Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But drink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you.
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasures,

But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes byl
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
——Ella Wheeler Wilcox; 1850 – 1919


change in ourlives

” Every day is a god, each day is a god
and holiness holds forth in time…” Unknown

A run across the sand.

A run across the sand.

Bringing Purpose to the Journey


Steady the course

Life goes on – even after the adventure is gone.  We must not forget the importance of living fully, of keeping the excitement of life.  If it seems that your life has none, then it is your quest to find it and live it and share it.

I find, at twilight, that I experience that unique second, the moment that you recognize your complete and utter solitude and your deep and abiding connection to the universe.  The feeling keeps me connected to the adventure of life and to the universe, and readies me to share my journey.

The journey through our days is often long, and sometimes seems too solitary, but you will meet the people you need in your life as you walk on the road.  Open yourself to them, and let them open to you, and you will find adventure in the knowing of one another, and share the adventure of each morning, each evening and each lovely twilight as you walk side by side.


Some parts of the journey we walk alone and feel alone, but we are never really alone Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

A Tiny Drop of Water

     The Joy of Unity With the Universe

“O Lord,
One tiny bit of water rests on the palm of my hand.
I bring it to you and with it I bring the whole ocean
This tiny drop has the power to ease the burning thirst of men,
when spread on the earth, to give life to the seed and the future
when poured on the fire to quench the blaze.
A tiny drop of water
can cleanse the whole of my impurity when blessed by your forgiveness.

—Ishpriya rscj


Seeing the World Through Different Eyes

Invoking the powers of the Universe or bestowing on Mother Earth or other beings is neither a simple benevolent wish nor an act of hubris. It is really an act of creative confidence.We free ourselves to come into dynamic relationship with the entire Universe. “May all beings be happy.”

“What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone,
in the forest, at night, cherished by this
wonderful, unintelligible,
perfectly innocent speech,
The most comforting speech in the world,
the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges,
and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!
Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it.
It will talk as long as it wants, this rain.
As long as it talks I am going to listen.
————Thomas Merton

“Let us be united,
Let us speak in harmony,
Let our minds apprehend alike,
Common be our prayer,
Common be the end of our assembly,
Common be our resolution.
Alike be our feelings,
United be our hearts,
Common be our intentions,
Perfect be our unity.

—— From the Hindu Rig Veda

Cuyahogua Falls, Ohio;  Photo by Barbara Mattio

Cuyahogua Falls, Ohio; Photo by Barbara Mattio


Solitary  Holden beach, North Carolina’ Photo by Barbara Mattio

Solitude is a state of being which some people crave and some people are very uncomfortable with. There was a time in my life when solitude was difficult for me. I have always been a people person. I found though that solitude is necessary to find out who I was as a woman.  Solitude is something I enjoy now and also find to be necessary to my life. Even if everything is going well and I feel that I am in a good space, I need to spend time within. We all need to spend time alone with ourselves.  This is the purpose of spiritual retreats. Time spent in silence with yourself and time to discover the woman within. This is a journey everyone needs to make at some time in their lives.

Life today is busier than ever. Sometimes I think we are addicted to the constant hustle and bustle. We feel lost when there is nothing to do. Some feel shame if they can’t complain about how busy they are. Busy doesn’t help you to get to know yourself or others in your family. Getting to know ourselves is a project and a journey. It is a wonderful journey that leads you to meet the inner you. Solitude gives you the chance to discover what really interests you and what you may be doing to please others and not yourself.

I believe we need to know who we are to love ourselves. Loving ourselves is an important part of being a child of the Universe. As human beings,  we often don’t realize that if you don’t love yourself, you are incapable of truly loving another. Human love is given to us to teach us how to love the Divine. Divinity is in every sentient being  and it is essential for us to learn all we can about love. Not sex, not marrying well, but the love of one soul for another. This shows us how The love of Divinityexpresses its love for its creation.

The journey to finding ourselves can be the beginning of a psychological adventure story and a thrilling mystery.  Some can do this by attending a retreat of silence. Some can do it with regular meditation. Some have sold what they own and have gone to another country or area of the country to discover who they are. Away from all of the voices, telling us who we are, we can discover our true selves.

I have a nephew who walked the entire Appalacian Trail, with only what he could carry easily. I made him a medicine bag to take with him. What he discovered was the man he really was. He says it could never have happened if he hadn’t had the solitude of walking the trail. What I have seen is a young man whose life has blossomed with new adventures, new job and even marriage at 40 years of age. He just makes me smile when I think of him.

I met myself during retreats of silence. My childhood had contained experiences which I thought had changed the person I was supposed to be. What I discovered in the silence, was that I was exactly as I was when I was born. Pure white light. Not damaged. Stronger and beginning to learn to love myself.

Usually, it is a number of experiences which are uncomfortable or frightening to us which triggers a need for silence. I believe it is one of the reasons I enjoy the mountains and beach so much. I love the solitude and I love the activity. I have learned to create balance for myself in my life. I have been on a mountain top under the stars on a full moon dancing with others and I have hiked alone with my camera to document the beauty of this life.

If you are dreaming of escaping to somewhere else to find yourself, perhaps this is a gift you should give to yourself. I know that you will come back very different and yet more real and authentic in who you are as a child of the Universe. Will people think you are crazy? Perhaps. Will they ridicule you?  Many may. The richness of the inner treasure you find will be worth all of that and you will have a much stronger relationship with yourself and with The One. Life will unveil itself to you and you will know where you are to be going and how to get there. Be courageous. Be Wild. Be everything you were meant to be.