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April 21, 2010


Very thoughtful post, as always. Odd how with, say, excruciating toothache you can think something on the lines of "Oh God, let the pain go away and I'll never grumble ever again!" but once it goes the grouses begin to rise to the surface. It's so important to be aware of the positive things (without shoving away difficulties - keeping a balance!). I live in a flat but cultivate part of the communal gardens here (in Oxford, UK). Sometimes I do wish I could just swan out and have a coffee and read the paper in it, in peace, a garden of my own, but it's a bit too communal for that. On the hand it's such a pleasure to look after all the plants and bushes I've put in and see the seasonal changes.

Forgot to add that in the garden there's a row of big red tulips out at the moment, against the dark green leaves and pale violet flowers of rosemary bushes.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to be able to walk out my door and into a town without having to drive five miles. But I am blessed with a stunning location and a totally private back yard. It would be lovely to have good friends within a walk but I just have to remember my community is more spread out and we appreciate each other when we can get together.
When I lived in Halifax I longed for a place to plant things and had pots of tomatoes that never grew.

I feel a connection to my rural home that I miss in the Oklahoma City suburb where we now live. I understand that. There is a calm that comes from the openness of the farm and the dark, dark sky studded with stars that cannot be seen from here, no matter how hard I look. Of course part of that, for me, is the appearance of the landscape. The red dirt, cedar trees, and gnarled black jack oak that I see every day aren't an adequate substitute for home.

I also identify with your need to just say things sometimes. I was trying to explain that to someone just last night. When I am upset, sometimes the only thing that expresses those feelings fully is an outpouring of emotion, and with me that usually involves talking or crying or both. Those emotions are indeed there to tell us something.

I believe we reap what we sow, Beth. Beauty comes into your world because beauty pours out of you. I suspect it always has.

I grinned too, at "for some inexplicable reason." Beauty follows you like a dog follows a dripping piece of meat: nothing could be less mysterious!

Kia ora Beth,
I have taken a lot from traveling in the mountains, being up high on a lovely day or fighting for your life on a bad one, or way down low in the valley on a pristine river that sparkles in the sun, yet in a flash can also rise up and be dangerous. So though each of those places has its value and time, sometimes the best travel is midway between them on the ridge in the forest, not too high not too low. Kia kaha.

Beth, I can understand your longing for your garden. Out of the back window of my top floor flat (in a four-story house) I can look down into my neighbours' lovely garden on the ground floor and I'm always envious, always wishing it were mine. I can go to the huge beautiful park a 15 minute walk away but that's not the same as having one's very own piece of ground to sit in and plant and care for. But anyway, as you say, there are real benefits to being in a city and well, you do have your terrace! Keep on expressing yourself verbally, you have such a gift for it.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.