Posted in 40-Day Challenge, Air, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Health & Well-Being, Home, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Weather, Wonder, Yoga

Leaving March on a chilly day

At sunrise this morning, before the clouds took over the sky.

… I am afraid that many of us with privilege have been able to become very naïve about pain and suffering in the United States and the Western world. We simply don’t have time for it. However, by trying to handle all suffering through willpower, denial, medication, or even therapy, we have forgotten something that should be obvious: we do not handle suffering; suffering handles us— in deep and mysterious ways that become the very matrix of life and especially new life. Only suffering and certain kinds of awe lead us into genuinely new experiences. All the rest is merely the confirmation of old experience.

… In this time of suffering we have to ask ourselves, what are we going to do with our pain? Are we going to blame others for it? Are we going to try to fix it? No one lives on this earth without it. It is the great teacher, although none of us want to admit it. If we do not transform our pain, we will transmit it in some form. How can we be sure not to transmit our pain onto others? 

~ Richard Rohr

Knowing how to create moments of joy and happiness is crucial for our healing. It’s important to be able to see the wonders of life around us and to recognize all conditions for happiness that already exist.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

A swoop of yellow flowers. (Forsythia)

One of the things I’m learning lately is that life is a paradox.  (Oh, okay, I knew that.  I’m noticing it more is perhaps the better way to put it.)  I think we can speak of pain and suffering alongside of joy and healing.  A lot of spiritual paths do.  It’s not about negative and positive, but about the ways of life.  You can hold on to positive thoughts while recognizing the suffering that goes on the world, in ourselves.

The forsythia is full of blooms this year.

You might be wondering what happened to me after that string of posts over the past two weeks.  I wasn’t feeling well, something that’s been ongoing since the colonoscopy.  While I’m still not quite up to snuff, I’m better.  I managed to avoid a trip to the ED (or the ER, as we used to refer to it) by going on a liquid diet for two days.  That calmed everything down.  I suspect stress has been a major factor in the problem.  It’s a problem I experienced before, after another abdominal procedure (surgery) back in 2015.  It took months to get a correct diagnosis.  I might be able to skip all that this time around since I have some good theories on what the problem is, even if the doctors refuse to listen.  I did call the doctor’s office, in case you’re wondering, and was reassured that I’m not going to drop dead right away and that a trip to the ED is not necessary unless I start to exhibit worse symptoms.  They think that’s highly unlikely given it’s been three weeks since the procedure.  Yay! for that.

Anyhow.  I am still practicing self-care, as you might have guessed.  Slightly more extreme self-care over the weekend, and an easing back into things self-care now.  I continued to walk, because it helped.  I continued to meditate, because it helped.  I will not be running any marathons anytime soon but realistically, I wasn’t expecting to.  lol!

The redbuds are gorgeous, too.

If my numbers are correct, and I think they are, today is day 10 of the 40-day self-care challenge.  How are you?  Taking care, I hope.  Staying home, if your job and life and privilege permit, I hope.  I know some people are still not taking this seriously.  They are still out and about, living life as usual.  Is it denial or selfishness or a lack of understanding?  Maybe all of the above.  I don’t know.  Perhaps, for some, the best way to approach it would be to let them know it’s unpatriotic of them to be out and about, that they are putting the healthcare workers and first responders at risk by not staying home.  And if you’re in the state of Maryland, it might get you arrested.  Our governor issued a stay-at-home order yesterday.  We were already under a voluntary one.  I guess some folks needed a stronger reminder.

Tangents aside (and back to the self-care project), I put on my pedometer today.  I had no goal in mind.  I just want to see where I’m at with my steps.  Two short walks yielded approximately 6200 steps.  I will likely keep it somewhere in that range for a while.  It’s enough for now.  I did a short and modified yoga practice, and enjoyed a long meditation.

Sharon Salzberg has put together a few resources here.  No registration or email address required.  And Stephen Jenkinson of Orphan Wisdom (you might recognize his name from the book I read about elderhood, Come of Age) wrote this essay:  Window.  It’s a good read, if you have the time.

Soft and light.

Spring continues to unfurl and unfold here in the slowest, softest, tenderest way I’ve ever experienced.  Usually spring in this part of the world is loud and fast, rushing through in bursts of color before we’ve had a chance to appreciate and see all that is happening.  This year is different.  Bouncing between warm and cool weather undoubtedly has a lot to do with that.  It’s a wonderful gift from Mother Nature, and I’ve been expressing my thanks to her every time I go out to see what’s new.

Cherry, gone wild.

Thank you for spending a little time with me today, in this virtual way.  The clouds are thick and there is rain in the forecast so I don’t expect we’ll see much in the way of sunset this evening.  Let’s stay in and enjoy the warmth of the fire in the woodstove (because yes, it’s chilly enough to have one tonight), sip on tea, and talk about whatever comes to mind.

Be safe, be well.  ♥♥♥

A moment of beauty.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,311)  My gut.  I think I’ve been ignoring the messages coming from my gut (intuition) a lot over the past few months, and the current situation might be a way of reminding me to pay attention.  I am grateful for that.  1,312)  M, always.  He is, to me, the world’s most amazing man.  1,313)  The Yoga Darsana class.  We’ve become a little community and I truly appreciate the Monday and Wednesday night gatherings and lectures.  (Online, of course!)  We are currently studying the Bhagavad Gita and boy, is that timely!  1,314)  This amazing spring we’ve been experiencing.  1,315)  Kindness.  It’s something we always need but I suspect it’s more urgent that we all practice it as much as possible now.  From what I’ve seen, many people are doing just that — speaking the good words, saying the thank you’s, and helping when and where they are able.

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.

26 thoughts on “Leaving March on a chilly day

  1. I’m glad you’re feeling better. I remember that other bout you had, hopefully this one won’t be so long…or so scary. Spring hasn’t begun much here. There are things poking up, but nothing much in bloom. And it’s cold still. But we got a lot of rain and that jump started some things. All we need is a warm spell and spring will …well…spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 I hope it doesn’t last as long, either. We’re still roller coastering between warm and chilly. Today is blustery and in the upper 40’s. I haven’t looked at the forecast but it wouldn’t surprise me to find that it’s going to be 80 tomorrow. I hope your spring comes soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well. Spring is pretty this year and taking her time, you’re right. I have a willful person in my inner circle here that turns into a rebellious toddler who doesn’t like being told what to do, even though the actions are especially for her benefit (older, sick). I do believe if they watch a certain channel, they are more likely to not take this seriously. All we can do is the best we can do, and pray for them. I do hope all of this leads to a collective awakening and serious systemic changes to the way lives are lived. Anyway…

    Hoping you continue to feel better and stronger and able to enjoy the outside and all the other things you enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Tara. 🙂 I believe you’re right about a certain channel and how that influences those who watch it. A member of my family watches it too much and although I never would have thought of him as a stupid man, I sometimes think watching that channel brings about some sort of brain damage.

      I am hoping for the collective awakening and systemic changes, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Keep on getting well Robin. It’s about all we can do right now. My thyroid has blown out again with all this stress which made me a bit cross with myself, which doesn’t help! Back to square one! April has dawned here with a most beautiful day, making it difficult to believe we are deep into Autumn. We enjoyed a lovely walk this morning, free of the coat and hat and scarf and gloves that have been donned over the past week. No matter how long this warm sunshine lasts I shall enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Pauline. You too (keep on getting well). Stress is such a major factor in illness. I hope your lovely weather continues. I could be wrong but it seems like Mother Nature is giving us a little bit of a gift with the weather lately. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I esp. like the RR quote. We are certainly on a huge learning curve here in the States. We’ve had a cushy life so far, captains of the universe, and we’re now finding out that control was an illusion. Time to dig deep!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful post, Robin. I read Rohr every day. I find so much inspiration in his words. I appreciated seeing his quote at the top of your post. I am reading and listening to many others who clearly see and honor the highest forms of consciousness in these times expressed differently, perhaps, all roads lead to a new and different way of being henceforth. Be well, and continue to take very good care of yourself. Meanwhile…I’m continuing my deeper dive into grief. 🙏🏻💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carrie. 🙂 I read him every day, too. There is something comforting in his words, even in the bluntness of some of this week’s emails. We probably need some blunt truths.
      It will be interesting to see what treasures you emerge with after your deeper dive. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember hearing an interview on NPR with Sharon Salzberg years ago. She seemed sensible and kind. From that I decided it was time for me to be the same. Odd how that moment came flooding back into my mind upon reading this post. Thus is the power of blogging, tune into one person, learn something about yourself. Glad you’re feeling better. Would that everyone in the world would be.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hope you feel better soon, Robin. It sounds like you are doing all that you should as far as taking care of yourself, and at least it’s spring, so easier to get out (at least when it’s not raining). Beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful, beautiful photos, as soft as the spring you describe. Very sorry to read you have been unwell. Never fun, but especially scarry right now. However, it sounds like you are on an upward swing, embraced by all the beauty around you. Hugs from Maine!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your spring is so much farther along, Robin, and I’m glad I popped in to enjoy its beauty! My Forsythia is just beginning, and my neighbor’s Daffodils are swaying in the breezes. I’m sorry to hear of your gut issues — here’s hoping that resolves soon. Be kind and gentle with yourself — we’ve all shared in this misery, in one way or another.

    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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