What is the meaning of life? That was all – a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
Hello! How are you? It’s been a while again, eh? I hope all is well in your world. Mine has been a tad bit busy again. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that M and I took a quick trip to Baltimore over the weekend. He was there on business. I went along for the fun of it.
I didn’t take many photographs while I was in Charm City (the nickname for Baltimore, one that came about in 1975 as an attempt to improve the city’s reputation). I didn’t feel like carrying around the camera. I already felt weighed down by the heaviness of the weather which is best described as oppressive. It was hot and the air was hazy and thick.
I liked Baltimore the last time we were there. Not so much this time around. There was an angry feel to the city, and not much charm in Charm City. I kept waiting for all hell to break loose. This past weekend was “Nobody Kill Anybody Weekend.” I hope they managed it.
The anger was almost as palpable as the humidity. Drivers in traffic honking like they’re ready to get out of the car and kill the person in front of them. Angry groups of young men in wife-beaters clustered in groups near the Inner Harbor parks, some smoking pot, some shouting about whatever. One guy was violently punching the air and screaming at the guys he was with, going on and on with things like “I TOLD you. I TOLD you. He’s gonna run to the f***ing POE-leese now!” Sure enough, somebody had. As we walked away from the group we saw two police officers headed their way.
There was an overweight, sloppy, white guy smoking in a truck parked in front of the Afghani restaurant where we had our dinner on Thursday evening. There didn’t appear to be any reason for him to be there other than to upset the Muslim folks, but maybe I was reading too much into it. The truck had a large picture of nearly nude women and men along the side of it, an advertisement for a strip club.
A homeless woman followed us on our last night there, haranguing us because we didn’t give her the money she requested. I can’t say for sure she was homeless. She told us she was. She also looked like she was high as a kite. I could write about other examples of how the hot weather was affecting people, but you get the idea. Lots of colorful language, arguments, people chasing other people demanding something from them, homeless folks sleeping wherever they could find a shady spot. Summer in Baltimore.
That was the tone of Charm City. Or maybe it was me, and my own mood based on how society seems to me since the past election.
Ahh but… in all fairness… there was the cool and laid-back vibe at Peace and a Cup of Joe where we had breakfast one morning. Regulars coming in and greeting each other (and us), wishing each other (and us) a good day. There were friendly folks at the Afghani and Thai restaurants where we had our dinners. The Elks members who were in town for a convention were all warm, friendly and having a great time. It was the the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World (IBPOEW), not the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the United States of America (BPOE). The BPOE, according to an Afro article I read (who got their information from Notable Kentucky African American Database), “was less than “benevolent” and “protective” when it came to Black people in their organization.” (Side note: They still segregate some of the clubs here on the Eastern Shore. I won’t name them. But they do.)
So, in all fairness to the city and to the people, there were probably just as many friendly and polite folks as there were angry and rude but the angry stood out (as the negative often does).
Back here at the ranch, things are quiet. The fruits and vegetables of summer continue to ripen. It’s slowed down a little for now, but things will probably pick up again soon when the Roma tomatoes are ready for picking. I’m hoping to get to one of the local farms soon to see what they have brought in lately. There have been a number of recent newspaper articles about food rotting in the fields due to the shortage of agricultural workers. It feels like food will soon be getting expensive.
Today has been a little like being in a Disney movie. Little Doe and her twins have been visiting the front yard while three male bluebirds were winging their way around the roses. A hummingbird came by as well. Since we had a rainbow yesterday, I figured a unicorn might appear at any moment. Alas, it didn’t. But there were some butterflies.
I reckon that’s about it from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope to get back into a regular blogging rhythm soon. In the meantime, let’s go down to the Point this evening to see what kind of show Nature is going to put on for us. It’s been cloudy all day. We had some storms move through yesterday and early today, bringing with them about an inch or so of rain and a tornado that touched down north of us. Sometimes the sunsets can be pretty spectacular after storms have moved through. Sunset this evening is scheduled for 8:04 PM.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 241) Watching the young bluebirds. 242) Little Doe and her twin fawns. 243) Meditation on the back porch this morning. Blissful! 244) Chamomile tea. 245) The slow adjustment to a new lifestyle. It’s always an adventure.