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A Monday meander: The face of bravery and other things

A wicked looking fence.

Human beings suffer,
They torture one another,
They get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
Can fully right a wrong
Inflicted and endured.

The innocent in gaols
Beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker’s father
Stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
Faints at the funeral home.

History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.

Call miracle self-healing:
The utter, self-revealing
Double-take of feeling.
If there’s fire on the mountain
Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing
The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.

~ Seamus Heaney

The face of bravery.

I have been experiencing some trouble putting together a post lately.  So many things are crowding my head, especially after watching Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony last week.  Because of my own experiences in high school and in life, it was difficult to watch.  I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it was for her to show up and testify.  Her bravery, to me, was impressive.  That’s especially true given that the old white men who were afraid to be seen questioning her had no intention of letting her testimony influence their decision in this matter, a decision that was already made by some no matter what came up.

From this morning’s walk.

I hadn’t intended to stay for the second half of the circus but in the interest of fairness, I did.  It was difficult watch.  Kavanaugh’s face and tone of voice reminded me of abusive, belligerent men I’ve known.  His partisanship was shocking to me.  Yelling and carrying on about conspiracies is hardly the demeanor of a judge who is supposed to have some claim to neutrality.  It’s been pointed out to me, by someone perhaps wiser than myself, that others might have judged his attitude to be that of an innocent man who has been wrongly accused, and that what we saw was no doubt colored by our own experiences and beliefs.  I think that wise person may be right.  In addition, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic, posted something on Instagram this morning that made me pause for thought.  She called it a Monday Morning Integrity Check and started with this:

It’s Monday morning and the godawful news cycle is about to begin again. Before I start getting high off the crack pipe of outrage, I decided to do an integrity check on myself.

That was followed by six questions she asked herself regarding her bias in how she views what is going on in the news here in the U.S.  I laughed when I read the part about getting high off the crack pipe of outrage because, for me, there’s truth in that statement.  Following the news and getting outraged about it has become my latest addiction, methinks.

Pemberton Historical Park.

The whole thing left me feeling as if I were holding my breath, waiting for something (although I couldn’t tell you what it was I was waiting for).  It wasn’t until Saturday, when M and I went out for a hike, that I finally felt a sense of relief, of exhaling, of letting go of tension.

A closed barn door.

The weather was wonderful.  Almost perfect for hiking.  We’ve been wanting to explore new (to us) parks and hiking trails so we set out for Pemberton Historical Park up in Salisbury.  This meant crossing the Wicomico River via ferry, one of my favorite things to do.  Strange, right?  I don’t usually like being out on the water but I don’t mind this small ferry crossing.  Maybe because it is small and doesn’t take long.  The bonus might be the sense of history I feel, knowing there has been a ferry there since the 1650’s.

I’m not sure what this building is because the map of the park doesn’t have it labeled.

Pemberton Historical Park is the site of Pemberton Hall, a plantation built by Isaac Handy in 1741.  Isaac’s father, Samuel, arrived on the Eastern Shore as an indentured servant.  He did well for himself, eventually acquiring over 2,000 acres of land and a fleet of ships used for coastal trade.  Isaac was Samuel’s 13th child, and he did pretty well for himself, too.  He bought 960 acres of land from Joseph Pemberton in 1726, became a planter and a ships’ Master, and had Pemberton Hall built along with other buildings on his property.  At the time of his death he owned 1500 acres of land and 16 slaves.  He was one of the wealthiest men in the community and a founder of Salisbury Town which is now the city of Salisbury.

Pemberton Hall in the distance.

M and I did not walk over to Pemberton Hall.  It looked as though they were getting ready for a wedding or some other event.  We’ll go back another day to have a look-see.  Pemberton Hall was purchased by the Pemberton Hall Foundation in the 1960’s.  It had been abandoned and was in need of a great deal of work.  The Foundation completely restored the home and the 2 acres surrounding it.  They also created a 260 acre park to surround and protect Pemberton Hall.  I think they’re working on reproducing other structures that were on the property, including the slaves’ quarters.

Lens flare. It was a bright day.

There are 4.5 miles of trails at the park, and we set out with a 3-mile hike in mind.  I’ve been comfortably walking about 3 miles on my daily walks.  I walk on the country roads near home and one of the reasons I wanted to walk elsewhere was so that I could walk on a softer surface and wear my hiking boots which are still new enough that I need to break them in with some mileage if I want to wear them on longer hikes.

On our way to the trails.

M and I decided on the Bell Island Trail to start, planning to hook up with other trails (the Osprey Trail and Woodland Trail) to lengthen our hike.  The Bell Island Trail is 1.2 miles.  Bell Island, known as “The Commons” during the time of the Handy’s, was the pasture area for the livestock.  It eventually became the location of the plantation ice house.

Into the woods.

We took a left when we should have taken a right at one point and ended up walking on part of another trail.  I’m not sure which one it was.  We never did figure it out.  The trails all loop and it was easy enough to find our way back to where we should have taken the path to the right.

In the wetlands.

The trail winds through a variety of ecosystems.  The property is located on the southern bank of the Wicomico River which is, like most (maybe all?  I’m not sure) rivers on the Eastern Shore, tidal.  There are marshlands, freshwater wetlands, small freshwater creeks, an overlook where you can sit by the river, woodlands with pines and hardwoods, and meadows.

A rare, upward slope. Or small hill.

Thank you for joining me on another meander.  I took a lot of photos on this hike, and hopefully I’ll be able to share more with you soon.  I would like to post something from a hike or walk every day this month since October means Walktober.  Better to be blogging than spending too much time following the news cycle.

The sunsets have been amazing lately.  Meet me out at the Point if you want to see what nature has in mind this evening.  Sunset is scheduled for 6:48 PM.  I’ll be there a little early as usual.  It’s a beautiful day and I think we’ll enjoy the breeze while we take a short walk on the beach.

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

Meanwhile, back on the ranch… I’ve lost track of how many fawns are out there now.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  846)  The subtle signs of autumn.  847)  Hikes in the woods.  848)  Red lentil soup for dinner tonight.  849)  Cooler nights and drier days.  850)  Big-hearted people.

As the sun goes down.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

15 thoughts on “A Monday meander: The face of bravery and other things

    1. It’s the same for me, Eliza. I originally started out with this latest walking challenge thinking I’d be lucky to do the minimum number of steps but once I get outside, I don’t want to come back in. My walks have grown longer and longer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve been finding out that walking definitely makes me feel much better. It’s not just the exercise, since I go to the gym nearly every day. I think it’s just being out in nature–maybe Vitamin D.
    Dr. Ford was very credible. To me, Kavanaugh sounded belligerent and upset because he’s used to getting what he wants. Yes, my bias, perhaps, but when he went off on the Democrats conspiracy stuff–that should disqualify him from the Supreme Court. I agree that with what we know now, there may not be enough to prove Kavanaugh guilty in a criminal court that he’s guilty, but he has told so many lies (not just in this instance), and that should disqualify him. My two cents. Haha.
    Your hike sounds fun, and the site so interesting. I wonder what happened to the family, or why this property was in disrepair. So many later prosperous Chesapeake area families began with ancestors who were indentured servants.
    Wonderful photos–as usual, Robin. 🙂 Red lentil soup–yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂

      Your two cents sounds a lot like my two cents. No surprises there, I imagine. Wouldn’t it be interesting if he was disqualified due to his lies about stupid stuff that he could have just admitted to by saying, “I was a jerk in high school”?

      I don’t know about the Handy family, but Pemberton Hall stayed in their family until 1835 when it was sold to Jehu Parsons. He left it to his son, Allison C. Parsons, in 1859. Allison Parsons was a Confederate sympathizer and was said to fire a cannon from on the property whenever there was a Confederate victory during the Civil War (in spite of the fact that Union forces were camped in nearby Salisbury). U.S. Army soldiers eventually went to Pemberton Hall to silence the cannon but Parsons buried it before they could get there. The Hall was also used to house other Eastern Shore Confederate sympathizers. After Parsons, the Hall was sold to a governor of Maryland (Elihu E. Jackson) and James Cannon in 1868. Cannon sold his share to Cadmus Taylor who willed the property to his son, James Taylor. From 1931 to 1963, it was co-owned by two of James Taylor’s sons. The Foundation took it over in 1963. I’m guessing the Taylor boys were unable to handle the upkeep of the place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would have bought the wrongfully accused tone angle if he agreed to the FBI investigation instead of seeming to hedge every time that was brought up. Also the screaming, “I WENT TO YALE!” So what, brah?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, Tara! I thought the same thing. So what? That sense of entitlement he had was obnoxious. Very prep school. He lied about Yale, too, saying he had no help getting in. His grandfather (I think) went to Yale which means he was a legacy kid.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you, escaping outdoors is almost mandatory. Love it when the rain breaks. The dog doesn’t mind walking me HAHA
    Dr Ford seems very fragile – I do hope her family and friends hold her close right now. This is brutal for all involved. (and for so many whose memories are surfacing again.)
    Most women have experienced run-ins with old coots, and those determined to use their position/power. Not a pretty thing. Tends to make you wary of life if not knock you back completely. Only the strong survive.
    We supposedly are a nation of laws with the accused being able to face those who accuse them and to be assumed considered innocent until guilt is proven. We shall see.
    I know a woman who had a terrible encounter with Crosby years ago – a tiny young new mother – didn’t think society would ever hold him accountable, but maybe…there are others who have gotten away with it- like Clinton …I’m waiting. There was actual physical transfer of bodily fluids and concrete evidence. …some of the Congressmen have admitted – yet there they sit and they keep getting re-elected. How? Isn’t there some sort of morality clause that can be involved like with educators? It’s not just a “old powerful white man” thing – people should either get out more/get into a more diverse world from what they normally live in – and see that and throttle back that comment focus. Some of us who live in diverse populations know better.
    Until all people understand that all individuals regardless of who are what they are – are worthy of dignity and should be respected, it’s going to be a rough road.
    Maybe this it the first steps of a journey to a better world. We can only hope…and keep walking forward – no matter how slowly

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When Kavanaugh first started speaking, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt – that he was simply an honest man being unfairly accused. Until, as merrildsmith mentioned, he went off on his so very partisan tirade againt the democrats, when he completely lost me and the benefit of the doubt. Viewing that, I felt he should be disqualified for his partisanship and demeanor, if nothing else. Then there was his avoidance of accepting the idea of an FBI investigaation, as Tara said, and his flat refusal to answer some of the other questions. Not to mention Grassley’s defense of him, condescension towards Dr. Blasey-Ford, and Lindsey Graham’s outbursts. Now, my dismay at the function (or lack thereof) of our government has risen again – with McConnell’s statement that all of this is simply “character assassination” of Kavanaugh, and they will vote this week. Obviously, they have no intention of studying the results of the FBI investigation. This is a much steeper, longer slippery slope we’re on than I had originally thought it could be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, too, Carol, mostly because I believe in the idea of innocent until proven guilty. His response spoke of some kind of guilt to me.

      I think the entire thing was a sham, putting Dr. Blasey Ford through hell for nothing. That’s what bothers me most about the whole thing. Those men (and some women) had no intention of changing their minds or their votes, and I think we all knew it. The worst thing to me is that they don’t care.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A wonderful walk, once again, Robin. My time at the golf club is winding down and while I have to consider getting myself another job, I so want to take the time first to just walk for miles with Zeke for company. I shall just have to make it happen,
    As for the Kavanagh thing… sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

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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