The Spark

I believe we all have that spark inside of us; that indescribleness that I shall attempt to describe here.  A special something unique to each and every one of us.  Call it a soul, a consciousness or the divine…it precedes our birth and it dwells far beyond the physical; deep inside down the rabbit hole.  It can be so faint it is difficult to grasp, it is difficult to see and it’s easy to lose one’s way. This I know firsthand.

Sometimes people give up. It is gradual. They die a little inside every day until one day they realize the spark has grown cold,  pale and lifeless. It may seem at times to be totally extinguished. It may seem that way sitting all alone in the dark. At times the truth is clouded by our proximity to it.  And sometimes we see only what we wish to see.

My truth says the spark can never die that the spirit is timeless and beyond time. I believe it is a thread that weaves us all together like a beautiful tapestry, full of rich color; filled with hopes and dreams and the song of the universe telling a tale that is in constant rewrite.

My truth also tells me the spark can grow and burn brilliantly with the intensity of a million suns. It can set the world aflame with the light of unity and compassion. I believe it is up to those who burn the brightest to light the way for those who cannot see. I have found that a good many of us have walked in darkness at some point in our lives and the experience brings about an appreciation of the light and a profound sympathy of those who still dwell in that cold dark realm of nothingness.

We are all connected and we can tell if a fellow human is in distress, even a stranger. We have that built-in empathy that we literally feel each other’s pain.

We can also feel each other’s joy as well…..

What am I trying to say with all this spiritual mumbo jumbo? Chalk it up to new age silliness or an open mind full of crazy notions, maybe it’s a mid-life crisis or too much caffeine that’s prompting me to write all this today. I don’t know…

We all believe differently. I am the first person to acknowledge this. I prefer that people should believe whatever they damn well please as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. There are universal truths that most of us agree on…

Kindness begets kindness and spreading joy is a hell of a lot better than spreading its opposite. Patience is golden and at times we all need a little light.

Burning bright at midnight…wishing you a sunny day,

Strawberryindigo.

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Hope

Hope is a dream. It is quiet.

It begins as a whisper in the dead of night in the cold darkness of winter.

Hope is the pale sun in the distance just beyond your fingertips.

It is nourished by the heart and it’s loved by the soul.

Hope never gives up.

Hope is a window to bright sunny vistas

And clear blue horizons.

Hope is a rock.

It is a port in the storm. It is steady and true.

Hope knows the storm cannot last forever.

 

Hope is alive and it is magic.

It is all-powerful and nothing can be accomplished without it.

Hope keeps the home fires burning and hope shows the way.

It fights off the darkness.

Hope is the light.

Hope is essential for life to thrive.

It can make your wildest dreams come true.

Hope starts with a spark in the dark

but that can set fire to flame.

It all begins with you.

Angry

For the past week or so I have been blocked. An idea has run rampant in my writing mind but it is more than an idea. It’s a feeling, an emotion. It’s basic, it’s primal and it’s powerful.

Every time as of late when I sit down to write, it has been extremely difficult for me. 
 I start with a certain tone that feels right at the time; I’m tap, tap, tapping along and then…Wham, it all turns oh so negative and very angry.

I try to put a positive spin on what I write for the most part. Sure, my indigo bleeds through once in a while but it seems my moody indigo has turned a dark angry red.

I am not the angry type.  I don’t typically hang on to emotional “baggage” or hold grudges. I am a mild-mannered even-tempered peaceful person. Anger hurts. I am  sensitive, probably more than I should be but I do have a conscious and a strong streak of justice runs deep in me. This is how my inward leaning and quiet nature can sometimes flip on a dime on a perceived injustice and suddenly this little kitten can rage with the roar of a thousand lions.

Right now that roar is in an uproar. I don’t want to feel this way and it probably would be wiser to just keep silent on my feelings and thoughts on the subject of my ire. But there is something in me that won’t or can’t keep silent. I guess this is why I write.

I must speak, or write the truth as I see it and the truth is; I’m angry, damned angry.  I feel cheated and duped…and afraid.

Afraid of how my country is evolving or devolving, afraid of what the world is becoming. Afraid for the planet and the people and what’s to become of us all.  I ask myself what kind of world we are going to leave our children and future generations?

How will this all be explained? What could be possibly said? That greed controlled the world and money meant more than people. That our government was weak and the economy went south as we all sat back like good little citizens; distracted by the puppet show. Spending and getting into an endless cycle of debt to feed the banks, paying our taxes to fund wars and the killing of innocent people, falling for sound bites, clever ad schemes and catch phrases.

I fell for it all: the American Dream bullshit just as many others.  Being a child of immigrants I perhaps took this a bit more seriously, this American thing.  This once true story of people working hard, learning and growing, making a life for themselves and their children. Saving money, buying a house, sending their kids off to college;  the next generation having a better life than the one before it.

It seems this dream is dying, some would say it’s already half dead. It’s hard not to be discouraged sometimes, angry sometimes. I admit I’ve been lucky in life and have lived a bit isolated from reality, sheltered from true hardship. It’s easy to pontificate and elaborate and say I’m with you, you 99%!  And watch from the comfort of my nice mortgaged home and see all these people lose their homes and life savings.

I think it becomes easier to be angry when it hits close to your home.

It is easy to become bewildered and lost a bit. This I know.  I know a little more now and I understand how the 99% feels, especially the vocal minority of which I guess, I’ve just joined the ranks of.

My point in all this? I don’t really know. Maybe there’s an upside to all this I have yet to find. Maybe It’s an explanation of why this blog has become so dark as of late. Maybe it’s my way of saying this is temporary and it’s a phase that I must go through so please bear with me.

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

Still a bit angry but hopeful…thanks for listening.

Strawberryindigo.

Fresh Quotes for JUNE: Rich and Poor

Nobody knows you when you’re down and out

**Jimmie Cox  1923 (song)**

“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime”

**Aristotle ( 384 B.C.)**

“With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches, which in their eye is never so complete as when they appear to possess those decisive marks of opulence which nobody can possess but themselves.”

**Adam Smith ( 1776)**

“YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO SKINNY OR TOO RICH.”

**Barbara Paley (Socialite) 1915-1978**

“If the rich could hire others to die for them, the poor could make a nice living.”

**Yiddish Saying**

“The art of becoming rich…is not absolutely nor finally the art of accumulating much money for ourselves, but also of contriving that our neighbors should have less. In accurate terms, it is the art of establishing the maximum inequality in our own favor.”

**John Ruskin (1860)**

Homeless Veteran on the streets of Boston, MA
Homeless Veteran on the streets of Boston, MA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A POOR MAN IS DESPISED THE WHOLE WORLD OVER.”

**Jerome K. Jerome (1892)**

Disparity of rich and poor in Rio de Janeiro
Disparity of rich and poor in Rio de Janeiro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“So long as all the increased wealth which modern progress brings goes but to build up great fortunes to increase luxury and make sharper the contrast between the house of have and the house of want, progress is not real and cannot be permanent.”

**Henry George (1879)**

… just a little food for thought…

Strawberryindigo.

Save The Bees

Cute little fuzzy buzzy bees darting from flower to flower, devoted to their task. I am an avid bee watcher. They are fascinating creatures to observe, so active and alive.

I wasn’t always like this. For most of my life I never paid much attention to bees, only enough to get out of their way.  As a child I saw them as mysterious and dangerous. Now as an adult knowing their precarious position my heart soars every time I see one.

I no longer take these essential little dynamos for granted.  We owe much to bees and this goes far beyond honey.  It is the by-product of their “busyness” pollinating roughly three-fifths of the food plants in the United States that keeps us in groceries, so to speak.

One full third of our diet depends on bee pollination.

We can thank our helpers; the bees for many of our favorite foods including: strawberries, apples, apricots, blueberries, kiwi, almonds, coconuts, pomegranates, cherries, okra, onions, sunflowers, tangerines, oranges, hazelnuts, soybeans, cauliflower, avocado, cucumber and watermelon just to name a few.(See complete list)

The Disappearing Act

By now many of us have heard of the bees disappearing. Scientists, the media and people in the know have been all abuzz about this phenomena they named Colony Collapse Disorder. (CCD) It seemingly came out of nowhere and since its abrupt appearance in 2005, it has been affecting millions and millions of bees all over the world.  It is characterised by the disappearance of worker bees that leave behind a queen, a few attendants, and maybe a few drones. Basically abandoned, the infected are left to wither and die with a hive full of honey.

There have been many different theories floating around as to the cause of Colony Collapse and there has been much finger pointing.  Many of the fingers point to our reliance on the pesticides and chemical fertilizers essential to our large commercial food production and the increasing use of Genetically Modified crops.

There has been evidence to support tracheal mites and varroa mites, known threats to bees. Some have proposed Nosema; a fungus as the cause, while others suggest it may be a virus such as Israeli acute paralysis.

Some are even blaming the commercial bee industry itself. Saying that the stress the hives undergo during frequent moves on trucks – typical of the way large commercial farms operate are helping to cause CCD. It should be said that smaller bee operations and hobbyists have reported less occurrence of this devastating disorder, this is probably due to the genetic diversity that smaller hives tend to have.

I personally think it’s a combination of many different factors and it’s a sign of modern civilization’s thirst for utter dominance over nature. Our total disharmony with our wild roots is catching up to us. Our disregard is showing and the signs are everywhere, not just in bees. We are being given a rather stern warning that we should heed.

An inspirational Sunflower

Save the Bees

And how do we save the bees? I’m no scientist. I am just a backyard gardener with a yen for the planet. Yes, I care but what can I really do personally? What can we all do?

The best action you can take to benefit honey bees is to not use pesticides and if you must use pesticides try not to use them at mid-day when honey bees are most likely to be out foraging for nectar. Try to use natural fertilizers instead of chemical ones.

Plant a large number of native nectar producing plants particularly in the colors pink, purple, and blue. Some plants to consider are red clover, alfalfa, foxglove, bee balm, and joe-pye weed. ( See complete list of plants)

And put in a good word for our friend the bee. They get bad press. At the very least people just don’t care about bees. Some people hate bees and others are afraid and justifiably so, in some cases. (See Africanized bees) 

But for the most part most of us will never encounter any killer bees. Just the garden variety, the cute fuzzy buzzy bees busy with helping transform our world into a garden; one flower at a time. Leave them to their important task.  They mean no harm to you and will only use their stinger in self-defense.  They are gentle creatures. If you encounter a hive in a natural area, leave it alone. We are meant to coexist with bees and we can as long as we learn to respect them for what they are and what they do.

We must change our attitudes about bees if they are to survive. The facts remain that while the number of bee keepers have been decreasing, the number of companies specializing in the removal of unwanted hives is on the rise.

Love them, hate them or fear them… we need them.

As the world population swells over the coming decades demand for food will surely increase.  We will need not only the bees to help feed us but we will need to rethink our role on the planet. We’ll have to realise that we need to foster a cooperation with nature as well as our neighbors.  We’re all in this together. You, me, the bees… the whole world.  By saving the bees, we are in essence saving ourselves.

English: Honeybee (Apis mellifera) landing on ...
English: Honeybee (Apis mellifera) landing on a milk thistle flower (Silybum marianum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks for listening,

Strawberryindigo.

 

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References and Suggested Reading

The Honey Trail by Grace Pundyk. © 2008

A Short History of the Honey Bee by E. Readicker-Hendersen. © 2009

USDA website; page on CCD