Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Thursday Tree Love: Tolerating Human Intrusion

Tree in the median near the Basilica of Saint Mary

In the older parts of my city, including downtown and my neighborhood, electrical/utility lines still crisscross overhead. The branches of old trees are cut away from the lines in what often appear as grotesque deformities. Still, most of the trees seem to adapt. In newer neighborhoods, the utility lines are buried underground which looks better from a human perspective and reduces storm damage. Who knows what the trees and mycelium network prefer? They would probably prefer we let them grow naturally without intrusion. I am grateful for these trees putting up with us as they continue to provide shade, habitat, and oxygen.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit Parul at: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-129/


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One-Liner Wednesday: Can I Bring a Friend?

 

If the world ends

And we follow Jesus to the New Earth,

Can Gaia come too?

 

Please help us save her

Cause I really got a thing for Mother Earth.

She means the world to me.

 

Earth, The Blue Marble

PS:

My sci-fi escapes

to strange new worlds

are just pretend.

Planet B

Is far, far away.

Earth is home.

~~~

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more one-liners, visit, Linda HERE.


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Thursday Tree Love: Live Oak with Resurrection Fern and Spanish Moss Over Water

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” – Rachel Carson

My friend enticed me to go to Airlie Gardens a couple of weeks ago to take pictures. I’m so glad we went. It was a perfect spring morning. This cluster of live oaks leaning over the water were among my favorites.

Skirted by azaleas, the trunks provided a home for resurrection fern. Branches leaning over water were draped in Spanish Moss.

View from the other side

Thursday Tree Love is hosted on the second and fourth Thursday of each month by Paurl Thakur. For more tree love, visit Parul at: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-127/


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Tipping Points for Self Care, Peace, and Planet Earth

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “tip.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

So many possibilities for “tip.” That’s why Linda is the hostess with the most-est, and best-est prompts.

The tip of the iceberg can seem to be what caused the tipping point, but there was a lot more underneath. Lots of straws under the last straw. It’s like when you are in a relationship that’s not a good fit, but you stay there because there are some good things. Maybe he makes you laugh, but not as much as he used to, because he makes you cry, too. Maybe he has a good heart, but a crazy mind – not good crazy – paranoid, jealous, controlling. And then finally, something happens to make you realize, it’s not worth it. You deserve better.

The tipping point can happen in a job, or any toxic relationship – one too many criticisms, one too many late nights, stomachaches and other signs of stress…. Our bodies tell us if we pay attention. Eventually the time comes to get out, and you realize you can.

(From Pixabay perhaps?)

Forgiveness can come later. But forgiveness doesn’t mean we have to have lunch. We can forgive from a distance.

What a relief when we step away from something that has felt like a suit that didn’t really fit. That’s happened to me recently. I felt obligated to be part of something that became more restrictive (mentally and spiritually) over time. Now that I’ve stepped away, I feel more authentic.

A tipping point can also go in the direction of something good! What’s it going to take to get me to take that bike sitting on the catio to get fixed so I can ride it? What’s it going to take to get me back to a gym, or maybe a physical therapist, for my occasional back spasms? Those back spasms (almost gone now) were the tipping point to get me to pay someone do a little yard work instead of trying to do it all myself.

I’m hoping for a tipping point that will make Putin really back off and give Ukraine the power to be free of tyranny. Can there be a tipping point for peace?

I’m hoping for a tipping point that gets us to take care of planet earth. Not another crisis, but maybe that’s what it will take. It could go either way.

From Facebook

Speaking of nature, I greatly enjoyed the perfect weather and company when my friend met me at Airlie Gardens to take pictures last week.

~~~

For more streams, rules, and tips for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our host, Linda at:


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My Review of The Twisted Circle by Rosaliene Bacchus

Spiritual Courage in the Face of Toxic Harassment

The Twisted Circle tells the story of Sister Barbara, a nun who has just transferred to a convent in the northern jungle region of Guyana to teach school. Like the other nuns, she cares very much about the students. Her sudden promotion to the position of headmistress of the school infuriates the antagonist, Sister Francis, a white woman from the US, who believes she has more experience. Sister Francis has an inappropriately close relationship with the priest, Father Goodman. She thinks of him as more than a friend and is very possessive of him. I find the choice of names (Francis and Goodman) interesting, perhaps supporting the realization that people are not always as pious as they appear.

It’s helpful that we get to read the thoughts of both Sister Barbara and Sister Francis. The additional perspective allowed me to see Sister Francis as more than jealous and spiteful. Her journal entries reveal that the antagonist is overcome by paranoid delusions. This of course does not excuse her behavior as she attempts to destroy Barbara’s reputation. Reading as a white woman from the US, it was humbling and enlightening to experience Francis through the eyes of Barbara who is of East Indian and African heritage and often referred to, by herself and others, as Black.

Barbara struggles with self-doubt but shows admirable courage as she strives to do the work God has given her to do in a toxic environment of conflict, betrayal, and sexual harassment from men in religious and political authority. We feel how sad and frustrating it is that her colleague, Francis, craves the attention of a man at the expense of integrity. If Barbara and Frances could have been friends, they would have been able to support each other, but Francis’ twisted delusions prevented this. Meanwhile, the nuns in charge of the convent do not want to challenge the patriarchy or reveal its secrets.

Despite the lack of support from the church, Barbara remains faithful to God and finds comfort in the beauty of nature. When she stops to admire a velvet rose, she thinks, “God had to be a woman to create such beauty.” She also finds comfort in the forest spirits believed to live in the surrounding jungle. She shows spiritual maturity in her devotion to God while being open to the message she receives from the forest spirit to “walk in the light of the moon goddess, … feel the wind caress (her) weary body” … and “refresh (her) wounded spirit in the bosom of Mother Earth.”

While Sister Barbara, being a well-developed character, is not perfect, I greatly admire her strength and perseverance and enjoyed cheering her on as I read the book. I also admire the author Rosaline Bacchus, a former nun and a native of Guyana, for bringing us this story with compassion and courage. It is an enlightening story that nudges spiritual growth.

To see more about The Twisted Circle on Amazon, click HERE.

Visit the author’s blog HERE.


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SoCS: A Lullaby and a Golden Sunset on Ice

There be tales of old telling of young men, and young women too, going off to seek their fortunes, perhaps with a song, a fore tune, when they imagined gold and other riches. But after many miles and many years, if they are wise, they find more fortune in friendship, and honor, love, and finally peace. Gold is fine. Gold is good to have if used wisely, but it is not the most important thing, we learn in time. We gather a fortune in experience, knowledge and hopefully wisdom.

There’s a song my daughter taught me years ago when we travelled together. Now, I sing it to my granddaughter as a lullaby. Fortune and misfortune are mentioned in the second verse.

Back when we had a rare icing here on the Carolina coast, I saw the golden sunset reflected through ice on the fence. The old wire fence was transformed into a canvas. I feel fortunate to have been able to catch the light in these photos.

What is your favorite lullaby? Is it a song or a gentle rain?

Right now, I’m listening to the birds sing – my favorite wakeup call. They say spring is on the way!

~~~

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was, “fortune.” For more streams and rules, visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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Thursday Tree Love: Mother Pine and her Children

At the Base of Mother Pine
Looking up

Mother Pine dressed in vines

you have sheltered the young

surrounding your base,

nourishing them, connecting them

to the magic mycelium maze

Intertwining your roots.

We do not know who will survive

But we will cherish each moment of life.

These young pine trees and their mother grow in a park near the senior center. I don’t know what will happen to the young trees, but it made me smile to see them growing in a semicircle around the base of the mother tree on a gray February afternoon.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more Tree Love, visit Parul’s blog, here: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-123/


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Good News Tuesday for February 1, 2022: Japan’s Zero Waste Center, South Australia Goes 100% Renewable for One Week, No-Kill Strategies for Wolves, and Monarch Butterflies Rebound

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

New Zero Waste Center in Japan

The new Kamikatsu Zero Waste Center in southern Japan was constructed with recycled materials including 700 donated windows. The center will help with collection and sorting to aid in the town’s goal of achieving 100% zero waste. Learn more from CNN.

South Australia “Smashes Renewable Record” Going 100% Renewable for One Week

The territory of South Australia, with a population of around 1.7 million people, broke records by spending the last week of December generating 100% of its power from wind and solar. The Good News Network has details.

Alberta Rancher Uses No-Kill Strategies to Protect Cattle from Wolves

A Cattle rancher in Alberta Canada is having success with no-kill methods of protecting livestock from wolves. Ranch manager Joe Engelhart uses strategies based on prey and predator behavior, reducing stress to keep the herd together, and spending a lot of time on the range. His methods are being studied by the University of Wisconsin. Read more about the research and strategies from CBC/Canada Radio.

Monarch Butterfly Population Observed to Rebound in the US

A significant increase in western monarch butterflies has been observed in the US compared to recent years. This CNN article gives details and includes suggestions such as planting milkweed and reducing use of pesticides. The following video reports that the total population of western monarchs is estimated to be 100,000 this year compared to only 2000 last year.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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Thursday Tree Love: Tree-lined Grace

Live Oaks Along Grace Street

Live oak trees lean over the street named Grace near a big brick church called Grace United. I often take this road on my way home from errands in the historic downtown section of my city. In the summertime, the shade is a welcome relief. In winter, the leaves are mostly green, though a little thinner, continuing to give oxygen to humans and other animals.

The large branches, draped in Spanish moss, provide a feeling of shelter to drivers, pedestrians, birds, bugs, and squirrels.

Do you see what looks like a little door at the bottom of the tree trunk?

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more Tree Love, visit Parul’s post HERE.

Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January is, “understanding.” Thanks to Wendy for the wonderful prompt and to Linda Hill for hosting. Click HERE for #jusjojan details. When I took these tree photos yesterday, I was standing under the trees, so I guess you could say, I was understanding, or trying to. Trees communicate in different ways, mostly underground with each other. But if you put your hands on a tree and are very quiet, you might feel them humming. I hope and pray we humans can all come to understand the life-giving importance of living trees.


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Nature Loves Cycles

Photo by JoAnna of the Forest

Nature loves cycles

They come by design

Built in to our blood

Sleep cycles and life cycles

Day to night to seasons.

Life, death, rebirth.

The circle of life

Comes again and again.

On that we can depend.

It might not look like what we want.

Our messes have consequences.

Bugs could inherit the earth.

But life will continue in some form.

Will we nurture the diversity of life?

Will we help nature and ourselves be well?

Our choices and time will tell.

With each new day and each new night,

We have a chance to love life.

And on a lighter note: Carly Simon Sings “Coming Around Again” with the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

Thanks to our host, Linda Hill, for the opportunity to offer today’s prompt.

For more on Just Jot it January, visit Linda’s post HERE.