Celebrate each season, for you too, are transformed with the turns of the earth.
~ Arthur Dobrin
The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.
~ Daniel Goleman
Winter has been teaching me about itself this year, putting on all kinds of displays that I might never have noticed without this commitment to go outside every day. I am grateful to finally be noticing, and for the lessons and the gifts I’ve received as a result of noticing.
The markets of the world are flowing with goods and services produced by the interplay of sun and earth, air and water, and the inexhaustible imagination and energy of human beings. Whenever you touch an object made or conveyed by humans, you are touched by all the people who have reached their hands to make this possible for you. Daily use is daily communion.
~ Arthur P. Moor
The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.
~ Henry Ward Beecher
If you subscribe to Bountiful Healing, you have probably noticed the occasional flurry of activity regarding new posts that turn out to be old posts. A while back I switched most of my posts to private for a variety of reasons. I’m slowly bringing them back as public posts which is what causes you to get the email notification of a new (old) post.
My apologies if the notifications become too much. I’ve been limiting them to a few at a time and not too many each week so hopefully it won’t be too much of a bother.
I have a friend who feels sometimes that the world is hostile to human life — he says it chills us and kills us. But how could we be were it not for this planet that provided our very shape? Two conditions — gravity and a livable temperature range between freezing and boiling — have given us fluids and flesh. The trees we climb and the ground we walk on have given us five fingers and toes. The ‘place’ (from the root plat, broad, spreading, flat) gave us far-seeing eyes, the streams and breezes gave us versatile tongues and whorly ears. The land gave us a stride, and the lake a dive. The amazement gave us our kind of mind. We should be thankful for that, and take nature’s stricter lessons with some grace.
~ Gary Snyder
How to Grow Clouds
It takes a lot of work: it is necessary to weed very carefully, to toss out muck and small stones by hand, to kneel on the earth, bend over, dig about in the soil, water profusely, collect caterpillars, exterminate aphids, loosen the ground and serve the earth; when your back hurts from all this and you straighten up and look at the sky, you will have the prettiest clouds.
~ Karel Capek
What do I want to take home from my summer vacation? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace.
~ Ellen Goodman
(I will be cross posting this at Life in the Bogs today as it seems to fit both blogs. It should also be noted that this bird may well be the same playful bird pictured in an earlier post but he showed up at a different spot on a different day.)
… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.
~ Sarah Ban Brethnach
(The body of a tree. Photo by Robin. 2007)
Here in this body are the sacred rivers: here are the sun and moon as well as all the pilgrimage places … I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body.~ Saraha
As I slowly approach the age 0f 50 (the turn of the decade occurs in December 2008), I find myself finally (FINALLY!) beginning to feel comfortable in my body. But lately I’ve felt more than comfortable. I’m actually enjoying myself.
I thought, at first, this was a brand new feeling, one I’ve never had before. But then it occurred to me that I must have felt this way as a child. Happy, joyful, glad to be in my own skin.
I haven’t had plastic surgery. I haven’t lost a lot of the weight I need to shed. I still have the aches and pains that come with getting older, various parts beginning to feel a lifetime of usage. I still have to take care with my back injuries.
Perhaps that’s it. The back injuries. The call to action. The decision to honor and care for my body as I wish I had been doing all along.
It’s interesting how life set up this series of coincidences. There have been quieter wake-up calls that I’ve ignored over the past few years. Then I got hit hard with the back problems and being unable to walk. What’s interesting, and coincidental, is that if we’d stayed in the Bogs, hadn’t gone on a sabbatical adventure, I’m not sure I’d have pulled myself out of the dark pit of pain. Well, maybe. Eventually. But the move to a new town with new things to explore forced me to do something while I waited for our insurance to kick in.
My waiting wasn’t passive as it might have been at home. It was an active waiting. A waiting in which I went faithfully to the gym every morning, even when I couldn’t do more than hang on to the rails of the treadmill and shuffle along at 1 mph. Even when all I could do was sit on the bench of the weight machine and hang there, in a kind of sitting traction. Some days the better part of the workout was just getting to the gym. Walking down the hallways, riding down in the elevator, walking down more hallways, opening doors. Those simple acts, things we all take for granted, were often all that I could manage. Sometimes more than I thought I could manage, making me push myself beyond what I perceived to be my limits, limits enforced by pain or by my own thinking.
Then one day I was able to pull down the bar of the lat pulldown machine. I discovered that walking uphill was less painful than a level or downhill course.
I was moving. I was doing. I was being.
I’ve lost a few inches. Weight/strength training will do that to a body. I’ve also lost about 10 lbs. But it’s not the loss of weight or inches that has me enjoying the feel and look of my body.
The change occurred within my soul or spirit or mind or whatever you want to call it.
I sat with my pain, listening to it, encouraging it to tell me what I needed to do next. I learned from it.
And now, now I’m discovering the awesomeness of the human body. The way it can bounce back, if given even half a chance, some nurturing, and some love. The way it can somehow work around the injuries, heal around them in such a way that it’s possible to start feeling normal again.
Cool beans. 🙂