The front of the home had a variety of shrubs. Dwarf spirea, Japanese maple, holly, barberry and yew were planted by the professional landscape folks. Maintenance of the shrubs was provided by the home owners. It was learned by the wife that to keep the larger shrubs in proper proportion deep pruning would need to be done over a period of three years. Start at the back and cut the shrub back to above the main branches. Remove about 1/3 of the plant each year. That method left the shrub enough greenery for photosynthesis to continue to nourish the plant. Done properly, this method allowed the plant to fill in areas thus allowing the severe pruning to be less noticeable.
The method proved successful over the 21 years lived in the home. Except once when a lawn professional was treating the lawn for weeds a few days after the wife's pruning. He turned to the husband of the house and noted that it looked as if bugs had damaged the yews. Husband smiled and replied, "yes, a very big bug."
among the yews
green coolness in summer heat
winter's bright berries
bring joy and cheerfulness
as spirits surround in love
Watching at bedside as a loved one suffers is difficult. Watch that suffering long enough and one can see death as a welcome relief. To be present at the time the life leaves a person is a different experience each time. At one passing one can felt the presence of the host of spirits. At others there is little or no awareness of the spirits surrounding you. All were good and caring people. One is left wondering what made the difference?
About 20 years ago I joined an organization that had been created in the 1930's. The organization was created to give women something outside the home. The founders developed rituals, levels of advancement even colors of candles to represent different positive characteristics. The organization is floundering in this century. Women no longer need 'something outside the home' to keep them entertained. The group did give me some of the best friends of my life...
Persons watching preparations of bands will observe an interesting thing. Some of the musicians may have what looks like a piece of wood in their mouth. These are reeds for their instruments. The reeds have to be moist to properly vibrate during the playing of the instruments. While not the ideal way to wet the reeds used in wood wind instruments it is certainly the most handy in a football stadium.
" . . . The Celts understood the power of balance. They also knew that what could not be attributed to specific outcomes (as sometimes evident in the dance of contradictions played out by the hawthorn) indicated a great source of magic. In other words, that which cannot be explained contains immense power.
The hawthorn is to be respected in all its diversity and duality. It is a symbol of union of opposites, and serves as a message for us to be more accepting of the unconventional.
An awesome, and very beautiful tree / bush and that deeper meaning is really great. Will not be easy to catch that in a haiku, but I have to try it:
male and female energy
caught in beauty
Bent willow furniture would line the walls of the roadside huts every spring and summer. On the lengthy trips between home and the parents two states away she always looked wistfully at the willow chairs. During a fall visit to more southern climes there along the highway sat the perfect rocker. Willow branches bent, molded and wrapped together with a heart shape in the very front. The perfect seat for her front porch. . .
On my way back to the afternoon session of my junior year in high school the rock and roll music from KLIF was interrupted. It was 1963. The President of the U.S. was in a motorcade in downtown Dallas and shots had been fired. I arrived at the small town high school just minutes later. The afternoon classes would not even attempt to be held. The news finally was announced that the President was dead. Tears rolled down my cheeks as well as many other students and teachers. I had driven on that street. Classmates recalled at our 50th reunion last fall that they had picked up books for the school from the Book Depository just days before the shooting. It was a pivotal moment for many of our generation, one we never forgot. Like our parents and the bombing of Hawaii. Or 9/11.
Last evening, 7-7-2016, I was just messing on the computer as there was nothing on TV. All the blogs were read and I wandered over to facebook. 'WTH is happening in Dallas?' was on one of the friend's posts. The answers that followed sent a chill through me. Dallas again with bloodstains on the streets and spread across her name. Again, a single shooter was dealing a demented and deadly message. No one is safe anywhere, anytime. Hate and frustration are the ruling forces for that person.
How to respond? How to change the direction of all this insanity? Love must win and how can I be a part of that winning? Do I take every gun we own and grind them into plows? Even the one from Great Grandpa Jones? What am I willing to sacrifice in order to make a difference? These are but a few of the questions that are still bumping around inside my head . . . and heart . . . and soul.
On Friday morning we planned to restock our empty pantry shelves after having breakfast at a nearby cafe. The cafe is always filled with the diverse group of folks that inhabit the area where we live. I wanted to get up and hug every person in the room and just say we can get through this if we band together in love and appreciation of each other. I was chicken, not wanting to embarrass my husband or others in the room. I just sat with tears welling in my eyes, a crack in my voice as I talked to Hubby.
From the cafe we went to a small everything is a dollar type store. Again, I was feeling the urge to hug persons of color in particular. As we stood at the checkout watching the young man check our purchases through, a woman joined us in line. I blurted out how I was so saddened by the events in Dallas. She concurred. Then I said the only thing that can get us through this is love. She agreed and we spoke of all the tragic deaths. 'Would she mind if I shared a hug?' fell out of my mouth. She opened her arms, we hugged and both teared up. Then as we were walking away her husband was standing near the door. He was smiling from ear to ear. Hubby did the knuckle bump with the lady's husband. Then the lady's husband started to knuckle bump my hand. No, it has to be a hug to pass the love along.
On the way to the car I told Hubby he might have to look out today cause it might happen again. His response? "After 50 years together I've learned not to be surprised by anything you do." I only talked about the need for love to the next checkout person at the next store. No hugs. She was young and oblivious to the needs of this broken world . . . . . .
((( ))) (((( )))) L O V E M U S T O V E R C O M E T H E H A T E (((( )))) ((( )))
There have been a couple of quotes of late that grabbed my attention. The first made me ponder how solutions are so intertwined. Good housing impacts health leading to impacting the national debt. The second was just the most logical explanation of evolving I have come across in reading. Not something I expected to find in the summer 2016 edition of Wildflower, a magazine from the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center here in Austin.
The first was a statistic published in the May, 2016, habitat, The Magazine for Habitat for Humanity International.
There is a "12% decline in total Medicaid expenditures after people moved into affordable housing."
Research was conducted by Enterprise Community Partners and the Center for Outcomes Research and Education.
The research represents one of the first studies to directly assess the impact on health care costs in the U.S. as related to low income individuals living in affordable housing.
The second quote was discovered while reading Wildflower article titled "Some Like It Hot". The article was about plant adaptation to different climates. It is a great article using the Sonoran Desert as one example of a ecosystem for dry landscapes. The different plants of the region are touched on to show how they manage the desert's infrequent, short and intense rainstorms. The following are a distilled set of statements drawn from the article written by Karen Bussolini.
From the saguaro cactus to the paloverda the plants of the Sonora have systems to adjust to the climate conditions.
The saguaro's roots are wide reaching and shallow with tiny hairs covering the roots.
The adaptation sucks in as many as 200 gallons of water during a rainstorm.
The cactus can weigh tons with the stored water.
Paloverda drops leaves in the fall or during extended drought.
Photosynthesis ability is lost with the loss of leaves.
The green bark of the tree carries on photosynthesis.
The opening lines in the last paragraph of the "Some Like It Hot" article states,
"Evolution didn't only happen eons ago to help weather the weather. Super-weeds that have become unaffected by herbicides are among the indications the evolution continues all around us." (Wildflower, Summer 2016, pg. 19, Karen Bussolini)
No, monkeys did not turn into humans last month in the Sonora desert. But things evolve. Diseases become resistant to antibiotics. That is a fact. That is evolution. Just as I hope my writing evolves with my experiences and practice.
Coming up on the weekend so everyone be safe and stay cool! Later 'gators.
For this episode of Carpe Diem I love to challenge you to create a haiku in which you have hidden a deeper knowledge .... maybe a spiritual layer ... it's up to you. Try to "contact" your inner spiritual knowledge and bring it out in the open in the hidden way of the Alder ... "the haiku under the trees".
- - - - response - - - -
In another lifetime a home was remodeled. Kitchen gutted and walls knocked down then rebuilt several feet away. Custom cabinets were hand manufactured. Finally installation of the beautiful, raw alder wooden cabinets was complete. The application of the stain changed the beautiful wood to a garish red tone. Melt downs followed by another trip to the home improvement store.