Posted in A bit of history, Books, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Love, Maryland, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee: Pensive edition

Sometimes things are not quite clear.
Sometimes things are not quite clear.

The Roots of Violence:  Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles.

~ Mahatma Gandhi, Young India, 22 October 1925

A small life.
Living in the sunflowers.

If we were having coffee, I would welcome you with a big hug if you are amenable to hugs, or a big smile if you would rather take a pass on the hug.  I understand not being okay with hugs especially when they come from non-family members or people you don’t know really well.  I used to be that way, but got exposed to so many hugs over the years that I’ve learned to like them.  Somehow or another, life keeps bringing me friends and acquaintances who are huggers.  What used to feel awkward and uncomfortable has become, over the years, something pretty nice.  (In case it needs to be said/written, I have never had a problem hugging those I love.)  In fact, I’ll hug strangers now.  I did that once, in Chicago.  A group of folks were giving out free hugs and after watching people turn them down, I decided I would say yes.  The Free Hugs people looked like they needed a hug or two after all those other people said no.

Let’s grab our drinks, whatever they may be (we have coffee, all kinds of tea including a wide variety of herbals which can be served hot or over ice, wine, and beer), and go out to the porch where the ceiling fan should keep us cool enough while we enjoy the view.  There is some freshly baked banana bread (thanks to M).  I’ll bring that out with us in case we want something to munch on.

The selfie.  Purple hair edition.
The selfie. Purple hair edition.

So.  How are you?  Whatcha’ been up to this past week?  Have you traveled anywhere?  Taken any good walks?  Learned anything new?  Relearned something old that you used to know how to do but forgot?  Have you read any good books or watched any good movies or listened to any good music?  Made any art?  Written a novel of your own?

I don’t have any films worth telling you about (what I’ve watched lately has been “eh” or “meh”), but I finished reading Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure.  I enjoyed it.  I think the best way to sum it up is as a spiritual romp through India.  The author, Sarah MacDonald, traveled through India, explored the various religions practiced there, and learned a few things along the way.  I enjoyed her irreverent look at both the country and the spiritual/religious aspects.  That said, I don’t think she was disrespectful, and I think she was pretty clear that she’d only touched on the different aspects of faith and spirituality in India.

Little sunflower in the shade.
Little sunflower in the shade.

I am currently reading The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.  I saved this book to read during the hot summer months because it takes place in Alaska during the winter.  A few years ago, I read The Terror by Dan Simmons about the HMS Terror and the search for the Northwest Passage.  The book is based on historical events, and is described on Amazon as “a novel that will chill you to your core.”  I read it during a particularly harsh winter while we were living in the snowbelt of northeast Ohio, and the icy scenes had me shivering.  I decided then and there that I would read books about winter during the summer months in hopes that the snowy and icy descriptions would help me cool off.  (I highly recommend The Terror, by the way, with the warning that it can be terrifying.)

Layers of pink.
Layers of pink.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I lived in South Carolina many years ago.  As a northerner transplanted to the south, I never really felt comfortable there.  Southern Hospitality, it seemed to me, was mostly a surface kind of thing.  People want you to divulge everything about yourself, but give little back.  Not all southerners are that way, of course, and it is unfair of me to paint them with such a broad stroke, but it was my general experience living in South Carolina and, later, in Georgia.  I did make some good friends in both states, although now that I think about it, some of them were also transplants from up north.

The greenhouse by the scrounger's garden.
The greenhouse by the scrounger’s garden.

I also ran into a few people who were still fighting what they call “The War of Northern Aggression” (the U.S. Civil War), and one woman, Madeleine, even told me that “all you Yankees should go back up north where you belong.”  She seemed to think we were spoiling (and despoiling) The South.  Finding a job was sometimes difficult because I wasn’t trusted once it was revealed (via my work applications and previous job experience) that I originated from the north.  I was grilled about my feelings towards unions and organizing workers.  “I don’t know how you folks do things up north, but down here in South Carolina, we don’t cotton to that sort of thing, ” one man said as he lectured me about the south’s anti-union stance and why the workers were better off without unions.  (This was not true — the workers were not necessarily better off — but I was young, in need of a job, and certainly not about to start unionizing the good workers of South Carolina.)

Seeing red.
Seeing red and yellow.

I lived in Columbia, South Carolina, which is the state capital.  High atop the state house flew the American flag, the South Carolina state flag, and the Confederate Flag.  The Confederate Flag was eventually moved from the state house to within view of the state house after numerous protests.  It was a compromise that I suspect didn’t satisfy anyone, particularly those against the flying of this flag and what it represents.  The rules governing the compromise are very strict, and geared towards keeping it flying at all times.  In fact, the flag is permanently fixed in place, with no pulley system to bring it down, because it is now part of a Confederate memorial.

Blooming soon.
Blooming soon.

I want to write about what happened this week in South Carolina, but I can’t find the words.  Jon Stewart of The Daily Show found his words which you can read or watch/listen to here.  Christina found her words in NOT Acceptable.  Another blogger I follow found Worn-Out Words, and it’s a damn good read.  Please, if you have the time, go over and read Quinn’s post.  It’s not long, but it is powerful.  When you finish there, hop on over to Dawn’s place where she gives us a moment of beauty and Hope.

Quick update (and I’ll probably keep updating as the posts come in):  Carol asks a very good question with her post Why?

Worth another look.
Worth another look.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I wasn’t entirely honest just now.  I do have words for what happened in Charleston, South Carolina this week, but those words are full of shock and anger as well as sadness because of the way the politicians play with their words and put their own spin on these horrific acts of terrorism.  I try to work around politics and my political leanings on this blog, but I think we all know where I stand on a lot of matters given my tree-hugging hippie leanings.

Calm evening.
Calm evening.

If we were having coffee, I would apologize for this slow walk down a sad path, and change the subject.  I would tell you that it has been a busy week with mostly good news when it comes to things related to my health, and that I am enjoying my purple hair.  Andrea, my stylist, even put some in my bangs (“fringe” to some of you).

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we had some more storms roll through on Thursday and we were given this:

A wish.
A wish.

There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done.  One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow.  Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.

~ Dalai Lama XIV

Spirit in the sky.
Spirit in the sky.

If we were having coffee, I would thank you for stopping by today.  I really enjoy our visits.  Sunset is at 8:29 this evening if you’d like to stay for it.  I’m not sure we’ll see much since it has been mostly cloudy with the occasional sunny spell today.  The clouds could either hide or enhance the sunset.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Orange delight.
Orange delight.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Put on the kettle, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

On this day three years ago, I was capturing dragonflies by the pond in the Bogs.
On this day three years ago, I was capturing dragonflies by the pond in the Bogs.

 

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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.

24 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Pensive edition

  1. First off….HUGS back at you. Because we’re all sad this week. Second…did you know that WordPress photo challenge is basically rainbows this week? Third I think if we all remember that if we see something or hear something that scares us, to be brave enough to tell someone. Maybe we’ll save a life. Or nine. And until then and even after then we will honor those we lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t seen this week’s challenge yet, Dawn. Thank you! Most of my rainbow shots didn’t come out well, but I might have one or two I could still use for the challenge.

      I like your third point. Maybe we will, and yes, of course, we’ll honor those we lost.

      Like

  2. If we were having coffee I would share a hug with you. I’m not very good at hugs but sometimes they’re needed almost as much as cake – sometimes you just gotta have cake.
    I’ve really needed cake over the last two weeks but now I’m so relieved.
    Mum-in-law has been diagnosed with cancer, there, I’ve said it. It’s going to be Ok, it’s operable and with a long term outlook of being completely clear but we’ve all spent the last two weeks thinking it but not daring to say the word.
    If we were having coffee I’d bring a tissue or two, I’m fine now, really, but everything’s been bottled up, stiff upper lip and all that. Now that we know it’s going to be Ok, relief let’s a little tear slip now and again and although my eyes twinkle a little when they’re wet, the runny nose isn’t a good look.
    Your rainbow is perfect timing to remind me that sometimes you need a storm to make a rainbow.
    If we were having coffee maybe we could prattle on about things which don’t matter, things which make us laugh, and maybe, before the diet starts again next week, maybe just one slice of banana bread? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More hugs for you, Sallyann, if you’re up for them. I am sorry you’ve been through all that worry. The C word will do that. It’s scary stuff, isn’t it? I’m glad to hear your Mum-in-law has a good long-term outlook. I know how it is, when the relief hits and everything you held in wants to come out. Feel free to shed a tear or two or more and let it all out. When you’re finished, I’ll be happy to switch to things which don’t matter and I’m sure we’ll find a few things to laugh about while we’re at it. Laughter is so healing. Enjoy the slice of banana bread. If I know M, he made a low calorie version that won’t ruin your diet at all, yet still tastes decadent. He’s good at that. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Nope, you haven’t missed it at all. We have about another 1.5 hours or so, and it looks like it might be a really good one. Some clouds to bring out the colors, but not so many that it hides the sunset completely. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d share a hug back to you also.

    I have not encountered problems here in Virginia with being from the north, I think because we have so many transplants where we live and where I worked. We had problems in Minnesota with the “you’re not from here” syndrome. People from Minnesota think they’re nice, but what they are is highly passive aggressive and backstabbing. I preferred Chicago much more where people told you to your face when they didn’t like you, need you or want you. Yes, it was rude, but you knew where you stood. You didn’t have to wonder who would betray you this time.

    I enjoyed all the pictures and beauty in your post. Thanks for the nod to what happened in Charleston. Words just cannot describe the sorrow for it.

    Have a good weekend – enjoy the purple hair!

    Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Passive aggressive is something I can barely tolerate, Nancy. It’s so sneaky. You’re right about the folks in Chicago. I loved it when we lived there, and I never had to worry about where I stood with the people I met who were from Chicago.

      Thanks! You have a good weekend too. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny how there are folks I’ll initiate hugs with, while others not so much. I suspect it’s a vibe thing.
    We went blueberry picking out in some beautiful country. Just us and the birds. Got 22 pounds for $30. Don’t try to figure the price per because the nice woman rounded it down. 🙂 We had plenty for the freezer and managed it just before this heat spell cranked the warmth up. I tend to melt when it gets hot, so that was a GOOD thing. Going camping next week up in the mountains, and kayaking perhaps. Should be fun, expecially with the new mosquito net installed in the camper….

    Don’t know when or how we’ll manage to be kinder to one another regardless of race or any of the other things that tend to separate us…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blueberry picking! Blueberries are my favorite fruit, Gunta. My very first job, when I was 9 years old, was picking blueberries during the early summer months. I might have earned more money at it if I hadn’t been eating a lot of what I picked. lol!

      The camping and kayaking sound like fun. Kayaking is on my list of things to do this year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. lol! I wish!! We got $1.00 per flat (which is about 10 lbs. or 12 pints). AND we had to top the flat so you couldn’t see the individual boxes. Nothin’ but blueberries should show on the top. Hot, sweaty, hard work, but I was thrilled because I had my own money to spend when my parents took us to the beach for a 2-week vacation.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been avoiding reading about the horror in SC. There’s too much sadness in the world, and I feel like I just don’t have room for it in my heart these days. I don’t know if that’s the right way to put it, or if it is selfish sounding, but there’s enough close to home, both happy and sad, for filling up on right now.
    Your selfie is adorable, your greenhouse looks wonderful, and the first zinnia picture is rather mezmerizing: if you shift your eyes away from it and back ever so slightly, you get one of those optical illusions of movement around the spiral pattern of petals in the middle!

    Like

  6. Things are hard and scary and disappointing in the world. Even though you feel pensive, thanks for the reminder that there are still rainbows and lilies and people who see the beauty in the world and capture it to share with those of us who are exposed to less of it and don’t usually take the time to notice. I like your summer-updated icon, btw.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If we were having herbal tea (I’m getting too old and wise for caffeine, right?) or coffee, I’d share my story about how we just arrived back home after spending three beautiful days with both of our grown daughters. I’d tell you how I hugged them both, and braided the older love’s long hair, and tucked the younger love in when she fell asleep before we did. I’d tell you how I wished I could stop time for just these sorts of moments, that the speed at which life rolls along is a cosmic cruelty of sorts. I’d also tell you that we stood together in the town square and listened to three men of the cloth speak their minds (and hearts) about racism, hate, fear, and violence.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! Excuse me I need another coffee.
    This is very powerful and timely; Really deep and troubled writing.
    You have my respect for the words, the skill, the insight and the honesty.
    What’s next?
    Another coffee?

    Like

  9. The events in Charleston are very disturbing, and I am horrified that there are people who still think like this freak murderer. I know of them myself, and I’m appalled whenever I encounter them. There is no use trying to change their deeply held prejudice, which, as I see it, is hatred born of fear. It’s depressing to think that though we’ve progressed a lot as a nation, there are still those ignorant enough to try to pull us back to the dark days of the Confederacy.

    Other than this horrible event that marred the week, at least I’m glad to hear your health is better and you’re enjoying your purple hair. You look very cute in it, by the way. I’m glad you enjoyed Holy Cow as I’ve added it now to my Goodreads list. I also get a notification when you add something, now that we’re friends on Goodreads, and I also added The Snow Child.

    I’m happy to join you for a glass of wine, as I’m afraid I can’t drink tea; it makes my stomach queasy. I haven’t done much this week and must admit I’ve been very lazy, but I am counting down my days here and have 24 remaining. Have a good week, Robin!! And lots of hugs to you. xxx

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  10. Good news about your health is good news to me!

    I am overwhelmed with what happened in South Carolina. I don’t understand why, in the aftermath of such tragedy, there is anything anyone is saying other than- “what can we do to help”? Instead of using this horrible act as another thing to argue over and debate.

    Thank you for this talk Robin. It always helps.

    Like

  11. I think this morning, a cup of herbal tea is in order, perhaps peppermint, if you have it? I’m enjoying our walk through your garden and the rainbows high up in the sky – and I appreciate the hug. Hugs and rainbows are uplifting, something I feel a need for these days. The pervasive heaviness I’m feeling is growing wearisome – yet I continue to turn on the news in the evenings and listen to the reports of half of the country drowning and the other half burning up, hatred pouring out – but then a community coming together gives hope, doesn’t it? If only that coming together would last and spread. If only. Thank you for the mention – I was hoping that unloading my feelings would lighten things up. Maybe tomorrow.

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  12. Thank you for this beautiful post Robin. I’ve been thinking of you, and appreciate you sharing that your health news is mostly good. Your portrait is simply beautiful. Thank you for the links- Robin, I don’t believe it is so much geography which shapes our personality and politics as our heart…. or lack thereof. Maybe empathy or open-mindedness are more precise terms. There are some so parochial that anyone not from their tiny little town is a ‘come-here.’ We know our friends almost instantly, and collect our family along the path of our lives. From one tree hugging hippie to another, Giant hugs ❤ ❤ ❤ (Now, about that lovely banana bread….)

    Like

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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