Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gift of Jewels: symbols of love...

*Enkutatash means the "gift of jewels". When Makeda, Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive jaunt to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her bolts by replenishing her treasury with inku or jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since this early times and as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard at every village in the green countryside. But Enkutatash is not exclusively a religious holiday. Today's Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal new year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated - in lieu of the traditional bouquet of flowers.

~ ~ ~

As many of us enjoy the warm days of summer, our friends on the other side of the world will soon emerge from long cold days of winter, with a spring festival like no other on September 11th. Last year, we joined in celebrating this historic annual event with a modified pen pal project and exchanged personalised greeting cards through the post with kindred spirits from at least 15 different countries across the globe. For good measure, and because we abide by absolutely no rules here in my necessary room, we continued this party well into the winter. (I imagine that Queen Makeda wouldn't mind us practising love a little more often throughout the year ;)

The *gift of jewels* project has been such a rewarding and uplifting experience for me personally, and I am always honoured when i get an opportunity for our spirits to connect.

Well my dear friends, it's that time again, to celebrate love and life as a new year approaches. For those interested, won't you please join me in sending a randomly selected person a greeting card in the post. It can be personally hand-crafted, a photocard, photograph, or even a purchased postcard or greeting card. We must all agree, however, to honour our commitment because some loving soul will be eagerly awaiting your card's arrival.

If you wish to participate in the *gift of jewels* project, please leave a comment on this post by August 20, 2010.

All participants should also email me directly at with their snail mail address and preferred blog link. I will randomly select the intended recipient of your jewel from amongst the registered participants. You will receive a personal email from me shortly after the registration deadline with your secret recipient's information. As always, no two people will have each other, so you'll just have to wait and see where your jewel will come from? For the shy at heart, you can certainly send your jewel anonymously if you wish ;) Please know that your information will not be shared with anyone other than the person selected to send your *gift of jewels*.

hand-written letters arrive in my mailbox
oh, how they warm my soul
i walk mindfully upon this earth
treasuring always your symbols of love
holding each one, so near to my heart.

All *gift of jewels* should be postmarked on or before September 11, 2010, the Ethiopian New Year.

Won't you please join me in spreading love around the world?
~ ~ ~
If you'd like to:

*read more about the *gift of jewels* project, please visit here and here.

*peruse the list of past participants, please visit here and here.

*see examples of the *gift of jewels* previously shared, please visit here and here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

lovely jewels...

happy friday, dear friends.
i'm flying over here to check out the pet parade.
i captured these lovely jewels while on a walking meditation in our garden. (exhale). it was a wonderful moment, seeing plants that i nurtured during their first stage of life, now havens for the most beautiful butterflies. we are all connected.

*for more fancy jewels, our dear friend Tracy, author of Pink Purl, is having a 50-75% off closing sale over at her etsy shop. She's also giving away a gorgeous bracelet at her blog.

one love, always.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

happy birthday, SE'LAH!!

shall we meet at the gates around 9, or so?
i will be the one holding the wild flowers...
flowers for you. ; )

let us cast away our worries and be on our way.
i and i ~ will celebrate your birthday.
come naw, forward wit me, my friend.

side by side, we will journey, until we tire. our skip along the water will lead us to a driftwood, to satta and dream...share a bit of escovitch?

oh dat lion there? we have no fear, em go by the name of, Daniel. ; )

along the way.

im sure there are plenty of friends, who want to join the party, so let me open the doors.

happy birthday, se’lah!

you hold each moment close, never letting go.
giving light to each minute, Jah grants you.
your kindness warms me
your reflection reminds me, of the work yet to be done, in this world.

you are beautiful

you are...

you are loved!

see naw? we are here to celebrate your birthday, and thank you for your friendship, and passion.

on this day...
i hope you feel the sun of the islands shine in your heart
be blessed to paint with the color green of the forest
hear the voice and feel the riddims of fadda bob from heaven
“...and forever i say...we'll be forever lovin Jah...”

happy birthday, my friend!!!!

one love~

jah bless

Update: I cannot begin to thank all of you enough for making my special day so wonderful. Much thanks. And to the Empress, much love, always. I will not tire, will you? lol.

Monday, July 26, 2010

reflecting on life...

just taking a moment to pause and reflect,
and give thanks for all the blessings in life.

how are you doing today?

Friday, July 23, 2010

one love, always...

can you find the heart in the bokeh?

i thought i'd leave it here, just for you. today, i am seeing love everywhere, in every thing. i wonder if it's because it's the Emperor Haile Selassie's earthday celebration...perhaps His special way of saying, one love, always. i hope you find love wherever you are today.

hear my prayer,
may the
hungry be fed,
naked clothed,
sick nourished,
aged protected,
infants cared for,
and last, but not least
teach us love on earth
as it is in Zion.

*i still see you, haiti.

one love.

have a Conscious Friday and a divine weekend.

Monday, July 19, 2010


(photo by: Lyn, Africa Calling)

It comes as no surprise to those who know me that my heart belongs to Africa. I am forever connected to her; she gave birth to generations who were enslaved and their blood runs through my veins. I can't help but send her love, for she is part of me and I am a part of her. Selah.

After a reasoning session with Lyn about her planned trip to the Motherland, I asked her for one small favour, Please place your palm on her soil and tell her I sent her peace and love.

Imagine my surprise when she blessed me with this photo upon her return, along with this note, As promised, I placed my palm on the red soil of Kenya and prayed a silent prayer of thanks and remembrance for you. I then wrote your name using the marbled stones of the African earth.

It literally broke me down to tears...happy, happy tears. I've placed the above photo, with Lyn's permission, in my header to remind me of the immense love that exist here in blogland, in Africa, and throughout the world.

It also serves as a personal reminder that there are human beings in this world, who wake up every single day, still being forced to live as slaves. oh JAH JAH! i pray for them.

One World. One People. One Love.
*thank you, Lyn.

Friday, July 16, 2010

happy birthday, Empress...

Today is your special day!
happy birthday, my 'eartical sistren,
Empress Christina. (big up you self!)

Secret surprises held no more,
i love you, written for all to see,
mere words simply can not express... your
poetry and photos, so divine. your
letters, filled to the brim with love
embrace my heart, for always.

Tropical shores beckons our soul,
home. waiting for you at Fadda Bob's gate
i've sat on his rock - cold ground was my bed last
night and... it was such a beautiful moment. (exhale).
go off, with me, into the warm caribbean sunset
swaying to a reggae rhythm.

*c'mon naw, open de door - dis box o' Red Stripe gettin' heavy!!! xo.

* * *

(scroll down please)...

it started as a drop...

...and it became a wave!

...dearest Empress,

while i sit here saying praises at the rise of Jah morning sun, i just thought i'd 'fess up to a couple of things. i didn't know exactly how to express to you what you mean to me (they just don't make those words in english). however, i needed you to overstand that you make a significant impact in the everyday life of many, and we are grateful. you've made us take a second look at the simple things we so often take for granted and sincerely give thanks for our blessings. you live your life mindfully, with love, and your spirit is felt across the universe. so, i recruited a few of your blog friends and we planned this little surprise edition of "simple things" as a birthday gift to let you know we love and appreciate you. :)

one love, Se'lah.

margie + kath, soeurs du jour

kim living life, a box of chocolates

birdie, simple ways

kim mailot, queen of arts

constance, rochambeau

katrina, kat's cradle

smith kaith jones, emma tree

polly, sotto voce

simply mel, reverie

grandma k, a bit of blarney

connie, loose lemons

erin wallace, dropped stitches

lady grey, hey, lady grey

kate i, inspired

char, ramblin's

kathryn grace, building ordinary

kristina, vigdis et al.

* * *

happy birthday, Empress Christina!!!
i love you so. wishing you the best of days.

* * *
*ps. if I inadvertently neglected to mention your blog, or if you'd like to join the wave, please email me at and please don't forget to leave your post link for Christina at Soul Aperture.

*pss. winner: Chris, author of An Inch of Time, was randomly selected to receive a set of my handmade prayer flags. Congratulations, my dear! Sending positive vibes your way, always.

Update: Give thanks to all of you for so willingly and generously participating in the secret surprise "simple things" for the Empress' birthday. I had a blast at her virtual blog party. hope you did too.

one love.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

relaxing here, before the party...

party? again??? why YES!!!

Bright and early tomorrow morning, you'll find me hanging out on de front porch over at Soul Aperture. In case you are unaware, Empress Christina is having her Birthday Blog Party and I will not miss this much anticipated event for anything in the world.

I, for one, will be getting there at the crack of dawn to secure my spot (you know, just in case hot men in firesuits show up using phrases like "filled to capacity" and such). As anxious as I am to get this party started, I promise that I won't ring her doorbell before 12:00 am GMT. So, grab your party gear and meet me there. I'll be the one wearing the brightly coloured sequin robe with the matching jewelled crown. lol.

*I'll also be announcing the winner of my handmade prayer flags before heading out tomorrow.

one love.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

happy birthday, KATH...

as i was laying here in the sand
gazing at the sunlight kissing this flower
my mind slowly began to wander. (exhale).

i thought of friends,
old and new; near and far,
always there when i need them

and then i remembered someone said
that there's going to a party today
in celebration of her 50th birthday!

so now i'm heading over here to check it out.
i sure do love a summer party.
won't you please join me?

one love.
p.s. Happy Anniversary too, kath!

Friday, July 9, 2010

summer days + winner...

winner: my bonafide sistah KATH, one half of the soeurs du jour, has been randomly chosen to receive a handwritten letter from me in the post. Empress Christina will also send her a blank card from her shop, Soul Aperture Paper Goods. Congrats KATH! Nuff tanks Empress ;)

* * *

i often browse crafts stores
looking for the perfect beads
to adorn my handmade prayer flags.

i am absolutely convinced
that the prettiest ones
only show their true colours
under summer light.
today, i found them!

aren't summer days the best?

* * *

If you would like to receive one of my handmade prayer flags, please leave a comment here. The winner will be randomly selected on Friday, July 16, 2010.

have a conscious friday and a divine weekend.
one love, my friends.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

building strong bridges + a gift for you...

yesterday was nothing less than amazing,
thanks to all of you who helped build the *bridge of love*
i am at a loss for words at all your loving kindness
but i had to at least say thank you!!!

I started out by giving a gift to my mother-in-law. Yes sir-ree bob. It felt good so I didn't stop there. I even got my hubby to join in so he gave a gift to my mother, who least expected it. Then I phoned a friend who made me laugh so hard when she answered the phone "WHAT?!?". She knew what I was up to - go figure. ;) So I had to move on to a less suspecting recipient. I started to make a scrap quilt for my friend BJ to hopefully bring her a little comfort - I should be finishing the quilt top today. (when life throws you scraps, make a quilt). This random act of kindness thing was quite addictive so I continued. I helped another friend write letters to close accounts of her recently deceased mother. Writing the words was too much for her to bear right now. I was happy to do it. We wrapped up the night by reading handwritten letters her mom had saved from the 1950's (sixty years ago - during the Korean War)! Such important milestones captured in words - marriage, pregnancy, birth, and good ole gossip. We laughed so deeply at how similar her mom's relationship with her BFF was to ours. It was a lovely moment.

It got me to thinking of you. Empress Christina of Soul Aperture always encourages us to preserve the art of penmanship by writing letters to one another. The 1950's letters I read last night were written in the most beautiful sea-foam green ink. I think I'll find a special ink pen to write one of you a little note.

If you'd like to receive a handwritten letter from me, please leave a comment here and I will randomly select a winner this Friday (July 9, 2010).

Empress Christina will also send the winner a blank card from her shop so they can write a sweet letter to someone else. (isn't she the sweetest?) one love.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

a random act of kindness...

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
(Dalai Lama)

Today is the Dalai Lama's 75th birthday!

...and we are celebrating this blessed occasion by doing a random act of kindness. It can be absolutely anything of your choosing, because you know how we do things here in my necessary room - no rules. Just follow your heart and I am confident that it will lead you exactly where you need to be.

I am incredibly impressed with how many kindred spirits I have encountered here in blogland. When I enter this space, I feel interconnected. I don't really know how to explain it in words but somehow, you make the world seem smaller, more intimate, no matter where we are all physically located. I dig that ;)

Today, with love, we are collectively raising our hands to help another being in the universe. And walking hand-in-hand with love, one will always find kindness. I embrace loving-kindness with wide open arms. With so much suffering in the world, at times when I am feeling at a loss, I find my way back to centre by doing something, any thing, for someone else. The act of giving is such a powerful experience. It humbly reminds me that I am never alone and that there is always something I can do to make the world a better place, even if it's only one small act at a time.

I cannot thank you all enough for helping me build this *bridge of love* by doing a random act of kindness today. (and it's never too late to join us.) For those who have yet to decide on what they will do, I thought I'd mention a few ideas of contributions one can make:

~ ~ ~

*help sponsor a nun through the Tibetan Nun Project

*cook a meal for an ill loved one

*give a bouquet of flowers to a neighbour

*make a quilt for a friend's newborn baby

*donate a knitted blanket or hats to the preemie ward of a local hospital

*compliment a stranger, sincerely

*send someone a nice, handwritten letter

*leave a thank you card for your mail delivery person

*make a handmade card for someone you care for

*phone a friend or relative just to say "i love you"

*compile a writing set and give to someone in a nursing home

*deliver flowers to a sick child in the hospital

*send a card to someone abroad in the military

*donate a book you've already read to someone

*put a coin in an expired metre - save someone that ticket

*drop off a new board game to a childcare programme

*donate toiletries to a homeless shelter

*copy a favourite recipe and give it with someone

*donate some books to a local foster home or library

*send someone an anonymous gift

*send a letter your *gift of jewels* pen pal

*host a giveaway on your blog

*the possibilities are endless

(and don't forget to include our lovely children)

~ ~ ~

what will you do today?
I can't wait to greet all of you on the bridge of love.

(Note to self: Self, I know you are technologically-challenged (my friends are probably saying "that's not the only challenge" ;). Even though blogger is eating all the comments today, I will remain positive and happy. Not even blogger can stop us from building this bridge. Perhaps blogger needs a little loving-kindness).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

celebrating life...

each moment,
every day.

~ ~ ~

Off to visit my dear friend BJ today. I so admire the way in which she has chosen to live each moment to the fullest, despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer. I can hardly wait to hold her. hug her. tell her how much i really love her. celebrate life and create some lasting memories, and simply enjoy the present moment.

p.s. once again, I'd like to thank all of BJ's angels for all that you do to enhance her quality of life...your kindness towards her, a complete stranger to you all, simply melts my heart, and hers. thank you!

...hmmmm. i think i know just the thing i'll do for my random act of kindness on July 6, 2010. after all, i said no rules. ;-)

wishing you a happy and safe holiday weekend. one love.

Friday, July 2, 2010

off to da beach...

(whispering) can't tell anyone this secret. I'm supposed to be walking straight over to Darcel's house, along the Mahogany Way. But first, I'm going to make a little pit stop at the beach. While I'm there, I might as well check out the amazing sand sculptures. I'd be really thrilled if you would join me over here.

~ ~ ~

From the centre of my heart, I wanted to thank you all for joining me in building a bridge of love around the world by doing a random act of kindness on July 6th in honour of the Dalai Lama's 75th birthday. It's gonna be such fun. Remember, no rules! If you haven't already, please feel free to join us...

one love, my dear friends.
wishing you a Conscious Friday and a divine weekend.