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A morning walk

Out the back door, near sunrise.

Today is sacred – for it will never come again. What could be more important than living this day with attention and the intention to be of benefit, to the best of your ability, to all you encounter?

~ John Bruna

In spite of all the talk and study about our next years, all the silent ponderings about what lies within them…it seems plain to us that many things are wrong in the present ones that can be, must be, changed. Our texture of belief has great holes in it. Our pattern lacks pieces.

~ M.F.K. Fisher

Another sunrise.

I’ve been starting my days here in the Bogs with the sunrise.  No surprises there, I’m guessing.  It’s become a part of my morning routine.  In Ayurvedic medicine, there is a concept called dinacharya which is, basically (and perhaps, oversimplified), a daily routine.  The idea is that this routine is based on the seasons and cycles of nature, and you can begin with the sunrise as a kind of leaning into the day.  It is also a wonderful way to get in touch with the seasons and the cycles since the sun has its own rhythm, changing time and course.

On deck.

There is a deck attached to the back of the house we are staying in.  The view, as you can tell from the first two photos, is quite pastoral.  Interestingly, I found a definition of pastoral that refers to the lifestyle of shepherds herding sheep around according to the seasons, the pastures and availability of water, and the rhythms of the day.  I wonder how much modern people have lost by not moving and being with the cycles and rhythms of nature?

Out on the deck, watching the light move across the landscape, I take a few deep breaths and move into my body.  That sounds strange, doesn’t it?  I mean, I am already in my body.  But, I’m not.  I think many of us are not.  We tend to operate from the neck on up, unless there’s something bothering us below that.  In other words, we’re in our heads most of the time.

I start with my feet and feel the wood of the deck, the wetness of the dew if it’s a dewy morning, the hardness or softness, the roughness or smoothness.  I feel the bones and muscles of my feet, my ankles, my lower legs, my knees, and I work my way up to the top of my head.  I think about the organs and systems and cells.  I feel the spiral of the breath, moving in, moving out, searching for that feeling of the breath moving towards the back of the heart and the front of spine.

Sometimes, while I’m in the midst of this, a group of fat raccoons come by, waddling their way under the deck, across the lawn, and into the woods next door.  (Did you know a group of raccoons is called a gaze or a nursery?)  After they go by, I move, stretch, take the time to stay in my body and find out what’s going on.  Where do I feel good?  Where do I feel twinges or tightness or pain or a blockage of some kind?  What do I need or need to do to put myself and my body more at ease?

On the trail from here to there.

I come inside and I do my yoga and meditation practices, and after that have breakfast and get myself together, I wander over to Breezy Acres, our old property.  The walk from here to there is lovely although there are deerflies to contend with and spider webs to break through.  The mornings have been dewy.  My hiking boots are soaked by the time I get to the house where I spend a good portion of the day with my grandsons.  But before I get there, I have some time in the meadows, pass through a small section of the woods, and walk up the big hill (we called it the sledding hill) towards the gardens and the house.

(A side note:  The deerflies here must be somehow different than the deerflies on the Eastern Shore.  When I get bit by deerfly on the Eastern Shore, I end up with huge welts that itch for almost a month or more.  One bit me on the hand here the other day and all I have to show for it is a tiny red dot and no itch at all.  And while I’m digressing, it should be noted that deerflies do not bite.  They have little knife-like things on their legs that they use to make a small cut from which they suck your blood.  However, that’s a lot to say/write, so I resort to “bite.”)

Heading towards the woods. M said he remembers when the people who used to live here planted these trees.

The days move on from there with greetings from and to the boys and their parents.  M has been doing landlord duties, the major job being the painting of the outside of the house.  The siding is redwood and requires painting every few years.  We last painted it in 2012, before we moved to the Eastern Shore.  It’s long overdue.  It will be interesting to see it painted in the colors that my daughter-in-law picked out.  It’s not a color I would have chosen, but it is a good color.  We painted it gray and white, with red accents, on three sides.  The back of the house, as some who have been following along might remember, we painted in the colors of sunset.  A bit of whimsy on my part.  That will be painted over, too.

Talk about pastoral scenes.  This is the hill I look up at before I enter the woods and the property we call Breezy Acres.

The walk gives me time to myself, something that’s hard to come by lately.  I could be wrong but it seems to me we all need a little time to ourselves every now and again.  For me, it’s a daily necessity.  I am used to spending the days alone, in the Middle of Nowhere on the Eastern Shore.  Since the pandemic began and we went on a sort of lock-down (only going out for groceries or other essentials), I’ve found ways to get that time (such as the morning meetings I would have with the trees in the woods at home).  This is just another version of that.  A morning meeting with the meadows, the trees, the sky, and with myself.

Just before entering the woods.

I have a profound sense of place here, especially once I hit familiar ground.  For those that might not know, I spent a year getting outside every day when we lived on the land that we call Breezy Acres.  I blogged about it every day, too, as part of the challenge.  It was a way to keep myself accountable.  I learned so much walking the same paths day after day.  You might think it would be boring to walk the same area over and over and over again, but it’s not.  Everything changes, constantly, and it becomes much more noticeable when you’re out there to see it.  (You can read a bit about that year of getting outside at the 365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge.  I was inspired by Kathy, a fellow blogger, who spent a year of her own doing the same.  You’ll find links to her blog and her year of stepping outside at the link I just gave you.)

Tunneling through the maple grove. The maple grove is fairly new (about 7 years old). We always cut down the maples that came up in that field by the pond, but M the Younger and his wife have decided to let them grow, thinning them out so that the boys have their own small and magical grove to play in. (They love it in there. To them, the trees are giants even though to us they look smallish compared to what they will/can be.)

That’s about it from me for now.  Thank you so much for visiting and joining me on another walk.  All is still well here.  We’ve passed the two week milestone, but with people coming and going on essential errands, the clock tends to get reset a lot.  The weather has become oppressively hot and humid with worse to come this weekend.  I will probably be spending a lot of time indoors, but will get out for sunrise, sunset, and the morning walk.  Maybe I’ll see you along the way sometime.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.

Silhouettes at sunset.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,476)  Sunrises, sunsets, and morning meanders.  1,477)  Family, always.  1,478)  Giggles, hide-n-seek, and rolling on the floor laughing with a 4-year-old about made up yoga poses.  The Little Wookie’s imagination knows no bounds, and he came up with some creative names and poses.  1,479)  Family dinners that are filled with noise, chatter, laughter, occasionally some adult conversation, and good food.  1,480)  Good health, something that should never be taken for granted.

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.

17 thoughts on “A morning walk

  1. It sounds like all is going well with you, Robin. I’m glad you’re enjoying your time there, and getting family time and alone time.
    Now that you mentioned deer flies, I wonder if that’s what “bit” me the other day? There was a flying thing that landed on my arm. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you are settling in well there, Robin. Your photos and descriptions show the wonders of summer. No hats, mittens or coats – the freedom to walk about comfortably, what’s not to love? I know, heat waves aren’t fun, but I like them better then blizzards. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I would take a blizzard any day over a heatwave. I don’t mind the hats, mittens, and coats. It’s so difficult to cool off when it gets this oppressively hot and humid.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember when you did your daily blog—when we both did. I love that you have such a strong connection to place and that your walks and daily routines nourish your soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your pastoral view as seen in your photos and your view about how we as modern people may have lost something by not being in step with nature. I do my best to step outside at least for a minute or two each day. I could be better about that. Thanks for the idea.

    Like

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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