We are embarking on a BRAND NEW YEAR!
"It's been a really hard year
Many more heartaches than we bargained for
So much loss all around us
Between hurricanes and desert wars
To be perfectly honest
I'm ready for December to end
Pack away all these nightmares
And dream again, learn to dream again..."
(from a song "Peace on Earth" by James Casto and Donna I. Douglas)
I wish everyone a "New" Year filled with Peace, Love, Laughter, and Happy Dreams.
Always choose what will bring you happiness.
Peace and Love
photo by Craig Smith
"Yule, is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the return of the oak King, The Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb." ~ Yule Lore
When I saw this, I thought it would be a nice thing to post because today really IS the Winter Solstice which is what the above is describing. And, I think of all the animals and" human" animals whose future so depends on having a keen understanding, awareness and respect for nature's cycles and processes.
My holiday story is simply this: Merry Christmas to all of my friends in the world who celebrate Christmas. And, to all the many others who are my friends who have sacred days that they celebrate around this time of the year or at other times during the year, I wish you Great Joy and Happiness in your holidays, as well. May peace on earth and good will to each other prevail for ALL OF US in the coming New Year!
Be Peace. :)
~ Patty Ann
Step out onto the Planet.
Draw a circle a hundred feet round.
Inside the circle are
300 things nobody understands, and maybe
nobody's ever really seen.
How many can you find?
~ Lew Welch
"Imagine the Earth devoid of human life, inhabited only by plants and animals. Would it still have a past and a future? Could we still speak of time in any meaningful way? The question 'What time is it?' or 'What's the date today?'...if anybody were there to ask it... would be quite meaningless. The oak tree or the eagle would be bemused by such a question. 'What time?' they would ask. 'Well, of course, it's now. The time is now. What else is there?' " ~ Eckhart Tolle
web photo of another dog
Suzie, our neighborhood's little stray dog, decided to have her puppies....7 of them....under OUR porch. We now have an extended family.
It's an amazing thing to watch the ways of animals. I learn so much from them. In the past, I wrote articles on animal behavior which were published in national magazines. I recorded in journals certain animals behaviors that I could observe in close proximity to where I lived....and created human interest stories from them of cycles of behavior from bluebirds raising their young to a cat recovering from a major life or death situation. I don't have time to do that anymore, but whether it's a squirrel or a bird or a cat or a dog or an anole, I always have deep appreciation for those who cross my path. I always take some time to see what they have to teach me. And, even though I don't write it down anymore, I never forget "it".....or them. ~ Patty Ann Smith
I made a lot of mistakes in the past and learned hard lessons from every one of them. The only thing good I can say about my past is that it brought me to where I am today. Because of my own pain, there has been much growth in my ability to accept the things I truly "cannot" change and to maintain my enthusiasm for that which I "can" change. And, from that same pain, I've obtained a measure of accuracy in knowing the difference between the two.
My "greater" family is this earth and all of its inhabitants. Individual self-pity, blame, bitterness swallows up lives that could really be productive. I have no time for that anymore. Things like that pale in the larger picture of the earth, life, and the universe that carries all of the good in every breathing cell. It's not where you've been, but where you're going. And, no ones time is ever wasted if you're going in the right direction. ~ Patty Ann Smith
Green Roofs are really "COOL"!
They are used to:
- grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers
- reduce heating "and" cooling loads on a building
- increase roof life span
- reduce stormwater runoff
- filter pollutants and CO2 out of the air
- filter pollutants and heavy metals out of rain water
- increase wildlife habitat in built up areas
Between 1989 and 1999, roofing companies in Germany installed nearly 350 million square feet of green roofs, and it's estimated that the Green Roof industry in Germany is growing anywhere between 10% - 15% every year. Green Roof technology there has been honed to a fine art.
Let's Catch Up, America!
Below are a sampling of some very nice sites I found while doing my research. They were an inspiring and pleasant experience for me. I hope they are for you, too
- Michigan State University Green Roof Research Program: http://www.hrt.msu.edu/greenroof/
- Garden Visit. Com:http://www.gardenvisit.com/garden_product/sustainability/landscaped-architecture.htm
- Green Roofs. Com:http://www.greenroofs.com/
- Penn State Green Roof Research:http://hortweb.cas.psu.edu/research/greenroofcenter/history.html
- WSUD. Org:http://www.wsud.org/Pic_Pages/Green_roofs.htm
It's important to balance our self interests with the needs of our planet. Changing the way we think about consumption is one way to do that. And changing our way of shopping during this holiday season could be a good way to start getting rid of some bad habits we've become increasingly stressed out from anyway. A new trend is on the way this year to make gift donations to good causes in a loved ones name that comes with a greeting card explaining how the money will be used. Also, more and more environmentally conscious people are shopping locally this year.
Much of America has become addicted to impulse shopping and overconsumption and it's a hard habit to break. Ecotherapist Robert Francis Johnson puts it this way:
"The consumer culture, it's a mind virus. When you get a virus in your computer, what it does is it destroys your system, your files. So this same idea occurs with consumerism because it destroys our moral and spiritual values. The word (virus) means burn, deplete, destroy, disintegrate, deteriorate, shrink, use, use up and waste or waste away."
If enough of us choose to think more spiritually than materially this season, it would do a lot of good in a whole lot of ways. ~ Patty Ann Smith
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. ~ Annie Dillard
the light of the forest
ADVICE FROM A TREE
by ~ Ilan Shamir
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishmnent from the good things in life
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Remember your roots
Enjoy the View!
*"J", one of my MySpace friends, has this on her site and I just LOVE IT!
Visit "J's" site by clicking on the Headline below:
photo by Craig Smith
"...Our lives can change with every breath we take...Let go of what's gone. Hold on like hell to what you've got. Each other. We've all got meanness in us, but we've got goodness, too. And, the only thing worth living for is the goodness..." ~ from "Where the Heart Is"
Without meaningful goals, you are wasting the precious gifts your Creator has given you.
Whatever we do in our daily lives becomes a prayer....planting flowers, doing yoga, building a chair. So, it's very important to choose good things to do because it all ripples out and affects others.
The "Biggest" crisis we have today is a Crisis of Consciousness and whether we are going to face it or escape it. ~ Patty Ann Smith
photo by Craig Smith
the closing soliloquy narration from the 1957 movie:
"I was continuing to shrink, to become...what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close - the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet - like the closing of a gigantic circle. I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God's silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man's own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature that existence begins and ends in man's conception, not nature's. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero."
photo by Craig Smith
As a little girl, my first experiences with music were sharing ones: My Dad with his brothers....and Dad, me and "my" brothers....singing and playing music together. People were smiling, people were happy and having fun. These were truly some of the most caring, nurturing, and loving times throughout my dysfunctional childhood. Everyone contributing in their own way and everyone feeling a part of it. Everyone belonged to the music and everyone was happy....coming together and sharing the great joy of music.
I grew up believing that music had "healing power", and I had good reason to believe that because of how much it helped me. And, because of that, I've always wanted to share it with as many people as possible. It's a wonderful thing to see people smiling and happy together sharing music....whether singing, dancing or playing. I knew from my own early experiences in life that when people were doing any one of those three things....noone was ever fighting or hurting anybody, and all of our troubles melted away....even if it was....just for a little while. ~ Patty Ann Smith
"Once we have the condition of peace and joy in us....
We will be able to contribute our peace and serenity.
The most important thing is for each of us to have
some freedom in our heart,
some stability in our heart,
some peace in our heart.
Only then will we be able to relieve the suffering around us."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Vietnamese Buddhist Monk
"To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness....
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace the human dress.
Then every man, of every clime
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.
....Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too."
from William Blakes poem The Divine Image
photo by Patty Ann Smith
"....Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For a new beginning.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
On The Pulse of Morning
"...They try and tear it all away
O but turning heads can't hear what heavy hearts must say
It belongs to us, it belongs to us
It's our sacred rock you hold
And it's our destiny that you have thrown away
It's our sacred rock you hold..."
the chorus from Dougie MacLean's song "It Belongs To Us"
Farm Aid 06
Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
Camden, New Jersey
plus Live webcast at Farm Aid http://www.farmaid.org
Saturday, September 30, at 3:30 p.m. EDT
"Cultivators of the Earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands." ~ Thomas Jefferson
Be There. Aloha! :) ~ Patty
photo by Craig Smith
"We may think that we are living in harmony with nature sometimes, but nature can't live in harmony with us unless we stop destroying it.
We need more educational opportunities for teaching and learning about ecosystems, biodiversity, understanding the cycles of nature and the "values" of ecological wisdom, non-violence, and personal and planetary responsibility." ~ Patty Ann Smith
"What modern science actually tells us is that we live in a remarkable and dynamic universe, in which the genuine miracle is its remarkable embrace of life and change. We find ourselves in the midst of a continuing creation, in which the physical properties of matter itself drive the formation of new stars and galaxies, and make possible the emergence and evolution of life in all its splendor.
Ultimately, evolutions analysis of life and its history reinforces, rather than undermines, the lessons of Scripture, which tell us that we were formed out of the dust of the earth. We were indeed." ~ Author Unknown
Powered by: one person at a time
Add your signature to "The One Declaration"
One person, one voice, one vote at a time ~ to make
A better, safer world for all.
Think about making a pledge to yourself like the following lines from Diane Ackerman's poem "Guardians":
"...I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly, as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery, as a mesenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace..."
I wrote the song "What Do You Say" right after Hurricane Katrina, and I'm putting it on here at the first anniversary of such horrific devastation...some of which we know was not just caused by mother nature, but by human neglect both prior and after the tragedy.
My song here today is in remembrance of all those who suffered and continue to suffer from its aftermath...an entire year later.
The people of the United States are part of the population of the whole world who continue to be victims of human injustice and tragedies that can too soon be forgotten in our fast-paced lives. I remember them because "There but for the grace of God go I". ~ Patty Ann Smith