Posted in Assateague Island, Autumn, Beach, Blogging, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Music, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Wonder

A Monday meander

One of the latest editions.
One of the latest editions.

MEANDER, n. To proceed sinuously and aimlessly.  The word is the ancient name of a river about one hundred and fifty miles south of Troy, which turned and twisted in the effort to get out of hearing when the Greeks and Trojans boasted of their prowess.

~ Ambrose Bierce

Another look because the young ones are so adorable.
Another look because the young ones are so adorable.

I have been meandering around the internet lately, being led here and there to places with loving words, beautiful poetry, wonderful meditations, and thought-provoking essays.  I thought I’d share a few today and, if you have the time, perhaps you, too, would like to meander a bit and leave something in the comments, perhaps some links to places where you have wandered and found something positive or healing or loving or beautiful.

On the bay side.
On the bay side.

The images we’ll be meandering through are from last week’s early birthday walk around Assateague Island National Seashore.  In a way, Mother Nature is responsible for the protection of Assateague Island.  There was a time when people thought it would be a good idea to build houses and roads on the island.  Then a nor’easter came along in 1962 (the Ash Wednesday Storm) and put an end to that thinking.  The park that over 2 million people now visit and enjoy every year was created in 1965.

A stallion near the bayside campground.
A stallion near the bayside campground.

I always appreciate and enjoy Tara Brach’s talks and meditations.  In Spiritual Reparenting she asks, “Where does it hurt?” (something she borrowed from a civil rights activist, but I’ll get to that in a few moments).   She ends the talk with a lovely meditation and a poem by Hafiz:

With That Moon Language

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you
say to them, “Love me.”

Of course you do not
do this out loud:
Otherwise,
Someone would call the cops.

Still, though, think
about this,
This great pull in us to
connect.

Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,

With that sweet moon
Language

What every other eye
In this world
Is dying to
Hear?

A swish of the tail.
A swish of the tail.

Years ago, I completed a questionnaire that was designed to help you figure out what you want to be when you grow up.  It pointed me, not unexpectedly, towards photography, and sharing the beauty of nature, the ordinary magic, that I find on my daily walks, but I may have been biased in my interpretations.  Over the weekend, I came across an interesting, thought-provoking essay about Photography For Social Change written by David Ulrich, a photographer, and I thought about that long-ago questionnaire.  He points out that most of us are carrying around a convenient camera these days.  Along with our selfies and pics of what we had for dinner, we could use them to “sing an ode to earth,” take portraits of those most likely to be further disadvantaged by predicted changes ahead in social programs, or to teach what is happening to people, to the planet, to ourselves by showing rather than telling in an age when images may count more than words.

Grazing.
Grazing.

Speaking (writing) of words, one of the problems I have when discussing any emotionally charged subject is, well, taking the charge part out of my emotions.  It’s one thing to feel passionate about a subject.  It’s quite another to infuse that passion with anger, disgust, and/or frustration.  I’ve been looking into ways to be a better conversationalist because, frankly, I’m not very good at it.  I get lost in the emotions and lose my words, and in the loss of words, I lose the facts or the things that are important to me about those facts.  There are two things I came across that I hope will help me.  One is a book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.  I heard a brief talk given by the author, Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., and thought this might help lead me towards a more compassionate form of communication.

Lovely autumn light.
Lovely autumn light.

The other is a website called The Civil Conversations Project.  Part of Tara Brach’s talk that I mentioned above includes references to a a talk by Ruby Sales, a civil rights activist and one of 50 African-Americans to be spotlighted in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. which opened in September of this year.   You can find her talk at The Civil Conversations Project website, if interested.  There are also a couple of guides on how to have good conversations to be found there.

Lit up on the Life of the Forest Trail.
Lit up on the Life of the Forest Trail.

I’ve mentioned both poetry and conversations so I think Merril’s beautiful Monday Morning Musings — The Week That Was, the Week We Dream — should be included.

Channels in the marsh.
Channels in the marsh.

A few more links, just because:

An interrupted picnic.
An interrupted picnic.

There is so much more goodness to be found out there, but it’s time for me to go.  We’re having water problems here at the ranch, and the well guys have been here this afternoon fixing things up.  Rumor has it they will finish soon.  We turned off our well pump late yesterday afternoon, and you’d be surprised at the number of dirty dishes that can pile up in such a short amount of time.  Mondays are typically my laundry day, as well, and I’d like to get at least one load done today if possible.  The water problem is really a water opportunity as it helps to remind and teach us the value of clean, running water, and also gives us a chance to talk with the well guys about the possibility of a hand pump, something that would come in handy (no pun intended) when there are power outages.  (No electricity, no water, because the well pump runs on electricity.)

Great Blue Heron landing on a tree branch.
Great Blue Heron landing on a tree branch.

Thank you for visiting, and for meandering around with me.  I didn’t think it likely we’d see the sunset tonight because it has been cloudy and raining today, but the sun has peeked out here and there so I think I’ll meander down to the Point and see what there is to see.  If you want to join me, sunset is at 4:43 PM again.

Finding balance.
Finding balance.

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

Waiting for sunset.
Waiting for sunset.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  66) The knowledgeable and talented men who are fixing the water tank and making sure all works with our well/water system.  67) A steady rainfall.  It’s nice to have a gentle, steady rain rather than the usual deluge, but I’ll take it either way since we always seem to be in need of rain.  68) Decaf coffee and a slice of cheesecake for an afternoon treat.  69) The beautiful browns of the dried grasses in the meadows. 70) The Festivus Flamingo, all lit up and ready to celebrate the holidays.

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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.

16 thoughts on “A Monday meander

  1. What a wonderful post, Robin! Thank you for including me and giving me a shout-out! 🙂
    I’m going to check out the links later. The Moon poem resonated with me because I noticed the moon a little while ago (well, about 4:30 when it’s starting to get dark now. UGH!)–and it was so striking with reddish clouds around it. Unfortunately, I don’t have your photographic skill.
    Speaking of which, I love the photos–as usual. I really like the Great Blue Heron photos. I think he’s doing a sun salutation, don’t you? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you, Merril. 🙂 Now that you point it out, yes! It does look as if the heron is doing a sun salutation. Yoga seems to come naturally to birds. M thinks he looks like he’s doing ballet. Either way, the heron manages to be very graceful about it, even when he looks off-balance.
      The moon was amazing last night. We had a clear sky, but lots of ground fog. The moonlight in the fog was really something to see. I wish I could have photographed it (it was beyond my skills).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard the moon is beautiful tonight, but we can’t see it for the clouds. We got over 11 inches of snow on Sunday and a bit more today. But we also got a glimpse of sun so there is hope.

    I so needed this tonight…I’m trying not to get pulled into a political fight. It’s so pointless. They’re not going to change their mind about the bigoted President they voted for. So I just need to avoid them and so many others. Sigh.

    My head hurts. I’ll go read some of these links. Maybe that will help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope your head is feeling better today, Dawn. Hugs It is so difficult not to get pulled in to what’s going on in the political world. I’ve been pacing myself. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand, but I don’t want to be overwhelmed by it all anymore, either. I allow myself a little time in the morning to read a few select sources, hoping to keep touch with both sides, and that’s it. If the world blows up in the meantime, I guess I’ll find out the next day.
      We might get some snow here over the weekend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe that way we’ll take some of your snow off your hands. 🙂

      Like

  3. What a wonderfully uplifting post with such beautiful images. I can relate to getting caught up in emotion when passionate about something and losing the focus of the words- that happens to me too 🙂

    Like

  4. Love the ponies, the heron, and the links. I have a couple of good friends who are struggling with the concept of communicating with both passion and compassion–I’m going to look into the book you recommended here. Thanks!

    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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