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A Monday meander: Happy Solstice

News from family.  (Taken by M the Younger and sent to me, where I heavily edited it so that the boys are not so readily identifiable.)

To go into the dark with a light
is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark,
go without sight.
And find
that the dark too
blooms and sings
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

~ Wendell Berry

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Posted in Air, Art, Autumn, Blast From the Past, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Family, Gifts, Grandparenthood, Gratitude, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Little Wookie, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Perception, Photography, Play, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Summer, The Bogs, Walking & Wandering

And now for something

Water, an abstract.   (This one is mine.)

True emptiness is also an openness of being. It is an ongoing receptivity to the wonder of life.

~ Beverly Lanzetta

‘Emptiness’ means empty of a separate self. It is full of everything, full of life. The word emptiness should not scare us. It is a wonderful word. To be empty does not mean non-existent. Emptiness is the ground of everything. Thanks to emptiness, everything is possible.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Posted in Air, Art, Assateague Island, Autumn, Beach, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Little Peanut, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Play, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather

A Monday meander: Arts and crafts

Last Friday, on Assateague Island, somewhere in the backcountry.

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

~ e. e. cummings

My word of the year is listen.

It’s one of those words whose meaning is in its music. Listen is a quiet word, that half swallowed L and diffident I and softly hissing S. It defies the clamorous words it absorbs, the words that have defined this year, the shouts and roars, the bray and bluster. Listening is hard when the sounds around us grow mean and ugly.

And listening takes particular courage in divisive times.

It’s long past time that we quiet our animal spirits. Our fierce public battles, political fights that have infected our friendships and family, have degraded our discourse, defaced institutions, disturbed our peace. I grew up in Quaker schools, which included regular silent meetings. This did not come naturally to nine-year-olds. But I found then, and need to be reminded now, that we can’t hear the soft, sane voice inside us if we’re talking all the time, and certainly not if we’re shouting.

Instead, let’s listen. Invite surprise. Invest in subtlety. And surrender to silence once in a while.

~ Nancy Gibbs

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Posted in Air, Art, Assateague Island, Autumn, Beach, Beginnings, Change, Covid-19, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Hiking, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Play, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Wonder

A Monday meander: Snow day

It snowed this morning!  (Hopefully you can see the white stuff that might look like lint on your screen.  It’s snow!)

I bless this day in the fullness of good it already contains, in the many occasions it offers to listen deeply, to be of service to others, to express gratitude moment by moment and to keep my mind so filled with love, beauty and joy that no negativity can find even the tiniest crack in which to set foot.

I bless this day in the infinite opportunities it gives me to love:  to love and bless every human I meet, every beast or bird I pass by, every plant I behold, for all are but the manifold expressions of the infinite Life that undergirds all.

Truly, I bless this day for the wonderful adventure it can become as I walk through it with the eyes of wonder rather than boredom, use every opportunity to express peace rather than irritation, and choose love over fear.

Thank you, Life, for this day.

~ Pierre Pradervand, 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World

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Posted in A bit of history, Air, Art, Autumn, Beach, Earth, Eastern Shore, Fire, Gifts, Heartfulness, Listening, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Water, Wonder

Something beautiful on a Sunday morning

A sunset from the past week.

Is giorra cabhair Dé ná an doras.
Divine help is closer than the door.
(Celtic proverb)

If you have a few moments, please watch Blessings, a short film, at Emergence Magazine.  There are no ads, no spamming of any sort.  It’s a beautiful reading of part of David Whyte’s Blessings poems.

Posted in Art, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Exploring, Family, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Grandparenthood, Gratitude, Health & Well-Being, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Life, Little Peanut, Little Wookie, Love, Mindfulness, Nature, Ohio, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Summer, The Bogs, Walking & Wandering, Weather

A Monday meander: Rituals

At the pump.

While we have much to learn from indigenous cultures about forms of rituals and how ritual works, we cannot simply adopt their rituals and settle them neatly onto our psyches. It is important that we listen deeply, once again, to the dreaming earth and craft rituals that are indigenous to us, that reflect our unique patterns of wounding and disconnection from the land. These rituals will have the potency to mend what has been torn, heal what has been neglected. This is one way that we may return to the land and offer our deepest amends to those we have harmed.

~ Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief

At the core of this grief is our longing to belong. This longing is wired into us by necessity. It assures our safety and our ability to extend out into the world with confidence. This feeling of belonging is rooted in the village and, at times, in extended families. It was in this setting that we emerged as a species. It was in this setting that what we require to become fully human was established. Jean Liedloff writes, “the design of each individual was a reflection of the experience it expected to encounter.” We are designed to receive touch, to hear sounds and words entering our ears that soothe and comfort. We are shaped for closeness and for intimacy with our surroundings. Our profound feelings of lacking something are not reflection of personal failure, but the reflection of a society that has failed to offer us what we were designed to expect. Liedloff concludes, “what was once man’s confident expectations for suitable treatment and surroundings is now so frustrated that a person often thinks himself lucky if he is not actually homeless or in pain. But even as he is saying, ‘I am all right,’ there is in him a sense of loss, a longing for something he cannot name, a feeling of being off-center, of missing something. Asked point blank, he will seldom deny it.

~ Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief

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Sunrise on a Friday

Softly rising.

Faith means living with uncertainty — feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark.

~ Dan Millman

To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh.

~Pema Chodron

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