I took these photos of blooming flowers, ivy, trees, shrubs, greenery, moss and other life forms during a couple of early mornings at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco. It was during these walks that I experienced a deep peace I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I hope the peace of this special place reaches you through this post:
I’ve been wanting to write a post about this for a long while but this morning I had a giant push when I opened Facebook, that bad neighborhood I left for almost a year until coronavirus. I follow Maine comedian Bob Marley who posts funny daily “Crona Watch” videos. His latest was about a chipmunk making a hole in his yard and directly underneath the video were people bragging about the cruel methods they use to kill the chipmunks in their yard. One shoots them with a BB gun because they eat some of their strawberries. Another gave instructions on how to use the bucket method of drowning them. I didn’t click through the comments–these were the featured comments that are shown without clicking. Also making the rounds is a viral video of a cruel squirrel slinger that people find to be so hilarious.
I used to feel embarrassed and ashamed of being “sensitive”. I used to think it put me at a disadvantage. I’ve come to discover how a sensitive heart is what will save us. Taking pleasure in and advertising that one kills a warm-blooded mammal without a mean bone in its body because of vanity (a hole in my yard! some of my berries are gone so I’ll starve to death!) is evil. Being not only cavalier about taking a life because of a minor “infraction” but advertising it online, like LOOK HOW COOL I AM HAHA is a dystopian world where adults act like sociopathic teenagers trolling for attention.
Continue reading “Be Kind. There’s Strength in Sensitivity.”
It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to be another creature’s jackpot. Chipmunks have a very rough life fraught with constant danger and often, enmity from humans. Desi, a new friend this season who was one of the chipmunk babies from last fall all grown up almost got killed by my neighbor’s dog this morning. She lives in her yard but comes to visit. I was outside waiting for her and I heard growling, then the sound of the dog slamming into the fence and rustling leaves. I’ve heard this before and usually I see a squirrel running for its life over the fence. Today it was sweet little Desi only she made her escape through a small space underneath it.
Yesterday at daybreak Wayne and I went for a walk at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland. Walking in and photographing old graveyards and cemeteries has been a passion of mine for many years. If you haven’t seen my past blog posts please click the link, I think you’ll enjoy them. I didn’t sleep the night before because I had spent much of it crying and laying awake thinking about the hawk and Buddy. I wanted to honor his life and make peace with his passing in a somber, spiritual setting while getting some fresh air and exercise with Wayne. I also sensed there was something I needed to see.
We decided last night we would leave our house at 5:00 a.m. to watch the sunrise. It was very cloudy and drizzling–would we be treated to a show? We decided to find out. Wayne and I listened to the Grateful Dead playing “Fire on the Mountain” live in 1983 on XM during our ride which was perfect since the morning sunrise cast a magical pink “alpenglow” on the clouds. We had the whole beach to ourselves except for a surfer and a walker in the distance.
I got a parking spot at my favorite beach!!!! I smelled ocean air (40 degree air, but I’m no longer picky!) instead of whiffs of Clorox! As a way to prevent crowding my town of Scarborough closed the beach parking lots except for a small portion of one at Pine Point. They technically did not close the beaches nor did they prohibit VERY limited parking along the street so that those who live within walking distance can still go as well as those who could snag a spot. Today was my lucky day! It’s the first time in over three weeks that I actually went for a drive anywhere. (My wedding ring still fits, ha! I take it off at home.) I really needed to at least see and smell the sea from my car. I was so thrilled that I was able to actually park and take a quick, socially-distanced walk!
Is that Godzilla punching my roof as I type this post? Kind of, only its name is February. It’s the occasional sound of things expanding and contracting when it’s in the single digits or below. It also means my house is nice and toasty inside. We had an ice storm on Friday, and while they can be extremely destructive, like cutting power for days or weeks, and most recently lifting me in the air before smacking me on my behind (I’m getting PT now, recovery is up and down but happening), it can also be beautiful. I snapped the photo above yesterday afternoon. I love how the sunshine makes the icy branches gleam brightly as if I’m living in an enchanted fairyland.
I really wish the cliched photo of a human silhouette standing on a mountaintop or road with arms raised would cease to be the image to represent “success”. I keep seeing it on marketing materials and a quick google search for “success” turns up the same nonsense. It seems so 1990s Tony Robbins which works for some people, but not for me. All I can see, besides lack of imagination and following a tired marketing message is someone expressing their own greatness for having climbed a metaphorical mountain on their own. If that’s success then I’m an abysmal failure!
Just seconds before I took this pic there was a chipmunk on the deck railing, the first sighting since late November! It’s also one year ago that Wayne and I adopted the Degu Sisters. I can’t tell you how much seeing that chipmunk (not sure who it was) raised my spirits this morning. Surely it’s a good omen!
“If, then, God is so easy to find and can be discovered either through the beauty of the stars or in every tiny pleasure of earth, which like a sea shell speaks of the ocean of Divinity, why is it that so few come to Him?”
-Fulton J Sheen, Peace Of Soul, 1949
Photo taken at St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery and Shrines in Kennebunk.