Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


15 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Biggest Beach Cleanup Ever

I’d never seen a beach so dirty until I watched this video showing Versova Beach before the clean up.

 

85 weeks later, Versova Beach is clean and beautiful,  thanks to the hard work of volunteers.

This next short video shows more of what it looks like since the clean up.

 

Got good news? Feel free to share in the comments!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.       __Margaret Mead

Sunflower w address


15 Comments

Intoxicating Smells

 

mimosa flower close up

Right before I read today’s Stream of Consciousness Prompt, I was outside picking up mimosa flowers in my backyard. Some people seem to find mimosas a nuisance. The flowers are everywhere, littering, NO, not littering, gracing my back steps, patio and yard. I  think mimosas are delightful. They are not “invasive” to me. They are prolific. And their flowers are intoxicating – mildly intoxicating. When I pick up a mimosa flower and breathe in it’s gentle fragrance, my eyes close and roll back a bit in my head.

Mimosa fragrance is milder than honeysuckle, my other favorite flower smell. Gardenia is nice, but it can be a bit much. Another smell I love is a wood fire. I don’t much like sleeping on the ground any more, but I remember going camping in years passed and not wanting to wash my clothes because of the smell of wood smoke bringing back memories of sitting around the fire and looking at the stars.

And I can’t leave out the intoxicating smell of my first love when he found me again after 39 years. I hope you don’t get tired of me writing about that, but I might have some new followers who don’t know about it. It’s just fascinating to me how intoxicating I found his smell when we first reconnected in 2011. My nose would linger over his neck and drink in the mild, almost imperceptible scent of his skin. That scent must have imprinted hard on my 16 year old brain. That’s just one of the many things you can read about when my book comes out sometimes this summer. Maybe even next month…. I wonder if it will smell good. Don’t you just love the smell of old books, or new books? Kinda weird for a lover of trees to love the smell of books and burning wood. Sorry about that trees. What can I say? Smell is complicated.

socsbadge2016-17

Today’s SocS prompt, “smell,” is brought to you by, Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-2717/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


13 Comments

Sustainable Rest

blue-ridge-183037_960_720

Back in January, while driving to the Appalachian Mountains to see my son, I stopped at a rest area that was extraordinary. I say extraordinary because I’m used to the simply functional rest areas, well-landscaped but not particularly restful. I’d made a quick stop at this particular rest area the year before, just long enough to use the necessary facilities, and didn’t think much of it.

Having more time on my January trip, and being tired of driving, I decided to ventured down the covered walkway beyond the restrooms. Through glass doors, I saw an inviting fireplace and entered what turned out to be an information center lobby with a comfy sofa across from the fireplace and large windows looking out at gentle slopes.

rest-area-fire-place

I think the fire place might have run on gas, but it was still cozy. I took a moment just to sit and admire the fire.  I noticed a room off to the side with a display of a local artifacts. The dulcimer caught my attention.

rest-area-dulcimer

On the other side of the lobby was an information counter staffed by a friendly older couple (older than me).  I complimented them on the coziness of their rest area, and they happily told me it was a sustainable rest area. They told me about their LEED Gold certification,  passive solar heat, and solar hot water collectors. The facility also has a  rain water cistern tank and a bio retention basin with a chemical spill basin, along with  a nature trail and bio-swales. I had to look up bio-swales: landscape elements designed to concentrate or remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water.

I was impressed by this green rest area on top of a hill just east of the town of Wilkesboro, NC. Maybe it’s not such a big deal to some, but I am thankful that there was a moment in time when this good idea was agreed on and allowed to materialize in this place.

It gives me hope.

If you’re ever headed that way on Hwy 421, stop in and rest a while.

http://wilkeschamber.wixsite.com/nwncvisitorcenter


25 Comments

Inter-faith Dreams and Gardening

socsbadge2016-17

The first thing that popped into my head when I read Linda’s post for today (inter) was “Inter-faith.” But then I wanted to go look up inter-  so I could understand the word more.

Dictionary.com says:

a prefix occurring in loanwords from Latin, where it meant “between,” “among,” “in the midst of,” “mutually,” “reciprocally,” “together,” “during” ( intercept; interest); on this model, used in the formation of…

What if we could sit down at a table and share about our faith and work toward understanding one another? A picnic table would be nice, or a round table, like King Arthur had. What if we just listened to each other and looked for common ground? But accepted the differences too! I know it might not be easy. But it would be interesting. I use that word a lot, interesting. But I like it. It would be interesting if we could be open-minded.

We have strong beliefs about some things, so it’s not always easy. Like yesterday I went to feed my feral cats at church and one of our church members who loves to do landscaping was planting the Easter lilies in the garden. Then he started pulling up these plants that I like with purple flowers on them because they are looking leggy and past their peak. I said I thought they were pretty. We’ve had a similar discussion before. We have different philosophies about gardening. I don’t like to kill anything and therefore have a very natural looking yard. Some people would call it overgrown, and they would think they were being nice in saying that when they think it’s a mess.

Anyway, I wanted to get on a soapbox and only briefly mentioned that I didn’t like to kill things. Then I went into the parish hall to wash the cat dish and I prayed: God help me with this. Help me be…. just help me. When I went back out, I saw that the garden did actually look a little better without the scraggly, leggy purple headed stalks. I took one bunch home and planted it in my overgrown yard, and the rest are going to another church member. I helped my friend clean up a little and told him the garden did look better.

So, we both have strong opinions about gardens, which we shared, and we ended up on good terms. Lots of different kinds of flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees in the world. I’m not crazy about zinnias but my friend is. No particular reason. I love honeysuckle and mimosas, but some people think they’re invasive. I think they’re prolific and beautiful. Sometimes honeysuckle intertwines and takes over. And I do have to cut it back some. For the most part, we can coexist, we can tolerate each other’s beliefs. We can figure out a way to respect each other. Sometimes we compromise, sometimes we don’t.

This is a stream of consciousness post, so I don’t have to have a tidy ending. Tidy is not something I’m into anyway. I much prefer interesting.

I just did some research and found out my leggy flower friends are Tradescantia, aka: spiderwort. They come in purple, blue, pink and white, and they are prolific.

spiderwort from pixabay

Today’s stream of consciousness prompt was: “inter-” provided by our interesting host, Linda G. Hill. You can find her and other SOC posts at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-617/

Here are the rules for SoCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


25 Comments

Serving at Cursillo: a Spiritual Weekend

 

Trinity Center pond

My weekend was intense, busy, and very social. I knew it would be outside my comfort zone, but I was asked to be on the music team, and I wanted to give back for all the blessings I’ve received. Leaning heavily toward introversion, I’m more comfortable finding my spiritual moments alone in quiet places, but thankfully, I found God in many varied moments during my four days serving at “EC 95” (The 95th Cursillo weekend of the East Carolina Episcopal Diocese.)

Cursill is a three day adventure for 20 pilgrims who are there to learn about Christian leadership and to be loved and served by the team. One of the common experiences shared by pilgrims was a deeper relationship with Jesus and one another. As a team member serving the pilgrims, I felt this deepening, too. Even with the lack of sleep from late nights and early mornings, even with my occasional discomfort from being around  many people who I didn’t know well, I felt the deepening. I felt the love for people who became family.

It helped that our Cursillo weekend was held at Trinity Center, a place close to nature and close to my heart, where they build around the trees.

Tree in deck

Trinity is an Episcopal retreat center nestled on the North Carolina coast between Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunset at Sander's Point (2)

ocean from the pavilion

One of my favorite places at Trinity Center, besides the beach….  and the sound….. and the pond….

pond throug trees (3)

Trinity Center pond

…is the tunnel that runs under the main road and leads to the beach.

tunnel sign

tunnel entrance

tunnel with turtle

The tunnel is a great place to sing. Imagine the echo. Or is it called reverb?

On Friday afternoon, as I walked the wooded road to my room during a short break, I stopped to admire the light shining through the leaves ahead.

path of connection with Mom and Dad (2)

It was here that I felt the powerful and undeniable presence of my parents. They “told” me (in feelings more than words) of their joy that I was there serving with my husband, and that they are proud of us both. My parents had a long history of ministry in soup kitchens and working with veterans. This is the first time I’ve felt them both together since my father died in January. The confirmation that they are together still makes my heart sing.

djembe purple background

I finally got me a Djembe!

And I did a lot of singing at Cursillo. As part of the music team, I sang, played my guitar, and got to experiment with the new drum I bought for this occasion.

Cursillo music is mostly folksy with some contemporary praise songs. When somebody requested “Wade In the Water,” we had to hunt for the music because it wasn’t on our song list. But it turned out to be such a big hit, we sang this powerful spiritual three times during the weekend. This article explains that “Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade in the Water” to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water to make sure the dogs slavecatchers used couldn’t sniff out their trail.” 

The following arrangement, while different than the simple version we sang, gives a feeling close to what I felt during our closing service singing with about 50 people and three guitars as I kept a strong, steady beat on my drum.

In spite of the intensity, I’m thankful to have served at EC 95. But some day,  I want to go to Trinity Center just to relax. I bet I’ll do some singing and wading, too.

Silver beach (2)


17 Comments

Answering a Call

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”  (Interpretive translation of Talmudic texts)

I’ve been called to be part of the music team for pilgrims attending Cursillio, a four day course in apostolic movement. We convene at Trinity Center, an Episcopal retreat center by the Atlantic Ocean. But I wouldn’t call Cursillio a retreat. Its intensity has been known to stretch the boundaries of this introvert’s comfort zone. Maybe that’s not a bad thing – for a few days, anyway. I’ll be taking my guitar and the new drum I bought. My goal is to have fun while serving, singing, and spending some time in nature.

Trinity Center pond

Trinity Center pond

I’ll be leaving tomorrow and will have limited internet access. Don’t know if I’ll have time to dip my toe in the stream of Consciousness on Saturday, but maybe I’ll get to dip my toe in the ocean.

As they say at Cursillio,

De Colores!

I know this is a little long for a one-liner, but I’ll be gone for a few days. Go visit Linda for lots of great one-liner’s at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/26/one-liner-wednesday-best-friends/

1linerwedsbadgewes

The rules, which I sometimes follow are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!