Posted in Air, Autumn, Blast From the Past, Change, Earth, Exploring, Friends, From the Archives, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Life, Love, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Travel, Walking & Wandering, Water, Winter, Wonder

So much for resolutions (and a throwback Thursday)

Sarah P. Duke Gardens, October 2022.

One thing I want to be cautious of – by which I really mean refuse – are the ways we sometimes consider, for instance, gardening (or health, or healthcare, or potable water or clean air or pleasant and stable housing or decent jobs or good schools or libraries or living relatives or being unabused or having ‘free time’ or not being imprisoned or not living near a power plant or incinerator or a landfill of a million acres of corn or soybeans sprayed with toxins) a privilege, which actually obscures the fact that to be without a garden, or to be without green space, or to be without access to a park or clean water or the forest or fruit trees or birdsong or shade or a deep and abiding relationship with a tree, or to be without healthcare, and so often to be without health, is violence, it is abnormal (even if it is the norm) and it is an imposition of precarity that is not natural. All these comorbidities, all these communities more exposed to toxins, all this absence of sick pay or good pay, every day, is not simply an affliction, (Oh too bad! You landed in Cancer Alley! Or, Oh, bummer about those opioid deaths! Or, So unlucky about the lead in your water!) but an infliction. It is on purpose. And the withholding from some of the means of life, of which means there are plenty to go around, is a disprivilege.  Which is to say; life, though it is a gift, is not a privilege.

And rather than indulging in the virtue signalling that simply reifies or maybe even enjoys the guilt – guilt can be titillating, let’s admit that; bathing in it oneself or dumping it on others – of so-called privilege, rather than wading around in that little impotent cess-pool of hand-wringing regret, how about instead we figure out how to get rid of disprivilege, which we could do.

Part of which includes acknowledging that, baseline, we should all be able to get into a garden or a forest or an orchard if we want. It includes acknowledging that we should all have clean drinking water and good schools and excellent healthcare and safe housing. What would happen if we acknowledged that none of this is privilege, but rather it is as it should and could be? And what if we figured out, together, in a million different ways how to make it so? Or to say it another way: rather than cursing the darkness, what if we planted some seeds?

~ Ross Gay, Inciting Joy

Continue reading “So much for resolutions (and a throwback Thursday)”

Posted in Aging, Art journal, Beginnings, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, In these strange times, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Portals & Pathways, Sky, Spirit, Spiritual practices, The Body Beautiful, Walking & Wandering, Water, Winter, Wonder, Woods, Word/Theme for the Year, Words, Yoga

Joy in the body

A weekend sunset at the Point.

Winter: Tonight: Sunset
by David Budbill

Tonight at sunset walking on the snowy road,
my shoes crunching on the frozen gravel, first

through the woods, then out into the open fields
past a couple of trailers and some pickup trucks, I stop

and look at the sky. Suddenly: orange, red, pink, blue,
green, purple, yellow, gray, all at once and everywhere.

I pause in this moment at the beginning of my old age
and I say a prayer of gratitude for getting to this evening

a prayer for being here, today, now, alive
in this life, in this evening, under this sky.

(“Winter: Tonight: Sunset” by David Budbill, from While We’ve Still Got Feet. © Copper Canyon Press,  2005.)

Continue reading “Joy in the body”

Posted in Beginnings, Change, Climate Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Family, Gifts, Grandparenthood, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, In these strange times, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Ohio, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Spiritual practices, The Bogs, Travel, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Wonder, Woods, Word/Theme for the Year, Words

At home

The front yard, the front of the house, and the pond escaping its usual confines.

I’ve always tried to make a home for myself, but I have not felt at home in myself. I’ve worked hard at being the hero of my own life. But every time I checked the register of displaced persons, I was still on it. I didn’t know how to belong. Longing? Yes. Belonging? No.

~ Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

When you are born–what you are born into, the place, the history of the place, how that history mates with your own– stamps who you are, whatever the pundits of globalisation have to say.

~ Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Continue reading “At home”

Posted in Air, Autumn, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Wonder, Word/Theme for the Year, Words

A Monday meander: Winter and words

Winter fairy lights in the meadow.

The English language is a magnificent sponge. I love the English language. I’m glad that I speak it. But for all that, it has a lot of holes. In Greek, there’s a word, “lachesism” which is the hunger for disaster. You know, when you see a thunderstorm on the horizon and you just find yourself rooting for the storm. In Mandarin, they have a word “yù yī” — I’m not pronouncing that correctly — which means the longing to feel intensely again the way you did when you were a kid. In Polish, they have a word “jouska” which is the kind of hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head. And finally, in German, of course in German, they have a word called “zielschmerz” which is the dread of getting what you want.

~ John Koenig

If we were not here— the show would play to an empty house, as do all those falling stars which fall in the daytime. That is why I take walks: to keep an eye on things.

~ Annie Dillard

Continue reading “A Monday meander: Winter and words”

Posted in Air, Art, Autumn, Birds, Change, Death, Earth, Exploring, Friends, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Grief, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Life, Love, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Travel, Walking & Wandering, Water, Wonder

A Monday meander: Time traveling

“Lotus Blooms” by artist Karen Fisher. (North Carolina Botanical Garden 2022 Sculpture in the Garden)

Lotus flowers lead harrowing journeys. Their seeds sprout in murky swamp water, thick with dirt and debris and snarls of roots. For a lotus to bloom, she must forge her way through this terrible darkness, avoid being eaten by fish and insects, and keep pressing onward, innately knowing, or at least hoping, that there is sunlight somewhere above the water’s surface, if she can only summon the strength to get there. And when she does, she emerges unscathed by her journey and blooms triumphantly.

~ Sarah Jio, All the Flowers in Paris

If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.

~ Masaru Emoto, Secret Life of Water

Continue reading “A Monday meander: Time traveling”