Posted in Blogging Break, Dreams, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Life, Love, Maryland, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Spirit, Spring, The Bench Chronicles, Walking & Wandering, Wonder

Five days


in a world of blossoms
wearing an umbrella-hat
a Buddha

~ Issa, 1818

Relax and sit awhile
Day 1.  Relax and sit awhile.

Monday.  I’m sitting on the bench near the lagoon.  A duck of some kind is swimming around and around in the water, making ripples in the sparkling light from the sun.  It is windy today, but comfortable.  Warm enough.  The mockingbird is going through his repertoire.  It is impressive and incredibly beautiful.  I wonder if he knows how lovely he sounds?  His songs are enchanting.  Even the Blue Jay screech fits delightfully into his long hymn to the day and to his fellow birds.

I’ve been watching the cherry blossoms bobble and sway in the wind.  In a few days, the petals will start to let go and a brisk wind will make it look like it’s snowing around the tree.  In his book Nature-Speak, Ted Andrews writes that the cherry blossom “awakens the energies of faith and trust on high levels.  It enables the individual to let go of the aspects of the ego which are preventing growth… It alerts us to be open in consciousness for new insights.  This tree tells us that we are on the threshold of a new awakening.”

Living in the moment
Living in the moment

My mind wanders.  My mind wonders.  There is so much beauty in this season that it’s difficult to take it all in.  Perhaps we’re not meant to take it all in.  Just little pieces of it, one small beauty at a time, because even a wee bit of joy can fill you up for days.

Day 2.  Shadows.
Day 2. Shadows.

Tuesday.  I’ve been listening to some wonderful talks, and participating in some lovely meditations, yet I find myself feeling dark, confused, sad, angry.  There is a very tight, very heavy knot in my stomach.  Fear?  I don’t know.  Maybe.

Squirming.  (These are Eastern Tent Caterpillars on a wild cherry tree.  From what I’ve read, they won’t harm the tree.  They’ll eat some of the new leaves, but the tree will put out more leaves later.)

It is difficult to sit comfortably with this stuff.  Yet sitting with it in a detached manner, I’m told, is how we come to learn to release it, and not identify with it.  Sitting with it teaches us how to fully love ourselves and others.  Another option is to offer love or compassion to the distressing, disagreeable, uncomfortable feelings that arise.

Everything is turned around.
Everything is turned around.

Today is Earth Day.  I’ve been spending time in my scrounger’s garden when I’m not listening to talks or meditating.  Perhaps it’s more of a Zen garden, although not in the traditional sense.  Over the weekend M offered advice on how I could go about doing some of the work in a faster, more efficient way.  I thanked him, and explained that I’m content moving dirt, sand, and mulch one handful, sometimes one shovelful, at a time.  Perhaps I should be approaching what’s going on inside of me in the same way.  One handful, one emotion, one bit of tightness or resistance, at a time.

Day 3.  Unfolding.
Day 3. Unfolding.

Wednesday.  Or Winds-day, as Pooh might call it.  The wind is whipping and howling.  Things are flying through the air.  A small plastic chair, made for a child, went skittering across the deck this morning.  A Fire Weather Warning has been issued because we are in need of rain.

I am the opposite of the weather on this third day of my retreat.  I am calm in the midst of all this blustering.  Something happened in meditation this morning.

In the scrounger's garden a fairy hugs a frog.
In the scrounger’s garden a fairy comforts a frog (who looks a little confused about it…lol!).

A letting go, and an embracing within.  I don’t know how it can be both, but it is.  The only thing I can think to compare it to was a series of inner hugs.  The tight, heavy knot in the pit of my stomach has loosened.

Warming sunset.
Warming sunset.

Standing in the blustery wind is cleansing and invigorating, but it’s not a good day to work outdoors.  My indoor plans, to work on the yoga/meditation room, have had to be put off this week.  There are boxes and furniture that have to be unpacked and moved to the media room, but we can’t do that until the finishing touches are done.  The trim has to be cut, painted, and put up.  Hopefully we’ll get to that this weekend.  In the meantime, I have other indoor chores to keep me busy.

Day 4
Day 4

Thursday.  I’m not sure how to describe this day.  Up and down and all around.  The wind and I are blowing hard and then settling down, gusting and calming.

A moment of quiet
A moment of quiet

Of all the talks so far, I really enjoyed Effortless Meditation + MIndfulness as Self Love with Matthew Frum.  His talk was on Monday.  I found his presence, even through a video, to be calming and compassionate.  I signed up for his daily emails at, and have been enjoying his daily guided meditations all week.

Being present with the cherry blossoms.
Being present with the cherry blossoms.

Friday.  Still blustery with storms on the way.  We need the rain so the storms are welcome.  After my morning meditation, I stayed outside for a while.  It was time for some grounding, and what better way to do that than to put my hands in the dirt and do some gardening?

Hiding in the shade
Opening in the shade of the woods

It has been an interesting week, all in all.  There is so much I can’t put into words, either because it’s difficult to describe or because it was deeply personal.  I was going to wait until Sunday or Monday to post, but I am getting back into the swing of things, including blogging, so I decided to go ahead and post this today.

Walking the woodland trail.
Walking the woodland trail.  See how green it’s becoming?

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you’ve had a delightful week.  Do you have any plans for the weekend?  We’re thinking about attending one of the many Springfest celebrations going on around here tomorrow morning.  After that, I suspect it will be the usual chop wood, carry water here on the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  Spring is moving along at a quick pace, and it’s difficult to keep up with it.  I didn’t realize we have so many wild cherry trees here until I saw them all in bloom.  Many of the trees are leafing out, and we have a bumper crop of asparagus.  Unfortunately, we can’t eat the asparagus.  As I was out there harvesting the other day, I noticed plants with three red leaves growing on and around the asparagus spears.  It’s poison ivy.  I am mildly allergic to poison ivy, but M is highly allergic to it.  We’re going to try spot treating the poison ivy and cleaning up the asparagus bed, but we won’t be eating any more of it this year.  It’s not worth the risk.

Here come the clouds.  The rain can’t be too far behind.  I should go out and batten down the hatches.

A little magic
A little magic

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂  And have a wonderful (and wonder-filled) weekend!



Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

13 thoughts on “Five days

  1. thanks for sharing your retreat week Robin … those uncomfortable feelings and sensations … I find offering love, compassion and welcoming them in as messengers works well for me … when they are welcomed or ‘sat with’ they can impart their message and wander off content 🙂


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