Posted in Culture, Freedom, History

Happy birthday America

July 4th, celebration of Independence Day here in the United States. It is said to be the land of the free with endless possibilities. If you can dream it, you can do it here most likely easier than any other place on earth, and the resources available will support you in the building and the reality of making your dreams come true.

America, where much of the landscape is still wild with a vast wilderness and a beauty that is majestic and takes your breath away. Where wild horses run free and the Wild West still exists. A land of glaciers and where the world erupts in volcanic hardship, leaving behind its own kind of beauty born from within it’s struggle. Where you can drive hours and hours and feel the wind in your hair with a sense of adventure and a feeling that makes your heart beat faster. A land that is getting faster and faster, catering to the convenience of a increasingly rushed society. America, land of oceans and mountains, deserts and wetlands, animals and spirits.

A land full of entrepreneurial spirit where it is possible to be anything you want. Where the Statue of Liberty stands guard to remind us of what’s important, what this country was build on, and what we should never forget. A land and melting pot uniting many cultures, talents and races with the hope to understand and respect one another and to be truly diverse and unique. A land where freedom rings.

America, rich in resources and fertile soil, where we have more food than we need and where poverty should not exist. And yet with every positive there also come challenges that this still fairly young country has yet to figure out and determine for what it really wants to be known for.

I am not going into political views as I sit here paying homage to the country that has been my home for the past 30+ years and which I have come to love. I debate what can be said on this holiday, this Independence Day that all of a sudden doesn’t feel so independent. What can be said about the current pandemic that has changed the dynamics and the lives of millions. I feel somewhat sad as I prepare for the aftermath when millions gather for what should be a joyous event to celebrate Independence Day and America’s birthday. I don’t want to turn on the news to hear about the spikes in corona virus cases as the many, proud to be an American, throw their independence and all cautions to the wind while a deadly virus sweeps through the land! Maybe I am the party popper, but many can’t see wearing a mask as a means of protecting ourselves and each other, and instead protest and complain, feeling that their rights are taken away! Personally I think that we are sending a message that doesn’t seem very smart, while other countries who have followed the guidelines have a much better handle on the pandemic.

An article from 2006 outlines what makes America so great and I can’t help compare it to now.

  • America’s good life for the ordinary guy
  • Equality
  • The pursuit of happiness
  • The ethics of work
  • Religious liberty
  • Ideals and interests
  • America’s virtue of being the freest nation on earth
In closing I say “Happy birthday America. I believe in you and I know you got what it takes to be truly great. You are a land of so many amazing things and potentials. You are a land of great promise and hope. This is your time to determine what message you really want to send. 2006 and what America was known for sounds like a great start. Happy 4th of July everyone, please be responsible so we can end this, and please stay safe.
Posted in Culture, History, Inspiration

Walpurgis Night

Witches with broomsticks and bonfires…oh my.

What do you think when you hear the word witch? Are you frightened or intrigued? Does the mind shift to a vision of ugliness, a person casting evil spells on others, a ghost or goblin to stay far away from, or do you see something else? I never really thought of it myself, but I know that there are different kinds of witches, good and bad. It was a comment that made me pause initially, when my dear friend Amanda seemed to believe that my black power hat might have a pointy tip. In the highest compliment she called me a witch with magic powers, based on my personal beliefs and mantras such as stopping time by living in the now. By turning my challenges into opportunities and make beauty out of everything that I see. And then Walpurgis Night happened shortly thereafter.

The beginning of May enters through many regions of Germany with some old and wonderful traditions. Somehow I felt drawn to Walpurgis Night which is April 30th into May 1st. It is a holiday that is named after Saint Walpurga and is a day that dates back to ancient pagan fertility rites. People would hang foliage sprigs around their homes and leave offerings of food for the dead that was believed to walk the earth. Walpurgis Night is said to be the night when witches flew on their broomsticks and gathered on the Brocken, the highest of North Central Germany’s Harz mountains, to celebrate and revel with the devil and otherwise enjoy themselves. Flying over the regions on their brooms, dancing around giant bonfires, while waiting for dawn to break, and waiving goodbye to winter. Others say it was a celebration and fest to ward off evil spirits. Maps of Germany with “Witches areas” were still drawn for unwary travelers, as late as the 18th century, which leads to believe that they didn’t only appear once a year. I heard that Walpurgis Night used to be celebrated in my hometown on top of the hill with the cross.

A few synchronicities found their way into my life again. One was the comment from Amanda, the timing of Walpurgis Night, the sleepless night of it, as well as this video. It’s from a group I never heard before, but the song immediately drew me in. Further research reveals that the group has contributed music to the TV show Vikings I regularly follow and love. Surprise…

Within the same timeframe I came across Pagan poetry, learned about a soul contract, and was flashed a picture of Brigid, the triple goddess of ruling healing, poetry and smith craft. I had no prior knowledge to either, but my eyes are wide open and I am taking innthe resources and healing along this journey. Tomorrow will be another big day for me, and hopefully I have not scared you away.

Posted in Culture, Europe, Travel

Bubble-Magic

Today, I’m sharing another slice from my home and this picture was taken in Würzburg, Germany. Just a short drive from my home along the hillsides of wine country and the banks of the Main River filled with it’s barges, it has always been a neat place to visit for me. I love the combination of strolling through the old medieval town center with it’s ancient architecture, the heart of the city that is infused with modern shopping and a thriving metropolis. The big “Marktplatz” (town center) is filled with vendors during the summer months, offering unique trinkets, crafts and too many fresh goods to mention. You might even find yourself buying a bottle of wine from the local surroundings or honey. But whatever it might be, once again it boils down to the whole experience and the ambience of being surrended by culture and “Gemütlichkeit” which stands for a relaxed get together. 

On this day we also found a few young artists sharing their bubble – magic with their bypasser’s and blowing huge bubbles into the air. Their playful attitudes were captivating to me while I stood and watched in wonder. Some others stopped and entertained the play for awhile, while yet others rushed by without giving it a further look. I noticed a similarity in those who stopped and everybody seemed to smile while being whisked away into the bubbly magic. Time stood still and there was a certain carefree nature to those special moments. A feeling surely anyone would have enjoyed, would they have been able to brake away from the claws of hectic to enjoy the magic that is always all around us.