I thought that August is a month with no set holidays and therefore it’s meant to be celebrated jubilantly and spaciously each of its 31 days. Then, this morning  I read that today is Ice Cream Sandwich Day, International Beer Day, and National Coloring Book Day. Tomorrow is Watermelon Day. 

What is this human need to name and categorize?

Yesterday my son introduced me to Catherine Ingram and her article on “Facing Extinction”.  Okay, that isn’t the most inviting way to begin a day that celebrates ice cream sandwiches, beer, and coloring books, but she moves through categories, essential categories and comes to Love, the binding fabric we share.

Near the end of the article, she writes:

Jonathan Franzen, winner of the National Book Award and many other literary honors, writes in his latest book The End of the End of the Earth:  “Even in a world of dying, new loves continue to be born.”  This is now the time to give yourself over to what you love, perhaps in new and deeper ways. Your family and friends, your animal friends, the plants around you, even if that means just the little sprouts that push their way through the sidewalk in your city, the feeling of a breeze on your skin, the taste of food, the refreshment of water, or the thousands of little things that make up your world and which are your own unique treasures and pleasures.  Make your moments sparkle within the experience of your own senses, and direct your attention to anything that gladdens your heart. Live your bucket list now.

And she concludes with words of Leonard Cohen:

“It is in love that we are made; in love we disappear.”

There are a great many of us sharing the planet today.   In 1952, there were 2.6 billion people on the planet.  Now, there are 7.7 billion.

I was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1949 though we moved to Ames, Iowa when I was six weeks old. Now I live in the San Francisco bay area.  No wonder I often feel overwhelmed with the numbers of people, the crowds. I like solitude and nourishing on, and in, my own space.

Today as I look out, fog moves in to cloak blue sky and I pull into the flow of my blood, the marrow in muscles doing tiny push-ups and sit-ups of their own.  I am an ecosystem. My lungs branch and reflect the branches of the trees which now lean in close since most of what I see is gray, but now wait, a lighter gray and further trees reveal, and I choose now where to place my visionary plate.  

Gladdening My Heart

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