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Simplicity

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There is a kind of simplicity that is undesirable:
It’s the simple minded demand that all situations, no matter how complex they ar, be addressed with simple explanations and solutions.  “Don’t bother me with the facts,” such a person says.  “I don’t care about the details; they only confuse me.”  The lack of insight and engagement is both mind boggling and burdensome.

Soundbites and the opinions of talk show hosts will suffice for these shallow, unwise ones.  To think for themselves would probably give them a headache!

Then there is a simplicity that is beautiful and noble.
It is often quiet and unassuming; bathed in thought and prayer.
People who practice this lack of complication enjoy the good things of life; yet they are not in pursuit of prestige or extravagance.  A beautiful sunset delights them.  Time spent with family and friends is priceless.
One hallmark of such individuals is astuteness.  These ones think with both sides of their brains.  They question, explore and research; never settling for the status quo.  If you were to visit their homes, you would find shelves full of books, art and music in every room, along with creative endeavors.  They might not have the most uncluttered place you’ve ever seen.  That’s because they are busy with thought, creation and relationships.
Another quality is the very high amount of respect and honor these people have for the world:  Their fellow humans, animals, the environment, principles such as decency and generosity.
This simplicity is a paradox, filled with all shades of reality and nuance.
To know people who live this life is to be inspired and encouraged.
How very different these two kinds of simplicity are!  One word; opposite meanings.
That really describes our world, doesn’t it?  The Earth and her inhabitants are concentric systems, interwoven into complex patterns and relationships; yet there is a simple matter of watching, listening, tasting, feeling, smelling, enjoying and caring for all that is around us.

May you discover and appreciate the lovely, noble sort of simplicity that revives and nurtures you.

Spring Fever

spring_fever___feel_the_nature_by_manu34-d65zebwIt got up to 52 degrees F today.  I seriously considered going out to do some yard work.  If this were mid October or so and it reached the same mark on the thermometer, I would say it’s too cold to work outside.  The difference?  Spring fever.  True, 52 is warm, compared to say 21.  It’s also quite chilly after being bathed in 90+ degree heat.  But there’s more to spring fever than the change in weather.

There’s this urge to dig into the warming soil and inhale that wonderful smell.  Then, there are the fragrances of spring:  Blossoms of all sorts, freshly mowed lawns and rain washed air.  All of this is intensified by the desire to plant seeds and starts; then nurture them until they produce delicious yummies…or beautiful flowers.

The only cure for spring fever is to get outside.  Warm sun, fresh air, some hard work and accomplishment will surely bring improvement to the most avid gardener.

Happy planting, all.

Writer’s Block

It seems  that there are so many fresh thoughts and ideas coming into my head;
So much new information:  News items, results of studies and research…
Yet the things that are solid enough to put on paper – or computer – seem old and stale.

The new things are like trying to catch clouds
Or hold the current of a river still long enough to be examined and described.
Does it always have to be that the newborns of life are soft and pliable?
But then, that is part of their loveliness.

Hopes, dreams, possibilities:
All like children yet to be conceived!
O that I will be able to hold some long enough to write about them!

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“Great Happiness” is a Yellow Lab

WP_20170219_002Allow me to introduce Alissa.

Among other things, her name means, “Great happiness.”

She is almost 16 weeks of age now and already has a number of commands under her belt.

She is a very sunny little girl with that sweet Labrador demeaner.  Even when she is being a bit of a dickens, she is cute.

I think she’ll be a big girl:  She was 18 pounds at 10 weeks of age and has doubled in size since then.  Her vet says he thinks she’ll be somewhere in the 60-70 pound range.

It is hard for me to imagine that she’ll ever be anything other than a puppy.

Felicia

wp_20160811_005-1This is Felicia.
She is a black lab/border collie mix, about 13 months old now.

I adopted this little lady from the Humane Association’s animal shelter…
When I first met her, all she could do was cower.  Once she got through that, she became a bit aggressive, mostly from severe anxiety disorder.

Felicia has made good progress:  During her first month in my home, she was afraid of everything:  An unexpected noise, furniture, the kitchen garbage can…  Now she is much more relaxed in that regard.

She still has a number of challenges:  Separation and stranger anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, problems with aggression.  Her rehabilitation plan includes medication, behavior management, calming coats, essential oils, a lot of patience and love.  When she is behaving, Felicia is a nice little dog.  I say she’s like “the little girl who had a curl right in the middle of her forehead…”

When Felicia was still at the shelter, I was told that she was brought in by people who simply didn’t do anything with her siblings and her, so they are timid.  Hmmmmm, I don’t know that I buy the story.  Felicia cowers at any hand movement that could look like she might be hit.  She also freaks out if I try to dry her off with a towel and she is very protective of her hind quarters.

As for the separation anxiety, it turns out that shelter dogs often have this problem.  It makes sense:  Imagine that you are relaxing at home; then one day, you are taken to a strange place and put into a cage.  Nothing is familiar; no one comes back for you.
If I had known then what I do now, I’m not sure I would have adopted this little dynamo.  She truly is a handful.  It is something to consider when getting acquainted with a shelter dog.

Now that Felicia has been here for almost six months and I know her, I’m glad to keep her and do the work it takes for her to be well.  I really want Felicia to succeed.  None of the alternatives are all right with me:  Take her back to the shelter?  No.  She would be destroyed by that.  Euthanize her?  No.  She has too much promise for that… Besides, now that she has found a place in my heart, I would miss her.

I have been told that it takes several months to rehabilitate an animal that has been abandoned or abused.  I get encouragement from this:  There is hope for Felicia.

Community

o-talking-to-kids-about-race-facebookIf you read through my blogs, it might become evident that I have a passion for building community.  Strong towns and neighborhoods are crucial for our well being, especially now, when prejudice, threat of deportation and the possibility of having vital services cut loom so darkly.  That has inspired the following:

Coming together as citizens;
Overcoming differences and fear;
Making friends out of strangers
Moves us to be more clear:
Unity builds strength and safety;
No one can bully us then.
It truly is impossible
To turn against the one
You have come to know and love as a friend.