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A Monday meander: Life in the Bogs

Perched for a moment.

Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and we can reflect light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.

~ Robyn Nola

We speak of things “catching our gaze,” “calling our attention,” “grabbing our focus,” and those are all quite precise ways of speaking, because as we’re wandering the world, things solicit our attention, draw us into dialog, a kind of conversation without words. A fallen leaf on the ground calls my attention, and so I slow down to stop and gaze at it. And so, in my experience, this leaf is not dead, though it’s been lying on the ground for days. It has its own agency. It has its own power, its potency. And so, it is with everything we experience.

~ David Abrams, The Ecology of Perception, Emergence Magazine

The cornfield across the road.

Today is day 9 of our sort-of-isolation from the kids, big and little.  While it’s been said that if anyone was going to get sick from having attended the birthday party, they’d be showing symptoms by now, we continue to err on the side of caution.  We’re debating between ten days and fourteen days.  There is no firm science for either position.  We’ll break our quarantine when it feels most comfortable to do so.  (Is it called a quarantine?  One definition is “to impose isolation on” so it’s close enough.)  It is a “sort-of-quarantine” because, as you might remember, we’re still visiting with the kids, big and little.  It’s just that we do so outside, at a distance, wearing masks.

Thistle.

It is also August and the beginning of our second month in the Bogs.  In case you’re wondering, I named this area the Bogs shortly after we moved to NE Ohio way back in the year 2000.  We’d been on a few hikes and I noticed that even on high ground, after climbing a pretty good hill, the ground was still boggy in places.  (There are, in fact, real bogs here in the Bogs.)  It must have been a good year for rain.  This year is not nearly as boggy.  In fact, I’ve been marveling at how dry the paths from here to there continue to be even after a weekend of rain.  The ground needed it and has been absorbing the rain quite efficiently.

One dewy morning in the meadow.

The break and sort-of-quarantine has given me more time to take some walks and some photographs.  Some days I take the big camera.  Some days, just the phone will have to do because I’m feeling too lazy to lug around anything else.  Or, as was the case over the weekend, rain was moving in and out, and I prefer not to take the big camera out in the rain.  I’ve done it, but it’s best not to.

Sunday clouds and a glimpse of M the Younger’s garden.

I have also had time to buckle down on the Yoga Anatomy course that was part of the Yoga Darsana class.  We have until October to finish it.  I thought I’d be finished with it by now, but I’ve been procrastinating.  I put it off until we finished the main lectures, thinking that I’d have plenty of time to do it throughout the summer months.  Then the pandemic came around, the world got wonky, and my brain went a little wonky with it.  It’s been difficult to concentrate and learn, at times.  Now that I’ve had a little rest and some regular walks, my brain seems to be working again.  I hope it stays that way until I finish the last three modules (there are ten modules).  It has all been fascinating and I’ve learned a lot about bones and joints and breath.  The last four modules are of the experiential variety so I actually get to put some of what I’ve learned into practice.  That said, I’ve discovered that standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) for ten minutes can be tiring.  That, in and of itself, was a learning experience.

The spiders around here are busy and creative.

The Spiritual Ecology class ended last Friday.  I’m so glad I signed up for it.  If you’re interested in such things, keep an eye on Emergence Magazine.  You might have to sign up for their emails (which really aren’t that intrusive).  They are offering the course again in the fall.  We met once a week for four weeks, each session lasting 2.5 hours.  I’m not sure if they will keep that format, but it gives you some idea of how much time it takes up.  There is a tea break about halfway through each session, which was nice.  And the rest of the time went very quickly, probably because I found the subject matter so interesting.

Taking a break from exercising our superpowers.

One of the things that fascinated me most was something one of the other participants said.  She is an indigenous person from Peru and she said that English is a poor language for expressing a natural connection to nature and the land, almost a barrier to it.  In her native language there is a saying that roughly translates as when you give to the land/earth, you give to yourself because there is no separation.  To put another spin on it, what you do to the earth, you do to yourself (you could also say what you do to yourself, you do to the earth).  What you do to others (human and other than human), you do to yourself.  Most major religions have similar maxims.  What stood out for me was the clear notion that there is no separation.  Perhaps if those major religions made that clearer, we’d be in less of a mess.

Transitioning the seasons.

Well, I think I’ve taken up enough of your time today.  Thank you so much for visiting with me.  Let’s check out the sunset this evening.  I’ll meet you across the road at the edge of the cornfield.  Sunset is scheduled for 8:40 PM.  There’s a chance of thunderstorms but there’s a better chance there won’t be any (according to earlier forecasts; that could change).  The clouds have been contributing to some lovely sunsets lately.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.

Yesterday’s sunset.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,496)  Walks, and the body that carries me on my walks.  1,497)  Learning more about the ways of playing.  1,498)  All of the critters living in what I think of as the milkweed garden.   We see all kinds of visitors, from honeybees to butterflies to tree frogs and more.  1,499)  Exploring my own inner horizons and edges and landscapes.  If you were to describe your own body as a landscape, what would it be?  I see many within this one body and one life.  1,500)  Cornfields and sunsets, barns, chickens and sunrises.

Deepening into night.

Some numbers:

  • Confirmed cases of Covid-19 here, in the county we’re in:  711 (60 deaths).  I think the number was somewhere around 503 when we arrived in NE Ohio on July 1.
  • Confirmed cases at home:  123 (3 deaths).  It was 103 when we left.

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.

14 thoughts on “A Monday meander: Life in the Bogs

  1. Thanks for the lovely meander through the bogs, Robin!
    I noticed so many dragonflies today when I was out walking, but I couldn’t get any photos.
    I’ve noticed the beautiful sunsets (and sunrises) too–I think from all the clouds about.
    Beautiful photos–as usual! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Merril. 🙂 Dragonflies are easier than you might think to catch on camera. They fly in patterns. All you have to do is stand still and watch. Eventually they come back around to the same place, over and over. Then all you have to do is be ready for him/her when they do come back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that sunset shot – wow, gorgeous. Can’t believe it is August already. Time is flying, isn’t it?
    You’re lucky you’re not in MD with the latest storm passing through, though I hope your house and sitter will be okay. It has been a busy hurricane season so far and we’ve barely got to the more traditionally ‘busy’ season. We’re expecting a brush-by, but predictions could change.
    Stay well and safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 Apparently the storm didn’t do much damage in our area although parts of the Eastern Shore north of where we live did get hit with tornadoes, flooding, and wind damage. Bob the Minion got blown around and lost his goggles. Other than that, our housesitter said all was well. I hope Isaias didn’t bother you too much on his way by.

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  3. What the student from Peru described to you is what the Australian Aboriginal people believe also. They prefer to walk bare-foot on the earth, so they can become one with the land. It’s a fascinating concept.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it fascinating, too, Joanne. I often feel as if we’re missing something by not having the language or the culture that keeps us in touch with Mother Earth in a similar way.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good afternoon, Robin. Thank you for the history review of the Bogs. It’s so easy to forget the basics (at least for me). By the time you’re reading this comment, you’re much closer to breaking quarantine and being with the kids. (If you’re not already!) Was thinking about you and your classes this morning, and pondering how alike we both are in that respect. So enjoying these days of learning so much. Must say the yoga anatomy class sounds challenging. But you’ll keep learning so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good afternoon, Kathy! And yes, we’ve broken quarantine. In fact, I am acting as a substitute teacher for homeschooling the boys this week and next. It was either that or another quarantine since their usual babysitter/nanny/teacher went on a trip last week which put her outside of the bubble. The adult kids were willing to risk letting her come back. We were not since we’re older and more at risk. I didn’t want to spend our last few weeks quarantining again so… we’ll see how this goes. 🙂 As for learning, I have my eyes on a couple of classes I’d like to take. But not until I finish up the yoga anatomy. It’s all too easy for me to get caught up on the next great thing before I’ve completed what I’m already doing. (Shiny object syndrome!)

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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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