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Random bits and pieces

Yellow rumped warbler in the woods.

Oh, the sweetness of realizing: I am not other than what I’m experiencing.  I am this breathing.  I am this moment, and it is changing, continually arising in the fountain of life.

~ Joanna Macy, World As Lover, World As Self

Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.

He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it is interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.

He says keep praying.

He says everyone of us is a child,
everyone of us is ancient,
everyone of us has a body.
He says everyone of us is frightened.
He says everyone of us has to find
a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive–
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.

Everything has its own life.

Everything lives inside us.

He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn’t matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.

It matters that you feel.

It matters that you notice.

It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.

Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.

Let life live through you.

~ Roger Keyes

New blooms keep appearing as the older flowers die off.

Bulbs are being planted along the highway today.  The local garden club in conjunction with KSB (our little non-profit) will be digging holes and dropping in daffodil bulbs.  200 holes for 200 bulbs.  I’d be out there with them but M will be more useful than I am.  Space is limited, as are gatherings of any kind, even outdoors.  For safety’s sake, I stayed home.  I’m not sure how many will show up.  More than two, I hope.  It sounded as if some folks from the garden club had plans to be there.  Otherwise, I would be out there now instead of typing up a blog post.  (Update:  No bulbs were planted.  The garden club members determined that the soil needs worked and enriched or something.  They will take care of that and then reschedule.)

It seems a little frivolous to be planting flowers at this time, but maybe frivolous is exactly what we need right now.  We were supposed to do some tree plantings and other things during the month of April.  All of that was cancelled due to the pandemic.  We were pretty much in lockdown mode at that point.  Our positivity rate is going up (4.1% as of yesterday) so we might see a tightening of restrictions again if things don’t quiet down soon.  Some of the Maryland counties, the hot spots, are taking the initiative and already going back to earlier restrictions and closings.  That’s across the Bay, of course, where people live in denser, busier populations.  Our county’s current numbers are 476 confirmed cases, 6 deceased.

Not a good shot (it was early in the morning and the deer kept moving around). A fawn and heron in the pond. There were actually three fawns in the pond with the heron, all of them curious about the bird.

M and I went to Pocomoke River State Park to walk the Trail of Change.  This is not a particularly good year for the fall foliage.  Most of the bald cypress trees have already dropped their needles, and the leaves on the deciduous trees are still green with some slight changes here and there.  I don’t think we’ll see much color this year.  I suppose it’s possible that it could still happen, but it looks as though the trees might give up and just drop their leaves without the usual fanfare and colorful announcements.

Pocomoke River State Park.

There was some change on the Trail of Change, mostly in the form of downed trees.  We’ve had a lot of rain since August and the overly saturated ground is not holding the trees.  They just topple over, roots and all.  I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of that in our own woods, especially with all of the super high tides we’ve been having lately.

A small tree crosses the path.

We went for our hike on election day.  There was no one else out there, not even other cars in the big parking lot where we started.  We did see a family of campers when we walked by the campground.  Given how much people are getting outdoors now, I was surprised there were so few people out there.  At one point I said to M that the day reminded me of 9/11/01, when he nearly demanded that we go out for a hike in the afternoon, not because the weather was so beautiful (it was) but to drag us away from the television and the news where they were playing and replaying the collapse of the north tower, and (before someone in the newsroom thought to stop it) footage of people jumping.  This year’s election is no comparison, of course, to that day. But I was reminded of the peacefulness of that beautiful fall day when no one else was out and about.  They were probably all glued to the television sets the way we had been until M insisted we turn it off and go for a hike.  Maybe that’s what is going on now.  People waiting and watching to see what happens next.

Color in the dogwoods.

Like a lot of folks, I am awaiting the results of the election.  When I woke up yesterday I did exactly what we were warned not to do.  I saw what they’re calling the “red mirage” and sunk into a pit of despair.  Truthfully, part of me is still there.  I feel the way I did in 2016 (when, for several reasons, it seemed as if we had crossed into an alternate universe).  There is a feeling of betrayal, that so many people in this country — even after four years of cruelty, lies, and the murder of over 200,000 people (because yes, I do think it is, in part, murder) — continue to vote for and support the squatter in the White House.  It is, I feel, a vote for racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and chaos.  I am exhausted by the reality show presidency and world we live in.

Meanwhile, back in the garden.

While we were in Ohio over the summer, I (impulsively) purchased The Wild Unknown Archetypes oracle cards by Kim Krans.  I saw a couple of the cards somewhere online (probably on Instagram) and thought the artwork was marvelous.  I have The Wild Unknown Tarot deck (along with several other decks) as well, although I rarely break out the cards anymore.  I realized when I bought the Archetypes cards that I am attracted to the artwork more than I am to whatever it is the cards have to say for themselves.  I’ve never thought of any of the cards (tarot or otherwise) as oracles or predictors of the future, but more along the lines of bringing to light what we might already know on some level.  Or, at the very least, giving a different point of view of what we might already know.

From The Wild Unknown Archetypes deck by Kim Krans.

Yesterday I pulled one of the Archetypes cards and came up with The Vow.  One of the meanings is “bearing witness to the shift toward destiny.”  I’m not sure what that means (although I do have some thoughts about it that might come up another time in another post).  There is also this:

… reciting The Vow (no matter how casually) activates the eternal and unseen forces of the world.  The ancestors bear witness.  The laws of nature respond.  These promises cannot be unsaid or forgotten, so breaking them can leave lingering complexities and loose ends.  This card calls us to acknowledge The Vow we are living by (consciously or unconsciously) and either recommit to it or create a ritual that signifies its closure.  You’ve been underestimating the power of your promises.

You’ve been underestimating the power of your promises feels like a powerful statement.  It was, it seemed to me, a reminder of what I’ve been quietly and not so quietly saying about my plans for after the election, including my withdrawal from social media.  I’ve been promising a withdrawal for years, and here I am, promising it again.  It makes me wonder about the hold/addiction/enchantment of social media.  What need does it fulfill?  It is easy for me to look at it now and say that the need is one of wanting to connect, but that is a recent turn of events.

Just after sunrise this morning.

I realize leaving social media is not the be-all and end-all of life.  There are more important promises and vows in life.  However, there is a connection to the more important.  As I’ve stated previously, it boils down to core values.  And that is what I am recommitting to.  My core values, or what is important to me.  I get stuck, try again, get stuck, try again.  When it ceases to be interesting (as it mentions in the Keyes poem at the beginning of this post), I get unstuck and move on.  I think I might be just about there, ready to move on.

A swirl of clouds around the moon this morning.

That’s probably enough from me for today.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset.  I think it’s going to be pretty.  There are a few clouds around to spread some joy and color.  Sunset is scheduled for 4:59 PM.  It’s relatively warm (for November), close to 70°F.  A light jacket will probably suffice.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.

Autumn morning mist and sunbeams.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,591)  Misty autumn mornings that highlight the sunbeams shooting through the trees and across the pond.  1,592)  The Thursday play date with my favorite Little Wookie.  We had ninety minutes of fun today.  I’m learning how to do a few different things with Zoom and that adds to the playfulness and joy.  1,593)  Early morning walks in the woods without being harassed by mosquitoes.  Yay!  1,594)  The cacophony of bird calls and songs in the woods this morning.  It was pretty impressive.  The crows have been gathering for their annual winter convention.  It sounded like there were hundreds of them off in the distance somewhere.  Canada geese, gulls, warblers, chickadees, cardinals, robins, and a hawk or two joined in the morning chorus.  1,595)  The learning experiences that come from recognizing and acknowledging habits and addictions and patterns (samskaras).  

Another look at the zinnias.

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.

29 thoughts on “Random bits and pieces

  1. Keep planting frivolous flowers. Beauty is valued.
    Thanks for sharing your card. I have been receiving similar messages. I am committed to continuing on the spiritual growth path I have been on since March and to following the creative urges that come to me. I feel that I am learning, aligning and I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Robin, again such a nice post. Because of the bogs I follow and read (and yours is most definitely one), I manage to maintain some calm…most of the time. I wish yo tell you that your honesty, your pictures and the quotes and poems you share are treasures, and are deeply appreciated. Thank you for this one! I’ve been awakened the last two nights by nature. The first night, an owl. The next a fox. So much to see in those experiences. I’m dreaming quite a bit as well. These are times which challenge us…and yet we chose to be here and will find our way forward, with our hearts, leading and supporting those who share our values and beliefs. I send you love and blessings for inner calm and peace. 💜💚🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Trail of Change looks like a delightful walk – especially when it not loaded with visitors. I had a wonderful day after the election. I had relaxing music on most of the day and did NOT watch any news until 6:15 pm – and then to watch the weather – but I did watch the national evening news broadcast at 6:30 pm. All made tor a calm day after a restful night of sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a good day, Frank. 🙂 I think the news has very little to offer on a moment by moment basis, no matter how hard they try to fill all those moments with minutia. I don’t distrust certain sources so much as grow tired of everything being “breaking news” and being hyped up in a way that keeps our nervous systems jumping and jittering with reports that have little substance most of the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed this quote: Oh, the sweetness of realizing: I am not other than what I’m experiencing. I am this breathing. I am this moment, and it is changing, continually arising in the fountain of life.

    Ahhhh…glad you were able to walk on the Trail of Change (what an apropos name) I suffered the same as you when looking at all the red states in the middle of the night after election day. By morning it looked much better than it did at 3 a.m. It felt like a soul reckoning there in the dark.

    I hope that you are able to follow your heart’s desire about social media. It is hard. Glad that you consider blogging something else!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kathy. 🙂 That quote really resonated with me, too. It’s become a kind of mantra for me since I read it.

      I suppose blogging is one of the original social media outlets, but it does feel different than FB or IG. I was thinking about how I first signed up for Facebook. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, and when friends would invite me I would jokingly say, “I’m not going to the dark side.” Then a family member invited me and because of our history/baggage, I joined so that she wouldn’t take it as an insult if I declined. I have never been comfortable there and that should have been my first clue to get out. Unfortunately, I’m stuck on some level because of the page I run for our non-profit, but that doesn’t require me to keep posting on my own page or scrolling through the feed. Instagram is a bigger problem for me. I really liked it before Facebook acquired it. The whole feel of it has changed, at least for me, now that FB is running it. More ads, and the feed is set up in a way that’s similar to FB so that I’m often missing the posts of those I would like to see or have to scroll forever to find them. At any rate, my problem is more with the people who own and run it and the way they continue to enhance, embrace, and promote posts that are calling for violence and promoting conspiracy theories. It’s wrong. They know it’s wrong. I know it’s wrong. We probably all know it’s wrong. Genocide has been committed in other countries because they allowed the posts that promoted it to be amplified because they were popular posts that brought in ad revenue. It’s wrong in so many ways. My heart is clear on that. All I need to do now is follow it. ❤

      Like

  5. It’d 03:46 am in Norway and sleep is not coming. And this post lifts me. And BIG surprise: your sharing of birds and singing in the woods – here, in Norway, its almost silent. I am finding myself stopping and breathing and thanking when i hear just one bird – and it made me so happy I cant tell you to hear they still sing in other woods and hearts

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your pictures have been very soothing for me this morning, Robin. The soft white moon in the soft blue sky — so pretty. And it was fun imagining the rest of the fawns trying to satisfy their curiosity about the heron. The Trail of Change looks so inviting. We’re seeing a lot of green leaves have fallen without changing colors here, too. Feeling betrayed, too, but grateful for your thoughts and pictures…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Barbara. 🙂 The fawns are so funny. I didn’t realize how much like children they are until the past year or two of watching as they play, explore, and express their curiosity. It seems children are children, no matter the species. I feel like I should have known that.

      Like

  7. I love zinnias and your last pic is wonderful. As for leaving social media, we are the first generation of socially-mediated people to grapple with which ones to use and how to use them. It’s two steps forward, one step back. What seems great one year drains me the next. I relate to your quandary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ally. 🙂 Yes, that’s it exactly — two steps forward, one step back. It’s difficult to know what to do. Stay and hope to make changes by being there? Leave in protest? Ugh. There are good arguments on both sides.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My husband is planting daffodil bulbs right now! It’s a sign of hope and belief in the future. You can never have too many daffodils coming up in the spring, and I think I will need that cheerful sight.
    Your photos are beautiful, and it looks like you had a good walk. I’ve also heard a surprising number of bird calls and songs recently.
    Hopefully, we will have some good news soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 So glad you’ll have daffodils to smile at in the spring. I meant to plant more bulbs here this year. It’s probably not too late, but I’m feeling so lazy lately. I would like more crocuses and daffodils… maybe I’ll look into it.

      The news is good. Now all we have to do is survive the next 73 days.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely, lovely post, both words and images. I am as jittery as drops of water in a hot cast-iron pan. Once I know for sure, for good or for ill, I will settle down and accept whatever the results are. However, it’s heartbreaking to think how many people in this country think Trump is a great leader. Why, why, why? I keep asking the question, but none of the answers make sense. I will keep asking. That is what I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Laurie. 🙂 That is such a great description (because of course it would be; you’re a writer) of how things felt before the election was finally called. I find it heartbreaking, too. I don’t understand why people find him so appealing, or how they can ignore the lies, the thievery, the racism, etc. He’s the antithesis of what the conservatives used to claim they stand for. I’d better stop now. I could go on for days, and never get any closer to an answer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same! I struggle to understand. I struggle not to be angry with nearly half the electorate in this country. I struggle to extend compassion to them. Some days I am more successful than others.

        Like

  10. I loved the quote at the top of this one. I am glued, off and on, to CNN, as I watch them talk over and over about the different possibilities. I have more hope now. I won’t breath until Jan 21 though. It’s going to be a rough ride. But there is hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have more hope now, too, Dawn. I agree about the rough ride, but at least we have hope. That’s more than we had before the election (or so it feels to me).

      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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