One human life is deeper than the ocean. Strange fishes and sea-monsters and mighty plants live in the rock-bed of our spirits. The whole of human history is an undiscovered continent deep in our souls. There are dolphins, plants that dream, magic birds inside us. The sky is inside us. The earth is in us.
~ Ben Okri
A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves. Sick storytellers can make nations sick. Without stories we would go mad. Life would lose it’s moorings or orientation… Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart larger.
~ Ben Okri
I’ve been writing a post about elderhood that I might or might not post soon (or never), but it’s on the serious side and I’m not feeling particularly serious today. Summer has been weaving its spell of beauty now that the heatwave from hell finally broke. All of nature seems to be celebrating the cooler temperatures while they last. Perhaps we need the contrasts to help us appreciate the season, any season. That’s true of life as well, and it sometimes helps to think that much of what we’re seeing today is the contrast, the lesson, the story that leads to a better one.
I’m not sure what’s changed but the other beings around here seem to be less frightened of my presence. Even the Great Blue Heron who visits the pond will look over at me and then resume his fishing expedition. Herons are so skittish. Usually I have to watch them from the kitchen window. Now I can sit on the bench by the pond and he or she will fly in and not mind me in the least. I do sit quietly, of course, so as not to disturb the heron’s concentration. I imagine one has to be quite focused to catch a fish. Crabs, on the other hand, are probably easy to spear with a beak. I watched as Heron caught a crab yesterday, and winced as s/he swallowed it. That’s just me, putting my humanness on the process. Maybe it doesn’t hurt the heron at all to swallow a crab.
The deer have been especially tolerant of me. That’s been generally true of the female deer. Bucks, on the other hand, rarely show themselves. It was a treat yesterday to have one stop by at sunrise and not run off as soon as he spotted me. He came back later in the day, bringing the whole family with him. He’s out there again now, with mama and the twins, as I type up this post. There are butterflies, too, flitting around the hydrangeas. And dragonflies galore! They like this side of the house for some reason. I haven’t yet figured out why. There are no water features and they are there throughout the day, from dawn until dusk.
I watched some of the Mueller hearings yesterday. I don’t think the folks in the media were watching the same thing I watched, but that’s always true, isn’t it? Five people watching the same event will have five different stories to tell. Somewhere in the middle of that, maybe, is the truth. What I saw was a deep desperation and disrespect on the part of the Republicans (GOP). I don’t know Mr. Mueller. As far as I can tell, he’s a good man. Why yell at him and talk over him? He was obviously uncomfortable. Why not put him at ease? Things calmed down later in the day but the morning show gave me a glimpse of just how wretched the GOP has become. Again, that’s merely my story and how I interpreted events. I have to admit, too, that I gave up watching the morning show (because that’s what both sides wanted — a show, not an an informative hearing) after about thirty minutes. I was too disgusted with it to continue. Better to be outside, enjoying the lovely weather we’d been granted.
There’s that seriousness creeping in again. Since I’m on serious subjects, I’ll make a quick run through another serious thought. My meditations lately have been focused on the heart and on compassion, on serenity and on courage. If you’re familiar with it, you might have guessed that the Serenity Prayer is part of it. It’s something my yoga teacher has been using in our meditations. Although I don’t pray to any particular god or God, it’s still a prayer and there is something calming about it. If you’re not familiar with it, it goes something like this:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Anger arose very quickly yesterday as I watched the early part of the hearings, and then disappointment in myself for the fast and furious anger. I wondered then, as I wonder now, how do we remain calm and compassionate in the times we’re living in? How do you do it? Or do you do it at all? I’d be interested in your thoughts on this if you’re willing to engage in the conversation by leaving a comment.
Going out for a walk, of course, did grant me some serenity. The twins were bounding around at the edge of the future woods, and it’s always a treat to watch children at play. The flowers in the scrounger’s garden had a lot of visitors, and I spent a little time watching a formation of wasps leave their nest. Fascinating stuff, at least for me. From there I went into the woods and out to the dock where I met up with laughing gulls, turtles, jumping and splashing fish, and a river otter. It was very busy out there.
Later in the day, as I mentioned earlier, the buck came back around, bringing his family with him. I’ve been curious about what it is that brings the deer to our lawn, day after day. What is it that they’re eating? I think I finally figured it out. I noticed an absence of plantain where there is usually a lot of it. I looked it up and found out that deer love it. It’s high in protein and contains a lot of minerals that are good for them.
The rain that temporarily banished the heatwave caused the grass and weeds to grow so fast that we can’t keep up. That’s always the case this time of year. The scrounger’s garden is now the weed garden dotted with zinnias and cosmos. The lawn has become a hay field. I’ll be working hard over the next day or two to get caught up. Then it will be time to get caught up inside. You see, I was doing a great imitation of a sloth during the heatwave. Many of the chores were set aside.
We’ve been feasting on summer’s fruits and vegetables. I’ve eaten a whole season’s worth of cantaloupe and watermelon which is good because the season is just about over. Zucchini and yellow squash are overabundant, as usual. I spent part of the heatwave chopping up a bushel of different colored peppers to freeze so that we’ll have them over the winter months. Peppers, particularly the red and orange and yellow peppers, are so expensive at the grocery store. It’s nice, too, to be able to get locally grown peppers (and other produce). I should have taken a few photos of them. They were pretty, especially the purple peppers. I thought, when I ordered them, that I was getting a 1/2 bushel. Turns out it was a full bushel. And then some, because the farmers I bought them from were generous and topped up the box. You couldn’t close the lid on it, the box was so full.
I reckon that’s about it from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. Thank you so much for visiting. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening. I haven’t been out there since sometime last week. Sunset is scheduled for 8:19 PM. It’s warm (in the 80’s) with a nice breeze. I’ll bring some insect repellent along. If it’s breezy enough, we won’t need it, but it’s good to have if we do.
Be good, be kind, be love.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,106) The Deer family coming around for visits. It’s nice to see them all together. 1,107) A break in the heat before the next spell hits. 1,108) Dewy mornings and the change in the slant of the sunlight. The heat will probably last another few months, but there are subtle signs that things are changing. 1,109) Pink and red sunrises. 1,110) Hanging the laundry out to dry today.