Category Archives: Environment

A new baby

The expected birth found us ready and waiting, for the last two weeks. Neighbor Mom and Dad were ready to go to St. Anthony Hospital and, along with other neighbors, we were ready, on call, to watch the baby’s three-year old sibling when the time came.

An ultrasound showed the baby, not so much waiting as hanging out content as a pearl in a shell.

So, let’s briefly go back in time.

Oblivious to a near future, the pregnancy was celebrated before epidemical rumblings turned into roars. We could easily foresee, along with their three-year old and our two grandchildren, another child happily loping around on our lawns with no fences between.

Happiness wasn’t dampened as time passed and circumstances changed. But travel restrictions brought about some rethinking.

The neighbor’s immediate family members live far away.

The parents got caught in conversations between us neighbors offering to help and their families wanting to travel to help during the birth.

How do we comfort the joyful yearning to share the birth, but the need to stay home?

I lessened my judgmentalism about people traveling. Birth and death define human life but it’s the love in between that lives. I could respect their decision to travel. But as it turned out, they found comfort in staying home.

Fast forward to last Friday night, when all of us near and far, were texted a photo of the newly born infant. Picturesque. Powerful. Pure.

Another neighbor was home with the three-year old.

The birth went well. But the professionals wanted to watch Mom and Baby for 48 hours. So Dad came home, spent time with their three-year old and then brought him to our house before returning to the hospital.

Grinning ear to ear, Neighbor Dad was operating on adrenaline. Their three-year old caught the eye of our three-year old grandson and they nearly collided with excitement to go play. The noise level of the house ramped up double notches. Our daughter and I stood and smiled and nodded as the enamored dad told us details.

After the dad left our house to go to the hospital. After their son and our grandson played until they because starved. We congregated in the kitchen for some chow.

I asked the three-year old, “What is your baby brother’s name?”

“Baby Brother,” he said.

Sometimes I too can’t remember names or the correct words, but it doesn’t lessen the meaning or anticipation of joy.

Sure enough, the three-year old expressed unadulterated joy a few days later when we came to see his baby brother. His joy wasn’t dampened by the fact we all stood a ten-foot distance away on the porch. Neither was ours. Joy closed the gap.

Something to do during COVID-19 pandemic

From the “Index” of 21st Century Science and Health, 6th edition, look up references to your choice of the following words, typed in bold font below. When reading the references, ask yourself questions.

Guidance.

How can we feel Soul guiding us through social-distancing, rather than feel the pull of emotionalism?

Angels are exalted thoughts that guide us, so what type of indestructible angels get us through chaos and vulnerability?

Divine Truth guides byspiritual rules, not human rules, therefore what human rules can we distance ourselves from? What spiritual rules can we live, move, and breath?

Environment.

How do we read human mind without fear, but with healing compassion, such as Christ Jesus did?

What other types of activities and ideas, other than “song, sermon, and Science” show trust in Spirit and spirituality and offer comfort to humanity?

How do we possess and reflect “God’s dominion to bless the environment” when using the internet?

Peace.

Staying on the side of “Science and peace” isn’t danger-free, so what errors of thought do we banish to stay protected and safe?

The “peace and order of divine Mind” doesn’t come by avoiding COVID-19, but by treating it with spiritual understanding, by respecting advanced thinkers, and what else?

Like a “dove,” how are we symbols of peace? Like “evening,” we can trust peace and rest to overpower mystification and weariness.

The puzzle of puzzles

In the corner of our living room stands a table. On top of the table is an unfinished jig-saw puzzle. When the mood hits me to slow down for a minute and quite worrying, I go to the corner of the room. I gaze and shuffle and attach puzzle pieces to watch come together the scene of ice-skaters in a park surrounded by leafless trees.

Experts say that solving puzzles helps reinforce existing brain connections.

I see how tackling a puzzle can reinforce the existing brain connection of mine that, say, puts together jig-saw puzzles. But I’d beg to differ it helps me connect 5 p.m. with making dinner.

For twenty years when the children were growing up, I had a strong brain connection that come 5 p.m., I’d put together some form of edible food for our family dinner. Now?

I’m too busy solving the jig-saw puzzles to remember putting together dinner. Apparently, the dinner brain connection was loosey-goosey. But not the puzzle connection.

For years, I was lucky enough to live near a guy who also loved jig-saw puzzles. We shared puzzles, saving us both a bundle in costs. I also would buy puzzles at garage sales or thrift stores, but usually a piece was missing, the piece I was always looking for.

Puzzle solving started when I was young. Mom brought home five puzzles, each with 100 pieces. “Here, turn off the TV and put these together,” she’d tell us five kids. It took about twenty minutes. “Take them apart, and swap puzzles with your sister or brother,” Mom said.

Five puzzles, five kids, five swaps, you get the picture. Less TV.

We noticed, however, that each time we re-solved the puzzles, we got quicker. So, we started racing one another. A puzzle was soon put together in less than 30-seconds, serving as top entertainment for weeks.

Over the ensuing years, Mom bumped us up to 500 then 750-piece puzzles. By time I married, I preferred 1000-piecers, thinking no more of numbers as I enjoyed the feeling of therapy when connecting puzzle pieces.

Then, my preference for 1000-piece puzzles joggled when yakking with our new son-in-law. He was working on a 15,000-piece puzzle. Fifteen thousand?

He still works on it, and that was ten years ago. But at the time, I couldn’t resist getting a 3,000-piece puzzle to challenge myself. It was torture and I’ll not do that again.

In the meantime, our son-in-law explains, “My puzzle pieces came in four bags. Each bag represents a quarter of the 15,000 pieces. After finishing the first bag and starting the second bag, I wondered if each quarter was really the same puzzle cut.”

Huh? I had absolutely no brain connection here.

But he orders a piece of clear, four-foot plexiglass, lays it on top of the first finished quarter of the puzzle, and slides the second quarter of the puzzle on top. Sure enough, each quarter was made from the same cut.

When it comes to the sky, he puts the pieces together according to shape, shown to him below the plexiglass.

Some year, I’ll see on the wall, an eight-foot by four-foot finished puzzle of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, hands touching.

“You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom, when you make friends with Madame Insight. She’s worth far more than money in the bank; her friendship is better than a big salary. Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her. With one hand she gives long life, with the other she confers recognition. Her manner is beautiful, her life wonderfully complete. She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her. Hold her tight—and be blessed!”–Proverbs 3:13-18, The Message

 

Wonders

Dark cold winter nights lack humid-heavy atmospheres and allow sharp sightings of the cosmos. Expert and amateur astronomers giddily set up telescopes to peer through to chart the skies. For hours. Seemingly unaware of their freezing fannies. And this gazing has been occurring for centuries, starting with the naked eye.

I get it. But I don’t freeze or chart. And the naked eye suits me fine for staring into the night sky. But did you know, smartphone apps can tell you what’s in the night sky?

With the app, you can aim your phone at the sky and your screen-view will match the sky. On the screen you can read about thousands of catalogued stars, galaxies, planets, and more, along with tidbits of information such as their travel route and speed. The phone app also tracks artificial satellites and the International Space Station. It’s simply amazing.

In 1997, I couldn’t sleep, one cold night in Washington state.

I layered coats over my pjs, plopped a hat on my head, and strapped farm boots on my feet before sneaking outside. Shep, our dog, was waiting for me.

Shep probably heard me tossing in bed and was wondering what took me so long to get outside. But off we went for a walk around the orchard.

Head down, I began trekking the forty-acre orchard border. Diligently watching the ground so I wouldn’t trip and fall while walking over tree shadows created by the moon.

On a knoll, the ground shadows disappeared, and I looked up. To see Hale-Bopp comet.

Now, an unforgotten experience of wonder and awe.

I’d read about the comet. It was discovered independently by two amateur astronomers, Alan Hale in New Mexico and Thomas Bopp in Arizona in 1995.

But what moved me so wonderfully?

The fact I quit stewing in bed and got into a better physical and mental mode? Our faithful dog? Or, that I could see something more than 120 million miles away? Or, the unimaginable stream of dust and gas released from the atmosphere around the comet affected by the sun’s radiation pressure? Nah.

Its wonder and awe itself. Moving us.

 

From Luke 2: 1-18

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

Floodtides and snowstorms

The recent snowstorm invited many of us to stay home. But, thanks, to the brave souls who weathered the snow and ice to keep emergencies to a minimum.

Watching snow accumulation has always been a favorite pastime for me. I don’t dread snow. I can’t. It strikes me with an awe that wants more.

The snow motivates my consciousness with peace, when I see whiteness cover everything and shine with purity. Snow makes lawns, houses, cars, litter, unseen. Equal.

Even when I get my shovel and start moving the snow. I find it’s heavy. Real heavy. But still motivating me.

To think further along the line of peaceful awe and equality.

Snow is one form of H2O, along with ice, sleet, water, steam. If I wait long enough for the snow to melt, I won’t have to shovel it. But I don’t.

Working with what I have, the snow is moved where useful (sidewalk), and I move on. Only accomplishing the necessary tasks of feeding the chickens and catching up with paperwork, while stopping to enjoy staring at the snow falling and listening to the silence.

What I call the physical existence has many forms, solid, fluid, vaporous, and I can work with what I have, to move on, even if it feels like heavy work. For example, a couple of days before the storm, my head was achy.

The brain is one form of matter, along with the arms, mouth, and ears. Working with what I have, I sit in the big chair, wrap my arms around our grandchildren and read books to them. I move on while enjoying listening to the children’s quiet listening. My consciousness feel peace and I begin to see the ache melt.

“Understanding comes through spiritual logic and revelation. Following the signposts of divine law, we comprehend the Truth that is changing the world for the better. In this path we find progress attended by life and peace.

“We do not need to learn our life lessons the hard way. We can stop stumbling around in drunkenness. We can stop being consumed by disease. We can stop being shocked at the evil in the world and gain an understanding that leads to productive improvement.

“This metaphysical system of healing through truth relinquishes the errors of self-serving obsessions, misleading appetites, hatred, fear, lust, superstition, etc. The progression makes a new creation.[1] The way to uncover and abandon error is to saturate the mind with floodtides of Truth and Love.

“As we discover there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded. We experience a relationship with all the attributes of Truth and Love, including wisdom. We become conscious of the existence of Spirit as the source of supply.”from science & religion to God

 

 

[1] II Cor. 5:17

Mindful Bridges

Well I must say, the newly repaired bridge over Wawayanda Creek in the Village of Warwick is pretty dandy. For the month of July, the bridge was closed off and vehicles detoured around the work area. When driving, I didn’t mind. The detour brought to my attention offices and businesses only a couple of blocks off the beaten path and are good to know.

Nice work on the bridge though. Smooth groove now. And safe I’m sure.

I think bridges are one answer to the dares of water. Water dares us to cross its mighty power or use its motion for power.

As for bridges, I was dazzled by the book, The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge, by David McCullough. The bridge’s design was conceived by John Roebling and built late 1800s. The suspension-cable bridge spans 1,595 feet and opened in 1883.

When riding my motorcycle across the United States a decade ago, I drove over the Mackinac Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the Americas, spanning 8,614 feet. Its total length is 5 miles and links Michigan’s Lower and Upper peninsulas. The Mackinac Bridge opened in 1957. Another tribute to competence and command.

I can still feel the grooved surface and movement of the bridge under my wheels. And the height? Two-hundred feet above the water.

The bridge was built to flux with temperature, winds, and weight. The deck can sway right or left as much as 35 feet in the center. You get the idea. It’s a feeling that impresses the soul when hovering over the bridge, with nothing but farm boots between the surface and my feet, six inches off the ground. Forget the facts I had no seatbelt and balanced on two wheels.

That soul impression of competence and command ranks up there with the type of humanity that leaves me humbled. Like when I make a stupid mistake and my husband quietly helps me fix it. Compassion is a bridge.

The bridge over Wawayanda Creek is one of about 17,450 highway bridges in New York State. How many times do you cross a bridge?

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

How Woodstock 50th taught me about togetherness

Unknown to me fifty-years ago, when I was seven years old, the anomaly dubbed The Woodstock Festival, made history. How was it possible that 450,000 people knew to trek their way to the town of Bethel in upstate New York? No internet. No cellphones. At a time when area codes categorized people by regions.

In 1969, I was living on our family farm in southeastern Washington state. Oblivious to the world.

Mom and Dad had recently bought a black and white television so we could watch men land on the moon. I observed and thought, “Hmm, that’s interesting.” But was more intrigued by the boxy gizmo sitting on an end table, showing me moving and talking images.

I was a teen before I learned about Woodstock. I learned the clean version. Self-caring musicians, well-behaved attendees, people picking up their own litter, standing up for what’s right, wanting peace.

I still believe the clean version but as is true to any human version of life, it comes with flaws, eventually exposed. Fame sometimes blocks self-care, bad behavior lurks in the background of the human mind, litter happens, and what’s right and peace aren’t always clear.

And yet, after all these years, it’s the clean version that receives the brunt of my attention and is passed along in conversations. Fortunately, I’m not alone. Last Sunday, Times Herald-Record ran an article, Spirit of Woodstock lives on in memories of historic festival, confirming the type of attention and communication that points to the good in humanity.

From Times Herald-Record, Steve Israel interviewed three people who were closely connected to the original Woodstock. They shared hindsight and deepened admiration to the festival.

The article also carries a black and white photo showing a long line of cars piloting, bumper to bumper and sandwiched between thousands of people walking side-by-side, to the festival.

That photo reveals an answer to my very curious wonder of how so many people knew to make their way to a dairy farm in Bethel, back in the day before the internet.

Despite the fact I avoid crowds like the plague, the photo asked me to admit that I’m still in close contact with people. Whether in a line at the grocery store or eating out in a restaurant. I may be sandwiched in with family members, co-workers, or strangers, but without hesitancy and without the internet, we can strike up a conversation and keep sharing the spirit of togetherness.

A Delight of Father’s Day

In 1995, Dad died. I still hear him encouraging me to till the ground, plant, grow, and harvest. I have no problem remembering him on Father’s Day.

A good man, not always easy to get along with, Dad taught me how to identify plants and hoe weeds out of potato fields. I couldn’t help but wonder why sometimes, the same plant could be a weed in a potato field and a flower in a garden.

Morning Glory.

Morning Glory competes for nutrients in a potato field but provides vibrant delight in a garden.

That knowledge, of course, can be observed and applied. Everyday.

Dad didn’t compete for nutrients during my childhood but provided nourishment. I was raised on a steady diet of healthy food, work, and the constant nudging to complete jobs that need to be done and to correct my mistakes.

When I follow through on the nudging, vibrant delight.

After I got married and had two children, we started fostering children. The first child that came to live with us, Junior, had his second birthday during his stay. Junior was afraid of men. Afraid of most everything; vacuum cleaner, Shep the dog, the farm four-wheeler.

The job that needed to be done was introducing Junior to confident courage. I stopped vacuuming the house, just kidding, but vacuumed when Junior was in the other room. I also asked Shep to lay down and wait for Junior to come and pet him. Shep obliged many times over.

As for men, one day, my backup babysitter backed out and I needed childcare. Mom volunteered. Super grateful, I took our girls and Junior to Mom and Dad’s house before going to my appointment.

A few hours later, I returned to Mom and Dad’s house. I walked into the mudroom and was quietly astounded to see Dad, squatting on the floor with a knee up. Junior was perched on his knee, looking at a tool Dad had. Dad carefully put Junior on the ground to stand. Junior stood tall and held Dad’s hand as they went off to fix, nothing. With Dad’s guidance, Junior plied that tool to the air or maybe an engine in his mind’s eye, with sheer delight.

 

Video on new/old united

Freedom of the Press

Check out below this full-page ad in the New York Times, from the New York Times. Admirable.

NYT read many paperssmall

Freedom of the Press means freedom of the readers. We are the image of universal Mind. We reason with divine thoughts that meet our individual circumstances. We are the reflection of eternal intelligence. We have broad views and big pictures. We are the children of Truth and this enables us to read even those things we don’t want to hear.

Don’t get isolated on an island by reading only the words you want to hear, or that are familiar and adored. As the New York Times encourages, read, read, read. And if words don’t speak to you: dance other dances, paint different pictures, run many races, or embrace new friends.

Quoting from science & religion to God:

“Taken literally the words, “Clean your room,” produces decent results. But when dealing with less concrete concepts, open to wide interpretations, such as, “Be nice,” the results can vary. Spirituality comes to our rescue.

“Divine interpretation gives us the deeper meaning our hearts yearn for. Spiritual interpretation maintains our life purpose and makes our experiences, words, expressions—even myths—useful. It points the way to non-intrusive healing.”

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