One of the things I most like to do is walk. I often walk down my street and take a right onto the road that passes a farm. I love this farm, and this walk. Sometimes, on these walks it is where I do my best thinking, and planning. Other times, I just let my mind wander. It is a good thing, not only because I can breathe in the beauty, but also because my body is doing what I want it to. Walk, putting each foot forward.
It is the time of year when we reflect, and think about the ways that we can improve or think about things we could have done better. For us, it is the holiest day of the year.For me, I think how I could have done more or better in many ways. However, this year, I would like to concentrate even more on the simple beauty that surrounds us. Taking in the birds that sing, the changing seasons, the beauty of flowers. Watching the beautiful sunsets. Taking even more delight in my beautiful family. In these crazy times, it seems that this is what matters the most. It is awe inspiring.
Over the weekend, I went to visit my son and his wife and my little grandson. What delight! What a precious family!
Along the way, I saw a weathervane , of Gabriel’s horn. I turned around, and stopped to look at it. It was lovely. I am taken by angels, particularly Gabriel who is an archangel. It is my youngest son’s name, and my husband’s Hebrew name (Gavriel). It spoke to me. And a couple of weekends before, I had stopped at a church to take a picture of a similar weathervane on top of a church In Newbury Port, Massachusetts. All good reasons to buy it.
But, it was expensive. I talked to the owner of the antique place, and haggled the price down. Now I have a beautiful weathervane in my back garden. An antique. I like to think that it is guarding over us. Just like those souls who have gone before us.
Yesterday was a very hot day. I was lucky enough to spend it in a museum with a dear, close friend and the exhibit was marvelous. It was air conditioned, and lovely. At the end of the day, a neighbor suggested we go to a local walking trail, and take a dip in the stream that meanders through the path.
She texted ” think: Cool Mt. Stream washing over you.” It sounded wonderful, and too good to pass up.
We did- we went on the hike, and brought our dogs. My dog loved it, running through the water, frolicing, and just plain enjoying life. The other dog was more hesitant, but eventually got in, too. He seemed to like it. I often call him Eyore (from Winnie the Pooh), but even Eyore got over his hesitation, (From “oh no, what are we going to do now?”, to “hey this isn’t so bad).
My neighbor and I relished the moment, enjoying the early evening and the coolness of the water rushing over us. It was delicious. We imagined in the olden days, the farmers might have brought their animals there to drink , and taken a dip themselves after a long, hot day.
What a wonderful way to end the day with good company, our beloved dog companions, and the beauty of what the earth provides us.
This past week, I have been visiting Harspwell, Maine. It is one of my favorite places to visit. I love the magnificent sea, Maine’s rocky beautiful craggy coastline.
My daughter and her husband joined me. It was truly wonderful. Family time is precious. We love just sitting by the sea wall, and taking in the sunshine.
I usually stop by the Giant’s Stairs, a beautiful trail that overlooks Casco Bay, and has rock formations that indeed do look like Giant’s Stairs. With wonder, I take in the breathtaking view and and relish this geographic novelty. As I was leaving the trail, a little boy ran ahead of me, being careful to step around me. I figured he was running ahead to catch up with his parents. But he stopped ahead and said to me, “Look, a seal”- It was a seal, but it was dead. “Oh,” I said. “That’s kind of sad”. “It’s big, ” I added.
I noticed the seal seemed to have a red X mark on it, probably for scientific study. I wondered about that seal. Had it died of natural causes? Or had it eaten something bad due to human’s folly? I’ll never know. But, I do hope the seal had a good life.
This past week, I spent some time in the Adirondacks with dear friends. It is so beautiful here. I love the smell of pines, the beautiful lake with Cattails, the light shining through tall pines and aspens, walks in the woods.
They have a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, which is next to the pond. St. Francis felt that nature all of G-d’s creations were part of his brotherhood. The sparrow was his brother, as much as anyone else.
As I was enjoying the beauty, I thought of other dear friends who are living with the terror and fear of wild fires spreading through the beautiful lands of California. They are hopeful that they will not become climate refugees, like so many others.
My hope is that we would have the vision of St. Francis of Assisi, and love the trees, the land and all of nature and beauty as much as our brothers and sisters.
This past weekend, I spent some time with dear friends. We’ve known each other since our kids were little, and they also knew my husband. We’ve known each other a long time- 30 plus years. We laughed, and enjoyed others’ company. Sometimes, we just listened to the sounds of the insects calling to each other. Delightful.
When I came back home, I noticed my Rose of Sharon had blossomed, probably encouraged by all the rain we had. I had planted the Rose of Sharon on Father’s Day, in my husband’s memory. The purple blossoms are so beautiful.
Somehow the two events seem not to be separated. Good friends and beauty. A good day.
I love the Adirondacks. I recently spent time there with some friends. As I am driving toward the mountains, I am overwhelmed by their beauty and majesty. The lush, tall pines beckon me and welcome me. It is also sentimental, as we spent part of our honeymoon there. The Adirondacks feel like home to me.
My friends and I took a hike on a beautiful trail. When one hikes, it is a chance to get more intimate with the mountains, and to see the individual pine trees. I relish these times, taking in the scents, and breathing in the beauty. I am glad to be home again.
Several times this past week, I’ve had occasion to look at the stars. It is something I love to do, to just sit and look at the stars and ponder. I can pick out the Big Dipper, some other constellations and sometimes a planet. Planets have a different glow, a somewhat different color, (thanks to what I learned in Astronomy). I enjoy applying that little bit of knowledge.
I often think, what are other people doing who are looking at the stars? Do they share my wonder? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But I know when I can see them, I do wonder in their exquisite beauty. The stars “put on a show for free”. (thanks to Joni Mitchell).
A poem I wrote once, encapsules my thoughts:
its beauty envelopes
The stars twinkle
I hope to keep on listening.
This past weekend, I spent some time with my grandson. It was so much fun! When I was raising my own kids, I always made sure I had time to play, but with my grandson, it’s well, different.
Now, it’s just watching and playing with him with pure joy, and delighting in simple things. Kerplunk goes the rock in the lake. Up he goes on the slide, and down he goes with his Dad with him. Watching his Mom give him a bath, while he plays and laughs, in delight is the best. And, I have to add, my grandson has wonderful parents! I’m lucky to be able to watch the delights unfold.