Posted in Beginnings, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Exploring, Family, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Grandparenthood, Gratitude, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Life, Mindfulness

Daisies and daylilies and more

Summer flowers.

Never forget the nine most important words of any family-

I love you.
You are beautiful.
Please forgive me.

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

What we need is a culture where the common experience of trauma leads to a normalization of healing. Being able to say I have good reasons to be scared of the dark, of raised voices, of being swallowed up by love, of being alone. And being able to offer each other: I know a healer for you. I’ll hold your hand in the dark. Let’s begin a meditation practice. Perhaps talk therapy is not enough. We should celebrate love in our community as a measure of healing. The expectation should be — I know we are all in need of healing — so how are we doing our healing work?

~Adrienne Maree Brown: All of Me, Stories of Love, Anger, and the Female Body

Unedited version.

Tuesday morning, as part of the yoga class I am participating in, I watched this video: The Power of Apology.  It’s a very powerful video, especially towards the end when Juan Carlos Areán, a Mexican man of Spanish descent, shares the apology he offered to the indigenous people of Mexico.  The video is about 20 minutes long.  I highly recommend it.

Cheerfully sitting in the garden.

I have been thinking a lot about apologies lately.  We’ve explored them a little within the context of the yoga class, but there has also been the unlearning or unraveling I’ve been experiencing throughout the class and throughout the times we are currently living in.  It started for me, if I remember correctly, with hearing a bad apology.  I won’t offer up names or links, but will tell you it involved a yoga teacher who has a podcast, a man who offered up what I would describe as a bad apology to a woman whom he felt he might have harmed through inaction and then by bringing her up in one of his podcasts.  A bad apology, as I describe it, is the apology that starts out well enough and then devolves into a “but.”  I am sorry, but… Usually the “but” is followed by an “if.”  I am sorry, but if you hadn’t done this or if you had done that, sort of thing.

I also tend of think of a bad apology as one that is self-centering.  I am sorry, but you did [this] to me first.  I know bad apologies really well because there was a time when I made my own bad apologies.  It still happens every now and again.  I am aware enough, now, to back up when that happens.  I start over.  A genuine apology has no conditions, places no blame on the other, and is not filled with ifs and buts.  If I’ve done something that requires an apology, I need to own my actions, not play games about who did what to whom.  And if there is a apology due from the other side (sometimes there is because it takes two to tangle), well, that’s up to them, isn’t it?

Single.

Throughout the unraveling of the past year, I’ve found myself wanting to offer genuine apologies, some to people I can no longer get in touch with because they have died or I have no idea how to find them.  I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it (write a letter, perform a ritual of some kind?), or if I was even ready to do it since those ifs and buts would sometimes crop up.  Trying to justify bad behavior is a sure sign I’m not on the right track.

It’s easy to think that we would be better people if we lived in a better world, to suppose we would have acted in better ways if the conditions had been optimal.  I suspect, however, that it is the opposite.  We would live in a better world, a healing world as Adrienne Maree Brown puts it, if we could and would be better people, starting with some awareness of how connected we are, and some understanding of how our thoughts, words, and deeds affect others.

Yellow.

While watching/listening to the video, Mr. Areán’s apology to the indigenous people of Mexico went straight to my heart/soul.  I wonder what it would be like to offer up an apology for the deeds of my ancestors who wittingly or unwittingly contributed to the need for the reckoning that is playing out today.  What would I say?  How would it feel to say it?  Who would I offer up my apologies to?

This all ties in with a discussion we had in yoga class Tuesday evening.  I find myself thinking about what it is I need to clear up (or clean up) in order to have a peaceful death.  More than that, what is important in life?  What is not so important?  (Kathy wrote a wonderful post/letter about this subject.  Go see!  I’ll wait for you here.)  Am I spending more time with the important or the not-so-important?  If being present, or in the present, is important, when is it easy for me to be present?  When is it more difficult? Are there things I will regret doing or not doing?  Is there a way to clear/clean up the regrets?  It’s funny how this kind of examination can lead you down all sorts of paths.

The flowers are having a good year.

In other news… Being here is risky business.  I knew that when we made the decision to spend a couple of months in Ohio.  However, we have all been as careful as we can be and still, there is the possibility of exposure to the virus.  It’s an indirect possibility that is in the vicinity of four degrees of separation.  We’re waiting on test results for the person who was exposed and hoping that she didn’t pass it on to the person who has contact with the person who has contact with our family members.  It sounds like masks were worn and precautions were taken, but we won’t know for sure until the test results come in.

At dusk.

We have managed to establish a little bit of routine this week.  Mornings working, afternoons playing.  The heatwave continues and the days are oppressive.  Still no rain worth speaking of.  There is a better chance for rain tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that we get some.  M the Younger has planted a large garden.  He is experimenting with the idea of doing some market farming, selling produce at a farmers market or perhaps having a small stand in front of the house.  I think he has over 200 tomato plants along with cabbages, peppers, carrots, beans, corn, and herbs.  We have been feasting on the green and wax beans for the past few days.  Delicious!

In the backyard.

Thank you so much for visiting with me today.  We continue to have some really pretty sunsets, perhaps due to the haze and heat and humidity.  Let’s meet on the front lawn and see what happens this evening.  Sunset is scheduled for 8:59 PM.  Bring something to drink.  You’ll want to keep hydrated in this heat.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.

Purple. (Lots of playing going on here, with photos and all sorts of things.)

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,461)  Fresh peaches, locally grown and in season, from a local open-air farm market.  1,462)  Fresh green beans and wax beans from M the Younger’s garden.  1,463)  Lavender syrup that my daughter-in-law made with the lavender from her garden.  She gifted us with a jar of it.  It’s wonderful in iced tea.  1,464)  The house we’re renting.  It’s a lovely place with a beautiful and expansive yard.  The house is a little too big for us and yet, it’s just right, especially when the boys are here.  1,465)  Being able to walk from here to Breezy Acres, through the meadows that are alive and beautiful.

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.

7 thoughts on “Daisies and daylilies and more

  1. It must be difficult waiting for the test results. What scary times we live in as we weigh all the risks every day as we plan our lives. I hope the test comes back negative.

    Lately I’ve been thinking about the need to apologize for my ancestors, too. Even though they lived in the north and fought on the Union side of the Civil War, there is still the matter of taking land and lives away from the indigenous tribes in colonial times. And even if they were on the “right” side of the Civil War, the north was still complicit because we supported slavery indirectly with our demand for the goods the system produced.

    Thank you for the link to the video. It moved me to tears. What an amazing healing experience. I kind of feel that way about my grandparents, they were so loving but there was a shadow, too…

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  2. I hope the test comes back negative! I am trying to think about life in the bigger picture too, and am realizing that the deep seeded racism in me was never intentional, my parents didn’t instill any of it, it was the community we lived in being so separate from the rest of the world, and us not being brave enough to venture into places where we were uncomfortable, though we traveled all over the states, we avoided cities pretty much all the time. Even in college I was part of a group that wasn’t very diverse. And what you don’t know can make you afraid and therefore you stay with what you know. It’s complicated but I’m working on it.

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  3. There’s a definite trend toward people re-examining who they are, how they live, what they want. I like that and have been doing so in my own low-key way. I’ve been making changes that usually amount to a “less is more” philosophy put into action. I wonder when all is said & done with this pandemic, how this trend toward self-examination will fit into our new normal world. A rhetorical question, of course.

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  4. Thanks for referencing my blog, Robin. Seems like many of us are on the same page as we dig deeper into self-reflection. Will think more about your thoughts on genuine apologies. I am hoping your family won’t be exposed and the test comes back negative. We had friends in a similar situation with family members exposed to someone who caught the virus. Luckily, all tests came back negative. Hoping the same for you.

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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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