Posted in Air, Autumn, Beginnings, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Hope, In these strange times, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Other than human, Photography, Poetry, Quotes, Spirit, Spiritual practices, Walking & Wandering, Water, Wonder, Yoga

A Monday meander: Acts of love

Gathered.

And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

~ Wendell Berry

Sun lit on a frosty morning.

Listen privately, silently to the voices that rise up
from the pages of books and from your own heart.
Be still and listen to the voices that belong
to the streambanks and the trees and the open fields.
There are songs and sayings that belong to this place,
by which it speaks for itself and no other.

Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground
underfoot. Be it lighted by the light that falls
freely upon it after the darkness of the nights
and the darkness of our ignorance and madness.
Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,
which is the light of imagination. By it you see
the likeness of people in other places to yourself
in your place. It lights invariably the need for care
toward other people, other creatures, in other places
as you would ask them for care toward your place and you.

No place at last is better than the world. The world
is no better than its places. Its places at last
are no better than their people while their people
continue in them. When the people make
dark the light within them, the world darkens.

~ Wendell Berry, excerpted from This Place That You Belong To from This Day: New & Collected Sabbath Poems

When you lean in sometimes something leans back.

I’ve been taking a lot of walks lately.  There is nothing unusual about that.  What is different is my attitude.  I’m thinking of the walks as acts of love.  I walk, slowly some days, while singing and chanting and every now and then, breaking out in a little dance in the woods.  Occasionally some of the other residents on the ranch join me.  As I was chanting one afternoon, a doe walked a little distance away, parallel to me in the woods, as if she wanted to listen for a little while before she veered off into the marsh.  She kept pace with me, not skittish at all.  Our resident Great Blue Heron has suddenly been rather accepting of my presence, too.

An oak leaf.

In the last decade or so, my walks have frequently — maybe always — been acts of love.  What I photograph, how I photograph, are acts of love.  It’s just that I didn’t always think of them that way.  Writing, too, is an act of love.  So is my morning yoga practice.

About a month ago, in a post titled A love project, I wrote a little about this.  In the time since, I have been pondering what I would do as a love project and what came to mind at first were all the lifetime type of love projects that I have already been engaged in.  I bet you have a few of them, too.  It might be writing poetry or fiction, painting or drawing, photography, yoga, cooking, sewing, crafting, praying, walking, or any of a whole host of activities that you are drawn to, inspired, inspirited, or touched by.

Going with the flow.

I have come to realize that there are many things I do throughout the day that could be considered acts of love, if only I would think of them that way.  Yes, even the (sometimes) dreaded cleaning and laundry and washing of dishes.  I don’t dread them at all when I’m in the groove of “acts of love.”  Laundry?  Acts of love.  Scooping the poop out of the litter boxes?  Acts of love for Izzy and Bella.

Just as we sometimes look at everything as sacred or holy or magical, we can look at everything we do as an act of love.

Coming to rest.

I have, finally, decided on a love project.  The Mandala Magic course with Julie Gibbons has come to an end.  It was an incredible year of learning through the use of the mandala as a container.  Although Julie doesn’t teach techniques, I did come to learn a few through experimenting or looking for videos on how to do whatever it was I didn’t know how to do.

On a calm day.

My plan, which is open to change (because you know how it is with plans!), is to start a new art journal using the notes, quotes, poetry, and images I collected or wrote throughout the 200-hour yoga teacher training (from 2019-2020).  Because I find it difficult to read long articles and such online, I printed out a lot of stuff.  I could leave it sitting in the file cabinet until I decide it’s time to throw it away.  That seems such a waste of paper and trees.  Better to use it for something.  Let it all become part of an act of love.

Time to explore.

Thank you so much for joining me on another meander.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset.  It’s scheduled for 4:43 PM.  We have had some fairly warm (in the 60’s) weather today, but it is windy and getting windier (gale warning in effect).  It is also cooler by the water so I’d suggest a jacket, maybe a hat.

Please be safe, be well, and find some time to just be.

Having a look around.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,921)  Doing the final assignment in the Mandala Magic course.  As someone with a reputation for not finishing what she started, I’m quite pleased with having worked (and played!) my way through the almost year-long course.  I put the finishing touches on the last mandala today.  1,922)  Reading the letter I wrote to myself at the beginning of the Mandala Magic project.  It was part of the first module and in it I listed my intentions for the year.  After sealing it in an envelope that was taped inside the front cover of my art journal, I pretty much forgot all about it.  It was surprising to find that I pretty much stuck with the intentions I set at the beginning, and went a little above and beyond.  1,923)  Starting a new art project.  I’m excited.  1,924)  Sweet potato pie.  1,925)  Learning a new chant.  I’m struggling with it a bit (because it’s in Sanskrit), but that’s often the case with something new.  It does me good to focus and struggle a little.

A recent sunset.

Author:

Robin is...

20 thoughts on “A Monday meander: Acts of love

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 Your Monday Morning Musings seem (to me) to include a lot of acts of love in some of the every day things you do. That’s part of what makes them so beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love that the animals are somehow aware of what you’re doing. At least it sounds like it. I think they rarely are tolerant enough of us to keep us company unless they feel good energy from us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the other residents here on the land are very much aware of what we’re doing, Kristine, just as we’ve noticed some of their patterns. In fact, I’d venture to guess that they are more aware of us than we are of them most of the time. Somehow the deer seem to know when it’s hunting season. We rarely see them during that time. We’ll see them again when the season ends in January/February.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful photos as always. Yes, acts of love. How much better to think of chores that way rather than resent the time they take, which, alas, has been my usual approach. However, this summer, we cleaned, painted, and decluttered one of our spare bedrooms for our daughter for an extended stay. (She is still with us!) We bought some new things. We refurbished old things. Definitely an act of love that brought us much joy.

    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!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.