Monday, June 29, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020


From Psychology Wiki: Nurture is usually defined as the process of caring for and teaching a child as the child grows. Often, it is used in debates as the opposite of "nature" (see nature versus nurture), whereby nurture means the process of replicating learned cultural information from one mind to another, and nature means the replication of genetic non-learned behavior.
The trees in this picture have definitely been cared for and nurtured.

In everything I looked up nurture was tied to nature.
For me I see it as the gentle care of any person, both young and old,
and the gentle care of our earth.
A garden with food to eat is nurtured and cared for.

What inspired me to choose this word today comes from Simple Abundance
by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
"Today, sow some symbolic seeds, even if you don't have a garden,
as a gesture to ritualize the new life you are creating within.
Ask for the blessing of Spirit and the nurturing of the Great Mother and know
that in dire time there will be an abundant harvest for yourself
and those you love."

I believe in caring for yourself and others
your soul is nurtured.
In caring for the earth,
the earth rejoices.
Nurture and you will grow.
We each grow and nurture in our own ways.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Women of Tea

Farmer Chen's wife from Pinglin, Taiwan served us tea in their shop.
Then she went to the tea field and demonstrated a tea picking hedge trimmer.
Farmer Chen told us she always stays awake and by his side when he is producing
the tea during the night so he won't fall asleep on the job.

Most often it is the women that pick the tea.
This particular morning they arrived to pick at 8AM.
They picked until mid day then took their tea in to be weighed at the production center.
This was a cooperative family farm on Alishan Mountain.
It was lovely to listen to them chatter as they worked with an occasional song.
Women are such a part of making our tea extra special
and doing whatever is necessary to get the job done.
Again another farmer's wife helped in the tearoom serving us tea.
On her back was her grand daughter.
Later she cooked for us.
Then visiting a tea school in Taiwan we learned the proper way to pick.

What fascinates me is that the men often get the recognition,
but it is the women that pick the tea, feed the people, care for the babies,
serve tea to the guests and generally hold things together.

In India I have learned through reading that the owners of tea plantations
give the money to the women to manage because they do the care taking
and don't go out to drink after work.
One farmer in India now has his daughter producing the tea because that is
where her heart and talent are.  The son works in the office, but the daughter
is hands on for creating beautiful teas.

Many women are now becoming entrepreneurs, creating their own businesses,
and running their own farms. One of my tea friends is an attorney in New York,
but also owns and produces tea in Nepal and has a partnership with someone there.
She travels back and forth between the US and Nepal, keeping an apartment in both places.
She produces a delicious white tea.
There is also a woman here in Oregon that is the president of the
U.S. Tea Growers Association and also grows her own tea right here in the states.
She has some very nice teas.
Women are also taking leadership rolls in tea education,
many of them I call "friends".

I love seeing the blossoming of women in the world of tea.
So if you sip a cup of tea send love to all those women and men too
that make that cup possible.

Happy weekend, dear friends!
I hope you have some moments to sip a cup of tea.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020


When checking wikipedia it described music and performers, but also said "clear and concise".
Interestingly it also stated that the Quakers had "meetings for clearness".
Being a Quaker I do know about "meetings for clearness" having sat on a committee
to help someone in the church make a decision.
The "meeting for clearness" is when someone is struggling with a decision
and needs a small group to sit with them and listen, then help guide them.
When I thought of the word for today, Clarity, I wasn't even thinking of these meetings.
Sometimes, as in the picture, life isn't very clear and we ask for clarity.
We ask maybe of our selves in self reflection or ask someone outside our self for help.
For me the word came last week when I was thinking of the past few months
and people being more isolated.  Through the isolation I feel people have been given
an opportunity to re-evaluate their businesses, work, and lives and maybe make
some decisions.  Things have become more "clear", there has been clarity.
And then the clouds of confusion and doubt go away and we see more clearly.

For me I sometimes get so scattered by what I need to do or even what I want to do
that I end up getting stuck and not making any progress.
As the thought of clarity came to me I was able to make notes,
life decisions had more "clarity" than at other times.
I really like this words and still thinking on it.

Pictures are of the Dordogne River in France.

Friday, June 19, 2020

When I was hungry you gave me Food

From Matthew 25 in the bible:
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
"I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

You might think "what is this little cupboard doing with books in it
in connection to the above verse"?
As I walk in my neighborhood more of these little libraries are popping up,
more little veggie gardens along the sidewalk too.
The fascinating thing I am finding in some of the little libraries is food.
Boxes and cans of food, plus homemade masks.
The generosity of those around me touches my heart.
Is this happening in your part of the world?
I have a feeling there are many generous hearts out there
caring for their neighbors, friends, and even those they don't know.
Oh yes, I have even found a book or two to bring home.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends!
For a peaceful moment watch the video from the Lan Su Chinese Gardens this week.
Jeanie, they have named the heron Harold.
Wondering if he is related to your Harry?

Monday, June 15, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

I have been thinking about this word a lot this week, so even though it might be
a repeat I decided to do it again. Adventure right now seems so different to me
than just a few months ago. Now just to adventure from my bed to my yard
or the garden house feels like going on an adventure.
When I was panicking about the pandemic I began thinking (now you might
think this is a bit morbid) about dying in the hospital of the virus.
I decided that even if that happened I could take that as the ultimate adventure.
That both birth and death are indeed part of the adventure of a life and
each persons adventure is different and uniquely their own.
It actually has calmed my mind and heart to think of this word right now,
as I love an adventure.

from wikipedia: An adventure is an exciting experience that is typically a bold, sometimes risky, undertaking.[1] Adventures may be activities with some potential for physical danger such as traveling, exploring, skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, river rafting or participating in extreme sports. Adventures are often undertaken to create psychological arousal or in order to achieve a greater goal such as the pursuit of knowledge that can only be obtained in a risky manner.

So for now my adventure means maybe traveling through my house to my living room.

Or finding a trail nearby, a place not many know about and walking.
But in my heart of hearts I still dream of adventures far away,
maybe even in a balloon or drifting down a river.
And if I am really brave maybe hopping on a plane and flying somewhere exotic.
Adventure is a part of me and in my dreams I will continue to dream.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Tea Times at Home

With the pandemic the best place to have teatimes is right here in my home or in the garden.
On a particularly sunny day about a week ago there was teatime in the garden.
Just tea and a scone, a cream tea time was enjoyed.
How I love being surrounded by flowers and green everywhere.
It's the perfect ambiance for sipping tea.
The roses and calla lilies made such a pretty bouquet for the table.
I decided there would be no matching on the table this day.
You see I chose each cup and the plate in different colors.
The teapot is one I fell in love with some years ago at a tea shop in Texas.
Though you can only see a glimpse of a book, it was vintage book on
Pacific Northwest wild flowers.
I was reading and learning a bit about flowers on the trail.
Tea time in the garden is the very best.

Then there was another teatime with a guest.
When the food was placed on the table he couldn't wait to partake.
Again this Texas teapot made an appearance.
On this day we had fruit, sausage rolls, egg salad sandwiches, and a piece of chocolate
with peppermint tea.
There may not be adventures to tearooms right now,
but still there is time for tea.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Iris is her Name

In my walks recently I had noticed gorgeous iris.
Now iris is a flower I am learning to like.
I guess it is that the fragrance often puts me off,
I don't really like it, but I love the beauty from a distance.
They have been so beautiful in other peoples gardens
I decided to snap a few pictures.
Sadly they were already fading away for the season.
This was the only bearded iris I could find.
And just the week before they were everywhere.
I snapped each one as I found them.
So pretty even in their demise.
Each season has it's own beauty if we only stop to notice.

The seasons of our lives also show their beauty in surprising ways.
Just today on Instagram someone showed her grandmothers hands
reaching for a pie and the picture just sang to my heart.
As I age I have to remind myself of the beauty of each season
and then the beauty of the memories after the demise.

I wasn't going to show these pictures because they weren't at their peak,
but then I realized they had lessons yet for me to learn.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Word for the Day 2020


Anne Lamott says in her book, Almost Everything, Notes of Hope,
"Empathy, a moment's compassion, seeing that everyone has equal value,
even people who have behaved badly, is a magnetic a force as gratitude.
It draws people to us, thus giving us the capacity to practice receiving love,
the scariest thing of all, and to experience the curiosity of a child."

From wikipedia: "Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position."

During this time of conflict what is needed is "empathy".
Grab ahold and go in peace, dear friends!

Pictures taken a few days ago at Peninsula Park in Portland, Oregon,
not far from my home.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Hidden Passages

My home is located in an older inner city neighborhood of Portland, Oregon
and yet when you see these pictures you will think I am in a country village.
The picture just below is where I have begun my walks lately.
At one point it narrows behind the fences of neighbors,
but still I travel through.
It is fascinating to discover the back side of homes and gardens.
I even discovered a ceramic studio, but when I carried my camera yesterday
she was closed. I will capture her at work another day for you.
Behind a church sits a beautiful place to pause.
A flower escaping through the fence.
My favorite "I spy" moment is this secret garden,
the entrance from the back to several sweet apartments.
I could see myself living there.
Much of the alleys look like this with garages and fences,
turns in the road.
As I came out to the street there was a pony parked along the curb of the street.
Many years ago when people still used horses there were iron rings put in the concrete.
Look closely and you will see it.
People have since attached little ponies to the rings just for smiles.
This one I found just yesterday as I walked.
And all along the way there were surprise flowers tucked here and there.
Secret passages and the delights of discoveries makes my child heart happy.
As a child I would have spent hours walking these passages,
searching for surprises and delights.
I know there are those that walk on the passage alley behind our house
just because they love seeing our gardenhouse and flowers.
The view from our alley into the gardenhouse.
Oh I spy my "live-in gardener" there.

Happy weekend, dear friends!
Hope you can get out to do your own discoveries.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Apples - On the Road

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
~WB Yeats.

In a way this poem seems lonely.
It touches on my heart at this time of isolation.
I walk each day alone.
I see apples growing.
I see flowers blooming.
I see people, yet we turn to avoid each other.
The eyes are diverted, yet I know that they are there.
I find secret passages,
And my heart is alone in their discoveries.
I smell the roses along the way.
I search for that elusive 4 leaf clover in the grass.
I pluck the small daisy growing wildly here and there.
Dreaming dreams is part of the agenda.
I travel in my mind.
The light shines and I sing.

How are you doing, dear friends?
Are you lonely?

Monday, June 1, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020


From wikipedia: Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large.[1] As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation."

After my post recently about how stress during the pandemic hit me my friend,
Jeanie, The Marmalade Gyspy, recommended a book by Anne Lamott
called Almost Everything, Notes on Hope.
Saturday I started reading it and the line that has stuck with me is
"Love is why we have hope."
Then sitting at home yesterday morning and participating in zoom church
the message was on hope.
So I just felt in this time of unrest, anger, sadness, and fear,
we needed to focus on hope today.
One of the scriptures from the bible yesterday was:
Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.

Emily Dickinson once said,
"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul -
and sings the tunes without the words -
and never stops at all."

Spring flowers always give me hope.
Seeing them shine through the snow and rain
just makes my heart lift in joy and hope for a new season.