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Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
Well hello there Mr. Tree.
Was I looking at you,
or were you looking at me?
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.
– John Muir
On yoga night, this little orphan was left on our doorstep.
Here he joined us for yoga, demonstrating what one of the evening’s yogis dubbed as “frog dog.” He is also quite accomplished at savasana. Though you can’t see it in the picture, he is solid black except for the tiniest splotch of white at the very tip of his tail. Last night he demonstrated another one of his amazing talents: yodeling.
Periodically through the night, we awoke to hear him serenading us with,
“Yep! Yep! Yep! Noooooooooooooooooooo! Nooooooooooooo! Nooooooooooo!”
Is there a kind soul out there willing to give a loving home to this sweet puppy? (Please? I’ve tried pawning him off on everybody and still no takers yet.)
I’ve raised two puppies in the last year. With Project Moo-Moo underway, I am all out of puppy time. This guy is really, really cute though! And he won’t
cry sweetly serenade you in the evening if you share your bed with him.
In other news, a new family has moved in to the Angry Russian’s birdhouses. The Angry Russian transformed into the Very Delighted Russian when I showed him.
…and speaking of eggs, Kiki has dethroned P. Recious Rainbow and installed herself on The Nest as Kiki Queen Mother. Either she is delusional or it is very close to hatching time, because she’s not budging. Not even for food. Yesterday, after a tremendous amount of coaxing, begging, and singing on my part, she finally stood up enough for me to look at her eggs and see that no eggs had hatched just yet.
This was the song that finally got her up:
Kiki, Kiki you’re so pretty,
Let me see your eggs.
Kiki, Kiki you’re so pretty,
Stand up on your legs.
And! Here’s the melody for the first two lines…just in case you are ever faced with this situation and are in emergency need of a song:
And last, but not least, I’m still going flower crazy.
Kozo of everyday gurus is focusing on art in this month’s peace challenge because
“…art has the ability to transform the soul. If art can change a soul, then it can change the world.”
The challenge: Explain how art makes you a more peaceful person.
When words fail, dance explains.
Here our paths converge despite the differences in generation, life experiences, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and gender. These things could separate us, but we have come together to dance.
And so we begin. We circle this way and that. Sometimes we avoid near collisions, and sometimes maybe not. When one collapses to the ground, the other lends a helping hand up; this is the lesson we demonstrate to others as much as to ourselves.
In this dance, this sacred dance called life, we learn to move and breathe as one.
…Oh, just watch the video!
…and another opportunity to promote peace and refuge:
Happy International Belly Dance Day!
Today we unite in dance with women around the world to raise awareness and funds to end violence against women and children.
Other posts on this topic:
If you like shopping at flea markets and you like gardening then you will love the Flea Market Gardening website, where the two become joined in art. Sue Langley, the woman behind the website features “Real people. Real gardens. Real projects. “ She posts fabulous pictures of gardeners’ second hand hauls and their DIY creations. The website is a treasure trove of cute gardening ideas.
Skattur will be at The Cooper-Young Community’s Farmers Market this Sunday, May 11 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. She’ll be pedaling her garden totems and bird feeders, which of course would make a great Mother’s Day gift. Just sayin’…
Skattur’s garden art from her Etsy shop
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am so happy to be celebrating the success of a friend. She has certainly succeeded by Emerson’s standards — and tomorrow my shimmy sister, Debra Parmley, releases her fourth book, Trapping the Butterfly. This one is set in the 1920s in one of my favorite weekend getaways: Hot Springs, Arkansas. I cannot wait to read it!
Last night she had a radio interview about the book, which you can listen to HERE.
You can watch the book trailer from her third novel, Aboard the Wishing Star, below:
And be sure to check out her blog! She does a fun series of interviews called “Cover Model Corner” with those hunky men of romance novels.
Just in case you missed the other book trailer I posted (I love these things), you can find it HERE.
Yay Debra! You’re awesome.
How was that even normal, to cry over insects?
–Delarobia, Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver
There are very a few authors whose collections I feel compelled to devour in their entirety. Barbara Kingsolver is in that select few. She’s brilliant. Her mastery of the English language inspires me. Her intellect humbles me. Her reverence for nature motivates me to observe, conserve, and appreciate the natural world.
Her latest book, Flight Behavior is set in the Appalachian Mountains. The story centers on Delarobia Turnbow, a young wife and mother, literally running away from her life in someone else’s cast off boots. Delarobia chances upon a discovery that changes her life: millions of monarch butterflies unexpectedly alight in the forest. Miracle or sign of impending environmental doom? You decide. Kingsolver, a trained biologist, throws in enough science to make you feel like an armchair lepidopterist. Staying true to the region, she also smacks down some religion. Any time you pass by the Bible Belt you can expect a good spank. It’s a good mix that creates a nice tension.
I relished most of this book, but there were parts that made me really tired. I understand the story is set in Tennessee, but I could have done without the Honey Boo Boo vibes. I like my fiction to take me away from my real life, not put me right back at the heart of it. I live in Tennessee. I have relatives that wear shirts that say things like, “You mess with me, you mess with the whole trailer park.” If I wanted to experience a marital dispute in Wal-Mart I could just load up the family in the pickup truck, drive a couple miles down the road, and go at it. I’m already familiar with this routine. I don’t need to read about it. And if I wanted to experience Wal-Mart scenery, but felt too lazy to drive down the street, I could surf the People of Wal-mart website from bed without having to read pages and pages of dialogue devoted to this sort of thing. Wal-mart drama does not make good literature. In Kingsolver’s own words, “It could not be more tedious or familiar, any of it.”
Also, I wish academia was half as fabulous as described in this story. Kingsolver paints an idealized version of this endeavor featuring researchers with the purest intentions who are blessed with outlandish funding, and the most understanding of spouses. It’s a really lovely picture, even true to a degree, but still incomplete. (Where are the turf wars, conspiracies, and petty squabbles over the minutia?)
Despite my minor gripes, it was an awesome story. I was smitten with the real main character of the story: the butterflies. In the end I cried for what was revealed about the interconnectedness of individuals to each other and to the environment.
And only because I brought it up, I have to include this video of the People of Wal-mart.
The Annual St. Jude Spring Fest and Gospel Extravaganza was this weekend in Millington.
Good times for a good cause.
Skattur’s display of garden art and accessories was the prettiest yet.
Her little fairy habitats are utterly adorable.
People toss out interesting things.
And I have acquired the quirky behavior of rummaging around in the things other people pitch out, then stacking one person’s tossed out treasure on top of another’s discarded thing-a-ma-bob. Fanciful sculptures emerge, which I then throw in the yard.
I blame Skattur.
This coming Saturday I will drag them to the St. Jude Craft fair under the pretense of wanting to sell them….
…but it feels a little like selling one’s children.
Obviously, I still have a lot to learn about letting go.