I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Contemplating being alive

Squalicum Harbor yesterday

Yesterday, Saturday, my friend Melanie and I walked for around five miles at the marina in Bellingham Bay, under sunny and delightful skies. It wasn't very hot, since the sun at this time of the year is quickly moving towards the fall equinox. It's the very last days of summer, with just a week before the Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of the summer. The actual equinox will be on September 22, three weeks from this coming Wednesday. Right around the corner.

This is my favorite time of the year, when the days are crystal clear but not hot, and the trees begin to turn colors, while flowers are still abundant everywhere I look. I am so fortunate to still be able to walk that distance, at my age. I know so many other people who cannot because of injuries or other infirmities. But I am still alive and enjoying every single day as much as possible. I know it won't last. Nothing does, really: not youth, not health, or even the season of life.

When I look at how much has changed in the world during my lifetime, which is considerable but not all that long in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty amazing. When I was born in 1942, the entire world population was 2.3 billion, while today we are approaching 8 billion. That statistic alone tells the tale of how much our world has changed. You cannot add that many people into the world without profound deleterious effects. We are changing the climate in terrifying ways, along with many billions of children born into a world that cannot feed them. And I could go on and on with the bleak outlook that comes along with the population explosion, but I won't. That's not what I want to focus on, but instead I want to think about how much the last eight decades of life have given me.

There are many significant people still alive who were also born in that year: President Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Barbra Streisand, Harrison Ford, to name a few. And there are many other famous people who have died: Stephen Hawking, Jimi Hendrix, and Jerry Garcia, among many others. I remember when each one died, and I don't remember thinking that their deaths were premature, other than Jimi Hendrix, who died in 1970 at the age of 27. I wonder what he would say about the world today. He accomplished so much in his short life and is still well known more than a half century after his death.

I learned to read at an early age, and I know that being able to make sense of my world was much increased by having that skill. These days, graduating from high school is no assurance that you will have learned to read. I suppose you could function quite well by just being able to watch TV. I well remember when we got our first one (I was a pre-teen), a black-and-white console that took up lots of space in the living room. It was our connection to the outside world, even though the snowy images of newscasters was very different from the images we see today. Are we better off for having such incredible connectivity? I wonder. Now I immediately am aware of everything of note that is happening throughout the entire world, and it's enough to dismay even the most positive of outlooks. 

Even though there are so many people, we are still making progress on extending the lifespan of those of us who are alive today. Now you can get new knees, hips, and shoulders, even if you don't realize how much will be required to regain your mobility, and it's just not the same. I haven't needed any of that, and I don't think at my age that I would submit to it. After all, now that I have lived a full life, I have to consider the quality of those years I have left. Fortunately I can still get out and walk and enjoy the forests and trails that surround me. If I couldn't get out and about any longer, I think I would find some way to enjoy the outdoors differently. One of my blogging friends was active and spent plenty of time outdoors, and then he had a procedure that ended up paralyzing him and putting him into a wheelchair. He has found a way to continue to enjoy life, and I appreciate reading about his life today and find it inspiring.

 When I was 57, I needed to have my knee repaired after having torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). I remember going to a couple of doctors who suggested that I should just learn to live with it, at my advanced age. It took several visits to surgeons before I found one that would work on me. I was reminded of how difficult the rehab would be and asked if I felt I was up to it. And I got the work done and learned just what they were talking about. It was not easy, but it was worth it. 

Today I have a good friend who is getting his second shoulder rebuilt, an even more difficult procedure, and he is 81! How times have changed. He has already gotten new knees and does pretty well with them, even going dancing now and then, and now his shoulders are being replaced, one at a time. I have considered what I would have done if I were in his shoes, and I'm not sure I would want to endure it. But it's not my choice to make. Everybody needs to do what feels right for them. 

It would be different if I were in constant pain, I suspect. Not that I don't have twinges of pain and discomfort from my joints, but I can still carry on with the help of exercises and, especially, yoga. I do think that practice has helped me stay flexible and able to continue to enjoy the outdoors to the maximum. When that changes, I will reconsider. But I am determined to enjoy the time left to me, and I will continue what has become sacred to me, my Sunday morning meditation here, and my ability to connect to my dear virtual friends. 

But as in all things, it is time to bring this post to an end, so I can get out of bed and get on with the rest of my day. It's taken longer than usual to get here, and I feel the pull of the day helping me to bring it to a close. You might notice I have given little bandwidth to the news of the day. That is on purpose; I need a break from it, as I'm sure you do, too.

My dear partner still sleeps quietly, my tea is gone, and I am ready to start the rest of my day. Until we meet again next week, dear friends, I wish you all good things.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Golden days of summer

Sunflower beauty

Late summer. When everything is so pretty because you know what's coming behind all the bursting flowers. It's my favorite time of the year, when the garden is at its peak of production, tomatoes ripen, the birds and bees are abundant, and the cool weather will not be a sometime event, but every day will be a mixture of sun and clouds, with the rain hopefully returning. The trees are beginning to show their fall colors already.

I am not a summer person. Exercising in the heat has become very hard for me, and I wilt in the sunshine. It wasn't always this way, but lately I am careful not to expose myself to full sun while trying to walk uphill. Don't misunderstand me; I am very happy to be able to still hike several miles and appreciate my body's abilities, especially at my advanced age. Every day I see people younger than me who are not fit enough to join me on my walks, so I give thanks for what I have. 

It's interesting to think about how much my life has changed over the decades, and how throughout it all, it's been important to me that I can walk and hike and basically do all that. So many things that I thought were important have fallen away, such as running and skydiving. There was a time when I believed that I would never want to stop those things and that I would be able to continue forever.

It makes me wonder if the same would be true if I couldn't go into the forests around here and walk to my heart's content. One of these days I might be unable to continue to do the things that seem impossible to give up. What I have learned over the decades is that I can, and that I will find a way to be happy and content with whatever life brings to me. For now, I need to appreciate each day and keep taking care of myself. I know I am fortunate and don't want to take it for granted.

Several of my online friends have told me that they are no longer watching the news on a daily basis. I am still addicted to it, but I now keep my consumption down to a bare minimum, so that I can continue to find equanimity in my daily life. It's true that where you focus your attention can make all the difference between enjoyment and despair. And what good does it accomplish to cry and grieve at the world situation, when my own small circle is the only place I can find joy and love?
Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief. —Marcus Tullius Cicero
I am grateful for my friends, both physical and virtual. I have learned how other people are coping during this tumultuous time in the history of the world. I am also finding new ways to see the world around me. I know it is possible to lose track of what's important and drown in sorrow, because I've been there quite a few times in the past few weeks. I need to keep myself uplifted rather than allow myself to give in to the darkness. And I will. Perhaps I can bring you along with me, what do you say? Or maybe you will bring ME into the light and we can dance in the sunbeams together. I believe that's what friends are for.

* * *

I've got several books going at once right now, and one has helped me to fall asleep every night, by reading just one short chapter after I climb into bed. It's another David Michie book, which is giving me another look at mindfulness and meditation. Once upon a time I meditated every day and found it to be very fulfilling, and these days I have attempted to find some time to take up the practice again. In any event, his writings always make me feel lighter and happier. 

My sister Norma Jean also told me about a book she read recently and recommended it highly: Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I've downloaded it onto my Paperwhite but haven't started it yet. I read the reviews and am looking forward to reading it. It's been a bestseller for a year now, and has been included on many lists as one not to miss, so I've also got that treasure to look forward to.

About that Paperwhite: I've found that reading on the device allows me to continue reading for much longer than when I am reading straight text from a physical book. My brother suggested that I enlarge and bold the text and find a font that I find appealing. I've done all that, and now I can lay aside my reading glasses and keep going for much longer. My eyes are definitely fading, due to the macular degeneration, but this helps me so much that I am encouraged I'll be able to keep reading for a good long time to come. That also makes me happy.

When I look at my life through the lens of gratitude, I can't imagine why I would not be able to find joy everywhere I look. I have so many reasons to celebrate each day as it comes. Sunday mornings I begin my day with this post, and although I had no idea what would come out today, I know that in spite of whatever my readers might glean from it, the post has helped me to change my own perspective to one that looks forward to the day to come, and those that follow as well. 

My dear partner still sleeps next to me, and he's so still that I listen for his breathing. Ah, there it is, all is well. My tea is gone and my latte at the coffee shop beckons, along with my friends who will join me there, as usual. It's supposed to rain today, and after all the dry days, I'm looking forward to putting on my raincoat and allowing the cleansing drops to fall around me. Life is good.

I hope that whatever this day brings, you will find a moment to look around and see what wonders abound. They are there, with just a little nudge towards joy, I'll bet most of us can find some. Please remember that you are valued and that at least one person wishes you all good things. Be well, dear friends.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Contemplating roses

Cornwall Rose Garden rose

 Truths and roses have thorns about them. —Henry David Thoreau

We have reached the Ides of August (the middle of the month) and late summer of 2021. It's a fraught time in the history of the planet. I wish there were more good news these days, but every time I turn on the TV and settle in to watch what's happening in the world today, I feel emotional pain, not just for the way the Covid virus is apparently sending us all backwards into lockdown, but how the children are vulnerable, and that this is still seen by some as a hoax. I feel also the pain of the people in the Middle East, where Afghanistan is falling to the Taliban, probably this week. Then yesterday Haiti suffered another earthquake and hundreds of people are buried in the rubble. And that's just the headlines.

I could go on and on, but I won't. It doesn't seem to help to wallow in misery, and there's enough of it in the news that I cannot easily bring myself to look away. For my own health, however, I realize that I must find the other side of this moment and think what it will look like in retrospect. What will be read about in history books about this moment in time? That it was when we turned the corner and started the journey towards truth and reconciliation? Or the moment when we lost our way completely and gave up the pretense that we are in charge in any way at all? Only time will give us the answer to that. The one thing I know for sure is that it is a pivotal and decisive moment.

So I will settle in on this Sunday morning to look for the bright spots in my own life, since there are many, and why not bring the moment into my own bedroom, listening to the sounds of summer outside my window? Yes, that is a much better idea than to try and make sense of the rest of it. I can hear a gull calling, interspersed with the harsh call of crows, and the distant sound of a train whistle. Otherwise, it is quiet as we await the sunrise. Days are much shorter now, and the sun doesn't come up until a few minutes after 6:00am today. We are losing more than three minutes of daylight every day, which adds up to quite a lot every week. 

As we get closer to the autumnal equinox, the world around me begins to ready itself for fall: leaves are beginning to change color, the garden is in full display, with grapes ripening on the arbor that Carter fashioned from a small planting of a few years ago. I thought it was strange when I saw him putting up large beams of driftwood over the area, but now it is a sweet little grotto of shade and the grapes are abundant everywhere. I had no idea that grape plants grew so quickly! It's so lovely and within less than a month we will be eating the fruit.

Last week I got quite a shock when I stepped on the scales, something I do every morning. I knew that I had been eating more than I should, and foods that I find comforting, like ice cream and buttered toast. Finally I could no longer deny what had transpired: it was either buy larger clothes or decide to stop the slide. I saw a number on the scales that I hadn't seen in years, so I decided to start counting my calories again. I had deleted from my phone an app I've used before, Lose It! When I got rid of it before, it told me that I would lose all my previous information, but when I downloaded it again, I found that it recognized me and gave me access to all the foods and meals I had entered before. What a nice surprise!

Now I am back to reasonable eating again, remembering how tasty an apple is when you are not looking for a big bowl of coffee ice cream. It makes me approach food quite differently when I must count those calories and not just rummage around aimlessly for something to munch on. And with all the wonderful salad delights that abound in the garden, it's become my newest project: lose that weight! It's been almost a week, and I can already see the difference in the way my favorite shorts fit. Instead of being uncomfortably tight, I can actually slide a finger or two into the waistband. Of course, they are a bit looser for having been worn for a couple of days, but still! I'm happy that I'm back again to thinking of food as fuel. It amazes me at how quickly I reach the daily calorie limit, in order to lose a half-pound a week, which is plenty fast enough for me. And it's also nice to treat myself as a worthwhile project.

Today our weather has broken from the latest heat wave and smoky skies we endured all last week. Today it's normal again, with clear skies and good air quality, which was impacted by the British Columbia forest fires and plenty of abnormally hot days. At least not what we usually have in mid-August. We will once again enjoy temperatures in the mid-seventies (24°C) during the day, and cool nights. And since the nights are getting longer and the days shorter, we have hopefully weathered the worst of the summer heat for this year. It was so strange to see orange skies and being unable to close our windows because of the hot temperatures. I rejoice in our usual delightful weather.

I am still enjoying my three-times-a-week Zoom yoga classes, although my favorite teacher has moved on after a decade and a half of instructing us. The new teacher will soon become another favorite, I think, since she's not only very sweet and attentive to her students, but she challenges us just enough and takes our individual needs into consideration. I will miss Denise (my previous instructor) for a long time, but she has promised to make a couple of videos for us to purchase from her, so we can go back into the past and enjoy her teaching at our leisure. Not exactly the same as a live class, but I'll take it.

Today is the anniversary of my son Chris' death, as well as the anniversary of the birthday of my son Stephen. Both of them are with the angels, but this is a day I don't let go by without acknowledging, and thinking of how different my life would have been if they had stayed on the planet as my children. By now they would probably both have given me great-grandchildren. Instead, I rejoice in the offspring of my blogging friends. It gives me great pleasure to see those remote children growing up and becoming grownups themselves. I love them very much and am so appreciative of the sharing of their lives with me and all others who read your blogs. I love my electronic family!

I just looked at the clock and realize that I've been here for almost two hours now, composing this for our enjoyment, and helping me to put into perspective this last week of news of the world. It helps me to write this, and I hope it helps you too. I tried not to dwell on the negative but emphasize the positive. One thing we all know is that it will change, the world with its trials and tribulations will continue to evolve into whatever is coming next. I am optimistic.

And with that, dear friends, I will leave you for today. My dear partner still sleeps quietly next to me, the sun came up and is brightening my day, and the coffee shop and my friends there are beckoning. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things. Be well.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Changing of the seasons

Dahlias mark late summer

I'll be glad when summer heat is behind us, but this week we have two or three days ahead that will be difficult for those of us who don't do well when it's hot: it won't be as bad as the awful heat at the end of June, but it won't be much fun, either. My ideal outdoor temperature is around 70°F (20-21°C), but we will be close to (or surpass) 90° by Thursday. 

Never mind. On the calendar, we are already past the halfway point between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox, which means that the worst of the high temperatures is behind us up here in the far northwestern corner of the country. And one thing that remains constant in our lives is change. I just re-read my post from last week, and I am sorry to tell you this one will be a seat-of-the-pants post, rather than one so well put together. Last week I began to think about what I would write a few days before, but this week it's just me again, no wonderful TED talk to inspire me, just my regular ruminations. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. As I sit here at the beginning, I am curious to see what emerges.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have reached my advanced age without real illness to deal with, but of course I have all the everyday problems that most of us struggle with as we age. I no longer seem to be able to hike uphill in full sun without having to slow way down and suffer, wishing I were anywhere else. My friend Melanie practically hauled me up to the pass on last Thursday's hike, encouraging me that I could do it as I struggled upwards. Once I was in the shade and resting, I was okay, but I noticed that night when I lay in bed waiting for sleep, my pulse rate was much higher than normal, reminding me that I had to get plenty of rest to recover. And I did; I slept nine hours and woke feeling refreshed.

Good thing, too: Friday was a full day, with my usual trip to the coffee shop and a trip to the gym to ride the stationary bike, then walking home through the blackberry bushes with lots of tasty ripe bursts on my tongue; then to my acupuncturist's office for a treatment and lastly, a massage. By the time I walked back home after all that, I felt wonderful.  

Yesterday was a nice five-mile walk in light rain with Melanie. We walked to Squalicum Harbor, one of our favorite Saturday walks, and it was delightful to experience some rain for a change: it had been 53 days since our last sprinkles, and although we only got a quarter of an inch for the entire day, it was enough to clear the air and give us nice cool temperatures. We finished with a quick trip to the Saturday Farmers' Market and shared a freshly baked scone. 

And now here I sit in the dark, listening to the morning sounds coming through the open window, tapping my keys and thinking about what's on my mind. I've been reading a book that I'm enjoying quite a lot. It's just one of three other books I'm making my way through, one in hardback and the rest on my Kindle. I think I told you that I recently purchased a Paperwhite Kindle and retired my old Kindle Fire. I love it and find it much easier to use than actual physical books. I'm also getting in the habit of re-reading books I enjoy a lot, and there they are, right at my fingertips on my Paperwhite. The battery lasts for an amazing amount of time, and I've found settings that are easier on my eyes and allow me to read longer than I would otherwise.

The book I'm enjoying so much is The Dalai Lama's Cat and the Four Paws of Spiritual Success. It's part of a series of four books, and David Michie, the author, writes from the point of view of a fabulous cat. He introduces the reader to many Buddhist beliefs and ideas, and all of it is easy to understand without getting into the philosophical weeds. And it ties together many different aspects of my own spiritual journey. I've now been practicing yoga for more than six years now and have enjoyed the readings each instructor gives at the beginning of class, which all come from B.K.S. Iyengar's book Light on Yoga, who founded the branch of yoga I practice.
The requirements for our evolution have changed. Survival is no longer sufficient. Our evolution now requires us to develop spiritually — to become emotionally aware and make responsible choices. It requires us to align ourselves with the values of the soul — harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for life. —Gary Zukav

 Through yoga practice, I've learned quite a lot about the spiritual values listed above: harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for life. It all is summed up in Michie's book about HHC, the Dalai Lama's cat (His Holiness' Cat) and intriguing for people like me who are always searching for ways to find harmony in one's life.

Now that I am approaching my seventy-ninth birthday, I find myself looking for ways to express my gratitude for all that I've lived through: I've endured grief, joy, sadness, and I find myself today surrounded by love for the life I've been blessed with. I did think when I was young that by the time I reached the age of almost eighty that I'd be ready to let go and lie down for my final sleep. But right now, today, I am filled with enough joyous energy to feel like I could keep going for a long time to come. But I know better. Our bodies were not designed to keep us going for much longer than I've already experienced. I will attempt to make use of these waning years of life to the fullest I can.

We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away. —Zhuangzi

I am learning about impermanence, the ebb and flow of life and the precious gift of having lived at all. When I was young, it was scary to think of death, but now it seems like part of the blessing of living: My life won't last, just like everything else, and requires me to stop what I'm doing and open my eyes, look around in wonder, and take each day as it comes.  

I'm sitting here in midsummer with the joy of fall right around the corner. And I know I have the coffee shop directly ahead of me in this day's enjoyment, once I get up and start the rest of my day. My dear partner, who takes such good care of me, is still sleeping quietly as I tap the keys. The sun has risen and light flows through the window, beckoning me to come outside and play.

Dear friends, until we meet again next week, God willing, I hope you will enjoy a wonderful week filled with friends and family and furry cats, if that is what you wish. Please be safe and I wish you all good things.

Sunday, August 1, 2021


The old oak from Rita Eberle-Wessner

Sometimes when I am at a loss for a header picture for my Sunday posts, I peruse the wonderful work of Rita Eberle-Wessner, one of my favorite artists on Flickr. She has the ability to capture dreamlike states in her art, and I chose this one for today, showing this gorgeous old oak tree. We don't have many such beautiful oak trees in this particular part of America, but I do remember when I was growing up these trees were so much more plentiful. Wikipedia tells me:
White oaks and oaks in general are held sacred by many cultures. The Celts believed oaks to be sacred because of their size, durability, and nourishing acorns. The Celts named the oak the King of Trees and used the oak tree during many rituals. ... They also believed that the burning of oak leaves purifies the atmosphere.

 This tree and picture symbolize the thought that has been on my mind this past week: resilience. I have followed the Tokyo Olympics this past week with real interest in how these athletes are dealing with so much adversity. And then I listened to a TED talk by Lucy Hone, entitled "Three Secrets of Resilient People." That link takes you to a transcript of the talk, which I enjoyed tremendously and hope you will, too.

She tells us of a horrific traffic accident in 2014 that killed her 12-year-old daughter, her daughter's best friend and the friend's mother as well. She was devastated, and although she had earned a masters in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in wellbeing science/public health from Auckland University of Technology University, she found that she needed to find her own journey back to being mentally healthy and able to deal with the tragedy.

I know that many of you know that I too have lost two of my own, both having been sudden losses: one when my baby was 13 months old and contracted spinal meningitis, and the other when my grown 40-year-old son died of a heart attack while jogging, at the age of 40. Both of these events are long in my past, but I had to find a way to navigate through real grief. I was only 22 when Stephen died. Sick in the afternoon and dead that night. Chris was in the Army, where he was stationed in Germany and was on a three-month mission in Macedonia. Neither death was supposed to happen like that. But somehow I survived, and I have learned the lessons Lucy tells about in her talk. How to become resilient in the face of adversity.

Nobody who gets to be my age has a life without loss; it's part and parcel of the gift of being alive. We all die, even though we often forget that inconvenient truth while living our lives from day to day, but sometimes the loss of someone precious to us reminds us of this fact. Here are the three secrets of resilience, according to Lucy.

(1) Resilient people get that shit happens. Suffering is a part of everyday life, and no one I know has escaped it. Sometimes it comes from loss of a person, or it comes from an injury that keeps us from carrying out our daily lives like we think we should be able to. But nobody escapes unscathed, unless you live in a miraculous bubble. I'm not sure who I would be if I hadn't had such loss. It sure makes me treasure every day that I had with my departed loved ones,

(2) Resilient people are good at choosing where they put their attention. It reminds me of that famous and well-known phrase, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." I have found that one of the most healing things I can do is to remind myself of the many ways I am fortunate, and find a way to be grateful. Some people write a daily gratitude list, but Lucy suggests that if we are depressed, find three good things that happened to you today and think about them. I've been doing that while I wait for sleep to come to me, and I find it reassuring that there are always many good events in my daily life.

(3) Resilient people ask themselves, “Is what I’m doing helping or harming me?” Lucy says that this one has gotten the most feedback that it works. "Whether you’re ruminating over the past, or scrolling through social media, ask yourself whether what you’re doing — the way you’re thinking, the way you’re acting — is helping or harming you. That puts you back in the driver’s seat. It gives you some control over your decision-making.”

When I'm feeling down, I have a few techniques I use to help myself feel better, and the first one for me is always exercise of some sort: a walk in the forest or a session at the gym. It invariably gives me another perspective, and although whatever is bothering me doesn't go away, it changes my outlook. And there is the passage of time, the knowledge that whatever is happening will not keep me in the same state if I just look for something that will make me feel better. I like the idea of asking myself whether what I'm doing is helpful or harmful to my mental state.

I have watched Simone Biles come to grips with her inability to perform as expected, and not because of a physical inability but because she's not mentally able to push through her "twisties" as she calls it. Not knowing up from down while performing dangerous routines sounds terrifying. Last week I almost wrote in this post that I had a premonition that she might get hurt in the Olympics. I had a bad feeling, but I didn't know why, other than she has pushed herself almost beyond what is possible! But Simone chose to withdraw rather than go forward when she knew she shouldn't. I read recently that she was anxious to get the Olympics behind her so she could live a more normal life, and when they were pushed back a year, she was really devastated. So many people were counting on her to be flawless and she had to hang on for another year.

Well, in my opinion, she showed what a real heroine looks like. She did not try to push through it or keep going until she got hurt. And she has shown real grace and beauty in NOT performing. I don't know if she will enter either of the two remaining events she is scheduled to compete in. In some ways I hope she bows out and gives all the rest of us an example for taking care of ourselves first and not allowing the tremendous pressure we put on ourselves to dominate our lives. Simone is a true champion and survivor. Who knows how many lives she has changed for the better?

Like that old ancient oak tree, which has its roots deep into the earth, we are part of all that surrounds us, and we do get to choose what we focus on. I'd like to think that my invisible branches reach out and protect those less fortunate than me, and that I can provide a little virtual shade from the summer sun by sitting here in my dark room and tapping away at my keyboard, reveling in my dear partner sleeping away next to me, and giving thanks for the life I have right now, today.

I honor all those who struggle to make sense of our world today, and who share their insights with the rest of us. It makes me hopeful that we will get through another day with at least three good things to reflect on as we slip into another night of rest. I cherish you and give thanks for your presence in my life. I feel the call to visit the coffee shop and my dear friends there, as well. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things. Be well.