when i wake to the heat of morning
galloping down the highway of my life
something hopeful rises in me
rises and runs me out into the road
… and i ride
adapted from Lucille Clifton, Hag Riding
Where to begin this post? No words feel right this week. Today, musician Kris Delmhorst wrote “our country seems to be in the midst of a desperate fight for its very soul” — and her words resonated deeply. Although I keep political references out of my posts, I feel I’m on respectful ground to share I’ve been fighting to keep from despair much of the past year. The topics of conversation, and the lack of respect and civility that grab much of our attention these days, have regularly led me to disconnect from the news and social media. For me, it has been tough to find the appropriate and responsible balance – between staying connected, remaining involved, working on even a small level to bring about change and the desire to disconnect out of feeling overwhelmed. And yet ultimately I come back to that sense of responsibility and my belief that all of the blessings I’ve received throughout my life require me to stay engaged and find ways – even small ways – of ensuring those blessings are shared by individuals of all backgrounds, races, religions, orientations, and abilities.
One of my teachers from Loyola, Fr. Kevin Gillespie, often shared the words “where there is story, there is hope.” Some stories are too painful to tell, and some stories aren’t ready to be told. Yet when we are ready, and once we begin to tell our stories, we open ourselves to the possibility for healing. This was most often discussed at a personal level, and yet these last several days I’ve continued to wonder where we will create possibilities for healing in our country.
I have only a few birding updates –
An all-electric bike arrived last week, from Outrider USA in Fletcher, NC. I first discovered the Outrider team and the idea of the Horizon bike in 2014. And by chance, I had the opportunity to bid on one of these bikes offered through auction by the FSH Society in April of this year. This bike will certainly help me live boldly this year. When the time is right, I’ll share more about my adventures with this bike and how it might take me to less-accessible birding locations.
My birding the last few weeks has been filled with discoveries as well as disappointments and frustrations as I’ve encountered a greater number of trips and locations that are not accessible. And yet, I keep finding the silver linings… here are a few pictures from recent outings:
And here are a few pictures from home — the busy hummingbirds, a sun/dust bathing young Brown Thrasher, a Mourning Dove waiting for a turn at the favorite dust bath spot, and a Carolina Wren who visits the back deck daily for a bath, several songs, and to check out each of the planters for a tasty morsel…
Finally, while at Kennedy Krieger/Johns Hopkins last Friday I discovered the labyrinth within the healing garden. What a wonderful surprise! This labyrinth appeared to be in the shape of a question mark, which has served as a reminder to “live everything. Live the questions now…” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
With hope and blessings…