Posted in Arlington, Life, Nature, Seasons, Spring

The doorway to tranquility

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Past the budding trees and down the stairs beneath the old railroad. I walk through a familiar landscape: the ball field, the tennis courts and through the fence to a quiet enclave of houses. I suspect they’re rehabilitated worker cottages from earlier days, when the pond was worked for ice. An old ice house still remains and has be
converted to a Boys and Girls Club. I meet a gravel path just past the small parking lot and am in Spy Pond Park.

The park is just coming to life at this time of the year with budding trees and a body of water that’s still fresh and clean. Ducks and geese roam the banks and the old, bent trees dip gracefully into the water.

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This is the pond, my five minute retreat from the world. There are other people here, but mostly it’s me, accompanied by bird song.

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It’s peaceful and I need peace. More than that I need a place that’s blossoming to natural life.

Can you hear the birds?

Posted in Arlington, Christmas, Family, Hanukkah, Holidays, Massachusetts

Enter Ancient December

It’s finally cold outside. I need my winter coat. No snow yet, but the local shops are putting up their displays and the Town is getting ready for a holiday blow out this weekend: tree lightings, caroling, special promotions at shops and restaurants. White lights are draped over trees in Arlington Center and trees are on sale, ready for ornaments all all that.

Holiday Display
Ginger Bread House at The Artful Heart

We’ll probably pick out a tree this weekend, just in time to kick off Hanukkah! I’ll have to dig out my husband’s menorah and remind him to get candles so we can light the thing. My travel arrangements for Buffalo are set and I’m starting to look around for presents to purchase or make.

Okay, so this is feeling cool. I’m getting into it. It’s been a little hard to get into the spirit since my mom passed, but enough time has transpired so that I can feel that holiday joy in my heart.

Happy Holidays, everybody!

Posted in Arlington, Health, Home, Meditation, Seasons, Summer, WordPress.com

Contemplative

It’s been a rough summer health-wise and I’m looking forward to continuing recovery as the cooler weather comes on. I’m trying to balance my work load, to give myself more time to relax and enjoy life. I’m come to realize how incredibly important that is. My problem is that I’m a Type A personality and any time spent “not working” feels like slacking off and being irresponsible. I’m trying to  hide from that mindset and occasionally am successful. But, I’m still dealing with a boatload of guilt every time I do something other than work.

I came across something interesting a few months ago, an inspiration from – of all people – Benjamin Franklin. He was a very busy fellow – inventor, author, diplomat and more. He published an autobiography and some philosophies about how one should live his or her life. Despite his warnings against idleness, he nonetheless did fit an extraordinary amount of free time in his very long day. He even pushed a daily schedule that I’ve found to be quite an inspiration:

I’m not going to follow it exactly, but I like the idea of finding the good in the day and striving towards it. My routine this morning echoed Mr. Franklin’s, although the afternoon fell by the wayside. Perhaps a half day, including some work, is all I can handle at the moment. I took myself out for lunch and then headed over to the library, even though I realized I didn’t have the energy to do any work there. I sat in one of the incredibly comfortable high-backed chairs and went through a meditation routine, then simply sat and took in that portion of the room: the books, the marble fireplace, the iron grating over a door (it’s a beautiful library). Eventually I left, very slowly, and decided to stop at the nearby coffee shop for a decaf.

I almost made it. I was walking slowly, listening to music on my headphones, when I tripped over a cracked part of the sidewalk and went crashing down, landing on my knee, elbow and right palm. So much for my afternoon of peace and quiet. Some very helpful folks helped get me to my feet and I limped the rest of the way to the coffee shop. Sat down with my java and popped a few Motrin. When I was well enough, I walked over to Spy Pond, again very close by, and sat on a stone bench under a tree and watched the water lapping to the shore and  the sun shining on the gentle waves. There was a sailboat in the water, which made things even prettier.

2015-08-26 15.15.26There I sat and there I rested. I did eventually make my way home and spent a few minutes sitting in the living room in front of a fan. I was still listening to the music that had been interrupted by my fall. So now I’m back upstairs, talking about my day, sharing the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin and about to check WordPress.com news to see what’s new there.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Arlington, Home, Nature, Seasons, Summer

A Walk in the (Not Quite) Woods

I managed to get out of the house today, wonder of wonders and treated myself to a walk along a bike path that runs past our street. The path used to be a railroad line, so the terrain is nice and flat. There’s a very nice little park behind my street which looks out over spy pond. You couldn’t ask for a prettier scene. Trees, water, birdsong and peaceful nature. I’ll take it.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Arlington, Art, Home, Massachusetts, Sculpture

Sculptures at an Exhibition

Arlington has gone whole-hog on the outdoor art scene. We’ve got painted utility boxes, street festivals and art exhibits in public parks. I’m just up the street from one of those parks, Spy Pond, and visited an exhibit called “Art Rocks Spy Pond,” which is going until the end of May. It was a beautiful day, so I took my camera and came back with some lovely pics. Enjoy!

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