The innocent mistake that keeps us caught in our own particular style of ignorance, unkindness, and shut-downness is that we are never encouraged to see clearly what is, with gentleness. Instead, there’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, and that if we could just learn how to get away from the painful things, then we would be happy. That is the innocent, naïve misunderstanding that we all share, which keeps us unhappy.
~ Pema Chödron
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
~ Henri Nouwen
Although it seems too soon to be doing so, I’ve been thinking about Walktober. One reason is that I’d like to be finished with summer. We have had a relatively cool summer compared with some past summers, but that last heat wave that we just exited from was a doozy. It made me ready for cooler days and nights.
Another reason is the sense of community and participation that the event brings. It has grown, year by year, and I very much enjoy being able to walk with those who invite us to walk with them. It’s a way of seeing parts of the world I might not otherwise see, and seeing them through the eyes and words of another.
Last but not least, there are so many hints of autumn going on right now that it’s difficult not to be thinking ahead to the shorter and cooler days. Flowers have changed to berries or other fruits, the Monarch butterflies are back in force, flocks of birds fly overhead in the early morning hours on their way here or there, the bird songs have changed, the angle of the sun is different, and it’s dark in the early morning once again. My favorite time of day is the transition from night to sunrise to morning in its glory, and in some of the summer months, that happens way too early (even for me!).
Our trip to the mountains of Pennsylvania is having an influence on me, too. It was hot there, as it had been hot nearly everywhere in the U.S. at that time, but the goldenrod was in bloom and some of the leaves on the trees were already showing hints of color other than green. I’m seeing some of that here, too. The goldenrod is not yet in bloom, but it’s budding. The cherry tree leaves have changed and are dropping from the trees. The sumac is colorful. On my walk this morning I noticed how dark it is in the Mystery Woods. The greens that were bright in the spring have deepened throughout the summer.
I don’t want to spend too much time thinking ahead and wishing away the days. They say there is so little of it (time) in the course of a human life. It seems to me there is plenty when I’m in the present moment.
In case you’re wondering, I do plan to host Walktober this year. We don’t need to get into the details right now. Better to wait until later next month to get into all of that.
I don’t really have a lot to meander and ramble on about today so this seems as good a time as any to wrap up the post. Thank you so much for stopping by and meandering on a little hike at Trough Creek State Park with me. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset. It’s scheduled for 7:58 PM. We have had some gorgeous clouds lately. Sometimes that translates to gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. We’ll have to wait and see what will be. It’s warm today, but not too bad. Not too bad at all (compared to last week’s heat).
Please be safe, be well, and just Be.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 2,071) The many colors and personalities of sunrise. 2,072) Something exciting that I hope to be able to announce soon. 2,073) Monarch butterflies, flitting about the area. 2,074) A day at the beach yesterday. It was relaxing and restorative and much needed. 2,075) Morning yoga on the front porch. It’s cool enough again that I can do my practice out there.