Any of you who have read my blog for a while will know that I love Nimo Patel’s music. This morning, I was notified that he had just released a new music video.
With so much that is negative and demoralizing going on in my country, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of hope. Watching and listening to Nimo’s new video was what I needed in this moment. I’m crying … and feeling gratitude… from the depth of my heart.
To learn more about Nimo Patel click here.
To watch Nimo’s other music videos click here.
To download the Empty Hands Music album for free click here.
My neighbor John and I had plans to pull ivy, blackberries and other weeds in the Greenbelt for a couple hours today. Problem was, the weather forecast was for rain, and neither of us were interested in working in the rain.
We planned to start weeding at 11:30. When it began to rain at 11:00, I felt doubtful that we would be able to work. At 11:30, the rain stopped as abruptly as it had begun. The sun came out and we got busy. Before long it was so warm that I took off my coat. The weather change was remarkable.
After two hours, we decided we had done enough for that session. As soon as John left, I noticed that it was getting dark. It seemed like dusk, even though it was only 2:45 in the afternoon. By the time I finished picking up my tools and putting the weeds I had pulled on the racks to dry, it started to rain.
I felt as if Mother Nature had blessed us twice- when we were given sun and warmth while we worked and when the rain started as soon as we finished, showering the plants we love with much needed water.
Thank you Mother for taking care of all of your children, whether they be insects, animals, plants or people.
In my June 8 post, I shared my concern that the stairs near our Greenbelt site were being painted. I had come to the conclusion that it was a good opportunity for me to practice both accepting change and letting go.
When the stairs below ours were finished, I thought the optical illusion was cool but another concern arose. Our stairs are much smaller and closer together than those. I wondered if the bright paint would be overwhelming. I decided to stick with my decision to consider it an opportunity to not worry; to let go and accept whatever change came my way.
The stairs closest to our site were to be painted on Saturday. That afternoon, I decided to check it out. I was delighted with what I saw. The colors are beautiful. Instead of painting the sides of each step, like they did in the area below ours, the painters painted the cement border that goes between the various landings. They also painted the “bench” at the top of the stairs. (I put bench in quotes because it used to be the mount for a bulletin board.)
I’m so glad I decided to see this experience as a “lesson” rather than worrying or fretting about it. I couldn’t be happier with the results.
Friday morning, when I was pulling weeds in the Greenbelt, I noticed that there was a coin on the ground next to a sign I had placed under an Indian plum shrub during the spring of 2017.
I was curious what it was, so I picked it up. These messages were on the two sides of the coin:
Over the year, a few people have told me that they appreciated the signs but I have no idea who put the coin there or when they did it. I felt very grateful for the expression of gratitude and will definitely pass the coin on!
The last week in April, a friend sent me an email that said an artist, working with Seattle Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School project, was painting staircases around Seattle. The notice also said that the next steps to be painted were the Hanford Stairs, the stairs that border our Greenbelt restoration site.
When I saw the photo I was concerned. I couldn’t imagine something so bright going through the forest. I didn’t understand how painting the stairs would make walking to school safer, but thought that anything that accomplished that goal would be a good thing. I liked that she was inviting community members to help paint. In addition, I knew that this unexpected change would be an opportunity for me to practice letting go and suspending judgment.
I took some comfort in the fact that the notice included a photo of the stairs that were to be painted and they were the new set of stairs that are below ours. Maybe ours would stay the same.
Last Saturday was the day the lower stairs were to be painted. Yesterday afternoon, I decided to walk down and check them out. From the top of the stairs they looked like this…. no sign of paint.
But when I walked to the bottom of the stairs and looked up, this is what I saw.
The bright colors still seemed strange to me but I had to admit that there was beauty to it. I loved that the stairs looked clear one way and fancy when you looked at them from the other direction.
This morning, I noticed that there was a lot of sand on the plants on both sides of the stairs near us. It seemed so strange and I couldn’t imagine what could have caused it. When I pointed the sand out to somebody later in the day, she said that the stairs had been pressure washed. In that moment, I realized that our part of stairs must also be part of this project and that they will probably be painted tomorrow!
I still think it will take me time to get used to this change, but I’m glad that I decided that the lower stairs were okay and even kind of pretty. I have no doubt that children will enjoy them a lot and I hope that it does indeed keep them safe.
June 2 – July 11
Amma’s arms are open to everyone. Most people come to experience her embrace, her unique way of spreading comfort to the world. Some are drawn to her charitable works. Or to learn more from one of the preeminent spiritual teachers of our time. However they come, most end up being moved and inspired by one of the world’s most accessible humanitarian leaders.
|Seattle, WA||June 2-3|
|Bay Area, CA (MA Center)||June 5-10 (Retreat – June 8-10)|
|Los Angeles, CA||June 12-14|
|Santa Fe, NM||June 16-19 (Retreat – June 17-19)|
|Denton, TX||June 21-22|
|Chicago area (MA Center Chicago)||June 24-26|
|Marlborough, MA||June 28-29|
|Washington, DC||July 1-2|
|New York, NY||July 4 – 6|
|Toronto, Canada||July 8-11 (Retreat – July 9-11)|
For more details and for retreat registration, visit Amma’s North America Tour
Last week’s photo challenge was to share a photo of something “unlikely”; something that may fit into the category of “never say never”.
I, for the most part, stopped saying “never” decades ago when I realized that many, if not most, of the things that I said “never” to ended up being an important part of my life journey.
I first recognized that pattern in my early 40’s when in a span of 2 years I became a devotee of an Indian guru (and still am), a “groupie” of a rock band named “Tribal Therapy” (for about a year), and started going to an African-American Pentecostal church (for about 15 years.) At the time when these life changes began, I had described myself as being somewhere between an agnostic and an atheist for 20 years. If, at that time, someone had told me these things would become a life focus of mine, I would have adamantly said “never… no way… not a chance”.
The other area where I have moved from “never” to it being a life focus is photography. I took some photos as a teenager, a college student and when my children were young but at some point developed the belief that photography keeps one from being in the moment; that you don’t “live” when you are focused on preserving a past moment.
I started blogging in 2014. I soon decided that my posts looked better when there were photos in them. Since most photos on the internet are copyrighted, I started looking for ones in the public domain. While over the years I have found some good sources, like pixabay.com and Creative Commons, finding free photos was a very time consuming endeavor at first. It occurred to me that I could solve that problem by taking photographs of my own.
As my interest in nature developed, I became interested in nature photography. At that point, a whole new world opened up for me.
I even bought a microscope and began to snap pictures with my iPhone and an adapter.
I suspect photography will be in my life for a long time.
I will continue to make it a practice to (almost) never say never.
This new song and music video from Nimo of Empty Hands Music was written with graduates in mind but I believe the wisdom it contains is an an important reminder to all of us. I love it!
Today, an Amritapuri friend showed me this photo she took in Fort Kochi.
When she pointed out all of the litter behind the sign, I thought of how many times I have been picking up cigarette butts in Seattle and someone has stood watching me and then dropped the butt from the cigarette they were smoking on the ground right in front of me.
I like to think that if people see the trash bins in Ft. Kochi or watch others pick up cigarette butts in Seattle, it will plant a seed in their minds that will sprout sometime in the future. Perhaps at that time they will stop contributing to the litter problem. Perhaps they will even start picking up litter themselves!
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