I love summer mornings like this one. There is so much beauty happening right outside our home. Have a look!
Saturday evening Wayne and I went out a hot date to the Home Depot parking lot. We didn’t go “parking” but were looking at the sheds on display in the upper 80 degree temps. The night before was an even hotter date–there was a rollover accident in our town that took out a utility pole. When he got home from work our house had been without air conditioning for about four hours. I wasn’t able to make that organic turkey meatloaf I had planned, either, so we went out to, ready? the food court at the mall. We didn’t want to deal with crowded Friday night restaurants.
Here are some more cheerful and picturesque things from my week:
Pictured are two of my books for summer reading. I’m really enjoying A Chipmunk On My Shoulder but it’s making me miss Wishy and Chippie even more. I haven’t seen Rocky or any chipmunks in the past couple of weeks, but it’s been relatively hot so they lay low. At least I hope that’s what’s going on. I’m looking forward to Margery Wilson’s book since she’s one of my favorite inspirational authors.
Earlier today after running my morning errands which included filling my gas tank at the station on the busy corner of the main drag I felt something weird on the backside of my leg when I sat down at my desk. What is THAT?! A big lump…a clump?
What does it mean to be authentic? Does it mean that you have to share every passing thought, desire, opinion and passion with whomever will listen? Do you have to follow every fancy, eat whatever you’re craving because well, you gotta be you? Not for me, no. “To thine own self be true” is something I try and live every day which is not to be confused with self-centeredness, narcissism or lack of self-restraint. Sometimes it involves making life-altering choices; other times it’s seemingly inconsequential, however when such “little” decisions are strung together over time they look a lot like a lifestyle.
So why then do I sometimes feel like I need permission to be myself? And from whom does this permission need to come? What if it never comes to pass?
Rocky continues to have a penchant for rocks. Thankfully he lives not just in a free country, but in a yard that is free from the tyranny of “must be golf course perfection” and the owners of which celebrate chipmunks and all of their “decorating” glory!*
Rocky lives behind my house and began visiting shortly after Chippie passed away, likely because she could no longer chase him away from her deck. I chose his name after I saw an incredible feat he accomplished last week: The day after we had heavy downpours he did some admirable excavating from his burrow–there was a pile of dirt with large rocks mixed in, some of which were almost half his size! Can you hear the theme to Rocky playing right now? He and all the chipmunks have free rein. They are like the Queen’s corgis–they do as they please without any admonishment. The mounds of love and joy they bring us can’t compete with a little mess.
At our summer church in Kennebunkport a small group meets once a week in the rectory for Centering Prayer, a meditative practice founded in Massachusetts by three Trappist monks in the 1970s. We meditate for twenty minutes by focusing on a sacred word of our own choosing, then watch a short teaching by Thomas Keating on DVD.
The first time I went last summer I was very intimidated by the prospect of a twenty minute meditation! Sitting in a quiet room alone listening to the “noise” in my head is old hat to me and I often mistake it for being productive. Making mental to-do lists, planning, lamenting the past, worrying about the future can happen in the most bucolic of settings. Sitting with a quiet mind? It’s a challenge, but meditation gives me moments of inner silence, the benefits of which are deep and lasting.
We have a beautiful backyard once again! Last October 31st storm’s winds blew the top off of a large white pine tree in our backyard. Not long after that, a second gusty storm toppled another tree that landed on top of the tree that already had snapped. It was very difficult to find a company to remove the trees due to the fact that everyone was booked solid because of the widespread damage in the area. Then the snow came and mud season followed, so we needed to wait for the ground to get hard once again. We scheduled our cleanup about a month ago and finally it happened today!
God bless Wishy and Chippie, who have not surfaced in enough time for us to know that they have moved onward and upward. I loved them as my own pets/family. We miss them dearly. I made a memorial at Wishy’s burrow, and one on my deck where Chippie lived. I learned so much about myself and the nature of the world from my time with them. RIP dear little ones.
Our little cottage at the edge of the woods, as we fondly call home, has been teeming with life and beauty. Of course there’s often a bully that tries to ruin the fun!