The air is fresh and chill. The wind blows tiny droplets of rain onto my face. I close my eyes and it feels like I am flying but the honking of geese above me remind me that I am not. I am walking, and walking on a muddy trail at that. My eyes quickly scan the ground and I scamper up a rocky hill like a little mountain goat.
These trips have gotten me in great trail shape. I spend a good portion of my free time out here in the wildish trails around my home in Portland, Oregon. It is a necessary component of my life to get out in whatever nature I can get to. We have no car, by design , my husband and I. We walk, bike or take public transit which is pretty good here. We like this sort of life, this muddy trail kind of life. I am very fortunate to have found someone who likes this as much, or more than I do. We are best friends, pals and companions as well as a loving married couple. He encourages me to be me and he smiles and shakes his head in amusement as I run up and down hills and even sometimes climb into the trees to snap pics and talk to the animals, real and imaginary. This is great fun to us and we are lucky to live where we do. So in spite of the rain or maybe because of the rain we are here at one of our favorite spots.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is a swampy, wetlands area smack daub in Portland, Oregon. Lots of birds live here especially ducks. I like to greet them as we pass by. We see lots of animals on our adventures. We have seen deer, beavers and nutria, possums and a plethora of birds especially the waterfowl. This is one of the places we go in all kinds of weather. Today it is super rainy and the trail is super muddy but we love this.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is a city park of about 141 acres in southeast Portland, in the U.S. state of Oregon. Located in a floodplain along the east bank of the Willamette River near Sellwood, the park is known for attracting a wide variety of birds. Wikipedia
Errol Heights Natural area is cute in a boggy sort of way. This is a short walk but has become a favorite of ours since it is so close in the city. On our first visit we met a curious man who popped out of the bushes. He told us in breathless Kiwi accent about the 10 beaver dams there as he was running around trying to photograph all of them in order before the sun set.
One meets all sorts of interesting people in places like this.
The beavers are pretty shy but you can see evidence of them not just by the dams but but by the trees they are in the process of cutting. Many of the tree trucks are protected by wire netting but there is still ample wood available. The birds are typically out in full force here as it is a haven for waterfowl and songbirds. I love to just stop and listen to their beautiful music. Today the soundtrack is dominated by geese who fly overhead in their famous V formation. It is amazing a place like this exists in the middle of the city. We are lucky to live here.
Errol Heights Park & Community Garden, located at SE 52nd Ave & Tenino St, is 12 acres acquired by Portland Parks in 1996. Its amenities include a great walking path through the site with views of the Errol Creek wetland area. Many native plants and shrubs thrive in Errol Heights – part of the Johnson Creek Watershed.
There has been times in my life when it seemed the moon was my only friend. It seemed so lonely up there in the dark. And so it came to be that we’d keep each other company.
If we seem well acquainted this is why.
Having romantic notions about the moon. I felt my soulmate, my kindred spirit, my best friend, a person I had yet to meet was out there looking at that same moon wondering about me too. The moon told me that love is timeless and to be patient, for love is that too.
And so we’d have these little conversations wherein the moon reminded me just how small I am and how big and ancient the moon is compared to me. These talks tend to put things into perspective when I am as lucid as the moon which is only sometimes, most of the time I am a lunatic which is another story…
***Here are some Moon quotes intended to inspire the lunatic in all of us.
It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.
There is a moon inside every human being. Learn to be companions with it.
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
“The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”
“Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: – you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.”
I’ve always wanted to write poems and nothing else.
Coming in whispers that speak to that child that lurks within
the one that plays in grassy fields and kisses the sweet spring wind
she who laughs at chickadees and muses with birds
Quietly knocking one over the head with her simple earthy words.
I have been literally brought to tears on more than one occasion by this immensely talented writer and poet.
Mary Oliver is an artist who more than paints pictures with words. She illustrates profound feeling in vivid and not so vivid colors and hues. They hit me deep down in my soul.
Never before have I so connected with another’s words. It reinforces to me the greater connection we all have with each other and our beautiful planet.
What follows are some of my favorite quotes by this Pulitzer Prize winner.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
“Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.”
There is nothing better than work. Work is also play; children know that. Children play earnestly as if it were work. But people grow up, and they work with a sorrow upon them. It’s duty.
“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable. I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours. Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing. If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.”
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
Do you love this world? Do you cherish your humble and silky life? Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath? Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden, and softly, and exclaiming of their dearness, fill your arms with the white and pink flowers, with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, their eagerness to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are nothing, forever?
We are born of Chaos. A singularity known as the Big Bang sent forth into being an ever expanding commencement of all things.
Clouds of dense gas and swirling universes come together and are pulled apart….Stars are born, they shine and explode and then die. Black holes devour all they touch. Galaxies collide spraying stars into eternity. Particles are continuously being created and destroyed; blinking in and out of existence akin to a ginormous Schlesinger’s Cat.
We are born of hydrogen and oxygen, of nothingness and of everything. We are truly stardust come down to Earth.
Our home this planet has had a violent past and without all that disarray and upheaval we would not be here today.
We come from chaos and someday we’ll return there too. This is how infinity perpetrates itself.
We are a part of that.
As we are a part of everything.
Albert Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. He knew that a stirring of the waters can sometimes conger up the fish. We know from history that many a good thing can result from many a bad thing indeed and if necessity is the mother of invention then perhaps chaos can be the father of the creative thought that sparks that necessity.
Fate forces our hand and we must act, even inaction is a form of action or reaction. We can go with the flow or fight it. Life is a raging river, never standing still, always moving, never the same…change is the only constant.
The death of one can come about the birth of another
Chaos is raw violence. It rips apart what was to make room for what will be. In it’s upheaval change does not waiver. It is indifferent to fate. It just is. Change devours the status quo. In its varying degrees it can make quite an impact. Life ebbs and flows. Stability returns with the growth that follows upheaval. Life is but a dance between the two extremes seeking to find an undulating balance between them.
Music interrupts silence and color disturbs the black and white. The peanut butter in my ice cream has only increased it’s tastiness to me
Imagine a world that never changes, a river that never flows, a planet that has lost its spin. Imagine a world without the audacity of daybreak. Imagine a blank piece of paper where words will never be. Imagine the leaves never falling off the trees, or crying babies never being born, imagine the butterfly never emerging from her chrysalis and becoming the butterfly she is meant to be…
This is why we need chaos you see…
Despite the pain of upheaval. Wonderful things can be found among the ruins. Sometimes it can be oneself.
I am myself at a time in my life where I have found the courage to make some drastic life changes. I write this as I sit in my new apartment, my name on the lease. It is mostly devoid of things for now but it holds the most precious thing of all: Love. The love that this place abounds in. I am truly blessed to have people around me that love me and encourage me to be the best me I can be. An unexpected butterfly landed on my shoulder one day last February and I haven’t been the same since. I found the strength to leave a situation that was not healthy for me or my children. I have taken upon myself to change this situation that I had lived with for many years. I will continue to keep you posted. Suffice to say I am happy and excited!!
Look deeper through the telescope
and do not be afraid when the stars
collide towards the darkness,
because sometimes the most beautiful
things begin in chaos.”
― Robert M. Drake
I wake to the sound of songbirds and the fluttering of sunlight tiptoing across my sleeping eyes.
I hear the geese
Never fails. Every time. Every year. The smallest sign of Spring approaches me and I bubble over in anticipation like a sparkling strawberry soda, all frothy, fruity and effervescent. I get giddy and happy and laughy. Seriously.
To me Spring is like a drug and I am totally under the influence. any sign will set me off no matter how small and/or strange. I spied a spider in the bathtub. A fuzzy gentleman or lady who I sang to as I scooped up and put it outside. It’s getting warm out there after all. The crocus are crocusing and the daffodils are doing their daffodilling. I saw a squirrel chase another up a tall pine.
“It’s Spring!“It’s Spring!” At least that what it seems the geese are saying as they fly overhead.
According to the calendar Spring begins Sunday, March 20 but to me and the Robin out there on the lawn who just slurped up a big fat worm, that glorious season has already arrived!
Spring is magical and I feel that magic down deep inside me, ready to spring forth as does all the greenery outside. Spring is hopeful. It is the season of light and whimsy. It is delicate and white at first. You can hold it in your hand, like a tiny seed. It embeds itself and begins to grow. It bursts out of the earth; vigorous and green with the exuberance of life, capable of taking on the world.
And I feel this and I feel hope. I feel good things are just waiting to bloom and spring up in my path. I will seize those tiny serendipities as they come and enjoy the hell out of them. Spring makes me believe all this can happen. Spring is like that; It’s sunny and happy. It cheers me on and fills me with gladness. I just can’t help it.
I know I’m not alone in this. I know that you too have a thing for Spring. So let’s do this…right here, right now. Why wait any longer? Let’s empower ourselves today and declare that Spring has sprung! And what better way to celebrate than with quotes about Spring.
All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.
It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
The spring came suddenly, bursting upon the world as a child bursts into a room, with a laugh and a shout and hands full of flowers.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.
~Harriet Ann Jacobs
I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.
In the Springtime love is carried on the breeze . Watch out or flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head.
~Emma Racine Defleur
On soft Spring nights I’ll stand in the yard under the stars – Something good will come out of all things yet – And it will be golden and eternal just like that – There’s no need to say another word.”
― Jack Kerouac
In the interest of gritty and honest hard-hitting journalism I am out to sin and not just once but seven times! You guessed that right my friends, I am out to commit the Seven Deadly Sins and no one can stop me!
Just to clarify; the seven deadly sins are something the Catholics came up with, along with other lists as well. I’m not going to get into all that but suffice to say these particular sins seem tame as sins go. They are not so deadly; no killing or maiming or any bloodshed at all. They can’t be all that bad I’m reasoning to myself. Not enough to get struck down by lightning or anything drastic. Maybe some light finger-wagging by the guy upstairs?? And really what better time to go out and conquer sin? I’ve spent the great part of the last 20 years lost in some sort of June Clever-ish world, immersed in a certain domestic passivity that has separated me from anything even vaguely resembling sin. That being said, I think that it’s high time to embark on a wondrous journey of mild debauchery.
But then again…
It is wintertime and the downtown area of Portland where I was planning to sin gets mighty cold this time of year. Perhaps I will wait for the summer when it is HOT.
I will just have to get by with some light preliminary sinning from the comfort of my home. My favorite chocolate chocolate ice cream with chocolate and whipped cream sounds like a great start. I think I’ve got the sloth and gluttony down! RIGHT ON!!
…and while I think of other ways I can mildly sin from home let’s explore the world of THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS through the following quotes and images:
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
~ ♦ ♦ The 7 ♦ ♦ ~
~Sade Andria Zabala
“You know, sloth is a sin,” he says softly.
“I prefer to think of it as an adorable animal.”
“Look at the orators in our republics; as long as they are poor, both state and people can only praise their uprightness; but once they are fattened on the public funds, they conceive a hatred for justice, plan intrigues against the people and attack the democracy.”
“Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense.”
~Robert A. Heinlein
In Roman Catholicism, the Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, are a list of the worst vices that cut a person off from God’s grace. In Latin and English, the Seven Deadly Sins are: superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (extravagance, later lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath), and acedia (sloth). Each of the Seven Deadly Sins corresponds to one of the Seven Holy Virtues (see below), and together these lists were the moral standards and tests of the early Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church recognizes the seven virtues as opposites to the seven sins:
|Lust (undesired love)||Chastity (purity)|
|Gluttony (overindulgence)||Moderation/Temperance (self-restraint)|
|Greed (avarice)||Generosity (vigilance)|
|Sloth (laziness)||Zeal (integrity)|
|Wrath (anger)||Meekness (composure)|
|Envy (jealousy)||Charity (giving)|
|Pride (vanity)||Humility (humbleness)|