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True love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Today I am thinking about water.
Throughout the rainy month of May we collected rain water in barrels for the flowers, vegetables, and ducks. Last summer I
just turned on the waterhose or sprinkler and went on about my air-conditioned business inside the house, usually forgetting I left the water running or that I even had flowers.
With the rain barrels I have to physically walk the water around the yard to give each plant a drink. Oddly, this seems like less of a chore than turning on the water hose. For one thing, it forces me to spend more time outside actually looking at the flowers and appreciating them. It’s certainly friendlier than shooting at them from a distance with the hose’s handheld nozzle like they’re zombies I’m trying to keep at bay.
With the watering can it’s all intimate. We get upclose and personal; we talk.
We have had little rain this month. The hot air is perfumed with sun-baked roses. The waterbarrels are empty. When El-D suggested we start getting water from the pond for the garden I looked at him like he’d grown two heads. Dude, that pond is WAY back there and our flowers and vegetables are WAY up here, and-and-AND we DO have running water!
But it made me stop to think….
What if we didn’t?
There are plenty of people who don’t.
Fortunately, I have people in my life who remind me on a regular basis to keep my over-priviledged head on straight, like my friend Amy, who is a teacher-from-the-heart. Every year her school does a “World Tour” during which each class studies a country. They make displays and put on performances to share what they learned. Her class studies Kenya every year. This year they watched a video about the life of a young Maasai boy. Her students are always struck by the fact that his mother and sisters have to walk every day to get water from the same water hole the animals use.
Dedicated to El-D…
(I love you, you know.)
On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying,
and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.
Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my
dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.
That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to
me that it was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.
I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this
perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.
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
Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light, nothing flowers.
A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.
If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.
Keep close to Nature’s heart…
Wash your spirit clean.
Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.
I recently discovered Grace Brown’s Project Unbreakable. TIME magazine named her website one of the top 30 Tumblr blogs to follow. The video below provides you with some context.
…and that is the astonishing power of art – art can go through where other things can’t. You can’t have barriers because it breaks through your prejudices. It breaks through everything that you have as your mask that says, “I am this… I am that.” No. It breaks through those and it reaches somewhere where other things don’t. And in a world where attitudes are so difficult to change, we need a language that breaks through.
Please consider joining us….
It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
It snowed this weekend…right atop the autumn leaves, budding roses, and daffodil blooms.
The Duck Report
We lost one of our ducks, Baby Gold, to a raccoon who found a breach in El Diablo’s Duck Defense System (DDS). The perp was apprehended and sentenced to exile.
The seven remaining domestic ducks have been joined by three mallards (two males and a female) who have taken up residence in the pond. Not to be outdone by P. Recious Rainbow, Kiki Duck is now nesting with a *crazy* number of eggs beneath her feathers.
Project Moon Pie
We’ve introduced another label (ball) and another action word (touch) to Moo Moo’s repertoire. The ever-determined Moo Moo has taken to watching videos of her performance trials to improve her skills.
…and speaking of improving performance, here is:
Good News for Crazy Cat Ladies
Thanks to researchers in Japan (of course) we now have scientific evidence that looking at cute kitten and puppy pictures/videos facilitates performance in dexterity and focus tasks. I am not making this up…click that link and you can read about it for yourself.
This is exactly why you should read my blog. I post cute baby animal pictures regularly. I can help you at work. I bet you’ll even snag a raise. Subscribe today!
The Devil builds three-year compost bins from pallets. (There is no rest for the wicked.)
The Devil confers with his minion.
This rascal creates mischief.
Leaves fall all around the “Greek Ruins” ensemble.
Tasty treats are harvested from the garden.
…and there is more still to ripen..
Duck tails waggle.
Sweet wildflowers bloom alongside the mean roses. (One of the mean ones bit me on the thumb several days ago. To quote Charlie’s brother, “…that really hurt…and it’s still hurting.”)
…and we celebrate six years of a little person’s life.