|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.
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