Whispering Trees

When I moved to the old farmhouse I had already come up with a name for it; I called it Mill Creek Little Trees. The name came to me after thinking of all the little pine trees that grew freely on the property when I first saw it – abandoned, dilapidated, and covered in wild vines and overgrown trees and bushes. In just a few years, and by the time we moved in, they had grown very large and beautiful. I am glad we let them be. Not long ago I was walking outside, and a gentle breeze made its way through the trees. It caught my attention because it seemed as if the trees were whispering, as if nature was having a soft conversation. I felt at peace. It occurred to me that a better name would have been Whispering Pines. I have loved pine trees since I was a child, any type of pine tree. It is synonym of joy, at least for me.

I am convinced that nature’s purpose is to provide peace, joy, solace, and inspiration when humans need it most. It is balance to our lives, and we naturally gravitate to it. Even in the busiest cities, people find a way to commune with nature, whether it is by visiting a park, placing a few potted plants on a window sill, or enjoying the company of a pet. Nature is a stabilizer to our human chaos. It gives us life, literally. We are part of nature but we tend to feel separate from it, as observers. I’ve asked myself if that is just human perception because when I observe animals they seem to flow with the rest of nature, and at peace with it. Our species must harness, conquer, possess, and subdue, and for some reason, it doesn’t feel as a natural flow as with other species; it seems forceful in some way.

The theme of human redemption appears on my novels and I am considering a novel with a stronger approach to the duality of our human nature. Not so much about good vs evil but more about the ambivalence of our fragile/strong soul. I am not a hundred percent sure yet but it seems more likely the more I think about it. For now it is just an idea, a whispering thought.

The Tree of Life

Sometime ago, my husband and I were sitting on the porch conversing and looking at our new surroundings. He said, “Trees are funny.” I asked, “How come?” He answered, “They go around each other and bend around to continue.”

I looked at the trees he was talking about and I was mesmerized by what I saw. Many branches giving way to other branches of other trees, twisting and bending just right so there was room for every tree to continue to grow and expand. Unlike ivy, climbers, and other plants and bushes that choke one another to overpower and survive. I said to my husband, “We humans should be more like trees.” He smiled.

Crimson Miracle

sandy9

Photo by M.A.D.

 

Crimson Miracle

 

Shriveled leaf, sunrise gone

Shriveled life, blue moon shone

Risen anew, ashes to dust

Wind gentle blows, caressing soul.

 

Cycle of perfect harmony

A thankful heart beats on

Season of crimson miracles

To live, to die, and be reborn.

 

 

 

Majestic New Day

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:24

The other day, I was thinking about how everyday I look at the same scenery and how a generic mental picture of that scenery is kept on my mind, as if it was a postcard that was filed in my brain. I pondered how I took the visual image for granted every day, and even thought that tomorrow that panorama as seen through the generic image filed in my brain would still be there. Well, I didn’t like the thought, so I had to change it. I needed a “not for granted” appreciation of the everyday scenery. Why? Because writing is a solitary endeavor, and sometimes, too much of it starts to feel stale. I took several pictures of the same scenery on different days. This exercise opened my eyes, and reprogrammed my brain. It also gave me a sense of renewal and gratitude. Pictures sometimes tell it better than words (yes, I said that), so here is a Majestic New Day of the same scenery. This pictures have not been enhanced in any way, which proves how blessed we are every day, and how blind we can become to what each day brings anew.

On an early morning, before sunrise. A thick line of clouds in the horizon, perfectly straight looks like a mountain.

On an early morning, before sunrise. A thick line of clouds on the horizon, perfectly straight looks like a mountain.

The sun is rising on another day, at about the same time.

The sun is rising on another day, at about the same time.

On another day, the same view, the sun already out, and this time a palette of gold.

On another day, the same view, the sun already out, and this time a palette of gold.

Do you see what I mean? The same view in the morning, but on different days this week has no resemblance to the generic mental image that I keep of the view.  It tells a story of a majestic and wonderful gift of a brand new day, that the Creator of this universe paints different every day, and for our enjoyment. I could probably go on an on taking pictures, and each day, it would be different. The generic image might still be in my brain, but not with the same level of appreciation.

Ghost Words

A trashcan at a food court in Salt Lake City, Utah

A trashcan at a food court in Salt Lake City, Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The more I think about our kind, I see the complexity of our being.  This morning for example, I went for my early walk, and saw this complexity unfolding.  I am a hello, good morning person, so when I am walking and happen to see another of my species, I usually say the words.  Many times, I get some kind of response – a smile, a gesture of a head tilted sideways with a subtle up movement, a hello or a good morning.  Other times, I get nothing, a stern look, or a head down, avoiding eye contact.  This has puzzled me for so long – why do people do this?  Even animals, acknowledge other species, and theirs.  This morning, I said Good Morning to a woman who was cutting some flowers, and who politely answered with a short and quick good morning, the kind with the absence of a smile.  Later on, I said good morning to a man who had come out of his home and was ready to collect his garbage cans.  He looked at me, as if I had just insulted him, and said nothing.  As I walked further, I spotted a crossing guard who was walking to reach her morning post.  I smiled, but instead met with the quick head down to avoid eye contact.  Later on, I encountered two neighbors driving to their destination flashing smiles and waving. Thank God I’d just reached home and that was the last image I had on my mind – my happy neighbors – because I was beginning to feel a bit uninspired and yes, puzzled, about why people behave that way so early in the morning. I understand when people have had a rotten day, but so early?

It is true that we are living in a fast technologically “challenged?” society, and that we seem to “need more hours” to keep up the pace. However, we seem to have forgotten good manners while we spend the 24 hours we have. It seems to me that two very important words/phrases are almost nonexistent these days – GOOD MORNING (or Hello) and THANK YOU.

It may be my perception, but I seem to hear them less these days. It was very important to say Thank You or Good Morning, not too long ago, although it may seem another century, or as if these words have been relegated to retail pleasantries status. It puzzles me when a door is held or opened for someone, something is given, or someone takes the time or effort to do something for someone, even for a stranger, and these words are never said. As if the person at the other end was a ghost.

What has happened to us? Why are these words less important today than a few decades ago? I am not sure if the speed we live our lives has to do anything with it, or is it that our values have changed, and good manners are not important any more? Sometimes I get more thank you’s from automated systems/services or machinery than from human beings. It is not that I want to be thanked all the time, but more of a concern about “where is our kind headed.” A world where everything is taken for granted? One without gratitude? One where machines seem to have better manners than humans? Or are we there?

We all have our slip-offs and moments of “zombie awareness,” but when our hurried steps/lives become more significant than the generous acts of others (who happen to have the same 24 hours that we have), maybe it is time to stop the purposeless frenzy and think about how long  has it been since we said the Ghost Words.  By the way, Thank You for reading this.

 

Watercolors Friday – Celebrating Nature from Indoors

Every time I see the miracle of Nature, I can help but feel happy, and humbled by the perfection that surrounds us – Us, imperfect humans … are we?  We are part of Nature.  Today, I want to celebrate Nature, birds to be exact.  I enjoy bird watching (and that is the extent of it; I don’t know many of the names), and I am blessed, living in an area where birds are abundant, even that I am not in the country, but surrounded by wetlands, and the shore – Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey (USA).  Birds are beautiful and delicate, sweet and predictable, predatory at times, but also interesting to watch.  For the past couple of months I have observed and photographed birds every time I spotted one near my house.  I have enjoyed and watch with awe, the many birds that are around the area. I have learned to recognize a few everyday guests, many with their significant-bird.  Amanzingly, they do the same things or follow a routine, as we do many times.  Now that the trees are covered with leaves, it is hard to spot them, so I am happy that I took a few weeks to watch, as they came back for spring.

All the pictures have been taken from inside my home on purpose – I wanted to feel Nature’s blessing without stepping outside – a way of celebrating the wonders of Nature, knowing that it can trespass walls, if we are willing to be receptive.  Call it an experiment. I had fun with it and found a new depth to my surroundings. Here are a few of my favorite shots.

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

Photo by Maria Diaz

 

I hope that you enjoyed these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.  For those wondering what type of camera I used, it is a Canon PowerShot SX500IS 30x optical zoom.  I know nothing about photography, so please forgive any mistakes, as I only admire, point, and shoot. Just for the joy of it 🙂

HAPPY WATERCOLORS FRIDAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Top 10 Endangered Places – SELC’s List

Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge (Photo credit: Ethan.K)

Just a quick post on the recently released list from SELC – Southern Environmental Law Center, which of course targets the South; however, three out of 10 relate to Virginia,

  • the VA and Tennessee mountains (coal mining)
  • Charlottesville, VA (proposed Route 29 Bypass)
  • Southside, VA (mining)

Here is the article’s link where you can find pictures as well as detailed information on each one of the 10 issues (click each picture).

Top 10 endangered places 2013

End of Year Cheer

I will be away from blogging until next year, so I want to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting and commenting on Inkspeare and for making the WordPress experience so enjoyable, and that goes for WordPress staff as well. My most sincere and loving wishes for the Holidays and for the new year. May your light keep shining and may you find joy and love in everything you do. This poem is from me to you 🙂

One in Many

On this day I shall wish
many blessings, harmony
 When the night gives in to day
and the day nestles the night,
we will be as one in many.

Shine your light for it will be
as the beacon one will see
Always seek your love to give
without measure, plenty and free.

As you give you will receive,
one in many it has been.
 Me, You, It, one and the same,
Love, One Source, is One in many.

As you wish it will be done,
may you wish, joy, peace, and love
For it returns the wish to wisher,
two ten fold, as one in many.

Hope that you enjoy the poem and may you have a blessed, prosperous, and happy New 2013!

After Sandy, the Next Northeaster in Cliffwood Beach, NJ

I am so happy to be writing this post, happy and blessed.  Happy that I finally got power and heat last night, and internet this morning, and blessed that our home was untouched by the storm.  As I write this post, I feel deeply for those who lost so much and still have no heat, as this new northeaster approaches – snow is already on the ground, and it is very cold outside.

I count my blessings; Sandy was a humbling experience for certain.  Here are a few pictures of some of the damage to my neighborhood in Cliffwood Beach, NJ, which is truly nothing when compared to other nearby towns.

Tree on my neighbor’s home.

Giant pine tree down.

The beach front – tons of debris, a surge at 2.00 am damaged the area.

The boardwalk was cut in half.

Neighbors survey the area the next morning.

Debris

The dunes are gone and the street becomes the beach.

Poles and power lines under water.

Whale Creek overflows, and at one point, meets the ocean and Treasure Lake.  Cliffwood Beach is surrounded by the Raritan Bay, Treasure Lake, and Whale Creek; however, it is set up high, in a small cliff.   Looking through the 2nd floor window, I saw waves were land was supposed to be.

Neighbors come together helping each other.

And this is how I count my blessings.