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A Monday meander

Hanging on in the oak tree.

The deep secrecy of my own being is often hidden from me by my own estimate of what I am. My idea of what I am is falsified by my admiration for what I do. And my illusions about myself are bred by contagion from the illusions of other men. We all seek to imitate one another’s imagined greatness.
If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants to be. Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I really wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to become. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seems to admire, I would really begin to live after all. I would be liberated from the painful duty of saying what I really do not think.

~ Thomas Merton

A young buck stops by.

I seem to have lost my writing mojo over the past two weeks.  I haven’t felt much like taking photographs, either.  Instead, I’ve been walking, reading, listening to music, and drawing mandalas.  It’s been a while since I drew a mandala and lucky for me, I noticed in the mess that is my email that Julie Gibbons was offering up her free Mandalas Made Easy class again.  It’s an introduction to her year-long course which I would dearly like to take (but the cost is also dear).  If I had been writing, and if I had been paying attention to my email, I would have let you know about the free offering sooner.  Sunday was the last day to access it.

And runs away.

Since Sunday was a rainy day here, I spent the day watching the modules and practicing what I’d learned in hopes that I’ll remember it.  I don’t like cramming things in all at once like that because I forget bits and pieces along the way if I don’t use them (it was my own fault I had to do all three modules at once since I waited until the last minute).  I’m going to make time this week to practice, practice, practice.  On the plus side, I’ve taken Ms. Gibbons free course once before, a couple of years ago, and some of this was a refresher.  Some of it was new, too, or else I’d forgotten it and it just feels new to me now.

One of the mandalas I drew yesterday (and then processed in various photo editing programs including Picasa and Fotor).

We’ve had quite a bit of rain yesterday and today.  It’s still raining.  I think there is snow in the forecast tonight, but it won’t amount to much in terms of accumulation.  It will be too warm for it to stick around, warm being a relative term (the high tomorrow is supposed to be around 37°F).  Before the rain moved in, M and I spent some time working in the gardens on Saturday.  He’s helping me deconstruct the scrounger’s garden.  I was overly ambitious in what I had constructed, and the past two years have taught me that I cannot keep up with all the weeding I would have to do to maintain the path and beds I put in.

Pond reflections.

I decided to get rid of the path (nobody uses it).  That meant taking out the border of big rocks and the stepping stones, something we did on Saturday.  We’ll use them somewhere else.  All of the rocks and stepping stones were found here on the property at various locations.  I gathered them all for the scrounger’s garden.  I think we’ll use the stepping stones in an area behind the pool where it is almost always muddy.  It’ll make it easier to walk around the pool.  Some of the rocks are now bordering the one flower bed I’m going to keep.  I’m not sure what we’ll do with the rest.

Bare bones of a myrtle sitting in the pond.

The bigger shrubs and trees will stay where they are.  By taking out the path and one of the beds, we’ll be able to mow those areas and that should help keep down the weeds in the remaining flower bed.  If you don’t garden and you’re wondering how that works, one of the keys to keeping down the weeds is to pull or mow them before they go to seed.  I have not been able to keep up with that.

A cone.

The next big project out there is for me to clear the weeds that took over the flower bed that I’m keeping.  It’s a terrible mess, and the first thing I want to do is clear off the lavender, sage, and rosemary.  They’re buried under that most annoying of weeds, centipede grass.  Ugh.  That stuff drives me nuts.  Since our lawn is made up mostly of centipede grass, it’s impossible to get rid of it.  Southerners, it seems, do like their centipede grass.  It’s aggressive, is said to drive out most other weeds, and requires little maintenance.

Saturday’s sunset at the Point.

On Thursday, February 1, I’ll be starting another project.  I’ve joined InCoWriMo which is International Correspondence Writing Month.  I’m not sure how international my correspondence will be in the end, but I do have addresses for a few folks who live far and away, in countries outside of my own (the U.S.).  If you’re interested in received a postcard, a card, or a letter, let me know.  I’ll get in touch via email for your address (or you can email me if that’s your preference).  If I already have your address, watch your mailbox during the month of February.  Chances are very good you’ll be getting something from me.

Warm colors on a chilly evening.

One of the reasons I wanted to sign up (besides my love of snail mail — both sending and receiving) has to do with a pile of postcards I inherited from my mother.  My father moved a year or so ago, and he gave me several boxes of pictures that included postcards my mother had collected during their various travels.  I didn’t want to just throw away the postcards, and recent experience has taught me that saving this kind of thing means that I am just passing down the decision about what to do with them.

The Eagle Tree in the marsh.

There are several snail mail challenges for the month of February.  Although I’ve only signed up for one, I love some of the ideas that the other challenges present.  For instance, there is Peace Poetry Postcard Month in which you send out 28 original peace-themed poems on postcards to folks who have signed up for it.  (They do their prompts and such on Facebook which I did not link to because many people I know in the blogosphere are not using Facebook, but you can find the link on the blog post I linked to.)  Another is the Month of Letters Challenge.  In this one, you write a letter, send a postcard, or send a picture, news clipping, fabric swatch, or whatever might fit in a letter-sized envelope.

I don’t think I’ll be writing any original poetry (or if I do, I probably won’t have the nerve to send it), but I might send out a little something from the ranch or a photograph or whatever captures my attention that is suitable for mailing with a letter.

Ripples coming to shore.

I reckon that’s about it from me.  Thank you so much for meandering along with me today.  We’re not going to be able to see the sunset this evening, but on the off chance there is a gap in the rain, sunset is scheduled for 5:23 PM.  If it looks good, I’ll see you at the Point.  It’s too wet and puddle-y to be tramping out to the dock today.

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

Beaming up from between the clouds.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  541)  Rainy day projects.  542)  Drawing mandalas again.  It’s a very meditative practice, and something I really enjoy.  543)  Wildlife stopping by to visit the pond.  544)  Comfy slippers that keep my feet warm on cold days.  545)  Getting caught up on the housework.

Streaks of light and color.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the 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.

15 thoughts on “A Monday meander

  1. I love mail, but I’m local, as in American, so if you don’t want to exchange cards during this international month, that’s OK. But I’m game! If you’re interested, too, have you tried Postcrossing.com? You sign up, send postcards around the world, and for every one you send, someone sends one to you! It’s a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wondered what’s been cooking with you. 🙂 You have been very busy behind the scenes! I’m amazed it has been warm enough to get yard work done – sounds like positive changes in the scrounger’s garden. I remember your mandala project – has it been 2 years already? My concept of time these days scares me! Your writing projects sound ambitious and I admire you for it. I’m at the opposite end, it seems I’m in a mid-winter funk and can’t seem to motivate at all. This too, shall pass. At least that is my hope! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not as busy as it sounds, Eliza. It’s a pretty quiet time here at the ranch right now, and it’s been raining a lot (the past three days!!) so there’s little else to do other than read or draw or write letters. This time of year usually is wet.

      I was just having a conversation with a friend about the mid-winter funk. I mentioned that February was always the worst month of winter (it would seem to stretch on forever). She disagreed, saying it was January. It occurred to me as we discussed it that she was right about January based on where she lives. It used to be February (for me, and it probably still is for you) when I lived farther north (where spring doesn’t come until mid-March or April), but the light changes and we start seeing signs of spring down here (south of the Mason-Dixon LIne) in February. Now that I’ve recognized that fact of the present (instead of living in the past), I’ve perked up with the realization that January is almost over and it’s time for me to stop hibernating. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve enjoyed this meander, and thank you for sharing. I’ve experienced similar winter inactivity – the rain over the weekend kept me holed up inside, working on my own online course. I don’t know if centipede grass is the same thing as what we call wiregrass or Bermuda grass, but I can see definite resemblance in your description. Last year, at the end of our farm’s second year, I noticed a patch of it in a section of the garden. There are so many routes by which it could have entered, but I know that it is here to stay, and I’ll just be managing it from here on out. Deep shade does limit its growth.

    Happy mandalas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Walter. 🙂 Maybe I should plant trees and that will take care of the centipede grass. Joking, sort of. I did plant a few trees out there (a dogwood, a Japanese maple which the deer love to chomp on, and a willow). My husband and I were just talking the other day about how many trees we’ve planted over the years in the various places we’ve lived. Must be close to 300 by now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! Seriously, 300 is impressive. Sometimes we just have to form an uneasy partnership with invaders like the centipede grass. If it comes up among the asparagus, see how long it can be tolerated with a superficial weeding until deeper work needs to be done…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 It’s early days but the correspondence is going well so far.
      Looks like we’re on the February roller coaster as far as weather goes. Below freezing this morning but expected to get into the 50’s and rain later. Lots of ups and downs after that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh it has been too long since I’ve visited this space – I have it bookmarked but haven’t clicked on the bookmark in 1000 years it seems! What a treat, as always, Robin! I had a January challenge of walking in nature every day and picking up trash, and February was potentially going to be something around love letters and also hygge, and you have so many great ideas! Thank you for all you share with the world and for being you! Love this Thomas Merton quote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Carla!! Thank you so much for the lovely comment. It’s great to see you again. Love letters are such a wonderful thing. I plan to send a few of those this month. ❤

      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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