Good at Slow Dancing

“Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine.”

Matsuo Basho

Five pine trees stand in a line across my back fence. I used to think of them as the skinny kids on the block, but they’re not kids. They were here before I was. So I’m now calling them the five elders. They are thin and as tall as a four-story house. Two of them lean east; the others grow straight up. I think they’re Eastern White Pines or something related. They produce long, scaly cones, and their reddish-brown, rough, furrowed bark holds a sticky resin with that distinct, clean, crisp pine smell. Their thin, feathery needles grow in fan-like groups that wave to me when a breeze blows through. And when the breeze turns into a stiff wind, these five elders are good at slow-dancing.

Go to the pine to learn about the pine. Go to whatever or whoever creates peace to learn about peace. Go to whoever shows kindness to learn about kindness.

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

What Does Hope Look Like?

 

Once in a while, I reread this encouragement from an online interview with Charlotte McConaghy, author of the novel Migrations. I share it here, hoping it will encourage you, too.

The interviewer asked, “What does hope look like to you?” McConaghy answered, “It looks like all those little moments of kindness and generosity. It looks like taking the time to consider our impact on this world and what we want it to be. It looks like making those decisions, the daily choices that are small things for individuals but add up to big change when we all take part.”

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

 

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Being and Seeing

 

“As a man is, so he sees.” – William Blake

 

Be peace and see

possibilities of peace in the world.

Be kind and see

kindness that shines

like a lighthouse in the fog.

Be calm and see

calmness beyond the clamor.

Be and see.

Be and see.

-kh-

 

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

 

Shadow of the Week:

If you want me to send these thoughts to your email each Sunday, simply sign up on the right.

Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Unbreakable

 

“Habit is a cable;

we weave a thread of it every day,

and at last we can not break it.”

Horace Mann

 

May we make a habit of spreading peace and kindness and carrying the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Casting a Larger Shadow

 

Whatever good we do,

Whatever kindness or hospitality we provide,

Will cast a larger shadow

Than we may ever see or realize.

Diane Walker

 

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

 

Shadow of the Week:

If you want me to send these thoughts to your email each Sunday, simply sign up on the right.

Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

More Than Any Wise Man

 

“The soul that is kind and intends justice

discovers more than any wise man.”

– Sophocles –

 

Nurture peace. Cultivate kindness. Carry the calm.

Nature of the week – zucchini blooms:

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2020 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Balancing Two Nevers

 

Never let your kindness keep you from being honest.

Never let your honesty keep you from being kind.

(adapted from The Artful Edit by Susan Bell)

 

Nurture peace. Cultivate kindness. Carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

If you want me to send these thoughts to your email each Sunday, simply sign up on the right.

Text and photos © 2020 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Easing Change, Quieting Fear

 

“Kindness eases change.

Love quiets fear.”

– Octavia F. Butler, Parable of the Talents

 

Nurture peace. Cultivate kindness. Carry the calm.

Just to clarify, I’m not talking about the peace of ignorance or the kindness of platitudes or the calmness of inaction. I’m talking about a reservoir of inner peace, kindness, and calm that strengthens, balances, and guides our thoughts, our words, our actions.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week:

If you want me to send these thoughts to your email each Sunday, simply sign up on the right.

Text and photos © 2020 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.