Observe life at its best, Listen to life’s songs, Embrace life’s bounties, Breathe the breath of life, Savor life to its fullest!

Both Sides of Life: City vs. Country

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Are you a city slicker born and reared in the country? A country boy or girl living it up in the city? Country born, country stayed or city born, city to this day? Much is to be learned from both sides of life. The sleepy country side isn’t for everyone nor is the flipside, hectic city life. One may seem pale in comparison to the other so venture forth seeking the brightness of each. If you live in the country, take time to visit the city. If you live in the city, get out into the country for rural goodness.

Life in the City

Welcome to the city!
May I show you around?

A concrete jungle
It has long been called
A mighty fortress
Towering, stone-walled

Glaring, surely blaring
Sights amid sounds
All around the city
Hold you spellbound

Daytime, nighttime glamour
Makes you feel like new
Singing, dancing, engaging
Nothing you can’t do!

Hustling, bustling city squares
Crisscrossing asphalt streets
Coffee shops by the dozens
Invite strangers to meet

Spectacles, smells, odd routines
Invite strangers to stroll
Events in a city park
Offer a grassy knoll

A haven for many
Sin city to a few
Life in the city
Never bids adieu!

Welcome to the city!
Ready to wheel around?

Hail a taxi
In a heated rush
Paint the city
With your own life’s brush!


©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.

            —Margaret Mead (American cultural anthropologist, 1901–1978)

Have you ever felt like walking directly into a picture? The image being so clear, so persuasive you actually felt the scene? It could be you’ve imagined a setting from books or magazines you read or heard described. What drew you in could be the pleasantry of the landscape, the land, the horses or the people. The image became so implanted in your mind nothing could stop you from searching for such a place. You drove, drove, drove until you found it! Maybe after reading that will be the guidance you need to seek your own spot in the countryside.

Countryside Manner

At dawn beads of morning dew
Dance across spiders’ webs
Reflecting the rising sun
As pale light strokes the sky

An oratorio of frogs
Birds, mammals, creepy-crawlies
Generate the essence of song
Bringing on a tender sigh

Wide expanses of green-on-green
Adorn the rolling country hillside
With wildflowers, gems of beauty
Joining the horizon’s edge of blue

Just up the road two horses
Grazing alongside a field of buttercups
Look upward toward earth’s edge
In the forefront of the panoramic view

A wooden farmhouse in the background
Stands naked within the scene
Surrounded only by fields of green
Serene, natural beauty

An old country farmer
Plowing his corn field nearby
Reflects on life’s duty
With a swift wipe of his brow

Chickens scatter noisily
As eggs are carefully gathered
The plumpest of the plump hens
Tries to escape supper somehow

Such is the countryside manner
Where thoughts lost in daydreams
Leave imagination unbound
On wings completely free

Holding hands, shoulder-to-shoulder
Sittin’ upon the grass
Bears glory in the countryside
Now that’s the place for me!


©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: When I go out into the countryside and see the sun and the green and everything flowering, I say to myself —Yes indeed, all that belongs to me!

            —Henri Rousseau (French Post-Impressionist painter, 1844–1910)

So, what is your side of life…city or country?


It’s All About Character

Today is …

National Inconvenience Yourself Day

simple_dividerInconvenience_Yourself_DayThis day is not about inconveniencing others but taking a good look at what can happen when you take a few extra moments or steps that inconvenience yourself but help others. This unique holiday asks people to pause during their busy day looking for opportunities to do something nice for someone else, practicing common courtesy, or acknowledging the positive actions of others. Something that actually should come as natural as breathing but unfortunately has lost a lot of steam because people just don’t take the time or think only of themselves.

It doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing, there is always someone somewhere watching. We should use our own actions to encourage others to pay attention to their actions, understand how those actions affect others, and adjust which actions have a negative impact on people they encounter. It’s all about paying forward a little inconvenience making it convenient for others!

Shopping_CartHere is a snapshot. Picture yourself in a hurry. You had to make a rush trip to the grocery store to pick up a needed item for dinner. You park your car and hurriedly head for the door. As you take a few steps away from your car you glance an aisle over and notice a shopping cart in the middle of the lot. An elderly lady had just struggled to step into her car with a couple of grocery bags in her arms.  She started to back up and just in time noticed the cart blocking her movement. Was it there the whole time? Did she just not see it? Did someone close to her leave it as she was getting into her own car? She sighed. Just as she was about to get out of her car to move the cart you intervene with a big smile as you walk a few car lengths out of your way to move the cart and return it where it belongs. What did you receive in return? The biggest smile ever of appreciation and gratitude. It doesn’t get better than that!

Today don’t be sorry for any inconvenience…turn your inconvenience into opportunity to help someone else! The concept is simple. The idea is embraceable. Think more about how your actions impact others . . . regardless of age.


Check out what else is happening today @Awakenings…


Just One Look

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Every season sings its own personal song

from the eloquent watercolors of spring to the harmony of early summer bees & blossoms through the golden glowing essence of Autumn into the naked landscapes cloaked in white during Winter.

Regardless of the season all it takes is...

Just One Look

simple_dividerJust one look toward the far horizon
Captures an expanse beyond words
Limitless possibilities exist
Disturbed only by joyous birds


The sky, land and water connect
With discriminate attitudes
Ever present, ever changing
Dependent upon nature’s moods

simple_divider Glory in the springtime
Initiates visions without stopping
Greening hills, warming sun
Buds erupting and wildflowers popping


Family time summer excursions
End with strolls along the sandy beaches
Rising and falling blue-green sea foam
Occasionally unveils sea conches

A winding road in autumnsimple_divider
Demands a stop along the way
Gazing toward the earth’s edge
Reveals a breathless close of day


Snow-capped mountains of winter
Stand majestic out of reach
Valleys through which rivers run
Grant swift passages of each

simple_dividerJust one look upward and outward
Spans a view altogether incredible
Senses emotionally enhanced
Emerge surprised and totally audible!

Sharla Lee Shults

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each.
—Henry David Thoreau (American author, poet, & philosopher, 1817–1862)


See the countryside from A Bird’s Eye View

Watch this second video to get the true perspective of the eagle!


Observing Sunrise to Sunset

It is so awesome when I can match my poetry with photos from such wonderful photographers. Today, catnip features a couple of her own, along with Alastair Forbes and Barbara Beacham. You can tell whose is whose by the watermarks. Of course, that is a feature catnip is yet to learn so the first two are hers, unmarked. Be sure to visit Alastair @A Mixed Bag and Barbara @Life in the Foothills. You will not be disappointed and probably will not leave without following! Tell them catnip sent you!


Dawn ’til Dusk


Whispers of Dawn…
Awaken a new day
As watercolor skies
Replace night’s gray


Figures of light
Dance into view
While pre-dawn colors
Fade into metallic blue


Heat of Midday…
Emanates sun’s bright glare
As vivid natural colors
Create balance in the air


Cool afternoon breezes
Relinquish the noonday heat
As an allusion of rain
Renders the day complete


Serenity of Twilight…
Brings closure to the day
While red-orange hues
Emerge without delay


A surreal saffron hue
Casts an illusionary show
As soft billowy clouds
Reflect sun’s fading glow


Music of the Night…
Stimulates harmony in the soul
While a symphony of sounds
Performs melodies to console


Subdued radiance
Slowly transcends the darkness
As night comes, light disappears
In an awe of bitter sweetness


Sharla Lee Shults

Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.

—William Arthur Ward (American inspirational writer, 1921–1994)



Imagination: Pilobolus Dance

[Don’t miss the video!]

“In the world of words, the imagination is one of the forces of nature” (Wallace Stevens).


Without imagination, creativity would be nothing but a mere shadow…  a shadow without meaning. Yet, we know with each shadow that is cast comes ideas that are spawned out of the shadows themselves. Each shape draws attention as one envisions similarities and differences from one shadow to the next or within each shadow itself. Imagination brings the dark shadows out of the darkness as they dance naked in the moonlight.

Much like the shadow, the details of a silhouette are not seen, only imagined as its shape becomes absorbed in creative motions. A winter tree’s naked branches form a silhouette against the backdrop of moonlight piercing the haziness of a cloudy sky. Should the wind start blowing the branches will surely sway in a rhythmic motion to the music of the night. A gull in flight enhances the view with its own silhouette whose wings appear dipped in silver.

The dance of the shadow and the pose of the silhouette each strike the tip of imagination creating the light for the patterns of beauty to be seen inside and out.



More Food for the Soul

Gather Daily Soul Food @


Heart to Heart

Hugs we give
Words we impart
Best are those
Heart to heart





Daily Soul Food


Inspiration for the Soul

Need nourishment? Visit Daily Soul Food at Pinterest!


Daily Soul Food

Inspiration for the soul comes about on a daily basis from many different sources. New postings as Daily Soul Food may not appear every single day but each posting is ready to be revisited at any moment in time. You are invited to visit often for nourishment.

Follow me@Pinterest



The Power of a Moment

Holding someone close, striking out in anger, evoking a smile or turning a happy time into sadness all happen within a moment’s notice. Each happens only once. Sudden. Spontaneous. Often no time to think, no time to change. Cherish the moments. Be quick to smile, slow to anger.


Minute Odes Magically Embracing Newly Tendered Sentiments

A smile, a kiss
Little things, bliss

A nod, a hug
Anger under the rug

A slap, a pat
That’s it, that’s that

A laugh, a sigh
A good hearty cry

A touch, a feelin’
A rockin’, a reelin’

A frown, a tear
Sadness to disappear

A gift, something sought
Outloud, in thought

A giggle, a scream
Anything in between

In the morning, at night
Calm repose, deafening fright

A sight, a sound
Beauty all around

Within silence, amid song
Here to stay, not so long

A taste, a smell
Known all to well

A time, a date
Up early, out late

At work, at play
Any time of the day

In death, in life
Under calm, within strife

To live, to die
Without questioning Why?

©2013 catnipoflife©catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“You can see and you can listen, but you have to have moments in which you feel.
~Mike Krzyzewski

Flora ’n’ Fauna

catnipoflife is honored to feature more of Barb Beacham’s photography from Life in the Foothills. Barb has been recognized as one of catnip’s featured photographers on You have but one life, LIVE it! and Twilight.

Thank you, Barb, for sharing your awesome photography!


Flora ’n’ Fauna


Splendiferous, copious forests
Mark territorial landscapes
Where impressive oaks and lofty pines
Show off their stout and woody shapes


Desert plants and wildflowers
Adapt to extreme heat and aridity
Fierce, wild, red-to-orange and white
Emerge the cactus and desert chicory


The ubiquitous howling coyote
Announces its presence at night
Truly a song out of the fierce Wild West
Instead of a cause for sheer fright


Deciduous trees and shrubs
Common to most habitats
Shed their dry leaves in autumn
Forming nature’s welcome mats


Crackling sticks, dry leaves underfoot
Announce squirrels, rabbits and such
Deep in the woods silence is broken
As gunshot startles a strong buck


The nervous pristine white-tailed deer
Tan in the summer, brown in winter
Once statuesque at early dawn
Now suddenly becomes a sprinter


Stopping to rub antlers on a tree
The deer looks warily ahead
Time for a rest by a babbling brook
For a few shrubs and nature’s bed

Sharla Lee Shults

As a matter of fact, an ordinary desert supports a much greater variety of plants than does either a forest or a prairie.

—Ellsworth Huntington (Yale University professor, 1876–1947)


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