As weak as I was feeling today, I had to get outside some. After all, it’s getting to be spring! So, I dragged myself around the property while the dogs played.
They love it when it’s warm and windy, especially when they have water to splash in. Alfred and Carlton, the two white dogs, both enjoyed the front pond.
Heck, even big ole Harvey got some wading in, and he’s the one who usually gives up after five minutes of frolic and goes to sit by the front door. He was as frisky as the rest of the gang!
Vlassic could not resist bothering the cows, but he was easily distracted by going to the other side of the driveway, where I had to check to be sure our new spring was still flowing.
For some reason, this little hole in the ground with water gushing out of it makes me really happy. It’s such a positive change, and it’s providing water for the birds and wildlife.
Now that water has been flowing for a few months, water plants are growing in the spring, and I’m excited to see what shows up between now and when everything dries up (as I’m sure it will, given our climate).
I ended my trudge around our field by watching Penney, who’s our current water dog, as she checked out all the water sources. She loves the stream, and I loved seeing willow leaves sprouting.
The walk made me tired, so I napped the rest of the afternoon. The side effects are weird, such as burning ears. I guess it’s flu-like symptoms. My immune system is kicking in! And damp Penney kept me cool until cows showed up and got the dogs into bark mode.
Since my sister got the one-shot vaccination yesterday, we will be fully protected at the same time. I can’t wait to go to the Bistro for dinner again!
Hey! Thanks to all of you who sympathized with my being so hopeless and sad right now. You all rightly pointed out that many things have led to our collective urge to just sit and stare ahead. There’s even astrological reasoning! This afternoon, Sara postulated that because we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel, all the stuff we’ve been holding in has started to leak out. Yeah.
Today I was getting a bit concerned about myself. I kept having trouble concentrating, and somehow managed to leave Austin late. Partly I was distracted by welcome signs of life coming back.
I enjoyed lots of redbud trees and pear trees. I’m so glad they made it. And the first thing I spotted when I got to the ranch was an Indian paintbrush!
I’d heard bluebonnets are blooming at last, but didn’t spot them until I got to the hill leading down to Walker’s Creek, where they are beautiful every year.
I was still pretty squirrelly when I got to the ranch. I was nervous about getting my second COVID vaccine, so I forgot my vaccination card and panicked because I couldn’t find my paperwork. Uh, it was in the car. Then I drove off, leaving a can of drink on the trunk. That’s gonna make a mess when I open it, I’m sure.
But! I got to the vaccine place! Turns out I was supposed to be there yesterday. But, they let me in. The shot didn’t hurt, and so far I have little pain. Maybe I got all my reactions over with last month.
The other part of the day that made me feel supported and hopeful was that I went to the drugstore in Cameron to pick up my precious drugs, and got to see Mandi at her new job as a pharmacy assistant. Yes! After we had to let her go, she made good use of the time and got her certificate back. See, some people DO use their unemployment to get training and get a job. I’m so proud of her and will hug her in two weeks.
Once I got home, I took a nap and felt fine feeding horses. We had to give them the nastiest wormer of the series we are giving this spring. Both Apache and Lakota made some sad faces and rubbed their faces on the ground. Tomorrow if I’m not having reactions we will reward them with grooming and riding. They are shedding big time. I need it, so I hope I feel less scattered and more centered.
Little things like signs of spring and the promise of future hugs help. But knowing I’m not alone and have wonderful, supportive friends everywhere to feel a sense of community with is the best. Sincere thanks to all. We’re in this together. That’s helping me know I can crawl out of this hole!
Sure, the UU Lent word for today is anticipation, because it’s the traditional day when Christians anticipate the culmination of the passion/story/tradition of Easter. But really, who isn’t anticipating a lessening of the very necessary restrictions we are dealing with right now? More on that later.
First, it’s still spring. Resurrection is all around us. Here in Cameron, lilies are blooming everywhere, butterflies are making their appearance, and the birds and bees are everywhere (especially when I’m trying to drink a beverage on the new patio break area we made).
I keep coming back to it, but anticipation of the familiar, regular, slow and sure changing of the seasons has been really helpful to me the past month or two. Be sure to look out and see what’s changing outside your window – it can help.
What ARE We Anticipating?
I’ve been idly wondering (okay, maybe not so idly wondering) what’s coming up in the next few months. This morning I read two articles that hit me like a big ole brick wall from across the street at the Pope Residence.
First, Kathleen shared this article from the Houston Chronicle about the phases of coping with the pandemic. Gerald Parker says we’re in Phase 2, mitigation, but there are two more phases to come that are just different kinds of mitigation. Next will be containment, where we start things back up a bit, but remain cautious, since we will not yet have a vaccine, but hopefully will have better treatment. We will be much more careful about sanitation and isolating sick people
Once there is a vaccine for people who believe in such things, the virus will be much less prevalent, but never go away, just like the flu that comes every year and kills people. That will be the new normal, according to Parker, anyway.
I thought it was a little discouraging, but my friend Jean, who has a background in such things, has another perspective:
Actually, it is kind of encouraging. We’ve been executing a plan for this and it’s on schedule. I may not like it, but this contingency has been planned for, some of the problems we are seeing were recognized as such but not acted on (not surprising by the way — I was responsible for our organization’s shelter in place plan before I retired, and there were things I knew we weren’t ready for because it was fiscally not feasible to do), but our national strategy is working. Had we not had a workable plan for this, we would be in a far worse place now.
I’m glad to read this other perspective. It makes me feel like we’re all helping.
Next, let’s talk about spin. Here’s an article that has been shared all over my Facebook today, which pessimistically predicts that as soon as we are all out of our homes and those extremely creepy commercials about how companies love us in our confinement are over, the advertising/marketing engine will gear up to try to get us to forget all this ever happened. Talk about Orwellian dystopia coming to life. Argh.
The author, Julio Vincent Gambuto, calls it the ultimate gaslighting (and let me tell you, as someone who experiences it often, I do NOT like gaslighting). He predicts we’ll be hearing how all the things we are directly experiencing right now will be minimized. This gives me the shivers. I am not sure this will actually happen to the extent Gambuto claims it will (after all, the article is on Medium.com, which does not fact check), but now that I know about the possibility, I’ll be anticipating it and keep my eyes and ears open for marketing gaslighting.
Well, let’s change the subject. I anticipate the end of UU Lent tomorrow. I’ll have to think of my own topics! Don’t worry. I can do it.
By the way, I said I’d write about something today, but I decided not to, since it had to do with corporate practices, and I currently work for a corporation. I’ll follow their social media guidelines like a good corporate citizen and go paint, scrape, and clean some more.
It’s such a sunny, clear morning that the fog and gloom of the last week or so seems a distant memory. It’s got me thinking.
I’m thinking and hoping the glorious sunset that I got to enjoy with the Austin neighbors seems to signal that maybe I and all my associates can start to crawl out of their holes, and rise, like Persephone, from the darkness. It’s a little late, but I have hope today. If kale can grow in the middle of the messy garden at the ranch, I can deal with the mess in my life.
I’m thinking of the sad person on my friends’s blog yesterday. We’ll probably never know how much help we were, but I was touched by the kind words fellow blog readers sent their way. At least a whole lot of positive energy came that person’s way…and I think energy like that can’t hurt.
I think a lot of the energy around me that is so sad has to do with being tired: me, my family, my friends, my cuber-community. I’m a lot better after my day off on Sunday. My poor friend at work was so exhausted from traveling to the other side of the world and getting flu that she turned blue and started shaking. ARGH. “Just exhaustion” is still exhaustion!
In a total aside, guess who was really thrilled to get to Austin? This dapper guy, along with his photo-bombing buddy in the corner. He later got to destroy the squeaker in his tuxedo.
Keep thinking and wondering. New life and new adventures always await. Look at the very early Indian Paintbrush blossom I found on my walk last Sunday. It’s a little bedraggled, since its brethren are still sprouting up, but the little bursts of orange on the side of the road were just what I needed to see.
Maybe the colors will keep getting brighter as the sun and rain wake up all the wildflowers and bring the middle of Texas back to its yearly celebration of pollination and abundance. I think so.
My old friend Kathy D. reminded me that the pansies of winter always keep me going (even though I didn’t have any real ones this year). I just have to look to see that magic is everywhere and it’s not all bad. That’s just me, though, after all my years of positive thinking training.
Yep, I get it that it’s sometimes harder than others, and for people dealing with depression it’s worse. I do NOT want to be one of those people spewing forth platitudes like “just smile” or whatever. If it’s not in you, don’t. But DO keep putting one foot in front of the other and at least nod to the beauty you pass by, so you can enjoy it later.
Let’s stick together and see what we think about this spring. Change is in the air. We may NEED to stick together!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, the day when those of us with Irish ancestors (or Irish children or both) celebrate their heritage. This day always coincides with the part of the Texas spring when it’s so green that it almost hurts your eyes.
Each year I try to burn the spring green into my brain, to carry me through parched brown summers.
So, yesterday, when the late afternoon light was especially suited to enhancing the green of spring, I took many photos. Some were interesting. Others breathtaking. I hope you enjoy the Hermits’ Rest at its greenest.
The Hermits Creeklet with budding willows and dewberries.
In many parts of the US, Easter-time is when spring is celebrated. Here in Texas, the spring new growth starts around the beginning of February, at a time traditionally called Imbolc or Candlemas (or in US folk culture, Groundhog Day).
It’s also the day sacred to St. Bridget or the goddess Brighid, depending on your tradition. She’s always been my favorite, since not only is she the Mother Goddess of Ireland, but she protects the hearth, the home, spinning and weaving, and fire! That’s why there is an “eternal flame” in Kildare, Ireland in her honor.
I was pretty thrilled to find a goddess who cares for all the things I care so deeply about, so I’ve always loved her. Back when I got to go to Ireland often, I visited her sacred well and cathedral many times. If you’re ever in Kildare town, check it out.
Here, though, I celebrate Imbolc by giving thanks to all the little plants and flowers that have kept me going through the winter (the very damp winter this year!). The little bluets are a real favorite, as is the chickweed I shared earlier in the week.
I’m glad I met Monique Reed, my botanist friend, because when she came to inventory plants on the ranch last year, she showed me how many wonderful tiny plants there are here at the Hermits’ Rest; you just have to look for them.
Looking at the tiny blossoms, the tiny berries, and all the plants that keep on going through the winter reminds me that we, too, have to keep on going through the dark periods, and just keep looking toward the light. That’s what the Imbolc season tells us, too. Spring is coming. Keep looking at the light and stay warm (yes, even those of you in the Polar Vortex right now!).
If you want your own statue of Brigit or Brigid or however you want to spel it, I recommend you visit my friend Liana’s business, Sacred Source, and see some great options/