Posts Tagged ‘Komodo Dragon’

The other evening as I was “closing up shop” on my day, putting files away, and cleaning up my desktop, I happened to look out the window and spied a bird on my fence I’d never seen before. It was a hawk, but too small to be a red-tailed hawk. What was it?

First, I took a few photos through my office window lest I go outside and frighten it away, and then went to Audubon’s website for a little research. I found that we have eight hawks native to New Jersey, and this is a sharp-shinned hawk, also known as a sharp or sharpie. My reading on Audubon identified it as a juvenile. It stayed there for quite some time, and I stayed staring at it for quite some time, mesmerized by its beauty. Seeing an animal like this so close is always a gift to me.

And on to sillier matters …

I went out to get the mail down at the road, and my 6-year-old neighbor was taking an outdoors break from his online school day. He had a white toy animal which he quickly explained to me was a Komodo dragon he’d gotten for his birthday last year. “Wait!” I said. “I have a Komodo dragon, too!” And I showed him what you see below. He loved it, but was called in by his Dad for his next class. Inspired by his enthusiasm, I took a few photos and texted them over to my friends for him.

Here she is rock climbing in the back yard. The carving came from a now-defunct store called Two Buttons which was in nearby Frenchtown. The owners of the store were local author Liz Gilbert and her then-husband, Jose, she being the real-life Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray, Love. (She was played by Julia Roberts in the movie.)

And playing on the porch. Two Buttons was an amazing import store that sold the wares of artisans from all over the world. This little dragon is carved from the root of a tree that grows in Indonesia, and is about 11″ long. They had different sizes, including one that was about 7′ long and breathtaking. If I had a few thousand dollars doing nothing, that one would be in my living room now.

Exploring in the grass. I am reminded to be grateful, in these unusual times with all their challenges and frustrations, that there’s still something silly in me – and in those of you who are enjoying the dragon photos – that has survived and seems alive and well. Cheers to us!

And on one last note … it’s spring here in New Jersey, and the pollen seems particularly intense this year. Witness my car a few hours ago.

Coming back up my driveway, the wind suddenly whipped up, and a cloud – I mean a CLOUD! – of pollen pursued me up to my door. I’d say Pollen-10, me and my car-0. And tonight we are expecting high winds. Woo hoo!

Life brings with it innumerable changes. This past year has brought with it many that have been massive, widespread, and often out of our control. And yet we’re still here … coming through on the other side – maybe a little frayed around the edges, feeling a little beat down – maybe a lot beat down – but have not given up hope. What just came to mind were the immortal words of John Lennon, “And we all shine on.

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Here you see something I’ve wanted for quite some time … a handsomely carved Komodo dragon. I spotted him probably two years ago in one of my favorite stores, Two Buttons in Frenchtown. At the time, they had one that was probably 5′ long. I really wanted that one, but didn’t dare look at the price tag. Each time I’ve been in the store, I’ve been powerfully drawn to one of these Komodo dragons.  They are hand-carved by an artist in Bali, (I believe), and each is unique. I would hold one, or several in turn, in my hands, feeling a connection I cannot explain.

On the occasion of my birthday this past summer, I was given a check. I was asked to please spend it on something that I really wanted, something special. My immediate thought was of the dragon. And yet I have dallied, contemplating all the things I really need and should do with that money. Do you ever find yourself doing this? You are invited to do something or buy something that is unequivocally a treat for yourself, but instead you spend it on something practical, or wrangle endlessly with yourself over it? Like I have. You know, we really need to be good to ourselves, kind to ourselves, to believe that we are deserving of all that is good.

So about a week ago, doing some Christmas shopping in Two Buttons with a friend, I picked up a Komodo dragon, as I had so many times before. He had a different attitude in his posture than I had previously seen. He seemed reflective. And as I held him, once again considering my still unspent birthday money, one of my very favorite Christmas songs played through the store, John Lennon’s So This Is Christmas. And I knew that that Komodo dragon was meant to be mine.

There are no coincidences.

And then this Saturday I met a longtime friend for breakfast. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, and she returned a book to me that I honestly had forgotten I’d lent her — Gratitude, A Way of Life by Louise Hay and other luminaries. It’s easy to forget sometimes how much we truly have to be grateful for, and I felt that this book returning to me after such a long time was also no coincidence. Perhaps I really needed to re-examine how much I have to be thankful for in my life. So I’ve decided to read one of the author’s essays on gratitude each day. We can never go wrong being thankful and making it a daily practice.

Most likely you have your own Komodo dragons appearing in your life. They are opportunities to be kind to yourself, to be thankful, to even find moments of peace. Take them.

Let there be peace on earth. And let it begin with me.       – Jill Jackson Miller

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