Like Old Home Week

2

November 21, 2020-

Saturday Morning Market brings out the best in produce, organic meats and a variety of ready to eat items, from burritos to babaganoush. Then there is the home made ice cream, a pint of which can suffice me for a week.

Some weeks, Farmer’s Market is a spare affair, in terms of how many friends I encounter-besides the vendors. Today, though, I had the good fortune to visit with three or four fellow travelers whom I had not seen in nearly two months. Back in Saugus, we called such as being “like old home week”.

When people of various backgrounds and ideologies can remain civil to one another and converse about matters of mutual interest, without the least bit of rancor, it is always a good day. My friends run the gamut from New Age farmers to a conservative Christian microgreens grower, and all in between. That they are all supportive and solicitous of one another is even sweeter.

This is the real impetus behind my conscious efforts to relate to each person, based on our commonalities, and yes, I do pass over the differences. The former will get us past any challenges. The latter can only raise too many barriers.

It’s good to be in a place of Old Home Week.

Staying My Course

6

April 19, 2020-

Sitting in my comfortable abode, I am pondering the various reactions to both COVID-19 and to the policies that have arisen in its wake.  I base my own responses, to the cacophany of  ideas, pleas and outright demands that people are making, of one another and of the powers that be, on my inner voice and on the messages from my spirit guides.

1.  Isolate, or sally forth-  Many say:  Stay put, you’re old and at risk!  Others say:  Don’t let the “guvmint” tell you what to do.  Get out and enjoy life!!   Me:  I have lots to do around Home Base, for now.  I can get out, just a bit, support restaurant friends and the Farmers’  Market, with take out orders, wash my clothes and take a nature walk, now and then.  I will hang close to home, until at least June 1.

2.  Get tested, or lie low-   Mainstream health activists say:  Get tested!  Some add:  What’s so terrible about getting microchipped?  Others say:  Don’t trust Big Pharma-or the Gates Foundation!! Diet and exercise will suffice.  Me:  I will get tested, if the public health experts mandate testing for the whole populace.  I would only get vaccinated IF there was a guarantee that no human body parts were used in the serum, not to mention any heavy metals (Mercury, lead, etc.) .  I will never agree to be Microchipped.  I do have a predominately organic diet, free of GMOs and use only natural supplements, derived from therapeutic grade essential oils.

3.  Open society back up, or extend restrictions-  We basically see that ultraconservatives and people of colour are in rare agreement, in demanding that society open back up, immediately.  Watching white supremacists and Native American activists say the same thing is quite fascinating.  The Other Side says everything from:  “Give this two or three more months” to “Whatever we do, let’s not open schools back up until the vaccine is ready-even if it’s August, 2021.  In fact, let’s keep everything shut down until that day comes.”  This scenario-partly pragmatic, but mostly fear-based, is wishful thinking, and would probably require martial law  in order to be effected.  Me: I go with 1-2 more months, with society gradually opening up, in the meantime.  Schools ought to carefully re-open- one month late, in places, in September, of THIS year.

These are my humble responses, or additions, to the cacophany.

 

 

My Four Tent Posts, and Center

4

April 18, 2020-

Today would have been the start of Earth Week, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day One.  As it happened, I spent quality time (2 hours) watching and listening to young people talking about their concerns regarding Mother Earth.  Few are really blaming all of the mess on the human race, but each made the point that we are not blameless, nor are we powerless, in the face of the climate challenge. Youth groups and the Farmers’ Market are my anchors, in this Center that is my Home Base.

There are also four spiritual posts, one in each direction, that help me stay centered, and which have connections to one another, and to the Center.

East– The Baha’i Faith originated in Iran, spread gradually in all directions, and is now found in nearly every nation on Earth, with its World Centre being in Haifa, Israel. The Teachings of Baha’u’llah have confirmed my lifelong conviction that there is only one Race,the Human Race, and that all religious teachings emanate from One Creator.   This eastern spiritual post has led me to the others.  http://www.bahai.org

South– Elizabeth Peru is based in Adelaide, South Australia.  I was drawn to her website, was introduced to her daily guided meditations and insights into the interaction between Earth and all other elements of the Cosmos.  These meditations and observations both affirm and enrich my own.  The southern spiritual post affirms my connectedness with all living beings.  http://www.elizabethperu.com

West– Earth Rising, based in San Francisco, also focuses on the connectedness of all beings on the planet and in the innate spirituality of mankind.  I was drawn to this site, through other Baha’i friends on social media.  It’s a private group on Facebook, yet I feel abundantly welcome, and affirmed here.  I join in regular digital conferencing of this group and its affiliate, Gaia Calling.  New members are welcomed, through Earth Rising’s Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1039631319395983/

North– Chief Phil Lane is a longtime Baha’i friend and well-deepened Lakota spiritual guide.  His Four Worlds International Institute, in the Vancouver area of British Columbia, is in many ways a North Star.  I have deep genetic memory of being connected to First Nations people, especially those of the eastern woodlands.  Four Worlds has graciously welcomed me into its fold, with regular digital conferencing, for the time being. http://www.fwii.net

In the midst of the current turmoil, I have increasingly felt the need for these four posts, and for my center.  There is, I feel, a new society rising out of all that is happening, and all that remains to happen, in the foreseeable future.  Those who live their truth have little cause for alarm.

As We Rise

8

April 15, 2020-

Many parts of the world are slowly, carefully seeing the retreat of COVID-19.  Others, especially in the United States and Russia, have yet to see the disease peak, though it’s coming.  There have been several approaches to the threat, most have worked, for the people in the areas in which they have been implemented.  The concept of “One size fits all” may very well end up being shown the door, when this is all over.

It is never too soon to PLAN, to have several contingencies for the months ahead.  The school year is finished, yet there are likely to be summer sessions. Whether the services of substitutes will be needed then is a good question.

My friends in the restaurant and coffee houses around town are unlikely to even consider re-opening for in-house services, until close to Memorial Day weekend. The hospitalizations must peak, and decline, before that would be prudent.  I am supporting several of them, with take-out orders, in the meantime.

The hard-working staff of the Farmers’ Market are maintaining a food box service, over the next few weeks, at least.  They may be able to re-open the full market, next month, but the hospitalization peak will impact their decisions, as well.

My own meanderings will be rather tentative, anywhere outside of the immediate area, until there is a clear indication that the danger is passing and that my presence will not be more of a hindrance than an encouragement.  Red Cross deployment remains a possibility, as even with the virus subsiding, the hurricane season is seven weeks away and tornadoes have certainly not taken any time off.

The quarantine has given rise to the popularity of virtual meetings, so anywhere I happen to be, into summer and fall, will not impede the vital work that has been initiated here, during the course of the past four weeks.  My inclination is to mostly stay close by, though.  No one wants to be part of a second or third wave of COVID19.

We will cast off some of our old practices and adopt new ones.  Which will be which, is long in evolution.  I only know that we will rise back.  The spirit of the nation,  of the planet, of humanity, will  not be denied.

Back to Harmony

6

September 8, 2019-

Yesterday, I let the sour mood pass through. I think it was a reaction to the falling barometer.  We got about 1.3 inches of rain, in this neighbourhood and in points east.  A trip to the laundromat, on the northwest side of town, revealed continued “dry as a bone” conditions. Whilst at Farmers’ Market, I learned, from a vendor, who is a mutual acquaintance, that an erstwhile tormentor had found some peace in her life.  That is comforting, as unhurt people are less likely to hurt people. As the day wore on, and the rain had passed, I felt more in tune.  Spiritual Feast, in the evening, was vibrant and well-attended, another uplift.

Today has seen a nice breakfast at Post 6 come and go.  Now the long and celebratory Farm-to-Table Dinner will occupy my afternoon and evening.  This is one of four large social events of the Autumn-three of them this month and the last, on November 2, which will keep me connected to the community and offer a form of activity, in addition to Planet Fitness and whatever hiking I do, here and elsewhere in the Southwest.  Service projects, other than the above, will also be performed, through the Red Cross.  Home safety, simply put, is our major focus, in areas at risk for wildfire.

The message comes to me that disharmony is, largely, actually a product of not being in sync with the community.  Letting other people’s pain affect my own self-concept is a disservice, to them and to myself.  So, back to a state of balance I go.

Today will make many people happy.

The Cleansing

0

August 31, 2019-

The day began with my usual Saturday ritual:  Get up, sans alarm, devotions, coffee& paper and a visit to Farmer’s Market.  What is different today was the call to clean up.  A local business owner found an abandoned homeless camp near and around his property, in a wooded area by Granite Creek, one of Prescott’s many streams.  The creek flows into Watson Lake, a reservoir that is also a prime boating and fishing venue.  Thus, it’s a good idea to keep the watershed clean of trash and debris, a notion that has not been front and center for those who regard themselves as desperate for a place to live, or for those who rousted the squatters out of their encampment, nearly a month ago.

One longtime friend of the owner has been steadfast in helping him clean the place, over the past three days.  I joined them today, and will do so again on Monday morning and any morning that I am not working, Wednesday-Friday of the coming week.  Much of the large items, like  tents, blankets, coats, and sleeping bags were bagged and set for disposal on Tuesday.  Disclosure:  NONE of the items are salvageable, as water and mud have rendered them useless.  This is the cost of “sweeps”, and of random, ungoverned squatter camps.

That brings up a broader issue:  The matter of personal responsibility for self and for community.  The lay minister who was my partner on this endeavour, this morning, raised a valid point as to the tendency of people to leave solutions to issues to government- or to some other group.  Many people in Prescott, and in other places across the globe, tell themselves that it’s the government’s job to tend to social issues.  This attitude can be shown either vocally(including online posts, telling the police, Parks & Recreation, etc. to “Do their job”) or by attrition (i.e. volunteering for an activity, then just not showing up).

I was, thankfully, raised to take responsibility for the neighbourhood and/or the community, and trust me, I was not always the kind of child who wanted to get out and volunteer for such projects.  My parents kept after us anyway, and instilled that sense of community involvement.

There are as many ways to “cleanse” a community and build its strength, as there are people.  The Red Cross effort to make sure smoke alarms are working, in modular homes and more conventional dwellings, is also an effort that is gaining steam here.

Lastly, the cultural strength of a community matters greatly, in building a civil society.  The Folk Sessions and Concerts at the the Court House are a major piece of this effort, as are the art fairs, soccer matches and the Farmer’s Market itself.  Last night, an intrepid young woman,who I am proud to regard as a friend, made Prescott a stop on her way from Portland to Boston, just for the sake of supporting the musical scene in a town that welcomed her, three years ago.

There are many ways to build a community-and I know of shut-ins who make quilts or stuff backpacks for needy kids, in the new school year, or the disabled man who fashioned an “adventure train” for stray dogs, whom he takes out of the shelter, two or three days a week. I am fortunate to still be able to be of more ambulatory service, and thank my spirit guides and the Creator for this.

Just, let’s not pass the buck back to the next one, or to the Government.

The 2018 Road, Day 29: The Cleansing Storm and Saturday’s Markets

8

June 23, 2018, Tifton, GA-

After a short pass by Clemson University, which I found closed for the evening, I headed off to look for a campsite along  Richard B. Russell Lake.  Named for a conservative senator from Georgia, who was noteworthy as both a pragmatist and a parliamentarian, despite having misgivings about integrating whites and blacks at the Federal level, the lake, formed by damming the Savannah River, draws people of all ethnicities.

I chose the first campground on the South Carolina side of the river:  Calhoun Falls State Park.  The town was named for another senator, John C. Calhoun, who strode the floor of his chamber, orating in defense of slavery, whilst privately educating his own slaves back home.  Even the most seemingly venal of people can be complicated.

The Southland has always graced my camping efforts with a torrential rain, and last night was no exception.  Despite the cleansing downpour, with copious thunder and lightning, my tent and rain flap stayed put.  It also helped that the tent site is on porous ground.

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Here are some views of  the lake, looking towards the Georgia shore. Note that the soil along the shore is red.

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I made a stop at the camp store, for a bit of breakfast, before heading out.  Two sweet teen girls were minding the store and made sure I had fresh coffee and a scone, on this soggy morning.

Outside, the dock and its attendant were getting ready for a more promising day of sunshine.

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I took county roads to the town of Calhoun Falls, then to McCormick, before going on to Edgefield, the hometown of another of South Carolina’s more provocative figures:  J. Strom Thurmond.  Before Donald Trump, before George Wallace, Strom Thurmond stood for keeping things as they were, in bygone days- before coming to his senses in later years, and actually being mortified by those who cited him as an example of a man who could “keep the races apart”.

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I found numerous mementos of the Civil War, as was to be expected, and solid antebellum architecture.  Then, there was the turkey.  Edgefield’s more eclectic claim to fame is as the headquarters of the American Wild Turkey Association.  One of the men with whom I spoke had been to Prescott, and had hunted wild turkeys in our National Forest.

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I took in Edgefield’s tiny, but welcoming Farmers’ Market, purchasing a couple of gifts for my family in Florida.  Then I poked around a bit in Edgefield’s town square.

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Below, is the town’s memorial to its Confederate  war dead.  Being on the opposite side of the slavery issue, I nonetheless recognize that people of earlier times had to go through their growing pains.  Then, too, so do many of this day and age.

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Other memorials honour those fallen in subsequent conflicts.  This memorial stone commemorates World War II.

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I stopped in Park Row Cafe, for a muffaletta, which held its own with the more famous New Orleans versions of the sandwich.  I was greeted warmly by the young lady who I had met on the street, earlier.  The cafe’s manager, though, was a bit more guarded, wondering aloud about “the western Yankee”. She was quite glad to see me go.  Too bad, as the place has wonderful fare.

Down the road, and a bit north of the river, is Aiken.  It is home to another Xanga friend, who was not at home when I visited downtown.  I can see the attraction, though.  Aiken had a larger Farmers’ Market than Edgefield, and was considerably more vibrant.  I spent most of my time here in New Moon Cafe, a fortuitous discovery, as I was missing Artful Dodger.  I sat, nursing a Haitian pour-over, absorbing the positive energy.  I found this magnetic little cafe a great excuse for returning to Aiken in the future, even if Xanga friend is not around.  Here is a small hotel that might be of interest to those not inclined to camp.

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New Moon is all about power!

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I took this photo from a discrete distance as, underneath the signage, another patron was relaxing with coffee and the paper.

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Leaving salubrious Aiken, I wanted to make fairly good time getting to north Florida, before turning in. So Augusta, Lake Oconee, Macon and Andersonville all wait for another time.  I made a mental note, as to the exquisite beauty of Oconee and its Reynolds properties.  There is much also that Georgia has to tell, regarding the struggles of men with one another.  Americus showed the way towards amity, whilst Andersonville chronicles the flip side of Maryland’s Point Lookout, being the site of a POW camp for Union soldiers, just as the latter was for Confederate POW.

So, I stopped here, in Tifton, just off I-75, enjoying chicken salad at a Zaxbe’s.  I still am determined to make it at least to Ocala, tonight.

 

The Fast: Day 9- Contemplation

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March 10, 2018, Prescott-

My second Fasting Saturday featured the usual early big breakfast, and later in the morning, a visit to Farmer’s Market- important, since I missed last weekend, due to my tax return preparation.  That gave me enough food for the next three fasting meals.  I went to Ms. Natural’s, in early evening, and bought the last of Claudia’s Hungarian mushroom soup, to take home of course.  Wild Iris did not have a paint night, this evening, but I did break the Fast there, then headed back to Home Base.

Living alone gives me a lot of time to spend in either contemplation or in fantasizing.  I much prefer the former.  There is simply too much to be done, and a lot of it is in specialized, precise activities.  I need to know how to meet each challenge, head-on.  Fantasy entertained me, in my loneliness, but never got me far.

So, with the aid of various fasting meditations and reading so much that is inspiring, here and elsewhere, I enjoy this time of looking at matters from several angles.

Beyond the Big “So What”

13

January 20, 2018, Prescott-

I began the day, hopefully about my own schedule, which mostly entailed going to the Farmer’s Market (very much appreciated by one of my surrogate daughters, who runs the place, in light of the rain and wind); and reading the plethora of posts which my peeps here on WP have produced, over a three-day period.  Shortly, I will head for Game Night at Wild Iris, and a few hours of “changing the channel”.

What a difference five days make, but you already knew that!  I have this thing about my love being unconditional, which causes one of my favourite gadflies on WP to roll his eyes and wonder what kind of idiot I am.  No matter; everyone’s experience is different, and as I said last time, I can’t be like everyone else- or anybody else.

My erstwhile best friend is still a friend, but has indicated, strongly, that she needs a hiatus.  No harm, no foul; my life is speeding in unexpected directions.  One of those could benefit her, and several other people, but things in that area are very fluid now, and it’s best I wait, before discussing them here.

I am also being given more responsibility within my Faith group.  This will compel me to do better at something I’ve never done well:  Think on my feet.  My middle brother is excellent in that area, and has taunted me about my slowness, on a few occasions.  I am primarily a pondering, methodical soul, but that should not prevent development of quick rejoinders.

So, here I am, ready to go out, on a possibly snowy night, to enjoy Board Games and cards with people I either have never met, or barely know.  Love is love, and lasts beyond many a throwing up of hands and yelling “So what?”

Thoughts on A Morning World

3

May 20, 2017, Prescott- 

My spirit got me out of bed at 5:45,

just because this time of year,

with work winding down,

and the relative relaxation

of June approaching,

fills the spirit

with affirmation.

It’s easy to get off track,

when competing agendas,

of straight and narrow,

clash above my head.

This morning,

there is no such noise.

The lively Farmer’s Market

is always good for

several minutes of relaxation,

and live music,

even if one has to sit

on a curb,

as the tables are occupied

by people I’ve not met.

I’m just not so forward, yet.

My shyness goes back

a long way,

but no matter.

Let everyone

just enjoy themselves.

I think of a little girl,

whose name I know not,

who greets everyone

at school with

a hopeful smile,

and those she trusts,

with “Good Morning!”

Would that we could

all bring ourselves

to do the same.

I think I am going to buy

and put up, a hummingbird feeder.

It’ll be by the front window

during June,

and again from

August, forward.

I think I am

going to get rid

of lots of other stuff

in June,

and again in August.

I am going to make

Superior to Globe,

my getaway mainstay,

from September to May.

There is no romance,

that’s not the point.

There is intense spiritual energy,

vortical sustenance,

in many parts of the Southwest,

but especially along

that Copper Road.

These are my thoughts,

in this Saturday morning world.

Now it’s time to do a few errands,

pull a few weeds,

and eat a hot dog,

in honour of  Armed Forces Day.

Happy Weekend, one and all!