Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Good Medicine for Hard Times

Surviving in a world where multitasking can drive anyone to distraction in this fast moving society is not always an easy task. Everyone seems to have a way of dealing with it, but for many the strains of a song can make the world seem an easier place to deal with and make any day a little better. In fact music has become the drug of choice for many of us these days.

Music has been proven to sooth the beast in many of people over the centuries, and today it has become a must between the craziness and intense pressures that seem to populate our personal worlds.  But, it can also drive our passions, and certain kinds of music are really great for getting physical work done fast!

There are so many kinds of music out there and all of us have favorite types of tunes that make our everyday lives survivable or even make them exciting. For me, as many of you know Celtic music is a main driving force, but it certainly is not the only music I love. When it comes to what I love on the music scene today, I am more than a little bit eclectic. The music that captures my attention ranges from some of those oldies from the 60s (I am after all a baby boomer!); any and all types of Celtic from all over the world; 30s and 40s big band and swing; and of course all kinds of classical music.

So does the music we love really define us in anyway? Well, we know scientifically that music does affect our brains in so many ways and for those who are living with Alzheimer's disease music is often what stays with people longer than words or language.

It amazes me that when the people who have the disease don't have the memories of names or even relationships and seem so lost in their not knowing. But when a well known piece of music from their past is played they seem to come alive and often can sing it through to the end of the song. It also often changes their whole demeanor because it is still some how is a vital part of life that they can respond to though so much of life is gone for them.

Why is music so important to the very places in our lives that makes it such an integral part of our emotions? When 80 to 90% of the people when asked say that if they've had a bad day they turn to music you know it is the emotional strength that we often totally rely on. If we examine the phenomenon of the iPod it is hard not to see the importance of the lyrics and tunes in our lives.

The most interesting research over the past few years has come from those who deal with all kinds of diseases and infirmities. From music therapy to a simple need to escape from the world to the images and sounds that music can create, our connection to music, the tunes, the rhythms, and lyrics have been proven over and over again to be some of the strongest connections in our personal histories. John A Logan, a U.S. senator from our country's past said it best, "Music's the medicine of the mind." It is a medicine we can all use more of these days.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

T'is the Season!

The season of green has come again. No, not springtime! It's that season of the Irish better known as St. Patrick's Day! if I am honest today it is also crocus day since my first crocus is blooming, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

This is what I saw a week ago next to our home - the first greens of the daffodils. There's not much here, but just those tips conveyed such hope!

Today we had such long and waving daffodil leaves! The smallest wind set them to dancing.

And then, I walked the yard and found this tiny fragile flower - but it certainly was not the only one in the garden!

This deep purple wonder
caught my eye a moment later.

I have to admit, it is St. Patrick's Day and the sun is shining, but it also seems that spring has chosen the day to make her appearance in her fancy garb!

Happy Springtime everyone!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Week of St. Patrick

It is early on a Sunday morning (V-E-R-Y early!) and this is the beginning of the week of St Patrick's Day. I celebrate this above all holidays because of my Irish heritage, and of course an inclination toward all things green!

A blessing to you, and may your life be lively and free and may next year bring you, and a pint of Guinness in hand, back to this place to raise that glass to the best that's yet to come in life!

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The First Signs of Spring

Our first rain of spring hit rather suddenly today - and quite heavily at least in the beginning. I was sitting at the computer and it really caught me off guard. We had been told it was coming, but I figured the first rain would be that typically gentle spring time rain. I was certainly not expecting a downpour!

As I sat and listening to the rain and enjoying the sounds of it running off the roof I began to feel that green envy that comes after a winter of white. I had forgotten how lovely it sounds. Winter's precipitation is mostly soft and the only sounds that occur is that which comes from the gales of the season.

Rain holds a special meaning for those of us who love gardening. Rain is the predictor of lovely growth that comes from the ground and trees. My daffodils by the backdoor are up about 3 inches and I'm starting to see those first buds. The crocuses have not begun to surface in the garden yet. That will be a time to celebrate when they first give color to the world again. That is when it really means springtime!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How Long Till Springtime Momma?

Three days of glorious sunshine have lifted everyone's spirits around here! our temperatures have remained in the forties during the day for the past few days which means people are getting out and enjoying this lovely weather.

I have daffodil leaves up about three inches peeking through the crusty snow by my back door (I've measure them!) and I am ready to play in the dirt once more, which makes it hard not to go to my shed and get out my garden tools.

But I have really have to wait and so I am somewhat content in digging through the multitude of seed and plant catalogs that are magically finding their way into my mailbox these days. I did dig through my frozen and crusty compost heap which was quite a job! So, here I sit drooling over the catalogs look out my kitchen window with a mug of tea watching carefully for those first real signs that proclaim to the world that the seasons are finally changing.