Posted in Change, Covid-19, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Perception, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spiritual practices, Summer, Walking & Wandering, Weather, Wonder, Yoga

Contrasts

One dewy morning.

When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,

like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.

Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.

Let grief be your sister, she will whether or not.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.

A lifetime isn’t long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.

Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.

In the glare of your mind, be modest
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.

Live with the beetle, and the wind.

~ Mary Oliver

Looks like the kids are trying to sneak up on dad.

We woke up to hot and humid weather.  That’s not unusual for August.  It has me pondering the meaning of headlines in the news and on the weather website I visit to find out what’s in our possible future.  For example, this morning I dropped by the National Hurricane Center site to find out what Fred (the newest tropical depression) is up to and where he might be going.  I like to read the forecast discussions.  This morning’s discussion was written by Forecaster Cangialosi.  It was pretty straightforward, loaded with the usual weather jargon, and didn’t raise much in the way of alarm in my body-mind system.  (In case you’ve never read the discussions, some of the forecasters take a risk and add a little humor to their discussion posts so they can be fun as well as interesting to read.)  I read Forecaster Cangialosi’s write-up and then moved on to a weather site to see what’s up for the next few days as we prepare for a visit from M the Younger and our grandsons.  (It’s not looking good — rain in the forecast all next week.  But that could change.)

Flowers in the kitchen bathed with the just-after-sunrise light.

My visit to the weather site started with a glaring headline about tropical depression Fred.  I can’t remember the exact wording and they’ve changed it since the 8 AM update by the National Hurricane Center.  The current one is “Florida in Fred’s Projected Path; Strengthening Expected” and not quite as sensational or catastrophizing as the earlier headline (the one I can’t remember).  It was amusing to notice how the media hypes things.  Not that I wasn’t already aware of that fact, but to see it almost in action made it obvious just how ridiculous (and sometimes inaccurate) headlines can be in their attempt to draw you in.

In shadow and light.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Karin, who taught the Gita class, told us many stories.  Some of the stories were a background for the Gita.  Some of the stories were designed to teach a certain concept (parables might be a good word for that).  One of the stories was about Lakshmi and Alakshmi, two goddesses that are two sides of the same coin.  I won’t relate the whole story here (you can find it fairly easily with a quick search — it’s part of the Tantric system of yoga).  I thought of it when I saw the photo above (labeled “Shadow and light”), and I thought of how beauty generally encompasses both.  A practice that goes with the teaching of Lakshmi and Alakshmi is to take a shiny new coin and blacken one side of it (usually done via fire and burning it, but one of the other students suggested a black Sharpie would work).  You carry the coin with you as a reminder of balance (of light and shadow, day and night, power and humility, sun and moon, hot and cold, etc.).  We lose perspective when we allow ourselves to be overcome by one or the other.

Beauty in aging and decay (wabi-sabi).

Thank you so much for visiting with me today.  I hope you found some beauty today in the balance between light and shadow.  Without those contrasts, I think we’d take one or the other for granted.  Let’s go have a look at some light and shadow by meeting out at the Point for sunset.  Twilight, it is said, is the perfect balance of light and dark, day and night.  It’s in-between, not really one or the other.  A liminal time.  Sunset this evening is scheduled for 8:00 PM.  It’s probably going to be hot out there so you might want to go for a swim or a wade in the water.

Be safe, be well, be your beautiful self.  🙂

By the pond.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,826)  Contrasts and finding beauty in them.  1,827)  Watching the fawns grow up.  They are beginning to lose their spots.  (I don’t yet have any photos of them at their current stage in life.  I’ve been busy watching rather than running to get the camera every time I see them.)  1,828)  Pickled bell peppers.  I had a bunch of red and yellow bell peppers from the local market and decided to try pickling them.  They are delicious and I want to put them on just about everything.  1,829)  Fresh, homegrown, tomatoes.  And tomato sandwiches.  I will eat too many of them until the tomatoes are no longer in season because the season is short.  1,830)  Cooler weather on the way.  Or so they say.

Cherry tomatoes.

Author:

Robin is...

19 thoughts on “Contrasts

  1. I agree with both quotes – the second one touches me particularly. Not that I’m calling myself a beautiful person but I truly believe the dark helps you to focus on the light.

    I am on day 3 of finding beauty. I seriously doubt I shall go out gallivanting – other than in and out of a stor – after work as I’ve reached goal step-wise and frankly, it’s hotter than Hades out there! So this morning’s photos shall be the ones I post later. Unless, who knows?

    And, as always, your posts are beautiful in words and images.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always love the shadows and light in your photographs! Love the daddy deer too, I haven’t seen any males around our house, though they must be there, otherwise how are we getting all these twin babies year after year?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 Well, rumor has it among the conspiracy theorists who dislike feminists, that the feminist agenda is to be able to have children without men so… maybe your deer are feminists? 😉

      Like

  3. I often find that people who’ve never experienced darkness in their lives are so afraid of it that they deny it is happening when it is happening. My take is that without the darkness, you’ll never truly appreciate the light. I fear that the deniers don’t really know light.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very thought-full comment, Ally. Thank you. ♥ It may be possible, too, that they have experienced darkness but they have shut themselves off from it so there’s no depth for either light or shadow.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Robin. Absolutely love the “In shadow and light” image. I have learned a good image needs both shadows and highlights. I like the thought about the two sided coin…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you are so right about contrasts and shadow and light. And of course, you can’t have shadows, if you don’t have at least some light.
    Your photos are beautiful, as always. Enjoy those pickled peppers and fresh tomato sandwiches. I hope the weather is OK next week for your family’s visit.
    It is so hot and humid already this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I just came in from outside and ughhhh! Insta-sweat. It’s going to be a miserable day. I’m looking forward to the rain tomorrow. I hope it washes away some of this heat.
      Thank you, Merril. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re melting my heart with the little blue flowers and the fawns! Mary Oliver is right, a lifetime isn’t long enough to behold the beauty of this world. Even decay and loss have beauty. Thank you, Robin, for sharing so many glimpses of it in your lovely photos.

    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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