Monday, September 24, 2012

A special message, to 'carry on' - no matter what.

We've all heard about someone figuratively carrying an individual or a team on their shoulders. However, Dartanyon Crockett and Leroy Sutton introduce a completely new dimension. Watch how these two best friends carry each other through life and discover that the human spirit can triumph over the most difficult obstacles. These two best friends have inspired more than each other. They are also an inspiration to a community in which many individuals have to overcome tough odds to advance in life.

This is the most beautiful story of how strength in spirit overcomes all obstacles; and how the bond of friendship can carry us anywhere. 

God bless this most beautiful Universe, for bringing each and all and every one of us - the gift of friendship. 

This one is worth sharing...

Such a beautiful story, and picture... worth sharing.. 

For this man, picture is worth a thousand words -- so many of them kind

John Unger and his 19-year-old rescue dog, Schoep, take one of their therapeutic evening swims in Lake Superior. After professional photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson took the photo of her friend, she posted it on Facebook and it went viral. 
John Unger just wanted a friend to take a nice photo of him and his 19-year-old dog, Schoep, before it was too late. 

The Bayfield, Wis., man got that photo -- and world validation, too. 

When Unger's friend, professional photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, posted the unusual photo -- of Unger holding his sleeping dog in the waters of Lake Superior -- on her Facebook page Aug. 1, it went viral. A week later, the photo had been shared 156,911 times, prompted 28,695 comments and received more than a quarter million "likes" (264,433 -- and counting -- at press time). 

"In the shot, the dog is completely relaxed, with his head on John's shoulder, eyes closed, out cold. John's eyes are closed, too. The water is calm. It's completely serene," Stonehouse Hudson told the Pioneer Press in a Page 1 story that was published Wednesday, Aug. 8. "In this photo, people have said they see everything from pure love to hope for the world. They see peace, kindness, the relationship between man and dog." 

Now, Unger shares how the photo -- and his dog -- have both been turning points in his life: "Schoep developed a limp. It went away for a while, then it came back," says Unger, 49, who lives and works as a hobby farm caretaker and a carpenter's helper in the Town of Bayfield. 

"The vet said that part of it is age, and there's not much we can do, besides pain meds. I knew the vet was not going to say, 'You'll have to put him down.' They never say that, but the writing 

is on the wall, that it would be cruel to keep him going if he is in a lot of pain. That hit me like bricks. 
"That night, or the following day, I saw Hannah, a photographer I've known ever since we moved to Bayfield five or six years ago. I knew she was insanely busy in the middle of wedding season, but I asked if she could get a nice picture of Schoep and I together soon because I didn't know how much time he had left, and I didn't really have a picture of the two of us. She said, 'Tomorrow would be great.' I said, 'Meet us at the lake at dusk.' (Schoep has cataracts and he can see better when the sun goes down.) 

"I knew I wanted a picture in the water because, for years, he has been falling asleep in my arms in the water. I told her about it and she said, 'That can't be!' I know it's strange. It stems back to teaching him to swim. He's not a good swimmer. I used to take him to Lake Michigan in Milwaukee. Swimming is a natural thing for dogs, but for some reason when he started doing the 'doggie paddle,' he never did it fast enough -- he would sink! 

"So I would just hold him, cradling his belly, like you do when you are teaching a child how to swim. Soon enough, he started putting his paws on my shoulders and I would 

John Unger, with his 19-year-old dog, Schoep. (Courtesy of Hannah Stonehouse Hudson) 
hold him like a small child. He started falling asleep in my arms. 
 "I knew it was unusual, but it's something we've always done, especially when it's hot. And now, I do it as hydrotherapy for his arthritis and joint pain.
"I told Hannah to meet us at (Lake Superior) at 7 p.m. (July 31). I told her that I wasn't going to speak because if I did, Schoep would wake up, and sometimes we have only five to 10 minutes in that water before he gets cold. I said, 'We will be in the water when you get there. Just come and start taking photos.'
"When we were in the water, I saw Hannah on the dock and the walkway, but I did not think she was shooting yet. When Schoep started shaking, I said, 'I've got to take him out already, we might have to do it another day.'
"She said, 'Why? I already got some great shots.' It happened that fast.
"Hannah said, 'OK, I'll post the photos (on Facebook) within the next day or so. See what you think.' I pretty much saw 'the photo' when everybody else did.
"I thought it was a fantastic photo. Of course, it moved me, seeing him on my shoulder. I was so happy that we got a photo that I can have for the rest of my life and remember those swims."
When asked what he was thinking at the moment the photo was shot -- his eyes are closed as his dog sleeps in his arms in the water -- he breaks down.
"Hold on," he said. "That moment just hit me again. Well, OK, I was thinking this could be the last time."
Schoep -- named after the Wisconsin-based Schoeps Ice Cream -- is a rescue dog.
"My ex-fiancee and I found him at the Ozaukee Humane Society in Wisconsin in 1996. He was estimated to be 8 to 14 months old. He was in a cage with his sister.
"His sister seemed like a normal rescue, acclimated to her surroundings and to people. Schoep basically was sitting as far back in the corner as he could get. My ex got him to come to her, but he walked with his head down.
"He looked like he was absolutely defeated, I'll never forget it. We basically nodded and said, 'He's the one.' I guess I just wanted to help a dog who needed help."
The timid shepherd mix -- who they suspect may have been abused -- didn't want to interact with Unger.
"At the shelter, he warmed up to my ex, but he would not come from behind her legs to meet me. So I got a tennis ball and started rolling it between my knees with my hands. Slowly, that attracted him. His ears went up. He was curious.
"I did that for a good half-hour, but he never caught on enough to play catch with me. That's when I realized he had never played before -- he didn't know how." 

A year later, it was Schoep's turn to help Unger. 

"My ex-fiance broke up with me abruptly, and I felt myself falling into a depression," he said. "About a month later, I went down to the breakwater in Milwaukee with thoughts of suicide. Schoep was with me. 

"I looked over at him, and he looked up at me in a way that sounds like a story, but he looked up at me with a furrowed brow, almost squinting, a concerned and confused look that I've never seen him ever make again. 

"Right then and there, I decided I couldn't go through with it, because if I did, who would take care of him? I had just adopted him, I was not going to abandon this dog. Even on the walk home, I began to focus more on the dog than myself. I was still depressed, but I have never been suicidal again. 

"I decided to use my energy not to focus so much on what I was feeling but to give my dog the best life I could. In the process, I helped myself, too. 

"We give animals as much as we can; in return, they give us their all, no matter how little or how much we give them. I have given Schoep as much as I can, although it was very little at that time. He has always given me his all." 

Like the photo, this dog just keeps going and going and going: People tell Unger it's unusual for a large-breed dog to live almost two decades. Unger can't explain his dog's longevity, but he thinks it has helped that the dog went on long runs for many years, still eats vegetables for snacks and, of course, is loved so much. 

"Not too many years ago, I realized that he was not going to be here much longer," Unger says. "I started having anxiety issues about it. But I came out of my deep depression (resulting from the breakup with his fiance) about two years ago, and so now I'm ready -- as ready as any owner can be when faced with saying goodbye. 

"I know my life will be completely changed. My whole schedule for years has been based on Schoep. 

"But I know the time to say goodbye is drawing near. I hope, when it does happen, it will be a peaceful thing for him. I have thought about what a huge change it will be for me. What am I going to do? I will cross that bridge when I come to it, but I think I will be OK." 

Unger didn't expect the world to help him say goodbye. 

"When I first saw the photo, I noticed a couple of comments, but I got my first computer in February and I've been on Facebook for only a couple of months. I'm an infant when it comes to the computer. The jargon that people use, I have no idea what they're talking about. When someone said, 'Hey, I think this picture is going viral,' I had to ask what that meant." 

He certainly knows now. 

"I started reading the comments and couldn't stop," Unger says. "I stayed up most of one night reading every single one. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The kind things they were saying.
"It's still tough for me, coming from a depressed place. I didn't think very highly of myself. To have that mindset for decades and then literally overnight to have thousands of people saying these things to me ... it was ... I am still at a loss for words. The kindness of these words was the exact opposite of everything in my head for decades. 

"The comments that affect me the most are the ones where a person who was having trouble, the photo made a difference in their day, or that they just lost their pet and the photo made them smile. When I realized that this photo is actually helping some people -- that, in turn, helped me."
Unger is amazed that one photo has led to so much attention. "When the Duluth paper called and wanted to do a story, even then I was like, 'Really?' " 

That story led to the duo becoming media darlings. 

"The Huffington Post did a story," he says. "I, um, sort of know what the Huffington Post is."
Eight days after the photo was first posted, the attention continues: At press time, CNN and Fox were calling. 

"Hannah and I still say to each other, 'Can you believe this?' " 

Some of the reaction has amused Unger, such as queries whether he's single.
"Are they joking, or is that a real question?" he wondered.
The answer, just in case: Ladies, he's single and ready to mingle.
But ...
"I would be embarrassed to tell you the last time I went out on a date," he said.
He isn't sure anyone would really be interested. 

"I'm penniless," he says. "I live paycheck to paycheck. Right now, I have less than $5 in the bank." 

Hopefully, that will change soon: The photographer is selling prints (and coffee mugs) at and splitting proceeds with Unger. In addition, an anonymous donor contacted the Pioneer Press on Wednesday, Aug. 8, with an offer to pay for all of Schoep's medical treatments and vet bills. 

"This has been a gift from the world, this kindness," Unger says. 

Unger has spent some time considering why the photo has affected so many people. 

"I guess it's nice to see a story like this among all the bad news in the world," he says. "What has amazed me is how this photo has brought everybody together in a positive way. Isn't that what we're striving for in the world? 

"That's what I can't believe -- that I have something to do with something like that. Are you kidding me? I'm still dumbfounded. A picture can join the world together in joy and happiness? It can cross barriers of language, culture, religion? And it has crossed barriers -- it has crossed every one." 

(see the original story at By Molly Guthrey

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This Simple Act of Compassion - what our world needs most.

Every Thursday morning, Dan Dewey orders 12 to 24 coffee items from the Starbucks in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He then delivers the coffee to patients and staff at the Michigan Cancer Institute (MCI). The tradition started when he took his own father to MCI for treatment. His father has since passed away, but Dan keeps the coffee, and the smiles, flowing. 

This video inspired me so very much - because, it shows... how the very littlest of things we may choose to do, may have the greatest, and most longest lasting impacts of all.  In each day, we have the opportunity to step forward and share of our spirits - this is our choice. And it doesn't have to be something super magnificent, or life changing... because, sometimes lives can be changed through such a simple act as showing our love. 

This *is* loving-kindness - and this is what our world needs most. Ask yourself, "what can I do today, to show and share my compassion and love"?

Friday, September 21, 2012

I lied, one more ~

My bucket list... just because, I was scanning my old photos and it fell out. I think this is the Universe's way of saying it's time for an update. Plus, with everything coming up - I am overwhelmed, and very much discouraged. 

So, not in any particular order - 

Do something that really terrifies me. Something fabulous, and worthy of mention in at least one or two major newspapers. I'm not looking for front page, mind you - though, certainly not the obits either. Let's just say, "I want to do something fabulous and terrifying, and newsworthy".

Buy my first book, HARDCOPY, from Barnes and Nobles bookstore... and make a big dealy-shpeel about it when I do buy it... like, "OH MY GOD, I've been looking everywhere for this book - it's been sold out *everywhere*". Maybe also call in several stupid large orders throughout town, in the hopes of getting the buzz up. I'm not above handing out books to all the homeless in DC - unless, they decide to use it as toilet paper, in which case I shall give them a copy of Twilight. (note: this used to read, WRITE my first book...)

Travel to Ben and Jerry's in Vermont, and order one of each. I think they call this the Monster sundae - I saw it once on the food channel. Whatever the name, I want to order the most amount of delicious ice cream and ice cream toppings possible to load into my bowl - because, the second and most important part, would be my famous 'ice cream' boogie dance which I would intend to dance outside whilst holding the bowl gleefully in my hands. 

Ride my bike coast to coast, preferably in a group of much more experienced and very cool riders.... because, there's much which is missed when we stay hidden locked indoors and inside of our cars traveling at 65 mph with the radio blaring. I want to *experience* every single mile... and moment. There's a race cross country that supports wounded warriors - I think that is the one I shall do.. 

Take the kids to Hawaii, so that they may experience why this place is so very special to me. Watch them play in the waves, and swim with the sea turtles. Hawaii is always home to me. I want my kids to have a home there, too. 

See the Grand Canyon... just because. But I wouldn't get too close to the edge, because.. I have an 'edge' thing. Not really a fear of heights, just edges. 

Be on TV - not just a random in the crowd shot, but something BIG. Hopefully, an interview on a talk show.... and not a Springer or Judge Judy moment. Someday, I'll be on tv - plugging my book. 

A romantic picnic, on a most beautiful day... with nothing but trees and grass and water around me. Just a special time, with someone I love. That would be most wonderful. And out of the blue, too - like a surprise. 

Change a child's life forever. Not sure yet how to accomplish this one, I suppose the universe will let me know the way to make this happen. 

Eat pizza in Italy. 

Make a million dollars on my book sales. 

Write words that help to heal.  

Be completely self-sufficient. 

Visit Rockefeller Center to see the tree at Christmas.

Get caught in a hailstorm. 

Meet the Dalai Lama.

Receive a 'slow clap' for something extraordinary and FABULOUS.

See the DC monuments at nightfall. 

Travel. Everywhere. And meet, everyone. 

Have an EPIC adventure!

Live in a beautiful house by the beach. I can see this house whenever I close my eyes, it's like it's already there. 

Swim with the dolphins.

Talk less. 

Listen more. 

Heal hearts and spirits.

Change the world, one person at a time - one moment, at a time. 

Marry my soulmate. 

That's all I have time for now... and I'm going to do every single one of these. 

Last post

for just a very little while I hope - until then... 

This is how I have always chosen to see this world, it's the way I have always 'seen'. 

I hope that I may have helped a few people to "see" things this way, too -  


The Love of a Child

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
"Nothing, I just helped him cry."

I think love is just this way ~ we all make our choices everyday in how we may show love to another human... and it doesn't matter how big or how small, because sometimes... it's the smallest things, done carefully, in the smallest of ways... that bring the greatest comfort and joy in our world. 

And it's always our choice in how we may choose to show and share our love to another.

One *very small* act of LovingKindness..

Can often 'ripple out' and change this whole wide world... remember this, *always*, as you move throughout your day.

 When Hilde Back sponsored a young, rural Kenyan student, she thought nothing of it. She certainly never expected to hear from him, but years later she does. Now a Harvard graduate and a Human Rights Lawyer for the United Nations, Chris Mburu decides to find the stranger that changed his life. Inspired by her generosity, he starts a scholarship program of his own and names it for his former benefactor. 

Using a strong narrative, the film interweaves seemingly separate lives into a cohesive whole. With clarity and grace, A SMALL ACT, bears witness to the ripple effect a single action can create.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Be thankful for everything.

At age 108, Holocaust survivor Alice Herz Sommer still practices piano for 3 hours every day. 

At age 104, she had a book written about her life: "A Garden Of Eden In Hell." 

At age 83, she had cancer. 

Alice survived the concentration camps through her music, her optimism and her gratitude for the small things that came her way - a smile, a kind word, the sun. 

When asked about the secret of her longevity, Alice says: "I look where it is good."

Video from KarmaTube

Thank you for the dream ~

One rainy Sunday afternoon in 1989, with encouragement and much-needed help from her father, a 7-year-old girl named Amy decided to send something to Roald Dahl. Taking inspiration from her favourite book, The BFG, and using a combination of oil, coloured water and glitter, Amy sent the author a very fitting and undeniably adorable gift: one of her dreams, contained in a little bottle. 

Thankfully, the sentiment wasn't lost on Roald Dahl. His lovely response can be seen below. I think someday, I shall also blow a dream through the open window of a sleeping child just to see if it works. 

By the way, I have often thought very much so that it's these little things we often do - such as sending a dream in a bottle, or replying that it was most wonderfully received... these are the moments that make our lives and world so very much nicer. 

What would you do?

 I would fall in love all over again. 

That's what I would do if I knew I could not fail. 


Spent the day scanning all the old photos of me and the kids... taking the time to write my most favorite memory associated with each. I wish I had done a better job of keeping up on these things, but thankfully, I was able to get through about 500 photos... wow, it was really hard going through all those photos...So many wonderful memories... but still so much more to do. 

I hope to get them all finished before the end of day... Here's just a few of my most favorites.. 

Grandpa letting Roger drive

Lexy, looking always at Mommy.

Mommy, US Army 1993

Lexy and Grandpa

Roger and his first super soaker. Took me hours to wrestle that away.

Meeting his baby sister for the very first time.

Grandpa and Lexy. I remember how the entire neighborhood waited for you to come home. We never knew our neighbors really until that moment. I've always said that was your gift, to bring strangers together as friends.

Mommy, holding Lexy for the very first time. 

Roger used to crawl from his room and fall to sleep on my foot as I ironed. 

Roger, sleeping. Feet up on the table (not much has changed). 

Mommy and Roger, first bath.

Grandma, Grandpa, and Roger.

Happy Lexy, always smiling.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Always, and never forget...the littlest things we do along our way...the smiles we make, and those we leave...the softness of heart than surrounds all in our space...that brings to even the most reluctant heart that special knowing that they are in this moment always, and forever, *cherished*...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Reading, by the fire...

There's nothing so quick to bring me 'home' than the scent of a wood fire crackling and popping, as I leaf through the pages of one of my most favorite and well worn books, "The Hobbit". Occasionally, and I spite of my desires otherwise, the warmth of the fire will blanket me ~ and carry me away to the sweetest of certainly is a most beautiful night for a fire.

Tonight, is a perfect night for a fire - and, for re-reading my very well worn pages of "The Hobbit". Books like these should only be read on a night when there's this type of chill in the air...and only against a fire that is cackling and popping and hissing...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I am so sick of feeling sick

I have hit my personal wall today ~ I am sick of feeling sick... last night, all I could do was wish for sleep.. but my body hurt so badly, that no matter how much I wished for it.. it wouldn't come. And now, I don't think I have ever been so desperate to sleep - just for a few moments, when my body doesn't hurt. And I am watching my friends - step back one by one. I guess that is just how it goes. Who really wants to be around someone who is sick - I *get* it. *I* wouldn't want to be around that energy. 

I am so tired. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Poem for the Night

I saw a green flash at sunset,
as the sun knelt down and hid it's head behind the horizon wall..
it leapt towards me, this bold display - and touched my cheek..
a gentle brush.. as I would have imagined the sun's breath to have felt,
as it stretched forward, and heaved it's final sigh for a day, spent so long...

And as the twilight artist glanced his brush furiously against the dwindling sky -
and lit the sky on fire - with these, his most brilliant hues..
In that moment, I realized I had been watching a miracle ~ 
of a skilled master baring his soul for all to *see* -
in these, the most glorious of things, that surround us in each and every way.

- Copyright 2012, Tara Lemieux

Monday, September 10, 2012

Random Ramblings

Tonight was such a cool, crisp night. The sense of fall, and all its 'flavor' is gently slipping in ~ how did it come to be, this chill in the air? Silently sneaking its way in ~ so as not to draw notice to its arrival, no pomp nor circumstance. Fall is just that way ~ like an old friend, who slips in during the middle of a dark night... thinking he's gone unnoticed...but *I* noticed, because I was waiting. Waiting for just this night to light a wood fire, and enjoy the sound and scent of crackling wood logs...leaning close to watch the flames lick up and swirl, as they 'dance' in front of me. Such a fine performance, and I am transfixed. And as the flames gently lull me to an almost-sleep, I yawn and stretch and thank the day and welcome my Fall friend. And as I walk away, the scent of wood smoke follows me in and carries me away to my bed ~ where it will linger just long enough to carry me to my most deepest dreams...

Hello, Fall - I've missed you my friend.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A moment away ~

Sitting with my thoughts, the day before my big(ger) day ~ all days are BIG day, so I feel I must qualify.

I will be away for just the very
most shortest of moments ~ in which time, I will take a breath and *breathe* for me... :-) there's plenty I've left to read and enjoy,

Much love to all ~ and happy wandering.


One Minute Wondering

I wonder what the flower thinks when looking back at me?

Across the Universe

The lady from the garden center said it would never bloom again... but something inside, told me otherwise... 


Because everything in this universe is unlimited in potential... in hope... and in its capacity to become something much greater than what was originally expected, or as of yet unseen... the only thing that separates our hope to become from the reality of what we are... is our own intention. 

This rose never lost its belief that it would one day bloom magnificently...

And in doing so, would cause someone to pause and think and to wonder why ~ that not all of the 'roses' of this world aren't also blooming in the same way... because, we all have this same capacity, to set intent and create our own reality.


My garden is filled with these such beautiful things, who started once, as seedlings... buried deep into the earth... with no direction, no guidance, nothing at all to pull them to *being*... just one hope, one dream, and the capacity to *always believe*.

The sun will be there to greet you - so long as you always believe. Flowers don't ever *think* about blooming, they just bloom.

To some I may seem the silliest of dreamers, jumping off without much caution - or, perhaps holding on, when I should, by all other standards of logic and practicality, be letting go... 

But something compels me to this path - this unseen force, always there nudging me, almost as if it knows the way. And so it goes, this, my most amazing life - where everything has its place, and purpose along a greater journey of what is me... I don't think often think about the how, rather in my mind I see the 'how wonderful'.

Sometimes knowing can be the most powerful thing.

listening to... The Beatles, "Here, There, and Everywhere"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

*just because*

Because, sometimes the universe sends us signs and notes in whatever way possible... 
giving us those gentle reminders when we are most in need of a course correction... 


Monday, September 3, 2012

Elephant Article - 9/2

From Pieces to Peace: Finding Light and Love in an Encounter by Chance.

Today as I was out and about, I heard a familiar voice call out to me,
“Ms. Tara, how is that you’re always smiling?”

Without a moment’s pause, I simply responded,
“I smile because I am grateful.”

And just like that, our conversation ended as quickly as it had begun—two people sharing a few words, working very hard to bridge that awkward space between knowing someone’s day and really knowing their heart.

As we nodded goodbye and went on our way, I wondered how often our stories are missed.

I am grateful.

I am overwhelmed by how much these few words mean to me. As I say them silently over and again inside my mind, I cannot help but replay the fantastic story that is and has become meAs these thoughts settle in, for what seems to be their longest rest, I realize the most unexpected:

I am not afraid anymore.

People may tell you to walk away, growing disgusted as their words appear wasted on the ears of someone who has stopped believing in all those ways they are, and continue to be, most wonderfully special. True friends will try as they might to stay the course—ever hopeful that they may soon find that one very simple combination of words and emotions to save you from darkness. Yet, I stayed frozen in all of those ugly moments, afraid to step away for fear of falling deeper into the shadows.

You cannot hurt me.

I’ve always felt that something has been watching over me. Even at a very young age, when my hand first slipped into my father’s I could sense this strange energy. In my small little mind, not quite able to comprehend something so big, I suppose I rationalized it simply as the moon following me about and lighting my path. But there was always this sense of knowing that my life and the energy surrounding it were different. Even if the moon wasn’t actually following me around, there was something nudging me along my path in ways I’ve never quite been able to put into words. As I grew older, life became much more complex and my path’s twists and turns became harder to follow, even harder to see. Still, I never lost the belief that I wasn’t in this alone.

It was just at this moment, many years later when I had grown tired of traveling on a journey to not knowing where, that the pieces finally began to fall into place in a way that I could neither have imagined, nor expected.

I promise you, fate will find me.

I met him quite by chance, in a mad rush through an overly lit hallway on my way to somewhere—I could not care where. Our eyes only quickly glanced—who could ever have imagined that in this single moment, our energy would become forever intertwined? There were many millions of reasons to keep to that dash, to turn away from fate and chance—yet, something unseen caused us both to pause and helped us to believe again.

Love sometimes just works that way. It only comes to us when our eyes are left wide open—when we can finally see. Only then will it slow its pace and allow us that one chance to catch and embrace it, to hold it confidently in our arms, gaze into its eyes and see forever. Love comes when least expected. And real love has the power to transform our worlds.

As he took my hand, much as my father once did many years before, in an oddly special way I felt completely safe again. And in that one small moment beginning with a mad dash through that overly lit hallway, my world was forever changed.

With my hand in his and in this space, I found a power that was limitless and the strength to let my voice be heard again. I could finally stand up to my own monster in the closet, pull back the coats and see there was nothing but shadows there, after all. It was then I realized that in this light—my light—even the darkest shadows would disappear.

And that’s just what I did—I let my inner light shine brightly and suddenly, the monster was gone. Love came when I needed it the most and with it came something far greater than any fear I could ever hold in my heart—hope.

Because with hope, all things are possible.

Although I may never know, I have to believe that had it not been for that momentary pause, when fate slipped in to nudge my way and to share with me the hand and heart of someone, with the right mix of words and emotions to compel the greatest change of all, this story may never have been told.
And had it not been for my wonderful friend, who came to me unexpectedly and who pressed so hard to fill that gap between knowing my day and really knowing my heart, I don’t believe I would have ever found my light.

As I walked away, I wondered, how often do we miss these incredible stories of love and strength, unstoppable spirit, hope and fate? When is it that we move too quickly throughout our day, never having taken the moment to look beyond someone else’s day and getting to know their heart?
And as I took that one quick glance back, I smiled again; this time with the strongest knowing of who I am and all that I may ever come to be.

I will never walk in your shadows again, because real love is not ever afraid.

And I am forever and endlessly grateful.

To my wonderful friend, Gary, for the brilliance of your light and spirit. Because of you, I will never be afraid of the darkness again. Namaste, my friend—I love you.

Tara Lemieux is a mindful wanderer and faithful stargazer. Although she often appears to be listening with great care, rest assured she is most certainly forever lost in thought. She doesn’t necessarily know how to behave “properly” in meetings or at events that require a delicate touch, as often she finds herself with filters switched to the “off”. She is an ardent explorer and lover of finding things previously undiscovered or at the very least mostly not-uncovered. Just like a butterfly, she is ready to spread her newly painted wings and fly to wherever the universe may carry her.

When she’s not writing, you can find her walking in the woods, humming quietly to herself, giggling with her children and sometimes changing the way we look at things, one simple moment at a time. Tara does not like scary movies, smartly dressed monkeys, flannel sheets (they stick to her pajamas) or David Copperfield. Tara is “fabulously imperfect”, in spite of the many bumps and bruises she’s collected along her way. Sometimes she tells people she loves them far too much, but she is always sincere. As a friend, she will always be most loyal, honest and true. If after all of this you still wish to seek Tara out, you can find her rambling on at

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Places I Want to See...

I was thinking today, of all the cool places I have always wanted to see ~ and so, I made a list (and not in any particular order)... of all the wonderful places I hope to go... 

Machu Pichu... because, I've always wanted to discover a 'lost' civilization... (I don't really think they were lost, rather perhaps just 'hiding'.. but that doesn't sound as good as a lost civilization)

Lover's Beach.. because, I can almost feel the sand here when I close my eyes... and I really want to see if it feels the same... 


This beach in Turkey... where the water is so clear you can watch the stingrays play, and the mountains are so high.. you still feel tucked away.. 


The Tufa Towers of Mono Lake... because a sky that beautiful deserves to have an earth this pretty at it's feet.

Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock because, I've never ever been that high up before, and I've always wanted to touch the clouds...

The Sistine Chapel, because - I've always wanted to know what God looked like through Michelangelo's eyes..
and... the Sky Lantern Festival.. because... this is what I imagine it might feel like if all the stars could touch the earth all at once...

A wonderful day ~

What a wonderful way to spend a few hours in the day - but to sneak away, to a magical spot, tucked deep into the woods (my most favorite place). 

And although my time here was quite short ~ I was still able to close my eyes, and take it all in... in the most lasting of ways. 

It's amazing to me, that when we make memories in this way - no matter where we are, and no matter how much farther down our paths we go.. it's just a matter of closing our eyes, and taking a deep breath in... which brings us right back to that most special moment. 

I am grateful for today. This was a most lovely day. And, I have decided...that I am going to make each day and everyday forward... just this way... no matter what may come into my path.

I met the loveliest little girl, who introduced me to a SNAKE...

And, I met a man who spent hours digging through the rocks to find *just* the right one ~ so that when we met today, I might have something lovely to take home with me..

And then he shared with me this MOST amazing geode ~ it sparkled in all the right ways, and made me smile...

And then I met a BRAVE KNIGHT, who stood watch over all who entered... ensuring their safe passage, and promising to keep all the EVIL away...

From off in the distance, I heard the sound of bagpipes calling to me ~ and, so I followed them.. and met a group of traveling musicians.. who were all but delighted to play..

And as I walked, I saw this lovely cottage... inside I met a craftsman, who was quite proud of his work..

And up on the top of a VERY steep hill... I saw the loveliest little steeple... I think it may have been trying to hide inside the trees...

A DRAGON hung in the window...  blown glass, and iron sculptures caught the light from just the right angles...

The air was filled with the scent of trees, and grass... and small roasted nuts... and the sound of little ones screeching in delight, amongst the sound of good friends and good friends' laughter.