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Hands on

Praying hands.

People often said that eyes showed a person’s soul, but I’d always thought it was hands that spoke the truth

~ Veronica Rossi, Rebel Spy

Our troubled world today needs hands — helping, giving, loving, and caring hands — we need a lot of them, not fingers — pointing fingers — there are too many of them.

~ Andawn F

Family hands. (My granddaughters and their parents.)  2019.

My mother had big hands.  Or maybe it was that she had long fingers.  It’s one of those things people remarked on, especially when the cancer was eating her away from us.  Mom was short, like I am short.  Or I am short like she was short, if that’s more accurate.  I’m the shortest of five children. My father is tall, too.  M jokes and says I am fun-sized.  Sometimes I’m fun-sized.  Sometimes I’m just short and much, much too serious.

Musical hand(s).

M the Younger sent me some photos he took of me and the boys.  We were posing because nobody seems to take candid photos of me.  I have no objections when it comes to that.  I prefer to be behind the camera rather than in front of it and everyone who knows me well, knows that.  What I noticed as I looked at the photos, aside from the smiles and the silliness (who wants to pose seriously??) and the cuteness of my grandsons, were my hands.  They remind me of my mother.  My fingers are pretty much the only thing long and slim about me.  It wasn’t surprising.  I’ve noticed it before, during those times when I am examining my hands as I’m in downward facing dog, drawing, writing, or practicing my queenly wave as I address my public (joking about addressing my public because I don’t have a public that I address, nor do I like to speak in public, but I do kid around with an exaggerated queenly wave on occasion).

I once wrote a post about my hands.  Way back in May of 2007 on my Bountiful Healing blog.  It’s here, if you’re interested.  I don’t know if the photos will show up.  For reasons I can’t remember, I used to post them to Photobucket first and then link to them.  Maybe that’s how we had to do it back in the day?  I don’t know.

Flying into sunrise.

It’s been a quiet week except for the past two days of listening to a crop duster fly over nearby farms, buzzing over the house once in a while as the pilot turns the plane.  It’s too bad the crop duster didn’t show up when the boys were here.  I think they would have liked it, especially the way the small plane flies so low that you can see the pilot and wave to him.

It’s a time of seeds, berries, and fruit.

When you really listen to music, you become detached from the world; indeed you enter another world.  Within the shelter of music, other things become possible for you, things that you could never feel or know in your day to day world.  Sound can create a world as real as that of the clock, the field or the street.  You breathe and dwell within that soundscape as though it were a world specially created to mirror and echo the deepest longings of your life.  There is profound belonging in music which at certain times in your life can embrace and reach you more deeply than friend or lover.  It is as though music instinctively knows where you dwell and what you need.

~ John O’Donohue

I am still slowly savoring and making my way through John O’Donohue’s book, Beauty.  The section I’m reading now is about the beauty of music and voice and listening.  After the last sessions of Emergence Magazine’s Spiritual Ecology course, I began listening to the conversations that are all around me when I step outside.  There are all kinds of conversations happening.  You only have to pay attention.  The wind speaks, sings, hums, howls, and moans in harmony with grasses rustling or trees creaking.  Water and earth create sounds where they meet.  Walking has a syncopated beat to it, changing with the landscape (in the woods on dried leaves or pine needles, on the beach where the sand squeaks, tumbling on rocks) and the condition of the earth (dry, wet, hard, soft).  Those are just a few examples.  There are too many sounds and songs and conversations to describe in one blog post (or in one lifetime, maybe).

Persimmon tree.

This morning’s conversations and sounds were mostly about the cicadas and their high-pitched buzzing sound and Lloyd’s rooster crowing up the sun as he does every day.  There is a bird that sounds as if it’s singing, “You’re really, really, really rich.”  I can’t figure out what kind of bird it is.  The way bird songs are described in words is not how I hear them, and the way I hear them is not how they are described in words.  A search turns up nothing much (Google had this to say when I asked:  It looks like there aren’t many great matches for your search).

Change in color.

Because I’m reading about music, I decided it was high time I started listening to music again (other than on Funky Fridays with  I don’t know classical music very well.  I’ve been to quite a few concerts where they’ve played classical music, but there are not many pieces I could identify without a program.  This morning I tuned into Bach, a mix that included some of his Brandenberg Concertos.  Why Bach, you might ask?  He keeps showing up in newsletters and books and articles.  So, why not Bach?

Alight and rest.

I had been listening to other music over the past few weeks, before I arrived at John O’Donohue’s section on the subject.  Blasts from the past, mostly.  I’m always amazed at how relevant some of the music from the 60’s and 70’s continues to be.  I listen to some new (at least new to me) music, too.  I am a little late in discovering a band from Colorado called Elephant Revival.  They’re no longer together, but you can still enjoy their music.  Try this one:  Sing to the Mountain (be sure to sing/howl to the moon while you’re at it).  One of my favorite lines in the song is “And let your voice go/Let it pierce through your soul.”  Voice is something I’ve been exploring a lot for the past few months.  I’ve been exploring it in my art, in my writing, in my photography, and in my yoga practice.  More on that another day, perhaps.

I miss live music.  As of this writing, the 80th National Folk Festival will still be taking place up in Salisbury next month.  As you might recall, M and I went to the 79th National Folk Festival way back in 2019.  It seems like such a long time ago even though it isn’t, really.  (You can find my post about it here, if interested.)  They had to cancel it last year.  We have friends coming to visit and go with us to listen to the music.  It’s an outdoor event with masks required.  No final decisions have been made at this point.  We’re waiting to see what the numbers are and whether or not the event will actually take place.  I’m guessing it might, no matter what.  I don’t think we’re going into lock down again, no matter how dire things get, with the current attitudes in place (for instance, schools in that county and in the county I live in are not requiring masks at this point, with lame excuses about “we’ll see what happens,” as if they can’t see what’s already happening in other states).

I don’t think I’ve seen these bloom in the late summer before.  I don’t know how I would have missed them in the past, but maybe I did.

It looks as though things are heating up in the Atlantic.  Three storms whirling around out there.  One of them, Ida, is already a hurricane.  I don’t think we will have any interaction with any of them unless Ida brings rain this way.  It’s too early to tell.  One of the things I dislike about hoping a hurricane won’t come our way is knowing that if it doesn’t come here, it will impact people elsewhere.  My hope is that Ida doesn’t cause too much destruction and flooding wherever she makes landfall.

Doesn’t it look as though they are leaning in towards each other?

I should probably get up and make myself useful around here.  Thank you so much for visiting with me on this horribly hot and humid Friday (the “feels like” temperature right now is 110°F).  I’m going to skip going out for the sunset this evening, or watch from the backyard while listening and dancing to the music of Funky Friday (check it out:  It starts at 4 PM and runs until 7 PM.  It’s fun.  Sunset, however, is not as long lasting and is scheduled for 7:39 PM.  Meet ya in the backyard or maybe in the living room.  We’ll have a view of the setting sun from either space.

Please be safe, be well, and continue to be your beautiful self.

So many colors.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,851)  Butterflies and zinnias.  They seem to be made for each other.  1,852)  The changing conversations of the early morning hours.  1,853)  Watching the deer decide to go for a swim in the pond yesterday.  The whole herd, one after another, entered the pond.  I’m not sure if they were trying to cool off or get rid of the horseflies that have been torturing them.  Maybe both.  It was the first time I’ve seen them walk into the pond when it’s at high tide and deep.  1,854)  Finding my voice, whatever that means and is.  1,855)  M, always.  We are celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary today.  Love, always.  I’m not sure if I should feel blessed, lucky, or old.  lol!  All three?

A delicate dance.


Robin is...

23 thoughts on “Hands on

    1. True, Carol. I was just thinking this morning that the main problem is how the narrative is being driven by a loud, sometimes threatening, minority. Why is that, I wonder? Why are we allowing it? I was reading a story about how one guy with a loud mouth and no common sense is going around to various school districts protesting, loudly, masks and vaccine mandates. He doesn’t even have a child in those schools! And yet his message is getting the attention. Because he’s loud. Because he threatens violence. Because he’s white. A group of 10-15 white people march through a mall to protest wearing masks and they get national attention. I don’t believe the majority of people feel this way. Yet we allow the tantrums to take center stage.

      I sometimes think that instead of giving these folks the spotlight, perhaps we need to go back to shunning in a serious way. Then a part of me thinks that might have been the problem in the first place (that these people already feel like they are outliers and shunned). I’m glad I’m not in charge of the world. I have no answers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Neither do I have answers, but if those noisemakers are doing so because they felt ignored by “the system”, does that mean their damaging current behaviors need to be tolerated? If I don’t shun them, I would probably be verbally abusive because if I open my mouth what would probably come out would not be “poor you”.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Happy Anniversary, Robin and M. I almost missed seeing that. ❤️
    The butterflies and flowers are beautiful.
    I’m short, and I have small hands and feet. My kids both have long, slender fingers. Younger child has big hands, but I think they’re beautiful–also long, long legs–definitely not from me! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Merril. ❤ Isn’t it funny how different our kids can be from us? Both of my sons are giants in height. And yet, they have some of our traits and characteristics, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Anniversary, Robin and M! May you enjoy the many blessings of a lasting love as friendship, partnership and deep connection. I appreciated the reference to hands. Quite a few years ago, I wrote about my grandmother’s hands. So many loving gifts with her hands and special memories that warm and comfort me today. Thank you for evoking that beautiful memory. 🙏🏻❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your ‘leaning in’ image with the zinnia and monarch. I also miss live music. I miss listening to it and I miss playing it. Our community band had another board meeting last week, trying to figure out what to do. Our county just issued a mandatory in-school mask ruling, so, given we use the middle school means we have to wear a mask. I’m not opposed to the ruling at all. But it sort of makes playing together impossible. Plus…who wants to sit in a room that had been filled with instrument playing 6th graders? 🙂 So I think we are going to postpone getting together again. There might not be a season this fall. Or spring for that matter, because it doesn’t seem as though people are getting any more responsible. And the numbers here are getting terrible.

    Katie and I are waiting for the heat to diminish before we try a camping trip. It’s too hot outside all night for her to be out there. I have a kayak trip planned with a college roommate in mid-September, hoping the weather cooperates for that!

    Have a good weekend….thanks for the beautiful images.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you, Dawn. 🙂 Has your community band done any outdoor practice or concerts this summer?

      I hope you and Katie get to go on your camping trip soon and that the weather cooperates for your kayak trip and all the other things I know you like to do outdoors. 🙂


    1. Thank you, Laurie. 🙂 I think we’ll get a break in the heat after Ida moves through tomorrow night and Thursday. One of the weather guys was making noise about it feeling more autumn-like but, as usual, had to revise highs in the 70’s to highs in the mid-80’s. I suppose that will feel cooler. Just not autumn-like.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have my mother’s hands, too, and my sister has my father’s. It comforts me to have parts of them with us still… The dew point has dropped here so I’m looking forward to sleeping with the windows open tonight, and listening to the music of the katydids. Could your bird be a carolina wren?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think it’s a Carolina wren, Barbara. I hear them all the time, singing from the back deck. I did check online, in case they have a song I haven’t heard. It’s not the same. Thank you for giving it some thought and offering a suggestion. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy anniversary! You must have been a child bride, you aren’t that old. 🙂
    If you have a cell phone, you can download the Merlin app from Cornell Lab of Ornith. It is very cool, you hit record while a bird sings and it matches it and tells you what it is. I don’t have a cell, but friends have it and it is amazingly accurate (unlike the plant ID app they have!) Their Macauley library offers bird sounds as well. Your ‘really rich’ bird may be either a Common Yellowthroat or a Carolina Wren. You can see if either match what you heard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 Indeed I was. I did everything much too young but it somehow worked out.

      Thank you for the suggestions. I had the Merlin app for a while and then got rid of it (no room on my phone). I have a new phone with some room so I’ll check it out again. I did listen to both the Common Yellowthroat and the Carolina Wren. Neither sound like the bird I hear in the early mornings.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on your anniversary, Robin — with wishes for many more happy years together! I love your butterflies. I find them hard to photograph (perhaps I’m so enamored gazing at them that I fail to bring out a camera before they flutter away?!?) We’ve been having that hot and muggy weather, too — beastly, isn’t it? The weathercasters keep promising us a cold front, but it’s taking such a long time to arrive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debbie. 🙂 Butterflies can be difficult. You have to be willing to stand like a statue for a while and keep your movements really small and slow. Or have a lens that allows you to stand a good distance away. I do the statue thing. I got good at it when I was photographing hummingbirds in the garden a few years ago. Dragonflies are the easiest of the winged creatures to capture. They have territories and they fly and land in patterns. If you stand and watch, you can figure out the pattern, and then catch them with the camera.

      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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