Observing March & the Winter Wind


Clouds in the March Wind Lisa A. Wisniewski

The dominant feature of the weather this week in our area has been the wind.  Whether blowing from the north, south, east, or west, the gusts have been quite forceful, knocking down tree branches and blowing debris across large areas.  Combined with the colder temperatures, the week has been quite the challenge physically and mentally for many.  Though I did not miss any running or biking along my routes, there were a few days I questioned my sanity for trying to brave the elements.

Inspired by the Light


Inspiring Light Lisa A. Wisniewski

One aspect of nature that has been most beneficial in my quest to survive the elements is the extended daylight in the evening hours.  While the sunrise moved back an hour to 7:33 AM, sunset is now at 7:27 PM.  Being able to ride my bike before sunset without having to use head or tail lamps has made for some enjoyable rides despite the cold wind blowing past me.

Next week, the spring equinox (also known as the vernal equinox) on March 20 will allow for approximately twelve full hours of daylight.  This occurs due to the position of the earth as it orbits the sun.  The earth’s northern hemisphere will start to tilt more toward the sun, resulting in more daylight.  Just before this tilt starts, the equinox (Latin for equal night) will occur, marking the start of the spring season.


Signs of Spring Frozen Lisa A. Wisniewski

Interestingly, the weather does not always correspond to the celestial seasons.  However, evidence of the added daylight still exists.  So, we may still see snow and ice in the early days of spring, just as we have this past week.

Ice Type Hype

The winds brought a number of snow flurries this week, along with ice pellets and other forms of precipitation.  The winds cooled any water on the surface of the ground rather quickly, creating patches of crystals or ice.  Typically, the oxygen atoms of ice water molecules arrange themselves in a hexagonal shape.  This type of ice is called ice-I.  Adding pressure to ice-I changes the arrangement


Ice on the Pond Lisa A. Wisniewski

of the atoms into a rhombohedral structure.  This is called ice-II.

There are a total of seven different ice types numbered from I to VII.  An article in the newspaper this week reported that scientists have found ice-VII inside diamonds.  Prior to the discovery, this type of ice was not known to exist on earth, but was thought to exist in the solar system.

Reading the article, it struck me that science and humans always have a way to categorize what we discover.  It is this categorization that allows us to process information in smaller pieces, leading to knowledge and discovery.

Wind Categories

Like the types of ice, wind can be categorized using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane wind scale. The categories range from 1 to 5 and are based on sustained wind speed.

  • Category 1 74-95 mph
  • Category 2 96-110 mph
  • Category 3 111-129 mph
  • Category 4 130-156 mph
  • Category 5 157 mph or higher

Only the Wind Blowing Through the Trees Lisa A. Wisniewski

While the winds this week were far weaker than any of these categories, their strength was indeed felt in nature and evident to anyone attempting to work or do activities outdoors.

It’s Only the Wind

As the dogs and I tried our best to go about our normal routines despite the wind blowing in our faces, the lyrics to a song made popular by Billy Dean came into my mind:

I remember as a child on a dark stormy night
I heard the screen door slam and I was overcome with fright
So afraid that someone bad was trying to get in
And momma came to comfort me and said
“It’s only the wind, and nothing more
Not the end of the world knocking at the door
So close your eyes and dream again
Believe me, It’s only the wind”

Every time I’ve had to face a bitter storm of life
Those words of comfort were my shelter in the night…


Whisper in the Sky Lisa A. Wisniewski

Contemplating those words left me wondering about the many storms we all face in life.  So many times, it takes such a storm to wake us up to reality, and even then we don’t always pay attention.  If you read the headlines each day in the newspaper or on the Internet, we have more stormy winds blowing throughout the world than we have solutions.

But perhaps we are looking in all the wrong places for the answers.  Maybe the solutions are so simple they elude us or we brush them off as insignificant answers.  Reflecting on this made me recall a passage in the Bible:

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. – 1 Kings 19:11-12


Answers Abound Lisa A. Wisniewski

Maybe it is the gentle whisper we need to listen to more, or seek first, or make time to listen.  Maybe it is in the most miniscule details that we find the answers.  Maybe we are not meant to find the answers in this lifetime.  Whatever the case may be, may the winds we encounter keep us moving in the right direction, along with nature’s elements and time.

May the winter winds yield to spring’s renewal, allowing for additional growth and knowledge.  May we learn to recognize the voices in the wind and not discount the whispers of the way, the truth, and the light encountered upon the journey.


Winter Wind Blowing Hard Lisa A. Wisniewski

Winter Wind

Winter wind blowing cold and hard,
Through the folds in the yard,
The woods and the trees,
The fields where the clover once stood in the summer breeze,
The hills up high and valleys way down low
As Jack Frost fills the land with snow
Making patterns that bob and weave
In the early dawn and the nights’ blue deep.


Hemlock Blowing To and Fro Lisa A. Wisniewski

Winter wind whisking the air to and fro
In and around everywhere one goes,
Blowing, blowing hard
As if trying to overthrow nature’s art,
Toppling trees and branches and hitting the eaves
Trying to withstand the force as it leaves
Its mark upon everything it touches
Like and artist wielding brushes
Painting the scene before the eyes
As March deems its path through life.


Robin Hopping Lisa A. Wisniewski

Winter wind circling around and around
The robins hopping up and down
Dancing in the cold with ruffled feathers
Orange and bold and blue that is weathered
Eyes bright and beaks calling
To the skies as the snow keeps falling
All around like a mini blizzard in a glass ball
Soon to yield hither to spring’s thaw.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski


Sun After the Snow Lisa A. Wisniewski

Thanks to Our Readers

Once again, we thank our readers and viewers for taking time to view our work. We would also like to thank anyone who has bought and read our books, Nikki Jean, and Trouble with a Captial L-U-K-E.  We appreciate your support.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo

Nikki Jean Book Cover Trouble With a Capital Luke

Resources and Related Links

Equinox – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equinox

Ice-VII- http://www.post-gazette.com/news/science/2018/03/12/Scientists-found-trapped-in-a-diamond-a-type-of-ice-not-known-on-Earth/stories/201803110190

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane wind scale – https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php

Spring equinox – https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox


Observing Variety in the Skies


Variety in the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

The late winter skies this week have offered up a variety of colors and cloud formations.  From clear blue sunny mornings to puffy gray cumulus and nimbus clouds full of snow, we have seen the best and worst of the weather elements.  This is typical during the transition from winter to spring, which arrives March 20 according to the calendar (but does not always coincide with nature’s ways or the weather).  The variety made for some very inspiring moments of running, walking, and biking, as well as some moments of wondering why the elements can present such a challenge in life.


Snow Clouds at Sunset Lisa A. Wisniewski

Last night, I was pelted with tiny snow and ice balls during part of my run, but by the time I arrived back home, the skies had cleared considerably, allowing me to enjoy a cold but invigorating bike ride.  Tonight was much the same, but in reverse with a nice run in the cold and a chilling bike ride amid falling snowflakes.

Rise Up

Such times of change often make me feel like God is rewarding me for my diligence and efforts to spend time with Him.  It is a difficult balance to find in today’s world where everyone has his or her own opinion on spirituality and what is most important in life.  However, my experiences tell me that keeping the inner compass in check is what matters most.  Not everyone has the same inner compass or same mechanisms to keep them driven, so what works for one does not necessarily work for all.  Or, as I read recently:

“It is a lesson we all need — to let alone the things that do not concern us.  He has other ways for others to follow him:  all do not go by the same path.” St. Katharine Drexel


Driving Force Lisa A. Wisniewski

Personally, the sun is a great driving force to help me find the right path.  The 8-year old inside gets so excited seeing the rays start to form in the morning skies with colors so true and deep.  Catching sight of the rays is like lighting a match that sparks the flame that soon turns into a raging inferno of energy inside.  Both this morning’s and Tuesday’s sunrise did that for me, setting the tone for the day and giving me hope that I could rise above the challenges to come.

Energy in the Calm

The falling snow Wednesday morning hid the sunrise, but the frosted effect upon every tree branch, twig, and blade of grass made for a beautiful sight.  Unlike the symphony at dawn on Tuesday, the snow hushed or muffled any birds’ singing.  The stillness all around created a churchlike effect that sent a bolt of energy running through me.  While the cold temperatures were difficult to bear after spring-like weather the week before, something about the calmness in the air made it seem less difficult.


Quiet Calm Lisa A. Wisniewski

The experience reminded me of another quote I read some time ago:

“Nothing we use or hear or touch can be expressed in words that equal what we are given by the senses.” –Hannah Arendt

Sensing Spring’s Presence

While walking the dogs this week, we found signs of spring’s emerging presence in the landscape, including:

  • A lone tulip shoot sprouting up out of the mulch
  • Tiny green leaves emerging from the bottoms of the salvia
  • Very small buds on the forsythia bushes
  • Tufts of wild onions sprinkled in the lower lying wet areas
  • Clumps of snow drops

Tiny Tulip Shoot Lisa A. Wisniewski


Snow Drops Lisa A. Wisniewski

Each of the above hints of spring has its own distinct characteristics.  The tulip shoot with its very smooth stalk, the tiny salvia leaves full of little ridges and bumps, the yellow centers on the forsythia buds, the slender shoots like reeds of the wild onion, and the most delicate white flower of the snow drop all have a place and a value in nature.  Seeing these sights reminded me of the following quote:


Salvia, Part of Nature’s First Green Lisa A. Wisniewski

“Nature’s first green is gold.” – Robert Frost

Variety Everywhere

All the sights of the week have offered a myriad of perspectives to consider and reflect upon.  In doing so, I realized that while I like my daily routine tasks, I also enjoy variety to help me learn and grow as a person.  In all honesty, we all need variety in life to prosper.  If we never see adversity or hardship or pain, we may not know how to rise above and overcome our weaknesses or fears.  If we don’t experience happiness or wonder or joy, we may not realize the beauty or potential within ourselves or others.


Variety Everywhere Lisa A. Wisniewski

Nature offers so much variety on a daily basis for us to explore, study, and experience life itself.  It is in doing these things that we define ourselves and build character.  In turn, we play a part on others around us to build relationships.  It is in these relationships that we find emotion, which fuels endurance and passion, which in turn build hope, faith, and love.

May we learn to see the variety in the seasons, the weather, the skies, and nature as a whole as a mechanism for learning, teaching, and sharing.  May our interactions help build our knowledge base and wisdom foundation to lead us through the miles ahead, and may the variety in the skies offer us a compass by which to travel.


Sun’s Beams and Clouds of White Lisa A. Wisniewski

Variety in the Skies

Variety in the skies
In the sun’s beams and clouds of white,
In the moon and stars
Glowing true from afar,
In the raindrops that fall
And the hawks that call
Into the breeze
Running through the trees.


Above the Valleys Wide Lisa A. Wisniewski

Variety in the skies
Above the mountain peaks and valleys wide,
Where the dew drops play
Dancing to the music that wakes
The world from its slumber
As the clouds curl and unfold under
The spell of nature’s hand
Sent to quell life’s demands
And rescue the soul
Within the blue expanses’ hold.


Running With Colors and Shades Lisa A. Wisniewski

Variety in the skies
Above the river banks and canyons’ heights,
Running with colors and shades
To tell the soul which way
To turn within the miles
Of the journey given and compiled
Through the blessings and trials of being
While trying to understand one’s seeking.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski


Blue Expanses’ Hold Lisa A. Wisniewski

Thanks to Our Readers


Leo, Junior Editor Lisa A. Wisniewski

Thanks to everyone for viewing our posts. We appreciate your interest and hope you find a nugget or two of value to take with you upon life’s journey.  We also hope the pictures shared from our weekly adventures and original poetry provide a bit of variety to your life.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo


Sadie, Editor in Chief Lisa A. Wisniewski

Pick of the Clicks- Through the Rays of the Sun


Sunrise, March 6, 2018 Lisa A. Wisniewski

It’s been a while since we did a Pick of the Clicks post, and after seeing the sunrise today, we just had to share it with others.  The parade of colors started around 6:05 AM.  Clouds moving from southwest to northeast provided some wonderful shadow effects, and the deer even came out to play in the fields before the clouds took over the skies.


Watching Time Flow Lisa A. Wisniewski

Seeing the colors unfold was like watching time flow from moment to moment.  The excitement felt inside the heart and soul put a totally different perspective to life and to the day ahead.  Nothing like a sunrise to get the body moving and the inner compass on the right course.

Hope you enjoy this!


Through the Rays of the Sun Lisa A. Wisniewski

Through the Rays of the Sun

Did you see the sunrise today
Full of colors so fine they took your breath away,
Such beauty and wonder
Rolling through and under
The clouds passing by
In the early round of March skies
Bolstering the spirit and the heart
Through the clearness of nature’s art
And the grace of heaven above
Through the rays of the sun.


Deer in the Field Lisa A. Wisniewski

Deer in the dawn at the break of day
Grazing upon remnants of the hay
Left behind in the fields below the skies
Where the clouds move to and fro with time
Along with the sun, moon, and stars
Watching the soul move through the heart
Of life’s many roads and paths
Full of troubles and woes, happiness and pleasure that pass
With each day gone and another begun
Through the rays of the sun.


Colors in Time’s Sea Lisa A. Wisniewski

Pink and crimson, violet and indigo,
Gold, orange, melon, and cantaloupe,
Tangerine, lemon, and maroon,
Peach, coral, magenta, and neon, too,
Emanating from the horizon line
Growing and fading as the minutes of time
Tick past in the river to the sea
That will someday deliver the soul to its destiny
Within the spaces of heaven above,
Through the rays of the sun.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski


Amazing Grace Lisa A. Wisniewski



Sadie, Happy to See the Sun Lisa A. Wisniewski

Thanks to all our readers, followers, and those giving our posts a cursory look.  We appreciate your time and interest in our work.  Our pictures are always from our weekly adventures, and we try to keep our ideas fresh while keeping the focus on nature and life’s changes.  All poetry is original (and usually “hot off the press” written just before posting time).  Feel free to share with others, but please be mindful of copyright laws and giving credit to appropriate parties.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo


Leo Doing the Sun Dance Lisa A. Wisniewski

Observing Cirrus Clouds & Spring Coming Around


Cirrus Clouds Lisa A. Wisniewski

Signs of spring continue to pop up in our area, creating an atmosphere of new beginnings and passing of time’s torch from winter to spring.  This week, we found shoots coming up from the rhubarb, columbine, and bleeding heart while walking around the yard.  The red maple and plum trees also have tiny buds on them, along with the lilac bushes.  Last night while biking, I heard the first spring peeper calling by a neighbor’s pond.  Later in the evening, the crickets added their background vocals to the song in the air.

Full Moon Symphony


Almost Full Moon Lisa A. Wisniewski

The spring peepers and crickets were calling again tonight, possibly anticipating the full worm moon’s rising. The name for this full moon comes from the movement of the earthworms underground.  Give the high amount of rain and higher temperatures the past week, the earthworms are indeed on the move.

Another name for the March full moon is the sap moon, marking the time the sap in the maple trees starts to run.  Clouds throughout the evening blocked our view of the full moon, so we did not get to see it rise.


Bleeding Heart Shoots Lisa A. Wisniewski

Unlike February, which had no full moons this year due to the way the moon’s orbit coincided with the calendar days, March will have two full moons this year.  The second full moon will be a blue moon, occurring on March 31.

Though we still have 19 more days to go on the calendar until spring’s official arrival, nature seems to be impatient this year, anxious to show off all the artistic ideas it found in winter’s hibernation.  Granted, the possibility of a major snow storm still exists, as do the chances of colder temperatures, ice, and winter’s finest art.

Sky Art and Childlike Hearts


High Cirrus Clouds Lisa A. Wisniewski

One of the most prominent art forms in the sky the past few days has been the clouds.  The cirrus clouds are the most eye-catching with their thin, wispy, curls and feathered patterns.  The clear blue sky backdrop made them appear painted, as if God and nature were having some fun doodling.  The sights reminded me of parables in the Bible where Jesus tells the disciples to have childlike hearts:

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”– Matthew 18:2-4


Daffodils Like Children Anxious for Spring Lisa A. Wisniewski

During this season of Lent, we are asked to open our hearts in childlike fashion, to not be afraid to ask questions, and to seek meaning in our lives and our activities.  It is in asking these questions and seeking the answers we learn more about ourselves and our surroundings.  Spending time in nature and taking in all it has to offer is one way to question ourselves and discover the inner child.

Why Cirrus?

Viewing the cirrus clouds not only brought back memories of when I first learned about the cloud types in grade school science, but also made me ask some questions, testing my memory and making me do some research to find the answers.  One question that came to mind is: Why are cirrus clouds called cirrus and not some other name?



Curls and Swirls Before Sunset Lisa A. Wisniewski

Cirrus is Latin for curl, and cirrus clouds often form wispy, tufted streaks referred to as mare’s tails.  These clouds are typically formed from ice crystals at altitudes of 20,000-40,000 feet.  The ice crystals are created when water droplets are super cooled, or cooled very slowly, in the atmosphere.  In this super cooled state, the water is below its freezing point, yet remains liquid.

The presence of cirrus clouds in the sky often indicates fair weather ahead.  Unlike nimbus clouds, cirrus clouds do not produce precipitation.  The thin, wispy appearance is due to the dryness of the air above 20,000 feet.

Five W’s and an H

As I discovered the answer to my question, I thought of additional questions about the clouds and the nature and science behind them.  The process reminded of lesson I learned long ago regarding how to ask questions.  The lesson was called five w’s and an h, and the gist of the lesson was to ask:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • How?

This lesson proved most important in science classes I took, as well as in journalism and writing classes.


Commanding Attention Lisa A. Wisniewski

I distinctly remember my journalism teacher emphasizing that our articles had to answer all of these questions, and the quicker the answers came in the article, the better it was for the reader. She also challenged us to write concise headlines to interest the reader. In hindsight, the headlines in the newspaper are like the cirrus clouds in the sky, attracting our attention with their appearance.

I also remember my ninth grade biology teacher challenging the class to ask questions and dig deep to find the most detailed answers.  She made up worksheets for each lesson that entailed us reading questions, finding answers in the chapter (or sometimes we really had to dig deep and go through the entire text book or revert to an encyclopedia), and drawing diagrams, images, or charts to augment our answers.


Fruits of Labor – Rhubarb Shoots Lisa A. Wisniewski

This teacher made the amount of work seem like play at times, at least in my mind.  Though it took me hours to hand write the answers (which had to be neat and in sentence form) and draw and color all the pictures (which I usually used colored pencils to do), it always felt so rewarding to complete the work and know I had learned something about the subject matter and myself in the process.  The most rewarding part though was her comments, which she wrote next to our grade on each assignment.

Cirrus Clouds of Life


Cirrus Clouds Forming Lisa A. Wisniewski

Recalling these lessons and the teachers who taught them to me made me realize that teachers are like cirrus clouds in life, each with his or her own set of wisps and curls that draw our attention and allow us to be childlike in learning.  Each teacher has his or her own way of super cooling our brains, allowing us to learn over time, yet remain fluid enough to continue learning more and change subject matter with ease.  In some ways, teachers allow us to have fair weather ahead, for after we have learned the material, we do not struggle as much with certain concepts.


So Many Thoughts… Lisa A. Wisniewski

Research suggests the average person has 50,000-70,000 thoughts in a day.  These thoughts cover a myriad of subjects and offer opportunities to learn and grow.  These thoughts can be difficult to consider and understand at times, but if we keep our minds and hearts open, we can find the positive and the light even in the negative of the dark.  Often, our teachers in life are the light in the dark and the compass that steers us onward.

Perhaps the following quote says it best:

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward


Inspirational Teacher Lisa A. Wisniewski

Please note a teacher need not necessarily be one by profession, but rather any person in our lives from whom we learn.  In essence, we are all teachers to some degree, so it is important to remember how we conduct ourselves has an impact on ourselves and upon others.

We are also cirrus clouds in life, each with our own set of curls and patterns to make us unique.  Like the clouds in the sky, we also change with the life’s winds and constantly move in different directions.  As such, we are God’s and nature’s doodles in life’s sketchbook.  If we allow ourselves to remain childlike at heart, we add our own creative flair to the picture.

May time and life grant us cirrus clouds with fair weather through our lives.  May the teachers and those close to us foster our childlike creativity along the way, and may we find renewed energy and life with each spring coming around. 


Sun Going Down Lisa A. Wisniewski

Spring Coming Around

Sun going down, moon coming up
As the world spins around by the grace of God’s love
And nature’s ways so true and fine
On the way through the steps of life
Seen in the meadows and the valleys
Mountain views and shores by the seas,
Where all become one
In the rise and fall of the seasons
With each spring coming around
To bring more blessings to be found.


Break of Day Lisa A. Wisniewski

Everything that glitters may not be gold,
But the dew that shimmers is still a sight to behold
In the sun’s light at the break of day
Where the world comes alive to create
Many blessings and mysteries,
Reasons for correcting the path of the feet
Wandering the sands of time’s hourglass,
Near and far, over, around, up, down, and back
Through each spring coming around
To sing the soul’s song as it becomes found.


Red Maple Buds Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sunrise in the distance, geese calling in the air,
Daffodils sprouting to rise from winter’s care,
Branches and stems of the trees
Popping with little hems of buds creating a sea
Of light green amidst the hills
Where the deer feed and the creek spills
Water over the rocks rippling in waves
Moving into the ponds and lakes
With each spring coming around
Where the birds sing as the clouds spin above the ground.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski


Clouds Spinning in the Distance Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Note of Thanks

Thanks to our readers for taking time to read, view, and reflect upon our post.  We appreciate your support and interest in our work.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo


Sadie & Leo Watching the Sunset Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Cirrus – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cirrus

Cirrus clouds – http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-clouds.htm

Full worm moon – https://www.space.com/35891-march-full-moon.html

Matthew 18:2-4 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18:2-4

Thoughts in a day – https://subliminalpro.com/thoughts/

Observing Spring’s Prelude


Sunrise February 21, 2018 Lisa A. Wisniewski

The past week has been a bit of a weather roller coaster in my area with snow, sleet, rain, more rain, and two amazingly beautiful sunrises with some clearing skies followed by more rain.  Actually, it has seemed more like April than February, which has been good for the Canada geese and mallard ducks that suddenly appeared on the neighboring ponds.


Mallard Ducks Lisa A. Wisniewski

Water Here, There, Everywhere


Canada Geese Lisa A. Wisniewski

All the water running from the snow melt and rain has made the ponds and creeks swell to high levels, in some cases causing floods and landslides.  Most of the running water on the surface is very clear, allowing one to see through to the surface below.  The deeper water is more cloudy and filled with sediment.

The differences in the water reminded me that our spiritual life can be like water, sometimes clear and full of energy and life.  Other times, we find ourselves in cloudy waters, unsure of our faith and the direction we are headed.  If we allow the water to pool and get too murky, we find ourselves lost.  However, if we keep the water flowing with spiritual activities like prayer and Scripture reading, we find our way through all the twists and turns of life.


Driving Force of Nature Lisa A. Wisniewski

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Hints of Spring

Along with the geese and ducks, I saw hints of spring creeping into existence, including:

  • The first robins picking at the ground on February 21
  • Very tiny leaves emerging from the multiflora rose
  • Hyacinth, daffodil, and day lily shoots popping up from the ground
  • Spots of green grass and wild onions popping up
  • A dandelion in bloom

Daffodil Shoots Lisa A. Wisniewski

Though spring does not arrive until March 20 according to the calendar, I know from experience the weather and nature often do not coincide with the calendar start of the season.  This is, of course, just a part of life’s many mysteries and blessings.

The sunrise has shifted from the southeast quadrant of the sky closer to due east.  Sunrise time is at 7:05 AM, a full 50 minutes earlier than it was back in November, just before winter began.  Sunset is shifting from the southwest toward due west a little more each night.  Sunset time is now at 6:04 PM, making for just under 11 full hours of daylight.


First Robin Lisa A. Wisniewski

All of these signs are encouraging to the soul anxiously awaiting nature’s changing of the guard from winter to spring.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland

Watching and Waiting

It is during this time of waiting that we notice a transition or slow progression of nature’s changes.  Each day is a little brighter, a little longer, and a little more colorful.  As the leaves and blooms emerge, the landscape brightens and comes alive.  The winter slumber is shaken off and the energy of spring makes its entrance to challenge all living creatures to grow.


Watching and Waiting Lisa A. Wisniewski

This growth in both nature and ourselves requires patience.   Patience for understanding, learning, changing, and making decisions.  Patience with ourselves and those around us helps foster a “garden of hope and faith” where we can share joy and sorrow, success and failure.  Many little changes bind together to make a difference in the world as a whole.

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait- it’s how we behave while we are waiting.” – Joyce Meyer

May the sights we see encourage us to learn and grow.  May this growth lead to waters filled with life and meaningful relationships, and may the sounds heard in the prelude to the song of spring help strengthen us for the journey.


Water Flowing Over the Rocks Lisa A. Wisniewski

Prelude to the Song of Spring

Water flowing over the rocks,
Little rivers going by the grace of God’s
Will and power from the hills to the seas,
As the sun stands still in the winter breeze,
Cascading and foaming in white froth
Rearranging the glowing glisten over the moss
While the crows caw and the robins sing
The prelude to the song of spring.


Mist Rising at Day’s End Lisa A. Wisniewski

Mist rising at day’s end
Below the skies under heaven
Glowing orange, pink, and gold
Mid the flowing clouds to unfold
The magic in the sunset from afar
Before nighttime happens and the stars
Come out to play in the foggy rings
In the prelude to the song of spring.


Heavens Open Wide at Dawn Lisa A. Wisniewski

Heavens open wide at dawn
Casting light down upon
The earth in beams of crimson, pink, and lemon,
Cantaloupe, tangerine, and persimmon,
Rolling, rolling through the clouds
Like a river flowing, flowing around and around
Spinning and weaving time itself
In the giving and receiving of the soul that delves
Deeper and closer to the light that sings
The prelude to the song of spring.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski


Sunrise Reflection February 18, 2018 Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Note of Thanks

Thanks to our reader of this post for taking a moment to read and reflect upon our work.  We appreciate your time and thoughtfulness.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo


Dawn Breaking Lisa A. Wisniewski

Observing Lent & Life Lessons


Lent’s Message of Hope Lisa A. Wisniewski

The season of Lent has finally arrived, which means spring can’t be far behind.  Though the past week’s weather has been a mix of winter’s finest elements, hints of spring in the warmer air and brighter days are emerging.  Sunrise has inched to 7:15 AM and sunset is at 5:56 PM.  The past two day’s high temperatures were above 40°F, allowing snow and ice to melt and form little ponds of water in lower lying areas.

This past week has been the first week in some time that I have had enough daylight and cooperating temperatures to complete my normal routine of runs and bike rides.  Talk about a shot of adrenaline after weeks of having to stop short due to conditions!  There is nothing like returning to “normal” after a bit of chaos in one’s life.

Defining Moments


Changing Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

However, sometimes we need to make changes or adjustments in order to maintain our sense of normal.  One of the reasons I have always liked the Lenten season is its ability to make oneself consider priorities, expectations, goals, achievements, and direction in life.  While asking these questions can be difficult, and trying to answer them can be more than a challenge, the experience of the journey can be quite moving and invigorating.

Like many parishes in my community, the church I attend has a number of Lenten activities and opportunities to volunteer during the season.  This year, things are a little uncertain because our priest fell and is recovering from injuries, which means we have had some visiting priests to help with masses and volunteers to help with normal church operations.


Blessed Are We Lisa A. Wisniewski

This past Sunday, the visiting priest had a different approach to mass and offered a funny and insightful homily on the readings.  His message was that we are all children of God.  As such, we are blessed, favored, and have nothing to fear.  He reminded the congregation that Lent is a season to focus on being children of God.  I had never heard this aspect of Lent before, so I was quite intrigued with the priest’s comments and insights.

At one point, he asked us to remember these words: “Blessed am I.  Favored am I.  I have nothing to fear.” He even started to sing it like a song and dance around, which made the congregation erupt in laughter.  Clearly, he wanted to offer the congregation insight into the season and the readings, as well as life.

Opportunities Abound

Driving home that day, I thought about how we have so many opportunities to learn and grow in life.  Whether it is during Lent or some other season, many organizations offer conferences and presentations to give us help with everything from health to finances, faith to home improvement, and hobbies to employment.

We also have books and other forms of literature, television, the Internet, and people in our community as resources.  Above all, we have nature, the ever-present teacher with boundless lessons to share and great patience with our learning ability.

Patience and Perseverance


Making a Difference Lisa A. Wisniewski

One of the keys to both teaching and learning is patience.  Patience with ourselves and others as we journey together through the lessons of life.  Recently, I read a book called Make Your Bed by retired U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven.  The book is an extension of a commencement speech McRaven offered at the University of Texas in 2014.  In it, he shares life lessons learned in his training and career as a Navy SEAL.

While McRaven acknowledges that both his patience and that of his commanding officers was tested upon the journey and some of the techniques used were less than compassionate, the end goal was to make a difference.  This difference was not only in the SEALS in training, but also in the world.  McRaven emphasizes the little things we can do that over time and with patience, make a difference, both in us and in our surroundings.

Little Things


Little Crescent Moon in the Morning Sky Lisa A. Wisniewski

The first little bit of knowledge McRaven shares is to make your bed.  Doing so allows you to accomplish the first task of the day, which provides a psychological boost. He explains one task accomplished leads to another like a domino effect.  By the end of the day, you have accomplished much.  He stresses that if you do the little things in life correctly, you will also do the larger things in life correctly.

His second piece of wisdom is to find someone to help you.  Teamwork is essential to surviving life’s difficulties and reaching our destiny.  As we go through the process of finding others to help, we must remember to measure people by the size of their hearts and not their outward appearance.  McRaven uses his personal experience to explain how the smallest in stature, frailest in appearance, and least likely candidates to assist ended up being his greatest helpers and sources of inspiration upon his journey.

Cookies and Circuses of Life


Welcome to the Circus Lisa A. Wisniewski

In our experiences of helping others and finding helpers, we will come across unfair circumstances.  McRaven uses the SEALs ritual of being a “sugar cookie” to illustrate this point.  If at any point during training, it was deemed you had created an “infraction” you had to run into the surf, making your entire body wet, then go roll in the sand on the beach.  You spent the rest of the day wet and covered in sand, which was most uncomfortable, and sometimes you did not even know what “infraction” you had committed to deserve these circumstances.  McRaven suggests we “get over being a sugar cookie and move forward” during life’s unfair times.


Strength in Numbers Lisa A. Wisniewski

The fifth piece of advice the Admiral shares is failure can make you stronger.  In SEAL training, it is required to swim certain distances in a given time with your swim buddy.  If the time was deemed unacceptable, you and your swim buddy were put on a list called The Circus.  The Circus was two additional hours of calisthenics at the end of the day when you were already tired from normal training.  Typically, once you got on The Circus list, it took some time to get off it because each day was another swim, another evaluation, and another extra two hours of exercises, leading to fatigue.  However, over time, the exercises in The Circus strengthened you and your swim buddy’s bodies, allowing you to improve as a team.

Going through The Circus also allows you to become mentally stronger, which allows you to learn to take risks, or as the Admiral explains, “dare greatly” in order to achieve success.  While there is a time and a place for caution, we also must recognize when we need to stand up to the bullies in life.  Doing so takes courage, which, if we dig deep, we can find within ourselves.

Digging Deep and Singing Along


Light in the Dark Lisa A. Wisniewski

Along with digging deep, we need to learn how to be at our best during life’s darkest moments.  This is not a quickly learned lesson, but rather takes time to develop.  We all have different ways and perspectives to help us “rise to the occasion” as McRaven explains it.  During these darkest moments, we need to both find and offer hope.  McRaven suggests to “start singing when you are up to your neck in mud” and what better way to find hope than with a song that moves the soul?

Sometimes, we will have to sing more than a few songs, dig deep more times than we think is possible, go through The Circus days on end, be sugar cookies despite our greatest efforts, and look really hard to find measureable hearts to help us.  However, we must never quit, or as the Admiral puts it, “never, ever ring the bell” signaling your submission.

Perseverance and Perspective


Perspective Lisa A. Wisniewski

I must admit reading McRaven’s book gave me a mental boost in my preparing for Lent and for a few upcoming difficult life circumstances.  Like the priest’s message I spoke of earlier, McRaven reminded me of little things I can do that ultimately make a big difference.  It boils down to perseverance and perspective.  Keep moving, keep trying, keep adjusting, and in time, we will find the right path.  But—and this is a big but– we have to make the decision to try.  No one else can make it for us.

Life is full of opportunities to try, both on our own and with groups of others.  Nature offers us additional insight, if only we take the time to observe and reflect.  In combining known and unknown, we learn to extend ourselves and give others hope.  The mental and physical exercises we go through in life build upon this hope, allowing us to keep moving forward.

May the journey we take in life allow us to do the little things well and ultimately lead to bigger successes.  May our offerings of assistance to others be reciprocated or returned when we find ourselves in need, and may our perseverance lead us to life lessons that sustain our minds, bodies, and souls.


Intimate Moment Lisa A. Wisniewski

Life Lessons

Life lessons
Intimate moments when
Far and near
Emerge as clear,

Leading us on
Embraced in God’s arms,
Sheltered and protected,
Saved despite our imperfections,
Our souls united as one
Neath the rising and setting sun
So that we can see our destiny.


Embraced in God’s Arms Lisa A. Wisniewski

Life lessons
In the skies of heaven,
Forest floors and trees,
Earth’s shores and seas,

Lying wide open
Enveloped by time’s extents
Showing and teaching the heart and soul
Slowly growing with meaning to extend its hold
Over and under and beyond
Nature’s rain and thunder, moon, and stars
Spread through our days by God’s grace.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski


Hope in the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Note of Thanks

Thanks to our readers for encouraging us to continue creating insightful posts with relevant messages.  We sincerely appreciate you taking time to read about our adventures through The Circus of life.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo


Sadie and Leo Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Lent – https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/history-of-lent.html

Make Your Bed book – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/make-your-bed-william-mcraven/1124481737#/

Observing Winter’s Mix and Nature’s Kitchen


Winter’s Mix Lisa A. Wisniewski

Nature has definitely been creative this past week with weather including sunshine, blue skies, precipitation from rain to ice pellets to snow, low fog, mist, and clouds of all types.  The variety in the landscapes and weather elements has made for some physical, mental, and spiritual challenges, but without this wintry mix, we would not be learning, growing, or really living.

Sunrise Surprise


Sunrise Surprise Saturday, February 3, 2018 Lisa A. Wisniewski

Saturday’s most beautiful sunrise full of crimson, red, orange, peach, tangerine, cantaloupe, and gold hues made for a spiritual start to the day.  As I ran and biked that morning watching the colors unfold, it was as if nature was making Valentine sugar cookies in the sky and icing them with nature’s sweet hues.  The sight unfolded in slow motion to the rhythm of my breathing, as if the sky and I were one, coming to rise to the challenges of the day.

Recent readings came to mind, especially ones about letting go and acknowledging God’s being in charge despite our best efforts to control life events.  The sight and the stillness also reminded me of an all-time favorite song, Let Your Love Flow, written by Larry E. Williams and sung by the Bellamy Brothers:

Let Your Love Flow

There’s a reason for the sunshine sky
And there’s a reason why I’m feelin’ so high
Must be the season when that love light shines
All around us


Let Your Love Flow Lisa A. Wisniewski

So let that feelin’ grab you deep inside
And send you reelin’ where your love can’t hide
And then go stealin’ through the moonlit nights
With your lover

Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with the smallest of dreams
And let your love show and you’ll know what I mean
It’s the season

Let your love fly like a bird on a wing
And let your love bind you to all living things
And let your love shine and you’ll know what I mean
That’s the reason


Let That Wonder Take You Into Space Lisa A. Wisniewski

There’s a reason for the warm sweet nights
And there’s a reason for the candle lights
Must be the season when those love rites shine
All around us

So let that wonder take you into space
And lay you under its loving embrace
Just feel the thunder as it warms your face
You can’t hold back

Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with the smallest of dreams
And let your love show and you’ll know what I mean
It’s the season


Bound to All Living Things Lisa A. Wisniewski

Let your love fly like a bird on a wing
And let your love bind you to all living things
And let your love shine and you’ll know what I mean
That’s the reason…

Though it is sometimes hard to allow our feelings freedom to flow, it is often necessary so that we can move on in and with life.  The message of the morning was most fitting after a rather difficult work week full of personal and professional challenges.

Morning Mist


Gray All Day Lisa A. Wisniewski

The low-lying mist and fog enveloping Sunday morning was a reminder of the challenges we face during the darker or grayer times in life.  Though the misty fog was quite beautiful in its own right, hanging like a veil below the oatmeal textured clouds, it was also a little depressing.  The ensuing dampness that lingered throughout the day made it a bit uncomfortable for outside work, but true to form, the dogs and I trudged through our to-do lists with enthusiasm and hope that the sun would eventually emerge.

Before sunset, I ran and biked beneath the still-gray skills, lamenting the dreariness.  Looking up, I realized the clouds had an almost painted pattern to them off to the east.  Though not bright in color, something in the wisps whisked across the sky made the atmosphere less dreary and more peaceful.  Though I had been seeking the sun’s light and had not found it, I had managed to get through the day’s events, which reminded me of a great quote:

“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” – James A. Michener

Blue Skies and Sunshine Pies


Shriveled Rhodedendron Lisa A. Wisniewski

Monday’s midday blue skies filled with a mix of sunshine and clouds were a most welcome sight, adding to the variety in February’s wintry weather mix.  While walking the dogs that day, I noticed the rhododendron and mountain laurel leaves had shriveled due to the cold.  The once plump summer and fall leaves of deep green had shrunk into thinner, almost reed-like curled tubes with an olive drab color.  I have seen this before and know the cold temperatures are the root cause of this change.  In warmer temperatures, the water in the leaves expands, creating turgor pressure, resulting in the plump leaf appearance.  As the temperature cools, so do the water molecules in the leaves.  The cooling contracts the water molecules, creating the shrunken appearance.


Winter Sun Lisa A. Wisniewski

Looking at the leaves, I thought about how winter and colder weather sometimes cause us to contract, forcing us inside, limiting our outside activities, and even causing depression leading to less desire for social interaction.  Like the leaves, we need water to flow within us in order to appear healthy. This water may be of a physical or spiritual nature.  We also need sunlight to steer our minds and light the way along our paths.

The blue skies above reminded me that soon the temperatures will be warmer, sunlight will be more plentiful, and the leaves of the rhododendron and mountain laurel will appear healthier.  The sun radiating in the distance looked like a lemon meringue pie, with a frosty mist covering its inner yellow core. The sight reminded me that life is full of circles with paths to be sliced in different ways.  Some slices are neat and perfect, others a messy blob, yet all provide food for thought and life to nourish us upon the journey.

Winter’s Mix


Ice-Glazed Pine Lisa A. Wisniewski

Tuesday and Wednesday brought wintry mixes of rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and ice pellets to the area.  While the many forms of precipitation made for some terrible travel conditions, the resulting glazed landscape with a frosty coating like powdered sugar held a beauty only nature could create.  Shoveling the heavy mix of snow, rain, and ice from the driveway was a great workout Wednesday evening.  Though the clouds covered the skies, the snowy white blanket on the landscape made it appear bright.


Light After Sunset Lisa A. Wisniewski

Although the official sunset was at 5:47 PM that day, the light lasted until well after 6:00 PM, a sure sign that both Lent and spring are on their way.  Lent begins on February 14th, this year, which is also Valentine’s Day.  Spring is just over a month away, due to arrive on March 20th.  So, although winter is still very present, there is much to look forward to in the coming days.

One thing I have learned to appreciate over the years is the time winter allows for reflection, contemplation, and planning.  The wintry mix earlier in the day resulted in delays and cancellations of community activities.  While some people may have viewed these transactions as annoyances, others may have used the time to do constructive activities like spending time with loved ones, studying, exercising, cooking, baking, or creating art.

What we do with our time often entails mixing a variety of activities into allotted spaces, organized (or sometimes simply thrown) into our days.  Though the variety of activities can lead to stress, complications, and undesired events, there can also be learning, growth, and acquired perspective helpful for dealing with future situations.

Clearing Skies and Steering Time


Clearing Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Today’s late afternoon skies turned blue within the clearing clouds, revealing the sun once again.  The light made the cold temperatures of my lunchtime walk and evening run and bike ride less daunting.  The wispy cirrus and cotton-like cumulous clouds dissipated like foam, allowing for a serene sunset of colors seen for miles around.

Watching the colors change above me as I let the issues of the day slip through my mind, I felt captured in life’s water, slowly making my way through each moment, allowing the minutes to wash away the dust and dirt of life.  Like a freshly washed vegetable, nature tossed me into the soup of life to add my own flavor to the recipe.

Recipes for Life


Recipe for Life Lisa A. Wisniewski

In a sense, each day is a recipe to unfold, alter, and recreate ourselves and our environments.  Sometimes the ingredients are readily available, other times they are hard to find, expensive, or difficult to work with.  If we start with basic elements and concepts, we can build and expand to create a most eloquent outcome.

One thing we must remember is as with any recipe, chemistry and physics are involved.  The right amounts, specific actions and reactions, and combinations are what make the outcomes unique.  Each ingredient plays a part in the success or failure of the whole.


Ingredients to Share Lisa A. Wisniewski

Like the ingredients in a recipe, we too have an impact upon the outcomes of projects and events in our lives.  The relationships we have are the chemistry and physics that allow for actions and reactions.  Just as flour, salt, and oil are considered staple ingredients in food creation, faith, hope, and love are the staples in forming relationships in life.  These relationships in turn give us spiritual, mental, and emotional food, allowing us to grow.

May the ingredients we find in our relationships lead us to create nourishing recipes for growth, learning, and sharing with others.  May the staples of faith, hope, and love yield the most eloquent and artistic outcomes possible, and may the elements of nature’s kitchen provide an open space for experimenting, observing, and creating.


Sunrise in the East Lisa A. Wisniewski

Nature’s Kitchen

Sunrise in the east
Bright velvet beneath
The swirling clouds in the distance
Twirling without resistance
Reflecting the light all colors of the rainbow
In a stellar show
To greet the day anew
After the night parades through
The landscape of trees and fields
Where the breeze reveals
Peace, hope, grace, and all the fixings
Within God’s love spread through nature’s kitchen.


Like a Blanket of Frosting Lisa A. Wisniewski

Like a blanket of frosting, the snow on the ground
Sends jeweled light crossing in and around
The delicate lattice of flakes
Drifted and gathered to watch the sun wake
The world up from its slumber
Beneath clouds and stars of ultimate number
Fading in the light’s field of vision
Slowly revealed through nature’s kitchen.


Dried Teasels in the Snow Lisa A. Wisniewski

Mixed and crafted with the finest ingredients,
The recipe has the most expert credence
Combining water, crystals, dried flowers, and snow
Evergreen lentils, ice showers, and seeds grown,
Hand chopped, stirred, and baked
With care only God could create
In the context of His mission
For the many guests of nature’s kitchen.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski


Thank You! Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Note of Thanks

Thanks once again to our readers for taking time to read our work.  Thanks also to God and nature for providing insight and experiences to share with others upon the journey.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo


Sadie & Leo in the Snow Lisa A. Wisniewski