Thursday, July 23, 2020
A Ride to Nowhere
During this time of pandemic, my husband and I sometimes take car rides to nowhere to get us safely out of the house. We drive through local places we haven’t explored yet, looking at the vegetation and the houses, getting a general feeling for the area. Sometimes, if there aren’t any people around, we’ll take a short walk through a nature setting and enjoy the birdsongs that float out of the trees.
We recently came upon a local setting that was so peaceful, we had to stop. A gently flowing lake beckoned on this hot day. Gentle waves moved slowly in the breeze. It was a welcome environment where we could, for the moment, forget about what was going on in the world and take some deep, rejuvenating breaths.
It’s necessary to balance personal needs with a broader awareness of our safety and the safety of others. We would love to go to museums and theaters and concerts but that is not yet feasible. So we do what we can to find the positive in this difficult time; taking a ride to nowhere helps.
Former monk Jay Shetty offers help on how to deal with this pandemic:
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Day Lilies and Deer
There was a visitor to our neighbor’s front yard the other day. A deer was enjoying the daylilies that greeted visitors to their front entrance. It was munching away peacefully and only looked up occasionally to check out its surroundings.
This wasn’t the first deer that has visited our street. We occasionally see one behind our house enjoying the flowers that pop up each spring. Sometimes there will be several deer walking from backyard to backyard, snacking on the plantings along the way. I think they come from a township set-aside nature path about half a mile away.
Wild animals seem to be getting more used to people around here. Years ago the deer would spring off if they saw a person anywhere nearby but now they just watch to see if there is any danger and then continue eating. I do qi gong exercises out back and have noticed a rabbit watching while it munches but it doesn’t dart away.
We chatted with our neighbor as we watched the deer enjoying its treat and when it darted off, we felt we had experienced something special. It’s nice to know that we can coexist peacefully with other beings. I hope we can remember that it is also possible to interact peacefully, to respect and value each other, and to remind ourselves that we all share this incredible earth.
About day lilies:
Monday, June 22, 2020
Our Country’s Cactus
Tucked away on the side of my house are some small cactus plants. They are normally fairly unobtrusive but when they put out their flowers, they are hard to ignore. The buds are big and the flowers are exuberant. I look forward to seeing them each summer.
There are things to consider, however. A cactus plant has spines. Spines can be stiff, hard, or soft. They may be long or short. The spines on my cactus are so thin they can be ignored when I weed around the flowers. But they can’t be ignored for long. They push in under the skin and are uncomfortable reminders of not being careful in the garden. They cause sharp hints of pain until they are removed.
This duality of beauty and pain is a reminder to me of what is going on nowadays. Underneath the beauty of our country lie the spines that effect so many of us. The pain caused by conquering, slavery, exclusion, and racism that has resurfaced in recent times all over America has been in us from the beginning but we haven’t been addressing the causes – until now.
I hope that we are finally becoming able to appreciate our incredible diversity, to value the beauty that all people bring and to take out the spines that discrimination has implanted in our country’s body. Only then will we be able to truly appreciate our amazing American garden.
My cactus – the Eastern Prickly Pear: