Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Looking For Goodness

Some days I get a bit entangled in the whirl of thoughts and doubts and fears that swirl in my head. Okay, most days... But most days I can unravel the mess and move forward. Other times it is not so easy. If I tell you how muddled and befuddled I am about life, details and everything, I wonder if you would nod in sympathy or shake your head in dismay? Am I just riding the same waves, swimming the same current as everyone else, or do I find myself fighting a riptide? Never fight a riptide.



I picked my camera up and went out looking for goodness. Looking for a pretty blossom or a sunny spot. Meg reminded me that not all of our moments are picture perfect, and sometimes it's just a matter of focusing our attention, or our cameras, in the right direction. Sometimes it helps to pick out the goodness, capture it, frame it, and hold it dear.

Hmmmm... I wonder if this simple analogy (the idea that we can help ourselves move forward and feel good by taking a moment to focus on our best moments and brightest views) applies to my uneasy mood about some post inaugural drivel I have come across... I am not going to go looking for any of the hardcore naysayers, but even in some very gentle and balanced blogs, I have come across comments of incomprehensible acrimony against the new administration, and against people's expressions of hope and renewed patriotism. I feel shaky and sad, to witness even small samples of fear mongering, ignorance, rude immaturity, and pettiness. I cannot fathom the beliefs or mood that spawn such bitterness. Happily I have seen far more examples of rational debate, agreement to disagree and sensible acceptance that our democracy is a blessing to admire and uphold. None of our hope and optimism about our President and the next 4 years, will mean a thing if we do not work earnestly, cooperatively and respectfully. Keeping our attitudes positive, our actions diligent and our pledges honorable, I believe we can endeavor to find and enjoy more blessings, more goodness. I want to focus on goodness... it strengthens my resolve and restores my faith, so that I can move forward.

So, some days we get a bit muddled. It's okay. I guess we just gotta pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking our day.

Some of you in the colder parts of the country, the world, may not like hearing this, but our warm and breezy days sure do make a mess of the yard... so do the hens. Gad those girls are messy! Finally, after weeks of clear skies and sunshine, we are going to get a bit of rain. We need it. I welcome it, but I do wish our yard would not flood and become even more useless than usual.

Maria put our befuddled and frazzled broom to work, sweeping the poop deck, (as we refer to any space invaded by the chicas.) No, I suppose this is not a classically pretty picture, but I consider it lovely just the same. It's volunteering. It's effort and enthusiasm. It's meeting a challenge and contributing to the greater good. A child stepping up happily to clean is really a very pretty picture.

She put aside her well loved bumby, and, in a strangely familiar tone, chastised the chicas for their messy ways, while she piled up dry leaves and old straw.

As I prepare this post I have discovered that our server had a security breach or something like that, and they've changed our passwords. Or we need to change our passwords. Something like that. This means waiting for Geoff to come home, because he is the technical contributer to Chickenblog. I have learned how to manage a lot of things to keep this blog going, but dealing with our server is not one of the skills I have mastered. I should return directly to the goodness I found with my camera, before I get entangled in frustration about the many days and nights we have been apart from Geoff, which makes me sad and pouty, which makes me think of the housing debacle, which makes me angry and bitter, which leads to a total halt in all domestic operations, which is depressing.

A hug.
Support and kindness.

I love that Maria scoops Betty up with all the affection of a 4 year old and all the expertise of a seasoned farm girl. I love that we have fresh eggs to gather, and ridiculous hens to listen to and watch. I love that this picture makes it all look so pleasant and easy, even though it is not.

And here is a little hummer update. I don't see too much difference from 4 days ago. But I am glad to report that she is still there, still taking care of her nest. I am glad my lens and curiosity have not frightened her away. After reading Zoe Anne's comment ("Chances are you will never find a hummingbird nest, even if it is in your own back yard.") I felt extra lucky to have ever spotted the nest in the first place! She does sound like an expert hummer enthusiast!

Ahhh I feel better. A bit less entangled. A bit more hopeful. Here's a pretty picture. As for the rest, I will carry on and do my best, and try to remember not to fight the riptide. Now, let's see if the server will allow me to post any of my deep thoughts and pretty pictures. If not, then wait for it, and in the meantime imagine something lovely, and I hope you feel some goodness too.


judy in ky said...

Hi Natalie,
I hope you get this message, what with the code acting up and all. I am totally muddled and befuddled by these things. I've been trying for a week to get signed on to i-tunes. Finally, yesterday I succeeded!
But I have no idea how I did it. Codes and passwords and screen names just befuddle me to no end.
I know what you mean about the acrimony over the election. What is going on in these peoples' minds? I am totally at a loss to know where they are coming from. I feel like we have a man who is going to try to make things better, and there are those who are determined to see him fail. What's up with that?

Tiglizzyclone said...

When it comes to computers I am always befuddled! If my daughter hadn't fixed it all up I wouldn't be on the Internet. Nor would I have a scanner or a printer connected. It took me awhile to just figure out the scanner.

Hey! I love your photos of Maria! Such sweet pictures!

d.a. said...

It has helped me to remember that there were alot of wild-eyed prognostications from far leftists when Bush came into office. And alot of the same bewilderment from conservatives.

I think for many, fear of race AND fear of political party is obscuring the actual things being planned and done. If some of the folks who are so scared would look at the efforts as if it were Bush's new policies, I think they'd be overjoyed and feeling like it was an uberpatriotic thing to do.

Or not. I could be very wrong :-).

Tracy said...

Hi, Natalie! There's so hope right there...sweet Marie with the chickens and getting busy with a broom...Like yourself I have a very hard time understanding the negativity. I think fear is the overriding factor there, people are afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of a sincerely good man who has a great vision, who truly wants to engage the country and the world, who instills a renewed hope and stronger America? Personally I, and I know many others feel the same so it is refreshing, that this past Tuesday was a monumental day in American history, for many reasons. Since I live abroad, it was amazing to also get the feel of how positive and important Obama's election is here in Europe. A few times I felt a bit homesick, just waves of emotions all day...and not least when Obama finally took the oath. It will be exciting to see how the next four years unfold. And though, as he says, and as many others and experts say, it will be very hard for a while yet with so much to overcome...But hopefully that the sense of hope and change he, and all of us too, will carry on through the times ahead. Hope and inspiration are greatly needed these days! I'm with you in the search of goodness...Of being good, doing good. Of spreading hope, not fear. Love spreading love. With love alone so much can be done. So I take up my broom too. :o) ((HUGS))

Anna Banana said...

...before I get entangled in frustration about the many days and nights we have been apart from Geoff, which makes me sad and pouty, which makes me think of the housing debacle, which makes me angry and bitter, which leads to a total halt in all domestic operations, which is depressing...

Maybe it does not always have to be this way even if it has been this way in the past. Isn't this what our new president is saying? There is an English saying that a new broom sweeps clean. Treat yourself to a new broom?

warren said...

Sometimes we do need to purposefully look for goodness. Great idea!

I esp liked the "chicken hug" pic...chickens are people too aren't they?

Jennifer said...

We are helped to find the goodness in ourselves by having leaders who call us to it, and who have it in themselves. We'll all show 'em it can happen -- we're going to change the world.

Tarie said...

Gathering fresh eggs is beautiful. Betty is beautiful. Having a hummingbird nest in your backyard is beautiful.

"With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?" — Oscar Wilde

Happy Chinese New Year, Natalie! :D