Deep acceptance of ultimate mystery is ironically the best way to keep the mind and heart spaces always open and always growing.
~ Richard Rohr
Our mornings are becoming noisier. All sorts of birds are waking up the day with their songs, calls, and chatter, perhaps gossiping about where they’re going or where they’ve been. Lloyd’s rooster sounds downright jubilant over the warmer mornings. By warm, I mean 40 degrees F this morning. A cold front will be moving through over the next day or so, but it’s not going to get terribly cold. A couple of days of lows in the 20’s and highs in the 40’s. Some folk around here have already been putting out some of their veggie plants to “harden them off” (setting seedlings outside to get them used to a harsher environment than a greenhouse or under grow lights in the house). They will probably have to move them in for a few nights, but I think it’s going to be an early growing season.
Every morning brings something new. Frost, dew, fog and mist, sunshine or rain. Today is one of those rainy days. We have had a lot of rain this year. It’s too bad not much of it has been snow. We did get a light dusting last week, but nothing we could play in and it didn’t hang around for very long except in the cooler, shadier spots.
Today a wedge of tundra swans flew overhead. Their call is so unusual, at least to me. I have to think about it for a second or two before my brain kicks in and says, “oh! Swans!” I do the same with the bald eagles even though I’ve heard them often enough since we moved here.
At least a flash of sanity: the momentary realization that there is no need to come to certain conclusions about persons, events, conflicts, trends, even trends toward evil and disaster, as if from day to day and even from moment to moment I had to know and declare (at least to myself): This is so and so, this is good, this is bad; we are heading for a “new era” or we are heading for destruction.
What do such judgments mean? Little or nothing. Things are as they are, in an immense whole of which I am a part, and which I cannot pretend to grasp. To say I grasp it is immediately to put myself in a false position, as if I were “outside” it. Whereas to be in it is to seek truth in my own life and action, by moving where movement is possible and keeping still when movement is unnecessary, realizing that things will continue to define themselves – and will be more clear to me if I am silent and attentive, rather than constantly formulating statements in this age which is smothered in language, in meaningless and inconclusive debate, and in which, in the last analysis, nobody listens to anything except what agrees with his own prejudices.
~ Thomas Merton
I’ve been keeping fairly busy. I suppose that’s true of us all, isn’t it? I got a head start on the spring cleaning over the weekend, and threw in a little Swedish death cleaning as a bonus. I still have a long way to go (and a lot of stuff to sort through). I’m just glad to have started on both projects (the spring cleaning and the death cleaning). It’s true what they say about the more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to take care of. It will be a relief to have less.
M and I went to Assateague Island National Seashore on Sunday. We drove out on the OSV area, parked on the beach, and did some hiking in what they call the backcountry. This was the farthest south we’ve been so far. It takes a while to drive on the sand and get where you’re going. We parked somewhere around km 28. We hiked a little over 3 miles. It was a gorgeous, gorgeous day. As soon as I get the photos uploaded, I’ll get to work on another post so I can show you some of what we saw.
I’ve also been reading. A lot. Nothing I can put on my list of finished books because I’m reading pieces here and excerpts there. I’ve also been spending some time with poetry. It helps, especially during the current times and troubles.
Yoga class has been going well. We’re far into The Art of Self Care now. Only a few more weeks of that to go before the lectures begin again. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this break from lectures. There has been more conversation, a chance for those of us in the cohort to get to know each other a little better. There has also been the partner work. I’m partnered with an insightful young woman from Switzerland. We meet online once a week (via Zoom) and we chat. It’s a listening-talking exercise, also called the dyad process or dyad work. I think I’ve described it before, but just in case I didn’t… One person talks for ten minutes or so while the other listens. Deeply listens. Then you switch roles. There’s no discussion during the time we’re listening and talking. It’s surprisingly intense, even when it comes to what seems like surface-level stuff. I learned a lot about myself and relationship when I did this last year, and I’m learning more this year now that I’m a little more willing to surrender to the process.
All this busyness — cleaning, hiking, reading, class participation, and my morning routine of exercise, yoga, meditation, and writing — has kept a kind of boundary between me and the news cycle. It’s not that I’ve stopped paying attention. I still check in, keep informed. However, I am trying to imitate a cell membrane by keeping out what might be harmful. In other words, do things that keep my stress level as low as I can. I think stress is the whole point of what’s going in our politics. Stress and cruelty. I have decided not to participate in their game anymore. Or at the very least, participate as little as possible. There are a lot of good people in the world, doing really good things. I’d rather help with that.
I guess that’s about enough from me for now. Thank you so much for stopping by and joining me for a look at what’s been going on around here in the mornings. I hope to be back soon with more. I’d invite you out to the Point for sunset this evening but it looks as thought the rain is going to continue for a while. If it stops and looks like it will clear up, I’ll meet you out there. Sunset is scheduled for 5:52 PM. The temperature is around 60 degrees F, but cooler near the water. A jacket and wellies are probably a good idea.
Be good, be kind, be love. ♥♥♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,251) Morning frost, morning light, and walks through the woods and meadows. 1,252) Jellyfish clouds. 1,253) Periwinkles (the flowers and the snails). 1,254) Parents with their children showing up at the Point for sunset. As much as I sometimes enjoy having the place to myself, it’s nice to see others getting out there to appreciate the beauty. 1,255) A Fat Tuesday donut. We can’t get pazaki (Polish doughnuts) here so we have to settle for jelly donuts (or doughnuts) from a local bakery.