Saturday, October 10, 2020

Pine Cones


It's a prolific year for pine cones, and i'm collecting bags full of them. A pine cone or two makes starting a fire in the wood stove easy; pine cones are almost as good kindling as fat sticks.

In these political days, it's easy to light the fire of righteousness. What's the matter with those people? Why can't they see things the way i see them?

But the fires of anger, worry, discontent, and even disgust are not dowsed by fighting fire with fire. The fire of fear burns hot. We are afraid of the other side, and they are afraid of us.

The Buddha said: Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.

We might say: Anger never ceases by more anger, but is healed by kindness alone.

Let's kindle kindness. Let's take the high road and extinguish our own internal fires of fear. 

 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Wind

 


Just before the rain, the wind  blows beautifully. A cool warm wind. I lie in the hammock and watch clouds skid across the sky. 

It's heaven out near the vegetable garden, surrounded by red- and yellow-leaved trees. I'm wearing long sleeves, but the temperature is just right. 

The wind blows the Cheryl-ness out of me until i can feel the clouds skating across the sky also skating through my chest. It's wonderfully wild in the great outdoors.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

BLT in a Bowl


I planted only 3 tomato plants because my sweetie is allergic to tomatoes. Nevertheless, i now have a lot of tomatoes to eat. Some days, i eat fresh tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

One of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes is a BLT sandwich, but who has time to fry bacon? So i buy bacon bits--fake bacon bits from the co-op or real bacon bits from the supermarket. I try to avoid gluten, so i now eat a BLT bowl. And truth be told, i don't have lettuce, so it's just diced tomatoes, bacon bits, and a dollop of mayonnaise.

Oh, how that recipe for BLT has changed over the years. I grew up with Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip. I used to eat mayonnaise (Miracle Whip) sandwiches after school.

In my 20s i converted to whole wheat bread, and in my 30s to "real" mayonnaise, Hellman's or Best on the West Coast. In my 60s, i started drifting away from bread.

I still call it BLT even though it barely resembles its former self. And come to think of it, i still call me "I," even though i barely resemble my former self.

Is a BLT in a bowl still a BLT?

Am I still I?


Monday, October 5, 2020

Big Move


The big move is happening. The seasons are changing. Potatoes and winter squash have been drying in the woodshed, along with the gladiolus corms. Now it's time for everything to move to the basement, so that the wood can start coming into the woodshed.

Onions and garlic are already in the basement, but i have to shuffle them around to make room for incoming vegetables. I need more shelf space.

They say that wood warms you twice: once when you stack it and once when you burn it. Potatoes and squash aren't nearly as heavy, but there's a lot of up and down on the basement stairs. Good exercise!

Change. It's the only thing that's constant.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Harvesting Hemp

 


A friend gave me 2 hemp plants in June, which grew to be six feet tall and 2 feet wide. So what can i do with hemp? Other than make rope. I would like to harvest some hemp seed, but all i have are buds and flowers.

For now, it's cut and drying in the shed.

Here i am, face to face with don't-know mind. I don't know what to do with hemp, and i don't know what to write about it.

I much prefer knowing what to do, knowing something, knowing anything! But that kind of knowing is not available right now.

So i settle into don't-know and feel how it feels in my body. Uncomfortable. A slight tension impels me forward to wanting. Wanting to know. Wanting to find out.

In the meantime, i have to be satisfied with "Don't know."


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Fear-Dispelling Buddha

 


With all the political shenanigans going on, i am relying on the fear-dispelling Buddha near my front door.

Who, me? Worry? Well, yes. I find my amydala (Danger! Danger!) is activated by the news.

Yet the fear-dispelling Buddha stands, silently reminding me to let fear go.

His right hand is raised as if to say Stop! Stop that obsessive mind. His left hand is lowered as if to say Drop it. Let it go.

How do you stop the discursive mind? My favorite practice right now is to say--out loud if need be--Cancel. Cancel. Cancel that thought. I don't want to make the rut of that worrying thought any deeper.

Give it a try today. Every time a sad, anxious, or mean thought passes through your mind, simply say Cancel. Cancel. even if you have to say it repeatedly.

I find that Cancel. Cancel. allows me to drop the thought for a second. Let it go. Notice that one second of peace. That's a one-second vacation from the obsessive mind. What a relief!


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Path Paved with Yellow Leaves


Yellow birch leaves are fluttering to earth, at times looking like soft yellow rain. My woodland path is paved with gold.

Every morning, i follow my personal "yellow brick road" to meditation at a neighbor's house. 

Meditation offers all sorts of obstacles--lack of determination (the scarecrow), tension and tightness (the tin man), and lack of heart (the lion). Yet we persevere, confident that our path will lead us to our natural state, which is not Kansas, but kindness.