Friendly Surprises and Staches

January 21, 2014

Meet Manuel and his owl pal, Pete. They make me gleeful.Manuel and Pete

This adorable duo brings a smile to my face and is the creation of my charming friend, Michelle. Both of the boys like rockin’ their staches and seem to hold their own in a fashionable office flooded with women.

I could not resist sharing the pure childlike whimsy and, let’s face it, goofy gusto of these two. It’s a simple, playful reminder that hope is not just philosophical quotes, intense reflection and tough climbs. Hope is also innocence, laughter and creativity.

Look around you today. Pick out something completely silly, belly-laugh-out-loud funny and even slightly embarrassing to lift your spirits. It does the soul good.

Manuel is tech savvy with a great eye, so he likes to peruse Pinterest for a chuckle. Pete is a hoot with his addiction to jokes and good-natured pranks. Go forward, friends, and have a blast . . . staches optional.

Follow the Birdie

May 28, 2013

The signs in life can be subtle, like an intuitive nudge to go down one road versus the other; fairly apparent, like a flyer for a new gallery opening down the street; or incredibly obvious, like a placard that says “you must be this tall to ride this ride.” When it comes to animal sanctuaries, it seems they take a whole new approach to hopeful signs.

But first, let me set the stage. I visited the remarkable animal sanctuary of Zealandia (photos below) to take in native birds and “the bush” in its rainforest glory.

As you can see, the hike was well worth the effort. The 360-degree view of the valley from atop the looking tower was fabulous and so inspiring. I saw and heard birds of all colors and sizes, watched small children marvel at the bird feeders (ok, I did too), and gained reverence for the natural beauty of quiet spaces.

After walking several kilometers, I refueled in the cafe upstairs and went to stand by the shuttle stop. A kind gentleman walked by (I assume a staff member for the facility, based on the items he was carrying) and told me to look down for the signs. “What?” I thought with amusement. As I stared at the ground, I saw this little fellow:

Kiwi painted on the sidewalk

A kiwi painted on the sidewalk? I chuckled. Turns out my hope for finding my way to the botanic gardens, in lieu of waiting an hour for the next shuttle, meant following these little birdies. What fun! I made it a hopeful, fun-filled game. Wanna play?

As one of my dear friend’s would say, “Huzzah!” Thanks to a playful spirit, a sense of adventure and a few helpful little painted birdies, I made it to the garden. And the landscaping was fantastic:

I met some wonderful locals, tourists and even a sweet dog on the way. Hope offers up signs of the wonders ahead. Watch for yours, in whatever form they may take. Oh, time to catch the train!

Painted sign for train

Painted sign for train

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