Turning Ruts into Adventures

 

“There was a warm sunset over the wooded valleys,

a yellowish tinge on the pines.

Reddish dun-coloured clouds like dusky flames stood over it. . .

Before, I walked in the ruts of travel;

now I adventured.”

Henry David Thoreau

 

A French saying commonly attributed to writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr says, “Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns: I am grateful that thorns have roses.” G.K. Chesterton made the same point in a different way: “An adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.” We can choose to see thorns or roses, inconveniences or adventures. We might as well choose roses and adventures.

Pay attention. See adventure. Nurture peace, cultivate loving kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

How Autumn Conspires with the Sun

 

“To Autumn”

Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness!

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For summer has o’erbrimmed their clammy cells.

– John Keats –

 

May you journey through autumn with your heart open wide to its bounty. Pay attention. Nurture peace, cultivate loving kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

 

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

In Your Own Shadow

 

“Stop walking in your own shadow

wallowing in your foolish thoughts.

Raise your head . . . walk

among the flowers . . .

look toward the sun.”

Rumi

 

Pay attention. Nurture peace, cultivate loving kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week :

Shadow of the Week :

 

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

A Greater Mystery

“It is sometimes the mystery of death

that brings one to a consciousness

of the still greater mystery of life.”

– Kate Douglas Wiggin

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

 

I’m in Texas this week with my Dad and my three younger sisters at my mother’s hospital bedside in ICU as she breathes with the help of oxygen. Mother is 90 years old, and from her hospital bed, she has been writing her good-byes on sheets of paper on a clipboard – amazingly, without looking at pen or paper. We don’t know what will happen from one moment to the next, but we do know that each breath is precious.

Pay deep attention. Breathe in the mystery of life; breathe out gratitude. Nurture peace, cultivate loving kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

 

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Like Silence, Listening

“I saw old Autumn in the misty morn

Stand shadowless like silence, listening

To silence.”

Thomas Hood

 

Pay deep attention. Listen to silence. Nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week –autumn sun shining through coleus leaves:

Shadow of the Week:

 

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Every Leaf a Flower

From Le Malentendu by Albert Camus –

Martha: What is autumn?

Jan: A second spring, where every leaf is a flower.

If autumn is beginning to display her colors in your part of the world, I hope you can pause for a moment to breathe deeply of her beauty as she quietly and steadily transforms into a second, and very rich, spring.

Pay deep attention. Nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week – signs of autumn found on my back deck:

Shadow of the Week – on my garden shoes:

 

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

The Whisper of Our Spirits

Remember the advice we were given in Driver’s Ed about approaching railroad tracks? Stop, Look, and Listen. It’s the wisdom of the crossroads. It’s also the deepest call of our spirits, whispering to us as we journey through life: Stop, Look, and Listen. Pay attention.

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”

Simone Weil

Be generous. Pay deep attention. Nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week – cannas after the rain:

Shadow of the Week – This one looked like a goose to me. (It’s actually spoons in a cup.):

 

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

A Drop in the Ocean

 

As the ocean surges overland this week, two thoughts:

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.

But if that drop was not in the ocean,

I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

– Mother Teresa –

 

“The drop is a small ocean.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson –

 

Nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week – after the rain in Yokohama, Japan:

Shadow of the Week – roses in Texas:

 

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

 

Nature’s Story

This past week of hurricane and flooding has brought stories of all kinds. Some are heart-heavy and tragic. Some are bittersweet. Some are soul-stirring, inspiring, hopeful, and even, as strange as it sounds, happy.

Nature itself is one of the oldest storytellers.

“[N]ature consists of an endless series of stories,” says John A. Murray, nature writer and editor. ” . . . the continual pageant of the seasons, the incessant conflicts between predators and prey, the individual battles of lifeforms to survive, the contests involved in breeding, the cycles of pregnancy in animals and fruition in plants, the epic migrations of whales and wildebeests, the sagas of mass extinction, the passage of the solar days, the building of great storms, the formation and erosion of continents, the waxing and waning of the moon, the transit of the constellations along the zodiac, the coming and going of comets and meteor showers, the life and death of stars and galaxies, the life and death of the universe itself.”

When we witness the stories of nature – or become part of them – they become our stories, too. Be an island of calm and hope in the storm. Nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week – Leaf shadows that look like . . . a bird? A critter with big ears?:

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Text, shadow photo, and water lily photo © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Book photo courtesy pexels.com

When Nature Takes Center Stage

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

– Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

 

This week nature brought us together to watch in awe as the moon totally eclipsed the sun and, only days later, a howling hurricane stormed its way onto land. Our hopes and prayers are for safety and an extra measure of inner peace for those in the path of the storm.

Hold onto your sense of awe as you nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week – during the eclipse, sunlight through the leaves formed crescent shadows:

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.