ocean vistas and quiet paths are worth keeping

Week after week I have posted about yet another swim. I know. And I’m so sorry. It’s just like this crazy fixation for me. Actually it’s not that, swimming is my lifeline, a means to finding a way through when there doesn’t seem to be another way. In summer all possible watering holes are endless possibilities for joy. I seek out mountain streams that burst over waterfalls, misty lakes where loons call back and forth to each other, the big beachy Pacific or the stoney Atlantic and the occasional outdoor pool to dive in and float under the heavens. But you all know that. It is the same story every August. Me writing about going as far as a dare and then going a bit further.

The reality is I am a playful swimmer, I mean sure come November I’ll be in the indoor pool doing the back and forth lap thing, but even then I find myself breaking up the routine by watching the light skip across the surface. All summer long I just play in the water. While on a ferry recently we saw a school of dolphins playing in the wake, jumping high up over the waves and diving back under, all in unison, right as the sun sank into the horizon turning the sky lilac and tangerine. My buddies for sure. How lucky that we still have miles of water just for our pleasure?

Water rules me, and even though I reside in a land-locked state, there are rivers at every turn, as well as quiet paths to stroll along side. On days when a swim isn’t possible, hearing water run shallow over rock while shimmering in the late afternoon sunshine can elevate my mood pretty gosh darn well. I am so grateful for this magnificent world. For all this clean air and water.

This just might be the time when we all do whatever it is we can to keep it as pristine as we can. That will take a few adjustments for most people on our planet. The United States may not be the #1 country responsible for creating the Earth’s destructive and devastating pollution (China wins that award), however, we are #2. Imagine that? For a country that prides itself on grass-root, small-town, community-caring, we certainly are making a catastrophic mess of this one planet we need to keep inhabiting. Can we each make a change? Depending on our current lifestyles, perhaps a few small steps might be possible for all of us?

Going zero waste is a great step towards combating climate change. Practicing the 5 R’s of zero waste can help.

You’ve probably heard of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. But there are two more that are equally important.

Lets break it down:

  • Refuse – Avoid single use plastics and paper products by saying no thank you, opting for reusables.
  • Reduce – Downsize what you purchase, opting to be more mindful of what you really need.
  • Reuse – Always find a way to keep an item out of the landfill by keeping it in great condition, repairing or upcycling it when it breaks.
  • Rot – Set up a compost system for your food scraps, or find a food scrap drop off center (like a farmers market, or community garden) near your house.
  • Recycle – Properly recycle any plastic, paper, glass or metal that comes into your life you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse by researching your state’s recycling laws.

If you ask me, all this glorious swimming and strolling under a big blue sky is worth our efforts.

Float time

There is no doubt about the healing power that water holds. Up and down every coast you find people packed together to dip their toes into the surf, maybe even brave a plunge. From sunrise to sunset we sit on sandy blankets along shorelines listening to the pulsing tides, and something that might have been slightly crazy inside us settles down a bit. We may be 60% water but it is far more than that physical fact that drives us to land’s end.

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surviving the politics

Today I had a colleague call me out for an error, which was fine, but they then threw me under the bus by highlighting the mistake to my boss. Yeah, whatevs, thankfully I have no real concerns there. I mean, I know my value and all that, but who needs more crap, right? So much bad news streaming through our stream. Always more fear. More despair. More bad shit for us all to endure. We search for that one light flickering in the shadows, desperate for one bright second in the dark. What to do? Head to the pool to shake it off the best way I know. Diving into the green and stroke after stroke letting all that cool water slide over my stream till I’m smoothed over again.

indoor swimming pool

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Indian summer: a period of unusually dry, warm weather occurring in late autumn.

picmonkey-collageMy students were a bit alarmed when I mentioned what a glorious Indian summer we were having this September. Yes, alarmed. They were concerned I was using a derogatory term. Perhaps they are right, but it was a term from my youth and I was only remarking on the extraordinary warm, gloriously warm, days we are experiencing. A glorious string of days that I am taking full advantage of by spending afternoons outdoors. As they sat in my classroom peering at the blue beyond the bank of windows I encouraged them to do the same once the last bell rings. Get out and breathe in the prana.

bike-collageHow many times have you stopped to say thank you to this spectacular earth? As I sailed along the smooth pavement and perfectly engineered bridges along the miles of bike path, I thought, how is this planet so so so so giving and available and wonderful and yet, still taken for granted? These days, these gifted days, are all opportunities to stop. Savor. Be appreciative.

food-collageFood too. Eat fresh and take advantage of seasonal delights. I carried two sweet lemons back from my last Los Angeles trip, plucked from my brother’s backyard trees, now squeezed over fresh eggs, local sausage and veggies, making for a fast and fabulous al fresco supper. A sweet lemon? Yes, there is a simplicity in such a miraculous delight.

Eat light. Eat local. Eat one ingredient foods. And bless your good fortune. Seriously great fortune if you eat half this deliciously.

swim-collageRaise your glass and salute this splendid planet we inhabit. And revel in all it offers. Air. Water. Soil. Do what you can to keep it spinning without your footprint slowing it. If you have the great fortune of reveling in such a spectacular Indian summer, why not enjoy it to the very last? Let that golden orb perform its magic over your mood. Watch it sink beyond the treetops and spill into violet and crimson and never forget you are among the lucky. Never. Do let me know what Autumn joys you experience! xxoo

Come What May

As 2015 stands in the doorway I reflect back on all that brought me here: we can’t change the past nor can we know what lies ahead, we can only determine how to live within this moment. In private I will review my shortcomings, but in this post I’ll relive the highlights, each memory bringing joy into my heart and soul, each worth a remembrance on the sweet possibilities gifted each day.

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Dark Month Survival: Part One

November can be a rut. A grey and dismal month, (thankfully with one grand meal to share). But you can combat November’s dreariness by making a simple plan. Keep your sanity. Your waistline. Your sense of adventure. With a plan you can stick to. One that feeds you. What am I referring to? Find a pool. Dive in!

pool

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