Remember Big Mama

Silhouette of pregnant woman standing on seashore with golden light backdrop

Today is one of the most important days of the year.

Remembering your Mother, the one who essentially brought you into life, is the customary intention for Mother’s Day. But, don’t forget Big Mama either. Big Mama as in the Mother of Nature, the one who essentially gives life to all.

Thank Mother Nature for sharing her treasure chest — a bounty pushing past our imagination with infinite colors, textures, scents, temperatures and sounds almost too breathtaking to comprehend. Look into her cheerful blue skies, hug those white fluffy clouds of transformation, feel the exuberance of her vibrant streams, and soothing sheltering forests.

Contemplate Mother’s Nature’s wildfire fury, rain of tears from disrespect and howling winds of disappointment, yet somehow she does not abandon humanity, reassuring us through the changing seasons of her enduring support.

How devoid of all life our planet would be without her, like living without a Mother’s unwavering love. What better gift to give Mother Nature on Mother’s Day than honoring her with appreciation.

Cherry Blossoms gracing the pathways in Brooklyn's Botanical Gardens, NY
The splendor of Spring showcases Mother’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a stroll through Mother Nature today. Better yet, take your Mom for a stroll and savor the sights of Mother Nature together.

 

 

 

 

Nature Teacher: Distancing

Sign indicating Rattlesnakes may be found in this area - give them distance and respect"

Respect for distancing is nothing new. Mother Nature’s been teaching us all along. Only now are we mandated overall. Touching poison ivy or poison oak will make you sorry. A porcupine or skunk make sure you know if you’ve come too close. A bite from a brown recluse spider or Lyme tic can turn your life upside down. So can the coronavirus, but you may not live to tell it. We do not have to be afraid, just respectful and use common sense. Revere Mother Nature’s lessons. She’s always known what’s good for you.

A Love Hate Diary of Dates with a Smartphone… (part 1)

Woman tossing into the air a leather diary and Smartphone

Love may have been in the air this weekend but not necessarily between me and my android Smartphone. Yes, I’ve been shoved into the noisy techno world of oncoming traffic, reluctantly but necessarily if I want to be able to function in this world.

My motto of “Don’t jump in if you don’t want to jump out,” safeguarded me for awhile. Doing what everyone else does “because that’s what everyone else is doing” is not me. Such reasoning conjures up images of Guyana Kool-Aid, the Hale-Bopp Comet deaths, and sheep blindly following sheep…to the slaughter house rather than sweet dreams. Years of friends chuckling at my dinosaur flip phone mattered little to me. I didn’t have a monthly cell bill, and my landline and answering machine worked just fine. Yes, I did say, “answering machine.” Digital at least. Not cassette…

But now, now I’ve re-entered the Smartphone arena that feels like bulls charging me from all sides. I say “re-entered” because I had my first date with a Smartphone nine months ago. I needed a phone I could use while traveling in Scotland. TracFone couldn’t do that so I invested in a Mobal phone with 30-day risk-free UK plan to give it a go. Here’s how it went:

May 23, 2019 – First Date, First Impressions

“This is going to make your trip so awesome,” friends said.

I nodded my head in agreement while silently hiding my suspicion.

Downloading, typing, typing, typing.

 “If you have a few minutes, could you show me how to….?”

“There’s no standardization. All phones are different.”

“Oh.”

Researching how to this, how to that, how to, how to…

Downloading, specifying, protecting, not understanding, flashing

ads

all the time.

No wonder so many are on anti-anxiety or anti-depressant meds. My blood pressure is up a good 10 points.

Downloading, warning, memory low on resources, black

frozen screen.

Now what do I do?

Worrying, fretting, exhausted. Too much to lose.

I always thought why would I trust a device to hold ALL of my vitals?

Tech support (via landline).

Deleting, deleting, uninstalling, removing. “Is it safe?”

Oh, this has not been a pleasant first experience.

Is it really going to get better after this?

Day 2 or is it the second week…or how long have I had this thing?

This intrusive device had to be silenced so I could get some sleep.

Do I really need this?

I haven’t even taken this to Scotland or put it to real use. Already I need to clear my head.

Outside.

Person walking on leaf-strewn path in the forest
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Birds sing.

An owl hoots in the distance. Or, is he echoing from this end?

I hear whinnying like a horse. I walk closer to see if I can see it, otherwise, I’ll have to ask Google

The magnificent hawk glides through the sun rays of this happy blue sky.

I feel free.

I feel in the moment.

There is no tension in my being

just the push and pull as I stride up the hill

and delight

to be OUTSIDE.

June 5, 2019 – We’re Not Getting Along

I call a Scotland Lyft. No availability.

I pick up the landline. A Black Cab arrives.

Getting off the train platform in Stirling, which way to go?

The font is tiny. I cannot read the directions.

Thank goodness for my printed copies of Mapquest

and the helpful elderly woman who guides me to a local breakfast joint.

e-mail arrives. The sitter reports my beloved dog Bess is walking around the pond, playing, eating, doing okay.

June 6, 2019 – Ceased and Deceased

5-hour European time delays. No communication.

11PM e-mail arrives. My dog is dead. She’s been euthanized.

Trying to make contact, the Mobal phone is also dead.

Did I forget to charge it?

Returning home, the phone goes back in the box. Service ceased.

And so has my involvement with a Smartphone. I think.

How Do You Do?

In gearing up for the National Day of Unplugging, which may soon become my favorite holiday, I’m reflecting on my Smartphone transition thus far. Being a gardener and feeling alive when outdoors and in nature, I’ve resisted using a device particularly when observing how vastly it is changing our lives, our vocabulary, our thoughts, communication, lifestyle and even human physical attributes (think eyesight, thumbs, memory, and prefrontal cortex).

Green leaves and handwritten sentiment "How we live is what makes us real"
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

This concerns me. And while I’ve resisted, it grows increasingly difficult to operate without a device. Do you “consciously” think about Smartphone use  — for yourself and the world at large? How do you spend your time, are you more at ease, more productive with it? Have you found the benefits (aka “conveniences”) outweigh the intrusion? I’d love to know how you manage your device, or if it controls you.

Surely, I’m not the only one getting into the tech game at this late stage. I wonder, did you have a similar experience to mine, or did you jump right in and swim? (I can float but water over my head is not relaxing and probably tied to my HSP tendencies.) Was there ever a time in your life when you didn’t have a Smartphone and can you recall what that felt like? Are you a Digital Diva, growing up with a Smartphone in your hand…or like me, from the mountainous countryside where life is quiet, simple, and maybe 10 years behind the times?


Here’s a worthy alert for your phone on March 6, 2020. Beginning at sundown on the first Friday in March, the annual National Day of Unplugging will run 24 hours until sundown on March 7th. Try it. See how you feel… Truly, I’d love to hear if it makes a difference in your being.


 

 

Feature photo by Jason Tharsiman on Unsplash

 

Nature Teacher: Coexisting

Billions of snowflakes

grace the air

together.

Like fingerprints,

no two are alike.

Separate

characteristics, individual traits,

attributes

make each one

unique.

Original.

Yet they all share

one Source

and peacefully coexist.

One

is no better than the other.

Different, but equal,

is perfectly natural.

 

Halloween’s Other Side of Life

Intricate spider web in black and orange Halloween colors

Looking out my window during morning Qigong practice, I glanced up to see this intricate spider web. Amazing to view its work up close…a meditation in itself.

Intricate gossamer spider web hanging between branches with insect bitten burgundy leaves of a Ornamental Plum tree
Seeing beyond the spider web…

With Halloween approaching, I dug deeper into the curiosities of this scary holiday. I never understood Halloween‘s color combination of orange and black but now it makes more sense. Orange represents autumn, and black signifies death (of summer). I realize, as in how I choose to view life’s transition to death, that this holiday does not have to evoke fear as popularly promulgated. 

And those spiders serving as long time mascots for Halloween? There’s a pleasant tale indicating they are the spirit of a loved one watching over you. How befitting in my summer of bereavement, and a more pleasant thought than frightful ghosts and goblins.

Who knew a simple spider web would give new meaning to Halloween for me? It’s become a holiday for recognizing life’s natural transition rather than scaring me to death.

 

 

 

 

Anon

September tugs at August

October overshadows September.


Leaves falling in August

a premature ejaculation of autumn

leaves one unfulfilled

and looking to September

for more.

More warmth, more comfort,

a lingering embrace

to hold on

to the moments of bliss.

As an adult, I love September

and August too.

It’s just too soon

to feel this cool

like the afterglow

dissipating before daylight,

or a lover

tacitly

closing the door.

September, where are you

in October’s shadow?

The tomatoes are as green

as my naiveté

the scarce flowers

say goodbye…

It’s too soon to feel this cool.

Sadness hangs in the air

like unripened fruit,

July leaves gyrating brown,

their youth lost

before prime.

 Not ready

to

let

go.

Summer is over

before full bloom —

the whirlwind pursuit

with lackluster end.

Dramatic photo of imposing clouds at sunset over lonely landscape

Nature Teacher: We may be One but We are Not the Same

Red ripened and green beefsteak tomatoes on the vine

Gardening teaches me so much about living life. Besides providing quiet time to regenerate, and avoid constant interruptions of marketing ploys or messages that can wait, gardening offers opportunities to look more deeply into life.

tomatoes 8-9-19 015Stepping into the tomato patch today, I notice some are ripened red, some still green, some are somewhere along the way. Brighter, faster, bigger, smaller, slower — each is on its own natural path. Some are still hanging on, some have fallen, others have reached their potential, or are late bloomers. Each embodies the same components — vine, skin, flesh, seeds, juice — but they are not exactly the same. I do not understand why current culture insists humans must have the same thoughts, feelings, sensitivities, and opinions, that to be one we cannot be unalike.

We are a universe of red, white, brown, tan, black, tall, short, thin, plump beings, with indigenous dialects and languages, who think diverse thoughts, eat different foods, live in disparate climates, etc., etc., etc. Yet the Thought Police want to neutralize our inherent differences, insisting we cannot think independently, that our beliefs, words and opinions must all conform.  Consider this:

Yellow and green cocktail tomatoes on the vine
Photo by satynek from Pixabay

An unripened tomato is not the same as a ripened one, not in color, size, taste or maturity. Similarly, a beefsteak tomato is not a cocktail tomato or a plum tomato or cherry tomato or tomato of any other name. I cannot force it to be what it is not. Some are blemished, some appear perfect on the surface, some may be rotten inside but I accept and work with each as is.

Instead of denigrating others for being who they are, or demanding an unrealistic homegeneity, a more equitable approach is through mutual respect — something greatly overshadowed anymore by stratospheric sensitivities. Now I am an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) but I honor individuality. Can culture shift its caliginous restraints on our genuine differences?

Various stages of ripened and unripened cherry tomatoes
Photo by jggrz from Pixabay

Over 15,000 varieties of tomatoes exist throughout our world in every shade of red, burgundy, pink, purple, orange, yellow, green, almost black, even streaked and striped. Numerous flavors range from tasty sweet to tart or well-balanced. I think it’s safe to say some prefer one type over another. There is nothing wrong with that. Each has its own comfort zone for thriving, and some are more versatile than others. Distinct qualities are refreshing. As with the human race. I don’t want to have just cherry tomatoes. Do you?

Varieties of tomatoes - red beefsteak, heirloom, yellow cherry, purple, green, striped and blemished
Photo by jggrz from Pixabay