Tuesday, July 25, 2017

C is for Crow

ABC Wednesday
July 26th, 2017

The letter is C for CROW


Every morning
crow 
steps
along the beach

as though he found the world
brand new,
and wonderful,
and without a doubt,

made especially for him.
The eiders stare,
the black ducks are busy
with their own affairs

as he marches 
along the wrack line
on his sturdy feet
to the bounty of stranded sea worms,

crabs,
abandoned bags of popcorn
"oh yes" his big black beak seems to say,
"this is good,
here is breakfast and lunch both

and as for dinner
I'll be back.
What a good world!"

I wish we could be friends,
but when he sees me
daring to look at him
he opens his strong arms

that are dressed,  always, in the darkest ribbons,
and floats off...


but only a little way
and he's down again on the sandy track -

and who has seen yet anything cleaner,
bolder,
more gleaming, more certain of its philosophy
than the eye he turns back?


Mary Oliver

More Cs here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Melody and 
all who maintain this meme






Monday, July 24, 2017

Happiness

July 24th, 2017

Monday, and the week stretches invitingly as I open my daily journal.  Nowhere to go except Ukulele practice - how lovely!!!

I breakfast, send messages, water pots and then come in to wander lazily through Facebook in case something momentous is happening that I should know about!!!!

Well, I came upon a picture of the Reverend Shane L. Bishop, a Sr. minister at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois, who was posting about "Twelve things I see happy people do (that unhappy people do not).

That caught my eye, - for two reasons.  Fairview Heights is the name of the Veteran's project where Charles and I settled five years into our marriage, and where, in the next forty years we cleared sage brush, established a farm and  brought up our children. Happy years.....

And it has long been my belief that despite genes and circumstances happiness "is a choice".  The Rev. Bishop thinks so as well, so I read what he had to say about this topic....

of course, the bluebird of happiness.  Make room on your windowsill!

His first advice is to FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE AND NOT ON WHAT YOU DON'T....... 
 be thankful and aware of all the good things in our lives.

QUESTION THE SOURCES OF YOUR EXPECTATIONS,
 are you trying to keep up with the Jones? 
 Have you fallen victim to an inviting ad for things that are beyond you,
 - be realistic and content.

BE GENEROUS -
 selfish people are miserable....happy people give of their time and resources.

HAPPINESS IS NOT A DESTINATION -
 happiness is learning to enjoy the ride!!!

IF YOU DON'T LIKE YOUR LIFE CHANGE IT. 
 Don't daydream, - take control and replace dreaming with doing....

SLOW DOWN and smell the roses.

REALIZE THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS
 work hard, put in the hours, pursue your dreams...

STOP FEELING ENTITLED.  
So relevant to today's era of handouts. 
 Make your life happen, independently.

THINK SIGNIFICANCE  and leave the world better than you found it!

FORGIVE and be free of regrets - 
especially forgive yourself!!

ATTITUDE - cultivate a good one. 
 Don't let your miseries control you, - look on the sunny side.

SPEAK LIFE. 
 Choose words that uplift, encourage and bring positive energy into every situation.
The Rev. Bishop says 'people who speak life 
are like human air fresheners!!!'


This happiness advice reminded me of a poem by May Sarton, - 
oh, so many years since I have read her.  At least twenty, 
but I do remember her "House by the Sea" and "At Seventy" 
as well as some of the poems she wrote. 

One is called "The Work of Happiness". ( I had to look it up!)

I thought of happiness, how it is woven
Out of the silence in the empty house each day
And how it is not sudden and it is not given
But is creation itself like the growth of a tree.
No one has seen it happen, but inside the bark
Another circle is growing in the expanding ring.
No one has heard the root go deeper in the dark,
But the tree is lifted by this inward work
And its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering.

So happiness is woven out of the peace of hours
And strikes its roots deep in the house alone:
The old chest in the corner, cool waxed floors,
White curtains softly and continually blown
As the free air moves quietly about the room
A shelf of books, a table, and the white-washed wall -
These are the dear familiar gods of home
And here the work of faith can best be done,
The growing tree is green and musical.

For what is happiness but growth in peace,
The timeless sense of time when furniture
Has stood a life's span in a single place,
And as the air moves, so the old dreams stir
The shining leaves of present happiness?
No one has heard thought or listened to a mind,
But where people have lived in inwardness
The air is charge with blessing and does bless;
Windows look out on mountains and the walls are kind.

May Sarton from Collected Poems 1930-1993




Now that the morning is half over I must go and do what makes me happy
 and continue weaving the current colourful scarf that awaits me.

I must cultivate happiness, if not in the garden
then at the loom...


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Daybyday cum Garden cum Recollections etc. etc.


Off on my sidebar I have this long list

of Blogs which once I posted to

enthusiastically and with great energy

but times have changed

and so I have decided to amalgamate...,

(there's a good word)

the main reason being that I feel lazy and unproductive
when I go from one ABC Wednesday letter
to the next, without anything in between
even though I think in my mind
of a thousand things I'd like to write about!

So tonight it is DaybyDay cum Garden

and the picture above is redolent of the garden
in mid-summer
when all the springtime pastels have 
said farewell and the
vivid reds and yellows and purples of summer
come into their own.

I have stolen a few new potatoes
from the little curtain at the bottom of the 
potting bag that allows you to do that,
and enjoyed them with mint and new peas...
only a few of which twine themselves
around a pretty metal tower.

It makes me feel that I have a garden again!


Oh happy days, when I had a gardener too......


These days I find my happiness tending the flowers

(which sometimes requires that I roam the garden
with my machete, filling barrels of yard waste with extra greenery
I get so carried away at planting time)!!!

Here is a little smattering of these vibrant colours....




















and the early morning smoke that drifts down from the
wildfires in the Cariboo/ Chilcotin
where my dear children keep vigil
and wait for the smoke and the danger to go away.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bears, Bees and honey

ABC Wednesday
July 19th, 2017
The Letter is B for Bears, Bees and honey


When considering the subject of

Bears, Bees and honey

do we ever think of the morals involved?

Well, probably not,

but Aesop did

at least he considered the consequences of the whole affair



When the Bear came across the log filled with honey
and snooped around, thinking to fill his tummy
a single bee came out to protect the swarm, 
and stung the bear.

In a great rage the bear swapped the log with his huge claws
determined to destroy the nest of bees...
but a swarm of bees flew out and stung the bear
from head to heels
and the bear saved himself by diving into the nearest pond.

The moral of Aesops story?

"Better to bear a single injury in silence than
to bring about a thousand by
reacting in anger".

Probably Winnie the Pooh

ate his stolen honey with delight and serenity

but Mary Oliver tells a story in her poem
Black Bear in the Orchard



that delves a little further 

into the consequences and the morality

of the whole thing

Black Bear in the Orchard

It was a long winter.
But the bees were mostly awake
in their perfect house,
the workers whirling their wings
to make heat.
Then the bear woke,

too hungry not to remember
where the orchard was,
and the hives.
He was not a picklock,
He was a sledge that leaned
into their front wall and came out

the other side.
What could the bees do?
Their stings were as nothing.
They had planned everything sufficiently
except for this: catastrophe

They slumped under the bear's breath,
They vanished into the curl of his tongue.
Some had just enough time
to think of how it might have been -
the cold easing,
the smell of leaves and flowers
floating in,
then the scouts going out,
then their coming back, and their dancing -
nothing different
but what happens in our own village.
What pity for the tiny souls

who are so hopeful, and work so diligently
until time brings, as it does, the slap and the claw.
Someday of course, the bear himself
will become a bee, a honey bee, in the general mixing.
Nature, under her long green hair,
has such unbendable rules,

and a bee is not a powerful thing, even
when there are many,
as people, in a town or a village,
And what, moreover, is catastrophe?\
Is it the sharp sword of God,
or just some other wild body, loving its life?

Not caring a whit, black bear
blinks his horrible, beautiful eyes,
slicks his teeth with his fat and happy tongue,
and saunters on.
Mary Oliver

Pause for thought......

More Bs here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Melody and all those,
busy as bees, who assist her.






Sunday, July 16, 2017

Steeped in recollections

Sunday evening
July 16th, 2017

I am feeling well steeped this evening

just like an old tea pot



except tonight I am steeped in recollections

I may have mentioned before that our old Museum
(which was once a jail cell
for wild west law breakers, 
but for the past forty years has been a
reformed and respectable museum)



Small and somewhat inadequate, 
but now the Museum Society has another property
with a large building and room for
the old jail cell to settle in, outside.

There is also a great selection of articles, items and
newspaper clippings for which there
was formerly no room for display,
but which now need to be sorted and polished up for view.

I have taken on the job of going through old newspapers,
clipping what I deem to be precious and of value
to visitors and future generations.

This being a sit-down job and me being one of the oldest residents around.


This I have been doing for the last few days, and I must confess
it has been most enjoyable.

Things that happened - people I had almost forgotten
wonderful to make their acquaintance again!

I found a newspaper record of a talk Charles had given
at a Remembrance Day service
and it brought back the occasion,
and his words to young people of 1976
about preserving the Torch of Freedom
in peace time.

He said, in part " Nevertheless, it is good to gather once a year
and show the young that we do not forget, thought time goes on.

The Torch of Freedom has been passed to us, and in turn must
 eventually be passed down the generations.

Indeed, freedom is still the legacy, but its face has changed
with the times.  Today war is not the danger to Freedom.
There is not now a danger from without, but the
possible danger of loss of freedom from within."

The account goes on to say that Charles, taking quotes from
D.H. Lawrence and Plutarch, made the point that
freedom can slip away through luxuries and complacency.
and he posed the question
"Are we becoming slaves through default?"
In other words, by demanding more and more
from government services we entangle ourselves "in a system that
in fact restricts liberty".

And I remembered how we had discussed that when
he was preparing his talk (and at other times) and I still fear
that we are giving up our liberty and independence
for support that makes us beholden.

Well, I have gone right off the subject of 
"being steeped in recollections"
but you must forgive me....sometimes when you are the oldest
your mind wanders a bit!!!

post script - I have forgotten the Lawrence and Plutarch quotes
but nevertheless, they must have been relevant.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ABC Wednesday
July 10th, 2017

The letter is A

for Anxiety


At this late stage in my life I have tried to banish anxiety, living day by day, depending upon circumstances and experience to enable me to handle problems with some serenity.


Today, tho' I must admit to some anxious thought for the thousands of people here in British Columbia who have been distressed and made homeless by the ferocious wildfires that are so prevalent, fanned by summer winds and encouraged by the hot dry weather we are experiencing..





Oh, I am particularly anxious for family - two dear sons and a precious DIL who are living. off-grid, in the midst of this inferno in the Cariboo/Chilcotin area of the province.



News last night that the fire down the road is now threatening the neighbour's house, and these are the circumstances that the ever-vigilant firemen immediately respond to..... . 



So my anxiety is somewhat relieved to know this little stage of the greater fire is being acknowledged and dealt with, along
with all the dreadful fires that have driven whole communities from their homes
 throughout central British Columbia,
 and also forty miles from here along the road we traveled so often in the past, 
(it being dotted with wonderful lakes and fishing spots, now ravaged).


This is the second time the Meadow has been threatened by wildfire 
and they are encouraged by memories of the concern and competence of the fire fighters 
last time around. 

They are also well equipped with huge mobile water containers,
 fire hoses, large moving equipment, and even a drone that makes morning 
forays into the surrounding countryside to assess the situation.  

Their father would be very proud of the way they are coping with this threat,
 and their continual awareness of living where your welfare and safety
 depend almost solely on your own spirit of independence.

Although domestic animals are being moved and cared for,
 my heart hurts for all the wild animals who call this ravaged countryside home...



And there.........when I thought of the start of a new round of ABC Wednesday,
 and the letter A, 
ANXIETY immediately sprang into my mind...

However, anxiety is furthest from my mind
when I consider this new round of ABC Wednesday
so ably and generously undertaken
by Melody and her helpers.

Here, you will find other "A"s

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Z for Lisa Zaron

ABC Wednesday
July 45th, 2017

The letter is Z for Zaron


Lisa Zaron

A modern American Poet

Born in 1969 to an American-Norwegian mother
 and a 
Norwegian father

-------
gifted with her father's love

for the written word.

---------

The Blues are all the Same

It seems almost too far fetched really,

too difficult to believe

This unassuming moon shining like a copper plate.

These milkcrate blues.

The soft trellis of sound

wobbling through the wind

as if pouring out from the window

of some lonely house on the hill.

How beautiful it is,

the ghost of your voice,

haunting this empty valley

Lisa Zaron
dedicated to Jackson C. Frank

More interesting Zs here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to all who have
maintained this wonderful meme




Friday, June 30, 2017

June 30th, 2017

The last day of June, and what am I doing?

Well, I watered the pots, and the bits of garden that had a drooping appearance, - I felt sure they would appreciate a little shower from the hose to freshen up their leaves!!



It is definitely a summer garden now, - the lilies are bursting forth with all their lovely fragrance, and the yellow daisies drift over the shastas and all the purple and rose flowers that complement the silver of the lambs' tail.








Yesterday I spent the morning with my wicker basket of fine cotton, designing the warp for a garden scarf that will incorporate all these summery colours.




I was pleased with the result, but have been puzzling over the sett of the warp - will 28 ends per inch give me the right hand, -  firm, but not too firm,.  Or should I go for 30, and a balanced weave.



My thoughts veer away from the actual warp winding, when I think of all the changes in colour, but, there, what is life without challenges!!



Having finished my second blanket/throw devised from my precious stash of old balls and skeins of wool, the loom is now naked again.  Surely it can't be complaining of the cold, with all this heat - it must be modesty that motivates her to cry out to me whenever I go past the loom room!!



There is Canada's 150th Birthday celebrations to deal with tomorrow, and I am only on page 56 of Monday Evening's Book Club assignment, - a book about the power of Introverts in a world that can't stop talking.  It is "a well researched book on the power of quietness and the virtues of having a rich inner life.  It dispels the myth that you have to be extroverted to be happy and successful".



Being somewhat of an introvert myself, I am quite in agreement, but somehow I have yet to be fired up and excited about the book, and time is running short!!!  I foresee any warping being delayed until the middle of next week, but that's O.K. - anticipation is 98% of joy, - I can think about all those gorgeous colours winding onto the warping board without actually having to tie all the knots!!

I am off now to read a page or two before Bruce and Callie start thinking "supper" and the evening news comes on with all the drama of our British Columbia political situation where the Liberals lost a non-confidence motion (or did they lose a "confidence" motion) and our government has been taken over by the ubiquitous NDP propped up by three members of the Green Party, the thoughts of which have made the Leader of the Greens quite giddy with power and excitement, and the rest of us waiting and watching to see how any business will get done with the opposition with one seat more than the newbies!!! (after they choose a speaker).

Life is terribly interesting, providing you keep aware and busy.....

Post Script - don't forget the White Rabbit will be hovering close by tonight, looking for his usual obeisance so he can shower us all with Good Luck in July......