Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


13 Comments

Thursday Tree Love: A Bowl and a Bend

I can only begin to imagine what might have given this tree such an unusual shape with a bowl at the bottom and a slender trunk bent back into an arch, yet still growing leaves. We discovered this unique individual on my daughter’s May birthday hike through a nature preserve in southeatern North Carolina. I do not know what kind of tree it is, perhaps some kind of laurel, but I do know that it is a survivor. Here are some close ups:

The Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve contains a variety of habitats and diverse terrain:

~~~

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the secon and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-115/


33 Comments

Old Songs, Natural Highs, and my New Favorite Hiking Trail

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Linda says our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is a little complicated. Yes, but just a little which makes it interesting.

The prompt is: “song.” First, we find a picture–the closest one to us. Then we write about the “lyrics of the first song that comes to mind when we look at the picture.”    and as always, “Have fun!”

When I read the prompt, I was laying in bed after having driven the six hours from the mountains, though I think the trip took about seven hours because I stopped a lot to stretch the crinkles out of my old bones. The closest picture was a print I bought from Amanda Clark who is my favorite contemporary artist. She paints lots of earthy, whimsical, trees, bunnies, foxes, angels. The print I have made me think of the song, Blue Moon. But I just put that song in a post so I looked to my right and saw the painting I did in high school from a photo in National Geographic.

Rocky Mountain mist

I’m pretty sure the photo was taken of the rocky mountains. Though it might be somewhere like the Alps. I added the fairy mist coming over the ridge a few years ago.  In high school I had a dream of going to the Rocky Mountains, so naturally, I thought of John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” whenever I look at this painting.

I was kinda obsessed with this song when I was in high school and the whole ecology movement. I thought I was going to be born again when I went to the rocky mountains. I’ve never  been though. I’m not sure if I will ever go, though I hope to go to the Pacific Northwest if this virus ever makes interstate travel safe.

Still, I have a little house in the North Carolina Mountains and a little house near the Carolina Coast. The last song I heard coming back home to the coast on around 6pm on my oldies station was “O-o-h Child.”  This song came out in 1970 and has been a big part of my life, especially during hard times, ever since.  I would sing this song to myself when I was lonely and didn’t know if I’d ever find love again. I sang it to myself when my job was driving me crazy and during my darkest years when I wondered if life was worth living.  I sang it to my daughter during her difficult teenage years.

And you know what? It worked! Things did get easier. Hard times still came and went, and maybe they always will. But today, after many years, things are much better and easier than they were 20 years ago.  Dreams have come true. Maybe not exactly like I thought, but I have a man who loves me and supports me in so many ways. I’m retired, and I get to paint and write and putter in the yard.

I’ve never been to the Rocky Mountains, but on Wednesday I went on the most wonderful hike in the Appalachian Mountains. I got a Blue Ridge Mountain High for sure. There’s a river not far from our mountain house that I am falling in love with. I’ve just got to share some photos with you!

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large brown fungus on tree
Name that fungus!

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I love this river!
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Just enough challenge to make it interesting.

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7DAB25C0-6928-45BB-A2EE-1A329CC2233C

… and worth the effort!

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Ferns growing on a rock
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Raccoon Tracks?
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Blooming Rhododendron

PS: I impulsively clicked to go to the new block editor while working on this so who knows how it will turn out. It’s like learning WP all over again! :/

I need to learn how to make one of those collages.

For more Streams of Consciousness and guidelines, visit Linda Hill at:


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SoCS: Beyond

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt: Take the title of the last movie you watched (just the title, not the premise of the movie), and base your post on that title.

colored glass in window 2

 

She loved decorating her little home

With blue glass in the windows,

Feeding the birds,

Taking care of her plants,

Talking with the trees.

She loved being safe

Beyond the madding crowd,

Beyond the political angst,

Beyond conventional thinking.

Sometimes though,

Like when twisting from warrior 2

To triangle pose,

Looking up through the pine trees

Glistening in the sun,

She imagined exploring

Beyond the picket fence

Into new realms

Of star ships and adventure,

Or old realms

Of elves and wizards.

She had big ideas

For such a simple woman

Reaching beyond the dichotomy

Of good and evil,

Rich and poor,

Beyond i phones and laptops,

Beyond brand names and fashion,

Beyond religion and government.

Part of her wanted to explore,

To journey into deeper, broader dimensions.

But sometimes she settled for comfort

And wore sneakers with a skirt.

 

 

The last movie I watched was Star Trek Beyond. It’s far from my favorite Star Trek movie, but it’s fun and full of action and adventure. I wonder if it’s odd that I love nature and Jesus with a passion, but I also like science fiction. A lot. Then of course there’s The Lord of the Rings…. 

Another movie I watched recently was Ender’s Game. I just want to mention it because the ending surprised me with an important message. If you ever get a chance to watch Ender’s Game, make sure you watch it to the very end.  Here’s a hint:

 

Anyway, here’s my favorite trailer for Star Trek Beyond. 

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

https://lindaghill.com/2020/01/17/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2020-daily-prompt-jan-18th/

socs-badge-2019-2020

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!


10 Comments

Nature Can Win

“Nature can win if we give her a chance.” Dr. Jane Goodall

 

Header (3)

Here’s a bonus one liner from Dr. Goodall:

“I went to Africa as a scientist. I left the jungle as an activist.”

I’m sharing the following short video, not to promote Dr. Goodall’s class, but because it ends on such a positive, inspiring note.

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/jane-goodall-teaches-conservation?utm_source=Paid&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_term=Aq-Prospecting&utm_content=Video&utm_campaign=JG

One liner Weds 2017

Enjoy more One-Liners at: https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/28/one-liner-wednesday-the-incomplete-glory-of-june/

The rules for One-Liner Wednesday, that 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!


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Miracles

 “Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.”                                                                                                                         ___  Saint Augustine
universe-hands open from pixabay
There are so many things we don’t understand.
Yet, sometimes we know without knowing.
How does a caterpillar know
It’s time to emerge
as a butterfly?
How do we know
When it’s time to make
The leap of faith that will change
a lifetime of fear, drama, and confusion,
To take a new path with courage, integrity and wisdom?
 We once believed the earth was flat
and that we’d fall off
if we went too far.
And the sun
traveled
 around the earth,
 Because man was the center,
 And everything was here for our pleasure.
 Now, the earth grows tired of our deadly grandiosity,
It’s time for the wisdom of humility
To protect the gifts
of Creation.
What if
There is more to life
Than politics and faster gadgets,
What if we are meant to discover real miracles,
That heal the sick with thoughts of love
And lead a world of turmoil
To peace?
(The picture is from Pixabay.)


26 Comments

Routes and Roots


SOC badge with butterfly

Is money the root of all evil?

Is there more than one route to God?

Maybe I’ll come back to the God question.

Thrift and consignment stores are popping up all over. My husband manages one for the Rescue Mission. They get more clothes and books donated than they can keep up with. More than they have room for. He’s found a way to re-donate the extras. They get a lot of food donated too. In the job he had before, he saw grocery stores throwing away so much food. It was astounding and sad. Fortunately some of the food gets donated to non-profit agencies……  I’m getting to the money and evil part, eventually, maybe.

So how can there be so many clothes donated? The books I understand, because people now use  computers and phones more to read. But people keep buying clothes. More and more clothes. I get most of my clothes from second hand stores. I get most of my furniture second hand, too. It’s mostly a recycling thing. And a little a frugal thing.

Are we buying more stuff than we need? And what else can we do with our money?  I don’t want to buy new wood furniture, because someone had to cut down a tree for that.

Yes, lets get back to the forest!

My roots are in nature.

I see God in nature. I connect with God in nature.

I also see God in Jesus. I connect with God through Jesus.

Some people connect with God through prayer and songs. These work for me too.

Some find God through service work, through various books, or religious leaders.

Some don’t find God at all.  Part of me says I’m supposed to write how sad that is.

But you know what? I don’t feel all that sad about it. We all have a choice. We all have value. Regardless of whether we have found God, or Jesus, or Muhammad. Whether we are rich or poor or smart with numbers, or computers or money or whether we know how to make sassafras tea out of tree roots. We all have value.

I used to say, I didn’t care about money. But I do sort of like having enough for my mortgage and vet bills and food and my second hand clothes and gasoline….. and I’d like to travel more…… I like the things money can buy.  Some of the things. But money can’t buy the sky.  Money can’t buy true love.

And as my husband says his grandfather used to say, ” You can’t eat it.”

The desire for things and money is part of the problem, part of what is putting our world at risk. But there is something more. A lack of peace. A lack of love. We need more tolerance and cooperation.

That’s all for now.  Except that I wish I’d  written more about roots.

Here’s a poem, containing roots, I memorized many years ago from the Lord of the Rings….or maybe it was The Hobbit. This is how I remember it:

All that is gold does not glitter.

Not all those who wander are lost.

The old that is strong does not whither.

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken.

A light from the Shadows shall Spring.

Renewed shall be blade that was broken.

The crownless again shall be king.

JRR Tolkein

 

 

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness post prompt was “route/root.”

If you’d like to jump into the stream, start here:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/09/18/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1915/

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.

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!


19 Comments

Not the Scary Kind of Christian

Coexist-bumpersticker by Patrick Byrne via wmc

Image by Patrick Byrne via Wikimedia Commons

 

 “I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.”             _____Mahatma Gandhi

I found this version of the Gandhi quote at  Skeptics Stack Exchange,  where they seem to have done a some research. I can understand why Gandhi might have said this.

I am a Christian.  An open-minded, progressive, tree-hugging Christian.

I’m writing this because I want you to know we exist.

Sometimes I wonder if I should even call myself a Christian because of what that label has come to mean to so many. The media likes to celebrate controversial, often negative, people who call themselves Christians, (and maybe they are – it’s not for me to say) people who are not open-minded, not progressive, and certainly not tree-huggers. They are the kind of people who scared the Christianity out of me and drove me to fierce agnosticism when I was in my twenties.

I don’t want to be one of the scary Christians.

It wasn’t until after I became a parent, working in a challenging, bureaucratic  social service agency, that I took a chance on a church, because I knew I needed something more than my agnostic, nature loving philosophies with a side of sci-fi.

I was skeptical. But the little Episcopal church welcomed me with open minded intelligence and introduced me to their “three-legged stool” of scripture, tradition and reason. My questions and doubts were accepted without condemnation. They loved me. This love and acceptance allowed me to become open to learning more about Jesus. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn about him.

This past Sunday, one of my church friends, a young college student (younger than me anyway) shared that most of his friends are atheists, and he is trying to show them that all Christians aren’t like the conservatives they see in the news.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that it’s anyone’s right to be a conservative Christian if they want to. I have beloved friends and family members who are conservative Christians. To tell the truth, I’m becoming more conservative, in my  behavior as I get older. But I’m still liberal and open minded in my beliefs. Maybe that’s why I have beloved friends and family members who are Buddhists, pagans, agnostics, atheists, new agers and eclectics.

I believe in the love of the Jesus who hung out with the poor and the prostitutes and loved them, the revolutionary Jesus who raised women and children up as people to be cared for and listened to instead of property.  I love the Good Shepherd who seeks his lost sheep, not with condemnation, but with love .

GS close up

Open minded, progressive Christians don’t make the news much, but we’re out here.

Oh, and I still like a side of sci-fi, now and then.

 

 

 

 


17 Comments

Dragonflies and Fireflies

socs-badge

So many dragonflies

Visit my backyard

Darting and hovering

Over the kiddie pool

Turned doggie bathtub,

Landing on my clothesline

Checking out the clothespin.

dragonfly with clothes pin

 

But where have all the fire flies gone?

It’s been so long since I saw one

Twinkle in my backyard.

 

Was it the pesticides

that chased away the fire flies?

Were they caught in jars

by naughty children

Who didn’t understand?

 

Have fireflies become a myth

like unicorns

in mid summer night dreams?

 

Maybe they are still alive

Far away from city lights

Where trees grow thick

And nature thrives.

 

Here are some fireflies I found at “Emphatic Expression”:

https://sierraoh.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/fireflies/

 

 

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post prompt for today was:

“fly/flies/flew/flu/flue.” 

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1815/

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.

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!


11 Comments

Anne Frank: Ever Hopeful, Ever Wise

Lantern Hill

Lantern Hill Trail, by David Silvia

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”

― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

I discovered this quote in the following post at beyondtheflow, and inspiring blog which I highly recommend. Rowena’s story is powerful.

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/anne-frank-a-global-tribute-tuesday-14th-april-2015/

Accepting that I don’t have the time or skills to join the global video tribute to Anne Frank, I decided I could at least share her words that comfort my soul with wisdom and grace across the years.

Sunset w bird

 

 


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.