I Say It’s Spinach…

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We’ve been as busy as the butterflies and bees in the gardens at Full Moon Cottage these past few weeks. The flow and succession of blooms has begun in earnest, and we’ve had small rains this season, so watering and weeding and cutting back have added to the rhythms of caring for the 4-leggeds that circumscribe our daily dawn-to-dusk routines. The food garden has been offering up lettuces and radishes and promising much more; the earth creates such hope this time of year.

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The pups love watching Phillip water the garden through their fenced-in “park,” and, in addition to offering him their learned advice, they enjoy racing up and down the length of the fence to bark at anyone traveling the bike trail. A cacophony of joy, for me.

The camera and my own focus have zoomed in and out on the world, the gardens, us, and my heart. When the world’s unrest becomes too much, I turn from its incessant noise and focus on the gardens. When the weeding and cutting back become too much, I focus on one plant, or bee, or spider.

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When the arguments in my head get too loud, I listen to music, or read, or meditate. And I am blessed and grateful to be involved in several creative projects with other artists, and these punctuate my days with lovely gifts of inspiration and a kind of tribal sharing of symbol, metaphor, rhythm, color, and music. When those fail, we use words.

And so we live and move and have our being under the overarching facts of quarantine, loss, anger, discord, and justified social unrest; we are little ants moving about in a dangerous, beautiful, and unpredictable world. As dusk settles into darkness, we watch the fireflies in the gardens and try to articulate our responses to matters we cannot affect and feelings that are sometimes at odds with our beliefs.

We do not have the experience or will to meet the violence in words and behavior that seem to be increasing in our national discourse. An hour with a news program can set our hearts racing and create the need for a shower, so much filth is flung around these days, and most of it by the one designated to lead us forward and together.

I participated in an online retreat for a day last weekend offered by Susan Lambert and friends, and was surprised by how refreshing and renewing it was. I value one or two-week retreats at my favorite places every year, and I didn’t think a day’s worth, at home and online, would be nearly as valuable to my spirit as it was. Delicious spirit food and highly recommended, along with all the glorious arts being offered freely through so many online outlets. Re-balancing is more vital for my spirit than ever.

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I celebrated my birthday this week, too. The retreat was a gift to myself, but it paled in comparison to the party Phillip and the 4-leggeds surprised me with on my birthday, first thing in the morning. Sweet wrapped gifts and cards, a lovely breakfast, and smooches galore: what could be better? I didn’t even miss celebrating at the winery and restaurant we like to visit for special occasions, and the day was so filled with Zooming, and chatting, and messaging, e-cards, and speaking with loved ones, that I was quite happy to jump into bed with Phillip and a book fairly early that night…it felt like I’d experienced a very full day of socializing, and I had, in the curious way that socializing is done while we’re in quarantine.

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And we still are. In quarantine.

For a person who has approached every task of her life with the desire to make it as “creative” as possible, I’ve always had great respect for math, science, and logic, and the creativity inherent to those disciplines as well. And so, I am amazed at the number of intelligent people who have decided to leave home, travel, gather in crowds, throw all health recommendations to the wind, and live as though we are not in the midst of a pandemic. I know I’m at higher risk for contracting and becoming very ill with the virus, but even if I weren’t, I’d still be at home, if I could be. Science, math, and logic seem to make the risks in socializing obvious; why are so many people ignoring this?

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Science, math, and logic make clear there’s nothing political about a virus, why confuse the issue utterly by making it appear so? I look at the madness of a crowded political rally and I truly do not know where I am or what the hell happened to my country…but perhaps it was more of a who that happened. Or a conglomeration of who’s that saw the moment and seized it for the personal gain they could grab. They seem cursed with such bottomless greed that they’re willing to endlessly and in great volume shill lies like over-excited carnival barkers, promoting a rally to “celebrate America’s reopening” in a state where the Coronavirus case count is rising.

What is the intellectual challenge here that has been overlooked and unaddressed? What has been omitted in our schools’ curricula that has allowed so many to graduate without the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion? What has caused this Great Regression?

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I’m reminded of the famous Carl Rose cartoon that appeared in The New Yorker in December, 1928, and was captioned by E.B. White. A little girl is rejecting her mother’s attempt to convince the girl that the vegetable on her plate is broccoli. The girl replies, “I say it’s spinach and I say to hell with it.” It’s a struggle to hang on to the facts some days. I find myself saying, “Wait. What?” Phillip and I look at each other during a news break and discuss whether we’re being way too cautious, fearful perhaps, and maybe weirdly reclusive about our decision to stay home and avoid contact with asymptomatic, or infected-and-not-yet-aware people.

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And then I sit and re-read a faded letter my great-uncle wrote to my grandmother. She was a young girl at home with her parents and he, her favorite and beloved brother, was a young man-about town, working and partying, meeting friends at this home and that, going dancing, teasing his sweet little sister about all the jokes, and the romance, and the jolly fun life offered as you stepped into it fully. It was the autumn of 1918. And within a week, he was dead. And, of course, she grieved this loss all her life, the merry adored brother, all strength and promise and hope, and never known beyond his youth.

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This is a different time, and a different virus, and one that most dramatically targets a different segment of the population, but it seems the desire to cloak the truth, suppress it, dress it up in a pleasing costume, ignore it, or pretend it’s broccoli, is just as human now as it was then, and at a cost far greater than was necessary to pay.

Tomorrow is our longest day, the summer solstice. We like to celebrate with a bonfire, but it looks like we’ll finally be receiving the rain we’ve longed for and will be inside, waiting for fireflies, remaining in quarantine, honoring the truths told by science, math, and logic, rather than the lies offered to convince us otherwise.

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It’s spinach.

Please, be well and safe. And a very Happy Father’s Day to all men who love and serve as role models for children, or who love and care for the earth, for 4-leggeds, for anything that needs love and nurturing to more joyfully and freely offer its gifts to our world.

 

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

16 thoughts on “I Say It’s Spinach…

  1. Dear Kitty, I live in Australia and enjoy reading your daily posts. After reading this post and your concerns that you are being overly Cautious, I felt compelled to reach out. I have been concerned at the infection and death rates from COVID-19 in the United States, compared to other countries, including Australia. There is a large and reputable body of evidence that suggests you are not being overly cautious. I encourage you to stay the course and to keep sharing your beautiful posts. Warm wishes, Donna

    1. It is so kind of you to write, Donna; no worries. I don’t go out at all because of autoimmune issues. I’m just discouraged by the lack of care people seem to be taking of themselves and others. I pray for softer acceptance of what is.

      I hope you are safe and well, too, and will have a lovely and peaceful week’s end.

  2. Kitty, beautiful beautiful photos that brought smiles to all sides of my heart. One question: Why did you example a political rally as a negative action, and not the hundreds of protests/lootings/lburnings/tearing down statues? And masks are not being worn by all? Seeping through your words is your politics. Regretful.

  3. Thank you for writing and sharing, Tamara. I appreciate your kind words and your willingness to share your views. You are always welcome here.

    Politics’ root is “city;” for me, political engagements are the means by which we design who we are in community; and what community means to us as people. Of course my politics seep through my words; politics are integral to our thoughts, actions, and beliefs; they reflect our willingness to grow and our refusal to do so; they are the way we govern and organize our economics and social structures, and the means through which we assign power and to whom. Our values regarding equality, generosity, caring for others, and providing human services are why we have political goals, and if we have a spirituality that matters, it also becomes apparent in our politics, which for me are fluid, rather than rigidly adhering to one answer or approach for everything. That this is so is not something I find regretful. I do not think the politics I’ve discussed here have much, if anything, to do with the current political “parties;” especially in the form of divisiveness they currently encourage, and I certainly do not think advocating wearing masks and keeping distance during a pandemic should affiliate me with one. I also believe that all of our engagements and discourse should be grounded in love and a willingness to forgive when we take or give offense. Kindness is most important to me in any interaction.

    I appreciate your presence and comments, Tamara, and I will hold your words in my heart. Be safe and well, and gentle peace.

  4. hello!

    most importantly, i hope you and all your loves are safe and well, that you all have what you want (plus treats) and stay that way!

    also, i am not very tech-oriented and could not find other contact information so will try leaving a question for you here. apologies if that is not to your liking. recently i found your poem “and the people stayed home” (wonderful, especially in its hopefulness), which led me to your blog and finding “the long haul”. i would very much like to share both of those poems with the people with whom i work. i am a social worker in a subsidized apartment building that serves primarily elderly people. among other duties, i prepare a monthly newsletter for them. i would like to put those two poems in that newsletter; it gets delivered to approximately 125 people (the elderly people, members of our board of directors and employees), mostly hard copies, but a dozen would be sent electronically. i would certainly give proper credit to you as the author of these beautiful, thoughtful poems! may i have your permission to do so? thanks much for considering this request.

    again, apologies if there is a more obvious way i could have made this request and best wishes to you and the world.

    kathy
    des moines, iowa .

    1. Thank you for your kindness in writing, Kathy. I hope you are safe and well. I’ll send you an e-mail and hope you’ll locate that easily. Gentle peace, Kathy.

  5. Oh, such beautiful photos! How I wish we had fireflies, how magical it must be watching them. I’m glad you don’t go out, there is no need to with such beautiful gardens and companions. I only go out to walk the dogs each day, our shopping is now sorted by click and collect. I loved this post! Love and hugs to one and all.xxxx

  6. Oh….wishing you a very happy belated birthday, so glad you had a good one. Totally agree with your views too, leading a rally during a pandemic should be viewed as a crime!xxx

    1. Thank you, dear one, and thanks for the happy birthday wishes; they are always welcome. I’m officially old and I intend to rock it. We are doing well and retaining hope. I like your arrangement for groceries; we may have to look into it, as I just read less than half of us in this state are wearing masks to groceries, so the safety factor is going down.

      I do dash out for early morning walks, too. No people, no bugs. 🙂 Sending love to you; be well and safe.

        1. I will. A local store had it up and running, so I’ll see if they’re still offering it; Phillip likes another store that’s further away, but I think this may be a safer option. 🙂 Love you, xoxo

  7. Ah, Kitty, I could write tomes in response to this. (But I won ‘t.) I, too, am consistently floored by how poorly the pandemic in the U.S. has been handled. The dismissal and denial of its seriousness, which undoubtedly appeals to those who follow our leader and who, therefore, also see no need to wear masks or take proper behavior seriously and essential. And like you, I do not understand people who are not getting this. How can somehow imagine that this doesn’t apply to them or that it is going to just be fine anytime soon. Thank you for your heartfelt writing. I hope when some of the intensity of my current workload subsides, I can get back to writing some new posts. (As well as working on my children’s books! 🙂 )
    Take good care. Jeanne

  8. I’m sorry your workload is keeping you from your (other) gifts, Jeanne. Good to have work, I’m sure, but it sounds like a lot! I miss your posts, but I know you’ll return to all your writing when you’re able.

    Thank you so much for your comments, too, Jeanne. These are very troubling times, which, I know, means there’s much to be hopeful about, but I think I’m not alone in saying it’s enough now; let us have a break to clean up the messes that are right here in front of us and not look for–or be given–more. It’s beyond exhausting and has created far too much stress. And it makes me sad to think so many people are either this grotesquely under-educated or so unbelievably selfish. I cannot figure it out, and I’m tired of it. Thankful for a garden and my lovebugs here at Full Moon. And for you, too! Be safe and well.

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