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 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”

Posted in Air, Autumn, Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Other than human, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Travel, Walking & Wandering, Weather, Wonder

A Monday meander: Back to the gardens

Clouds at sunrise this morning.

I have come to understand my spirituality as an ongoing internal lyrical state of consciousness, semi-consciousness and unconsciousness in which I find meaning, comfort, refuge, inspiration, mystery and strength.

It seems more like the dreaming of my inner child’s creaturely heart than my rational mind – although they are both interwoven. It is somewhat like music. It is like nature. It offsets the influence of my worried contemporary self or the hard speedy material world that would overwhelm me if it were not for this nourishing sense of otherworldliness, and the lyrical wisdom and feeling that arises there in my spiritual self.

With spirit, one is able to have and hold many feelings, and live a felt life. The spirit supports and negotiates between our feelings, instincts and intuitions. It is good at conflict resolution. It supports our prophetic vision and our creativity.  With spirit and feeling we may find a way through the darkness.

~ Michael Leunig, Spirituality, Art & Innocence

Continue reading “A Monday meander: Back to the gardens”

Posted in Air, Arm chair traveling, Autumn, Beach, Blogging, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Grief, Heartfulness, Hiking, In these strange times, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, The Joy of Exercise, Walking & Wandering, Walktober, Water

Walktober delights

Shall we do this again next year? (A sign on the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD on a misty day.)

None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.

~ Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Continue reading “Walktober delights”