Ewe on the Loose

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This sheep had some how escaped the fenced in area at the farm where I stayed in Portugal last week. I was very, very, very close to it…maybe 6 feet. While looking through the lens and snapping this picture, I had a flashback from about 25+ years ago when I was backpacking through the Canadian Rockies. I was standing extremely close to several beautiful and large mountain goats. There were at least thirty or so other people standing around looking at these impressive climbers and taking pictures, myself included. Apparently, I’d gotten just a little to close to one of the kids, as through the lens of my camera I could see an adult goat, with head down and horns aimed in my direction.

I think this was one of my first real experiences of “fight or flight.” Embarrassingly, and out of my control, I turned and ran right over a woman standing behind me. Thankfully, she was not injured, and she explained to me that she was turning to run at the same second herself…we actually laughed about it after we pulled ourselves back together. And great thanks that the goat didn’t ram anyone…so as this memory was floating through my mind while taking the picture, I decided to back up from this “loose” ewe, just in case.

nannette rogers kennedy
May 2012
photograph of ewe May 2012, Portugal
photograph of mountain goat, June 1983, Alberta, Canada 

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Double-crested Cormorant

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This bird is a Double-crested Cormorant ~ or Skarve if you are from Norway.  I took this picture at City Park Lake in Fort Collins, Colorado.  It wasn’t until I got home and looked at my photo on the computer that I noticed the turtle at his feet.  This was a photo of luck and love of nature ~

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I Will Remember How You Made Me Feel

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There are a myriad of reasons NOT to honk your car horn at people…you never know what is going on with the person in the car in front of you. I’m not talking about the short “beep” to alert someone that the light has changed. I’m talking about the extended honk that can actually cause a car accident at worst or add stress to someone’s day at best.

In the words of Maya Angelou…I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ♥

 

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Weeds

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Every year
I see the first buttery
dandelions of the season,
it reminds of when
I was very young~
my mother and I
made invaluable crowns
of what some call weeds~

nannette rogers kennedy
photo & poem, April 2012 

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Divinity Dances & Soars

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When I see things like this, I always pause and think: How can anyone not believe in a higher power?

Below is from the article, “The Startling Science of a Starling Murmuration” by Brandon Keimon
………What makes possible the uncanny coordination of these murmurations, as starling flocks are so beautifully known? Until recently, it was hard to say. Scientists had to wait for the tools of high-powered video analysis and computational modeling. And when these were finally applied to starlings, they revealed patterns known less from biology than cutting-edge physics.

Starling flocks, it turns out, are best described with equations of “critical transitions” — systems that are poised to tip, to be almost instantly and completely transformed, like metals becoming magnetized or liquid turning to gas. Each starling in a flock is connected to every other. When a flock turns in unison, it’s a phase transition.

At the individual level, the rules guiding this are relatively simple. When a neighbor moves, so do you. Depending on the flock’s size and speed and its members’ flight physiologies, the large-scale pattern changes. What’s complicated, or at least unknown, is how criticality is created and maintained.

It’s easy for a starling to turn when its neighbor turns — but what physiological mechanisms allow it to happen almost simultaneously in two birds separated by hundreds of feet and hundreds of other birds? That remains to be discovered, and the implications extend beyond birds. Starlings may simply be the most visible and beautiful example of a biological criticality that also seems to operate in proteins and neurons, hinting at universal principles yet to be understood.

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Dreaming into Reality

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In 1977 I found a picture of my dream car in a magazine~red MG Midget. I tore out the page and tacked it to the wall right next to my bed. It was the first thing I saw when I woke in the morning and the last thing I saw before falling asleep at night. Then in 1978 I began shopping for a red MG Midget when I didn’t have the money for the sweet little sports car. Over that year I test drove three red MG Midgets in the Denver/Boulder area, dreaming of the day I would own that car. Finally, in 1979, I’d saved enough money from waiting on tables to put a healthy down payment on the car (and I’d sold my 1974 Ford Pinto). Accompanied by my dear friend Mary Jo, we picked up the car of my dreams in Boulder…funny, this is the only material item I’ve ever owned that to this day still shows up in my dreams. I really did love that car and still love the memory~

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Dinner for One

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Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret…Robert Brault


Several years ago, I managed a Colorado restaurant.  One particular evening, around dusk, customers filled the dining room despite the heavy falling snow.  Several staff members were unable to get to work due to the weather.  As a result I waited on tables, too.

I watched as the host sat a tall, thin man at a table in another waiter’s section.  The customer’s unshaven face looked drawn and his nose red with cold.  He wore tattered jeans—wet around the bottoms—and an old dirty overcoat—underdressed for a restaurant with candles and cloths,

The few waiters and waitresses complained that the man was a waste of time and flipped a quarter to see who would lose and have to serve him.

“What is the matter with all of you?” I said. “I will take care of him.”

The man kept his eyes lowered to the menu and traveled a spindly finger down the items: Bouillabaisse, Mozzarella & Romas, Arugula Artichoke Salad, Iced Oysters in Rainbow Shells

Spinach & Roasted Beets…

“Good evening sir,” I said as I looked into the tired, dark eyes of the man.

“I foresee a good night,” said the man. “I’m thirsty for a bottle of wine, yes this one.”  He looked up into my eyes and with a perfect French pronunciation, he smiled and said, “The Beaujolais Village .”

The man removed his coat, tapped the wine label on the list and I leaned into see exactly which Beaujolais the man wanted. The odor of unbathed skin reached my nose.  I started thinking about the man’s secret, what it was that I didn’t see.

He added, “Please bring two glasses,” then briskly rubbed his hands together.

I returned, opened the bottle and offered a taste of wine to the man.  He held the glass up, swirled the liquid to observe its legs and then sipped the wine, letting it roll over every taste bud on his tongue.

“Yes, yes. This is good,” he said as he took the bottle from my hand and poured wine into the second glass.  “Don’t let me toast alone.”

He handed me the other glass.

“Here’s to warmth tonight,” he said and then we tapped glasses and drank to warmth.

“What can I bring you this evening?” I asked, wondering what the man meant when they toasted to warmth.

“I can order everything right now–the African Lobster Tails, the Arugula & Artichoke Salad, the Prosciutto-wrapped tenderloin, medium rare, and a baked potato dripping in butter.”

“You must be hungry tonight,” I said.

He nodded, “Oh and please bring all the food at once.”

The man arranged the plates on the table, admiring it all before eating as though observing a piece of art.  He then savored every bite of food, with impeccable manners all along.

After clearing the plates from the table, I offered dessert, but the man declined and grabbed my hand. “Thank you for everything and now I want you to do one more thing for me.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I’ve had some tough times lately.”  The man stood, put on his overcoat and turned up its collar.  He looked at the floor and then nearly whispered, “I have no money and I won’t be paying the bill.  So as soon as I walk out the door, call the police~”

I interrupted him, teetering between sadness and feeling afraid.  “I can take care of the meal for you, write it off, help you out~”

“I’ll be walking south down the street where the police can pick me up.”  He shook his spindly finger at me, “Remember you joined me in the toast for warmth and this will get me that~you will be helping me out.”

With that the man turned away from me, looked over his shoulder and mouthed “thank you.”  He walked through the dining room, out the front door and headed south on the now dark and snow-covered street.  I watched through the window, wavering back and forth on what to do.  I, watched him walk for a few moment before I picked up the phone.

nannette rogers kennedy 2011

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Do We Think About What We Say vs What We Believe?

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Are spirituality and politics mutually exclusive? Or is there a way to bring forth our spirituality in to the political arena? Praying and meditation are a necessary part of solutions, but are they enough? EveryONE has those moments alone of asking themselves (on many and any levels) “what can I do to make a difference?”

In all cultures and religions on the planet there is a form of  “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and I believe we would find most, if not all people say that they believe in these words. With much of what is airing on the news or printed in the papers regarding our politics and the condition of the earth, I feel compelled to ask the leaders from around the world: If you believe, REALLY believe in these words, how can you say some of the things you say? What would happen if we wrote to our leaders around the world with nothing more than the words from the Golden Rule and ask them to sit with these words before they speak. Can these words be something one only believes during spiritual or religious gatherings, but forgotten the rest of the time?

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Mr. Barrett’s Autumn Meditation

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Autumn always reminds me of Mr. Barrett, the man who lived across the street from me when I was growing up. Mr. Barrett’s annual obsession was the leaves. He owned what I can only call a riding – outdoor – vacuum cleaner. For two months of every year, Mr. Barrett became one with his yard. When he wasn’t pacing his lawn vehicle back and forth over the fading blue grass, he would dart from his garage with a poker or rake to get the five or six leaves that would fall between the pacing and the parking of the giant leaf sucker–this all before the advent of the beloved leaf blower.

No surprise, Mr. Barrett owned the first leaf blower on the block—to him an absolute instrument of wonder. Everyone on the block knew of his purchase from the unique roar of this contraption.

Every year, my entire family, usually one at a time, though sometimes in a group, would take a daily pause at our front window, to watch Mr. Barrett groom his property. And daily, my father would comment, “He blows the leaves to the streets and then overnight Mother Nature blows them right back into his yard.” I guess all the same, Mr. Barrett was communing with nature in his own way as he always looked happy.

Until I was older, I never really understood why anyone raked leaves because it seemed to me that the wind took care of the evidence of the passing season. And as I think of it, the leaves my father raked held one purpose~piles in which to jump. I really don’t have a clear memory of my father bagging those leaves…perhaps the wind…

Thanks Mr. Barrett and Dad ~ for the memories ♥ nannette

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Embrace Adversity

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