Solace is the art of asking the beautiful question, of ourselves, of our world or of one another, in fiercely difficult and un-beautiful moments.
… Solace is a direct seeing and participation; a celebration of the beautiful coming and going, appearance and disappearance of which we have always been a part. Solace is not meant to be an answer, but an invitation, through the door of pain and difficulty, to the depth of suffering and simultaneous beauty in the world that the strategic mind by itself cannot grasp nor make sense of.
~ David Whyte, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would be happy to see you again. Come on in out of the sweltering heat! Isn’t it almost unbearable out there? You’d think it was still August. Thank goodness it’s cloudy, keeping the temperature in the low 90’s. I can only imagine how much hotter it would be if the sun was bearing down on us.
Let’s get our drinks and some snacks and have a seat in the living room where the air conditioning and ceiling fan can keep us cool. We can watch the slight breeze drifting through the loblolly pines, and the hummingbirds chasing each other away from the feeder. I don’t know how they manage to keep up their energy with all the skirmishing they do. We’ll be able to see the goldfinches and chickadees hanging out in the sunflowers, too.
How are you? What have you been up to lately? Have you traveled anywhere or seen any new sights? Have you gone on any good walks or hikes? Read any good books or seen any good films?
I’ve been in reading mode lately (which might explain my almost-absence from the blogosphere). I finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series sometime soon. I like to put some space between books in a series. Otherwise, I start noticing mistakes (especially in continuity) or I get bored when the author retells the story to bring us up to date (something that is necessary when there are years between books, but not so much when you’re reading them one after another). I also started and finished The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Have you read it? It is a fast-paced book that kept me turning the pages. I didn’t want to put it down. I see they’ve made a movie that will be released next month. It will be interesting to see what the film folks have done with it.
If we were having coffee or tea or some other beverage, I would tell you that yesterday was the anniversary of my mother’s death (09/09/09). It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years already. Sometimes the sadness feels new, especially those times when I think (without thinking), “I should call Mom and tell her about that.” Since she’s in my heart and memories, I don’t have to lift up the phone to call, but can speak from the heart now. Still, it would be nice to hear her voice again.
Those of you who have been visiting my blog for a while know that very often when I’m thinking about my mother, a doe (deer) will show up. Lo and behold, we had one come by and drink from the pond yesterday. She was quite beautiful, and the way the sunlight was pouring over her enhanced that beauty. I don’t have any pictures to show you. It was a time best spent communing with the deer rather than running off to grab the camera only to miss the rest of her visit. I am no longer surprised when this happens. In fact, I greet the deer with a “Hi, Mom,” although it should be noted I don’t believe the deer is my mother. But I do think Mom sends them to visit just to say hello. Because I’m crazy that way.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s been a relatively quiet week. On Thursday I started a 21-day yoga challenge presented by YogaUOnline. They sent out some early bird practices a few days before it started, and I really enjoyed “All About Core” with Natasha Rizopoulos, and I engaged muscles that must have been lazy for a while because I was sore for a few days after. I failed to notice that it was designed for yoga teachers and intermediate students. I am not a yoga teacher, and I think my yoga status/talent lies somewhere between beginner and intermediate. Although I’ve been practicing at home (using videos and DVDs) for at least a decade or two, I haven’t been regular about it. I’ve only taken one class and that was back in the 1990’s. It was at a resort where we were staying for a business trip and the cost was $10 so I decided to take the plunge. The class was challenging for me, and I was soaked in sweat when we finished. I went back to my room and cried and cried. I wasn’t even sure why, but after getting cleaned up from the class and the good cry, I felt as though I’d been swept clean from the inside out. Thus began my interest in yoga.
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that M and I are going to pick up our very own kayak tomorrow. I think I forgot to tell you all about it last week. The place where we took the kayak lesson has an annual sale of their used kayaks. The price was right for a tandem kayak, and we decided to go for it. We did stop by and look at it first, and we also made sure that we can lift it. Because it wouldn’t be much use if one of us (I’m not saying it’s me, but it could be) couldn’t lift it to put it on top of the car or to carry it from the car to the water. It weights 67 lbs. and we managed it. I figure if we get enough use out of it, I’ll be stronger for all the lifting.
Provided the weather cooperates with us (a cold front will be moving through tonight or tomorrow and might bring us some much-needed rain), we’ll pick up the kayak in the morning and take it out for a paddle on Little Assawoman Bay. (Yeah, I know. I’m childish enough that sometimes I giggle at the name, too.) I’ll bring Lulu (my waterproof camera) along and we’ll see what we can see.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the birds have been on the move. The geese have been flying overhead and honking at sunrise and sunset, always a sign that the seasons are changing. The chickadees, who hang out here year-round (as they do in most places where they’re found), have come out of hiding and, as I mentioned earlier, have been frequently seen sitting on and snacking from the sunflowers. Large flocks of gulls have been spreading out over the meadows, eating whatever it is they eat when they visit our meadows. We don’t see rabbits during the day anymore (unless someone happens to flush them out of hiding in the flower garden). I suspect that means they can somehow tell by the angle of the sun that the hawks will be returning soon.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s time to start thinking about Walktober. If you’re new here and unfamiliar with the Walktober event, there is a link over in the sidebar, but I’ll make it easy and put one here too. It sums things up for you and gives you a link to follow if you want more information about previous Walktober events. The first Walktober event took place in October 2012 (and you can find that here, on my old blog, if you’re interested; there are some very colorful autumn shots from The Bogs in that post). The dates this year will be October 15 through October 23, with submissions due by October 25 which, technically, gives you extra time and it should be noted that I am loosey goosey with the dates so if you need to take your walk prior to the 15th, go for it, and if you need extra time, let me know. The dates are set as guidelines, not hard and fast rules. It’s a walking event, but feel free to run, skate, bike, or swim if that’s your preference. You could even take a virtual hike or walk. Whatever floats your boat is fine with me (so go ahead and kayak or canoe if you’d rather).
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I believe it might be time to turn this over to you. Thank you so much for stopping by for another coffee chat. I might not have time for a chat next weekend, but we’ll see. If I don’t, it might be 2-3 weeks before you see me again because it’s a busy time. In the meantime, if you want to follow along, I’m posting on Instagram pretty much daily (sometimes 2-3 times daily). Usually it’s a morning and evening meditation shot, but sometimes it’s something a little more exciting (okay, maybe not exciting, but maybe interesting?). There’s a link and the latest shot over in the sidebar.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Thank you to Diana for hosting it. Also, a big congratulations for the #WeekendCoffeeShare being featured on WordPress’s Daily Post. So glad to see it being shared among the rest of the community! 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.