Posted in Earth, Eastern Shore, Faith, Fire, Home, Maryland, Nature, Photography, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Winter

The vanity of the bonfire

A Saturday bonfire
A Saturday bonfire

Expectations are tempting, pleasant, maybe necessary.  They are scary too, once you have had some experience.  They are not necessarily and not always a bucket of smoke, but they can be and are even likely to be.

~ Wendell Berry

Looking out the kitchen window
Looking out the kitchen window

It’s raining like crazy here on the Eastern Shore today.  I think some folks are eventually going to get snow from this system, but it’s all rain for us, and lots of it.  As of noon, we already had more than a half inch of rain.

Winter fire
Winter fire

M and I have been working indoors today.  M is rebuilding the closet in the master bedroom to suit his needs and taste.  I worked in the master bath for a while, scrubbing what needed a good scrubbing, and finally putting down non-slip tracks on the tub.  I’ve slipped more than once in there, and have been lucky enough to catch myself.  It doesn’t seem wise to keep pushing my luck.

Fascination
Fascination

Yesterday’s outdoor clean-up included a big bonfire.  Not everything we find is plastic, thank goodness.  Cardboard, paper, and wood all went on the burn pile.  When we moved in, there was a burn barrel, but it was so full of plastic trash that we decided to have it hauled away with the other 5 tons of rubbish that was removed from the pavilion area.

Hot
Hot

It’s difficult not to take a bazillion photos of fire because it’s always changing, always fascinating.  I somehow managed to restrain myself and only take ten or so.  I won’t post them all.  That could get boring.

Just one more
Just one more

We’re only two days away from a new calendar year.  I mentally start my year on the Winter Solstice because it feels more like a new year to me, but since the society I live in begins the new year on January 1st, I go along with the program.

Art in the woods
Art in the woods

I have decided on my word for the year.  I am going to take a leap of faith, have faith, show good faith, take it on faith, keep the faith, and find out if it’s true that faith will move mountains.  Or at least move me.  I will not be practicing faith in the sense of practicing a religion or a set of doctrines or beliefs.  I will be looking at the confidence aspects of faith (as in having faith in one’s abilities, to trust).

You can have faith with or without religious affiliation — faith is a state of being.  Faith is putting hope and power into that which we can not see now . . . but know we will see in the future.

~ Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D., Psychology Today

Sunset lights up the trees
Sunset lights up the trees

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word faith, meaning “duty of fulfilling one’s trust,” dates from the mid-13th century.  The use of the word faith in the theological sense dates from the 14th century.  Belief, it seems, once meant to trust in God, while faith meant “loyalty to a person based on promise of duty,” and was not associated with divinity until the 16th century when faith came to mean “mental acceptance of something as true,” and “things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine.”

The trees have faith
The trees have faith

I am going to explore faith in myself and my abilities, and taking leaps of faith.  Perhaps I should have gone with trust as my word of the year, but there’s something about faith that feels more true to what I have in mind even if I can’t explain exactly what that is.

Fiery light of sunset in the marsh grasses
Fiery light of sunset in the marsh grasses

I guess that’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this soggy Sunday.  Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day.  The cabinet installer, the plumber, and assorted other people will be arriving bright and early to finish the kitchen.  On Tuesday morning when the sunlight streams in — and if all goes well tomorrow — I will take some photos so you can have a look around.

Thank you for dropping in.  I hope your weekend was restorative and fun.  A big welcome to my new followers.  My apologies to those of you I haven’t been around to visit lately.  There is so much going on in life right now that it’s difficult to keep up.  With all the workers here getting in my way tomorrow, I should have time to catch up a bit.

Fiery sunset reflections in the creek
Reflections in the creek

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Today’s joys:  Looking out the window just in time to see an eagle fly by; exploring a new vegan cookbook that I received as a Christmas gift; the different shades of brown in the meadows; teamwork; anticipation.

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

23 thoughts on “The vanity of the bonfire

  1. The constant flickering of the flames is completely hypnotic, I think. Hard not to keep looking, or clicking. I like your word for the year – faith. Without it, could we get through some of the more trying times? We have to have faith it will get better.

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  2. Hooray for your word of the year! One of my favourite quotes on faith comes from Anne Lamott. She says something along the lines of “the opposite of faith is not doubt– it’s certainty”. Love it!

    I picked a word for the upcoming year as well. It’s “ease”. 2013 was a year of striving, straining, reaching, achieving, “figuring things out”, “making things work”, and other high-energy pursuits which left me totally exhausted. I’ve decided that 2014 will be a more gentle year– not an “easy” one (necessarily), but definitely in alignment with a greater sense of ease and flow.

    Love the bonfire pics, too. It must have been really difficult to narrow your featured photos down to just a handful!

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    1. Almost well, Marie. Almost. Well enough that when they leave here today, I’m going to start putting things away. But it won’t be finished (someone didn’t measure well and/or order enough wood for the molding). Thank you. 🙂

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  3. Yay!! I’m crossing my fingers that you won’t have anymore setbacks and the kitchen WILL finally be finished!
    I like your word for the year 🙂 I wear a set of stackable rings, and one of them says FAITH (and has no religious meaning to me).

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  4. The fire pictures are really great – it certainly is fascinating. The wordpress snow falling across them looks pretty neat too! I like that quote about faith from the psychologist. I think faith is a word I’ve shied away from using too much myself because I’ve always thought of it as having religious affiliations and religion is not a part of my life. Thanks for presenting it this way.

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    1. You’re welcome, Karma. I’ve shied away from the word for the same reason, so it was interesting exploring it these past few weeks and getting to know it on different terms.
      Thank you. 🙂

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  5. All your pictures are beautiful.

    The fire images speak to me most. Setting something ablaze seems the perfect way to end a year. I don’t have a word for 2014, but I have adopted Katy Perry’s “Roar” as my year’s theme song.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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