Self or Others?

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September 23, 2020-.

I was in a group session on Monday evening, in which the question was posed, as to whether it is more crucial to care for oneself or to care for others.

The short answer to the title question is: Both. Actually, anything one does for oneself usually impacts others, and vice versa. This is especially true if one is reflective and maintains a consistent presence, in any given activity.

I have two socially-responsible lines of activity: Substitute teaching, which I did yesterday and Disaster Response, which I will resume tomorrow. A flight to Dallas, via Denver, early tomorrow morning, will begin my second Red Cross deployment, in a month. Two weeks will be spent in “Big D”, purportedly in providing assistance to those still being sheltered after Hurricanes Laura, Sally and Beta. Much of the sheltering happens after the full-on storm has left, and the floods/power outages make life continually unpleasant.

The activities in which I am involved are impacted by my beliefs. ‘Abdu’l-Baha exhorts us: “Be fair to yourselves and to others, that the evidences of justice may be revealed, through your deeds, among Our faithful servants.” It was ingrained in me, long before I became a Baha’i, to consider the needs of others, in lieu of indulging myself. That has remained, by and large, a guidepost in my life. I would have to , of course, acknowledge critics who say “Wait, you weren’t very nice to ME, not so long ago” or “I remember when …….” The goal, however, remains the same-and none of us walks on water.

So, as with my earlier deployment to Louisiana, by way of Beaumont, the needs of others will be far ahead of my own needs-this being the essence of Disaster Response.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 99: Looking Back at Baton Rouge, Part 2

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September 7, 2020-

Another summer nearing its end (Summer, for me, ends on the day after Labor Day, the equinox notwithstanding); another languid Labor Day with extreme heat dissipating-at least for a week.

My “free day”, last Friday, allowed time to check out a few areas of Baton Rouge. These included two restaurants, offering two distinct styles of Louisiana cooking. Pastime Restaurant, under the Interstate 10 overpass, south of downtown, offers Po’ Boy sandwiches, usually made with a seafood filling and served on New Orleans-style French bread. In honour of BR’s riparian richness, mine had catfish.

Pastime Restaurant

From there, the road led to Magnolia Mound Plantation, which I described in the last post. Having had time to look at and learn about the artifacts of Creole plantation agriculture and enslavement, I headed to Louisiana’s ornate, well-decorated State Capitol and its beautiful surrounding garden park.

A lake has been formed, north of the building, by diverting some water from the Mississippi River.

Capitol Lake, Baton Rouge
Indian Mound, Capitol Park, Baton Rouge. This mound was built by people of the Coles Creek culture, around 1000 A.D. It was used by the chiefs of that period as a speaking platform and to conduct sacred ceremonies.
Louisiana State Capitol Building, from the southeast
Tiger Lily, Capitol Park
Newly-planted palmetto trees, Capitol Park
Artillery Mount, Indian Mound. As this was the highest point overlooking the Mississippi River, in the Capitol District, it was used by the U.S. Army, during the War of 1812 and by both sides during the Civil War, as the Union Army ousted the Confederates from Baton Rouge, early in the conflict.
George Rogers Clark would have taken exception to this claim, as the forces he led defeated the British at Vincennes and at Kaskaskia, both outside the original Thirteen Colonies. Nonetheless, it is true that a battle was fought here, in 1779-but by the Spanish against the British. American privateers helped in the effort, resulting in Spanish control of the Mississippi River Delta and of all Florida, of which Baton Rouge was then a part.
Exterior View of Baton Rouge Arsenal
Horizontal view of Baton Rouge Arsenal. This facility was established in 1826, to help guard the mouth o fthe Mississippi River. It fell briefly into Confederate hands in 1861, but was recaptured by Union forces, the following year.
Lawgivers, both ancient and more contemporary, have adorned the present Louisiana State Capitol’s exterior, since it was built in 1931.
Depictoion of ancient Greek lawgivers
Builders and judges are depicted in the bas relief. The three watchwords: Union, Justice and Confidence are enscribed here as guiding goals for the State.
Louisiana is nicknamed “The Pelican State”. Three fat pelicans are perched atop the three facia columns above.
There has never been a Louisiana politician, before or since, quite like Huey Pierce Long. A fiery and effective populist, “The Kingfish” served as Governor from 1928-32 and as U.S. Senator from 1932-35, when he was assassinated. Senator Long was a driving force behind many of the social welfare programs which became part of the New Deal, in its second stage. He was an authoritarian and clever leader, yet saw the public weal as his bounden duty.

Elegant Clarkia mix with True Lavender, in this flower bed, on the south side of Capitol Park.

Full view of State Capitol, from the south.
“The Ole War Skule” refers to a corps of cadets at Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy, established in 1853, at Pineville, in central Louisiana. In 1869, it was moved to Baton Rouge and in 1877, the school merged with Louisiana State University. in 1955, a group of retired military men, who had studied on a prior campus of LSU, formed this curiously-named organization, to continue the rich military traditions of the University.
The Pentagon Barracks were used to house American forces in Baton Rouge, with their completion in 1825. The barracks occupy the site of an old British fort, named New Richmond, which had also been used by the Spanish, prior to 1816.
Archway, connecting the east and west sides of Pentagon Barracks.
The pleasant Courtyard of Pentagon Barracks was a mini-parade ground and resting spot for the troops.
This is the story of Pentagon Barracks, in a nutshell.
Here is a view of the columns and beamed outside ceiling of Pentagon Barracks.
Peilcan inlays are common, throughout the Capitol’s exterior and its grounds.
Walking back to my borrowed vehicle, I enjoyed this view of the Governor’s Mansion.

So, there is a lengthy, but concise introduction to the three segments of the Louisiana Capitol District: The east, with Indian Mound and the Old Arsenal; the center, with the Capitol itself and the statue of Huey P. Long; the west, with Pentagon Barracks and the Capitol Museum (not shown here).

My day ended with a cold brew coffee, at this engaging establishment, on the east side of Baton Rouge:

City Roots is part of a dining and shopping area, called Electric Depot.

Finally, it was dinner time, and Cajun was on the menu. There is no finer place for jambalaya, gumbo and crawfish pie than this south side spot:

As I enjoyed a goodly part of my meal, the engaging strains of zydeco filled the room. Another bonus-There was enough left for Saturdays’ lunch!

This mural, at Electric Depot, captures the energy of an emergent new Louisiana.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 98: Looking Back At Baton Rouge- Part 1

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September 6, 2020-

Today presented itself, back at Home Base, with a few responsibilities right off the bat- two Zoom calls and two loads of laundry. Mostly, though, I had plenty of time to ease back into the routine that occupies me here.

It’s apropos to note a couple of subjects that derive from the day or so that I spent in Baton Rouge. Louisiana’s capital ha,s at times, languished in the shadow of its Big Easy sister to the southeast. New Orleans was, in fact, offered me as a place from which to fly homeward, yet, with a guaranteed ride to BR and none to NOLA, I politely declined the offer.

The free day, that resulted from my catching a ride to Baton Rouge, provided a chance to get a look at a preserved plantation property: Magnolia Mound. It was medium-sized, even its heyday-with 80 enslaved people working the property, at maximum, primarily for sugar cane production. There were a series of thirteen owners, between 1797 and 1905, the latter owner running the place as a sharecropping enterprise, after a brief period (1863-7) in which the freedmen remained on the property and ran it as their own business, in a time of confusion as to the whereabouts of the owner. In the mid-1960’s, the property was purchased by the City of Baton Rouge, as a park, in order to preserve the French Creole architecture and artifacts.

I was fortunate to get a personal tour of the Historic House (manor) from a delightful young lady, named Cat, with encyclopedic knowledge of the various aspects of the grounds and buildings. No photography is allowed INSIDE the Historic House, but here are some scenes of other parts of the park.

Magnolia Mound Visitors Center
Hart House, the home of a post-Emancipation owner of Magnolia Mound, who had his mother live in the mansion, though without running water. Nice guy, Mr. Hart.
The magnolia is one of two dominant trees on the property.
La Grange Pavilion is a former barn, now used as an event center.
The Live Oak is the other dominant tree on the property.
This is an external view of a Slave Cabin. Each cabin housed five people. There were at least sixteen such cabins on the property, at the height of its operation. The cabins were destroyed by a tornado in 1871. This structure is similar to those destroyed, but was itself brought from another plantation.
This shows the sleeping area of an enslaved person’s cabin. There were likely two or three other beds in the room, as well.
Looms were a critical tool of the enslaved women who worked in the Main House. They tended to all matters involving the property owner’s family, as well as making their own clothes.
This is the Overseer’s House. Overseers were, generally, just a notch above the enslaved- and could have been anyone from a poor Scotch-Irish farmer to a freed African-American. They were, however, not enslaved.
Here is the open hearth of the outdoor kitchen for the Plantation House. Enslaved women prepared all the meals here.
Here is a view of the front to the Plantation (Historic) House. The construction is a blend of Spanish, Creole and Caribbean archtiecture.

Enslavement has always bothered me, especially as an institution. That it was deemed necessary to build our nation’s economy is particularly odious. The story, though, ought not be erased or canceled. It needs to remain as part of the larger cautionary tale, lest it ever happen again.

Next: Louisiana’s State Capitol

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 97: Cramped, but Not Squished

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September 5, 2020, Phoenix-

America’s hottest (temperature-wise) metropolitan area welcomed me back, this evening-with an air temperature of 113F-at 8 p.m. This is just another reminder of why I left this city, nine years ago. It could, of course, be worse- I could always find myself, at some point, on the plains of northern India, in the Arabian Desert or in Baghdad. I will wait, though, and not be in any hurry along those lines. Thankfully, it was a short walk from the air-conditioned terminal to the air-conditioned van that will bring me back to Prescott (Air temperature, a balmy 81F).

The day started in Baton Rouge, with a relaxing morning and a lunch of left-over jambalaya and crawfish pie, from the delightful Rice & Roux. The business manager of Spring Hill Suites drove me over to the airport, as she has NO desk or transport staff, at the moment. Such is life, in the sneering face of COVID-19.

Baton Rouge Regional Airport is a small enterprise, and was rather languid, even somnolent in places. TSA, though, was alert, and I found that I had not been thorough enough, in sorting stuff out of my carry-on. A nearly-full bottle of water and some plastic cutlery bit the dust.

The puddle-jumper to Dallas-Fort Worth left on-time. With the two seats in front of us remaining empty, my young row mate got his own row-giving both of us some sorely-needed space. The other good thing was that the tiny plane was in the air for barely an hour.

A snack and a vitamin water, at DFW, sufficed before I boarded the somewhat larger plane to Phoenix. We were told that the plane would be “quite full”, leading a different young row mate to take her seat in the middle of the row, with me in the window seat. Fortunately, she was able to take the aisle seat. Given that there was a large backlog of planes waiting to take off, and the seat space is much smaller than I even remember from two years ago, I can’t imagine how it would have gone, had a third row mate shown up.

Two hours later, the still restless and anxious young lady, facing God-knows-what, in the hours and days ahead, was off the plane and out the terminal door like a shot. She said nothing, only glancing at my copy of “The New Jim Crow” and taking note of the title and author, then going back to availing herself of what little comfort the seat allowed. I felt nothing but empathy.

Another friend had suggested ditching the plane in Dallas, taking a train to OKC and from there, going to Flagstaff, via Amtrak. Two things- I flew on the Red Cross’s dime and there is no direct transport from Flagstaff to Prescott. The train is always an option for the future, but I do like the freedom offered by driving.

So, off we go, up to Prescott, and at least two weeks of respite from disaster response.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 96: Remembrance of Alexandria

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September 4, 2020, Baton Rouge-

Tommy sat on a concete ledge, taking in the goings on, around a downtown park. He said he’d been struggling, but was determined to get back up and keep on going. He noted the three frames of tile mosaic, in front of us, saying he found something new in each tile, everytime he looked at them. This, he noted, was the true beauty of art. He expressed appreciation for our Red Cross efforts on behalf of Rapides Parish- a sentiment shared by many around this mid-state community.

There was a brief two hours, on Wednesday, when I was let loose upon downtown Alexandria, to get in some walkabout time and check out a four block radius of the district. Alexandria is a rather utilitarian city, with few landmarks of note-but there is a small park, near City Hall, which also doubles as Parish House.

Here is sundial motif, designating the seat of Rapides Parish.
Alexandria Museum was closedm by the time I got downtown.

The following three frames are a triptych of tile mosaics, in City Hall Park.

Tile mosaic of marine life.
Tile Mosaic of land animals.
Tile Mosaic of more animals, and people wprking together.
Alexandria Towers
Weiss and Goldring water tower
Capsicum, in ground box.

As it was time to get back and resume my own work, I got back in the truck and drove around, through the south side, passing people out enjoying the evening air-seeming just glad to have their languid, but clear skied, days back, after the storm of August 26.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 80: As Decades Have Passed

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August 19, 2020-

I have been pondering, since early this morning, as to the nature of my decades, lived thus far.

Young mother, anticipation, rough birth.

World still aflame, born under the element of Fire

Walking alone at age of three; hairbrush to the backside

Loved pictures and songs; pile of 45s in a memorized order

Family in a ramshackle house, which soon became a decent home

Three became four, then five.

First grade, morning bell rung by teacher

Second grade, more families in the neighbourhood

Third grade, began reading like a pro; teacher was like an angel

Fourth grade- Sometime tyranny, worn-out, angry Reading Instructor, Long Division

1950-59 was the decade of inception.

Fifth grade- Hypersensitive, wary of the Principal, death of Grandma

Sixth grade-Attention Deficit Disorder, hospitalized for colon issues

Junior High School- Mischief, girls mattered, one fire followed another,

High School- Best years ever, I-the Individual, clueless about attire, scattered work habits

Post-Graduate- Flubbed first semester, Demon Alcohol, lack of coordination, Army Basic Training, Postal Clerk at Fort Myer, Saw Moon Landing, Missed Woodstock

1960-1969 was the decade of formation.

Army Years- Lost buddies in VietNam, protest marches and intel duty, personal investigation of combat theater, clueless in Sydney

Community College- Series of dates, series of flubs, community involvement, living away from home, living back at home, Quebec-Ville and Montreal, hitchhiking across the continent

University- Dorm year, rooming house, apartment life, incompetent as editor, successful as student, so/so as teaching intern, summer hotel work, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Maine years- Staying distant when asked, substitute teaching, tutoring, Teacher Aide, more Demon Alcohol, visits with extended family, two siblings married, all over the state and the Maritimes

Villa School- Saved by the West, attempted Math instruction, dormitory watch, all over the West and the country, San Diego and Disneyland

1970-1979 was the decade of instruction.

Graduate School years- Town House in a quiet neighbourhood, Zuni, Baha’i Faith, first real adult love, Master of Arts in Education (Counseling)

Tuba City Years- School Counselor, Newlywed, Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, London and Canterbury, death of Nana, death of a dentist friend, deaths of children, Guyana, wedding of Glenn & Barbie, Pine Ridge, Omaha Nation, Columbus Youth Conference, death of my father

Jeju Island- House husband for a semester, Work Visa wait time, grappling with cultural baggage, Baha’is of Korea, troubled expatriates, Visiting Professor of English, training teachers, birth of a son, back and forth across the Pacific, Baha’i International Pioneer

1980-89 was the decade of maturation.

Jeju 2.0- Facing the culture of sexual harassment, empowering women students, enjoying life with a toddler, standing at the Demarcation Line, honouring our elders

Navajo-Hopi 2.0- More School Counseling, active child protection, rescuing two girls, saving our son, losing youngest brother, addressing ambition, Lady the Dachshund, Baha’i homefront pioneer, Principal in two schools, Keams Canyon, Jeddito, Chilchinbeto, Salome

1990-99 was the decade of professional success.

The Active Urban years- Y2K, Mingus Mountain Academy, Kingswood Estates, Mesa Community College, substitute teaching, El Mirage Elementary, Fuhr chiropractic, Phoenix Baha’i newsletter, Sierra Pines Apartments, the house on Solar Drive

The Caretaker Years- Penny’s two falls, my fall into despair, more substitute teaching, WIS International, Southwest Network, Ironwood Elementary, Palo Verde Middle School, poor career choices, ASU West, President Obama at Penny’s graduation, two wrecked cars, Dr. Yau, hyperbaric oxygen, Stem Cell Therapy, six family weddings, Aram graduates High School

2000-09 was the decade of reckoning

Caretaking and Losing- Trillium Specialty Hospital, renovating and painting the house, MRSA, Dr. Desvignes, Chapter 7, John C. Lincoln Hospital, facing my demons, Odyssey Hospice, turning sixty, Durant’s Steak House, Penny’s transition

Feeling My Way- Aram in the Navy, Kim & Stu, short-selling house, Louhelen Baha’i School, meandering across the country, helping in-laws, moving to Prescott, Willow Creek Gardens, Pacific Coast and interior Northwest, Texas Circle, wayward Vision Quest, emotional overkill, death of father-in-law, D-Day Anniversary, Berga, World Cup celebrations, Rouen landmarks, Paris by day and night, Luxembourg National Day, Iolani Palace, Waikiki, Tiger Cruise

Settling in My Space- Arizona Avenue, Prescott Circle Trail, Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, southeast Alaska, BRIDGES Program, RISE Program, Prescott High School, southern California beach towns, Aram to Korea, Carson City-Reno family, Gulf Coast journey, cross-continental journeys, loss of two cars, break-in to a third, Red Cross, death of mother-in-law, semi-retirement, Do Terra Essential Oils, Aram & Yunhee, return to Korea

2010-19 was the decade of resilience

2020- 29 is the decade of endurance

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 64: Breakfast On the Corner and Another Delivery

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August 3, 2020, Winslow

Every so often, even during this pandemic, I find myself leaving Yavapai County, to do what is necessary for the good of the whole. My mask and gloves go with me, of course-along with the EO supplements that are giving me all I need to keep my immune system thriving. Vitamins C & D, along with soap and water, go a long way towards making the virus unwelcome. CDC guidelines do the rest.

Now that that’s out of the way, the purpose of my short journey is to deliver some items to a friend from the Navajo Nation. These are health care items that have been sitting in Prescott Valley, since the service plane was grounded, about a month ago. Surface transport being the only way, I have made this time available.

After gathering up the items, yesterday afternoon, and enjoying a leisurely dinner at Leff-T’s, an old favourite from the early days of my life here in Prescott, there ensued a smooth and uneventful drive up here to Winslow, and Delta Motel, a funky, music-themed establishment, which is my preferred place to stay, when in this corner of the High Desert.

The Sipp Shoppe, Winslow, AZ

Speaking of corners, Standing On The Corner Park has developed into an actual park, and is the nexus of a small, but growing, downtown core. Winslow is coming back. I enjoyed a delectable, lovingly-made Mexican-style crepe, at a lovely new place called Sipp Shoppe, across Old Route 66 from the park. A gentleman was strumming a guitar and singing some satisfying Blues, even at 8 a.m. This is what life is meant to be-celebration and affirmation.

Standing On The Corner Gift Shop. Winslow, AZ
Stage at Standing On The Corner Park, Winslow, AZ

I will make my connection with my Navajo friend at Noon, then head back to Prescott directly, returning to the world of online meetings and a new addition to my health regimen: Wheatgrass juice. More about that, in a coming post.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 61: What I Want In August, Part I

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July 31, 2020-

My parents were wed seventy-one years ago, today. They got to be together, in the flesh, for thirty-seven of those years. They left several good road maps for us, and Mom is still blazing the trail of how to live long and prosper. I was thinking, last night, that I will be honoured to live into my nineties, perhaps even hitting the Century Mark. I would, however, have to be of use, to have most, if not all, of my faculties.

Today, so far, has been quieter than the previous two. I received a message from an African friend, for whom I had written a project proposal, bemoaning that those to whom we had sent copies of the proposal had not responded as yet. It’s been a week, so my take is, check in with them weekly, until mid-August. He asked me to send each of them a montage of photos of the worksite. I can do that,around some other tasks that have arisen, since I turned fostering of the project back over to him. Life does not stand still.

I have thought about what I want to do, in my own sphere, as well. As hard as life is for many people, I cannot just put myself into one hundred percent abnegation, though some will no doubt find that odious of me to say. There actually isn’t all that much that I want for myself, though.


August is said to be a month of masculine energy, so the first thing I want to do is to bring some health supplies to a rendezvous point at Holbrook, close to the Navajo Nation, which is still itself off limits to outsiders, due to COVID. In Holbrook, I will meet the same friend who I met in Flagstaff, in the Spring, to transfer the items. That is Monday’s agenda.

Synergy, the health elixir cafe operated by friends in Sedona, reopens on August 8, so that will be my place of refuge and celebration, next weekend. “Double” days are most often special to me.

I also miss my farmer friends in Paulden, up north just a bit, so maybe the afternoon of the 16th will find me there. The following weekend, Friday- Sunday, will likely be a time to visit Bisbee, a vibrant and eclectic Southern Arizona cousin to Prescott

The month will climax with Farm-to-Table Dinner, on the 29th, and unless the COVID cops declare our most stringent safety precautions inadequate, I will be among the masked and gloved servers and busers, tending to a smaller, but no less fervent, group of patrons of our vibrant Farmers’ Market.

What I want is for life to go on, carefully of course, but not dancing to the tune of one group of tyrants or another.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 46: Where To?

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July 16, 2020- Today is the birthday of one of my best friends, so I will be in her luxuriant garden, later this afternoon, honouring her with gifts and exchanging stories.

As is well known, I am choosing to stay around Prescott for most, if not all of the summer-and am not going outside of Arizona, barring an emergency, until at least mid-October.

Nonetheless, I think it perfectly fine, if people in places less affected by COVID than we are, get out and enjoy salubrious places in their home states. Travel further afield is, in most cases, best saved for less infested times.

So, in the interests of such travel, here are my own top two favourites for in-state jaunts. Many of them, I’ve visited; others are the favourites of friends.

Starting here and working outward:

Arizona- Thumb Butte; Texas Canyon

Southern California- Carbon Canyon; Julian

Northern California- Point Reyes; Lassen Volcanic NP

Nevada- Valley of Fire; Cathedral Gorge

Utah- Natural Bridges; Bryce Canyon

Colorado- El Dorado SP; Seven Falls

New Mexico- Taos; Sandia Crest

Oregon- Crater Lake; Bandon

Washington- Neah Bay; Leavenworth

Alaska- Sitka; Talkeetna

Hawaii- Volcanoes NP; Kauai

Idaho- Hell’s Canyon; Craters of the Moon

Montana- Glacier National Park; Bob Marshall Wilderness

Wyoming- Grand Teton NP; Spirit Tower (“Devils Tower”)

North Dakota- Peace Garden; Theodore Roosevelt NP

South Dakota- Black Elk Peak; Badlands NP

Nebraska- Scotts Bluff National Monument; Henry Doorly Zoo

Kansas- The Hollow Park,Sedan; Flint Hills

Oklahoma- Lakes of the Cherokees; Black Mesa

Texas- Falls of the Pedernales SP; Palo Duro Canyon

Louisiana- North Side of Lake Pontchartrain; Bayou La Batre

Arkansas- Crater of Diamonds; Petit Jean State Park

Missouri- Lake of the Ozarks; Sedalia

Iowa- Lewis & Clark SP; Ledges

Minnesota- Lake Superior shore; Pipestone NM

Wisconsin- Apostle Islands; Door Peninsula

Illinois- Baha’i Temple, Wilmette; Cahokia Mounds

Mississippi- Ocean Springs; Emerald Mound

Tennessee- Shiloh; Lookout Mountain

Kentucky- Land Between the Lakes; Mammoth Cave

Indiana- Indiana Dunes; Brown County

Michigan- Picture Rocks; Keweenaw

Ohio- Bass Islands; Serpent Mound

West Virginia- White Sulphur Springs; Harpers Ferry

Alabama- Tuskegee; Muscle Shoals

Florida- Everglades; Nature Coast

Georgia- Sea Islands; Amicalola Falls

South Carolina- Sea Islands; Travelers Rest

North Carolina- Tryon; Outer Banks Region

Virginia- Shenandoah National Park; Chincoteague

District of Columbia- Rock Creek Park; C & P Canals

Maryland- Eastern Shore; Antietam

Delaware- Cape Henlopen; Fort Christina

Pennsylvania- Valley Forge; Bushkill Falls

New Jersey- Pine Barrens; Ramapo Mts.

New York- Ausable Chasm; Niagara Falls

Connecticut- Taconic Hills; Mystic

Rhode Island- Block Island; Narragansett Beach

Massachusetts- Mt. Greylock; Cape Ann

Vermont- Green Mountains; Lake Champlain

New Hampshire- Presidential Range; Mt. Monadnock

Maine- Mount Desert Island; Moosehead Lake

For the most part, these are sites in nature. In another post, when we are further along in recovery, I will mention my favourite cities, large and small.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 32: Tendrils Out of the Cocoon

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July 2,2020-

I stayed in, all day, except to step outside, this evening and appreciate the stars and Moon. The galaxy and, in the late night, our solar system neighbours, transmit a certain energy, that does affect our moods and can impart spiritual energy, if we are open to it.

Most of us realize that there is no point in planning to travel out of the country, as long as we, collectively, represent a definite threat to the well-being of people who have largely done their due diligence, have suffered from their own homegrown cases of the pandemic virus and who have embarked on a road to recovery.

That has not stopped some of the more innocent and tender-hearted souls among my friends in other countries from contacting me over social media-asking when I am going to add a Whatsapp account (not until at least 2022, when I still hope to visit Asia and the Pacific basin); when I will get to Africa (2023) and when I can write up proposals that will help energetic, but uneducated, farmers get assistance from NGO’s. I have already begun sending one group some information about Microgreens-a labour intensive effort that will bring a highly nutritious means to food security. Actually putting together a scholarly “grant-type” proposal is not something with which I have much experience-but it’s something I can try, which will certainly be more beneficial to people in disadvantaged communities than sending them money- a simplistic and, ultimately, debilitating act.

The rest of the world does not want Americans to flood out of this country, in the midst of the pandemic. At the same time, the rest of the world is not going to let Americans just sit behind these borders and act as if the people of other nations do not exist-nor should they.

No matter how dire things get, between now and October-or even beyond, we remain one human race and only by caring for one another as for ourselves, can we truly rise from whatever rubble piles up-and shine again.