When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring.
~ Madeleine M. Kunin
Parts of this post are in response to Susannah Conway’s April Love 2018 prompt for today: Soft.
I’ve missed a few prompts along the way. That’s because my weekend was spent with a dear friend and I didn’t have the time (or the inclination to take away the time from my friend) to post. We filled the weekend with talk, laughter, a few walks, a hike in the woods at Pocomoke River State Park, a little time at the beach (where it was cold and windy, and we were not dressed for it because it had been warm and humid when we set out in the morning), some good food, live music, a sunset, and probably many other things that I’m forgetting.
As I was out for my walk today, I thought about the idea of soft as it applies to the heart. I thought about the way the heart, when permitted, opens. It seems to me that there are a bazillion things in life that open our hearts if we allow them to. Sharing a beautiful sunset with people you love, waking up in the morning to find that the trees are leafing out and the landscape is greening, a kind word, a smile, the many songs of nature and life whose notes weave their way into every moment of our lives (even when we’re not paying attention). So many small things pricking the heart, making tiny holes that let in life and light and love.
Then there are the big things that can punch bigger holes in our hearts. Falling and being in love, birth, illness, loss, and death can either shut us down or open us up in substantial ways.
Lately I feel as though there is some kind of convergence going on, something I find difficult to explain. A change of heart, perhaps, especially my own heart. It’s an ongoing reshuffling of priorities, an opening to everything.
It’s almost feels like an expansion of my heart at times as I experience, read, see, learn, wonder about how we came to be where we are now. For instance, I watched the trailer for the film Albatross that is coming out on Earth Day (April 22), and felt shattered, but in a way that inspires me to move, to get involved, rather than paralyzing me with hopelessness.
If we meet this world unprotected, our heart gets broken over and over and over. This is actually a gift. You let the world touch you, it shatters you open, and it shatters you open, and it shatters you open. And here you are, shining. After our heart is broken open a thousand times and all of the contents emptied out, there’s just this shining left.
I mentioned as an afterthought in my last post that I’d been in Virginia meeting with some fabulous people who work hard at cleaning up and educating people about litter in their county. We just found out yesterday that a group we’re working with has been awarded a grant to help support community clean-up in our county. It’s part of a Keep Maryland Beautiful campaign by First Lady (of Maryland) Yumi Hogan. Keep Maryland Beautiful is the state affiliate of the Keep America Beautiful organization that is committed to volunteer-based community improvement through litter removal/clean-up, creating green spaces, education, and probably a host of other things.
As you know, M and I have had to do more than our share of cleaning up here on the ranch. We have removed, and properly disposed of, what appears to be decades worth of trash from the property. We branched out to cleaning up our road, and now want to branch out even farther to clean up our county, hopefully getting other people involved along the way.
You’ll probably be seeing more from me (on the blog) about this subject, and the subject of plastics in the environment. Nothing too preachy, I hope, but I also hope it will be enough to inspire others to get involved in some way even if it’s just picking up one or two pieces of litter while you’re out and about.
Thank you so much for stopping by today. I’d invite you to stay for sunset but it isn’t looking very promising. If the clouds decide to move on and clear out, I’ll meet you at the Point. I haven’t been out there in a while. Sunset is scheduled for 7:41 PM. Bundle up. It is cold (low 40’s) and windy.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 651) A weekend with a dear friend (who, I think, is more family than friend). 652) Redbud trees in bloom. 653) The softness of flower petals. 654) This season’s first big asparagus harvest. 655) The delicious sweetness of freshly picked asparagus.