November 15, 2014 garden 009


“One of the most spiritual things you can do is embrace your humanity.

Connect with those around you today.

Say, “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, “I appreciate you”, “I’m proud of you”…whatever you’re feeling.

Send random texts, write a cute note,

embrace your truth and share it…

cause a smile today for someone else…and give plenty of hugs.”

Steve Maraboli

We rarely give a thought to the ripples created by our thoughts, actions, and words.

If you’re like me, you are often focused on what you are trying to get accomplished, and rarely on the ripples created in the larger life around you  by whatever  you might be doing.

November 15, 2014 garden 010

My intention, for days now, has been  to sit down and construct a “Forest Garden 2015” calender to share with family and friends.

There have been many false starts;  lots of good intentions, and only tiny progress.

But it has been on my mind, and at the top of the ever changing “to do” list.  But life happens, you know? 

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And last night, once I’d finally chosen a design on Vistaprint, and made some decisions about what will be included this year, my partner gently reminded me that it was on towards midnight.

I was prepared to work on into the morning to get it done, but it was decided that wasn’t a good idea.

So as my eyes opened this morning, it was on my mind.  And it was “top of the list” for today.

But there were comments to answer, emails to send, breakfast to cook, coffee to brew, a cat wanting attention, and several other little tasks left on my desk.

And soon I found myself dressing in hat and coat to make a few quick deliveries to friends in the community.  Promises to keep, and all that….

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“The shortest distance between two people is a smile.”

Victor Borge

And that is how I found myself walking across the dam path at noon today, enjoying the crisp air and bright sunshine.    And the voices… I heard the chatter before I saw the source.

There, just visible through the trees,  were several families of Mallard ducks swimming out from the bank below the path.

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What a wonderful surprise!  Four or five drakes each had several hens with him.  And they all took off from their shelter below the bank at my approaching footsteps.

And that is how I was in the right place at the right time to capture these photos to share with you.

At least one should  make the cut for my “November” page.  Don’t you think?

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Ripples.  Small things lead us onwards along our path.

Tiny choices and coincidences lead us to be in certain places at certain times; to connect with the right person, meet a new friend; be there to offer a word of encouragement or affection when it is needed most.

And that leads us back to the calender.  I’ve been collecting quotations for several days now, and the theme this year will be “kindness.”

November 15, 2014 garden 008*

“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful

than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Tenzin Gyatso, the latest of an ancient lineage of Buddhist monks given the title of “Dalai Lama” states that, “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”  

When I reflect on the life and training of this profoundly wise man, whose entire lifetime has been spent studying religious thought, meditating, teaching, writing, and practicing his ancient faith; I am touched by his simple and genuine distillation of all he has learned.

And kindness is something  we all may practice each hour of each day of our lives.

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Ripples from each act of kindness and compassion extend outwards into the greater world in ways we may never know.

We’ve been blessed with a bright and sunny day, the sky absolutely blue and clear.

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Frost came last night and began its annual work of clearing  and cleansing.  It took the Basil and all of the Colocasias.  I’ll spare you the photos of their darkened leaves and collapsed stems.

But all of the tender plants up against the house were fine.

The grass was white with frost when we first looked out, but it all quickly melted in this morning’s bright sunlight.

The sun will set again in a little more than two hours now, and it will be far colder tonight.  But it is November, after all.

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If you are interested in ordering a copy of the “Forest Garden 2015” calender, please let me know in the comments, or we can chat about it by email.

I’ll be making one version for extended family with all of the birthdays listed; and another one for friends with just the public holidays, phases of the moon, and a bit of gardening lore included.

And of course, there will be photos from our garden.

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”

Khalil Gibran

November 15, 2014 garden 018

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

December 13 2013 poinsettias 003

Holiday Wreath Challenge 2014

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

10 responses to “Ripples

  1. Farrokh

    Breathtaking pictures and words as breathtakingly uplifting. Beautiful Elizabeth.
    Must share my lot with you. I too came across The Family, and they were playful and joyous. What blessings wears blessed with.

    • Dear Farrokh, Looking forward to seeing your photos, too. They were such a joy to find on Saturday! I am sorry we didn’t connect over the weekend. I have a completed calendar off to the publisher to show for my reclusive weekend 😉 May all be well with you. Much love, E

  2. Oh, the light reflected off the water and the ripples creating patterns – all so very lovely. I don’t know how you could choose between them – they are all so wonderful!

  3. A truly inspiring post. And beautifully supplemented with some great pictures.

    While the post did leave me in a more positive frame of mind with its powerful quotes, it also left me wondering about what is really needed for us to shift away from a ‘Me-Self’ obsession that we hold and become conscious and sensitive about the ‘ripples we may be creating’ ?


    • As you always do, dear Shakti, you have touched exactly on the very heart of the issue. Meditative practice brings us ever closer to transcending those boundaries between self and other, to a realization that we are that other, too. We see our own self in every other sentient creature, and that creature as a part of our own consciousness. “Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi, Svaha!” But until we reach that state of transcendence, mindfullness of the ripples is a useful tool along the path. Thank you for illuminating this important point… which of course is THE point for those of us still traveling the path. In gassho, WG

  4. This is really a beautiful post, E. I do think about the ripples often. Your photographs so perfectly capture them. I am currently buried under a pile of church calendars….a first in a series of Amelia County churches for 2015. Love that your theme will be kindness and let me know when you’ve decided on more specifics with your project.

We always appreciate your comments. Thank you for adding your insight to the conversation.

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