These photos were taken mainly in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador, a few here in Alberta, and one in Ontario. At this time of great change and great challenges I thought it would be worth sharing and contemplating, as we all need to build bridges in this world of turmoil and challenges. May we all be architects of bridges and not of walls.
“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” – Andre Lorde
I leave you with this prayer, written by Alycia Longriver, because I believe in the power of prayer as a bridge between all peoples:
Creator, open our hearts to peace and healing between all people. Creator, open our hearts to provide and protect for all children of the earth. Creator, open our hearts to respect for the earth, and all the gifts of the earth. Creator, open our hearts to end exclusion, violence, and fear among all. Thank-you for the gifts of this day and every day.
~ written by Alycia Longriver, Native American (Micmac), 1995
One of my all-time favorite songs is It’s a Wonderful World by the great Louis Armstrong. Every morning waking up to the beauty of this good earth how can I not feel it is anything but wonderful world? There is so much beauty in every nook and corner of the planet. Yes, this pandemic weighs heavy at times, but when we go outside nature is always there to provide balm for the spirit. I hope you will find balm for your soul in this week’s offerings. We won’t be going anywhere today but I hope you enjoy the wonderful beauty right here at or near my home.
“Mirth is like a flash of lightening, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison
“You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.” – Black Elk
“When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.” – Joy Harjo
“Ah, Hope! What would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow.” – Susanna Moodie
“Never lose hope. The darkest clouds precede the loveliest rain!” – Avijeet Das
“At the entrance, my bare feet on the dirt floor, here gusts of heat, at my back, white clouds. I stare and stare. It seems I was called for this: to glorify things just because they are.” – Czeslaw Milosz
“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” – Regina Butt
“Only he shakes the heavens and from its treasure takes out the winds. He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain. Only he realizes miracles permanently.” – Michael Servetus
“I think I will be able to, in the end, rise above the clouds and climb the stairs to Heaven, and I will look down on my beautiful life.” – Yayoi Kusama
“Religion is among the most beautiful and most natural of all things – that religion that ‘sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind,’ which endows every object of sense with a living soul, which finds in the system of nature whatever is holy, mysterious, and venerable, and inspires the bosom with sentiments of awe and veneration.” – William Godwin
“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” – St. Augustine
“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther
I first learned of the expression, Namaste, in a letter from my brother many, many years ago, as he explained it: “The God in me recognizes the God in you”. Or words to that effect. I loved this whole concept. How different our world would be if we recognized the goodness, the divine presence in each person we interact with. The whole idea speaks of reverence and respect. We are more than the sum of our parts. We are more than our physical bodies; more than heart, lungs, brain, etc. Namaste encompasses the thought that human beings are intrinsically good, or at least have the potential of goodness within them, even the most hardened criminals (or politicians, a certain President springs to mind). In this world that seems to be spinning completely out of control with leaders that do not seem to have the good of the people at heart it is so easy to become deafened to the soft whispers of the spirit; So easy to become sad, even depressed, by the violence and turbulence that surrounds us. Yet, even in the darkness lightness comes. We have to be open to it; to be awake and aware to notice the small gifts of kindness that are everywhere: the welcoming of a stranger; the sweetness in a child’s smile; a door held open when our hands are full. I think you know what I mean. Love, light, and joy will never be overshadowed nor subsumed, not as long as enough people believe in human dignity; in Namaste.
“Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this: that he does good, not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.” – Mikhail Bakunin
“Namaste means that my soul acknowledges yours – not just your light, your wisdom, your goodness, but also your darkness, your suffering, your imperfections. It is a recognition and acceptance of the inexplicable divine absurdity, the miraculous woven into the ordinary, light and darkness intimately entwined in magical, messy humanity. It means that I honor all that you are with all that I am. So, namaste, my fellow travelers. I’m so glad we’re on this trek through the universe together.” ― L.R. Knost
Drifting along waiting for this freaking virus to be annihilated. Will that ever happen? I don’t know about you but I feel so very drained by it all. I am just so tired – mentally, spiritually, and physically. And empty – so empty. Yet, I know in my deepest being that we are not forgotten. We are not alone. When my strength is gone, I know I can rely on the Divine One to carry me through; to lift me up and provide the hope and encouragement I need. When I feel lost and alone; when I feel like I cannot go on, from out of nowhere this flickering wick is re-lit and the flame leaps high. Sometimes that comes in the form of human hands. Sometimes it comes during a walk-in nature. Sometimes it comes through the loving attention of family members or friends. Sometimes it is as simple as sitting and stroking my cat’s fur. Yes, it always comes, that strength and peace I need. So, I will rest here and wait knowing that I will be given all I need for this day and the next and the next….
May you be given whatever it is you may need today. And may you recognize the blessing when it comes. Be well. Be safe.