Thursday, December 31, 2020

Resolutions: What Are You Going to "Focus On"? and The Power of Forgiveness

It's interesting that the word "resolution" has, as one of its definitions: "to bring into greater focus" (as in a "microscope's powers of resolution"). So, one way of looking at our new year's resolutions is to decide what we're going to "focus on".  Chris and I, both being Aquarians, found this recent Free Will astrological forecast by Rob Brezsny's quite fitting as we refine where we put our attention for this coming year. Perhaps you will too, whatever your sun-sign is!

Aquarian philosopher Simone Weil formulated resolutions so as to avoid undermining herself. First, she vowed she would only deal with difficulties that actually confronted her, not far-off or hypothetical problems. Second, she would allow herself to feel only those feelings that were needed to inspire her and make her take effective action. All other feelings were to be shed, including imaginary feelings—that is, those not rooted in any real, objective situation. Third, she vowed, she would "never react to evil in such a way as to augment it."

One of the feelings we're choosing to focus on this year is forgiveness. Here are two videos we recently came across that show forgiveness at its best. The first one is a 3-year old's response to his mother telling him that she ate all his Halloween candy. Precious.

And the second video features the world's champion of "healthy feelings", and his grandson's response when Fred Roger's fessed up to behaviors he felt he needed to be forgiven for.


Monday, December 21, 2020

Light is Returning - Solstice Song

Here, on this shortest day of the year, here are the lyrics from a Solstice song by Charlie Murphy.

Light is returning
Even though this is the darkest hour.
No one can hold back the dawn.

Let's keep it burning;
Let's keep the light of hope alive!
Make safe our journey through the storm.

One planet is turning
Circle on her path around the Sun.
Earth Mother is calling her children home. 

To hear the music, CLICK HERE.

And, another offering...

Blessing for the Longest Night--by Jan Richardson, syndicated from adventdoor.com, Dec 23, 2020

All throughout these months
as the shadows
have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself,
making ready,
preparing for
this night.

It has practiced
walking in the dark,
traveling with
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by memory
by touch
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.

So believe me
when I tell you
this blessing will
reach you
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you
even though you cannot
see it coming.

You will know
the moment of its
arriving
by your release
of the breath
you have held
so long;
a loosening
of the clenching
in your hands,
of the clutch
around your heart;
a thinning
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
around you.

This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
to travel
in the company
of a friend.

So when
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up.
Set out on the road
you cannot see.

This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.

—Jan Richardson
from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.
--Jan Richardson


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Small Things With Great Love

Sometimes, when I'm feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of the challenges the world is facing, I am comforted by this quote attributed to Mother Teresa:

Recently, I came across the following incredible story of how degraded gorse-infested farmland has been regenerated back into beautiful New Zealand native forest over the course of 30 years. It's a real David and Goliath story. When, in 1987, Hugh Wilson - the protagonist of the story,  let the local community know of his plans to allow the introduced ‘weed’ gorse to grow as a nurse canopy to regenerate farmland into native forest, people were not only skeptical but outright angry – the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”.

Now considered a hero locally and across the country, Hugh oversees 1500 hectares resplendent in native forest, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. He has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool. Set aside 30 minutes of your time and prepare to be inspired and uplifted!

At the end of the video, Hugh says, 

"So, if people watch this and say, 'Gosh, this is succeeding in lovely ways, I'll do something in my little corner of the world' - that would be great!...And if that's repeated over and over again, well - the possibilities are immense!" - Hugh Wilson

And, if you need a little bit more inspiration for doing your own "small thing, with great love", here's a music-video I made called The Forest of a Million Trees Begins By Planting Just One Tree

Adri with a little frog found in our garden.

And here's a re-post of an article I wrote a few years ago on our Sharing Gardens site about living cooperatively with the wild animals in our small-town/rural neighborhood.  Blessings on your day!  Llyn


Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Keep Going Song - The Bengsons

My friend Jan sent me a link to a song that really touched my heart so I want to share it with you too. It's a song for our times. A spontaneous prayer to connect us all and fill our hearts with all the deepest, most rich feelings we are capable of and give us the courage to just Keep Going on! Much love, Llyn

If you are curious (as I was) to learn about the background of the song and the people who created it, here is a wonderful, informative post by Aimsel Ponti. 

And, if you'd like to send a love-note to the Bengsons, here is their Facebook page.


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Good news about Re-wilding Our Planet

Hello friends - Just last week we were looking out our backyard window during midday and there was a beautiful, full-grown grey fox just sauntering through our meadow! We'd been having concern that the three neighborhood cats who consider our 3-acres their backyard, have been over-hunting the rodents that also call our place home, thereby reducing food for the wild creatures that depend on them. But sight of the fox eased my fears. He or she looked radiant with health with a thick and lustrous coat and tail. No signs of hunger there!

Grey Fox - image credit: Susan Tenney

Here's a re-post of an article I wrote a few years ago on our Sharing Gardens site about living cooperatively with the wild animals in our small-town/rural neighborhood. 


It seems we could all use some good news about things that are going right on the planet these days. Here are a multitude of articles I came across recently about efforts to preserve habitat, and breed endangered animals for re-release back into the wild.

Ambitious Reforestation Project Will Plant 3 Million Trees in Uganda  

How maverick re-wilders are trying to turn back the tide of extinction

With 14,000 Critical Acres Added to Montana Wildlife Reserve, It May Become the Largest in the Lower 48

Ducks Unlimited and the University of Florida working together for conservation at the DeLuca Preserve 

Gone For a Century, Plant Finally Shows Itself When Conservation Work on ‘Ghost Pond’ Stirs Up Hidden Seed 

China's Yangtze River Basin to Recover Biodiversity 

50 Countries Just Joined New Coalition to Protect 30% of the Planet’s Land and Oceans By Decade’s End

There are lots of small ways we can each help create a healthier planet, through our consumer choices and the way we live our lives. Thank you to each of you reading this for all the ways you are contributing to solutions! Love, Llyn




Monday, November 2, 2020

Election - a poem


 ELECTION — a poem by Alfred K. LaMotte:

I voted.

I voted for the rainbow.

I voted for the cry of a loon.

I voted for my grandfather’s bones
that feed beetles now.

I voted for a singing brook that sparkles
under a North Dakota bean field.

I voted for salty air through which the whimbrel flies
South along the shores of two continents.

I voted for melting snow that returns to the wellspring
of darkness, where the sky is born from the earth.

I voted for daemonic mushrooms in the loam,
and the old democracy of worms.

I voted for the wordless treaty that cannot be broken
by white men or brown, because it is made of star semen,
thistle sap, hieroglyphs of the weevil in prairie oak.

I voted for the local, the small, the brim
that does not spill over, the abolition of waste,
the luxury of enough.

I voted for the commonwealth of the ancient forest,
a larva for every beak, a wing-tinted flower
for every moth’s disguise, a well-fed mammal’s corpse
for every colony of maggots.

I voted for open borders between death and birth.

I voted on the ballot of a fallen leaf of sycamore
that cannot be erased, for it becomes the dust and rain,
and then a tree again.

I voted for more fallow time to cultivate wild flowers,
more recess in schools to cultivate play,
more leisure, tax free, more space between days.

I voted to increase the profit of evening silence
and the price of a thrush song.
I voted for ten million stars in your next inhalation.

—Alfred K. LaMotte

Monday, September 14, 2020

Low-Tech Air Filtration During Wildfires - What to pack in your "go" bag - Preparedness Tips

As many of our readers know, the west coast has recently been suffering from unprecedented wildfires and their accompanying smoke. Here is a short post with info on creating a low-tech air filter with a box-fan; What to include in a "go-bag"; and The 7 pillars of Urban Preparedness. We hope you find it helpful.
 
Smoky skies - 9-12-2020
Here is a short video on "How to make your own indoor air filter from a fan". Essentially they suggest attaching a furnace-filter to the back of a box-fan to filter indoor air. We didn't have access to furnace filters when the wildfires started so have been wetting terry-cloth hand towels, wringing them out thoroughly and hanging them on the back of our three box-fans in different rooms in the house. It has been working amazingly well! The towels dry out fairly quickly so we rinse them in a bucket, wring them out again and re-drape them on the fans every 1-2 hours. In the worst, first few days of the fires, the rinse-water was actually grey after each rinse!
 
Low-tech fan air-filter
We live in a 145 year-old farmhouse and suffered, at first, from considerable air-leaks around the doors of our front and back porches so we put towels along the lower edges of the doors and sectioned off the main rooms we live in with curtains to keep the majority of the smoke out of these rooms. This has worked really well.

Here is an article from the Portland newspaper - The Oregonian - with other tips on keeping indoor air cleaner: "Prevent wildfire smoke from entering your home: It’s OK to run air conditioners"
 
Moisten towel and put on back side.
One friend of ours who lives in northern California and had to evacuate her land for several days during wildfires down there says that "the silver-lining of all of this is that these fires are alerting people to the importance of having a "go-bag" already packed and on-hand, instead of waiting to the last minute." 
 
Whether you live in an environment that is prone to wildfires or hurricanes or other natural disasters that might precipitate the need to leave your home under short notice, here is a guide from the Natl. Weather Service of 15 things to include in your "go-bag".
 
For long-term Preparedness, for emergencies that require you to shelter in place for extended periods during weather-related emergencies or extended instances of social unrest, here is an article called "The 7 Pillars of Urban Preparedness" that outlines the important categories of preparedness to address before the crisis hits.

Be prepared. Help others.
We hope you find these tips and links helpful. Stay safe and be sure to help those around you to be prepared as well.