Poetry: Sunset Walks of the Soul

August 11 2020

Sunset walk with Lillian.

Sometimes parenting is a bed of roses.
Sometimes parenting is a bed of thorns.
Sometimes I know exactly where I’m going.
Sometimes I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.
Yet, the walks I take, the scenes my eyes frame, the photos I take, being in nature, always brings peace and comfort.

PS:This parenting gig, especially single parenting, is not for the faint of heart.

Blessings,
Camilla

See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: Being a Sibling to One With Special Needs

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping.)


(Thomas and Lillian – 2010 – Geiger Way Lookout)

**THROWBACK TO 2014**

After a huge Lillian meltdown this morning which caused him to be a wee bit late for school.

I am trying to help him notice when it’s not a good idea to push Lillian. He does try so hard, but just wants to not have to try sometimes. Lillian is making huge progress, yet, we still have those moments. Thomas’ teacher shares often with me how she enjoys his presence in the classroom as he’s so empathetic and compassionate.

I have recently pulled back from intervening when they decide to be unkind with one another. I’ve explained that I have taught them methods to use and I model those methods. It is up to them whether they use them or not.

This morning it escalated, I remained calm and not involved. It escalated and escalated and escalated. There was screaming and door slamming. I remained calm and not involved. I got scratched and pinched, I remained calm. I kept emphasizing that I’d be happy to help her get calm and to let me know when she was ready. And. Finally, Lillian asked for help in calming down. I walked her through a meditative breathing exercise and we moved on …. I don’t always remain calm. I did this morning and it makes such a huge, huge, huge difference when I do. Mindfulness is an amazing way to live …

Yes, this. I am blessed and grateful that we are a team. I am having the time of my life on this journey with them. The joy, suffering, happiness, peace, love, and all … xoxo

**June 2020 Update** – Six years later. I’d love to say that Thomas and Lillian get along fabulously now. They don’t. Lillian is 18 and Thomas is 14.

Thomas has much anger and unsettled feelings about being Lillian’s sibling. The years of horrific meltdowns. I mean we just had one at 1:30am this morning. I’ve told him as often as I could remember that it was okay to be angry, okay to have whatever feelings he has about the situation.

Much of my time being spent with Lillian. Not having a typical sibling, with a typical sibling relationship, doing typical activities as a family. These all became too much at some point, with him internalizing much. This is something we will be addressing at some point this year.

Lillian has much jealousy towards Thomas, for all the things he can do that she can’t do. Jealous of my time spent with him, jealous even when he and I speak to one another. Jealous may not be the word to use here, it’s quite possibly stems from something else. She may have internalized some trauma from her childhood. All issues to be addressed when she is ready to do so.

I do not share to receive comfort or sympathy. I share as that’s what I know I am to do. I share so other siblings and parents know they are not alone. As I know that in the past I have felt guilt and shame when observing a sibling with their special needs sibling getting along fabulously, with compassion and love. Wondering what I had done wrong. I now know I have done nothing wrong. People are just different.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Poetry: The Long Weekend

On January 17 2019, Lillian Darnell left for another long weekend with The Romano Duo (grandparents) ….

I look forward to these days of respite.
She looks forward to them.
Yet, every time she leaves to spend days away,
My heart is surrounded by a tingling sadness.

It’s such an interesting feeling.
When tingling sadness dances with peaceful contentment.
They pair well.
Sharing wisdom and shedding Light.

I take the hand of tingling sadness and peaceful contentment.
We embrace and dance to the tune of an old and worn knowing.

And the small, barely there rain drops fall
to slowly make disappear her foot prints,
as she joyfully leaves me.

Loving this dance with life
Living this dance with life
What a Life!
Hey, come and get it
Keep it coming,
Get your dance card and let’s dance.
-©2019 Camilla Downs

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Poetry: May You Always Know

Camilla & Lillian Rancho July 2015

Finally finished Lillian’s hand made Christmas gift! xoxo

Dearest Lillian

May you always live with an open and light heart,
May you always live knowing you are unconditionally loved,
May you always live knowing and allowing peace, joy, and abundance.

May good fortune smile and shower upon you,
May joy stalk you and be hidden in every nook and cranny of your life,
May peace float always above you as a puffy cloud in a bright blue sky.

May the shadows ever be there to bring delight and laughter to your world,
May the suns rays ever bring a smile and tender joy to your life,
May you never lose your sense of wonder with all things that most have lost.

May you always hear the sweet sound of the magical bell.

May you always know, even after I am long done with this body,
that my love for you is eternal and never ending.

I love you,
Camilla 💖
Mother
xoxo
1.11.18

Lillian's Christmas Gift 2017 Finished #2

Lillian's Christmas Gift 2017 Finished #1 Lillian's Christmas Gift 2017 Finished #3

Lillian's Christmas Gift 2017 Finished #4

I think it was in 2012 when I began making each of them something handmade that incorporated some type of writing from me. It brings me such joy and I feel even if they don’t fully appreciate it now, they will cherish it some day. And, if they don’t, that’s okay too. For once I make it and give it as a gift, I release it.

I like to use recycled items when creating hand made gifts. This is a piece of cardboard. The top and bottom accent are from an old wall calendar which features flowers. The star, bird, and sun are from another old calendar. The flowers are from a really old Highlights magazine. The hand drawn decorations are with glitter glue. And, last, I’ll attach a piece of hemp shoe string to use for hanging the piece. A friend donated boxes of this hemp string to us many years ago. Fun!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
[catlist name=blog]

Poetry: The Dance of Lillian – Happy 16th Birthday

Team TLC Sunset Walk Damonte Ranch Trail 6.18.17 #15

I’m a month late posting this, yet I promised Lillian that I would write a post dedicated to her …. xoxo

The Dance of Lillian

She came into this world
with her own agenda.
She came missing the short
arm of chromosome number 18.

Never mind what they
thought about how
they would parent her.

They would quickly
learn no parenting
manual existed for
the lessons she was
to bring with her
through this incarnation.

She delivered the
gift of shattered
expectations early
in her Earth life
as Lillian.

She had chosen
as a mom someone
who had many uncomfortable
lessons to learn.

Patience was to
be another of the
lessons she brought
with the tiny little
body she inhabited.

She was not done yet.
The next gift delivered
flowed into their
lives as a pure
cold stream runs
through the land.

That message.
Acceptance.

Acceptance of what life
had delivered and would
deliver.

This little bundle
that grew into a bright
shining light had
many lessons bundled within.

The next was to be
release of judgments.
Oh. That one stung
worse than an unwanted
bee sting on a warm
sunny day. A sting
that lingered for
years, resurfacing
at just the right moment.

This little bundle
who could be anything
but a bundle of joy.
A bundle of anger,
anxiety, violence, and
all kinds of negativity.

With this bundle
came the lesson of
living in the present
moments of life.
Being mindful and
learning the art
of mindfulness.

Responding to this one
from the present moments
of life instead of hurts
from the past. Oh. This
was one of the hardest
lessons yet.

This had nothing to do
with this little bundle,
now a blossoming teen.
As she may have come
into this world in all
her nakedness.

Yet, she contained in
the fibers of her very
being, a Divinely pure
mirror that served to reflect
to the one called Mom
the lesson that it
was she who needed
to go within, to
confront her past,
to feel what she had
not wanted to feel,
And release it.

This would be the Mom’s
lesson of learning how to
live in the present moments
of life and to embrace the
art of mindfulness.

Four pounds and five
ounces of life changing,
life altering, life correcting
joy arrived on the evening
of September 14 2001.

Gratitude does not
even begin to describe
what the Mom feels about
the tiny bundle and she
deciding to have these
roles in this life.

The blossoming teen
was the catalyst
to teaching the mom that
she had it all wrong.
She and all children
are our awakeners.
They are not to
be pushed to the side,
put in the corner,
talked down to,
treated harshly,
abused, controlled,
barked at with commands
and “because I said so”
ridiculousness.

They are to be
respected and
treated as equals.
They may inhabit tiny
little bodies when they
first arrive.

Yet, the souls within
these tiny precious bodies
have much to teach us.
She came in missing
the short arm of her
chromosome number 18.

The lesson that encompasses
all of the other lessons
she brought forth.

Different.

She taught the mom
that she was going to be
the one who lives life
differently.

Mom learned how to live
life from the heart,
trusting the whisperings
of the heart.

She, who now enters
her sixteenth orbit
around the sun in this
Lillian body.

Happy, Happy Birthday
YOU beautiful being.
Thank you for blessing me
and being my awakener.

I Love You,
Camilla
Your Earth Mom

*******************************************

In addition to this, I thought it would be fun to link to her birthday posts over on the Team TLC blog and past birthday posts!

Happy 16th Birthday to Lillian Plus Camilla and Lillian September 2017 Date Day

She Spread Her Wings …. And Flew – Happy 15th Birthday Lillian

Happy 14th Birthday Lillian

Happy Birthday Lillian … Camilla

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
[catlist name=blog]

 

World Poetry Day 2017 – Wadsworth and Dickinson and Millay and cummings

In honor of World Poetry Day, I’m sharing some of my favorite poems. Beginning with a Renga poem that Team TLC wrote together in September 2015. We wrote the poem in TLC order.

Renga is a genre of Japanese collaborative poetry. Poets work in pairs or small groups, taking turns composing alternating three-line and two-line stanzas. To create a renga, one poet writes the first stanza, which is three lines long. The next poet add the second stanza of two lines.

You Are Here in Sand 2.13.13

Love is Magical

Cows are loud and can moo
sometimes they say,
I love you!

Cows have milk,
and cows eat grass.

You are surrounded by love
every breath you take is love
You are love

Guinea pigs wheek and guinea pigs meek,
lovey dovey guinea piggy moo!

Love is the butterfly
gracefully it flies
magical is it’s color

Love is magical
the alchemy of peace.

Airplanes flying
through the air
fun galare!

How beautiful the bird flies,
as the wind.

Love is the tree
Love is the flower
Love is the silence.

Flowers blossom
pollen falls.

Rainbow is the sky
Rainbow is the water
Rainbow is the colors of the earth.

Nature is love
Nature knows how to be.

Team tlc
always kind
always thinking.

Kindness is always there
Kindness is like friendship

A wise man
is kind to the kind
and kind to the unkind

A wise man
under a tree

Blue bird flies to Alaska
Red bird flies to Hawaii
White bird flies to Australia

The magical hummingbird
arrives on a warm summer day

Sushi
best food ever
try some

Pineapple
Most delicious food ever

Mindful eating
Mindful living
The way of peace and happiness

Eating is fun
and yummy

Apple trees grow with sunshine
Butterflies grow with food
Cake gets eaten fast or slow.

Beings, trees, and insects
We are all one love.

********************

Little Kindness

by William Wadsworth

Small service is true service while it lasts,

Of humblest friends, bright creature, scorn not one;

The daisy by the shadow which it casts

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun.

*******************************

Nature is What We See
by Emily Dickinson

“Nature is what we see –
The Hill – the Afternoon-
Squirrel-Eclipse-the Bumble bee-
Nay-Nature is Heaven-
Nature is what we hear-
The Bobolink-the Sea-
Thunder-The Cricket-
Nay-Nature is Harmony-
Nature is what we know-
Yet have no art to say-
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

*************************

Afternoon on a Hill
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

**********************

love is a place
by e.e. cummings

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds.

**********************

There are many more poets and poems I really love!! Yet, this post would have gone on way too long!!

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
[catlist name=blog]

Movie Musings: Parents and Fireflies and Writers

**THROWBACK MOVIE NIGHT – 2012**

The Parent Trap Movie 2012

My choice: The Parent Trap – Loved by all of us – lots of laughter!

To see ALL of Team TLC Movie Suggestions go here to The Team TLC Book and Movie Guide.

Grave of the Fireflies Movie 1.15.17

Thomas’ choice: “Grave of the Fireflies”

Thomas says, “Not what I was expecting. It was sad.”

Lillian says, “Sad, yet had good parts and interesting songs.”

I say, “Quite emotional. A young boy trying his best to care for he and his younger sister. Causes one to think of and know what’s truly important in this life.”

Finding Forrester Movie 2017

Camilla’s choice – “Finding Forrester”

I say, “I love this story. ‘The first key to writing is just to write! Write from the heart. Review with the head.’ I love this story! Oh. Did I say, I love this story. I could have done with a lot less inappropriate language, yet, I understand it was representative of the characters.”

Thomas says, “Good movie. I liked it a lot. Funny in some parts, suspenseful, liked the characters. Really liked that Forrester wears his socks inside out due to the seams on the inside. I agree and wear my socks inside out. The people who make socks make them wrong.”

Lillian says, “Good, awesome, and my favorite part was near the end. I liked it!”

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
[catlist name=blog]

*Finding Forrester Movie Review, *Grave of the Fireflies Movie Review

Book Musings: Love and Rice and a Snail

a-course-of-love-book-2016

A Course of Love

This is my third time “reading” this book. It takes a LONG time as I only read a section or two every day …. in order to BE with what I’m reading.

Sort of a continuation of “The Course in Miracles” … The contents of this book are simply LOVE, JOY, and FREEDOM.

I would describe it as a guide book for the internal journey of coming to know oneself, freeing oneself from false walls one has built, and finally sharing the gifts and treasures within oneself with humanity …. with joy, peace, and love.

one-grain-of-rice-book-2016

One Grain of Rice

A mathematical folk tale about wisdom and fairness. A village girl in India teaches a raja what it truly means to be wise and fair. Reading this we learnt the surprising power of doubling one grain of rice every day for thirty days …. growing into more than one billion grains of rice.

We all LOVE books by DEMI. The illustrations are simply unmatched with content that’s bursting with wisdom!

legend-of-the-golden-snail-book-2016

The Legend of the Golden Snail

Amazing book about a young boy who travels to the Ends of the Earth ready to conquer! Along the way he discovers that what actually lies in his heart is kindness and compassion, rather than conquering, and he spreads it all along the way.

Absolutely LOVED this book! The illustrations are vibrant and captivating. Thomas and Lillian were glued to it right along with me!

I help to support my family with my writings. So … there are Amazon affiliate links in this post. This simply means that if you click through to Amazon for more information about a book, and you buy something, we get a few cents (and it doesn’t cost you anything more than usual). Oceans of gratitude … xoxo

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
[catlist name=blog]

*A Course of Love Book Review, One Grain of Rice Book Review, The Legend of the Golden Snail Book Review

10 Most Popular Posts for 2016

thomas-and-camilla-at-odabe-round-dance-9-25-16-5

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled only from 2016 blog posts)

  1. Dear Meltdown, Meet My Friend Mindfulness
  2. Biggest Little Photographer Arrives – We Did It
  3. Living in a Tiny Home Adventures – Four Months
  4. Photo a Day for 365 Days – Thomas’ One Year Anniversary
  5. The Power and Magic of Connected Parenting
  6. 2016 Chromosome 18 Conference – San Antonio
  7. A Rapturous Dance With Life
  8. The Biggest Little Photographer by Thomas Darnell
  9. The Tao of Letting GoLetting Go Burning Ceremony, and There is More Than One Way (These 3 blog posts had the same amount of views)
  10. A State of Pure Awareness

**LOVE OFFERING** If you find this content helpful, I invite you to toss a tip in the love offering bowl. With oceans of gratitude … Camilla ….

love-cards-in-a-basket-october-2016

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views for 2016 (Culled from all blog posts)

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  3. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  4. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  5. Taste the Wind
  6. Dear Meltdown: Meet My Friend Mindfulness
  7. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  8. Living in a Tiny Home Adventures
  9. Biggest Little Photographer Arrives – We Did It
  10. Recipe: Chia Seed Pudding

Top 10 Blog Posts of All Time With the Most Views

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  3. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  4. Help Team TLC With A Christmas Miracle
  5. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  6. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  7. I Wish I Wasn’t an 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two
  8. A Moment of Defeat
  9. Lillian and Being Different Presentation
  10. Creativity and Resourcefulness

Here’s to a 2017 in which we all go within to BE the change we wish to see in the world. BE Love, BE Peace, BE Compassion … We must BE this within in order to experience it without.

hearts-rock-sparks-2015

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:
[catlist name=blog]

How to Celebrate an Eleventh Birthday

A wee bit late posting this ….. November 13 2016:

damonte-ranch-walk-9-13-16-6

 

“We’re the weirdest people I know.” ~Thomas Darnell (11.8.16) …. To which we both burst out laughing and let even more weirdness ensue. It’s true. I’m not your average person, nor the average mom. But, that’s another story for another time …. This one’s for Thomas ….

Happy Happy Happy 11th Birthday Thomas!!!!

Here’s to you! As you begin your 11th trip around the sun, may you live your life to the fullest. You have blessed me with countless gifts from the moment you joined us.

Your tender heart combined with your honesty, compassion, and empathy are indeed precious. Rounded out with your true confusion as to why age seems to be such a big deal in this world, by way if its limitations; have made for interesting, fun, and life shifting adventures and conversations. Your soul knows no age and you have not forgotten that.

“It’s like I’ve lived this life before, I have nostalgia almost every day, like I’ve experienced this all before.” said often by Thomas.

He wanted cheesecake for his cake. So that’s what I made for him with shaved dark chocolate on top. Oh my YUM!!!

He so loves and enjoys reading National Geographic so I got him a subscription for the print edition. Lillian made a handmade card and then a “mystery box” (which he renamed a “memory box”).

With help from me she collected items from around the house to put in the box and then she handmade a coupon for one stone or crystal from Stone Age with some of her own quotes on the back. Other goodies from The Romano Duo!!

Snapshot of Thomas: Some of his favorite topics are minecraft, LEGOS, coding, math, and learning about topics that interest him. He loves fibonacci numbers, bernoulli’s equation, and the law of infinite probability. Some of his most cherished things to do are reading, being outside, going on adventures, and swimming.

And as of about two weeks ago, has a PUBLISHED BOOK!!! Wahoooo!!!

He asks a billion questions, makes funny noises, teases his sister too much, has sensory processing issues, gets overwhelmed in crowds and noisy places, takes longer than the average person to process questions asked of him ….

He calls me out when I’m not “doing” as I say, he holds the biggest freakin mirror in front of me when I need it most, and he has a heart of gold.

Thomas, I love you throughout all of time and all dimensions and am blessed we chose to be mother and son in this life.

PEACE and LOVE …. PEACE and LOVE …. PEACE and LOVE ….

thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-1 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-2 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-3 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-4 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-5 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-6 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-7 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-8 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-9 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-10 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-11 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-12 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-13 thomas-11th-birthday-11-13-16-14

______________________________________________________

November 14 2016:

Birthday treat for the 11 year old this morning.

The most amazing vegan root beer float with coconut bliss ice cream and Oogave root beer. Plus a treat for me: Aztec D’oro, made with almond milk.

But first, a toast to Thomas’ 11th trip around the sun with this amazing and yummy water.

Thank you Great Full Gardens for the birthday discount … we are over the super moon thankful to you for that!!!

thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-1 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-2 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-3 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-4 thomas-birthday-treat-11-14-16-5

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Wonderfully exciting news! Thomas, my 11 year old son’s book, Biggest Little Photographer, is now published. It’s here. Be inspired! Order one for yourself or as an inspirational gift! 

Latest Articles:
[catlist name=blog]