Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

The mountains that encircle and enfold me. 

Home is the white dot in the center

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Words in lonely echoes fall
No ear to  count their metre
Once a full and bustling hall
Hosts not serf nor praetor

Dust motes in the air drift down
And gather in the corners
Stir as versifier turned clown
Searches but no mourners 

Sit in solemn grief at loss
Off they scattered oblivious
All had fallen to dross 
Daily life was lascivious

Most were lured by promises
Of greater finds afield
Left were doubting Thomases 
Awkward pens to wield

~ Ellen Apple 6/29/2016 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tuesday - For What It's Worth

Tuesday should be recognized officially as a second chance at Monday, because I will not hesitate to tell you I had one hell of a Monday. A day of dominoes, where one off kilter event triggered another, then another, then another. To the point that by 3 PM my give a damn was broke, and I raided the liquor shelf in the hallway. A shelf so seldom utilized that I had to take a damp cloth and clean the necks and caps of bottles before I could mix a drink. 

So what does Ellen do when she has had a shitty day? 

I woke up this morning (granted, it being a day off from work helps) and resolved that today will be truly a new, better, different kind of day. A bit of contemplation and reflection is in order, and that will occur throughout the day. 

Beautiful thing about life. We can constantly, and with either broad gestures or minute adjustments, change the circumstances in which we find ourselves, and the foreseeable future. 

Reading back over what I have just written, it sounds as though I have had some sort of disaster or calamity in my life. That is not the case. No big, single thing. Just little things, that individually and encountered separately would be addressed and resolved as a matter of course.

My Monday was a Murphy's Law sort of day, I suppose you could say. One thing, then another, then another .... add six or seven needed course corrections in a short period of time, and you really do want to just sit down and have a good stiff drink. 

So that is what I did. 

Once again, and for too many days and weeks and months in a row, I am feeling the urgent call for change. For a healing of a beleaguered planet. A weariness settles across my soul, and I ask myself can I really continue to put out this call for Earth, healed? How many of us will it take to encourage kindness, to plead for compassion, to pray for understanding, before the tide turns? 

I am just one voice, a tired and not really battle ready middle aged white woman who lives in a place that you have to really search for hard on a map. 

My network is a bedraggled collection of people across the globe, sort of. But there really is not a cohesion, and no single purpose or creed represented. There is diversity, that much is true. 

So after this meandering miscellany of Ellen's brain, I realize the theme this week is wisdom in one of my online communities. So how to tie this all together? 

Wisdom comes of experience, and observation, I would think. Or at least that would be two components. 

But wisdom is not automatic. 

Wisdom is needed, here in this day and time. 


We see the EU situation, and animals that are tossed like trash for someone else to clean up. 

We see Trump could really be elected president, because, hey, Brexit. 

We see floods and fires and no-one connecting the dots in terms of what humans have done to exacerbate the climate issues. 

We see freedoms that were bled to obtain being summarily voted away and riddled with real and metaphorical bullets. 

I have no answers. 

Just lots and lots of questions.

And very little wisdom. 

I want to close with a Facebook memory from a year ago :

Several years ago, Roger and I were in a local grocery store standing in line to check out. Directly in front of us was an older gentleman holding a young girl, she looked to be maybe 18 months old. Riotous blonde curls, big blue eyes, rosebud mouth, porcelain complexion. There was a red balloon tied to a shelving support. She wanted that balloon. She had big crocodile tears, puddling up in her eyes, looked as though they would spill down her cheeks at any minute. She had one hand clasped around the man's neck and was reaching out to the balloon with the other. Her little lip was just quivering and she was saying "Boon. Boon". Now he was having none of this, he stoically held his ground and paid for their items and left. Rog and I, well were we the grandparents in that situation would probably have bought her a dozen "boons". I do not think that he was being mean, just firm. Not giving in, you know? Because little girls with crocodile tears welling up in their eyes can really work on a person's heart, as can little boys with pouty mouths and soulful looks. Just a memory I wanted to share.

I have a vision of Earth, Healed. Be Kind. It costs nothing and can mean everything. 

~ Ellen Apple 6/28/2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Magical Monday

There is magic in life ... moments that transcend the norm, events that seep serendipity and whisper whimsy. There are the small private moments that make your catch in your throat they are just so perfect :

And every once in a while, you encounter an image that speaks to you on a visceral level, when a heartfelt yes! bursts from your lips, an invocation of the yearned for and an acknowledgement of the divine:

Or you find a meme that speaks to you, for even if you cannot go to the woods there is still outside, at end of day, as the birds sing the sun to bed and the fireflies dance their dance of fairy lights, silently saying to one another, here I am, here I am, so tired of being alone:

Or this, the most amazing magical moment of all, when you take a deep breath, pick up a colored pencil, and create a wee work of art all your own. As small as a playing card, never to be celebrated in a gallery or a tabletop book, but all yours. From the choice of colors to the off center placement, as if the dragonfly were trying to once again attain the freedom of the heavy summer air where the creek meets the woods. 

Magic is ours, there for the taking, the dreaming, the joy. 

Magic in the eyes of a child, the kindness of a stranger, the giggle of a friend. Magic in the pages of a book, the song of a sparrow, the storm in the night. Magic in the large and small, the sublime and insignificant. Magic in the mere fact that we are here, and can love and hope and dream, no matter our age, no matter our health or wealth or circumstance. Magic in the breezes that blow and the flowers that bloom and the waves that crash on near and distant shores. 

That is the Monday I hope each of you has had.

~ Ellen Apple 6/27/2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I Have a Tiny Treasure Chest - repost

I have a tiny treasure chest
No-one else can see
Where stored away are all the best
Things that happen to me
From time to time I'll have a day
When life just makes me cry
Nothing anyone else can say
Brings blue back to my sky
I'll gently open my toolbox
And not see gold or gem
But rather my life's building blocks
(not gathered on a whim)
Lessons learned and loved ones lost
A few almost perfect days
Battles won at too much cost
Wrong turns and some delays
The "bad" you see are not thus so
(This took me years to learn)
It takes dark and tears to grow
Many truths to discern

~ Ellen Apple 06/23/2015

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Talkative Tuesday?

Full Strawberry Moon, shaky hands make for cool effects ! 

I was trying to get firefly light, but this turned out pretty good. Taken 06/19/2016

View of the Full Strawberry Moon from the road in front of our house. Taken 06/20/2016

It has been an interesting two days for me, here at Little Beaver Creek. I think I have enjoyed the full moon/summer solstice more this year than I had thought I would. I still would enjoy being able to go to Stonehenge just once, where I have always imagined one can just feel the residual energy of the ancestors of the land when the night is calm and the moon is full.

It is the time of fireflies and songbirds here in the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia. We have had a fair amount of rain thus far this year, and there are profusions of growth everywhere. When I drive to work in the wee hours of the morning, eyes reflect from the roadside ditches. One recent evening, just as darkness fell, we heard a commotion out on the front porch and I went to investigate. I interrupted a raccoon, scarfing up the bits if kibble the cats had left in their dish. There are deer I see regularly, as well as opossums, skunks, groundhogs, squirrels, and rabbits. The mountains and hollows, the ridges and woods, they teem with life. I hear songbirds before sunrise, and crows as I drive home in the early afternoon. I know there are bear and coyotes here as well, and who knows what else? 

For as long as I can remember I have had a habit of "putting food out for the critters" - and there are plenty of critters here to feed. I do not, however, leave garbage outside - that can lead to serious bear problems. The amount of food scraps I put out are barely enough to feed the occasional opossum or raccoon. There is a large farm on the other side of the river from us, and steep mountainous terrain on three sides. We actually have less of a problem with deer than the people that live in town. 

In the aftermath of the NBA Finals, Taco Bell gave away free tacos today. I do not - we do not - make a habit of eating from Taco Bell, but Roger was insistent he wanted his free taco. I had errands to run in town anyway, so I timed my trip to be able to get him his taco. I actually made three stops, and each time I ran into someone I knew. So I got hugs, and was able to catch up with a few people I had not seen in a while. 

There was a woman, looked to be in her 40's, walking on the sidewalk on Main Street. She was carrying a large duffle bag, and it being in the low 80's very humid, I felt bad for her. I very seldom pick up anyone walking, and never stop for hitchhikers. We may live rural, but there are still dangers to watch out for in life. But she looked tired, so I pulled over and offered her a ride as far as I was going. She advised she was on her way to Bristol TN - about 35 miles away. I said I would take her to the other end of town, out by US 19 where it would be easier for her to get a ride. 

There was a wind-battered umbrella in the truck, one of the handy telescoping sorts, and I gave it to her. It is a bit floppy, but will help keep her dry if she has to walk in the rain. She offered to give me what money she had for gas if I would drive her to Bristol, but it was just not something I could do today. I am trying to not feel guilty for leaving her at the side of the road, but at least I tried to help a bit. I did tell her that she would stand a better chance at a ride where I left her, because all of the traffic in town is local. She had a big bruise on her head, and staples in her scalp. She told me she had been on a back road and got hit on the head. 

I am recording this encounter because it was a reality check for me. For various reasons, I have been in a bit of a self-pity mood lately, and I believe encounters like this do more than anything else to give me a reality check. I love to piss and moan about this and that, but I really do have a better life than countless others. I am blessed, and loved, and moderately healthy. I have a vehicle to drive, and a job to go to. 

And you.
I have you, people who care enough about me and my words to take a few minutes out of your day to see what has been happening here at Little Beaver Creek. 

I have goals, and dreams, and love in my life. I have managed to avoid addiction and alcoholism, and try my best to be a good citizen and friend. I screw up, a lot, and get forgiven and loved anyway. 

I hope I was able to extend enough kindness to the lady today. I tried to be encouraging, and empathetic towards her situation. 

I have a vision of Earth, healed ... and I saw today in teary brown eyes how scarred so many of us are. Please, be kind to others. It costs nothing, and can mean everything. 

~ Ellen Apple 6/21/2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Of Suns and Moons and Magical Things

Do you believe in magic?

I believe in magic, and magical creatures. I believe in Angels, and the Fae. I believe there is a white unicorn with quicksilver eyes who drinks moonbeams from the creek after eating violets in the field on nights when the moon is full and the mists hang low. 

I believe there is an energy, a vibration to life that connects us one to another, and to the Earth itself. 

I believe that if we live in a manner as to respect all life, to protect the innocent and shelter the weak, then we are fulfilling a mandate that is as old as this fragile world we inhabit. 

 Are miracles a regular occurrence in your life? 

“People usually consider walking on water
or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle
is not to walk either on water or in thin air,
but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged
in a miracle which we don't even recognize:
a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves,
the black, curious eyes of a child --our own two eyes. 
All is a miracle.”
~Thích Nhất Hạnh 

... and magic is afoot ... To my friends on the flipside, Blessed Yule. The fae are said to be out and about tonight about midnight.Here at Little Beaver Creek we are anticipating rain and storms, alas. Entering into this transitional phase of the year, as the wheel continues to turn, is a time to let go and look forward. Many blessings to all this Midsummer's Eve. ( Me ) From 6/20/2015

Happy Solstice, everyone...for us folks in the eastern time zone, the apex of the Solstice is at 7:04 pm tonight. We're in the window for a coupla days on either side of that, so you can utilize this gateway energy to let go of something that doesn't serve you anymore and walk through the threshold into the new life you WANT to live.  From 9/20/2013 Licia Berry 

We make our miracles, and the joy, the sublime euphoria, is in the process, not the result. It is in the stepping out, the lunge for the brass ring, the good feeling of tired you get after knowing you have given a task your best, and then some. 

So on this day, when the Sun and Moon perform their ancient dance of flirtation, coyly drawing closer to one another then skipping further away, when we have light that lasts longer, and dreams that burn into our brains to the point that we can hardly distinguish the fantasy from reality, at this moment in your existence, step forward, step out, throw off the shackles and restrictions that you have imposed on your potential, and be. Be bold, and bright, and intense, and brash, and fearless. Climb higher and dig deeper. Sleep longer and run faster. Find your magic and create your miracle. 

~ Ellen Apple 6/20/2016