The turtle reminds me that I owe my small human life to the generosity of the more-than-human beings with whom we share this precious homeland. The Earth was made not by one alone but from the alchemy of two essential elements: gratitude for her gifts and the covenant of reciprocity. Together they formed what we know today as Turtle Island, or North America. In return for their gifts, it’s time that we gave ours in return. ~ Robin Wall Kimmerer (The New York Times, September 24, 2023, “What Do We Owe Turtles?”)
We found a great place to walk with uneven terrain and only two people encountered along the way! We followed a trail around a large meadow full of wildflowers and humming with insects…
And then we made our way into the woods and felt grateful for all the gifts it was offering on such a lovely day.
Tim spotted this box turtle ever so slowly swallowing its breakfast. I cannot tell if he was satisfied or not when he finally got that thing down. When we came back by to check on the turtle ten minutes later he was looking more alert and I was able to get the picture at the beginning of this post.
What would a woodland be without squirrels scampering up and down the tree trunks?
The woods here have many similarities to the ones in New England, but they do have a different feel to them. The heavy presence of loblolly pines, not found up north, is one strikingly obvious difference. Likely I will start seeing more subtle distinctions as time goes on.
If we keep having these lovely weather days I might have to change my negative feelings about the summer season. Returning to Avery Point we again found a song sparrow singing at the top of the beach rose bushes. I wonder if it’s the same one we met a month ago. He was in the same spot.
The bushes were full of rose hips but I think there will be another bloom or two left in the season.
Look who was very busy digging bugs out of the lawn…
I lingered under this immense copper beech tree and held my hand on it, soaking up some healing energy. (It’s trunk was way too big to hug!) Looking up into its branches was a transcendent experience.
We come into being in and through the Earth. Simply put, we are Earthlings. The Earth is our origin, our nourishment, our educator, our healer, our fulfillment. At its core, even our spirituality is Earth derived. The human and the Earth are totally implicated, each in the other. If there is no spirituality in the Earth, then there is no spirituality in ourselves. ~ Thomas Berry (The Sacred Universe)
Not sure what kind of tree this is (below) but the slash in its bark was striking. I wonder how long it’s been there and if it grew with the tree…
What would our lives be without trees? Bleak and inhospitable, I’d say. What a blessing to have their gifts to us and the other creatures in our summer world.
Trees are the largest and most spiritually advanced plants on Earth. They are constantly in meditation, and subtle energy is their natural language. As your understanding of this language grows, you can begin to develop a relationship with them. They can help you open your energy channels and cultivate calm, presence, and vitality. You can reciprocate by helping them with their own blockages and devitalized areas. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that needs cultivation. ~ Mantak Chia (Chi Nei Tsang: Chi Massage for the Vital Organs)
This is the most beautiful place on Earth. There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary…. ~ Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
Sssh says the ocean Sssh says the small wave at the shore ~ sssh not so violent, not so proud, not so remarkable. Sssh says the surf crowding around the outcrops, washing the shore. Sssh, they say to people, this is our Earth, our eternity. ~ Rolf Jacobsen (Night Open: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen)
It’s hard to believe this little blog is five years old today! And it’s still a great pleasure, finding images and words to combine and share – I wonder if I will ever tire of it. More and more I am enjoying taking my own pictures, and am hoping to take some great ones when we go to Germany, Italy and Norway this spring. And of course, there will always be more pictures of precious Katie.
Since we are pretty cooped up in the condo because of frequent snowstorms with no melting in between, I’ve been making the best of it, watching Seasons 1 & 2 of Vikings on DVD in preparation for the start of Season 3, on Thor’s Day (Thursday) the 19th.
Thank you all my readers who have left such thoughtful comments over the years! Making friends with you in the blogosphere has enriched my life beyond measure!
Wednesday afternoon Janet and I found a new woodland garden to explore, Kentford Farm in Stonington, Connecticut. We seemed to have the place to ourselves, but for a very charming tortoiseshell cat who acted as our hostess. When we left we spotted a sign saying the garden was open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – unknowingly we had been trespassing! But the gate had been open so perhaps our confusion was understandable.
We introduce ourselves To Planets and to Flowers But with ourselves Have etiquettes Embarrassments And awes ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1184)
We will have to return as the seasons progress – it’s a perennial garden and there will be different things blooming every time we go. Please enjoy some of my favorite photographs. The plan was to travel light, with just the camera and not its bag, but it backfired on me when the camera battery died only about a third of the way through. Next time I will carry the whole kit and caboodle with me!
The wall is silence, the grass is sleep, Tall trees of peace their vigil keep, And the Fairy of Dreams, with moth-wings furled, Sings soft her secrets to the drowsy world. ~ Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (Tibetan Buddhism Deck: Buddhas, Deities, and Bodhisattvas 30 Meditation Cards)
Way over yonder is a place I have seen In a garden of wisdom from some long ago dream ~ Carole King ♫ (Way Over Yonder) ♫
Frequently the woods are pink – Frequently, are brown. Frequently the hills undress Behind my native town – Oft a head is crested I was wont to see – And as oft a cranny Where it used to be – And the Earth – they tell me On it’s axis turned! Wonderful rotation – By but twelve performed! ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #24)
In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature)
The good Will of a Flower The Man who would possess Must first present Certificate Of minted Holiness. ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #954)
Earth laughs in flowers, to see her boastful boys Earth-proud, proud of the earth which is not theirs; Who steer the plough, but cannot steer their feet Clear of the grave. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (Hamatreya)
It was not meant that the soul should cultivate the earth, but that the earth should educate and maintain the soul. ~ Margaret Fuller (Memoirs)
Earth is generous with her provisions, and her sustenance is very kind; she offers, for your table, food that requires no bloodshed and no slaughter. ~ Ovid
Honestly, I could live indefinitely on soy milk and cereal, and beans and rice. But husband Tim is a lover of great variety and hearty meals. I’m starting to realize that if I am going to have a vegetarian kitchen I am going to have to add a lot more to my repertoire to keep this guy reasonably satisfied.
Borders is or was going out of business and we found ourselves there browsing around for good deals on books. Looking over the cookbook selections I thought 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles sounded promising and started thumbing through it. It has won two awards, the Julia Child Cookbook Award and the James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence. Following my intuition about this one – sorry Dr. Ornish, but Tim was not at all thrilled with the recipes in your cookbook – I bought it and am so happy I did. So far, Tim has liked every recipe I’ve made from it! 🙂 Who knew there were so many ways to prepare eggplant? Or that eggplants and plums went well together in the same concoction?
A few days ago my friend Robin, over at Life in the Bogs, mentioned that she was becoming more of a vegetarian. I told her I was heading in the same direction and she recommended a book to me, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted & The Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss & Long-term Health by T. Colin Campbell & Thomas M. Campbell. Well, thanks again to Kindle it didn’t take me long to finish this amazing book, which delves quite deeply into why animal protein is so unhealthy for us, even if it is humanely and organically raised. Our Western diets are primarily animal protein and this is probably the cause of many of what the authors call diseases of affluence – cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis – the list goes on and on as he cites the China Study and many other scientific studies.
As it turns out, the diet that is good for us is also good for our little blue planet.
We plow under the habitats of other animals to grow hybrid corn that fattens our genetically engineered animals for slaughter. We make free species extinct and domestic species into bio-machines. We build cruelty into our diet. ~ Peter Singer & Jim Mason (The Way We Eat)
It seems disingenuous for the intellectual elite of the first world to dwell on the subject of too many babies being born in the second- and third-world nations while virtually ignoring the over-population of cattle and the realities of a food chain that robs the poor of sustenance to feed the rich a steady diet of grain-fed meat. ~ Jeremy Rifkin (Beyond Beef: The Rise & Fall of the Cattle Culture)
It’s going to take a lot of effort to become a vegan household, but I feel like I’ve got enough information now to help me keep this new commitment.