Evening Walk

Today I spent a lot of time sitting in the car, sitting in waiting rooms, sitting… and trying not to fall asleep. When there were a few free minutes at home before dinner, I had to get out and stretch with a walk.

This world is such a beautiful place, and if you don’t have places that bring that fact home to you, you need to find some NOW.

You can come to my place. This is how it looks at sunset on a fairly warm (34 degrees F.) winter afternoon. Enjoy.

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Up North: Fall is Coming

I feel it. What I saw out in the meadow and wetland…

The flowers of fall – we always called them wild asters – the last before a frost. Spots of purple among the greenery.

A lingering daisy, a summer holdout.

The meadow that was a sea of lavender is brown with dried Canadian thistle.

Gold to enhance the purple, drifts of goldenrod… and a flower we called “butter and eggs”

The beavers have built dams to create ponds for themselves.

Heron hiding spots.

Colors and textures of autumn are clothing the land.

Life and death in contrast

The higher water levels (thank you beavers) have caused tree kill around the ponds, but even these silhouettes are beautiful, I think.

Nature’s delicate lace.

Milkweed, nearly ready to burst its seed pods.

Grasses that bend with the breeze.

Water, hurrying on it’s way somewhere

Day sinks past the horizon, taking summer with it. Fall comes peacefully, relentlessly.

Up North: #EveningWalk

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Not sure why these walks are so calming, grounding, mind clearing – but they are. The whole day gets reviewed and put in perspective. The day things prepare to retire and let the night things come out.
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The meadow was blanketed with purple Canadian thistle only a few days ago, now it’s aging. The flowers are drying, the black eyes of the Black Eyed Susans are petal-less and browning.  It’s natural progression. As with the meadow, so it is with me. 

I’m reviewing my memorized psalm as I walk. It’s been a while but this part comes easily back to me “As for man, his days are like the grass. He flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone and its place remembers it no more.” How easily I fit into this meadow and take my place with the grass and the flowers as they age.

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It’s mid-August in north Wisconsin. Are some leaves already giving in to Fall? I’m remembering all the times I have seen these seasons change. Summer is so short, and so sweet up here.
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Poplar hearts on the ground. I love being up north, in this place, in this moment. I love all the places that God has put me, but this one is in my blood and even thirty years in Florida didn’t leach it out.
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Water and reflection. The greenspace I walk goes through meadows and wetlands. Several ponds are connected with streams and marshes. This was Grandpa’s pond where he trapped minnows for fishing.
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Grandpa’s pond and Grandpa’s barn. They too will change, perhaps disappear, just like the seasonal flowers, just like the people who have farmed this land, loved these views and walked these meadows like I walk them now. Oh to know their thoughts…
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I love many things. I love small fires and running brooks. This one is almost unchanged from the days of my childhood, sixty years. I wonder how the water can keep coming from a source that never seems to empty. I think long and hard on the metaphor of “living water”.
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Two families of Canadian geese have grown up here. They wander the banks around the pond until I appear, then they fly to the water. Out there they look so peaceful. How easily they float. 
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I can’t tell the parents from the goslings by their size any more, but their protective stance both in the water and out, give them away. By the size of the flock, they have done a good job.
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Up north, where sunset comes late and sunrise comes early.  I am here and get to see both ends of these beautiful days.

I get to see it! My gratitude is sharpened because I am daily with people I love who do not get to see it so clearly. How blessed I am. Tonight, across the table from me, one of my people who struggles to see at all, related that even eating had lost much of its appeal. She cannot see what she is eating. I try to imagine eating food that I cannot see.

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As the sun spends its last few minutes above the horizon, I take picture after picture of it cutting through the trees like a giant flashlight 93 million miles away. How can that be?

Today I marveled at how well my computer and internet were working. Today I did ordinary things like cooking breakfast for the husband, writing a letter to a friend. scrubbing sinks and making beds, Today I prayed and considered my family, my friends. Today I took an evening walk.

At the barn…

The sky is getting dark. I expect an afternoon storm. The heat has been overwhelming and we could use some cooling down. Earlier I walked through the field looking for a fly mask one of the horses had lost. I found it but also found so many interesting plants that I could not stop photographing them.

I suppose they are actually weeds, because we would prefer to have grass growing there. But I had to appreciate them for what they are, beautifully and intricately designed. The field is a wild garden that is every bit as fascinating as the ones I’ve admired in people’s yards.

Be glad you can look at it vicariously, in pictures because, like I said, it was really hot out there. I’m glad for the breeze, the clouds, and the thunder. Just sayin’…

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My Visual World: This Weed

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You are just too cute!

I saw this little weed in a flower pot yesterday.  Doesn’t it just jump out at you because of it’s detail, symmetry, and well, it’s just plain pretty!  I couldn’t pull it out. I want to see what it looks like when it grows up. It is my visual for the day.  Something to wonder about. Finding it felt like a message and a gift from a creative, somewhat playful, imaginative mind. Yeah, that’s what it was. Just sayin’… glad I was looking.

Getting My Mind off Pain in the Rain

Seriously, stop.
Seriously, stop.

Stop. I mean stop doing what you’ve always done, the way you’ve always done it. If you do, you will see different things, different behaviors – and even if you see the same old things, you will see them differently because of the change you have made. We are placed in this world of seemingly endless variety for a reason. Variety and change, they refresh us, stimulate creativity and new thought, and well, just make life fun.

Today it’s gray and rainy, not the kind of day that you think “hey, it’s time to go out for a walk and get all wet”. But I needed a walk pretty badly. I made the mistake of attempting a workout video with Dr. J (who is half my age) over the weekend. Who knew that 25 minutes of half-hearted exercise could produce such pain? I picked up an umbrella and headed out. I’m glad I did. I saw all this.

there's something comforting about a soft, gentle, rain. It's just water...
there’s something comforting about a soft, gentle, rain. It’s just water…
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Against the grayness, colors go crazy. They “POP”!
You see colorful surprises everywhere
You see colorful surprises everywhere
Even white is... whiter?
Even white is… whiter?
Green is greener.
Green is greener.
Awesome is even more awesome.
Awesome is even more awesome.
Awesome
Awesome
My aunt's front porch, awesome.
My aunt’s front porch, awesome.
mounds of flowers, yeah, awesome
mounds of flowers, yeah, awesome
love it
love it
I love color.
I love color.
So go take a walk outside, even if it's raining (or snowing). See things differently. Just sayin'.
So go take a walk outside, even if it’s raining (or snowing). See things differently. Just sayin’.