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Is it August already?

Prayers in the wind.

The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.

~ Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge

Lemon fizz, still blooming.

It’s early morning.  I’ve been sitting here watching the sky, the gradual brightening of the grayness of a rainy morning.  The deer are out there munching on clover and whatever else they eat that grows with the grass of the lawn.  It’s not the grass.  Otherwise, we would never have to mow.  It’s been a good year for clover.  It’s been a good year for the deer too, from the looks of the growing herd.  There are at least five fawns.  Two sets of twins and Ali, the little one who slept in our vegetable garden for a while.

In the shadows of the magnolia.

It’s a little later now and I’m looking out the office window at the hydrangea that is so full of flowers it’s almost weighing itself down.  I wonder what it is like to be so full of and so thoroughly YOU that you are willing to take the risk of blooming as wholly as you can, beyond what you think you might be able to carry?  From time to time, I get glimpses of what that might be like.

A rainy morning in July when the daylilies were still blooming.

July went by slowly and quickly at the same time.  That appears to be the way of time lately, the paradox of it.  Summer days have a way of stretching on forever while the month itself passes so fast that you’d think it was trying to set a world record for the Olympics of time.

One of the little roses out front.

The cohort I’m in met for the last of our round of Gita classes last night.  Karin, the teacher, will be picking it up again in September with a new group.  (If you’re interested, you can find more information about it at Karin’s website, here.  Just scroll down a little when you get to her website.  You’ll find it.)

A morning twist, when the hostas were still blooming.

It was an emotional gathering.  Endings tend to be that way, don’t they?  We’ve been together for almost two years, starting with the yoga teacher training.  We will meet again in September to begin studying the Yoga Sutras.  Still, this was another ending just as we had an ending of the yoga teacher training (although I suppose it could be said that training, of any kind, never really ends until you decide to quit).  We’ll be on a little break until the Sutras class starts up.  It will be good to take some time and let things soak in.  I spent some time during the day or two before the last Gita class flipping through my notes.  I filled almost two journal-sized notebooks (about 100 pages each) with notes and doodles and questions and thoughts.  The remarkable thing to me is how the Gita circles us right back around to the beginning.  So, here we are, at an end and a beginning.

I will insert an advertisement of sorts for Karin here.  If you have ever wanted to study the Bhagavad Gita with someone, I highly recommend doing so with Karin.  Her wealth of knowledge, history, and stories are awesome and amazing.  The guest speakers she invites are also awesome and amazing.  The community that forms around the class is awesome and amazing.  (I thought about consulting the thesaurus for new words but “awesome and amazing” fit so well that I don’t mind being redundant.)

One of many.

Like many people, M and I have been watching the Summer Olympics.  I’m not enamored with the coverage.  I haven’t actually timed it but it seems as though we get about three minutes of coverage for every ten minutes of commercials.  Then there are the montages they put together (such as the one for Simone Biles narrated by Taylor Swift).  I don’t mind the little bits that tell us something about the athletes, but some of the montages feel more like vehicles for the celebrity that is narrating it.  Besides, I’m old (and maybe cranky).  I don’t want to have to stay up until 11:00 PM in order to watch what I want to watch just so the network can stretch things out for the ratings and the money.

Gymnastics is interesting to me from an insider’s perspective.  I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned here that I was a gymnast when I was young.  Eleven years and one shot at the Junior Olympics (where I won a silver medal for the balance beam).  M and I were watching as the women were doing their thing on the balance beam last night, and when I said to him, “That was my best event.  You’d never know it by the way I trip over my own feet just walking on the ground,” we both laughed because really, it’s hard to believe that I could once walk, leap, and do flips and cartwheels on a piece of wood that is 10 centimetres wide and 1.25 meters off the ground.  It should be noted that the flips and tricks are much more advanced now.  Artistic gymnastics (as I see they are now calling it) was much more artistic in my day with more dance to go with the flips and tricks we were capable of at the time.

At the Point, watching the clouds at sunset.

Thoughts about gymnastics and my body came up this morning as I limped my way to the kitchen, my hip/knee/back problem not as bad today as it has been on other days.  A lot of training goes into being a good gymnast.  A lot of injury happens, too.  But that isn’t what I was dwelling on.  Instead, I wondered about the way I used to think I’d still be turning cartwheels well into my 80’s and 90’s while at the same time not taking good care of the body that would be necessary to do those things.  This was not a passing of judgment or regrets.  It was more a marveling at how the human mind works.

A wealth of evidence documents the human talent for disregarding reality. Sometimes this ability benefits us, as when optimistic cancer patients outlive their pessimistic peers or when an athlete tricks himself into believing he has plenty of reserve energy to push his body past its limits. At other times, our self-deceptions are detrimental… humans are the world’s ultimate risk takers, ignoring scientific facts such as the dangers of smoking and climate change.

~ from a book review written by Daisy Yuhas of the book Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind by Ajit Varki and Danny Brower

We humans are interesting creatures.

High tide.

My July has been filled with reading (note to self:  I need to update my book lists over in the sidebar), writing, drawing, and listening to music.  Some dancing, walking, bicycling, kayaking, and swimming.  M and I have been to the beach once or twice and he’s been out on the boat a few times.  Mostly we’ve been hanging out here on the ranch working in the gardens, mowing, repairing, cleaning, and all the usual chores when we’re not watching the other residents who live with us on this land, marsh, and water.  A few evenings ago we had the privilege of watching a Bald Eagle who was sitting high up in one of the trees at the edge of the marsh dining on a very large fish.  I marveled at how he or she managed to carry it up there.  The photos I took are awful so I won’t bother to show you.  I don’t have a camera or lens capable of shooting something that far away.

Goodnight, Sun.

Given all the time that has passed since my last post, you might think I have a lot more to say/write.  If I do, it’s not rising up in my mind so this seems as good a time as any to wrap things up.  Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting with me today.  I hope this finds you well and safe and enjoying your summer (or winter, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere).

Please be safe, be well, and take good care of you and others.  I already know you are a kind group of people so I’m dropping that part.  ♥

Circling back to morning.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,811)  Bald Eagles, Laughing Gulls, Butterflies, Dragonflies, and all the winged creatures we share the world with (except, maybe, the mosquitoes and deer flies).  1,812)  Coffee.  I will be cutting back on my caffeine intake soon but in the meantime, I will appreciate it.  (I was a latecomer to the coffee scene.  I spent most of my life as a tea drinker.  I think it’s time I went back to only tea.)  1,813)  Rainy days to rest the eyes.  Sometimes summer feels like too much (too much light, too much color, too much heat, etc.).  It’s nice to have toned-down days.  1,814)  You.  For visiting, for your friendship, for reading, for leaving a comment.  1,815)  M, always and forever.  If I have to live through a pandemic (and it seems I do), I am so grateful that I have this life with him.

Trumpet flowers flowing over the pond.

Author:

Robin is...

28 thoughts on “Is it August already?

  1. I enjoyed your post. Words seem to be hiding from me these days, so my blogging is nearly non-existent and my comments are few and short. Too hot to venture outside and I’ve learned I’m definitely a spring and fall person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carol. 🙂 I have words but can’t seem to put them together for a blog post lately. It’s been that way for a while. I sometimes think it’s a matter of trying to process everything and there is just too much. I hope you get your cooler weather soon. We’re about to enter the main part of hurricane season. I’ll be glad when we are through that and into winter (since I am definitely a winter person).

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  2. I haven’t watched any of the Olympics. It’s not a political statement on my part, it’s that I’m not interested. I haven’t decided if this means I’m getting old and crotchety or if I’m finally being realistic with myself– saying I don’t enjoy summer events.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head for me, Ally. I’m just not interested. I have a lot of admiration for the athletes and how hard they worked to get there, but… it doesn’t seem important to me, or at least worth my while to stay up and lose sleep over it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought about you on Sunday and wondered if it was about time for you to post and here you are. Synchronicity! Sounds like you are doing well and enjoying the summer.
    We enjoyed a brief 6-week mask hiatus but we’re back to it again, alas. I’m dialing back on work– my body (like the rest of us) isn’t quite like it once was. I want to spend more time tending my own garden with what little energy I have, as opposed to other’s. It is time to pass the baton, I think. Tough letting it go, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Synchronicity indeed, Eliza! 🙂 I never did take a hiatus from the mask, at least not in public. With family, yes. I didn’t get a chance to enjoy my friends without a mask (I wasn’t yet fully vaccinated when we saw some of our good friends in NE Ohio in the spring). I know what you mean about spending time tending your own garden (literally and figuratively), but also understand how it can be tough to let it go.

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  4. Nice to read about your July. I feel calmer just imaging your classes. We have abundant shrubbery and flowers too, especially the hydrangeas this year. Must have been perfect weather for them. We also have 2 bunnies after years with none.

    Katie and I are sleeping in the tent in the back yard as many nights as possible. She loves it and we’re trying to let her do as many things she loves as possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am glad you and Katie are enjoying some camping in the yard, Dawn. I need to catch up with you and Katie. I’ve been neglecting everything when it comes to blogging lately.

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  5. This is a lovely post, Robin. I think it’s great that you took the time to be and do in July. There are no rules to blogging except to be happy with what we produce, don’t you think?
    I have been watching some of the olympics, too. Our Canadian channels are not all that much better – yes, they do specials on various athletes and the timing of the games, thanks to the distance really blows so I feel I am always two days behind! Still. I guess the ease of the internet helps us to catch up to see what we want to see.
    I, too, did lots of sports, figure skating, gymnastics, volleyball, track and field. Never good enough to go all that far and I also assumed my body would keep up. Ahem. Not so. Still, the fact that we are doing something now is worth it. Yoga, running (mixed with walking for me), cycling – when my knee doesn’t object (what is up with that? Cycling is supposed to be the alternative when the knees say no to running!!) and whatever other exercises to keep our ageing, despite ourselves, bodies…
    You keep on being you and sharing when so inspired to do so!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale. 🙂 Nope. No rules at all when it comes to blogging although I have to admit I feel somewhat rude when I go off for extended periods of time without announcing a break — but then, when I announce a break, I decide I want to keep blogging. lol! Maybe that’s what I should do. Tell myself I’m taking a break. Next thing you know, I’ll be posting every day. 😉

      I’ve been admiring your dedication to walking/running via IG. That’s interesting about cycling. It does seem to be my best option lately. My knees and hips do a lot of talking to me when I walk (it’s not happy talk, either) and running is definitely out of the picture.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean. I never really announce when I take a break but my posting is rather erratic at best 🙂

        Thank you. I was so peeved this morning. I got a new sports watch and it counted NOTHING for my cycling! Ugh. So frustrating. And yes, cycling counts but trying to get my 10K per day for one year is not helped when cycling is not converted to steps 😉

        We have to listen to our bodies, don’t we? Knees, hips, whatnot sometimes go past talking into yellling 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I used to use this chart to convert my cycling into steps:

          Click to access step%20conversion%20chart_FFB805BB.pdf

          It would be nice if the sports watch thingies would find a way to do it for you AND count it. That’s why I went back to an old fashioned pedometer and using conversion charts. I can plug it into a spreadsheet or something if I want to keep track and it turned out it wasn’t any more or less convenient that the sports watch I had that wasn’t counting half the stuff I was doing.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The link doesn’t work but I think I have another somewhere. It’s just me being silly, really. I wanted my Fitbit to show my year’s worth but it died. I got a different watch and it’s more stingy on steps so I really have to work for my 10K! This not adding my cycling just bummed me out today (at least the Fitbit made some attempt!) Oh well. I know what I’ve done, right?

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              1. I thank you for your effort 🙂
                And yeah, they should have figured it out by now. It’s weird. With the Fitbit, I pedaled, counting my downswings to 400 – it matched with the Fitbit. As soon as I started pedalling faster, it dropped steps… Ah well.
                Glad to see I’m not alone in this 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel like I just had a catch-up visit with you, Robin–and I enjoyed the coffee. 😀 I’ve been seeing more eagles and osprey recently at the river park. August must be the time of year for this.
    I can’t believe it’s August either.
    I think this is the first time I really haven’t watched the Olympics at all. I remember being so annoyed by all the commercials last time, and I also can’t stay up, and. . .well, I guess I just don’t care.
    Beautiful photos as usual. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. It’s always good to see you, too. 🙂 I was just agreeing with Ally on the issue of the Olympics, and I see you feel the same way. I don’t care, either. We’re seeing more of the eagles and ospreys lately, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s great catching up with you, Robin! I didn’t know you were a gymnast in your early years. We took a segment of gymnastics in P.E. class, but I hated it! Especially the balance beam! It just felt too narrow to hold me up (probably because I was more used to the tennis courts, ha!) Isn’t it funny how time flies, whether we “accomplish” anything or not?!?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I delight in jumping into your photographs and your writing. I am a passionate novice with the camera, so please forgive me if it’s irritating to be asked what lens you use most, and what settings you use for the blurred out backgrounds. See, I don’t even know the proper terminology. LOL I do love visiting you. Thank you for sharing your art and your self with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, and thank you so much, Angie. 🙂 Questions are not irritating at all. It’s how you learn. I’m not sure I will be much help, but here goes… I’m using a Canon EOS Rebel T3i and the lens I use most is EF 75-300mm. I don’t know the proper terminology either. I just get out with my camera and play. I like the longer lens for close-ups because of the way it blurs the backgrounds (it’s good for capturing bokeh, too). As for settings, I can give you as an example the EXIF data for the photo with the yellow daylily (1/500s, f5.6), but honestly, I don’t know what any of that means even after years of photographing things. I just haven’t bothered to learn (mostly because I found it too confusing — my brain just wasn’t wrapping around all the info). It’s become intuitive. I walk the same paths most days and I get familiar with the light of the days and seasons, and that helps me figure out the settings.

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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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