder than watching a child outgrow their father’s hug. I sure don’t ever plan to. However, if we believe that spiritual “maturity” is growing too old and wise to visit the thin places; we have reduced ourselves to thinking that we are too old for our Father’s hug. What a pity that would be.

Dear friends… this is the goal of ~head in the clouds~; to promote the pursuit if the thin places, the beauty of mind and soul… the world in our subconscious, all things beautiful and imagined. Optimists and dreamers everywhere, rejoice!

Keep those heads in the clouds~

-HH-

The Fabric of Family Continued

I have had a very specific reason for putting off this follow-up post for so long. When I wrote the original “Fabric of Family” post, I had just returned home from an engagement party for my cousin and his fiance. This past weekend was their wedding.

I have the wonderful advantage of being close to my cousin and his wife. When two families are beautifully grafted together, I can only smile despite my general inclination to become melancholy at weddings.

Just yesterday I was talking with my new cousin-in-law Ruby, (my cousin’s sister-in-law). While both of us have the discouraging and morbid tendency to look at weddings as an end, as we talked, my mind was convinced of happier things. Yes, it is an end to the way life used to be, but it is also a beginning! A beautiful beginning that can only continue on. Friendships have been forged that won’t be broken. A union was forged through love and commitment. Things have changed, but I find I can embrace the change. Oodles and oodles of new friends and family have been woven into the tapestry of my life.

It reminds me of a quote from Nicholas Nickleby. Nicholas and Smyke had just been “adopted” into a large and colorful family of actors. As they sit watching the joyful chaos below, they make the following remarks.

“We have fallen on wondrous times…”

“But a good wondrous…”

That is how I feel right now. Regardless of any other doldrum-like thought I may be dealing with, I still feel like I have fallen upon good, wondrous times. My family has grown. As I sat, eating my potatoes and mozzarella during the evening reception, I found myself zoning. Ruby insisted to know what I was thinking (being a fellow dreamer), but at the time I really couldn’t put words to it. As I reflect now, it is becoming clearer. I was in a swirl of bliss. A sensory overload of swirling colors and emotions and love.

My life is changing… I’m changing… but with the growing pains comes a newness of life that feeds my very soul.

Keep those heads in the clouds, dear friends~

-HH-

My Life With the Three Year Olds

I teach preschool Sunday school.

That says a lot in and of itself… but I’m often surprised at how much I learn and laugh when I’m around them.

Take last Sunday for example, I had almost lost hope in all mankind, including preschoolers, as I watched the kids play. Three little boys, two whom were friends, one who was playing alone. “Ah, it starts so early,” I thought in a sage-like manner. “The cliques, the outcasts, the world is poop.”

JUST as this thought was making its way through my cerebral cortex, one of the little boys who already had his playmate, walked across the room and asked the lone little boy if we wanted to come play with them. My heart just about melted.

Humans are like hobbits… you can know all there is to know about them (and be able to predict behavior) in a relatively short amount of time, yet, given the right circumstances, they always surprise you.

Speaking of poop, this same kindhearted three-year-old informed me that poop is sometimes green… how nice.

Keep your heads in the clouds~ Go hang out with a three-year-old.

-HH-

Of all the Hayley Annes in the World, You’re the Hayley Anniest…

Life is about the journey, not the destination.

I really wish I always applied this to life. It’s hard though, when you live in a destination-oriented culture. It’s all about getting to the peak, not how you get there. No longer are the days of savoring time, of appreciating each moment as it comes, not just waiting for it to pass. Destination orientation can be dangerous, how else do you develop a cut-throat society with everyone grasping for power? You lose sight of the journey.

Living the journey’s not always easy… I am a person who does not like change in my personal life. I love to re-arrange my room, or cut my hair, or do my makeup a different way, but when it comes to people growing up, people moving, people getting married, me growing up, life changing; it really messes with me. This is why I HATE crossroads. Crossroads make life seem so changeable, so… intense. Anyone will tell you, I’m opinionated and independent, but “intense” is NOT a word that describes me… most of the time. Regardless…

… Sorry, Frodo was saying good-bye to Sam, and I had to stop and cry with them…

As I was saying, crossroads make me feel all sad and negative nostalgia-y. Some are worse than others. I encountered one of theses crossroads just the other day. I was sitting outside, thinking about the end of summer, thinking about my looming –th birthday, thinking about starting college, when a thought went through my mind, “I know crossroads are an important part of life, but why does this one have to feel so ‘crossroad-ish’?” (I like to pull out the melodrama now and again).

But that’s just it! On a journey you must have crossroads. Places of beginnings and ends, not destinations. The beautiful thing is, that while a destination is static, no growth or opportunity, even the most beginniest beginning can turn into wonderful story, and even the endiest end can have a sequel. I know my journey will lead me into crazy things, or even boring things, but it will also have wonderful things. I don’t want to sit by myself, frozen at a destination, thinking I’m done with life and all that’s in it because I reached the flag. I want to travel the journey, to join the fellowship… cough cough… sorry… cough cough, to take the road of life by the horns, to take the adventure, until that one day when I will reach a destination, a destination that doesn’t end, but continues on for eternity :).

My crossroad looks a little more like a great and grand adventure now, eh? Find your adventure dear friends…

Always keep those heads in the clouds~

-HH-

The Day Practicality met Passion

E.G. the day Marilla Cuthbert met Anne Shirley.

I will try not to painstakingly pick apart every single chapter of this book (Anne of Green Gables), but this chapter was too good to pass up.

I would like to pause at this time for a disclaimer: If you happen to have a prejudice against simile, metaphors, or parallels, tough luck. It’s what I do.

Onward! The chapter is aptly named “Anne Says Her Prayers”. Marilla has already set her mind to take in this young, vibrant girl, but Anne is unaware of this fact. In true Anne fashion however, Anne is just glibly relieved that she is still at Green Gables for another night. In Marilla’s mind, Anne’s upbringing has now begun.

So begins the journey of two unlikely people learning from EACH-OTHER. Marilla is practicality to her very core, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that her small and large intestines were wound around yarn spools. Anne doesn’t know the meaning of the word apathy. She is passionate in her sadness, she is passionate in her bliss, she is passionate in her disinterestedness!
Automatically when reading this relationship scenario, I thought of the world in general, in two camps: Practicality vs. Passion. I felt however, that enough has been stated on that topic. So secondly my mind narrowed to the Christian church, similarly separated into those camps. Like two sides to a civil war, Practicality launches grenades at Passion and Passion fires missiles back. All the while the lost run around in no man’s land, trying to avoid being hit.

How clever of satan. What better way to tear apart the children of God and render them useless, than to have them squabble with each-other?

Allow me to go back to Anne and Marilla. When you read this chapter, it is easy to see that neither one of them is wholly in the right! Marilla’s faith lacks the passion of Anne’s, rendering her belief dry and hollow. Marilla’s religion is more or less the idea of her religion. Anne’s faith lacks the structure of Marilla’s, making her ineffective as a witness. She seems more enraptured at being enraptured than being captivated by the love of God.

Yes, I realize I am drawing far more spirituality from this book than was ever intended by L.M. Montgomery, but I feel that this is a needed topic! Practicality and Passion need not be enemies! They are not opposites, they are counterparts. Through the entire “Anne” series we see her and Marilla growing and learning from each-other.

Church, we need to stop henpecking within our coop and see that the real point, the only reason we are here on this earth is to spread the joyous news of Jesus, to return His children to His fold.

If we were all “correct” none of us would be.

In conclusion, I will lighten up with our dearest Anne. Humour becomes me. But please, think about this, dear friends. The world depends upon it.

Keep your head in the clouds and your hearts tender~

-HH-

“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or into the deep, deep woods, and I’d look up into the sky — up — up — up– into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there were no end to it’s blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer…”

My dear friend Ruby Hopkins did a set of posts on our beloved Anne, go read ’em! Carpe Diem

What’s in a Name?

Today will be a short post…

I’m gathering up steam for our dearest Anne (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about click on “Insta-Prince-Edward-Island”).

I love names, I love interesting names, I find beauty in the most absurd names.
The other day as we were riding home from Wednesday night church, I randomly stated, “I think maybe I’ll use Chopin as a middle name for one of my sons… since he’s my favorite composer.”
To which my mother replied, “Your father’s favorite spice is fennel… notice, your name is not Fennel.”

I was silent for a moment and then thoughtfully said, “I kind of like that… Fennel…”

Sadly, I was serious.

My mother and I feel differently about names. I will name my child something because I like it, not because it’s normal :). BUT as she always is, my mother was right about one thing… she always told me my tastes would change. As much as I hate to admit it, she was right. While my “name taste” is no less unique, it HAS changed since my first “list of names” from when I was twelve.

So for general amusement, I will try to remember the names I favored from that time.

Hayley’s list of child names from when she was twelve

~GIRLS~

Jaylie: My name and my best friend’s name combined.
Jillian: Funny how when you meet someone with a name, they can ruin it.
Aravis: Yes… from the Chronicles of Narnia- a Horse and His Boy. (okay I still kind of like this name).
Peony: Why not name her Snapdragon or Bleeding Heart? No slight to people named after flowers… but as my father so kindly pointed out, her nick-name would be Pee-Pee.
Solicity: Really… I honestly don’t know what this is.

~BOYS~

Aaron: I actually had another name that had double vowels. I don’t think I actually liked the name Aaron… just the fact that the name had two A’s in a row.
Andrew: I always loved this name growing up… it just always sounded so… attractive… Then it became my littlest brother’s middle name.
Solomon: Maybe he was wise and had gazillions of wives, but this name would not win my son any points with the ladies. No offense to the Solomons out there.
Corin or Cor: Also from “a Horse and His Boy”. Don’t be hatin’! Gwyneth Paltrow has her Apple, I have my Cor.

~Why I Will Never Name My Children After Great-Grandparents~

Arlene
Marilyn
Robert
Harold

Good strong names…

~Why my Parents Didn’t Ask for my Advice When Naming my Brothers~

My middle younger brother’s name is Ryan Christopher… I adamantly argued that he should be named Christopher Robin.

~Why my Parents Didn’t Ask for Anyone’s Advice When Naming Any of Us~

My youngest brother was supposed to be a girl… really… the ultrasound tech people said he was a girl. The beautiful girl name my parents had picked out was Katelyn Taylor. When a boy popped out, everyone wanted to help name him, including my grandma. Her preference? Jedidiah or Jed. That poor child could not escape the Beverly Hillbillies theme song for the first decade of his life.

Really though, what’s in a name? The mere fact we ARE called by name is pretty spectacular… whether it’s Winifred or Tarzan.

SO once AGAIN mama was right… I’m glad my tastes have changed, they will probably change again… but mostly, I’m glad HER tastes changed. Had they not, I may have been a Quimby.

Keep your heads in the clouds dear friends…go name your daughter Fennel~

-HH-