Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Haibun: Wandering

There is an expression that suggests when a person is being “lead down the garden path” that she is being deceived.  I do not know who first postulated this idea, but I do know there was once a wizard who said, “all who wander are not lost”.  I would rather wander down the garden path with Gandalf anytime.

Winter rains, cool nights
Green grass, red bark, orange boughs—
A compost pile looms

Ljgloyd 2020

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/rdp-sunday-wander/

 


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A Small Corner in My Realm

I sometimes feel overwhelmed at the enormity of what we must do to save this planet. As fires rage and oceans rise, as lands become barren and the path we walk along the edge of extinction crumbles away before us, I still feel hope. I am one simple woman. What can I do? I will take my one small corner of green that I am blessed to steward and plant flowers. Sounds silly and naive? Tell that to mourning doves who graze in my garden and the hummingbirds who hover about, and the bees who come looking for my lavender and rosemary. And when I plant milkweed and borage this spring, I hope the butterflies will come. That is what I am doing. Even if all I had was an apartment balcony, I would put out a pot of flowers to feed a passing pollinator. Before I start though, I need to show a little humility and perhaps, to use an old fashioned term, a little repentance for my part in damaging the planet.  Then I will put on my gardening gloves and get to work– sowing one tiny seed at a time. 

 

ljgloyd 2020

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/rdp-sunday-realm/


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Casting My Bread

The world is a mess. That’s an understatement, to be sure. Our problems are so overwhelming that it might be easy to fall into despair and think there’s not anything that can be done to fix things. The good news is that though none of us can fix everything in the world, we each can repair our small corner of it and be confident that it does make a difference.

There is an old saying that if you cast your bread upon the waters, it will come back to you many times over. In other words, I fervidly believe that if each of us do good in this world in some small seemingly insignificant way, then the effects are cumulative and magnified, and the results reach places we could never have imagined.

So where do I find my corner in this messed up world? I am finding mine in a garden. If you have followed me for a while, you know that I volunteer in a community garden that grows food for a local pantry that distributes to those in need. My creaky old knees don’t allow me to do a lot of heavy lifting or digging, but I can harvest, pull weeds, and water.

This work in a community setting has had an effect in my personal realm.   I am eating more healthfully by adopting a more plant-based diet. No, I have not become a vegan —yet— but relying more on plants for food is better for the environment.

Is my working in the garden going to eliminate hunger and poverty?  Well, at least for one person or two it may. Is my not eating meat going to end the global climate crisis?  No, but it may lead to one less cow emitting methane to the atmosphere– which might put a tiny, tiny dent in it.

Call me Pollyanna-ish, but inaction on my part is not an option for me. I am going to keep casting that bread.

LJG 2019

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/09/09/rdp-monday-fervid/

 

 


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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