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A Friday update

The humidity is bringing us lovely light that paints the landscape.

… I couldn’t point to any enormous instantaneous change that has happened to me, but certainly over the last ten years, this notion—that I don’t really know everything and that I’ve got a lot to learn, rather than a lot to teach, and that there is a conversation I don’t know how to have, that I’d like to learn how to have—has been a constant for me, and it’s changed me subtly.

There’s still a lot I’d like to do and a lot I’d like to learn, a lot I’d like to know. I think that’s increasingly such an important task: just to learn how to listen, to relearn what we’ve forgotten. I don’t think there is any easy sort of ABC curriculum for it. There’s a lot of work you can do.

~ Paul Kingsnorth, The Myth of Progress, Emergence Magazine Podcast

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A Monday meander: Short and sweet

A July full moon.

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong.  Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

~ George Washington Carver

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The wounded trees and other tales

The crossing.

Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.
To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.

~ Octavia E. Butler, The Parable of the Talents

Kindness eases change.
Love quiets fear.
And a sweet and powerful
Positive obsession
Blunts pain,
Diverts rage,
And engages each of us
In the greatest,
The most intense
Of our chosen struggles.

~ Octavia E. Butler, The Parable of the Talents

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A Saturday saunter

A small bit of sunshine.

There is an art to wandering.  If I have a destination, a plan – an objective – I’ve lost the ability to find serendipity.  I’ve become too focused, too single-minded.  I am on a quest, not a ramble.  I search for the Holy Grail of particularity, and miss the chalice freely offered, filled full to overflowing.

~ Cathy Johnson, On Becoming Lost

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks—who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going à la Sainte Terre,” to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer,” a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which, indeed, is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.

~ Henry David Thoreau, Walking

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Hiking on a mild winter day

Watching as morning arrives.

Religious naturalists bear an attitude of reverence toward the universe as a whole, and toward the earth in particular – and they are disposed to expressing their reverence by affirming that nature is both sacred and mysterious. Naturalists are keenly aware of the contingency of all life forms, and when this awareness is taken to heart it generates a sense of gratitude toward nature.

~ Loyal Rue

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A Monday meander: My Walktober

Autumn in the woods.

The Trees

The trees
Do you think of them as decoration?
Think again.
Here are maples, flashing.
And here are the oaks, holding on all winter
to their dry leaves.
And here are the pines, that will never fail,
until death, the instruction to be green.
And here are the willows, the first
to pronounce a new year.
May I invite you to revise your thoughts about them?
Oh, Lord, how we are all for invention and
advancement!
But I think
it would do us good if we could think about
these brothers and sisters, quietly and deeply.
The trees, the trees, just holding on
to the old, holy ways.

~ Mary Oliver

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A Monday Meander: The equinox

Last Thursday’s sunset.

To walk quietly until the miracle in everything speaks is poetry, whether we write it down or not.

~ Mark Nepo

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