Eclipse

Sunset over  College Creek, at (Gabriel) Archer’s Hope, near Jamestown, Virginia

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Just as light and darkness maintain their own balance, and follow one another; so too do times of darkness and light follow one another in human history. Opposing forces remain in cyclical tension throughout our planet’s history.

We welcome the darkness which allows us to rest each night, and we awake hours later refreshed and reinvigorated. Our bodies heal and re-energize while we sleep.

Plants also need a period of darkness for their growth and cellular repair after many hours of photosynthesis in the sunlight each day. Many plants need a period of dormancy and rest each year, before vigorous new growth responds to the lengthening days of spring.

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Winter Solstice morning

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Northwestern Oregon, where the eclipse over the United States will begin next Monday, symbolizes the farthest point of our continental cultural expansion during the 19th Century. John Jacob Astor established Astoria, Oregon, in 1811, and his team blazed the trail which opened the Northwest to settlement. He led the economic battle to incorporate the Pacific Northwest, and its resources, into the United States. In those days, the borders between the United States and British Canada remained fluid.

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Oregon’s coast, near where the eclipse will begin sliding across North America on August 21, 2017.

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Our nation’s power and prosperity come in large part from our westward expansion to the Pacific, and the rich natural, human and energetic resources of our western states. This part of our country remains energetic, innovative and largely progressive.

Charleston, South Carolina, symbolizes the first shots fired in treasonous rebellion in our Civil War, which began in 1860-61. This terrible time in our nation’s history potentially could have destroyed our republic. But it did not; and the slow and torturous process of re-unification has played out in our courts, congress, statehouses and streets ever since.

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The James River, just a few hundred miles north of where the coming eclipse will move offshore next Monday.

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This is a critical time in our nation’s history once again. The nihilistic forces of nazism, facism, and communism which were pushed back in Europe and Asia during the 20th Century, have infiltrated our own society and American government in the 21st.

We see this with sickening clarity after the election cycle of 2016, when these forces of hatred and anarchy have been publicly emboldened both in the media, and on the ground in cities across our nation.

And only a week after the tragic and disturbing events in Charlottesville last weekend; we will experience the rare astronomical event of a full solar eclipse beginning in Oregon and ending on the coast at Charleston, South Carolina.

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Jones Millpond, where The Battle of Williamsburg raged on May 5, 1862, in the early years of our nation’s Civil War; remains a peaceful spot along the Colonial Parkway in more recent times.

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Many of us wonder what this means for our country. We are disgusted and uncertain with elements of our own government and citizenry. We are deeply troubled about what our nation’s future may hold, and wondering whether the Republic established by our Constitution in 1788 remains sufficient to order our society today.

At this time of uncertainty, we have given much thought to the meaning and potential effects of the coming eclipse. Historically, many cultures have viewed eclipses as important times of vulnerability as the sun disappeared from the sky, and dramatic changes occurred in the aftermath. There could be several interpretations of the phenomena of darkness falling across a huge swath of the United States, from coast to coast, in the middle of a summer afternoon.

We choose to interpret the coming eclipse as a time of national renewal. Beginning in the west, where our country’s economic destiny was determined with the founding of Astoria and securing our border with Canada; and sweeping eastwards across our nation to the very city where our Civil War began; the darkness of this eclipse will be followed by new light.

The emerging sun, Sol Invictus,  will shine brightly over our nation for many hours on Monday, August 21, after the moon moves on in its orbit, allowing the sun’s light to burst forth once again.

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As morning follows night, we choose to focus on the ‘second morning’ that will occur as the eclipse ends on Monday afternoon as a time of national renewal and re invigoration. Let this ‘second morning’ usher in a time when our Constitutional government will be set right once again, and these current threats of tyranny, hatred, and lawlessness ended.

Let foreign intervention in our politics be exposed and expunged. Let nazis and their ideology, influencing our political discourse, be exposed and expunged.

Let the corrupting influence of foreign and criminally laundered money holding our political leaders to nihilistic political ideologies be exposed and expunged. Let the corruption and lawlessness in our own communities be exposed and expunged.

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Let us use this energetically potent period of a summer solar eclipse to power the necessary changes which will re-claim our communities and our state and national governments for our founding principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of the good.

Let us reclaim our heritage as a land of promise and equal protection for all under fair and just laws.

Let our United States fully become a center of innovation and opportunity; tolerance and love; and a haven for the endless positive potential of humankind.

Woodland Gnome 2017

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Powhatan Creek

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Sunday Dinner: Secrets of the River

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“Have you also learned that secret from the river;
that there is no such thing as time?”
That the river is everywhere at the same time,
at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall,
at the ferry, at the current,
in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere
and that the present only exists for it,
not the shadow of the past
nor the shadow of the future.”
.
Hermann Hesse
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“We must begin thinking like a river
if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life
for future generations.”
.
David Brower
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“Ask the river, where it comes from?
You will get no answer.
Ask the river, where is it going?
You will get no answer,
because the river lives
inside this very moment;
neither in the past nor in the future,
in this very moment only!”
.
Mehmet Murat ildan
~

Black’s Point, Jamestown Island in the James River

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
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WPC: Elemental

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For this week’s challenge, explore the classical elements of earth, air, water, and fire.
How do you capture something invisible like air, or the movement of water? Or, more personally, is there a place you go to feel connected to the earth?
Take a moment to explore these elements, in or out of balance, together or individually, as you pick up your camera this week.”
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The ancients teach us that originally there was only one energy, one creative force.  It was, even before the light.

And from its desire to know itself, everything else was created. Every thing we know was explosively generated from the one.

This original energy still animates everything, every element that is; even our own knowingness. 

The continual joy of creation comes from the interplay of all of the elements; every bit of fire and earth, water and air.   These essential elements structure even our own imagination.

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Try to take away even one of the elements, and what is left? Some balance will be restored ….

Our life depends on the interplay of fire, water, air, minerals, and the unique animation we call spirit.

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“I’ve always known, on a purely intellectual level,
that our separateness and isolation are an illusion.
We’re all made of the same thing—
the blown-out pieces of matter formed in the fires of dead stars.
I’d just never felt that knowledge in my bones until that moment,
there, with you, and it’s because of you.”
.
Blake Crouch
~
~

Every particle and spark is important; a part of the whole. Every one of us is important:  a part of the whole; elemental.

*
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
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For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Elemental

Honoring Earth Day

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“Our Mother Earth is the source of all life, whether it be the plants, the two-legged, four-legged, winged ones or human beings.
“The Mother Earth is the greatest teacher, if we listen, observe and respect her.
“When we live in harmony with the Mother Earth, she will recycle the things we consume and make them available to our children and to their children.
“I must teach my children how to care for the Earth so it is there for the future generations.

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“So from now on:

“I realize the Earth is our mother. I will treat her with honor and respect.
“I will honor the interconnectedness of all things and all forms of life. I will realize the Earth does not belong to us, but we belong to the Earth.

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“The natural law is the ultimate authority upon the lands and water. I will learn the knowledge and wisdom of the natural laws. I will pass this knowledge on to my children.
“The mother Earth is a living entity that maintains life. I will speak out in a good way whenever I see someone abusing the Earth. Just as I would protect my own mother, so will I protect the Earth.
“I will ensure that the land, water, and air will be intact for my children and my children’s children – unborn.”
.
Anonymous, reprinted from WhiteWolfPack.com

 

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Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970.  I was in grade school, and this new celebration felt like a very big deal to me.  I was happy for all of the efforts the ‘grown-ups’ were making to protect the air, water, land and wildlife.  It felt good. 

This new Earth Day celebration was a ray of hope, a spark of light in an otherwise very dark time in our country.  We were still using unspeakable weapons in Southeast Asia, destroying their forests with Napalm and their people with terror. Nixon and his cronies still controlled the White House.

The first nuclear weapons in modern times had been used against two Japanese cities only 25 years earlier, and the the arms race to develop and test more of these life-destroying weapons was exploding around the planet.

But, we also still had George Harrison and John Lennon in those days, and the millions of voices of the Woodstock Generation raised in song and protest.

So much has happened in these last 47 years.  Our lives have changed in unimaginable ways.  Our country has changed, too.  The Woodstock Generation has mostly spent their lives now in doing what they can, for good or for ill; before losing their voices and their mobility to the natural progression of things.

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And their legacy lives on, in the rest of us ‘youngsters.’  The battles still rage across our planet between the special interests of our age.  There is a basic philosophical divide, as I see it, between those focused on preservation of the environment, sharing and preserving our resources for generations yet to come; and those focused on using up every resource they can to make a profit.

The divide is between those focused on themselves and their own profit and pleasure, and those whose focus and concern expands to include the good of the millions of voiceless plant and animal species , generations yet unborn, and our beautiful planet.

That is a stark oversimplification, I know.  And I would bet that many who read these words disagree with my interpretation of things.

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Good people can disagree.  Well-intentioned people can see things differently.  We each have our own story to tell about life and our experiences, in our own way.

A neighbor said to me just the other day, “The Earth doesn’t have a problem.  The Earth has never had a problem with human beings.  It is the humans who want to continue living on this planet who have the problem.”

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And he is right.  Actually, the more information which leaks out about Mars, and what has happened to that once beautiful planet over the last half a million years, the more we understand how fragile our own planetary biosphere to be.  Perhaps that is why our government has tried to control the many photos of man-made structures on Mars, and evidence of water and the life once living there, so fiercely.

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So what can any of us do?  Each of us can choose something, or somethings, which are in our power to do that will make a positive impact on our biosphere’s, and our own, well-being.  And then, we can raise our own voice, and use the power of our own purse to influence our neighbors, and the greater human community, towards doing something constructive, too.

Here are a few ideas from the Earthday.org site to get us all started:

Create your own ‘Act of Green’

Plant a tree or donate a tree

Eat less meat

Stop using disposable plastic

Reduce your energy footprint

Educate others

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I invite you to celebrate Earth Day 2017 in your own personal way.  Do something positive for yourself, your family, our planet and our future.  It doesn’t have to be something big, fancy or expensive.

Just do something to commit your own “Act of Green,” your own radical act of beauty.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016-2017

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“I do not think the measure of a civilization

is how tall its buildings of concrete are,

but rather how well its people have learned

to relate to their environment and fellow man.”

.

Sun Bear of the Chippewa Tribe

.

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Earth

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Wednesday Vignette: Take Care of Our Heart

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“People ask: Why should I care about the ocean?

Because the ocean is the cornerstone

of earth’s life support system,

it shapes climate and weather.

It holds most of life on earth; 97% of earth’s water is there.

It’s the blue heart of the planet —

we should take care of our heart.

It’s what makes life possible for us.

We still have a really good chance

to make things better than they are.

They won’t get better unless we take the action

and inspire others to do the same thing.

No one is without power.

Everybody has the capacity to do something.”

.

Sylvia A. Earle

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“There is such solace in the mere sight of water.

It clothes us delicately in its blowing salt and scent,

gossamer items that medicate the poor soul”

.

Sebastian Barry

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“What begins at the water shall end there,

and what ends there shall once more begin.”

.

Doug Dorst

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“Water records information,

and while circulating throughout the earth

distributes information.

This water sent from the universe

is full of the information of life…”

.

Masaru Emoto

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“No one can know the infinite importance

of a tiny drop of water better than a thirsty bird

or a little ant or a man of desert!”

.

Mehmet Murat ildan

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“To be fully alive

is to have an aesthetic perception of life

because a major part of the world’s goodness

lies in its often unspeakable beauty.”

.

Yukitaka Yamamoto

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Photos by Woodland Gnome

For World Water Day 2017

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Bringing Down The Sky

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“If I were rain,
That joins sky and earth that otherwise never touch,
Could I join two hearts as well?”
.

Tite Kubo

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“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”

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Kahlil Gibran

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

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“Only in a place like this do earth and sky come together

in such a way that they bridge into one,

and in such a place a person could put up her arms

and find herself in heaven.”

.

Laura Pritchett

 

WPC: Solitude

january-24-2017-jamestown-028

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“If our friendship depends on things like space and time,

then when we finally overcome space and time,

we’ve destroyed our own brotherhood!

But overcome space, and all we have left is Here.

Overcome time, and all we have left is Now.

And in the middle of Here and Now,

don’t you think that we might

see each other once or twice?”

.

Richard Bach

~

january-24-2017-jamestown-027

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“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”

.

George Gordon Byron

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

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feb-2-2017-new-growth-016

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Solitude

 

 

Wednesday Vignettes: Rhythm

january-31-2017-moon-and-star-011

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“Night follows day; and day night.

The pendulum swings from Summer to Winter,

and then back again.

The corpuscles, atoms, molecules,

and all masses of matter,

swing around the circle of their nature.

There is no such thing as absolute rest,

or cessation from movement,

and all movement partakes of Rhythm.

 The Universal Pendulum is ever in motion.

The Tides of Life flow in and out, according to Law.”

.

The Kybalion

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january-31-2017-terrarium-007

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“Nothing stands still –

everything is being born, growing, dying –

the very instant a thing reaches its height,

it begins to decline –

the law of rhythm is in constant operations….”

.

The  Kybalion

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january-31-2017-moon-and-star-013

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

 

 

Grace

january-24-2017-jamestown-030

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Graceful

Effortless harmony

Fluid movement

Elegance in motion.

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january-24-2017-jamestown-025

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Graceful beauty

Attracts our notice…..

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january-24-2017-jamestown-016

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Holds our attention;

Mesmerizes.

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january-24-2017-jamestown-033

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A spontaneous meditation

On the beauty of this world,

Nature’s portal to peace:

Grace

May be found within

and without….

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january-24-2017-jamestown-040

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Gracefully, gratefully,

We join the dance eternal.

We feel nature’s rhythms of wind and wing,

wobble and wave.

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january-24-2017-jamestown-034

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Gracefully, we flow in at-oneness

with our world,

Breathing, becoming, bestowing,

Grace.

~

january-24-2017-jamestown-039

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Woodland Gnome 2017

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“Grace is what picks me up

and lifts my wings high above and I fly!

Grace always conquers!

Be graceful in everything;

in anger, in sadness,

in joy, in kindness, in unkindness,

retain grace with you!”


.

C. JoyBell

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january-24-2017-jamestown-038

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Graceful

Wednesday Vignette: Winter Sun

january-9-2017-snow-and-ice-064

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“One can follow the sun, of course,

but I have always thought

that it is best to know some winter, too,

so that the summer, when it arrives,

is the more gratefully received.”

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Beatriz Williams

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january-9-2017-snow-and-ice-028

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“But only a person in the depths of despair

neglected to look beyond winter to the spring

that inevitably followed,

bringing back color and life and hope.”

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Mary Balogh

~

january-9-2017-snow-and-ice-068

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“A moment of peace and silence,

breathing in and out the frigid air,

watching daylight seep into the forest,

hearing the first chatter of distant crows,

the wind sighing over the snow

and through the fir and pine branches

and the twittering of chickadees

as they flitted in little tribes from tree to tree.”


.

Mike Bond

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january-9-2017-snow-and-ice-002

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

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