Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
~ Mother Teresa
We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?”
~ Sri S. Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras
If we were having coffee, I would welcome you back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch with a big smile and a hug (if you’re amenable to hugs and if not, a nod or handshake or whatever suits you). It has been a long time since we’ve had a good coffee chat, hasn’t it?
Come on in for a minute and we’ll grab something to drink in to-go (reusable, of course) cups. We have the usual coffee, a variety of teas (including some herbals), and a treat of freshly squeezed orange juice. M went to the last Farm Bureau meeting (we’re members even though we are not farmers aside from our small flower and vegetable gardens, so that probably makes us gardeners instead of farmers), and they were having their yearly fruit sale. They cart fruit up from Florida, usually. This year the fruit came from Texas. Anyhow. M was there to promote our Keep America Beautiful group and see if they would be interested in helping with litter clean-ups, Adopt A Road, or some other future project, and thought it might be a good idea to be a good participant in the Bureau by contributing to their fundraiser. We now have a case (each!) of grapefruit, clementines, and juice oranges. The juice oranges are very juicy, sweet, and delicious. In other words, I’d highly recommend at least a taste of the orange juice. If none of that suits you, there’s always water (flat or sparkling).
You’re probably wondering about the to-go cups. It’s beautiful outside today so I thought maybe we’d take our coffee, tea, or whatever you’re drinking, and go out to the porch for our chat and then, if it’s okay with you, maybe take a little walk and explore the woods or the trails through the future woods and meadows. We can help ourselves to some snacks when we come back. There is plenty to nosh on, including a delicious curried lentil soup.
How are you? What have you been up to lately? How were your holidays? Did you visit with family or friends? Travel anywhere? Do anything new and exciting? Have you read any good books or seen any good movies?
I’ve already caught you up on my travels so I thought I’d chatter about things happening here at the ranch. To be honest, not too much is happening since it’s the beginning of winter. I saw two of our herd of deer yesterday. They were out in the heavy rain (we got about 3/4 of an inch), walking along the far side of the pond. I got out the binoculars to see if there were any more hidden in the brush. There were none that I could see. It made me a little sad. Deer hunting season is over now, I think. I know we had far too many deer wandering around the property, but it still saddens me to know that some may have been taken in the hunt. I felt as if I’d gotten to know our little herd (there were eight does and at least three bucks by the time hunting season rolled around in November). Before hunting season, the deer had become rather bold. That is not a good thing during gardening (and deer tick) season. In the late autumn and winter, we don’t mind it too much. Now that the season has ended, the two does I saw yesterday were very shy and hesitant. Poor dears. Who knows what the season was like for them?
In case you are new to the ranch, I feel I should let you know I am not opposed to hunting. Humans are the only natural predators here on the island (the Eastern Shore of Maryland) and without some sort of population control, we’d be overrun with deer (and geese and other critters). This is a very poor area of the state (and country). Many of the hunters, maybe most, hunt to feed themselves and their families. I will say, however, that the more I connect with the land and the other beings who share it with me, the harder it becomes for me to think about the hunt (or eating meat, for that matter — which, as you know, M and I don’t partake in very much).
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that this morning arrived cloaked in fog and mist. It was quite beautiful. Of course I had to go out and wander around in it. I meandered through the woods and to the dock, hoping I might catch the otters playing in the creek. It was incredibly quiet out there a few minutes before sunrise. I felt as though I had the world to myself. I didn’t see the otters. I hope they’re still around. There were traps (mostly for muskrats, I think) lining the shore of the creek before we left to visit family in the Bogs.
The misty morning silence was shattered by gunshots shortly after it grew light. It’s waterfowl season now. Someone was not too far away from our dock, out on the creek. I could hear the motor of the boat and a man shouting, “Hey!” I couldn’t see anything because the fog was so thick. When I realized I couldn’t see anything (so maybe they couldn’t see me?) and the gun shots were growing louder, I decided it was time to hike back to the house. I wear neon pink when I’m out and about during hunting season. Even so, I might not have been visible enough in the fog. Did you know hunters in Maryland can now wear pink (“daylight fluorescent pink”) instead of (or in addition to) “blaze orange?” Thanks to two sisters (ages 12 and 9) from the Eastern Shore who brought the idea to the state legislature, a bill was passed allowing it. They’re hoping that someday it will be called “blaze pink” (to go with “blaze orange,” I assume).
If we were having coffee and we were out walking the trails, you would already know that the fog lifted (or burned off) and it turned into a mostly sunny day. There are some interesting high, thin clouds floating about. I hope they stick around for sunset, but it’s much too soon to tell.
If we were having coffee or something else to drink, you might be wondering why I picked the word “Smile” as my theme for today. At the beginning of the month I was participating in to Susanna Conway’s December Reflections. Then the month got away from me via travel and I stopped posting my responses to the prompts. I did, however, mention that a photo of me with my purple and blue hair might show up near the end of the month. Today’s prompt is Smile and, well, here I am:
And that’s my smile.
Thank you so much for stopping by today for another coffee chat. We should do this again sometime. Please stay a while if you like and if you have the time to do so. Go out and trek around on the trails, sit on the bench by the pond or out on the dock. If you’re here for sunset, let’s go to the Point. It’s scheduled for 4:52 PM. I need to go do something about the mountains of laundry that have accumulated while I was traveling, but will be free in time to go for a walk on the beach if we go to the Point.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 986) Foggy, misty mornings. 987) Coffee chats with friends. 988) Some amazingly delicious sourdough bread for breakfast (picked it up during my travels). 989) Sunbeams shooting through the fog and mist. 990) The way the deep silence of the early morning soaks into the soul so that I can carry it with me throughout the day.