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A Monday meander: Heatwave

Droopy.

We have separated matter and spirit and through the power of this collective attitude have starved the world.

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Awakening the World

Once when I was younger I went out and sat under the sky and looked up and asked it to take me back. What I should have done was gone to the swamp and bog and ask them to bring me back because, if anything is, mud and marsh are the origins of life. Now I think of the storm that made chaos, that the storm opened a door. It tried to make over a world the way it wanted it to be. At school I learned that storms create life, that lightning, with its nitrogen, is a beginning; bacteria and enzymes grow new life from decay out of darkness and water. It’s into this that I want to fall, into swamp and mud and sludge and it seems like falling is the natural way of things; gravity needs no fuel, no wings. It needs only stillness and waiting and time.

~ Linda Hogan

Resting.

The heat is on, as the old Glenn Frey song goes.  Funny that I’m thinking of it as old.  I also thought it was Huey Lewis and the News so I could be wrong about the idea of “old” too.

Looking out.

Last week was a bit tough on me.  I love being with the boys but as I’ve written many times before, I’m at an age when it’s getting harder to keep up.  M and I had a long conversation about our ideas and expectations when it comes to aging and being grandparents.  Although some aspects are what I thought they would be (the love, for instance), some are not.  That appears to be related to what I thought aging would be like.  I didn’t realize I had expectations about aging, but there they are, hiding in plain sight.

The Black-Eyed Susans are blooming now.

Somewhere in my head or heart or soul and body-mind, I feel simultaneously young and old.  M and I are very active people.  We hike, we bike, we kayak, we do our morning yoga practices, we do all sorts of things it is not unusual for people our age to be doing.  We also have acquaintances and friends our age (or just beyond) who have sort of settled in to being Old.  They don’t do as much as they used to, tend to talk a lot about aches and pains and medical conditions, and who act almost elderly.  If it sounds like I’m judging, I don’t mean to.  To each his/her own.  There are days when I feel like sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch and calling it a life.  I know how tempting that can be.

Sluggish. (Thanks to the Little Wookie, I have been learning a little about the life and times of slug. He wanted to know why they are slimy and why they move so slowly.)

On the other hand, I don’t want to fight age, either.  I can run, jump, and roll around on the ground with the boys, but there is a limit to it.  When I stretch the limit, I end up with my own set of aches and pains that, in turn, take me out of commission for a few days.  It’s better to pay attention to where my edge is, to pull back, and I do try to do that.  Over the weekend, for instance, I took a day off from everyone.  I had intended to catch up on housework, laundry, and the yoga anatomy course I need to finish.  Instead, I cooked, did about two loads of laundry, cleaned very little, and looked at photographs I have taken since we arrived in The Bogs.  It was restful and it was what I needed.

Storms building in the clouds.

Another thing I did, and very much enjoyed, was look more into the references to books and authors that have cropped up during the course I’m taking (A Deep Dive into Spiritual Ecology).  I am familiar with some of the people mentioned (Joanna Macy, for instance), and others I’ve heard of but never read any of their books.  Maybe an article or two, usually via Emergence Magazine.  Although my stack of to-be-read books is big enough, I went ahead and ordered a couple of more.  I’m still getting caught up on the recommended reading from the yoga class.  I’d like to buckle down on that, too.  Yet my mind and attention keeps drifting elsewhere.  That is the nature of mind, but I think it is also the nature of the times we are living in.

More milkweed.

Here is a list of the books I brought with me to read, in the order, I planned on reading them:

  • The Inner Tradition of Yoga by Michael Stone  (I am almost finished with this one.)
  • Skill In Action by Michelle Cassandra Johnson (I started this one during the main part of the Yoga Darsana class and hope to finish it soon.  It’s a small but powerful book about the work we need to do to dismantle white supremacy on both an inner and outer level.  What is taking me so long is that I spend a lot of time working through the exercises that are included.  The book is basically a mini workshop.  The author was a guest speaker for one of the Yoga Darsana lectures, before the pandemic and before the murder of George Floyd, and what she taught was so appropriate for the times we’re in right now..)
  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menaken
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
  • Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown
  • The Other Shore by Thick Nhat Hanh

You can probably see where some of the reading is leading me in terms of anti-racism work.  I brought some other books with me to round things out (and perhaps with an overly ambitious attitude of thinking I could catch up on some reading).  Some fiction for entertainment/escape and a couple of other non-fiction books about nature.

Apples on the tree.

As is usually the case with my meandering posts, I have no point.  Or if I had one when I started, I’ve forgotten it.  There is so much going on in the world, in life, and even in the microcosm of my own life, that it’s difficult to have a point.  Perhaps that’s always been the way of things.  It’s just more noticeable now.

In the meadow.

I reckon that’s about it from me for now.  Thank you so much for visiting.  We had a spectacular sunset last night after some thunderstorms rolled through.  Clouds keep coming and going throughout the day and might make for an interesting sunset tonight.  I’ll meet you out by the cornfield.  Sunset is scheduled for 8:52 PM.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.

Yesterday’s sunset.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,481)  M, always, for his love and his constancy and his sense of knowing what his role is in life.  Not many of us do.  Some of us flounder around, trying to figure it out.  It seems to me M has always had a sense of who he is while remaining flexible in that role.  I admire that greatly.  1,482)  Learning how to be who I am, and learning how to just be.  1,483)  The mirror of relationships.  Our relationships are pretty much the only way we can truly see who we are (in our reactions and actions, in how things play out, in our emotions and judgments, and in many other ways).  I didn’t need a yoga teacher training to discover that, but it helped clarify things for me.  1,484)  Getting back into a routine this week.  Maybe.  We’ll see how it goes.  1,485)  Tears, in joy and in grief.  

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.

12 thoughts on “A Monday meander: Heatwave

  1. I find my focus is on keeping ‘balance’ in my life. I know if I don’t take breaks away from work, people, etc. that I get a bit nutty and in general don’t feel good. That is an ongoing practice because life does sometimes take one out of balance. I’d just like to not veer too much one way or the other. 😉
    60 seemed to be the year that I started noticing limits on my energy levels. I couldn’t go on and on like I used to without paying, as you put it, with ‘aches and pains.’ So I’ve had to come to accept that (grudgingly) and acknowlege and honor those limits in order to keep a semblence of balance. I guess that is true for most of us and we must firmly respect those boundaries and say ‘no’ to things we know will take out beyond what feels right.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, dear Robin. I can imagine how exhausting it would be to be with grandchildren. No matter how much you love ’em, they’re just more active. I have turned 63 today and have lately felt the weight of age so much more than before. Sigh. Honoring the limits, as Eliza just said…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As for the aging, dear Robin, I agree with you, and everyone who commented above. I can’t help but consider the pushing of boundaries that children do as they age and how we, as grandparents are likely beginning to pull those boundaries in, just a bit. Our bodies, minds and spirits need something different. Honoring those different needs gives us back to ourselves in very important ways, I feel.

    I recently received Resmaa Menakem’s book and looking forward to getting into it.

    Take good care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Robin. I love what Carol said, there’s a reason why we have our children when we are younger. I couldn’t agree more. However having said that, I cherish the time I spend with my grand-ones. But I only see them in small doses – a day here and another day there. I have breaks in between. It sounds as if you are spending every day with your grandchildren and I think that would wear anyone our age down! We’ve reached an age where we enjoy our freedom to do as we please, and children are very demanding. Maybe you need to insist on more days to yourself, so you can keep up with the littlies better when you see them, perhaps?
    The whole world has gone slightly bonkers recently, but I do think we have it so much easier here in Australia that most other countries. Our Prime Minister took action in closing the country’s borders so fast that covid all but disappeared from our shores. (One bungling state premier has caused a few problems again, but that’s another story which hopefully will pass soon!) But we are hearing every day on the news that the USA has been having major issues, and not just with covid. Is it any wonder you feel so world-weary?
    These times will pass. Stay strong, and know you have friends both in person and online who care. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t have grandchildren, but I understand what you mean about aging/limits. I exercise more conscientiously now than I ever did when younger, but I just don’t have the sort of energy I had when I was younger. But we do what we have to do, right? I have dear friends who are my age and raising their young grandchildren. My mother raised my niece.
    All in all–it sounds like everything is going well with you. That sunset is spectacular!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I understand your point of view about peers “who act almost elderly.” My husband and are beginning to see this with some of our acquaintances, not so much in the sense of not being physically active but in the sense of being close-minded refusing to entertain new thoughts. It worries me to be with them. Which also makes me sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is much harder to get up off the floor than it used to be – and to swing and whirl greying child in arms like a bird or plane than it was a couple of years ago. Nobody ever guesses our ages either.
    Wise to know when to disappear and do what you feel like doing.
    Nice to see your snapshots of life and the little things pictured

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What you said about M in your Reasons, the same can definitely be said about Greg. And likely part of their lifelong friendship. Love, constancy, self-knowledge/self-awareness. 😊💜

    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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