sun-kissed strawberries

strawberriesI’ve always thought I had a brown-thumb and rarely tried to grow anything because of it. Why? I’d kill it eventually. It turns out, I just needed the time, and the interest in making things happen. Wanting a pretty garden means sweating and weeding.

Isn’t that true of everything in life?

The forces of nature sometimes get in the way of this success. But all the recent rain, although dreary and often inconvenient, has produced all kinds of lush growth in the backyard. The strawberry patch is out of control. Out of control!

I love to sit on the porch with my husband after dinner and survey the crop. It’s amazing to see a big green berry one day, and the next day, watch it turn bright red, sweetened by the sun’s kisses.

Kisses can do that, doncha know.

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a little motion in the ocean

I cheated on this week’s challenge to capture motion. I went to the beach last weekend with high hopes of getting some good photography in — gotta get my 10,000 hours in this fledgling hobby of mine! Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. I got a few good stills that I liked and included here, but overall it was overcast and stormy most of the time. I tried to get some birds in  flight not doing the usual — flying. I got one eating a little fish that a fisherman threw to him. He had to wait for the tail to quit flailing before he swallowed it, and a gull that landed, its wings still stretched out.

One of the things that delights me about this beach happens twice a day. Pods of porpoises swim west in the early morning, and return in the later afternoon and swim east. We’re on a peninsula and I think they must be going to the bay west of us to feed.

I’ve never been able to get good pictures. This time, with a better camera in hand, I was caught unaware and missed one of them jumping out of the water like Flipper. I switched to video hoping to catch it again, but all I got was two pods swimming along. That’s plenty of motion for the morning.

Here’s a bonus:

thunderstorms

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Took a little trip to get some info and a bit of a break, but encountered some foul weather. An angry ocean is never wasted on me — I like a good storm. Unfortunately, it raged until mid-morning, so this week’s challenge, to catch the early bird morning light…well…it was delayed. The birds stayed away, too.

another brick in the wall

“Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.”  ― William Goldman, The Princess Bride
“Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.”
― William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Here’s a wall down a side street in New Orleans. I’d been enjoying the beautiful flowers everywhere, how lovely and festive everything was, and then I encountered this empty wall.

But it’s not empty. It has a little mold growing on it, and then there’s that light. I don’t think it works. But maybe it does.

There’s something about a wall. It can keep things out, or keep things in. Robert Frost says it makes good neighbors, or something like that. Maybe it was fences he was talking about. It’s all the same.

I’ve been known to put up walls, and keep them up. The secret is they’re scalable. Or if you really try, you’ll find the secret passage and walk through.

Post A Day: Back to Life

Today’s interesting challenge poses the question: what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?

The preface establishes scenarios — a long flight, a grueling week. The suggestion that something has worn us out physically. The answer is rather dull: I take a nice hot shower. It feels good to be clean — to feel the grime washed away. There’s something to be said for the sensual pleasure of hot water flowing over me.

Nevertheless, I’d rather focus on the depth of the question: what makes me feel human? And perhaps of more interest, what could possibly have the effect of zapping my humanity?

I feel least human when I refuse to acknowledge the humanity of others. I can spend my day never making eye contact, never listening with my heart, never getting emotionally invested in the events happening right next to me.

I have become an expert in disassociating myself from the feelings of those around me. The sad part of that is that I lose a piece of my humanity along the way.

I have to allow myself to feel to get it back. I need to love. I need to love, not just those who love me back, but those who are difficult to love, too. The demanding family member. The obnoxious neighbor. The uncooperative colleague.

I need to learn to love like God loves.

And I need to allow myself to cry, whether it’s in grief or gratitude, joy or anger, appreciation or frustration. It’s an amazing catharsis to cry – to express through tears a multitude of emotions.

What could be more human than that?