Did you know that in 1430 the original meaning of the word charm was a medley of goldfinches or a charm of angels singing?


We think of charm today as someone who is pleasing, something with a beautiful quality or a trinket on a bracelet.  I think the “olde” definition is more enchanting.  It made me start thinking about life in 1430 and what it would have been like. Daily survival would have been much more difficult.  No one could have imagined television, internet or cell phones.  Activities like singing, playing music, dancing, and listening to birds would have had more impact or importance.
What do you enjoy when you disconnect from the electronic world?
When I am able to connect with the natural world, I feel delighted.  The world feels enchanting and magical.  As a photographer I pay attention to light and shadows, searching always for beauty.  Because I live in a rural environment, it’s easy for me to do daily.  One of my most precious gifts is the ability to view the night sky, no light pollution here.  The Milky Way is incredible and awe-inspiring.
What do you find charming in your environment?  Are you in the habit of seeking natural beauty?
Jose Marti said, “Charm is a product of the unexpected.”
Look up! Who knows what you might see!
Listen! Who know what you might hear!


  1. Effy on December 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I call this ‘taking the long look’ and it’s one of the most important parts of my spiritual practice. xo
    Effy recently posted..Resound ~ Day 1My Profile

    • Loran Hills on December 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      So, Effy, I’m a-preaching to the choir? I mean charm of angels? There are so many beautiful parts to spiritual practice.

  2. FaerieD on December 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve been thinking about the past a lot recently. I’ve been thinking it must have been really, REALLY smelly. No-one washed, and underclothes were very practically there so we wouldn’t get our stinky bodies on our clothes.
    Maybe in the past we approached smell like a doggy does, where poo smells interesting rather than gross?
    Back on topic, it’s winter here, and at a busy cross roads at rush hour at just-gone night in my little city today I heard one bird singing from a tree. It was beautiful, especially since we don’t hear birds much at the moment.

    • Loran Hills on December 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      The smells did cross my mind, but how un-enchanting! Hehe. But hearing a little bird song brightens my day. I especially love meadowlarks, but they have headed south for the winter.

  3. Gilli (Kim) on December 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Beautiful post Loran. Realized yesterday, and again this morning, how much negativity was being posted to my facebook page by very well meaning friends who are very politically concerned. I would pass along many of the posts, sharing the information as a sign of solidarity. I am taking the month of December off from political posts and focusing more on love, creativity, Spirit, family and friends.

    • Loran Hills on December 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      I believe it takes constant effort to stem the tide of negativity around us! It isn’t that I don’t know it’s there, I do, but I choose not to add more fuel to the fire. It sounds like you have a good plan, Gilli.

  4. Lauri on December 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    This morning when the sun came up over the mountains covered with fresh snow was awe inspiring. How could you NOT believe in a Higher Power?

    • Loran Hills on December 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      Oh, I wish I could have seen that! Not believe, indeed.

  5. Natalie Adair on December 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I love how every time I read your blog I learn something new!
    Natalie Adair recently posted..Oooops I forgot something.My Profile

    • Loran Hills on December 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      Natalie, I think by being constantly curious that I am learning new things too. Then I love to share them. I can’t help it!

  6. Tanja on December 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    *rueful smile* – I think we just need to go on a multi-day camping trip or hike to get a feel for what it must have smelled like in the past! But there’s a theory I’ve heard that our olfactory nerves can only register the same smell for a few minutes – after which, they numb out to it.

    So I can only guess that if you grew up like that, you never noticed it. That seems to be what happens for folks who live in areas of high geothermal activity anyway – they seem to numb out to the sulfurous “rotten-egg” smell (lucky them!)

    On a more… charming level… I’ve actually always been a little bit suspicious around charm. It has… somewhat negative… connotations for me – making me think of the glamours that the fair folk would cast – something that appears pretty on the surface, but is hiding a more sinister interior.

    Your post has made me remember that not all “charms” have to be suspect. A beautiful song, a painting, a poem can absolutely be charming. And of course, nature herself can charm us. As long as we remember she’s a complex, complicated whole unto herself, and the charms that she offers are just one facet of the jewel that makes her up 🙂


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  7. Ellie Di on December 2, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I earned the moniker “worst Pagan ever” while I was still in those circles because I really, really don’t like hanging out outside. I certainly appreciate the beauty and majesty (and charm!) of the natural world, but I hate bugs, stabby planets, and being cold and/or wet. Makes enjoying nature pretty hard (especially if you’re camping for Mabon in mid-Missouri, but I digress).

    The thing is, though, that I *do* see the charm of the simple life, of going outside to commune with the trees and rivers and critters. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve appreciated nature more and more (albeit from inside a car or train). When I disconnect from the electronic world, it’s usually to engage my brain some other way, but I’ve learned more value for a walk along the lakeside or a day of sun-worship on an ocean beach.

    I’ve got a strange relationship with the enchantment of nature, but it’s growing stronger every year. Heck, maybe one year I’ll agree to go winter camping up on the Canadian Shield!
    Ellie Di recently posted..Day-to-Day Faith: A Good Sort of LieMy Profile

    • Loran Hills on December 2, 2011 at 10:49 am

      Ellie, someone has to be the “worst!” Even though I love camping you wouldn’t find me camping in the winter snow.

      You can always admire nature from a window, or in a picture or from the car.

  8. Stella Seaspirit on December 6, 2011 at 3:15 am

    I find that if I don’t unplug from the electronic world regularly I feel ‘disconnected’ from my nature and my core being. I get grumpy, unclear and then I know it’s time to “run for the hills!”

    Like Ellie, I’m not a camper. There is nothing wrong with a cabin or a chalet that has indoor plumbing and air-conditioning heehee, I like being outside until I’ve had enough and then I like to get comfy on a plush piece of furniture whilst I gaze languidly out a large window or from an elevated terrace.
    Stella Seaspirit recently posted..Craft on PurposeMy Profile

    • Loran Hills on December 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

      Unplugging is really important for maintaining balance in our lives, Stella.

      I don’t have anything against a comfy piece of furniture in a beautiful location. We spent one glorious weekend in the mountains of Colorado in a great cabin. It snowed 6 inches and the scenery was spectacular but I was particularly grateful not to be camping. Been there, done that, not fun!

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