Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Orgulous

I learned a new word today: “orgulous”.  It is an adjective meaning haughty, proud, ostentatious, disdainful.  Based on this I took some pictures and wrote:


A Haiku:

Nasturtiums flaunt
brash colors across my yard
–Jealous salvias.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ljg (c) 2019

 

 

 

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/rdp-wednesday-orgulous/


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Urban Garden Log #4: A New Venture

Red Pepper Bug Deterrent

A former rector of my church, many years ago, had a vision of ripping up the manicured lawn on the church campus and planting a garden to provide fresh produce for a local food pantry that serves the poor of our community.  This garden came to be and has been an on-going venture for many years.  The rector went on to other endeavors and left the garden in the hands of the congregation.

This morning I joined the group that tends the garden.  I am an amateur:   I know nothing more about gardening except that you need good light, healthy soil, the right amount of water and a lot of energy. The garden manager, who (in her own words) has “a passion for the earth”, is patient and eager to teach individuals like me.  What I learn, I plan to implement in my own garden.

So I had my first lesson today: using a natural homemade concoction made of habanero peppers to keep unwanted critters away from the baby plants.  For nearly two hours I spritzed and sprayed all manner of vegetable seedlings with red pepper pest deterrent.  Other volunteers were working on harvesting seeds for future planting while others were spreading compost, weeding and watering. It was truly a community effort. Another marvel was the diversity of the group.  Women, men, and children of all shades and hues were working together in harmony to heal the planet and help the poor.

You can’t do church any better than that in my opinion.

ljg 2019


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Qigong in the Garden

The work in the garden continues.   Rosemary plants are in the ground, with English lavender and herbs that survived the winter being readied for planting. The orange tree is white with blossoms, and a 60-year-old lemon tree is still bearing fruit.  The other corner of the yard is still a weed jungle, but that will come to an end soon. This morning was so lovely that I decided to do a morning qigong  exercise in the middle of it.

 

And here is an example of the type of qigong that I do:

 

ljg 2019


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Wandering

I recently read Keri Smith’s book The Wander Society, another of countless books on how to jump start the creative process. The author promotes the practice of “wandering” through the world, both literally and figuratively, and learning to mindfully observe what is discovered.  The book’s description at the Amazon website describes “…the act of wandering, or unplanned exploring, as a way of life.” At Goodreads I gave the book only 3 stars simply because this is not an original notion. That criticism being made, I quickly realized that I have been negligent in this very form of creative self-care.

It has been raining quite regularly for many weeks, but this morning the clouds cleared and the sun broke through. So I grabbed my camera, hopped in my car and began to wander.  I ended up being entertained by a pair of white rabbits in a vegetable garden, joining a gathering of members of a bread baking guild as they made pizza in a wood-burning oven, roamed around the outside and inside of an old church, paused for a few minutes in a Zen meditation room, drove through a university, stopped at a library, and came home to a steaming bowl of home-made beef stew.

I visually documented my wandering.  Here are a few of my images:

ljgloyd (c) 2019


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Shinrin-Yoku, the Practice of Forest-Bathing

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “tree-hugger.”  You know that type of person I mean:  those folks who seem to get a high whenever they go hiking in the woods, those nature lovers who sit and meditate in groves of trees. We should not laugh. These people have long known what hard science is now saying is true:  that spending time in a natural setting with lots of trees reduces stress and acts as a preventative to some diseases.  The Japanese call it Shinrin-yoku, or “Forest Bathing”.  This therapeutic practice was developed in Japan in the 1980’s and is now trending elsewhere. The list of health benefits is impressive.

I live in an arid area where it takes hours to drive to anywhere with a forest.  So I am making due with finding local botanical gardens and parks with a few big trees.  Yesterday, for example, I walked down to a city park near my home, found a bench, activated a meditation app on my device, and did some mindful breathing in the shade of several giant sycamores and stone pines.  Call me a tree-hugger if you must, but I think I’m on to something good here and I intend to keep it up.

 

ljgloyd (c) 2018

 

 

 


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Knowledge of the Ancients

I remember that once, when I was very young, I had an earache and a family member blew cigarette smoke in my ear to alleviate the pain. I don’t remember if it worked or not. In retrospect, this act seems bizarre,  and I am somewhat skeptical of its effectiveness. I also remember that whenever someone in the family had severe body aches, a liberal quantity of foul-smelling “liniment” was applied to that person. Since I don’t recollect ever seeing a television ad for this product, I did a little research and found out that “liniment” is the name of any herbal infusion or tincture used as a topical remedy for pain.

No, we did not live in some remote cabin in the woods. We lived in the suburbs. And we did take regular medicines, and, as needed, we did go to medical doctors. Nevertheless, these quirky folk remedies occasionally were employed.

More recently, an older family member mentioned that a great-grandfather of mine did “water-witching”. This is the act of finding water using dowsing rods. Another family member said that was nonsense, that my great-grandfather was not a dowser, but had in fact only hired a dowser to find a place to sink a well — which I guess was not nonsense.

Anyway, my point in mentioning all this is that there was a time when such folk ways were the norm. No one thought they were “paranormal,” “New Age,” “magickal,” “earth-based,” “of the devil” or “alternative.” Folk-ways were a part of a world view that for the people of the time were normal and effective.  It was just the way things were.

As a city girl, born and raised, I have been for the most part cut off from this heritage. I’m never going to need to dowse for water (I’ll call a plumber) or have someone blow smoke in my ear (I’ll take an antibiotic). But I can see the benefit of returning to the use herbs, healthy food, exercise and fresh air to maintain good health. I can see the wisdom of joining the ancient folk medicines of Europe and Indigenous America with that of traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic health practices.  They are cheaper and gentler on the body in many cases–though I will still go to the hospital if I feel like I am having a heart-attack.

These ancient ways were typically handed down from mothers to daughters, or from sages to their students. Typically the teachers would find the most teachable student in the family and bestow this knowledge to the next generation.

Maybe my vague recollections of these ancient practices and my current study and application of these practices is a way in which this knowledge is being bestowed upon me.

Postscript:  After I wrote this, I found this Ted Talk.  The scholar echoes what I am trying to say here:.

 

ljgloyd (c) 2018