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If we were having coffee: Quiet week edition

Foggy, dewy morning in the meadow.
Foggy, dewy morning in the meadow.

Part of doing something is listening.  We are listening.  To the sun.  To the stars.  To the wind.

~ Madeleine L’Engle, Swiftly Tilting Planet

Friday morning meditation.
Friday morning meditation.

If we were having coffee, tea, water, wine, beer, or whatever your beverage of choice happens to be, I would be happy to see you again.  I would also advise you to keep your distance.  We’ll save the hugs for next week (if you’re amenable to hugs, that is).  A virus has invaded my body, and I have been sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and feverish.  I am much better today than I was earlier in the week.  A little TLC (Tender Loving Care) and some hot & sour soup from Lynn’s Kitchen (where they “cook with love”) have helped the healing process along.  I swear by hot & sour soup when it comes to curing the common cold.  Miso soup works, too.  I would have made it myself, but I wasn’t feeling up to it.

How are you?  In fine fettle, I hope.  What have you been up to lately?  Have you gone on any great adventures?  Traveled somewhere new?  Spent time with family and/or friends?  Have you read any good books or watched any good films?  Taken any good walks?  Discovered something new or rediscovered something old?  Let’s go have a seat on the porch and chat for a while.

Morning rose.
Morning rose.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been a quiet week here on the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  There have been no guests, no travels for M and me, and I’ve done only the bare minimum of chores.  In some regards, I didn’t even mind being sick because it forced me to rest and relax.  I’ve been spending a lot of time inside of a good book (The Abominable by Dan Simmons), catching up on my magazine reading, looking up things that interest me, and practicing Italian.  My accent is atrocious, but who cares?  I interrupt those activities occasionally for a porch nap.  The milder weather has made the porch a great place to be.

Side note:  I love that the dictionary definition of atrocious is “horrifyingly wicked.”  It’s the perfect word for how I speak other languages.  My accent is nothing less than horrifyingly wicked no matter how hard I try, and I’m fine with that because it makes me laugh.  It makes others laugh, too.

Spirit dancing
Spirit dancing

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been listening.  That’s why I chose the opening quote for this post.  I have been listening.  To the sun, to the wind, and to the stars, yes, and also to the fog, to the birds, to the growing grass, to the morning dew, to the trees and grasses, to the meadows, to the woods, to the water in the creek and lagoon, to the house, to the crickets, to the clouds, to the cats, to my loved ones when they are speaking and not speaking, to the critters that cross my path when I’m out for a walk, to the voice within.  I think listening requires you to surrender, don’t you?  Maybe not total surrender, but at least enough to put yourself aside — put your ego aside — so that you can truly hear.

A glimpse of the greenhouse.
A glimpse of the greenhouse.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have received good news this week, although I must warn you that I can’t let the cat out of the bag yet.  It is news that makes me cautiously excited, and then I question why I am being cautious.  It doesn’t make sense to be cautiously excited.  Either I am excited or I am not excited.  What is this halfway in between business?  On the other hand, sometimes it’s best not to count your chickens before they hatch, and this is just such a case.  I hope to be able to share some super good news with you sometime within the next month, but for now, let’s just delight in having some mysterious good possibility floating around out there in the universe (which is true no matter what, now that I think about it, and isn’t it wonderful to think that there is always a mysterious good possibility out there, waiting for you to receive it?).

The jewels are reappearing in the meadows.
The jewels are reappearing in the meadows.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am going to spend time at the beach this weekend.  They say that salt water heals and I believe that to be true so I am going to wade and swim and let the ocean work its magic.  Now that summer has been tempered, I don’t think we’ll have too much swimming time left (unless, of course, you like to swim in shockingly cold water).  I am going to play while I’m there, too.  Discover seashells and build sand castles and play in the waves.

A weave.
A weave.

We need deliberately to call to mind the joys of our journey.  Perhaps we should try to write down the blessings of one day.  We might begin; we could never end; there are not pens or paper enough in all the world.

~ George A. Buttrick

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that throughout this week I have been schooled a number of times on why I should choose gratitude over whining.  I don’t know why it is so much easier to complain about having a measly cold/flu virus than it is to rejoice over the hundreds (thousands? millions?) of other gifts present in my life.  I have done enough reading to know that the mind, strange universe that it is, has a natural tendency to veer towards the negative.  One theory on that is we can conjure up positive thoughts simply by changing how we think in a conscious manner, but the negative stuff bubbles up from the subconscious swamp where we store old patterns, habits, and hurts.

In the abstract. (Ripples and reflections on the surface of the lagoon near sunset.)
In the abstract. (Ripples and reflections on the surface of the lagoon near sunset.)

There was a small epiphany there.  Did you catch it?  I did, but in the way of epiphanies, it’s difficult to explain.  Sometimes when I ramble on in this manner, small insights crop up and, in this case, it is related to being cautiously excited.  I think it is time to explore some swampland.

Just for fun. (Turning ripples and reflections into something else.)
Just for fun. (Turning ripples and reflections into something else.)

If we were having coffee, I would think I’ve taken up enough of your time on this glorious September Saturday.  Thank you so much for visiting.  You are welcome to stay longer, if you like.  Perhaps we’ll wander down to the Point for sunset.  The sunsets have been amazing lately.  I’ve watched from in the house, and was happy for the view of colors sweeping across the sky behind the leaves and branches of the tall trees in the backyard.  It would be nice to see the bigger picture spread out over the water at the Point.  Sunset is around 7:05 this evening.  We’d better put on some insect repellent.  The mosquitoes have been swarming lately.  Or we can take what my oldest granddaughter calls a “smoke stick.”  It’s a stick of incense, and it not only smells good, but keeps the mosquitoes away.

The asters are blooming.
The asters are blooming.

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

Golden hour glow.
Golden hour glow.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Put the kettle on, 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.

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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.

31 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Quiet week edition

  1. What a wonderful post. I would definitely have coffee with you!
    Your pictures are amazing and your words, lyrical!
    My son grows super hot peppers (with painful names like reaper, ghost, moruga, ti name a few) and when he gets sick – which is a rarity – he eats fire. Swears by it! Adds peppers to EVERYthing!
    I like your hot and sour soup idea better…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale. 🙂 I think hot peppers help, too, but I don’t think I could handle peppers like that! I’ve tried ghost peppers once and it was enough. The hot and sour soup is enough, too. Just enough heat to warm up the sinuses and soothe a sore throat.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this morning I would like a cup of peppermint tea, which will go well with my bagel – toasted, generously slathered with cream cheese and topped with sliced fresh peaches, which are marinated in a honey/lemon juice mixture.
    I am happy to hear that you’ve gotten some good news and am excited to hear that news when you are ready to share. It would be rude to pry, wouldn’t it? Although I am so tempted, I will restrain myself.
    It has been a quiet week as many of my weeks are, and that’s just fine with me. It appears something has happened to my Lily cat, as I have not seen her for over a week now. I suspect coyotes, but would rather not dwell on that. I took part of a day and visited the animal shelter, talking to, holding, petting cats of many sizes, ages and colors, but resisted bringing any of them home with me. My rationale for that trip was really to get a replacement license for Shasta, who manages to keep her microchip and rabies tags on her collar, but has now lost two license tags. I managed to forget to do that, which means another trip will be in order. Uh oh.
    I also took a friend to town for a medical treatment and we made the day more pleasurable while having a leisurely lunch between the time of her blood draw and the treatment. Yesterday I scooped the summer’s accumulation of pine needles and tree debris out of the rain gutters – today I’ll start raking up the pine needles for this fall that have already started to fall. I wonder if I could put them in a metal can and chop them up with the string trimmer to create mulch. One would think, with such an abundant crop, there should be a way to make them serve a purpose.
    Oh my, I did not intend to shower you with so much drivel, but you make it so easy – you are such a good listener, even before you practiced listening this week. I’ll leave you now – with your cold, a nap is probably in order.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peppermint tea it is, Carol. You did not shower me with drivel. Not at all! You’ve got a lot going on for someone who has had a quiet week. I’m sorry about Lily. It’s hard enough to lose a furry friend, but I think it’s worse when we don’t really know what happened. I lost a cat (CJ the Warrioress Cat) when we lived in Ohio, and I’m pretty sure a hawk got her. The barn cat disappeared the same week, and the hawk looked well fed. CJ (and the barn cat) were small kitties even though they were adults, and it’s not unheard of for a hawk to take a cat. Good luck on your next trip to the animal shelter. I know many shelters love having people come in to pet and handle the animals. I’d have a hard time not bringing them all home.

      Pine needles make excellent mulch, and you don’t have to chop them up. They sell those things at Lowe’s as “pine straw.” Maybe you could package your pine needles and start selling them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If we were having coffee Robin I would say ‘it’s now time for a swim!’ feel the same about salt water.
    PS… and after the swim an icy cold Greencan IPA and a crab cake! (getting in the groove Robin)

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    1. lol! The groove is the place to be, Anna. 🙂 An IPA is just what I had after my swim in the ocean yesterday although I had a local brew (Evolution Brewery Lot #3 IPA). It really hit the spot.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand your ‘cautious excitement’ dilemma. I know that in my case it is simply a bone held superstition that if I get too excited before the event the event will not materialise – or go horribly wrong………………. But then sometimes I wonder if it is not just a superstition, but a bone held wisdom that knows one does not speak of things before the right time? We both know how old wisdom has been re-labelled ‘superstition’ by those who refuse to acknowledge its existence. And now I too have had a small epiphany 🙂 I usually undergo some kind of enlightenment process when visiting and chatting with you on these posts.

    I’ve just emerged from my historical winter case of ‘dissatisfaction with what is’. I am always so relieved when we get to September and know it is on the way out and won’t return for another nine months. I believe it is in my bones, the memory of early events and somehow the season. the time of year, the anniversary – something – triggers a change in endorphins and so on and I begin the annual struggle to stay in reality despite what my emotions are telling me. So interesting! We are complex structures that take a life time to excavate!

    My go to at times of illness or ‘off-ness’ [despite being a ‘mostly vegetarian’ person] is chicken soup made the good old fashioned way. The down side is it takes up to 48 hours to make and who has the energy to do that when feeling off? So now I keep some in the freezer at all times and can use it or offer it around as required. I find i imbibe some of that and immediately feel some good energy returning. I am grateful to the once happy hen who sustains me and others at these low times!

    I am holding a ‘guess’ as to what your good news is Robin. Time will tell if I got it right. 🙂
    I hope you feel better soon and the coming week is a good one. Go well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m “mostly vegetarian” too, Pauline, and will resort to good old fashioned chicken soup after I’ve tried the vegetarian options and they don’t seem to work. Good idea to keep some in the freezer. When the weather cools off enough, I will make some and do the same now that our flu and cold season is here. Thanks for the idea!

      I like your epiphany about bone held wisdom. As the infamous “they” say, there is a time for everything, even holding things back.

      Some seasons are harder on us than others. So glad to hear that you are now in the butterfly stage, emerging from the cocoon of winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this, hope you are feeling better soon. Hot soup and the ocean should be just the ticket. Was thinking today as we were driving that it was probably all quiet in the woods except for the animals and I was wishing some we were walking there instead of driving by.

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    1. Thank you, Dawn. I’m feeling much better today. It’s amazing how the salt air and water clear the sinuses. Well, maybe not clear, but things have loosened up now and I know longer have to fear the dreaded sinus infection that often comes when I’ve caught a cold.

      I’m enjoying traveling vicariously with you. Can’t wait to see your next Canadian adventure installment. 🙂

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  6. Hope your sea-cure worked and you are feeling better. Change is in the air and the colors are starting to show around here. I’m trying to be not so gloomy about it and praise the loveliness of the days, which have been quite glorious. I have a theory about our tendency to look at the negative… our brains are programmed to look for threats, since our primitive survival depended on it. So we have to overcome that programming, which is not all that easy! Gratitude journaling is good and reading lots of positive, upbeat stuff. I have to do it daily or I can sink quite low. Like a broken record here, I LOVE your photos! Esp. the cobweb, reflections and the dewy rose. You really ought to make greeting cards…you’d sell bunches!

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    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 The sea-cure did the trick and I’m on the mend. I know what you mean about having to do those things (Gratitude journaling, etc.) on daily basis. It’s one of those habits I have to keep on top of because it’s so easy to slide back. As for greeting cards, I do have them available (there’s a little ad for them in my sidebar), but don’t sell bunches (or many at all). I have to admit that I haven’t done much to market them, either, or keep up with uploading new images. Mostly I buy some now and then to send to friends and family.

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  7. I have some super good news, too but I’ve been sworn to secrecy until the end of October. It is so difficult to keep this secret. I want to shout it out to everyone but I promised I wouldn’t even whisper it.

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    1. lol, Corina! Happy secrets are like that. Difficult to contain. 😀 I look forward to when you can share your super good news. I have a guess, but will keep it to myself.

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  8. Those earlier sunset times are really sneaking in on us these days aren’t they? I know it doesn’t happen this way but it always seems so “all of a sudden” to me – we go from the long long days of summer, then “all of a sudden” in the middle of September I notice how much earlier the sun is dipping behind the trees.
    I’ve always considered myself to be a good listener to people, but maybe it is now time to start listening to those other things too that you mention. It would certainly lead to some introspection, and maybe that’s why I can’t quite go there yet – feels like a slippery slope to me right now.
    I do hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend at the beach and that your cold is feeling better. Looking forward to the big reveal of the good news!
    Sorry to have written a couple paragraphs of a comment! 😉

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    1. No apologies necessary, Karma! That’s the whole point of a coffee chat so feel free to write as much as you want. 😀

      I don’t blame you for not wanting to be too introspective right now. Be gentle with yourself. Better yet, find some ways to pamper yourself. Keeping busy helps, too. Eventually you will feel more like listening to those other things and that will soothe you, and help you sort things out.

      It’s funny you mentioned the earlier sunsets sneaking up on us. That was the reason I started mentioning the sunset times in my posts. It always seemed as though the days “suddenly” grew longer or shorter, and I hadn’t even noticed how it happened even though I know it takes time. One of the bloggers I follow (although she hasn’t blogged in forever unless I am somehow missing her posts, which is possible and now I want to go check) used to post a 4 o’clock photo. She’d take a picture of the same place every day (or maybe not every day, but on the days she blogged), and it was fascinating to watch the light and shadows change with the seasons.

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  9. I’m sorry you’ve been sick this week, Robin. With that mysteriously happy news in the wings and fall coming in like a soft breeze, as well as your dip in the ocean this weekend, I’m sure you’ll be better before long! It sounds like you’re already on your way to mending after that homemade soup and just taking it easy. I’ll have a cup of coffee, black, as I always do, and I look forward to visiting with you on your porch and feeling the cool sea breezes floating in.

    I’ve been busy finishing up the preparation for my CELTA course that begins tomorrow in Washington, just in time for the Pope’s visit! I’ve already been dreading that long commute and taking metro, and now it should be super busy and overwhelming with everyone coming into town to see the Pope and many bus routes and roads being closed for parades and official visits, etc. My class is from 9-5 every weekday for a month, until October 16, with 2-3 hours of homework each night and an over 1-1 1/2 hour commute each way. I’ll basically have no life during that time.

    I have done some interesting things this week, besides my boring preparation for the class. I saw two movies: “Learning to Drive” and “Grandma,” both of which I enjoyed. I’ve always loved Patricia Clarkson ever since I saw her in “Cairo Time,” and Lily Tomlin was quite feisty and funny. Mike and I also went downtown to the Woolly Mammoth Theater to see a cutting-edge play called “Women Laughing Alone with Salad” that was sad, hilarious, and quite risque! It gave us quite a lot of food for thought about how, as women, we are programmed to “eat salad” and do other things to attain that ideal body. It was quite thought-provoking. We also had some tapas and wine at my favorite tapas spot in D.C., Jaleo. On Wednesday night, Mike and I also met some old friends for dinner at Seasons 52 at Tyson’s and had a lovely time. Other than that I’ve been walking and doing zumba and generally trying to eat healthy.

    I also finished a good book, “A Tale for the Time Being,” by Ruth Ozeki. I really enjoyed it, and as always, once I finish a book, I still want to linger in that world for a while.

    Well, I hope you enjoy the coming weeks as you may not hear from me for a while. I sure hope I get to hear your good news, but I don’t know if I’ll have any time for a visit. Embrace it with an open heart, whatever it is. 🙂

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  10. Thank you, Cathy. Feeling much better today. 🙂 I LOVED “A Tale for the Time Being.” I wanted to linger there for a while, too.

    You always do such interesting things. I feel almost like a wallflower next to you. lol! I’m going to have to check out the tapas place the next time we are in D.C. The play sounds really interesting, and I already have “Grandma” on my list of films to see.

    I do not envy you the commute into D.C. during the Pope’s visit. Good luck, and smooth travels. 🙂

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  11. Beautiful post with wonderful insights and beautiful pictures.

    “…isn’t it wonderful to think that there is always a mysterious good possibility out there, waiting for you to receive it?”
    Yes it is.

    I hope you are feeling much better now and got the much needed rest this weekend.

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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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