Cherry blossoms

cherry blossoms
I waited and waited for…
I am alone

~ Issa, 1813

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In the pink

I believe in pink.  I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.  I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.  I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.  I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.  I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.

~ Audrey Hepburn

I’m bringing out my girly side today.  I am not a girly-girl most of the time, but every now and then I surprise myself (and others) with the part of myself that loves pedicures, pretty clothes, and the color pink.  The unnatural pinkness of the above photo is courtesy of Pixlr.  Working with a point & shoot camera, I don’t have the option of using filters so this is the next best thing as far as I’m concerned.

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Sitting under a cherry tree

Under a cherry tree

And as you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged on the shingly beach of a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.

~ Stephen Graham

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The kindness of flowers

The flower of kindness will grow.  Maybe not now, but it will some day.  And in kind that kindness will flow, for kindness grows in this way.

~ Robert Alan

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Daffodil Hill

I found my thrill... (I know it was on Blueberry Hill, but that song keeps running through my head whenever I think "Daffodil Hill")

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host, of golden daffodils.

~ William Wordsworth

Joanne commented that she couldn’t wait to see the daffodils.  I am not sure they are worth the excitement of a cliffhanger so I decided not to make Joanne or you all wait.  Photographing Daffodil Hill is easy.  Getting good images is not.

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Dragons and graveyards

The dragonfly and damselfly reflect and work with the sun and light.  Light changes throughout the day.  The dragonfly and damselfly undergo their own transformations.  If they have shown up, look for change to occur.  Are you resisting change when you shouldn’t?  Dragonflies remind us that we are light and can reflect the light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.  ‘Let there be light’ is the divine prompting to use the creative imagination as a force within your life.  This is part of what dragonflies and damselflies teach us.

Life is never quite the way it appears, but is is always filled with light and color.  Dragonfly can help you to see through your illusions and thus allow your own light to shine forth.  Dragonfly brings the brightness of transformation and the wonder of colorful new vision.

~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

I think dragonfly has been influencing me lately as there certainly has been a new brightness, a transformation, and the wonder of color.

What I would like to know is:  Who is that little guy on the right horning in on Dragonfly’s close-up?  (Click on the photo to see the larger version.  You may not be able to see the little guy if you don’t.)  It’s a strange little thing.  Is it some bizarre cross between a frog and a crab?  It looks that way to me.  I did a little research, wanting to identify the dragonfly (it is Erythemis simplicicollis, Eastern pondhawk), and it may be a nymph.  Check out these pictures at Discover Life and tell me what you think.

I like Ted Andrews and his book Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small but have to say that it would be more unusual if dragonfly didn’t show up in my life right now.  The pond, the woods, and this entire area is teeming with dragonflies and damselflies right now.  Unlike me, they enjoy the hot weather we’ve been having.

In book news…

(Lake View Cemetery.  Cleveland, Ohio.)

I just finished reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and what a delightful read it was.  It has its dark moments but it was mostly magic.  The book is meant for ages 9-12 which puts me more than a little on the old side of its readership and fans.  I had heard so many good things about it (and I was already a fan of Neil Gaiman) that I wanted to read it for myself.  Now I want to save it in that pile of books I have for my grandchildren, the one that includes books such as The Secret Garden and The Phantom Tollbooth.

If you haven’t read the book yet, you might want to give it a go.  And then hand it over to a 9-12 year old to read.  It is an adventure about childhood and growing up told in a way that I think will appeal to parents learning to let go of their children and to children who are growing up, learning to step outside into the world.

And now it is time for me to step outside into the world.  It is a scorcher out there today, in the 90’s with high humidity.  I need to get out in the garden for a little while to see what’s going on, maybe weed a bit, and check on the peppers and corn.  Everything else has been growing like gangbusters this year so I expect to find them almost ready to harvest.   (Not really.)

Then it’s back into the house for some homecaring chores.  I’ve spent a good part of the morning watching the World Cup coverage.  Way to go, USA!!!!  (They are through to the next round!!)  Congrats to England, too!!!

Look Up: The Garfield Monument

One of the famous (and dead) residents at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland is the 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield.  Garfield and his wife, Lucretia, are entombed in bronze caskets in the crypt located below the Memorial Hall.

(Statue of Garfield looking up in Memorial Hall.)

James A. Garfield was born in 1831 in a log cabin in what is now Moreland Hills, Ohio.  Garfield, elected in 1880, served 200 days as President of the United States, dying in office from the infection which started with wounds from an assassin’s bullets.  It is generally thought by today’s historians and medical experts that Garfield would have survived if his doctors had been more capable.  Several of his physicians inserted their dirty fingers into his wounds which is likely the cause of the infection that led to blood poisoning which ultimately helped lead to his death.

(Looking up in Memorial Hall.)

The Garfield Monument is a prominent and ornate feature in Lake View Cemetery.  The Memorial Hall contains the marble statue of Garfield, stained glass, and bas relief decorations.  In addition to Garfield and his wife, you will also find historical relics from Garfield’s life.

The monument has an observation deck where you can view the city of Cleveland and catch a glimpse of Lake Erie.

(Hazy day view from the observation deck.)

(Stairs to/from the observation deck.)

(Another view of the monument.)

(Looking up at the monument from the bottom of the hill.)