On Today’s Walk: Perspective

Lately, I’ve been pretty exhausted by my job and things. Stuff. Events. Tasks. Overthinking. Worry.

Normally I work Tuesday evenings. But I had some vacation time to use, so I’m able to blog instead. I couldn’t have better timed my ask for random hours off. Gorgeous evening for walking and trying to focus on the miracle that is every day nature.

Amazing how life can look so different if you change your vantage point. Perspective is a heck of a thing.


Lily


My Short Story Published

It’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been working a lot. But I’m popping with some fun news.

My short story, “Efficiency Leads to Fulfillment,” is published in the summer edition of The First Line. If you look at their site, that’s volume 22, number 2. Print copies of the issue can be ordered for $6, or a pdf is available for $3.

Or if you want to wait a couple of years until my contract with them expires, you might be able to read it for free.

On Today’s Bike Ride: Tagging Along to the Big Tree

Poor Frieda was left at home when I went out to ride today. My husband makes a weekly bicycle pilgrimage to what locals call the Big Tree. Today, I invited myself along. He dusted off our 30-year-old Burley tandem, Tandy, and we took it. It’s the only way I can keep up with him.

We’ve nearly sold good old Tandy a time or two, and she’s spent long periods of time in storage. I’m glad we still have her, though.

Here’s the Big Tree, a 400-year-old (more or less) bur oak at McBaine, Missouri.

The tree is so big, it’s hard to get a photo of the whole thing.

Here’s Tandy:

Graffiti…grrr.

Spouse included for scale in this one.

The hubs is 5′ 10″. The tree is around 90 ft tall.

Some close-up photos of tree parts:

Tree
I always feel like someone’s watching me.

Tree leaves
Sunlit canopy.

Tree bark
Treebeard

Tree roots
Gnarly toes

Think about it. This tree was here long before George Washington was born. I imagine it’s seen some things.

On Today’s Walk: Love and the Quotes You Read Along the Way


Strolling about the neighborhood today, I ran across the above sign in someone’s yard, a quote from one of my favorite authors, Ursula K. Le Guin:

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”

This is from her novel, The Lathe of Heaven. I know I read it many years ago, but I forget a lot a the details. What I remember is that the main character is a man whose sleeping dreams change reality. But nobody else seems to notice.

This quote, though. It’s so true about the nature of love. It requires intention. There are other sayings along the same line that I’ve found to be true as I go through life. Here’s one: love is a verb. Don’t recall where I read that, but yes. It’s not a vague warm glow, it’s got to be active to have any positive effect.

Here’s another: Love is a choice. You choose how to treat someone. There might or might not be a pleasant emotional feeling while doing so. But the more you make that choice, the more likely you are to develop a pleasant feeling about it. At least, that’s my experience.

Actively choosing to find ways to reach out to our neighbors while we’re all separated is love manifested.

On Today’s Walk: All Shall Be Pandemic

A friend recently asked on Facebook, “What did we even think about before COVID-19?” What indeed? I’m trying to remember. Baseball, I guess.

I’m doing an okay job most days keeping my equilibrium, but it’s impossible not to ruminate on coronavirus when it’s influencing every facet of life. All shall be pandemic, and all shall be pandemic and all manner of things shall be pandemic. That’s how it feels at times. Anything and everything I encounter is now viewed in the context of one particular disease, even when I get a long walk on a very nice morning.

I mean… Normally, I would pick up trash, but hard pass this time.

I don’t play the lottery, but it’s when times are most uncertain that I’m tempted to. Someone didn’t win.

There’s something more dangerous than climbing.

I feel bad for families with young children who don’t have yards.

But it’s not all complete despair. This is part of a mural along the MKT Trail.

I will try to remember this.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” — Julian of Norwich.

Poem: Within Fire

I read a poetry prompt somewhere that suggested looking at a poem you like by someone else and using the first word from each line as the last word in a poem of your own on a different topic.

I chose “My Mama Moved Among the Days” by Lucille Clifton.

Here’s my poem:

Within Fire

Within fire I discovered my
own ash. My fear reduced me to
a sapless stump that seemed

resigned to its destruction, seemed
sprouted with the knowledge of the pain it
was destined for. Until a burn. Then
I healed right
up. Scarred but upright.

On Today’s Walk: Local History

Since nearby nature trails all seem to be crowded enough to make physical distancing a challenge, I’ve been sticking to city streets and sidewalks. Today’s walk had an education theme, as I decided to traverse a portion of Columbia, Missouri’s African American History Trail. I did not make it to all 37 sites, but I found a few of them. Maybe I can make it a project to visit all of them before my workplace opens again.

Historic, and recently restored Blind Boone Home.

Blind Boone House, Columbia, MO

The rest of my photos from the walk are just informational markers. But it’s interesting information.



Here’s an article about the building from 2017.