Forgive the messes and inconveniences

February 15, 2007 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Blogroll, charity knitting, country living, dating, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, health, Holidays, knitting, love, marriage, photography, relationships, romance, Valentine's Day | 25 Comments

Fireflys Barn the day after Valentines DayMy Valentine’s Day was beautiful, how about yours? One year ago, on Valentine’s evening, I sat in a Thai restaurant in Los Angeles having dinner with my sister. I told her about this guy in New York who had emailed me. He was interesting, we had all kinds of things in common … and he lived on a farm but wasn’t a farmer. I told her it was too bad he lived in upstate western New York, because there was no way in the world I would ever even consider moving to New York … for anything, period.

And here it is one year later. Last night I spent Valentine’s evening in a restaurant in upstate western New York with my new husband, about fifteen minutes from our farm.

My, how life can change so very much in one short year.

What a trip.

Fireflys Barn after the snow on Valentines DayThat’s one reason Valentine’s day was beautiful for me.

The other was the snow. About one foot of snow fell. It was peaceful and thrilling, all at the same time, watching it as the day went by, from any of the forty windows in our farm house. The wind blew, so there were snow drifts building as well. The most lovely drifts were those on the east side of our barn.

Okay, so I still can’t get over the fact that I can now say something like, “our barn.” Is this wild, or what?

This has been a very, very big year in case I had not mentioned it before.

I was thinking yesterday as I watched the snow how forgiving we are of beautiful things and events. Snow is so beautiful, and so magical as it falls, that we forgive it the inconveniences and messes that will certainly follow. All we see is beauty, and magic. At least that is how it is for me.

This Valentine’s day I created a little lesson for myself, and it is just this one simple thing: It would be beneficial to look at other things in the life the way I look at snow. Grant someone or something the kind of beauty and magic I automatically grant to snow. Forgive that someone or something any inconveniences or messes that may accompany their presence or arrival. Focus on the beauty and the magic, it is inherent in all things.

Fireflys River the day after Valentines DayI seek to find that, and value that above all others.

I believe that is what love is really about. Not romantic love, but the love that mankind and life on this little blue planet needs if we are going to make it, together.

Have a beautiful day, whatever you may “see”.


Copyright © 2006 J.L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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  1. My boyfriend forgot about everything and therefore it was impossible to find a free place in a restaurant. He didn’t have any idea what to do and finally took me (o God!) to IKEA. I got also an invitation on a romantic walk through store shells … inspite of this I woke up happy. Maybe it’s true that ‘all you need is…’ 🙂

  2. Would love to see a picture of both you and your husband.

  3. Lovely pictures as always. I’ve become very careful about saying never, as it always seems to come back and bite me in the butt. I was famous for saying “I’m never getting married” We celebrated 10 years in January and they have been wonderful – lesson learned. Hope you are staying warm.

  4. Sounds and looks idyllic! I’m envious!

  5. Alas, to all who would like to see a photo of my husband and I together … he is not into having his photo published and I have to respect his privacy.

    We are very cute together though.


  6. What a lovely post. I typically search for and read all things funny. However, as I live on a farm as well, I searched for and found your delightful and poignant blog. Your writing is emotive but not cloying and just what I want to read every morning you post.

  7. Sometimes if you change the angle on the “ugly”, you can find the beauty.

    Something to think about the next time you meet someone awful, they were once a tiny baby. Somewhere along the way that innocence and need for loving attention got denied or twisted and altered who they would become. Although they themselves need to make the conscious decision to choose another better way, it is hard to learn something you never learned as a child.

  8. Last week I organized to visit a friend (to knit) and we realized that it was happening on Valentines day. The night before, we were all sitting outside having a lovely time (it’s the middle of summer here), having a conversation with our 6 year old daughter about “Love” and “Valentines Day” and what it all meant.

    I knew my husband loved prawns so I had organized to have a prawn dinner that night….and when he went to the corner shop for milk that evening be bought me my favourite chocolate bar.

    We looked at each other, and said to our daughter “See – that’s what love is, knowing what makes each others hearts sing”.

  9. Messes and inconveniences are usually more temporary than the beautiful things anyway. The difference truly is, how we deal with or look at things. The place looks lovely in the snow! Any sign of the mystery cat?

  10. Your life and your farm just amaze me. Looking at the pictures and reading your blog are like a transportation to the dreams that I have of life with my love. You give me hope. 🙂

    What a beautiful story and a beautiful analogy too. I loved it and will meditate on it in the coming days. Thank you!

    Be well,

    Z ~

  11. Very wise. I need to give some of the people in my life the grace I give snow. Your photos are always so beautiful.

  12. I like your sentiment about forgiving people like you forgive the snow… That’s lovely and I’ll have to start thinking about it that way as I’ll forgive the snow for just about anything!

  13. It’s funny how life works out isn’t it?

    I wish that we had some snow here. Not had a single flake all winter where I live!

  14. Lovely, firefly. Just lovely. I like this way of thinking.

    Snow also has a calming effect, at least for me. I feel all the tension draining away as I watch snow fall. Maybe I can bring that feeling to mind to ease away a tense situation as well.

  15. Thanks for the comment! Just wanted to let you know, I love reading your posts…They’re always so sweet and uplifting. It always makes me smile to read what you write 🙂

  16. I love reading your blog and looking at your photo’s. They are beautiful and you have a very keen eye for composition, not to mention your soothing writing style. By the way, I made your Lentil Soup and absolutely loved it. Thanks for sharing!


  17. I have decided to adopt your life on the farm as my home away from home. As my husband and I travel 100% and are currently “homeless”, I sure do like cuddling up to the computer and seeing what is going on at your place. You have a wonderful blog and I sure do enjoy reading it.

  18. Hi firefly
    I added your blog to my feeds after your nice comment on my blog. What lovely writing! Thanks for coming by and I plan to visit you often as well!

  19. another very sweet and touchingly real post! i too love the beauty of snow, it makes everything pretty….white, sparkly, quiet. i have a few people in my life i am lucky to have who are like snow- my love for them blankets any imperfections with beauty…and what a nice sentement for you to share that idea with us…

  20. I have had a struggle all week with some changes in my life. I usually am upbeat and optimistic in all things, but these things were dragging me to a place I didn’t want to be. Your simple words made me understand that my life is wonderful and that changes are just pathways to new and exciting things that are not yet realized. Yes, everythings looks different when graced with the beauty and magic of snow! Thank you. Starr

  21. *grin* I had to smile at your header, “I live on a Farm.” Your Valentine’s day story explains it. For Valentine’s day my sweetie-pie of nearly 20 years gave me extra dark chocolate with orange in it. I gave her 280 lbs of fresh pastured pork that I had done in the middle of a blizzard. An interesting time to be doing that type of work to say the least. She loved it and I love her. 🙂

    Happy February,


    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in Vermont

  22. Your pictures are gorgeous! Life can certainly change in a year. I say this looking down on a sleepy 6 month old baby. Where was I last year? Throwing up. What an improvement!!!

  23. Beautiful pictures. I’m jealous. I want snow!

  24. what a really nice post! thank you for reminding me about love and sharing your beautiful insights.
    i just happened to come across your blog and love it. i’ll check back often.

  25. Hi firefly,

    I so enjoy clicking on your blog because of your prose and pics! You make me want to move from Dixie to the seasonal bliss of New England!


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