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Morning light and shadows

Sunrise through the raindrops resting on the kitchen window.

By opening up our heart then, the blessings come in. If our hearts are closed, then, like they say, like the sun is shining, but if you close all the shutters and the curtains, then the room is dark. If you open it up, then the sun is always there. It will lighten you if we open up to it. So from the Mahayana point of view, the whole universe is filled with blessings. All we have to learn how to do from our side is to learn how to develop that quality of openness and devotion and trust in order for those blessings to percolate into our own heart.

~ Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

To perceive the world through other senses is to find splendor in familiarity, wilderness in one’s backyard, the sacred in the mundane.

~ Ed Yong

Raindrops, light, greenery.

Hello!  How are you?  I’ve been thinking about those old coffee share posts (which I believe some people are still doing) and how much I miss them.  So, in the spirit of a coffee share (without the official participation), come on in out of the heat.  Let me get you something cool and refreshing to drink.  Since this is the world of our imaginations, any drink of your choosing is possible.  I’m an iced tea kind of gal, year-round.  I find it especially restorative in the summer months.  Tea can be energizing (when it’s caffeinated or spicy), calming, soothing, and, well, pretty much all the things since there are so many different types of tea.  However, with this being an unofficial coffee share, I should tell you that coffee is available, too.  Hot, warm, or iced.  Your choice.

Let’s have a seat at the table in the kitchen where we can enjoy the light without the heat.  There are red roses blooming just outside of the picture window and maybe the deer with their fawns or the turkeys with their chicks (or poults) will wander by where we can see them.  If you take the seat on the far left — usually given to guests — you’ll have a good view of the pond and one of the flower gardens.  You might want to keep a quiet eye on the pond.  Our resident Great Blue Heron (he of the white head) spends a lot of time fishing the pond, and it’s possible you might see an osprey or eagle diving for fish.

Learning new tricks. I show you this not because I think it’s good but because it was the first exercise I did for a new (to me) abstract art class I’m enrolled in. The point of this exercise was to use the tools we have and see how they work. Or don’t work, if it turns out we don’t like what they provide.

So, tell me… what have you been up to lately?  How is summer treating you so far?  Or winter, if you’re in the southern hemisphere?  For those of you in summer, how are you staying cool?  It looks as though the heatwave we are in the midst of here on the island is pretty much everywhere right now.  Have you traveled anywhere recently?  Read any good books or seen any good films?  How about music?  What are you listening to these days?

Looking at the world — or outside the window — with soft eyes.  (I have been experimenting with blur lately.  My camera has been giving me a lot of blur and seems to have some difficulty focusing without a lot of messing about so I figure when in Rome, go with the blur and see what happens.  I’m rather enjoying the softness.

I could complain about the heat and humidity, but what’s the point?  It’s weather.  It will change, given time and seasons.  The flowers are not complaining.  As long as we get the occasional rainfall, they are thriving in the heat.  The hydrangea just outside of the office window where I sit and type up my posts is heavy with blossoms, bees, and a variety of butterflies.  There has been a recent influx of Eastern Swallowtail butterflies who spend some morning time on the hydrangea flowers.  The birds seem to like it, too, although I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s a good, shady place to sit and rest.

Sunrise bokeh (from this morning).

I have a new personal yoga practice to start my day.  I suppose it’s not entirely personal since there are a group of us that are giving this practice a try.  But I can and do personalize it to suit my body, my mind, my heart, my needs.  I think I might have mentioned in some previous post, long ago, that I was committed to a 1,000 Days Project, and that project is to do my morning practice every day.  Not so much as a goal but as devotion, as something that opens my heart and mind to the day and to life, perhaps to prayer.  Today is day 683.

Some days the practice is slow and long and voluptuous (isn’t that a strange word to use for a yoga practice?  And yet, it is that).  Some days it’s short and to the point because that’s all I have in me that day.  The practice changes day by day by day even if the basics are somewhat the same.  It starts with a little checking in to see what my body, my mind, my heart, my soul need, or maybe just to listen in to what they have to say.  Then there’s a little bit of chanting, a little bit of prayer (a thank you, an asking for help, or just a listening or leaning in), some movement (asana) when I can, more breath work (pranayama), meditation, and a last thank you and chant to wrap things up.  Something simple.  Om shanti shanti shanti (peace, peace, peace).  Or to the same tune: thank you, thank you, thank you.

There was something especially lovely about the light this morning.

In other news, I’m enrolled in a new art class.  Soulful Abtracts with Laly Mille.  It was one of those spur of the moment decisions.  I’m fascinated with abstract art, and have come to realize through my attempts at it that there is method to the madness.  It might look as though the artist is just throwing paint around any which way, but try it.  It’s not as easy as we might think it is.  Oh, sure, you can splash some paint or ink around and scribble some lines or circles over it.  But there is something else there that artists capture, something that has a meaning or message to it.  In my attempts at it, I’ve started to feel (and/or think) that there has to be a looseness, an openness, a surrender to whatever wants to come through.  One reason I think that is because I can see it in the art my oldest grandson produces.  There is an ease there that I don’t yet have.  He goes with his own flow.  I don’t think he’s developed his own inner critic just yet.  I hope he never does, at least not when it comes to anything artistic/creative.  Constructive criticism is good stuff.  That yammering voice inside that insists you’re not good enough is not.

Anyhow.  We’ll see how it goes.  Painting, drawing, collaging, and the other mixed media things are play time for me.  I want to keep it that way.  It keeps the inner critic quiet when I show up and just make a mess.  It’s possible, too, that what I’m playing with on paper and canvas has me seeing things a little differently when it comes to my photography.  Time will tell.

Morning light through the office window.

Shall I tell you a little secret?  When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer and an artist.  I also wanted to be a nun.  Somehow it feels like the three are converging as I enter this aging part of life.  Well, maybe not the nun part, but I do have an appreciation for spirituality, meditation, and prayer.  It’s been an interesting journey from there (childhood) to here.  I feel fortunate, in many ways, to be bringing forth some of my childhood wishes even at this later stage in life.

The purple coneflowers don’t mind the heat in the least.

This feels like a good place to stop my meandering and turn things over to you.  Leave me a note in the comments, if you wish, to let me know how life is going with you.

Thank you so much for visiting with me.  Let’s head out to the Point for sunset.  We’ve had some colorful sunsets lately, and it’s been a while since I’ve actually gone to the Point to have a look.  I’ve watched from home, but it’s much nicer to stand at the water’s edge and see that wide-open view.  Sunset is scheduled for 8:21 PM.  It will be hot but they’re saying not quite as humid.  We had some storms move through yesterday evening and that seems to have spawned a bazillion mosquitoes.  Just giving you some fair warning on that.

Please be safe and be well.  And keep imagining the world you wish to see.

Yesterday’s sunset. I was a little late to the show (I was watching the J6 hearings), but did catch some of the color.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  2,051)  I hate to say it but… air conditioning.  I’m conservative with it.  Still, I feel like I should do something to balance out my summer energy usage by promising not to use too much heat in the winter.  2,052)  All of the interesting and beautiful clouds that have been floating by recently.  2,053)  Learning and new projects.  2,054)  Dr. Holly, the vet who did Bella’s surgery on Monday.  Bella had three teeth extracted and she’s recovering really well.  2,055)  The body’s cooling system.  In other words, sweat.

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.

16 thoughts on “Morning light and shadows

  1. Been a while since you did a coffee share! Yes, HOT is what most of the northern hemisphere is right now. Extreme summer, shall we say? We never needed AC years ago, heat waves were short and infrequent, maybe 2 or 3 a summer, no longer. We have 3 units now. I can’t take the heat and humidity the way I did when I was younger, it makes me feel ill now.
    But as you said, the garden is loving it! I go out early and late in the day to putter and enjoy the pollinators humming and flitting about me. Such a joy. Makes my day, really!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you catch the morning light and moisture in your photos. I would love to sit in your guest seat and see the pond and the great blue heron early in the day. What an inspiring way to start the day, complete with a cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such beautiful photos, Robin, and how fun to have coffee/tea with you. I’m actually reading this while drinking morning coffee. 🙂
    I feel bad about using a/c, too, but it’s on, and it will stay on for the foreseeable future. The heat and humidity bother me much more than they did when I was younger.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was lovely and relaxing. I’m glad you’re experimenting with art and abstract. I know it’s not so easy. I find abstract photography easier….it’s usually a result of me not paying attention and moving the camera when I don’t think I’m taking a picture! 🙂 I loved the light through your office window image the best of these this time. You have lovely light out on the island!

    My sister is here visiting, we’re going camping next week for a couple days. We went up to the Nature Preserve yesterday (so yes I have more photos to get processed and shared). We visited my aunt earlier in the week and went swimming and for a long walk in the Arboretum. This part of my summer is good, though it is still tinged with grief.

    We MIGHT be thinking about maybe getting a puppy. But we haven’t decided and haven’t said anything to anyone except family. But you’re sort of family so I’ll share that I’m scared of having a puppy again…so much work. I am not sure I’m ready, but the THOUGHT of a puppy makes me feel a little less sad. Confusing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 I like what you wrote about abstract photography. It’s IS so much easier (and usually the result of a mistake). Maybe mistakes are the key to painting abstract art.

      It is very confusing when one of our furry family members dies. It took me a long time to get over CJ the Wonder Cat (not sure anyone remembers her from my very early blogging days). Well, I thought it was a long time. Maybe it wasn’t. Bringing in Izzy and Bella as kittens who tore the place up and got into all sorts of trouble helped with the grief. (Now I’m laughing thinking about all the things they used to do as kittens.)

      Like

  5. Your “abstract” photos of the rain on the window are absolutely stunning, Robin. I love that you decided to embrace it. And your art. And your meditation and yoga practices. All wonderful parts of you.
    As for the heat. I can’t be bothered with worrying about the environment when the temps are so bloody high. That A/C has been pumping it out non-stop. Because every time I think, okay, today I can open windows… I regret it. Maybe later 😉
    Love your coffee share. I haven’t done one in eons either. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dale. 🙂 I’ve had similar regrets. Usually opening the windows results in a sticky house because the humidity has been so high. It seems like it takes longer to cool the house back down, using more energy, than if I leave the a/c on at a steady temp.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! I so miss my central air. You can set it at a comfy temp and it goes off and on itself. Now, with a wall unit? Fuggedaboutit ..

        Like

  6. I love your meanderings. About those coffee share posts, I miss them too. They are still going on. I’m also thinking of doing my own without officially participating. I find myself blogging in my phone these days and that makes it difficult to copy all the links and put mine in the right place. So I’ll do my own.. Maybe a wine hour share!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely post, Robin! How wonderful you’re trying some new, different things. Yes, definitely keep that inner critic at bay — I think that’s why so many of us say we “can’t draw” or “can’t write.” We’re just too hard on ourselves, when there’s no “right” or “wrong” to creativity! May I confess I’m a tad jealous over your coneflowers?? I planted several last year and NOT A ONE returned this year. I don’t know what went wrong, but I’m not happy about it. Maybe I’ll try again next year, after the soil has a chance to regroup.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Debbie. 🙂 We were unable to grow coneflowers for the longest time. They’re easy here (they seem to grow all over the place without our help, although we did plant the ones pictured). I don’t know how many times I planted coneflowers in NE Ohio before I finally got some that would come back every year.

      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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