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A Monday meander: Shifting

Up.

Grace

The Wood is shining this morning.
Red. Gold and green. The leaves
Lie on the ground, or fall,
Or hang full of light in the air still.
Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes
The place it has been coming to forever.
It has not hastened here, or lagged.
See how surely it has sought itself,
Its roots passing lordly through the earth.
See how without confusion it is
All that it is, and how flawless
Its grace is. Running or walking, the way
Is the same. Be still. Be still.

~ Wendell Berry

A swirl of reflections and loblolly pine needles.

Well of Grief

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief
turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe
will never know the source
from which we drink
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for
something else.

~ David Whyte

Exaggerated sunset.

I am filling myself with poetry lately.  Devouring it.  Not in quick, wolfing-it-down gulps, but slowly, steadily savoring what I read before moving on to the next.  I can’t explain why poetry is so attractive to me now other than to say the metaphors act as bridges between the senses and the self and the Self/Heart, which is a metaphor about metaphors, isn’t it?

Unexaggerated sunset.

Here we are, on the eve of election day in the U.S. and, having voted last week during the early voting period, I have shifted my focus.  It is simultaneously an inward and outward focus, the inner landscape and outer Nature.  They each (and both) hold their own kind of beauty, death, creation, change.  Outside, the leaves on the trees have not yet fully changed over to their autumn colors, and they blur together on this blustery day.  I admire the suppleness and flexibility of the branches, how they dance and sway no matter the strength of the sustained winds or the gusts.  Birds speed by as the wind takes them, perhaps to places they hadn’t intended to go.  Leaves, torn from the trees by a particularly strong gust, follow the birds.  Clouds, too, are pushed by the winds.  We have Gale Warnings and Small Craft Advisories reminding us that it will be windy and that we live near the water.

The marsh near sunset.

The Atlantic hurricane season continues through the end of the month (maybe even beyond — storms can form anytime of the year, in any season).  We’ve been lucky this year.  So far.  Hurricane Eta, the 12th hurricane and the 28th named Atlantic storm of the 2020 season, sits off the coast of Central America and will be a Cat 4 by the time it makes landfall.  Nobody knows yet whether or not it will impact the U.S.  We’ll wait to see what happens when it moves to the Gulf of Mexico.  In any case, we won’t be bothered much by this one unless the remnants move through with more rain and wind.  Others will be bothered (more than bothered), though, and I do think of them, having to weather such a storm.

Finding the space between.

This election and the coming days, perhaps the coming weeks, is a little like waiting and watching a hurricane.  Will it roar through, destroying everything in its path?  Or will it be all bluster and rain, remnants of a past that could never really get itself together?  I’m hoping for the latter with a calm that settles in after the storm.  Not a return to normal but a chance to rest a little from the intentional chaos and anxiety we’ve been subjected to for four very long years.

One of the scenes from Saturday’s walk.

I won’t be following the news cycle.  I’ll find out somehow or another what happens.  I have no doubt about that.  My plan, if life allows it (and it might not), is to semi-hibernate for a while.  Do my daily practices at sunrise and sunset, read poetry, draw, write blog posts if I feel inspired to do so, meditate, take a lot of walks, spend time with the trees, the earth, the water, and the wind.  I’ve already started my withdrawal from social media, taking little vacations here and there.  It’s time to begin aligning my behavior and my patronage with my values.  As I’ve stated many times in the past, Zuckerberg’s values, if he has any other than money, are not compatible with mine.  It’s time to stop contributing to his algorithm and his wallet.

Our woolly bears are predicting a very mild winter.

Last week was interesting.  I had the follow-up colonoscopy that was a little overdue.  Two days of nothing but clear liquids was a little harder than I expected it to be.  But I got through the fasting, the prep, the procedure.  The news is good.  I’ll have to go back in five years instead of the usual ten, but it seems like a fair exchange for good news.

Mushrooms are popping up all over.

I reckon that’s about it from me on this chilly, windy Monday.  Thank you so much for stopping by and joining me on another meander.  Another thank you, too, to everyone who made Walktober such a big success this year.  I appreciate your walks and your participation/support.

It looks like it will be a good evening to watch the sunset from out at the Point.  It’s scheduled for 5:02 PM (yikes!).  Bundle up.  It’s probably cold out there.  It’s been in the 40’s today (for a high temp) and it likely feels a little chillier by the water because of the wind.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.  If you live in the U.S. and haven’t already done so (I know a lot of you have), please vote.

Blue moon, full moon, Samhain moon.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,586)  Interesting, lively discussions and disagreements with friends.  It’s still possible to disagree and remain friends without being unkind.  1,587)  Red beans and rice for dinner tonight.  1,588)  Good news from the gastroenterologist.  1,589)  Exercising my right to vote.  M and I went to the local high school to cast our ballots last week.  There was a steady stream of  people going in and out, and we all moved along pretty quickly.  No waiting at all.  Everyone was wearing a mask (correctly!) and social distancing.  1,590)  Hope.  I am afraid to hope, but I’m going to be courageous and do it anyway.

The Wordless Wednesday flowers did become tomatoes.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the 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.

16 thoughts on “A Monday meander: Shifting

  1. Awaiting this election does feel like watching a hurricane! Let’s hope it blows itself out. 😉
    I’m looking ahead to a bit of hibernation myself. The garden season is truly done and finished, so life will be a bit more leisurely for the next several months. More walks, reading, and cups of tea.

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  2. So much to enjoy here, the marsh at almost sunset, the white mushroom, your positive test results, hope. Enjoy your vacation from social media. It’s probably a good decision. We just got home from putting our candidate’s signs at 16 polling places around here. Took us 3 hours, driving around in the dark. Not something that was all that fun, but it’s done. As my husband said, after the last sign was placed, “All we have to do now is vote.” It sort of seems anticlimatic after weeks of preparation for this day.

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  3. Beautiful, beautiful photos, as always. Also, wonderful poem by the wonderful David Whyte. We are a family of media hounds, and unlike you, we will be watching and keeping track well into the night.

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  4. I feel calmer, and rejuvenated from your writing and photos. So much beauty – those dark shine brown pineneedles
    thank you
    Now I am going up on my roof the shovel leaves on it – from my old Beech standing close by.

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  5. Social media can be soul-destroying, I agree. I much prefer blogging these days, and chatting to my few friends that I’ve made over the years. By the way, I sent you a messenger message a week or two ago, I can’t remember when, that you may have missed. It’s there if you feel inclined to read it, or not, if you don’t. I think we all need to go with the flow now, regardless of outcomes of elections, or what people think or say. Take care. The world really will go on, and nature is more comforting and good for the sould than elections or social media could ever be. ❤

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  6. Great news about the results of your colonoscopy! (And yes, the not being able to eat and the prep are definitely not fun.)
    I love the marsh at sunset photo.
    If you are on Twitter–which maybe you don’t want to be–but on Tuesdays there’s #TopTweetTuesday hosted by Black Bough poetry–and poets from all over the world tweet poems. I’m going to try to stick to reading those tweets today. And I plan on doing some stress cooking and baking. 😏
    I still have to catch up on Walktober posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So happy to hear the news was good from your colonoscopy. I’ve been expanding my poetry horizons lately, too, although Emily Dickinson is still my favorite. Loved your Wendell Berry poem — I just bought one of his collections. And Pablo Neruda. It does help us to be still in the midst of chaos.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You opening point – Grace – seems that is more important than ever. Your words and images not only pass grace along, they calm my day. Cheers to the colonoscopy results. The election? Is it over yet? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am feeling that hurricane energy this afternoon. Probably because I fell into the news-world and am now having trouble remembering or doing any spiritual practices–besides walking outside–to regain center. It’s good that you know when it’s time to settle in with the trees again. And I am glad that you might still dip your toes in the blogging world from time to time even as you retreat a bit.

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  10. Congrats on the good news from your procedure — we all know money can’t buy good health! As for taking a social media break, I’m all for that, now and then. We need to unplug, relax, and get back to “reality” regularly. Having been a longtime journalist — one who covered my share of election night returns — I’ll be tuning out this year. The meanness and anger has turned me off, and I don’t like my equilibrium uprooted!

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  11. Robin, a most enjoyable meander. I’m with you on the poetry. I’ve found some surprises within as I’ve participated in a writing circle. I don’t set out to write poetry. Often, the words seem to arrange themselves in the page in a certain way. I’m feeling ready for the hibernation of the winter season. I’m exhausted as a result of so many things, not least of which is the run up to the long awaited election and the trepidation of what may lie ahead. Take good care, Robin. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Glorious photos and a lovely meander as I expect from you 🙂 I have just turned off the TV. I watched off and on for about an hour. I shall wait to see the results. And wait for the rest of them as they crawl in from now till Friday (at least, from what I understand). Life will go on, no matter the results but I’ll still hope for Biden to win. We Canadians don’t want to be dealing with Trump anymore than you do!

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  13. I deleted my FB account years ago and feel it’s one of the best things I’ve done. I like your term “semi-hibernate.” I am finding that the more I focus on what I’d describe as normal activities, the more relaxed I’m becoming. To wit, I’ll continue blogging which I find normal– and I’ll engage less news sources which I find ridiculously convoluted.

    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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