Clouds and Storms and Summer Peace

Thunder clouds. When I lived on the West Coast, I missed them. Thunder storms are so rare there, and when they have them they’re more grumbly than fierce.

They’re full of danger, I know that. Lightning starts fires. Right now, there are fires all over the Plains.

But the drama is captivating. The Winds and the Rains come, and if you’re lucky, they blow away the hot humid air that is their harbinger.

There’s something incredible about sitting on a porch deep enough to shelter you, watching a storm blow through.

My mother was an artist. She painted landscapes. For years there were patches of deep color on her paintings that I didn’t understand. And then I was driving in Vermont one day, and I saw what she saw. And now I can see it everywhere, but before then I couldn’t understand.

We need to look at clouds from many different angles, both sides as we’re reminded in the song… Look at them from airplanes, look at them from the ground, look at them from their shadows. That’s how we need to look at Peace, exhaustively, but with great delight! And perhaps with a great deal of wariness. Peace will bring great changes. I like the the possibilities of Peace much more than those of war. There are war clouds on the horizon. It frightens me.

The Peace of Stoop Sitting

When I moved to NY in 1975 (oh, it seems so long ago), air conditioning was not as common as it is today, nor as effective. It was not infrequent that cities had brown outs in hot steamy weather because AC used so much electricity.

People had elaborate systems for opening and closing their windows and blinds to minimize the effect of the heat and sun.

Luxury high rises had AC… but brownstones and, um, less luxurious high rises, did not. So when the evening came, and the sun was safely in New Jersey, behind the West-side Buildings and Jersey skyscrapers, when dinner was over and the dishes washed, people came out and breathed slightly cooler air together. You took your chair down to the stoop.

The groups swelled and narrow by turn as people went up to put the children to bed and came back down.

And all the while people talked about the day, their families, the state of the nation, and of course, the weather. You knew your neighbors. You made Peace. Apartment houses were extended families, you wanted things to be smooth as possible between you. Walls were thin. You knew a lot about each other’s lives anyway. Better to keep things quiet. and everyone worked hard anyway.

So you made Peace. Many of the things that used to throw us into conversation and community are gone. We have to create those opportunities. The world does better when we do.

Peace of the Summer to you, my friends. May you seek it, may you find it, may you create it!

Flags, Patriots, and a Dedication to Peace

I think many more Americans are considering what it means to be a citizen and a patriot this year than in years past. What does it mean to be an American? What is America? And how do we contribute? What do you have to offer your country?

It’s a shame we weren’t reflecting harder on this earlier. But here we are.

Happy Fourth of July. This is our home. We’re working to make certain that you are so welcome here.  I know it doesn’t seem that way… and we’ve started too late. But we are working. We haven’t, as we like to say here in PA, redded up as well as we might, but we’re working on it… promise.

All of us are needed to make Peace a reality.


Choices for Peace

Life seems to be largely about choices. I believe we’ve gotten lax about them in this country. We don’t always bother to explore consequences and if we do, we say oh, just this once…

But that’s something our brain learns… just this once becomes the default setting.

It’s not that there aren’t wonderful surprises, but mostly Peace is built on a lot of small, deliberate choices. May we choose wisely… The consequence we seek is Peace.

Pause in Peace

I don’t do this often enough. I suspect you don’t either.

I don’t go outside and just sit in the beauty. It’s important to do that occasionally.

To breathe in the Beauty of the Earth and its Peace.

To breathe in the Quiet and its calm.

To still our souls and minds so we can hear our thoughts and emotions.

To recognize Peace and to sink into it.

Peace be with you.

In Search of Peace and Singing Goats

Birds gotta fly, goats gotta sing…

E.G. took a couple of these pictures, so apparently nosy goats try all sorts of ways to figure out what that silver thing is that result in pictures that look like the goat is a 40s crooner! And now for mellow tones of…

Goats are friendly, pushy folk to have around you… and they’re full of Love.

E.G. Kight is going to take us to some interesting places this month, beautiful parts of the US… and there will be a couple out of season shots…

It’s helpful to have things in our life that give us simple joy… and that, when pictured, give others the same spontaneous joy and laughter. Goofy goats are among those things.

Let’s keep finding the commonalities, in a world that wants us to be at odds with each other!

Peace can some times be encouraged by the shared laughter at goofy (crooning) goats. We need to encourage Peace every way we can. The goats don’t need any encouragement. Thanks for the tune, Tiny Tim!

The Moon and Me and You and Peace

The Moon is beautiful, but she’s far more powerful than we give her credit for being. She moves the tides, among other things.

I like that her light is softer and allows us to see things differently than we see them in the sun.

But what i really love about it is how it connects us. My dear friend in Sweden who took this pic and I look at the same Moon when she comes up at our houses. People I don’t know, all over the world, look at the same Moon.

The Moon fills me with Peace, and it fills me with Peace that she gently shines on all of us.

Bright and Bold Summer Peace!

Summer is filled with color. Gardens explode with it. Tables are laden with it. Our clothing is often more vibrant. Skies are blue, grass is green, bodies of water are glistening. And we wear sunglasses so the Sun doesn’t hurt our eyes with its strong rays.

Every season brings something different, something special to Peace. Summer stands for outward manifestations. Have a party, throw a protest. Go OUT and change the world. Pay attention to what Summer is saying.

The color shows us the way to make Peace in the Summer!

Fleeting Impressions; Lasting Peace

Lorraine and I have walked a lot of shores together. I think this is the two of us at the Atlantic Ocean last Autumn. There are lots of shores I’ve walked on my own or with other sweet family and friends.

I lived at the beach for a summer. I ran every morning along the shore and walked several times a day. Heaven.

But the evidence of those walks was/is immediately erased. Footprints in the sand are so lovely and so temporary. So you have to do it again — knowing it will be erased again.

Which led me to remember that not all the impressions we make are so easily erased. We should think carefully about our impressions. Yes, my darlings, we must think carefully before we speak/act.

Because what we’re aiming for is lasting Peace. So think carefully, act appropriately, but keep taking those lovely (impermanent) walks along shores… Our job is to make and to receive Peace. Sand walking by the water gives me Peace.