Connecting the Dots

Carol A. Hand

Does it matter whether or not
we view changing global weather
as natural or human caused?
Perhaps.

While some cheer on Armageddon
others live with the illusion
that perhaps our homes
will soon be safe if human behaviors
change.

Whether or not changing our behavior helps
stabilize weather in the future,
don’t we owe it to the earth and our children
to act wisely and responsibly
anyway?

Global floods and worldwide wildfires rage
while more oil and gas pipelines are being built

Who’s to blame?
All of us who take it for granted
that the ease of having
gas, water, and electricity simply
delivered to our homes is our right
without considering the real costs
and environmentally safe, sustainable, viable, non-exploitive
alternatives.

We need to see how connected our well-being is
to the way we care for our earth
and the way we care for all those who also live here
because our earth’s health and continuing bounty
depend on wise and loving stewardship as well as
worldwide peace.

Lake Superior Sunset, photographer Jnana Hand

 

Sending love and blessings to all those who are on the frontlines of floods and fire.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/01/world/deadly-world-floods/index.html
https://www.theguardian.com/world/wildfires
https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasa-sees-intense-fires-around-the-world
http://www.hydrocarbons-technology.com/features/featureworlds-longest-oil-gas-pipelines-imports/
https://theodora.com/pipelines/

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August Reflections 2017

Carol A. Hand

August has been busy. Preparing to teach a research class, tending gardens, spending time with grandchildren and family, and taking time to simply live and reflect have kept me away from the blogosphere. Although my life will continue to be busy until the first freeze and beyond, I will try to stop by periodically to visit your blogs and share when I can. Your art and thoughts are thought-provoking and inspiring. Today, I’m sharing a few simple reflections recently penned as I send my best wishes to all.

Would-Be Dreamcatchers
August 9 2017

My heart is heavy as I think about my Native friends in Montana
Their incredible gifts and future visions palpable
They voiced so many hopeful possibilities
for the community health organization they guided
Valiantly, we faced daunting challenges
each carrying a compelling blueprint of what could be
We worked and laughed and cried together
as we overcame one obstacle after another
to help reweave an inclusive healthy community

***

Dreamcatchers – allowing only good dreams to survive and pass through to sleeping children

***

In the end, I had to leave for my own survival
before our task was completed
Vultures descended and shredded our dreams
Over the years I have learned of my friends’ struggles
against political adversaries and serious health issues
I wonder if I helped make their lives more difficult
by inspiring hope, by believing their strengths
and visions would be enough to overcome resistance…

And what of the people I refer to as vultures?
Perhaps they’re unaware that their actions
as agents in status quo structures of oppression
appear to motivated by protecting their positions
at any cost, destroying lives and what could be
Their actions limiting healthier possibilities for all in the process
Perhaps I will never understand why
this was the path they chose
and where it will finally lead them

Yet, I still mourn possibilities lost

It makes me wonder if it’s wiser and more compassionate
to simply find and live my own truths
though the suffering in the world remains unabated
weighing heavy on my heart…

Sufi Poet, Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi, offers an insight I continue to ponder:

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Today, I also send prayers for the safety of my friends and all others in Montana as the Lolo Peak fire rages so close to their homes.

************

Reflections about Shifting Light and Shadow
August 12, 2017

gazing close at hand
watching light and shadow
move across the land

August morning

revealing a constant in my life
one moment knowing peace and joy
the next difficulty and strife

often shadows bring gifts despite our sorrow
sometimes unanticipated miracles appear if we’re patient
to reignite our gratitude upon the morrow

A Hollyhock Surprise – I’m not sure how it grew here

************

Just Here Now
August 19, 2017

so grateful for the peace and love in this “now”
a brief quiet moment as the day begins
sunlight filtered by leaves of rain-nourished trees
and muted by unopened window blinds
a little dog resting, curled beneath the bird’s cage
a parakeet silent and still beneath his protective night cover
dog and bird both patiently waiting for music to begin
so they can join their voices in song
greeting the peaceful morning
illuminating our shared place in the world

Queenie and Pinto

***

peace – a privilege so many are denied
sending blessings to all who are suffering

***

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Sometimes

Carol A. Hand

Sometimes
I feel like a sprite
Invisible
And it’s really okay
especially among so many strangers
riding the city bus today

There are times I prefer
to be quiet
when surrounded by so much loud rambling chatter

There are times I prefer
to fade out of sight
when so many need attention to feel that they matter

There are times I prefer
to take up less space
when others need to take more than their share

There are times I simply prefer
to be a peaceful presence
unremarkable, unnoticed but acutely aware
of others who just need someone to listen,
to see them,
to care

***

Downtown Duluth looking out towards north shore and Lake Superior, taken in 2012 by Joey1niner. (Wikipedia)

***

Encircled by beauty
on a lovely August day
So many too busy to notice
as we each go our own way

***

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Reflections Inspired by Geese

Carol A. Hand

Feeling physically fragile as I gently greet the morning
gazing up at the southwestern sky

a
silent
V of geese

soon
followed
by another, larger V
trumpeting encouragement
for the one temporarily leading
breaking through wind resistance
creating uplift for all those that follow
so others can save their strength for their turn
to carry the difficult responsibility of guiding others

working
together in harmony
because sharing responsibility
lightens burdens in the journey of life unfolding

***

Geese at home even in the city

***

Sending my best wishes to all.

***

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Signals of Changing Seasons

Carol A. Hand

The waxing crescent at sunset
signals upcoming changes in seasons
alerting me about the need to refocus
for so many important reasons –

***

Crescent Moon at Sunset –
July 30, 2017

***

Thank you all for sharing your visionary art,
for enriching my life, and becoming a friend
I didn’t want to leave blogging for awhile
With my deep gratitude to you unpenned

***

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Stewardship Anyway

Carol A. Hand

Ageist messages that I’m too old
at 70 to do simple chores
sometimes makes me hesitant to try
But my courageous daughter inspires me
and a funny thing happens when I do try
anyway

 

A Mini-maple gutter garden – July 2017

 

I realize with the right tools
like my “new” $20 8-foot ladder
from Habitat for Humanity’s “Restore”
I can clear the gutters of
sprouting baby maple trees
anyway

 

 

With my little green garden wagon,
work boots and heavy-duty gloves
I’m not too frail to haul and carry
landscaping blocks to upgrade gardens
and prevent continuing erosion
anyway

 

July 30, 2017

 

I’m not ashamed to sweat buckets
in my raggedy work clothes
doing honest manual labor
It’s a gift and a privilege
to take care of what I can
anyway

 

July 30, 2017

 

Privilege requires responsible stewardship
regardless of what others do and think
with simple tools to extend our reach
and help us carry heavy loads
‘though the efforts are always a work in progress
it’s important to keep shouldering what we can
anyway

 

July 30, 2017

***

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Reflections about Beauty

Carol A. Hand

Grateful for sharing a visit to a garden

with the dear friend who delighted in each bloom

and greeted everyone we met with kindness

as we shared a lunch at a local “greasy spoon

***

Hortus Garden – July 2017

***

Grateful for the gentle man who paints houses

and writes novels for sharing his creative stories

as we stood for hours under grey July skies

on an unseasonably cool day in these northern territories

 

Grateful to the dragonfly/damselfly (?) for choosing to stay

resting on my jacket sleeve with gossamer wings still

gazing into my eyes in the afternoon sun

before taking flight again and traveling where s/he will

 

Canada Darner – Aeshna Canadensis (photo by Phil Myers, biokids.umich.edu)

***

Grateful for all the simple gifts that remind me of the many faces of beauty.

***

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Gratitude for Gardens and Granddaughters

Carol A. Hand

Sometimes, one doesn’t have to travel far

to observe serenity and beauty with beloved companions

Neighborhood Garden – July 3, 2017

Even in the context of critters, city “upgrades,” and unpredictable weather

City “Upgrades” on a Drizzly Day – July 12, 2017

sometimes there are possibilities to create little sanctuaries

Gardens in the Rain – July 12, 2017

Sanctuary at Sunset – July 16, 2017

to enjoy a simple life and share love and laughter

Enjoying the Sunshine – July 16, 2017

weaving deeper appreciation for things that matter

knowing that these precious moments will pass

with the ever-changing seasons of our lives

***

Joni Mitchell – Circle Game

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Sitting Still

Carol A. Hand

Sitting still

watching the waning

mid-July moon

descending in the western sky

as the world turns

Mid-July Moon – 2017

The wonder of nature

still visible despite

the old technologies

that enable us to connect

with others around

our ever-spinning home

***

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