Widening Our Circle of Compassion

While this blog is not political in nature, I cannot in good conscience ignore current events in the United States.  As each of us looks individually for answers to the problems faced by all of us as a nation, please consider the words of this great man:

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

 
~Albert Einstein

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

Thank you.

Is it time to unravel?

“Differences simply act as a yarn of curiosity unraveling until we get to the other side.”

~Ciore Taylor, The Conversation Starts Here: A Perspective of Self, Culture, and the American Society

 

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

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A variety of sheep grazing peacefully together in a Minnesota country field.

Nature Soothes…

“If you reconnect with nature and the wilderness you will not only find the meaning of life but you will experience what it means to be truly alive.”

~ Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

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When news of the day and troubles in the world start to get me down, I return to nature to remember the many blessings that still exist all around me.  This year I have had the joy of watching a pair of Eastern Bluebirds set up house on my property.  Watching them has been a delight!

Feeding the Birds

“I don’t feed the birds because they need me;  I feed the birds because I need them.”

~ Kathi Hutton

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

AS4A5552-276-1(Purple finch and pine siskin at my feeder.)

I ran across today’s quote while perusing the site goodreads.com.  According to the site, Ms. Hutton has not written any books and there was little else listed about her.  I wanted to use her quote, however, because it was encouraging for me to know that someone else in the world feels like I do about feeding the birds.

The natural world has so much to offer.

A Rhododendron for Minnesota

“The flower is the poetry of reproduction.  It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.”

~Jean Giradoux (1882-1944) French playwright, novelist, and diplomat

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The selection of perennial plants for a Minnesota garden can prove a challenge. Gardeners must always keep in mind that plants will have to survive the cold of our winters. Every spring when my P.J.M. Rhododendron blooms again my heart does a little dance. It is a welcome reminder of the warmer and more colorful days ahead.

Bright Ice

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

~Desmond Tutu (1931- ) South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop

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Here are chunks of ice melting at the edge of a local pond.  I have often enjoyed the way the sunshine plays with both the water and the ice at the end of winter.  To me, the color and textures can be similar to the bright shine of diamonds.

Spring is almost here.  Yay!

Stop and See the Flowers

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

~Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Anti-war activist and Indian nationalist

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Visiting a local conservatory can be a welcome and uplifting break from the days of winter that are cold and drab.  This was taken at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory located in Como Park of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

That Cycle of Life

“I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”

~Andrew Wyeth, (1917-2009) American artist

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This place currently covered by a blanket of snow looks so still and quiet.  Once spring arrives, however, the ice will melt to free the water in the pond.  The trees will blossom, the birds will arrive to nest, and color will return.  Life will begin anew.

Warm Reminder

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn come after night, and the spring after the winter.”

~Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

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Sometimes the beauty of warmer days is the reminder that I need to tolerate the cold of winter.  This is a Siberian Iris that grew in my garden last June.  May it bring joy to the hearts of all of you!

Wild Country Needed

“We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.”

~Wallace Stegner (American writer, historian, and environmentalist), 1960, from a letter written to the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission

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Clouds are Fickle

“The sky and the sun are always there. It’s the clouds that come and go.”

~Rachel Joyce, British author

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There are aspects to nature that bring me comfort, like knowing the sun will rise each morning regardless of anything that happens the day before.  It is entirely up to me whether I choose to focus upon the clouds that  occasionally appear.

A Conscious Choice

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“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”

~Sarah Ban Breathnach, Author of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy (first published in 1995)

Birds Matter

“Birds are important because they keep systems in balance: they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carcasses and recycle nutrients back into the earth. But they also feed our spirits, marking for us the passage of the seasons, moving us to create art and poetry, inspiring us to flight and reminding us that we are not only on, but of, this earth.”

~Melanie Driscoll, Director of bird conservation for the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Flyway

White-Throated Sparrow
White-Throated Sparrow