Sunflower rising


Sunflower rising

Sometimes, just around dawn, on the mornings I don’t have to work, Barry drops me off a mile or more from the house.  I walk in the cool morning air toward home, breathing deeply, welcoming the day. 

This morning felt crisp and almost autumn-like.  Temperature:  49 degrees.  I walked briskly. The temperatures are starting to wobble a bit.  A few days ago we luxuriated (OK, some of us sweated) in the 80’s.  Yesterday we plummeted to the low 60’s.  Today:  70’s.  On Saturday back to the upper 80’s.  The thermometer is loving its roller coaster ride toward fall.

Moon at dawn over the North woods

 The full moon winked in the sky this morning. 

“Ha ha,” it said, “Keep harvesting! I’m headed toward winter.”

We merely smiled back at it, knowing we have plenty of warm autumn days in which to make more salsa, pull up the dying bean plants, harvest sweet orange carrots, cut off sixth-generation brocoli snippets, pick lettuce before it bolts, bite into a jalapeno (caliente! oo la la!) and boil beets for Greek Salad.

Sunflower risen to meet the day

All these flower photos come to you courtesy of Nancy’s gardens.  These are some of the photos which sulked when I chose the frog photos over them  the other day.  We are meeting at her house for Book Club tonight at 6:30.  The book for our discussion is “Still Alice”.  Since I nearly had a nervous breakdown when I read the book back at the end of December–in between blogs, on our way downstate for Christmas with my parents–I don’t know how to intelligently discuss it.

Here’s what happened.  The book, as some of you may know, is about a Harvard professor who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  She slowly loses her memory and sense of self.  The book is terribly sad but also somehow inspiring because the essence of “Alice” still remains when she can’t even recognize her children or husband.  Her capacity to love and be in the moment somehow increases.  It’s a poignant mixture of devastating loss and the triumph of essence.  That’s my take, anyway.

Precious pink

Some of you may know that my own memory is not stellar.  It feels like I live so fully in the moment that everything outside of the moment sometimes–completely disappears.  Fortunately, this cunning memory-fellow usually reappears as needed, thank goodness.

But after reading that book I was convinced, fully convinced, that I had Alzheimer’s for twenty-four hours.  We were driving downstate and I couldn’t remember simple words.  I remember sitting despairing in a restaurant trying to put together thoughts in convincing order. 

Fortunately, my bonding with Alice dissolved within a day and my memory returned to its usual lackadaisical self.  But I can still empathize deeply with what it must feel like to start losing memory in such a radical way.

Blooming white

Back to today.  After this morning’s walk (and sometimes run) down the road, I meditated for maybe forty minutes.  As many of you know, this has been a big part of my life for many years.  On an ideal day–and that was not yesterday–I try to meditate morning, afternoon and night. 

In the past four months I have been doing deep breathing meditation and have been seeing incredible changes in all areas of my life.  It feels like “Sunflower rising” indeed.  I recommend daily meditation for everyone as a way to connect to deeper self, build energy and release stress.  Could write an entire blog waxing poetically about the benefits of meditation.  Maybe will, someday!

Topsy-turvy yellow

One of my little bitty stresses which arose during meditation involved:  should I bring Mexican grain/bean salad to Book Club?  Or pesto pizza? 

My goodness you would think this shouldn’t be a stress!

Salad?  Pizza?

(I calmly said to myself as a mantra while breathing deeply, “I trust myself to easily decide.  I trust myself to easily decide.”) 

Upon opening eyes the answer was apparent.  Of course it would be pesto pizza!  The basil insists.

Inner mysteries of red

So there you have it.  Some random thoughts rising as the temperature rises.  Two adult deer munch grass outside the window while a fawn scampers by filled with energy.  Hummingbirds dive in and out of the feeder.

Life is good!  I am so grateful for all that is rising these days…

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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38 Responses to Sunflower rising

  1. Elisa's Spot says:

    Oh yay! Thank you. I am not losing my mind. Ok, maybe I am, but only a little bit phewwwww!

    • Kathy says:

      Phewwww, Elisa! We can feel better! We can support each other! We are NOT losing our minds. 🙂 By the way, is your daughter off at college yet?

      • Elisa's Spot says:

        I am awake right now, ok trying to get awake to drive her. I was to get up at 4 am, and leave at 5, however, the sun is still sleeping and thus I cannot see to drive. I keep peering out saying to myself, oh now see just go back to bed, take her later lol.

        I am inputting cup three of the tea as I type so the boink should arise, probably at the same time as the sun.

        (someone in here is screaming NO lock her in her room, become too ill to take her….and so on)
        I’m so funnnnyyyyyyyyy…the eye roller is over-riding the screaming. Maybe i’ll not be too afraid to mosey on over to the lake there and to see it this time! Will be a very rushed drop off, i must leave by three to get back by dark so that I can still see safely!

        Shhh don’t tell anyone, I need a hug.

        • Kathy says:

          Elisa, my eyes teared up this morning reading this. Your baby going off to college! I have been wondering when she would be leaving. Hopefully you felt your long heartfelt hug. Have been there, too… Here’s another hug, now that you’re probably home again. Blessings, dear mama.

  2. Kathy – “Moon at dawn over the north woods” lept off the screen and into my heart this morning, as did your beautiful words. I agree with you about deep breathing meditation — it is a vehicle for profound change.

    Thank you for this post.

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, I am amazed at how deep breathing is a vehicle for profound change. I never realized this until recently, thanks in a big way to Cheyenne (from Gaia) who I visited in Lake Tahoe. She helped me see the benefits of this, and now it’s possible to actually witness huge changes in my body and life. I am so grateful for this practice.

  3. Sue says:

    Loved all of the flowers…..and those Sunflowers! WOW!!

    I’m ready this just before my morning meditation, and now I’m wondering, what questions will I have? What answers will come? See what you’ve done? I didn’t even have that thought before. LOL

    Can’t wait to visit again…..


    • Kathy says:

      Hi Sue! I am so eager to hear about your own meditation experiences at Maharishi University!! (Don’t know if I spelled that right.) Sorry to have disturbed your thought processes. So many times I have meditated without a thought. These days I am much more allowing the thoughts to arise, but to always be focused on the breath. Can’t WAIT to hear all about it!

  4. bearyweather says:

    Pretty flowers … does not look like Fall has shown up there, yet. The moon has been wonderful here at night these past couple of days … reflecting off the lake and so bright .. night is not really night.

    • Kathy says:

      Bearyweather, one of the next posts should highlight Fall’s imminent approach. I have two photos: one of a perfectly green vibrant fern. The second photo shows an orange-red fern. I am melting into the image of your bright lake and suddenly absolutely wondering exactly WHERE you live. Must go investigate!

  5. kavita says:

    Niceee post! I enjoyed ur photos too!

  6. Oh my gosh Kathy… I just posted a sunflower as well… my post is also about summer’s last breath before fall. Isn’t that funny:) Best of today to you.

  7. P.j. grath says:

    Love the red, Kathy. Loved STILL ALICE, too. I’ve recommended it to people who thought it would be “depressing.” I didn’t find it so. Sad, yes, even tragic. Shocking and frightening. But we will all slip away one way or another. The daughter, the grandchild–well, not to give too much away. And then, that speech she made. (Believable? I loved it!) And to think this is a first novel by a science-type person! It is a tour de force.

    • Kathy says:

      Pamela, since I’m soon to head out the door for book club, I am adding your comments to our discussion. Wasn’t that speech great? I did love the book…except for those twenty-four hours of far-too-much identification with Alice.

  8. Sam Juliano says:

    Gorgeous colors on display here in the fleeting moments before autumn intrudes on the celebration. 49 degrees? That’s my kind of weather!

    • Kathy says:

      Sam, truly? You like 49 degrees? You and my husband sound like kindred souls! I am looking forward to the fast-forward to Saturday’s 87 degrees. He is not. Fleeting moments before autumn intrudes on the celebration…love how you expressed this!

  9. K Odell says:

    Before dawn? that’s crazy talk 🙂 Looks like a beautiful walk

  10. OM says:

    How could I not love the sunflowers!! And everything else you said and showed!! Thank you, Kathy! Yes, I find the memory appears if needed, and if not, it doesn’t!!

    49 degrees is our winter, not “almost autumn.” Feeling lucky living in a milder climate, though not my ideal, which is never below 65 nor above 90, haha. With plenty of rain and greenery, and in the continental US. And not on the East Coast. With mountains and ocean and lots of “culture.” IOW, nowhere I know of !!

    Anyway, thank you and your friend for the wonderful sunflowers, moon, hibiscus, and all the other wonders of life on earth! Including your very own self!


    • Kathy says:

      OM, there you go! THAT is absolutely true, thus far. Memory appears if needed and doesn’t appear when not needed. I like that affirmation and realization.

      49 degrees is your WINTER? Ohmygoodness, it would be a joy to live in a winter that warm! Sounds like you live in an ideal place…

      Thank you for stopping by to praise the sunflowers. I felt them stand up straighter with your words. 🙂

  11. Robin says:

    Beautiful, beautiful flowers. Thank you for sharing them. 🙂

    Funny you mention a daily practice of meditation as I have plans in that direction and just started writing a blog post about it.

  12. Dawn says:

    I love the sunflowers. In fact I took similar photos earlier this week but forgot about them. You can bet they’re going to show up in my blog soon! LOL!

    I thought I had read “Still Alice” but I don’t remember that plot. Or maybe I just put it on my “to read” list. I’ll go look. Glad you got your thinking back, but I know what you mean when you say you’re in the moment so the rest of the world often slides by. Me too. I sort of like it like that!

  13. Dawn says:

    PS: It’s on my “to read” list. I guess I should move it on up that list!

    • Kathy says:

      Aren’t sunflowers lovely, Dawn? I sort of like that in-the-moment sliding-by feeling too. What meditation is doing–for me–is teaching me more how to balance being in the moment with being fully present and being able to connect in a larger way with ALL my skills, possibilities and capabilities. Instead of reacting…versus responding. Still much to learn!

  14. Cindy Lou says:

    Lovely, thoughtful post today, Miss Kathy….I’ve often worried about my own memory and have lost count of the times I’ve gone into a room for something and can’t remember what!?!?!? I just started using deep breathing when I go to sleep at night – hope to become more intentional about it more often when school starts.

    The moon rising up over the bay has been wondermously glorious this week, hasn’t it? And have you seen the sunflowers by Pettibone? Right along the highway – Nick Lindemann has planted them at least two years now. They – just like your pictures – always make me smile!!!! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Good morning, Cindy Lou. I got up at 5:30, can you believe it? Sittin’ here getting caught up before work. It’s interesting how many of us seem to experience these memory lapses…and how talking about it makes us realize how “normal” we are. I have the same thing happen. Go down to the basement to get (something). Now what was it? Stare in the food room. Stare in the laundry room. Walk back upstairs. Oh yes! I was going down to get peanut butter, or toilet paper, or a blanket. Traipse back downstairs.

      You will LOVE deep breathing if you keep at it as an intentional practice. I never realized how much it actually gives us energy to accomplish what our souls and spirits want to do.

      As for those sunflowers near Pettibone…they are gorgemous! Isn’t that a Cindy word? I thought of leaping out of the car to take pics of them, but haven’t yet…

  15. Carol says:

    I think I have a sunflower that the birds planted blooming in the bed at the west end of the house now. I’ll have to check that out tomorrow.

    Our weather is matching yours – 95 yesterday, around 80 today, then supposed to around 70 for the next two or three days, and flirting with frosty temps the next couple of nights. Today was perfect for me. Tonight, supposed to be 33? Not so much.

    I loved “Still Alice”. It was, I thought poignant, but didn’t really feel sad to me. A bit frightening, what with the getting older and the rememberer not working so well process. I think Alzheimers scares me more than anything else.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, hope you find your sunflower blooming in yellow glory this morning! 33 degrees??? Wow, that is a huge plummet! We’re creeping into the upper 70’s today and 80’s the following few days. As for Alzheimers being scary…we talked a lot about that last night at book club. It seems to be a fear held by many of us.

  16. milkfever says:

    Definitely basil pizza!!
    Your photos are magnificent. I can’t believe how happy and full that sunflower is. Thanks for sharing such joy and beauty.

    • Kathy says:

      milkfever, you got it! The basil pizza it was! Thank you for saying that I share joy. To really feel and encompass the joy that I am (that we all are) is one of my greatest desires in life. Thank YOU.

  17. Tammy McLeod says:

    You know I just blogged about things that my grandmother has taught me and nothing makes me think of her as much as sunflowers. Synchronicity? hmmm maybe but your sharing really brings joy.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Tammy! Sounds like you were lucky to have a grandmother who taught you so much. I will go over to look at your blog. When I think of my grandmother–right now–I remember her drinking black Lipton tea, serving us powdered donuts (with butter!) and seeing her in her 80’s in the cutest red sweatshirt with an embroidered poodle on it. Missing her…

  18. Colleen Lloyd says:

    Hi Kathy, I’m having a wander through your blogs, catching up, enjoying your thoughts and all of the comments. And being reminded, once again, just how much of a blessing you are 🙂 I was trying to remember how I first came across your site….sister-in-law Ava was asking. Think that it may have been a random (is there really such a thing?) look at Laurie”s blog roll. In any case, it was the first blog that I actually started reading….and continued reading and following.
    I am smiling, reading about your experience with Still Alice. I used to have so many experiences with books…becoming part of them or picking up (tuning in to?) the author’s energy in ways that really startled or unsettled me. Much better now, more aware and (hopefully) more grounded and settled in myself. But still come across the odd book (some very unexpected!) that I just can’t read even though I think that I want to.

    Like OM, have learned to trust that memory always appears when it is needed…..well, almost always 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Colleen, welcome back! So glad to feel your energy dusting down throughout the blogs. I have no idea when we first met…I thought it was the outdoor blog, but you read that afterward, didn’t you?

      Glad to hear that you’ve had experiences similar with books. Like you, I’m not usually struck off-balance by books any more. That’s why it was so surprising with Still Alice. Think it ignited a latent fear about my memory.

      I like OM’s view too!

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