Archive for April, 2013

I want to thank Osh for asking me to collaborate with her once again. I always enjoy our combined efforts to put something together in both words and photographs. Although we haven’t openly discussed our beliefs, I suspect they’re very similar which is why we work so well together. Plus Osh is just plain fun to collaborate with and I enjoy her poetry and prose.

Thanks Robin. You’re just plain fun to collaborate with as well, and I do enjoy your photography. I think it really adds something special to the posts. I also enjoy it because it’s such a nice way to demonstrate that whole sense of what the Crossroads is all about – people meeting each other, working together, and learning something about one another. In the end, I think we all come out better for the experience.

A little about the photographs from Robin:

redwoods.jpg The first one was taken in Muir Woods in California. I am a big fan of John Muir and quote his writings quite frequently on my own blogs. I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time exploring Muir Woods as I would’ve liked (it was a whirlwind tour of the area, trying to fit as much in as possible). I hope to go back. The redwood trees are awe-inspiring and walking into a redwood forest is, to me, like walking into a cathedral or other sacred ground. The amount of time some of the trees have experienced being on Mother Earth boggles my mind. I’m originally from the east coast of the U.S. and have spent the majority of my life and times east of the Mississippi River. Sights such as the redwoods and Yosemite are beyond anything we have on this side of the country. Not that we don’t have some great stuff. We do. But the redwoods! Wow. I think I spent most of our time in Muir Woods with my eyes wide in wonder and my mouth hanging open in awe.

landsea.jpg The second photo was taken from Point Reyes, California. It rained and rained and rained for almost the entire trip (a few sunny spells here and there, including the day we went to Muir Woods). It was raining on our way out to Point Reyes. But by the time we got there the rain stopped. The clouds were doing some amazing things as they cleared out, and every now and again the sun would peek out from behind them, turning the Pacific Ocean shades of blue, silver, and even gold at times. I liked this view of the sea as seen through the V of Mother Earth.

frog.jpg The third photo is of a green frog, one of the many that hang out near our pond. I know that my hostess is Deaf and there are many deaf readers here so please pardon me as I describe the frogs a bit through their sound. They make a sort of “ponging” sound that’s similar to someone twanging on a banjo. At the height of their mating season, the sound is overwhelming at night, making it difficult to sleep. The bullfrogs generally join in the clamor and it’s like there’s a party going on out there. Once the pond is covered with frog eggs, the sounds start to die down a bit. The green frog is known for having a prominent tympanum (that big round thing you see just to the right and under its eye), and they are not always green. They lay 1000-7000 eggs. The great thing about having them around is that the tadpoles eat algae and water plants, keeping the pond relatively clean. In fact, we’ve found that most of the wildlife in and around the pond keep the pond in great shape, everyone doing their part so to speak. Green frogs are not particularly shy so photographing them is easy except that they do blend in quite well with their surroundings making it difficult to spot them at times. They’ll also eat anything they can fit in their mouths including smaller frogs, small birds, small snakes, and even their own cast off skin.

fallingwater.jpg The next photo is of Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house located just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Honestly, this photo looks like just about every other photo you find of Fallingwater. There’s a reason for that. There’s a spot set aside with this view of the house and it’s the best outside view you can find on the property where the public is permitted to go. Osh and I thought this fit in well with the idea of living in harmony with the land. It’s worth touring as it’s quite interesting to see how Mr. Wright positioned it over the waterfall and incorporated the land around it (including large rock structures) into the house. Ceilings in the rooms were intentionally built low so as to direct the eye towards the outside to look at the beautiful surroundings.

camountains.jpg The last photo was taken from the top of Mount Tamalpais in California and the curvaceousness of it seemed appropriate for this spot as representing Mother Earth. One of the great things about all that rain that fell while we were in the San Francisco area of California was that the land was very green. The green, the curves, and the hill and mountains reminded me of the Highlands of Scotland. On an even more personal note, I couldn’t resist doing a Sound of Music twirl (“the hills are alive…”) once we reached the top of Mount Tamalpais. The view was simply amazing.

A little about the words from Osh:

The words that I chose for this prayer actually come from a greeting card I found at Hallmark a couple of years ago when I was out looking for cards I could send to my friends for Yuletide. I thought it was just perfect to reflect my own thoughts and feelings about Mother Earth and my spirituality. I saved one of the cards and framed it and keep it in my home office as a reminder that EVERY day is Earth Day, and we should always keep that promise close to our hearts.


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