Posted in Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Fire, Gifts, Goals, Lagoon, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Winter, Wonder

Strong words

Hoar frost in blue
Hoar frost in blue

Don’t use words too big for the subject.  Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

~ C. S. Lewis

Frosty myrtle
Frosty myrtle

We had a lovely frost yesterday morning, one that involved big flake-like crystals of hoar frost on the plants around the lagoon.  Hoar frost mornings are usually bitterly cold mornings.  The combination of cold (it was 7°F when I went out for my walk yesterday) and humidity (in this case, from the lagoon) not only creates beauty, but it can be dangerous to the extremities (fingers, toes, nose, and ears).  It was on a hoar frost morning in the Bogs that I hurt my fingers, not to the point of frostbite but enough that my fingertips really feel the cold, in a painful way, when I go out on chilly days.  Now I wear gloves AND mittens for hoar frost mornings.

Salutations
Salutations

I went out just after sunrise to admire the wintry beauty.  I’m going to pepper the post with some of the images I captured while I ramble about something.  I hope you don’t mind.

Frosty fog
Frosty fog and sunbeams

Hate is a lack of imagination.

~ Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

Enlightened
Enlightened.  (I didn’t alter the colors in this image.  The frozen fog and sunlight gave it a sepia glow.)

Several years ago, maybe longer, I removed the word “hate” from my vocabulary.  It didn’t happen overnight.  I had to work at it.  Like a lot of folks, I used the word inappropriately, throwing it around hither and thither, over and yon, without much thought about the strength of the word.  Hate means a passionate or intense dislike.  Many of the things I said I hated didn’t inspire much passion or intensity.  It had become, for me, a lazy way to express my displeasure or my dislike with less than optimal conditions.

Glow time
Glow time

The idea behind removing “hate” from my vocabulary wasn’t just to strengthen my vocabulary skills.  It was a step towards removing negativity from my words and thoughts after being told that I could be a very negative person.  I was hurt by the remark because I didn’t see myself that way, but it taught me to be mindful with my words.  If I knew how to get in touch with the woman who said that to me, I would thank her for it.  She was right, and if she hadn’t mentioned it, I might not have noticed it for a long time, if ever.

Pretty in pink light
Pretty in pink light

A couple of weeks ago, I commented on something to M, and he replied, “That’s a strong word for it.”  I must have looked puzzled because he explained, “Hate.  It’s a strong word.  Do you really hate it?”  Oh.  When did that word creep back into my life?  And how often was I using it?

Home of the frost faeries
Home of the frost faeries.  (If you look closely, you might see them hiding in the background.)

I used the word hate a lot when I was a child, especially during my teen years.  Most everyone I knew at the time did.  Teens are good at hating this, that, and the other thing.  It wasn’t until I was an adult with a child of my own that I learned just how, well, hateful the word hate can be.  If you’ve ever had your child say to you, “I hate you!” then you know how hurtful it is, even if you know the child doesn’t mean it (thank goodness!).

Did you know hoar frost makes a chiming, tinkling sound when it falls?
Did you know hoar frost makes a chiming, tinkling sound when it falls?

I started monitoring my speech recently and it turns out I was using the H word pretty frequently.  Yikes.  So, once again I am on a mission to clean up my words and thoughts.  Hate was not the only negative thought or word to creep back in.  There’s the word “no” when I should be saying “yes.”  Or “can’t” when I very well can if I only tried.  Words can be so powerful.  It seems a shame to put out negative energy when I don’t have to.

The crystals look like little trees.
The crystals look like little trees.

That’s about it from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch for today.  Construction work on the addition continues in spite of the cold.  John the Construction Guy has been here every day this week, even when it was zero degrees.  The electricians did their thing this week, too, and the wiring is roughed in.  I’m amazed at how fast everything is going.

Curvature
Curvature

Thank you for stopping by.  Do you have any plans for the weekend?  I think M and I will be sticking close to home.  We need to chop and haul wood for the wood stove, and I’ll probably continue my slow unpacking and organizing of the kitchen.  I might set a world record for slowest unpacking.

I almost forgot.  My MOVs for the week:

Fullscreen capture 1242014 103312 AM

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂  And have a great weekend!

The lagoon in winter
The lagoon in winter
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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.

40 thoughts on “Strong words

  1. It’s easy to fall into those habits, those negative words. I’m also trying not to use them, to maintain a positive attitude, to find joy in the little things. Also working on getting rid of that word “should”.

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  2. As a child, I was told by my mother, “No, you don’t ‘hate’ me. You’re angry with me, and those are two different things.” It might be one of the best things she ever said to me, because I stopped throwing the word out randomly. The one I really need to work on is saying ‘No’ without thinking first…
    I’m in awe of today’s photos…such a wonderland. So glad you could get out and enjoy it!

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    1. Thank you, Marie. 🙂 That was a very wise thing for your mother to say to you. I wish I’d thought of something as profound to say to my kids, but good responses were never quick for me, so it’s likely I would have thought of it later rather than at the time.

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  3. Stunning photos and I’ve heard of hoar frost but didn’t know much about it. I need to monitor how often I say hate. I’m curious now. Best of luck to you and have a great weekend. Don’t forget the gloves.

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  4. You find some really amazing shots in the frost. You make the cold look pretty, and that is saying a lot coming from me! I know what you mean about the word “hate”. I don’t think I use it very frequently. My waking-up to the power of the word is a little silly, but it worked for me. As you know, I am a big fan of the Boston Red Sox and all good Red Sox fans are supposed to hate the New York Yankees. Then someone pointed out that hating something is still to have a passion toward it, although a negative passion, but a passion none-the-less. It would be more appropriate, therefore, to feel apathetic toward the Yankees, not to provide them with any passion whatsoever! Now I do really think about the word before I use it. Passion should not be given lightly!

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    1. Thank you, Karma. I think making the cold look pretty is the best way to handle it. Makes it seem less fearsome. Or something. 🙂
      That’s a wonderful way to look at hate, and passion. You’re right. Passion should not be given lightly. I’ll have to remember that.

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  5. When I learned that love and hate are two of the strongest emotions a person can feel, and in many ways very similar, I began to make a point also of not using the word “hate” at all. If I extremely dislike something, I don’t want to give it the satisfaction of knowing it has got to me, so I ignore it, and the extreme feelings have soon disappeared.

    Wow, I LOVE the photos of the frost Robin!The colours are so subtle and pretty and the little tree shaped crystals are just magical. I love them all. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Joanne. 🙂 You and Karma seem to be on the same page when it comes to hate. You are both very wise. Or is that each very wise? I am not wise enough to know which one is correct.

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  6. I love the hoar frost photos, each one a fairyland of icy beauty, how magical to imagine a tinkling sound s those tiny pieces fall … and yes, I agree about not using strong words like hate … it is helpful to remember what we are really trying to express … but sometimes the brain circuits simply produce the words before we have time to reflect … and then we have to realise we are not ‘in control’ of life at all, much as we like to imagine we are 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Christine. I’ve always thought of hoar frost as magical. It’s rare, so it must be magic. 😀 As for control, oh my. There’s a lesson in and of itself.

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  7. You’re so right Robin, we do tend to pepper our speech with words that don’t really apply. Lazy speech i suppose, (I blame my brain sometimes, for when I try to find a word on the tip of my tongue, it throws in something not quite right, just ‘cos it can’t be bothered!! I think it has a lousy filing system you know!!) Loving the photo’s especially the frost fairies shots, I did look but methinks they were in hiding. Happy New Trails xPenx

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    1. Thank you, Pen. 🙂 My brain is like that, too. Slow, disorganized, and who knows what’s been filed where? I’m amazed at some of the things that pop out, and how the easy things stay hidden.

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  8. What a gorgeous day to be out in the frost! I envy your weather and the beauty of the nature around you. It is just simply too very cold to enjoy anything about the outdoors for me this winter … coldest winter of my life (high today predicted 11 below before the high winds are put into the calculation for windchill temps).

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  9. Beautiful photos Robin, must be tricky to take them with gloves and mitts on. Good thoughts too, how we say things can structure our relationships with others in unexpected ways when carelessly expressed.

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  10. Oh Robin – this post brings back some memories! When we were little, if we said we hated something – usually something served for dinner – my mother would admonish us instead to say we didn’t care for it, or simply, “no, thank you” if we were guests at someone else’s house. Also, if we said, “I hate you,” she would correct us and tell us to say “I am angry with you,” or whatever would describe the emotion we were experiencing at the time. I taught my children the same thing. I wonder if it has crept back in – will observe myself for a few days.

    Tim and I are puttering around this weekend – it feels like we’re moving into our “new” life… Now that the chaos of last year has passed and the dust is settling, we have a better grasp of what needs to be done to reclaim our home…

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  11. It’s scary to think how flippantly I might use the H-word, too, Robin. I made a conscious choice, like you, several years ago to not declare anything hate-worthy. That said, I probably scatter the H-word in my speech like I’m mindlessly feeding pigeons or something! (I don’t think I ever say “I hate —–!”, but I might often say, “Don’t you hate it when —-?” without even considering the implications. Thanks so much for the reminder to be more mindful and to be more impeccable in my communication!

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    1. You’re welcome, Dana. And thank you. It’s funny how that word just slips right back in from time to time. I’m still having to monitor my speech.

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  12. Robin, you’ve got me thinking. How often DO I use the hate word? I do admit a propensity to exaggerate and use words too big for the subject. I like the mindfulness this post suggests. So many little habits get ingrained in us throughout the years and we’re not even aware of them. As always, liked your images very much.

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  13. I don’t seem to use the word hate. Hate is a very strong emotion and I struggle to feel strongly in general.
    On the same note, the word love comes difficult to me too. I use the word Ok too much instead. I’ve been trying to take the word Ok out of my vocabulary and replace it with little words from either side instead.
    It’s not as easy as it sounds is it. 😀

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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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