Piglets at the County Fair. Cute as BUTTONS, aren’t they?
The crowds are bigger at the pig pens than almost any other attraction at the fair. And no wonder: Is there anything cuter than wriggly pink piglets, kicking up sawdust as they run circles around their mama?
#AugustBreak2019, Day 4…The theme of the day is BUTTONS, in case you haven’t guessed. I was going to post a photo of my Nana’s button collection, but it’s been a rough 24-hour news cycle. Two mass shootings within 24 hours… 29 fatalities and multiple casualties. I mourn their loss and speak their names.
I feel, as you do, the gravity of this moment. But I believe we are better served by optimism than resignation. Joy in the morning, and lightness of being. So for today’s prompt, I chose silly over serious. To wit: Pink-snouted, snuffling piglets to the rescue! Think of them as a gift, aka a “happy,” with curly ribbons as tails. #JoyInTheMorning
P.S. Yesterday’s prompt was LINE. In this news photo, El Paso residents are waiting in a two-hour line to donate blood for the victims of the first of two mass shootings in a single day. (Image via CNN. I was too teary-eyed to take photos.) #AugustBreak2019, day 3
More than these greens tossed with toasted pecans, I want to serve you the hymn I sang into the wooden bowl as I blended the oil and white vinegar.
More than honey ice cream beside the warm pie, I want to serve you the bliss in the apples’ flesh, how it gathered the sun and carried its luminousness to this table. More than the popovers, the risen ecstasy of wheat, milk and eggs, I want to serve you the warmth that urged the tranformation to bread.
Blessings, I want to serve you full choruses of hallelujah, oh so wholly here in this moment. Oh so holy here in this world.
This beautiful poem, Thanksgiving, was penned by Rosemerry Wahtola Trimmer. All photographs courtesy of my dear friend, Donna Sullivan.
I’m forever grateful for this opportunity to sing at Sunday Brunch with the Harlem Gospel Choir. I’m not a culinary expert by any means, nor am I a professional singer. But I do rattle around in the kitchen some, and I’m all about making a joyful noise!
I suspect that’s why this poem really resonates with me. It speaks to the savory-sweet truths about Thanksgiving. A tasty meal doesn’t require perfect recipes and the just-right serving dishes. It’s all about serving others–meeting your beloveds’ needs with compassion and grace. Abundance is sometimes equated with heaping plates and that uncomfortable, overstuffed feeling that follows. But in fact, a bountiful life is more accurately measured by our generosity of spirit. And here’s the essence of the poem, as I read it: When we prepare food with a song in our hearts, it nourishes everyone who gathers around our tables. And when we are “wholly here in the moment,” we give and receive a gracious plenty.
“These seals seem to know you,” said the movie producer who shared the beach with me this morning. I was snapping photos in the rocky cove; his crew was sprawled across the sandy shoreline, filming a promotional piece for Visit California.
It’s true that the seals are comfortable with my presence. They talk to me, and vogue for the camera.
So naturally, I’ve been posting lots of photos & videos lately. Because: seals. Who doesn’t love ’em?
But there’s also backstory to this, my most recent obsession.
You see, my friend in New York loves seals. She’ll drive all the way to Maine, just to watch them play.
“Do you see seals on your morning walks?” she asked me one day.
“No, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them around here.”
She was really disappointed, because: seals. Who doesn’t love ’em?
It didn’t seem all that likely at the time, but I promised her I’d take pictures–if I ever saw them here, that is.
In a poignant twist of fate, I first saw these harbor seals on the morning of my friend’s cancer diagnosis. I’ve been taking seal videos and snapshots for her, ever since.
These harbor seals keep showing up–for my friend and me, and for anyone who finds delightful these gifts from the sea.
So there’s another other thing I haven’t yet mentioned. Trust me: It’s very much related.
My friend and I are working in tandem on some special projects for the Hillary Clinton campaign. It’s a coast-to-coast connection that makes us feel as if we’re doing something good in the world. And despite the miles between us, it’s brought us very close. Illness or no, we are stronger together.
Well… I didn’t know it when I visited the seals this morning, but my friend had sent a handwritten card to our candidate of choice. She tucked a short note inside, and addressed the envelope to Madam Secretary, Hillary Clinton. “Let yourself be great!!!” she said, and then she signed her name.
And so it was that while my friend was at the hospital this morning, hooked up to the IV line that delivered her third chemo treatment–and while I was in Goff Island Cove, circumventing the film crew and capturing these images–my friend from New York heard her cell phone ring.
If you know me, you know already that my eyes were swimming when my friend let me know how things went down. Hillary was gracious, she said, and so very encouraging: “Get well soon,” she’d said, with genuine warmth in her voice; and after thanking my friend for the personalized card (and her volunteer efforts), Madam Secretary mentioned the four, smallish words that touched her so deeply.
“Let yourself be great!!”
A softball coach first shared those words of encouragement with my friend from New York. She was just eleven years old. But as so often happens with words that resonate, my friend never forgot that handful of words. And when the just-right moment presented itself, she passed them along.
You never know where a moment’s kindness might eventually travel.
You might be surprised about the reach of a few, carefully selected words of encouragement.
Like these seals, they imbue a special kind of magic. When you least expect it, they find their way back to you, carrying treasures of their own.