Posted in A bit of history, Air, Autumn, Cats, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Family, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Grandparenthood, Gratitude, Health & Well-Being, Heartfulness, Home, In these strange times, Life, Little Peanut, Little Wookie, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Ohio, Other than human, Photography, Play, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Retrospective, Spirit, Spiritual practices, Spring, Summer, The Bogs, Travel, Walking & Wandering, Winter, Wonder
Watching the sunrise through the hydrangea.  (From August.)

The Bright Field

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receeding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

~ R.S.Thomas

One of my favorite images from this past year: A morning at the museum.  It seems to express a lot of what was going on in 2021.

Hello.  It’s been a little while.  How are you?  Staying safe and well, I hope.  These are truly strange and sometimes scary times we are living in.  I don’t know about you but I occasionally feel as if I entered a book or a movie and I’m waiting to see how it all turns out.  Very often a book or movie can be predictable, and you know that everything will work out in the end.  Life?  Not so much.  This will end when it ends, however it ends.  The powers that be decided to let things run their course.  There are many theories as to why that is, ranging from greed to incompetence to racism.  Perhaps it’s all of the above.  It doesn’t matter.  We’re well into it now.

Bella, who loves to get under the covers when she naps.

I fully intended to post on or about the Solstice, as I have every year, about my word or theme for the year.  It was about that time that Bella (one of our two feline members of the family) was noticeably doing poorly.  The upshot of that is she has some teeth that need to be taken care of and kidney disease.  The teeth will require surgery.  It’s scheduled for January 3rd (the soonest they could schedule it, what with the holidays and all).  However, they will have to run a full kidney panel before the surgery and that could determine whether or not they go through with the surgery.  Kidney disease is fatal.  There are things we can do to help prolong her life (diet, in particular), but the question is not so much about length as it is about quality.  As of this writing, Bella seems happy enough.  We’ve been able to get her to eat and drink enough to keep her comfortable and alive and pretty much acting like her usual self in most regards.

From May (I’m leaving the captions as they were except for the addition of letting you know when it was taken or maybe why I picked it for this post):  I will probably take a million photos of the daisies. They make me feel happy when I see them.

If they do the surgery and she’s able to physically eat normally again, we’re going to have the problem of one spoiled kitty on our hands.  Because she won’t eat her normal cat food and she is refusing the kidney diet food, we’ve taken to feeding her salmon and tuna.  The stuff they package up for people.  It’s actually cheaper than the tuna cat treats that I was able to get Bella to eat when she refused everything else.  But it’s also pretty much all that she will eat right now.  On the positive side, the kidney diet is high in protein and she’s certainly getting plenty of that.

Uplifting.

Bella and Izzy, her litter mate have been members of our family for almost 15 years.  We decided we, her people, should be with her if/when she dies, not a petsitter.  It is also true that it was better for us to be here with her while she was deciding whether to live or die.  We cancelled our holiday plans to head west and be with family.  Our lovely petsitter would have been perfectly capable of caring for Bella but at that point we had no idea if Bella was going to die or pull through.  There was one day when I thought she was dying because she was refusing all food and drink, and twitching uncontrollably.

It should also be noted that after we made the decision to stay at home, there were some Covid positive teachers and family members turning up around some of our family in Ohio.  Staying home with Bella probably kept us from being exposed and/or becoming ill.

Also from May. A red fox on a sunrise walk.

While I was not writing blog posts, WordPress informed me that it has been 15 years since I started blogging with WordPress.  I started with WordPress just before Izzy and Bella became part of our family.

June.  Comfortable in the garden.

In addition to being with Bella, I’ve had plenty of time (with her sitting on my lap) to ponder and wonder about a word or theme for the year.  I thought it might be Love because it is showing up everywhere lately.  Somehow it didn’t quite fit.  Then I read one of Richard Rohr’s newsletters (Daily Meditation) for this week and my heart lit up.  It was about praying for wisdom and maybe it’s best if I just quote from him and from the newsletter:

On the last day of the year, I generally withdraw to pray. A few years ago, I asked myself: What should I pray for this year? What do we need in these turbulent times? Naturally I was strongly tempted to pray for more love. But it occurred to me that I’ve met so many people in the world who are already full of love and who really care for others. Maybe what we lack isn’t love but wisdom. It became clear to me that I should pray above all else for wisdom.

We all want to love, but as a rule we don’t know how to love rightly. How should we love so that life will really come from it? I believe that what we all need is wisdom. I’m very disappointed that we in the Church have passed on so little wisdom. Often the only thing we’ve taught people is to think that they’re right—or that they’re wrong. We’ve either mandated things or forbidden them. But we haven’t helped people to enter upon the narrow and dangerous path of true wisdom. On wisdom’s path we take the risk of making mistakes. On this path we take the risk of being wrong. That’s how wisdom is gained.

There was more, but you get the general idea.

July.  Morning light.

Wisdom feels right.  Scary, and/but right.  But wait!  There’s more!  I was listening to a talk recently and the person (sorry, can’t remember who it was) quoted something from Osho.  I’ll paraphrase as best I can from memory:  Don’t create a wall of knowledge around yourself.  “Ah-ha!” I thought.  Because this is what I do.  I research.  I gather knowledge and quotes and books and talks, and I build a wall around myself with it.  Stone by stone, I collect learning and quotes and other ephemera.  Love is not something you can just read about or research and then say, “I get it!”  Love, as bell hooks reminded us, is an action.  A verb.  You live love, you experience love, you be love.

So, my point (if I have one) is that I’ll be leaning in to these three attitudes or perspectives, allowing or opening to the wisdom of love rather than trying to gather the knowledge of it in order to build another wall.  I’m not sure how other than to approach it all with curiosity and see what happens.  I do think the idea and implementing of acts of love is a great start.

August.  Our stuff, waiting for us to come back. I think this was the sunniest day we had. One of the hottest, too.

Well, then.  There is so much more I could ramble on about today.  I’m in that kind of mood, wanting to write and write and write.  That would be unfair to you.  So, let’s end this post with some gratitude.  Thank you, so very very much, for visiting with me today, for visiting with me throughout all the past years (some of you have stayed with me throughout all my blog iterations), and for being a friend.  Thank you for putting up with all my meanders and ramblings and inconsistencies.  I hope your holidays were peaceful, loving, enlivening, and good.  I wish and hope the same for you in 2022.  May it be so.

I’d invite you out to the Point for sunset but it looks like it will be nothing but clouds.  Possibly rain.  I do hope it rains.  We are in a drought situation here on the Lower Shore and could use it.  We’ve put out water for the birds and deer and others who share this land with us.  Sunset is scheduled for 4:52 PM.  If it’s not raining, I might head out there just for a walk.  You’re welcome to join me.  It’s fairly warm today (upper 50’s), but cool by the water.  A jacket will probably be good enough.

Please be safe, be well, and just be.  ♥

September.  Playing the spoons (and forks) in the garden. (M made this. I love the sound of it.)

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,936)  We’ve survived another year.  Almost.  2021 isn’t quite finished yet.  1,937)  Looking back on some of the memories from this past year.  There is so much joy and good to be found in spite of living in such interesting times, or maybe because of it we’re made more aware of what is important and what is not.  1,938)  Bella, hanging in there and being her sweet self.  1,939)  Izzy, who has been cuddling up to her sister lately.  1,940)  Friends, family, love.

October. This was one of my favorite nature shots from our trip to West Virginia. I was surprised to see I hadn’t posted it here.

Author:

Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

10 thoughts on “

  1. Great collection of photos … July morning light is my favorite … Simply stunning! News about the struggles of a family pet is always gut wrenching for me. Horrible! Positive thoughts your way. Thanks for a bit of Richard Rohr – another one with brilliance.

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  2. Beautiful photos, Robin, and congrats on hitting your 15th blogiversary…. a monumental achievement! I like your new word focus… we could use more wisdom in all quadrants.
    Sending good wishes to Bella. I’ve had two cats that had kidney failure and it is sad indeed. May the dietary changes improve things greatly.
    Happy New Year!

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  3. Congratulations on 15 years, Robin. I send blessings for dear Bella.

    I so enjoy Rohr’s daily meditations. They feed my soul and provide respite in ways I wasn’t aware I needed it. As for a word…I had not done that in the recent years, owing mainly to being in a state of confused uncertainty. I chose to go with it and it has served me well. What I am noticing for myself is a commitment to curiosity. I’ve written about it in the past. However, the curiosity that I am feeling now is the kind of openness that provides space for letting go of some of what I now know has gotten in the way of my seeing what else might be possible. Lingering in curiosity feels like a new opening…a new way of living and experiencing each day; Allowing “what is” to be the space I’m living in and being curious about what may be possible. Appreciating uncertainty and giving up what I though was most important…certainty about some things. Lovely post, Robin. Blessings for a new year filled with the deepening discoveries of the wisdom that you have within. ❤️

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  4. Happy New Year, Robin. I hope your sweet cat will hang on (in a good way) for a while. Our daughter’s cat has been going through a similar thing with her cat for almost a year. Your photos are stunning. I particularly like the fox. Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy new year!

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  5. Love is a verb, and it’s not the knowledge we create around ourselves. That is resonating right now. I love how you show your love for Bella–and for blogging. So sweet.

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  6. “But wait! There’s more!” Thank you for the Ron Popeil laugh in the midst of a serious post. I will keep your kitty in mind; I deeply understand how this feels. I’m so glad you are safe and I wish you every good thing for the coming year.

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  7. what a joyful wander through these months following your camera – every picture cheers the heart! I always enjoy your physical and verbal rambles, Robin. That word you chose is hard to summon on some people and in some situations, but that is when it counts most! Good luck with that and all the best for 2022 – and congrats on 15 yrs (I just passed the decade recently)

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  8. Meanderings are the bet way to find the way.
    Despite all we do, all will turn out the way it will turn out. (You made the best choice to stay home)
    Wishing you a Happy New Year of Smiles
    (PS we used canned tuna and salmon with RC Cat also – for a long time. She hated those special diet foods, but did well on the purple Little Friskies Turkey and Gibblets dinner pate. The senior version is actually good and recommended, but of course that was discontinued. RC made it to almost 20. She slipped quietly away from us due to renal failure. Soft paw pats sent to your realm.)

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    1. Thank you, PhilosopherMouse. I’m so sorry to hear about RC. Almost 20! That’s amazing. Still, it’s sad to see them go at any age. Thank you for the soft paw pats. I’ll pass them on to Bella. ♥

      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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