Gratitude Sunday: Hawks And Violets

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Quote of the Week – “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
Helen Keller

Sunday Haiku
Warm winds, no hard freeze,
early winter plum branches
swell with spring flowers.

Sunday Musings
What can you see? Is your eyesight still clear and true? Do you ever look at something more than once to be sure you see what you see?

Are your eyes wide open? Do you see the world around you? Do you see the people right in front of you? Are you seeing physical characteristics or are you seeing who the person is?

Or do you see with your heart? Do you have an open mind about what you see?

As we speed to work at 55 miles an hour, what do we see? As we fly between soccer games and music lessons and play dates and dentist appointments, who has the time to look at the sky and see the clouds?

I like to look at the small stuff. Individual blades of grass, petals on a flower, dime-sized mushrooms sprouting in rain soaked lawns. Growth cycles in trees, the movement of the sun, ripples in the rapidly flowing river and eddies in the slow moving creek. These are a few of my favorite things.

I saw a small flurry of white fall from one of the pine trees at the end of my driveway. It wasn’t cold enough to snow. It wasn’t spring with the plum tree blossoms floating sweetly toward the ground. My brain had to analyze what my eyes were seeing. The white bits suddenly began traveling across the drive to the tree across the road. Fluffy flurries. Finally the light bulb went on. I was seeing feathers.

The little hawk landed in the tree across the street, white feathers still dropping from his beak and talons. I hadn’t noticed him before. He isn’t big, maybe 10 inches tall, but he is regal, fierce, muscular; he lives in my tree and owns the neighborhood. He evidently helps himself to the little birds for lunch. Little birds with white feathers.

We used to have mourning doves, pretty birds, but the loud cooing every day could occasionally be annoying. I haven’t heard the doves for a while and it slowly dawned on me perhaps the hawk had dispatched them either to another neighborhood or to his stomach.

I didn’t believe my eyes when I saw the feathers. I had to look at them twice, three times, to understand what I was seeing. My mind went through things that couldn’t possibly be true before I could see what was before my eyes.

When we look at people do we see what they are or do we look at their bodies and stop there? Do we look at them twice or even a third time to see who they are rather than what they look like? Do we bother to see what they do, how they treat others, if they follow through on their words? Are we quick to judge on what our eyes see, instead of seeing the person with our hearts?

Open your eyes when you take a walk. Notice changes in the neighbor’s yard. Pay attention to the life cycles of plants. Look for nature in your neighborhood even if you live in an urban area. My driveway is long and old and cracked. Weeds grow freely in the cracks despite my efforts to make them stop. When I look closely I see tiny beautiful flowers, just the right size for fairies or fairyful imaginations. In one spot a violet grows, forcing its way through rocky aggregate, rewarding me with lovely purple flowers that could be gowns for those same fairies playing with the tiny weed flowers.

See people when you look at them. Look at them as closely as you would your own newborn child. Even if they do not have a “conventional” beauty, look for what is beautiful in them. Look past their faces and their bodies; see what they do and who they are. Watch children, who have no assumptions about what is beauty and goodness. See teenagers as the future-makers they are, the visionaries of each generation. Look into the eyes of elders and see how your wisdom will show when you are old and how your skin will wrinkle carrying every experience.

Look with your heart at your beliefs. Do you judge by what you see or by what you believe? Do you accept others for the unique beauty of themselves or do you reject them because they do not look like you or act like you? How does knowledge affect what you see?

I know, I know. I think too much. I also see too much and understand too much, and I don’t see enough or understand anything.

A little hawk living at the end of my driveway makes sense to my eyes, because I live in a semi-rural area. We are close to farm land and forests. Purple violets seemingly defying nature by growing through concrete makes sense to my eyes because I’ve learned over the years nature always wins, in one way or another, often unpredictably.

Violets and hawks are beyond my control, but they look a part of the way of nature. One voice from our federal administration is beyond my control, but after watching him for years, he doesn’t look to me like he sees any part of nature or other people. Also beyond my control is the silence from the people around him who support him, and after observing them for years, I see they don’t have their eyes open either. They are blinded by greed, and beliefs, and misinformation, and even disinformation.

I’m glad I see what I see in this administration, as difficult as this period of history is proving to be. I’m glad because I see flurries of white feathers and little hawks adapting to burg life. I see violets growing in cracks in the sidewalk. I see gleeful children learning to swim and impressing themselves with new abilities and new confidence. I see white hair and softly wrinkled skin on slow moving older people as they enter the library, still reading, still learning. I see teenagers and millennials with their eyes wide open and their hearts set on seeing each other and creating a better future. I see newly concerned community citizens who now see what they do in their own communities matter. I see people who are looking at other people and seeing there are more similarities than differences.

I see a moment in history. I see a tidal wave coming. I see a fresh wind blowing through town. I see a tectonic shift in the nation. What do you see?

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Brown sporophytes sprouting from green moss beds marching along a fence line. Gray and green microcosm decomposing my gray deck wood. Abundant variety of gray lichens and emerald mosses.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Mudbound (2017, rated R) a Netflix movie. Two WW2 veterans from Mississippi return to family homes, one a white man and one black, their lives intertwined, and racism in all its ugly violence ensues. I had only a general idea of what this movie was about. I’ll put it into my African-American movie studies. * Lady Macbeth (2016, rated R), make no mistake, this is not Shakespeare, not Shakespeare at all. The family’s name is not Macbeth. I didn’t even get the connection except the female protagonist discovers sexual passion and will kill anybody in her way of her physical gratification. (Oh, I so want to use the common four letter expletive, but, you know, civil discourse.) A loose connection to Shakespeare, at best. Put this one in the psychological-sorta-gruesome-horror-movie-for-Halloween category.

Currently ReadingThe Scapegoat (1957, fiction) by Daphne du Maurier. In seven days time the imposter positively affects the family he’s been thrust into until a tragedy changes it all again. With the village a short distance away and the count’s country mansion with the glass factory family business, the mood is semi-Gothic; this novel is like reading a black and white film noir. * Learning To Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging (2003, aging and psychology) by Margaret Cruickshank. I like to read above myself, and this material is rather like that. I mean I understand what the author says, but it is so scholarly the sentences are somewhat overwhelming. This one is going to take me a while. I like to finish reading material that is above my level because you still take it into your neural net and the dots may connect at a later date.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Hawks. Little birds. The life cycle.
  • Marty Stouffer and Wild America.
  • Purple violets.
  • A mild winter here so far. We could still have a late winter freeze.
  • The patience of customer service people.
  • Civil discourse (though I admit a fondness for expletives as well).
  • Thinking too much.
  • Seeing the flower buds on the plum branches beginning to swell.
  • Working out a kink in my shoulder I woke up with.
  • Microwave heat packs.
  • Remembering how good it feels to be able to get into the car and go when I want to. I’m conservative about my car journeys, but it’s a when-I-want-to thing. Like when my body is cooperating and moving around that day.
  • Small things like lichen fruits, and moss flowers, and dust particles.
  • Dusting my laughing Buddha because his bald pate had grown enough beggar’s velvet to look like hair.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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