Spiritual sustenance, naturally.

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Unpredictable

Sometimes, usually when we least expect it, an event happens ~ after which life is never quite the same again. There have been no posts from me for quite some time, as I learn and feel my way into new ways of living after experiencing a health crisis. Slowly, deliberately, over the past few months I’ve been regaining my strength, noticing the little things ~ and coming to terms with the unpredictability of living. We can never know what will happen tomorrow, or even in the next few moments. On some level, we all know this, but for me it has become a lived reality.

Photo by Seth Rockmuller

As a result, I’m not certain which direction this blog will follow. What shall I release? What shall I continue? As the leaves begin to drift down from the trees, autumn seems an appropriate time to sweep away the unessential. Samhain will soon arrive, heralding a new year, a new cycle. Its meaning will be deeper for me this year, as I welcome my ancestors into conversation, and walk on the wild side.

Sharing the Glory

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature— the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~Rachel Carson

This morning I discovered the above quote on WordPress friend Robin’s lovely blog, which expresses exactly how I feel this morning, as I regain strength. Robin’s fabulous Green Man post  is currently featured on Freshly Pressed. Please visit it to see her photography.

And last but not least, a blessing from a friend:  this morning Sharon sent me this photo she took in the Berkshire countryside yesterday.

Photo by Sharon Lips

Life in the slow lane

Scenes from this small-town life.

Circus Train

This evening the Barnum and Bailey circus train rolled slowly through town.

Over the weekend,

Alpaca

the alpaca grazed in autumn pastures, while

The Kline Kill, with K. at play

the Kline Kill beckoned under golden sycamores.

And this afternoon,

The barn, with fresh paint.

the painting of the barn was completed.

Life is good.

(All photos by Seth Rockmuller.)

Barn Again

The work has started on painting the barn. First is the scraping of the old, peeling paint. I hope the warm weather holds long enough for the actual painting! A few of my more delicate plants were touched by frost last night. Autumn is upon us.

These words arrived from a friend:  “…when I attempt to be productive in the traditional sense, it seems as if I am hiding in busyness and running away from the heart of my being.”  Her words struck me – yes!  Because I am the caretaker of my elderly mother, some of my “busy-ness” cannot be avoided. But there are tasks I do that others could do just as well, if not better than I, and those I am in the process of releasing.

Like my friend, I wish to devote more time to contemplation, and to writing. Early autumn always feels like a slowing down time for me, before the Thanksgiving and holiday rush and visitors. Already I sense the busy-ness of the approaching holidays, as I help plan for the community’s multifaith Thanksgiving service.

Photo by Seth Rockmuller

On the walls of the barn, the old is being scraped away, in preparation for the new paint. What else is awaiting release and renewal?

Telling its story against the vanishing

Today a Religious Naturalism email list sent the poem The Enigma We Answer by Living (reprinted at the bottom of this post) by Alison Hawthorne Deming , which was featured on the Panhala website.

What does nature compel you to do?

My father was compelled to chase butterflies, moths, and other insects. As a child, I saw him in the yard, hunting them down with his white net on a pole. I watched them die in his poison jar, fluttering their wings for the last time. I saw them arranged and labeled, a pin through each tiny body, and peered into their display cases at the university where he taught biological sciences.

I am compelled to create winged clothing,  garments of leaves, crowns of berries and thorns, a temple of the cosmos, stories to tell, plantings of herbs, and gatherings of people. Some people are compelled to write poetry.

The Enigma We Answer by Living

Einstein didn’t speak as a child
waiting till a sentence formed and
emerged full-blown from his head.

I do the thing, he later wrote, which
nature drives me to do. Does a fish
know the water in which he swims?

This came up in conversation
with a man I met by chance,
friend of a friend of a friend,

who passed through town carrying
three specimen boxes of insects
he’d collected in the Grand Canyon –

one for mosquitoes, one for honeybees,
one for butterflies and skippers,
each lined up in a row, pinned and labeled,

tiny morphologic differences
revealing how adaptation
happened over time. The deeper down

he hiked, the older the rock
and the younger
the strategy for living in that place.

And in my dining room the universe
found its way into this man
bent on cataloguing each innovation,

though he knows it will all disappear –
the labels, the skippers, the canyon.
We agreed then, the old friends and the new,

that it’s wrong to think people are a thing apart
from the whole, as if we’d sprung
from an idea out in space, rather than emerging

from the sequenced larval mess of creation
that binds us with the others,
all playing the endgame of a beautiful planet

that’s made us want to name
each thing and try to tell
its story against the vanishing.

~ Alison Hawthorne Deming ~

(from the book Genius Loci)