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SoCS: Coexist

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Welcome to Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Here’s the prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “co-” Find a word that uses “co” as a prefix and use it in your post. Have fun!

Okay. Here we go!

 

Coexist, dammit!

I’m talking to everyone. If I was yelling, I’d write, COEXIST DAMMIT! Yes. I’m feeling that. This goes out to North and South Korea. And America who needs to stay out of it. Mind your own damn business. We have enough to work on right here in the USA. Plenty to clean up in our own back yard. People with different beliefs, different religions, different races, be friends if you want. It’s possible and enriching. Listen to each other without trying to change someone’s mind. Learn something new, or at least try to understand. But if you don’t want to be friends, then mind your own business and leave each other alone.

I know it might not be that simple, but is it really that hard? I don’t think so.

A few days ago, I saw a lot of people on my neighborhood on-line thing? network? whatever, who were upset about a plan to cut down a group of very old live oak trees to put up another car wash in our county.  I jumped right in there, ready to do a tree sit, or at least bring my guitar and sing,  “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot,” which is really titled “Big Yellow Taxi.” It’s the one song I know by heart and don’t have to look at the chords to play.

 

I emailed all the county commissioners and left a phone message for the county planning department. I found a lot of comments on the county Facebook page from citizens opposed to cutting down the trees and added my 2 cents.

I’m gonna have to take a picture of them (the trees) for Thursday tree love. Live oaks are the ones whose branches get really low sometimes. They are beautifully reaching out, majestic. Here’s one I took a picture of at Brookgreen Gardens where my husband proposed.

Live Oak afternoon good

The trees that were on the chopping block for the car wash aren’t this big, but they’re beautiful and over 200 years old.

So a couple of hours after I left the message, I got a call back from the county planning office. One of the staff members said the director was meeting with the owner of the property and they are trying to find a way to save the trees. I thought that was pretty cool that I got a phone call back so soon. By the next day, there was an article in the paper that the property owner does not plan to cut down any trees. He sounded like he got the message loud and clear that a whole lotta people care about trees around here, and he wants to be a good steward. The lesson here is that a small group of committed people CAN make a difference as Margaret Mead said. And we are not such a small group.

Still, at least half of the county commissioners, how shall I say… lean heavily in favor of “developers,” and don’t really care much about trees. But the tree ordinance is going to be reviewed at the next meeting. Maybe I’ll go and wear green. Yeah, maybe I’m just an old hippie tree hugger, but there are plenty more of us, so watch out!

Getting back to, Is it really so hard to co-exist, the property owner is presenting a revised plan which will save the live oaks and still build the car wash. So, why didn’t he do that in the first place? It didn’t take long to figure out how to coexist with the trees.  Maybe people who want to build stuff will figure out before it’s too late that trees give us oxygen. We depend on them.

Trees keep the air on.

I paraphrased that from this interview with Matthew Sleeth, who wrote a book called, Reforesting Faith. 

I just realized I wasn’t minding my own business when I went to bat for the trees, except that protecting trees is my business.  Protecting.  Coexisting. Okay, it can get complicated. I didn’t say it was easy. But it’s not that hard. We can figure this out.

Well, I got a lot of words here so need to rap this up. Watch out for old hippie ladies with guitars and come sing along.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. For more info, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/08/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-17-19/

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. I will post the prompt here on my blog every 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 will simply be a single word to get you 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 all of them! 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 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!

 


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A Relaxing, Frugal Honeymoon

socs-badge

I’ve never been to Key West. To be honest, I didn’t want to go that far, hearing it was a rambunctious sort of place.

About three years ago, when my husband and I were looking for a honeymoon spot, he wanted to stay in the US. Both of us being rather frugal, we looked for somewhere not terribly far away from where we live. He suggested the Florida Keys, where I’d never been.

Hilton beach buddyI wanted to relax in a natural setting, and searched the internet for months without finding what I was looking for. Then I started playing with Google Earth, zooming in on areas that had a lot of trees. After weeks of searching, I found an area on Key Largo that looked promising. It turned out to be the Key Largo Hilton which prides itself on it’s natural environment.

I wanted to feel like I was close to the trees, as if in some remote tropical location. And it did sort of have that look.

room w a veiw

Morning view from our balcony

 

balcony w red hair

Late afternoon from the balcony

It didn’t feel quite tropical, because it was December. The air temperature was fine, but the water was a little chilly, though we did do a little snorkeling and went in the pool.  The hot tub was a welcome relief after that.

It was a simple vacation, with a relaxed easy pace. Exactly what I wanted, since I had not taken a whole week off from work in many years.

We drove as far south as Summerland Key, where we ate lunch at the Wharf Restaurant which attracted me with it’s “Coexist” flag.

wharf restaurant at Summerland Key

The food was delicious, and the decor interesting:

wharf at Summerland key

Time for peace.

 

wharf counter

My kind of place.

wharf poster

A good thing about good music.

 

sign at Summerland key wharf

 

 

 

 

 

I’d love to go back sometime, when it’s a little bit warmer than December.

 

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday Post was: “ke” If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/05/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-2315/

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,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

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.

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. Have fun!


8 Comments

Coexist with Love

Hearts in Hand

Both of my kids are in their twenties. I worry about the spiritual paths they now choose. I did my best to be a good mom. I took them to a church where they were loved and nurtured. Should I have been less open-minded, and more strict when they were teenagers?

It helps to remember what a rebellious agnostic I was in my twenties.

I was totally turned off by the Christian TV evangelicals of the 1970’s. I used to have nightmares about them hunting me down and taking me to a compound where I had to play along whilst planning my escape.

So, I’ve tried hard not to be like those scary Christians. I want to be a bridge, not a barrier. I respect the beliefs of others, as long as they don’t hurt anybody.

That respect comes, in part, from a poem I discovered in my searching youth about a group of blind men and an elephant, by John Godfrey Saxe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoENAD7OCiI


Each blind man experienced the same elephant in a different way. This poem shaped my philosophy about religion. It’s what I offer to people who are steadfast that their way is the only way or prone to unproductive arguments. I find it helpful for those who need acceptance as they search for their truth.

I find God through Jesus. I love Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who loves us all. I also find God in nature, when I marvel at the beauty of a full moon, the vastness of the ocean or the magnificence of a forest. Saint Francis of Assisi helped bridge my love of nature with my love of Jesus.

I want to be a bridge, respecting the rights of others to choose their own paths.

(This is a lot easier with someone who is not my offspring.)

I want people to know that there is such a thing as an open-minded Christian, and I’m not the only one.

When we condemn,  judge, and criticize, we are likely to become barriers.

When we love, accept, and respect, we can each become a bridge.

The song, “They’ll Know we are Christians by our Love” came to me as a teenager when my second  boyfriend took me to and Episcopal youth group where they sang it as their closing. The memory of this song survived my period of rebellious agnosticism, like a seed planted in hardening soil. When I heard it again in my early thirties, at a church where love and acceptance softened my fear of judgment, I knew I was in the right place. A place to grow.

Below is a version of the song dedicated to Saint Kateri Tekawitha, “The Lily of the Mohawks”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kateri_Tekakwitha

My kids have agreed, without begging or overt bribery, to come to church with me on Christmas Eve. (After all, I did Christmas church for my parents in my twenties.) When they come, they will find love waiting there for them. Who knows what seeds may grow.