I’m painfully aware that the experts in fields like religion and spirituality sometimes feel that bringing mysticism down so far into ordinary life is an insult to the great mystics and makes it all too light and breezy. I feel just the opposite. I believe that one day we’ll understand that we’ve lost out on religion because we made it too lofty and distant. I see it as a simple quality of everyday life, and in that simplicity lie its beauty and importance.
~ Thomas Moore, A Religion of One’s Own
Brief experiences of sublime absorption, as ordinary as being struck by the brilliant blue of a cloudless sky, may contribute to your sense of being religious. The mystical moments multiply and over time you extend the borders of yourself, you are less prone to protecting yourself, and you have more empathy with the people and the world around you. If you define religion as a strong sense of the divine, your daily mysticism contributes to that sense by drawing you out of yourself into nature and then beyond.
~ Thomas Moore, A Religion of One’s Own
Yesterday was the last day to submit your Walktober post. That said, if you’ve been around here for a while you know that I’ll be happy to extend the dates. Let me know if you need more time. I’ll probably start going through the walks on Wednesday so I can get the wrap-up written for next Monday.
If you’ve been around here for a while (didn’t I just use that phrase?), you know that every year since we moved to the Eastern Shore I go out to Pocomoke River State Park to see the fall foliage. I usually do it as part of the Walktober experience. One of my favorite spots is the pond near the Trail of Change on the Shad Landing side of the park. (The park is divided by the Pocomoke River. The Shad Landing side is on the south side of the river.)
I went out last Thursday, early in the morning, which you might think is a good time to be there in terms of the light. Unfortunately, that was not true when it came to photographing the pond and the trees around it. It was just too bright. Gorgeous for the eyes, not so great for the camera. I didn’t worry about it too much because my current motto is to take home more memories and fewer photographs. Nobody is going to look at the tens of thousands of photos I took and saved. Even I rarely go back and look at them. I see my collection of images as another example of hoarding although I think it is also important to note that photography has allowed me to pay attention and to see more.
It was a beautiful day for a hike around the small pond and into the woods. I did not walk the Trail of Change this time around. I’ll go back in a week or two and maybe walk it then. There was some fall color, but not a lot, in the woods. We’re just about reaching peak color now.
I got the new booster shot on Friday. It laid me out for most of the weekend. You might think this is odd but I’m very grateful for it. I feel more rested now than I have since I got sick with a cold after our last visit with our grandchildren. Being forced to lie around and rest might not be the best way to go about things, but it works. I slept a lot on Saturday. I worried it might ruin my sleep Saturday night. It didn’t. It was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a very long time. In fact, I’ve been sleeping through the night since Saturday, all the way through the night. That hasn’t happened in years and years. I hope it’s becoming a new habit.
I am also grateful for the vaccine itself. From what they’re saying, this winter could be rough.
I have had dreadful writer’s block lately. The words just don’t want to come. Writing this post is difficult, and I almost feel as if I should apologize in advance for the upcoming wrap-up of Walktober. It might turn out to be just a list of links if I can’t get the words flowing again.
Since I’m out of words for now, this is a good place to stop. Thank you so much for joining me on another walk in Pocomoke River State Park. I’d invite you out to the Point for sunset but the weather folks are saying the clouds and mist will be hanging around. Even so, we could go see whatever there is to see. Sunset is scheduled for 6:12 PM. It’s relatively warm today (around 70) and quite humid (which makes it feel warmer). I’m not sure you’ll need a jacket but it wouldn’t hurt to bring one.
Please be safe, be well, and take some time to just Be.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 3,016) Walks and hikes, especially during the autumn months when the foliage seems lit from within. 3,017) A walk on the boardwalk in Ocean City (MD) yesterday. It was cloudy, foggy, and misty, and I enjoyed being out by the ocean. 3,018) Frozen custard (because you can’t go to the boardwalk and NOT have frozen custard). 3,019) A clean bill of health. I’ve gotten all the screenings and doctor appointments out of the way for this year, and it seems I’m in relatively good shape. Yay, me! 3,020) Correspondence with good friends.