Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November Musing - Part 3

There comes a time when autumn asks,
"What have you been doing all summer?"

Going out on a limb, and then meeting ourselves coming and going...
In August, my dear husband once again called my attention to something he knew I'd want to see. I quickly spied it clinging tightly to the rough wood of a standing planter box. Hidden among the clutter of old pieces of wood and blue tarp, it might easily have been overlooked if not for its brilliant green color.  Carefully observing, studying, and photographing it, I then made an attempt to grab it for a closer look. This little green tree frog depended on heightened awareness for its very survival, so when its supposed camouflage failed, it quickly switched to Plan B: speed and cover. It took me a few minutes of searching and grabbing, but finally I held it in my hand.

We were trying to settle in to what passes as a normal summer for us -maintaining our sizable yard and enjoying a number of local camping trips. But the reality is that this was not a normal summer for us. May had seen us offering some measure of long distance support for the move and settling-in of our brother-in-law near to his youngest daughter. June saw us helping to pack and move my older sister to our area from out-of-state. 

 And in between, we'd lived with many weeks of a major overhauling of a large slab of concrete near the back of our house. This served as a floor for both a double carport and a patio area, but it was very old, cracked, chipped, and beyond repair. After seeking expert advice, there was nothing to do but have that whole, huge slab removed and replaced with something better.
This brought major disruption, noise, and mess. So much for our normally quiet home...
Was it worth it? Absolutely!
To better photograph it, I set the little tree frog on a small plant near the ground, thinking I could sit down and focus right in on it.
Apparently, the frog had other ideas as it made a flying leap to a nearby red huckleberry bush and began climbing.
Several times I caught it and again placed it back on the short plant, but each time it leaped to the bush and continued its upward trek.
Finally, I just tried to photograph it wherever it was perched.
"Real action is in silent moments."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I had my usual volunteer activities, some of which require more time and energy in the summer.  
As a volunteer beach naturalist, many hours are spent on our local beaches interacting with both children and adults who visit and would like to learn more about sea life.
As a member of the steering committee for a local nature park being developed in our area, I help with some stewardship work as well as many of the educational events we have there. The hours do add up...
"A bee is never as busy as it seems;
it's just that it can't buzz any slower."
Kin Hubbard

One thing we did not fully expect was the time involved with our church's new building project. My husband became the self-appointed "official" photographer and made at least one trip a day to the site to capture every stage of the building process.

This took nearly a year and was full of all sorts of ups and downs.

When the building was complete, we had a huge amount of landscaping to do and guess who was on that committee?

Most of what we did was required by the county, so it was not just for looks or our own satisfaction, although the results turned out well.


We're glad it's all done!
We did manage to go camping, as planned. Although we live in a rural area, we are not far from two major cities and the surrounding areas teem with population. Because of this and (we surmise)  the current economic conditions, to get a desired camp site with the needed or wanted hookups one really needs to make a reservation months in advance. We had reserved all of our camping sites back in January and, fortunately, we did not need to cancel any.

For us - even with planning and packing - getting away to the relative peace and quiet of a campground is well worth the effort. It really is getting back to the basics of simple living - relaxing, enjoying the great outdoors, cooking, eating, and sleeping.

 We spend little time inside, choosing to sit outside in camp chairs or taking a drive or hike to see the surrounding countryside.
We revel in the variety of life on this planet and never cease to be amazed at how well each is adapted to its particular niche.
 We breath it all in and find ourselves refreshed and revitalized again and again.
"The point is that when I see a sunset or a waterfall or something, for a split second it's so great, because for a little bit I'm out of my brain, and it's got nothing to do with me. I'm not trying to figure it out, you know what I mean? And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness." - Chris Evans.

 The tree frog continued to climb and leap - from one slender branch to the next. It seemed very odd to me that it would choose this spindly bush over the sturdy plant below until it dawned on me - this was a TREE frog. It simply chose the path it was best equipped to deal with.
When I find myself overwhelmed with the myriad facets of life - the worries, frustrations, burdens, pain, grief, busyness, and constant changes, I always seek some measure of solitude.
While digging weeds, I can work out the solution to a problem.
While walking the beach, I can contemplate ultimate change.
While standing among trees, I can recognize my true size and importance.
When my mind is a-swirl and my body racing, instinctively I know what I need - solitude and silence.
Through these, the ultimate power of life and love and all that is speaks volumes and brings me back to who I am.

"When you lose touch with inner stillness,
you lose touch with yourself.
When you lose touch with yourself,
you lose yourself in the world.
Your innermost sense of self, of who you are,
is inseparable from stillness.
This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form."
~Eckhart Tolle
Be still, and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10

1 comment:

  1. Your posts are always inspiring. I love them and I love and appreciate you. I am thankful for you and your writing and photography and especially your friendship.