The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions. Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions? And do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up — ever — trusting our fellow citizens to join with us in our determined pursuit of a living democracy?
~ Terry Tempest Williams
“Heart” comes from the Latin cor and points not merely to our emotions, but to the core of the self, that center-place where all of our ways of knowing converge — intellectual, emotional, sensory, intuitive, imaginative, experiential, relational, and bodily, among others. The heart is where we integrate what we know in our minds with what we know in our bones, the place where our knowledge can become more fully human. Cor is also the Latin root from which we get the word courage. When all that we understand of self and world comes together in the center-place called the heart, we are more likely to find the courage to act humanely on what we know.
~ Parker J. Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy
How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? I realize that many of us are not really traveling anywhere these days, but there are still walks to be had, books to read, films to watch, podcasts to listen to, and a variety of other things to keep us occupied that don’t include the news cycle. A bit of a bombshell was dropped in the news last night but I fear those who should be swayed by it, won’t be.
We had a rather rainy weekend here. The remnants of tropical storm Beta hung around for a while. As I mentioned in my last post, it poured and poured and poured on Saturday. Yesterday was a day of soft, misty rains. It was still cloudy when I woke up this morning. As I’m typing this, the clouds appear to be clearing out and there are large patches of blue sky. It’s nice to see the blue and the sun again.
M and I closed up the pool. I think I swam in it once, maybe twice, this year. We left it open because our house-/pet-sitter said she’d like to use it. Then Isaias came through, dumped the equivalent of a tree (in the form of leaves, pine needles, pine cones, and small branches) into the pool, and overfilled it with water. Shortly after that, there were problems with algae and although Hope (not her real name, but close enough) tried to remedy the problem, it proved to be too much. M has been working on it since we got home and the water is still am amazing shade of emerald green. He made the executive decision to close it up and leave it until next year.
I went on a couple of walks in between the rain showers and sometimes in the rain. I like those soft, misty rain days. The mosquitoes continue to be a big problem. One of the most effective things I’ve tried recently is to bring a lit stick of incense with me. The smoke helps as long as I keep waving it around myself. And it smells better than insect repellent. I could be wrong but I think the insects around here are becoming immune to the repellent.
I found death in the cemetery on one of my walks. You might expect to find death in a cemetery but what you usually find during a casual visit are stone monuments to life and death, not death itself. Turkey buzzards were sitting on the tombstones the day before, a homage to the upcoming holidays or a sure sign there was death present. When I walked out there the next day, I heard a loud buzzing of flies (anyone else remember The Amityville Horror?) just before the scent of decay reached my nose. On the ground were bones, a long spine, the bones of which looked almost fish-like. It had been a snake. A pretty big snake judging by the length. It had been brought to the cemetery, either by a predator or by Death itself who brings us all to such ends eventually, our bones left behind as a monument to the life lived.
During some of the rainy periods, I wrote letters. Not whole letters. A small contribution to a form letter designed by Vote Forward to encourage people to vote. Vote Forward has a goal of sending one million letters to potential voters. The letters are to be mailed out on October 17th. Given the problems with the postal service, given that many people want to vote by mail, I wonder about the problems that might arise with sending out one million letters on the same date. I write my little portion, my story of why I vote, and address envelopes anyway, hoping that somehow it will make a difference. If I could, I’d cast a spell on each letter, one that would awaken people to our current plight so that they would vote in a way that will bring about the much-needed change.
Or maybe I wouldn’t. I am constantly reminded these days to be careful what you wish for. So many of us wished for change, for people to wake up to what is happening in terms of social justice, immigration, climate change, and more. And now, here we are. Prayers answers, in a way we didn’t foresee. Mother Earth, for sure, has been letting us know what she thinks of what we’ve done.
I reckon that’s enough from me for now. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending a little time meandering with me. If all has gone as planned, I’m sitting on the beach at Chincoteague (Virginia) or walking one of the trails. More likely sitting on the beach. I’m drawn to water lately. That makes sense. In Ayurveda, autumn is considered to be vata season. Vata is the element of air which is dry, rough, sometimes cold. Sitting by water, when you can, helps to balance all of that airiness that can lead to indecision and flightiness. Other things that help are warm drinks and foods (think herbal teas or plain warm water, stews, and soups), and nourishing your skin with oils. (Note: I don’t pretend to be an Ayurveda expert. I know so little of what is a vast system of knowledge. I have been practicing or working with the rhythm of the day and the rhythm of the seasons for the past few years. Longer, really, but I didn’t have a name for it until I started seriously studying yoga.)
Sunset is scheduled for 6:50 PM. Join me on the bayside on Chincoteague and we’ll watch it from there.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,551) Pimento cheese. I probably shouldn’t be saying thanks for this, or thanks to our newly remodeled grocery store that is now carrying it once again (they stopped carrying it a couple of years ago), but I love this stuff. And promise not to eat it too often. Maybe one day I’ll learn to make it on my own. 1,552) Blue sky days. It seems like we haven’t had many of them lately. 1,553) Zooming with the Little Wookie and the Little Peanut. It’s become a kind of playtime. We break out our box of Legos, they get their Legos, and we build things. It’s almost like sitting there with them. 1,554) Warm rice and stewed apples with cinnamon for breakfast. 1,555) Mother Earth and all the gifts we’ve been given. I hope we begin to collectively learn just how great those gifts are.
Walktober reminder: The dates are October 3-18. Take a walk (run, ride, whatever) and post about it sometime during those dates. I will gather it all together and do the round-up post sometime after that (I’m looking at October 26th as a possible date — it depends on whether or not anyone needs more time). Also, I will be putting up a poll about this soon: Would you be interested in being part of a Zoom group? I’m thinking along the lines of something early in the morning, perhaps just after sunrise, where we could get together, do some movement and breath stuff, and chat a little. Nothing formal, and always free. I realize time zones could be a problem. Hopefully that would be something we could work out, if necessary.