Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or of acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.
~ Carl Sagan
(Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
A lady, with whom I was riding in the forest, said to me, that the woods always seemed to her to wait, as if the genii who inhabit them suspended their deeds until the wayfarer has passed onward: a thought which poetry has celebrated in the dance of the fairies, which breaks off on the approach of human feet.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have learned through walking with my dogs here that there is an unspoken law. Always send a warning. Never surprise the animal life in the forest. So walking along without the noise of the jeep, it is wise to whistle a little tune and give the creatures some kind of an idea that you are approaching their area. This gives them a chance to adjust and find a place to hide, so they can watch you from their position out of your view. It is wise to follow the rule of the forest.
~ Neil Young
(Waging Heavy Peace)
In the belly of the furnace of creativity is a sexual fire; the flames twine about each other in fear and delight. The same sort of coiling, at a cooler, slower pace, is what the life of this planet looks like. The enormous spirals of typhoons, the twists and turns of mountain ranges and gorges, the waves and the deep ocean currents – a dragonlike writhing.
~ Gary Snyder
(A Place in Space)
Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have a clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.
~ J. R. R. Tolkien
(The Return of the King)
Contemplating the lace-like fabric of streams outspread over the mountains, we are reminded that everything is flowing – going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks both in solution and in the form of mud particles, sand, pebbles, and boulders. Rocks flow from volcanoes like water from springs, and animals flock together and flow in currents modified by stepping, leaping, gliding, flying, swimming, etc. While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood globules in Nature’s warm heart.
~ John Muir
(Meditations of John Muir: Nature’s Temple)
On this occasion it was Janet who brought me to the Stonington Cemetery to visit my newly adopted tree. And this time I photographed her from her other side (above) and noticed something else of interest. It might be difficult to make out, but there is a stone corner post embedded in her roots and trunk. The tree must have grown around the post as she widened in circumference!
…the Holy Family…
…♫ It had to be you ♫ wonderful you ♫ had to be you ♫…
A little online research satisfied my curiosity about the woman buried in this grave with a very unique headstone (above), who died at the tragically young age of 51. She was Catherine Voorsanger, an associate curator of American decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
…buds are emerging…
…nooks, crannies and a needle-eye…
Brother #6 has returned to England now, and Brother #4 awaits further medical tests after an infection, for which he is being treated, clears. We’re getting lots of practice exercising patience as we wait and wait for elusive answers to our questions…
Olga remains mostly in hiding, but Zoë is enjoying the fresh air coming in the open windows, and watching all the birds and squirrels scurrying and fluttering about near the balcony. She’s getting plenty of exercise chasing the red spot made by a small laser flashlight. Besides pony-tail elastics, it’s the only toy that seems to inspire her to play.
I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Oh! where do fairies hide their heads, When snow lies on the hills? When frost has spoiled their mossy beds, And crystallized their rills: Beneath the moon they cannot trip In circles o’er the plain: And draughts of dew they cannot sip, Till green leaves come again.
~ Thomas Haynes Bayly
(Songs & Ballads, Grave & Gay)
…”The Little Drummer Boy” is Larisa’s favorite Christmas song…
This year Tim had a vacation for the week between Christmas and New Year, so we decided to travel to visit our kids, who did not have time off from work for holiday adventures. Tim spent Christmas Eve in the emergency department seeking treatment for another bout of diverticulitis… But a CAT-scan determined that it was caught early enough and was mild enough for him to be treated with oral antibiotics and sent on his way.
…Larisa and Compromise…
Christmas morning we set out for New York to spend the day with Dima & Larisa, who cooked us a scrumptious feast for dinner. When darkness fell the twinkling tree lights came on and we admired all their decorations. Compromise, their pet albino rat was allowed out of his cage and spent the evening with us, cuddling with Larisa, while we were playing board games. It was a lovely, cozy and peaceful evening, our first Christmas in the city, with Christmas carols playing softly in the background.
Whenever Larisa needed to get up to attend to something she left Compromise on her chair, knowing he would not risk jumping off it. He would wait patiently for her to return and hold him again. We never knew a rat could be so affectionate. Sometimes he would sit on her shoulder while she was busy with things. So adorable!
The next morning Dima & Larisa were off to work and then Tim & I left for our next destination in Virginia!