Posted in Beginnings, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Home, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Wonder

Withdraw

The redbuds are getting ready to burst into bloom.

…Withdrawing. If you do this, a lot of people will call you a ‘defeatist’ or a ‘doomer’, or claim you are ‘burned out’. They will tell you that you have an obligation to work for climate justice or world peace or the end of bad things everywhere, and that ‘fighting’ is always better than ‘quitting’. Ignore them, and take part in a very ancient practical and spiritual tradition: withdrawing from the fray. Withdraw not with cynicism, but with a questing mind. Withdraw so that you can allow yourself to sit back quietly and feel – intuit – work out what is right for you, and what nature might need from you. Withdraw because refusing to help the machine advance – refusing to tighten the ratchet further – is a deeply moral position. Withdraw because action is not always more effective than inaction. Withdraw to examine your worldview: the cosmology, the paradigm, the assumptions, the direction of travel. All real change starts with withdrawal.

~ Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays

Forsythia on a rainy morning.

Emergence Magazine has been running some essays and podcasts, with plans for more, to address the current times.  This morning I read Finnegas by Paul Kingsnorth.  I highly recommend it.  Wise words and storytelling.  After reading the essay, I went searching for some quotes from Kingsnorth to start my post and found the one you might have just read (I know some folks skip the quotes if they are more than a line or two).  Now that we are in a kind of forced withdrawal, it might be a good time to do some of that going within and figuring out what is right for us.

I’m going to keep this short.  I don’t want to take up too much of your time every day.  Just letting you know I’m still here, and passing on the good stuff when I find it.  Speaking of which, here are a two other offerings that have hit my inbox lately:

I will be using Ms. Brach’s retreat information as a resource for my upcoming 40-day challenge.  I will be starting tomorrow.  Arlingwoman is joining me.  If anyone else would like to jump in with us, feel free to do so at any time.  There are no shoulds, have-tos, or rules.  You do what you need to do, what is good for you, and what will help you as we continue on this strange new journey.  I have an idea of what that looks like for me, but will be playing around with it for the first week to ten days, with a willingness and openness to change what needs to be changed whenever it needs to be changed.  Resilience and adaptability seem to be the keywords for now.

One of the first blooms on the azalea.

Thank you for stopping by.  Sunset might be quite interesting this evening now that the rain and clouds are beginning to clear out.  I’ll meet you at the Point where we can safely maintain some distance between us while still sharing the view.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:16 PM.  It’s a little chillier than yesterday’s record breaking high of 85°F.  You’ll need a nice warm jack, perhaps a hat and gloves, and boots/wellies are highly recommended since we had quite a bit of rain.

Be good, be kind, be love, be safe, and be well.  ♥♥♥

The maples are flowering.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,276)  Morning walks in the rain with M.  1,277)  More connecting with neighbors as we waved and said hello.  1,278)  Flowering maples and oaks.  1,279)  Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast.  We have a sugar shortage here at the ranch.  We failed to stock up on Easter candy (or any junk food, for that matter!  What were we thinking??!).  The canister in which we store sugar is nearly empty.  The maple syrup on my pancakes this morning nearly made me swoon.  All that lovely sweetness on the tongue was amazing.  1,280)  Finding lost things.

Blue glow.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

27 thoughts on “Withdraw

  1. Interesting. I’m trying to not withdraw hoping that by showing up to life, not necessarily with a fight in mind but with cooperation in mind, I might do good. I’m resilient and adaptable so my underlying assumption is that if someone is paying attention to me, they might feel empowered to continue on. Perhaps this is not the way to approach today’s world? 🤔

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think we probably need to find the middle, Ally. Physical withdrawal without social distancing. That’s why I keep referring to it as “physical withdrawal.” I don’t like the term “social distancing.” There are some on the front lines, healthcare workers for instance, who can’t do that (which, of course, means that those of us who can, should and must, for their sake). Socially, though, we need connection with each other and there are so many ways we can do that, even if it’s not the same as being there in person.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I read that same essay this morning over first coffee Robin and it brought me to tears – he thinks the same way I think and is the first person I have read who puts it so honestly and that completely undid me! I am eternally grateful that you introduced me to Emergence Magazine so long ago – it is a joy to read and to listen to. And It’s the only magazine I regret not being able to buy! I’m glad to hear Lisa is joining you. I am already withdrawn as far as I am currently able to be and I have just made the decision and doubled my silent periods during the day, for meditation, for meditative being and for writing. The changing season is a help in all this too. Yay winter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It brought me to tears, too, Pauline, probably for similar reasons. I keep reading things from people saying that this will change everything and yet… I’m not so sure about that. It was good to read something so bluntly honest.
      I bought the print edition of Emergence Magazine that came out last year. Even though I had already read all the stories, I wanted to support them. And it’s nice to hold the magazine in my hands. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you, Lynn. Your garden, as you’ve shared it on your blog, always feels like a place of peace to me. I imagine it as a good place to get lost in a moving meditation. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the look of spring flowers and buds about to burst open. Beautiful photos, and I’m craving blueberry pancakes now. Or any pancakes. 😊
    I tend to meditate in my own way and withdraw as needed, I suppose. My mother-in-law said she is getting lonely, and I felt bad for her. My own mother doesn’t really understand what’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I hope you get your pancakes. I understand that loneliness. I am thankful that M and I are together, but can’t help missing the rest of my family. Are you able to visit your mother? Many of the place here that house the elderly are not allowing visitors, or allowing very few. I know that has to be so difficult for the families.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, we haven’t been allowed to visit her for the last week or more. She’s been in rehab/skilled nursing (the nursing home area) since she kept falling–but it’s a whole saga that it would take a long phone call to explain.

        Like

  4. “Recovering environmentalist” – really like that phrase
    Hadn’t encountered this author before, but intend to look for him now.
    His quote is somewhat like what I have felt/done most of my life – it’s far too easy to get pulling into things and not see the forest for the tree. I wasn’t really aware anyone else felt this way also :”Withdraw not with cynicism, but with a questing mind. Withdraw so that you can allow yourself to sit back quietly and feel – intuit – work out what is right for you, and what nature might need from you. Withdraw because refusing to help the machine advance –” The last part especially. It’s very hard to explain this to many people.
    Pausing life as it is now may allow or nudge people to reexamine life as they have been living it….but not sure. Once things return to semi-normal, people will revert…
    Good time to create / rearrange your environment to be more in tune
    One benefit is that the birds singing in the morning have never sounded to lovely – reminds me of days in the old farm as a child far away from the distractions of humans – sadly missed.
    Nice post. Stay well and take care

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, PhilosopherMouse. 🙂 I tend to think that too — that people will revert. It will be difficult not to. It’s what we’re used to, and what we’re used to tends to be what we go back to. (The best way to see that in play is through addiction, and maybe that’s what being used to something is — an addiction of sorts.)
      The birds do sound especially lovely these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the quote too. It’s a “nurture yourself to help others” sort of quote and we all need to do that–extroverts less than introverts. I need a lot of withdrawal to rejuvenate for action. I have to say that I’ve done the meditation part of the challenge and am intending to do the exercise part. If you want to check in via email, I’m ljcrye at earthlink.net. If you’r address isn’t in my book the email will bounce and tell you to ask permission. Then I’ll see it and add you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is so much color popping up here now, Laurie. It always amazes me how fast we cycle through spring down this way. I was used to a slower process when I lived in NE Ohio. Not as slow/late as Maine, but certainly slower than down this way. 🙂

      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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