Do you think of them as decoration?
Here are maples, flashing.
And here are the oaks, holding on all winter
to their dry leaves.
And here are the pines, that will never fail,
until death, the instruction to be green.
And here are the willows, the first
to pronounce a new year.
May I invite you to revise your thoughts about them?
Oh, Lord, how we are all for invention and
But I think
it would do us good if we could think about
these brothers and sisters, quietly and deeply.
The trees, the trees, just holding on
to the old, holy ways.
~ Mary Oliver
Note: If you’re looking for the Walktober post, the one where you link up your walk with the group, you can find it here: Officially Walktober. You’ll find more about the dates and the round-up at the end of this (current) post.
My Walktober this year is a combination of walks I’ve taken this month. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I take a walk every day. Most of my walks take place here on the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. That affords me the opportunity (the privilege) to see the small, daily changes, and to stay in touch with the rhythm of the days and the seasons and the years.
I start my days early, just before sunrise. I step outside, on the front porch or walkway. Watching as the sky begins to lighten, as clouds (if there are clouds) begin to take on colors, has become part of my morning meditation. It is a way, I suppose, of quietly yet actively leaning into the day. There are mornings when there doesn’t appear to be much to see. Just the gray of the clouds. I welcome those mornings just as much as I do the bright and sunny dawns. That’s especially true lately. We have been in a drought situation, five inches behind in rainfall. Our autumns here on the Eastern Shore tend to be dry. It was the summer that didn’t bring us as much rain as usual.
My walks generally begin with a look up at the sky, to say hello to the sun, the sky, whatever clouds might be present. Sometimes the moon is present, too, and we exchange greetings. I look out at the trees, up at the taller trees, to see how they’re doing. There is a large loblolly pine slowly dying. It was one of several near the cemetery that were struck by lightning a couple of years ago. We have been watching it slowly change, the pine needles turning brown and hanging on for the longest time. Within the past few months the tree has bared itself and just the bones are standing tall, high above some of the other trees. The loblollies generally take a long time to fall. I imagine this one will stand for a few more years before wind or too much water cause it to topple.
The other trees that were struck during the same storm — two loblollies and one hardwood that I think is a large maple) — seem to have recovered. The vertical stripping of the bark appears to be healing and closing.
I’ve been spending time in the woods when I can. We have had a lot of what they refer to as sunny day flooding lately so the woodland trail is not always accessible. It always amazes me to see fish swimming in the woods even though I’ve seen it many times since we moved here. Sunny day flooding, or super high tides, are occurring more and more often. The water has been higher than usual, too. The dock by the creek has taken a few hits from the flooding and from the wind-driven water. One board is missing and others are loose. We’ll have to do some repair work this winter. There are other noticeable changes out there. As I was sitting on the bench on the dock the other day, I thought, “Oh, the dock has moved.” Silly me. The dock hasn’t moved. The land behind it is eroding. It was after that I noticed trees and myrtles near the edge of the marsh are dying as the marsh expands to where they were living.
I don’t have very many fall foliage images to share with you. That’s because there hasn’t been much in the way of color or change. The sweet gums are showing the most color. Other trees are either still green or on their way to being bare. Some years are like that.
We are on our way out of the drought situation. The remnants of Nestor, a tropical storm, made their way here and provided us with almost three inches of rain yesterday. More rain is coming tomorrow. The grasses and trees look much happier after a good soaking. I think the critters around here enjoyed the fresh water, too. The deer were out and about, and I saw a fox running around out there in the misty rain yesterday. The fox looked almost like she was doing a little dance of joy.
The important element is the way in which all things are connected. Every thought and action sends shivers of energy into the world around us, which affects all creation. Perceiving the world as a web of connectedness helps us to overcome the feelings of separation that hold us back and cloud our vision. This connection with all life increases our sense of responsibility for every move, every attitude, allowing us to see clearly that each soul does indeed make a difference to the whole.
~ Emma Restall Orr
Very soon, I will be embarking on an almost year-long journey into yoga. My teacher, Karin L. Carlson, has (much to my great excitement) decided to teach an online depth training which starts on November 4th. We’re in the midst of another of her courses, the October Panchakarma, right now. (If you’d like more information about the in depth training, you can find it here.) I’m trying to get my ducks in a row, so to speak, before the training begins because it looks like a very full — in terms of learning, full — class. I have no plans to teach, although there might be a certificate if I decide I want to go in that direction and do the work. Sometimes, when I look at the schedule and the guest speakers and the list of books for the course, I feel a little overwhelmed, as if I’m in over my head. Mostly, though, I remind myself that I feel drawn to study and learn, particularly with this teacher, and if I come out of this with nothing more than a better understanding of my own body-mind, my humanity and my connection to everything including humanity, then it will be Enough.
I reckon that’s about it for my Walktober walk (or walks). I’ll have more from some other walks when I do the round-up. I am extending the Walktober dates until this weekend. I need the time, and a few others need the time so… why not? I am hoping to do the round-up post around the 30th or 31st. I’ve been super busy lately. My father is coming for a visit this week. When he leaves, I’ll be getting together with friends for a few days. Anyhow. I’ll be coming around soon to walk with you on your walks. I’m looking forward to it.
Thank you for visiting today and joining me on another meander. We should meet out at the Point for sunset this evening. I’m not sure there will be much to see. The clouds from Nestor have finally started to break up and move out, but there is a cold front coming that will bring in more clouds. Hopefully we’ll get to see a colorful sunset in between. Sunset is scheduled for 6:19 PM. It’s relatively warm, but you might want to wear a light jacket.
Be good, be kind, be love. ♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,171) This day, this life. 1,172) M, always and in particular, for today, his terrible dad jokes and the way they make me laugh. 1,173) Breath, and the space it can create in the body when you work with it in a conscious way. 1,174) The gift of rain we received yesterday. 1,175) Homemade hummus with artichokes and lemon.