A journey through the outdoors…in the midst of a bustling city. Follow my blog to see images you don’t normally see.

Sand Castles By the Sea

Oh, who wouldn’t want to make a sand castle by the sea?

Just relaxing,

Just you and me.

I love the breeze,

Running through my hair.

I love the feel,

Of the balmy air.

I love the summer nights so sweet.

I love the sand beneath my feet.

I love the endless ocean waves,

I feel they go for days and days.

I love the feeling, oh so free,

Of just “being,” you and me.

P.S. This post could not have come at a better time, as my mother reminded me via such a happy picture of the two of us, that this time last year we were in Bermuda, one of my favorite places on the planet. The culture and the environment there are like none other. I can’t wait to go back someday!

Windbag

Ha ha! Windbag! What a great word for today! We have lots…of examples of windbags over here, without mentioning names, lol. Blowing lots of hot air; just full of it; flying high on hot air, itself. In fact, hot air is the only thing keeping it afloat, like a kite. The kite won’t work without all of the air buoying it from underneath. Without the air, the kite can’t fly, but take the air out from under its wings and the kite stays grounded…food for thought?

Cloister

If only

I could be cloistered in The Cloisters

That beautiful structure

Standing in the center of a gorgeous park

At the highest point in Manhattan

A park so peaceful

A place so open

A world so green

Looking out over the Hudson River

With the sun shining on the water.

If only

I could look out

From the top of the stone ramparts

Filled with history

That tell the story

Of a massive battle.

Fought closer to home

Than we could feel

From our classrooms in the West.

Out here

This battle

Took place

Where. We. Are.

When it is no longer far away

We have no choice

But to take note.

Remember.

History. Is. Now.

Make it what you want

The future to reflect on.

I know what you’re thinking. What the heck does she mean by settling out? You’re right. It makes no sense. Times are so strange. I honestly wish that tomorrow was January 1st, 2021. 2020 has been a wipe, ha ha. Can we just skip to the good part? Anyways, let’s get started.

During COVID-19 everything has changed. Life is still topsy turvy here in NYC and I’m sure it’s crazy elsewhere, too. I’m finally settling in. I’m finally in a groove. This is all taking place…just when we are now starting to talk about re-opening. I’m still getting used to this new normal. I’m not ready to start a new phase of change (although I will have to adapt regardless and I’m prepared to do so). So I’ve settled in…but what about the next part? What about…settling…out? By that I mean how do we progress towards re-opening and changing our way of life for the 2nd time in a very recent period. How do we feel comfortable in such a chaotic and dangerous world/situation? We’ll have no choice. Life must go on, but how do we, in ourselves, prepare ourselves for the unknown and possible danger of the next phase. We must be brave. We must educate ourselves about how to be safe while moving around the city now. What will this new world look like? Will we be quarantined again? So that’s what I mean by settling out. Going out into the world again with whatever confidence in the face of fear that we can after upending our lives by quarantining (which I agree, has been good to do and may be best to continue). For the record, I don’t want the world to go back to the way things were before. Clearly that was not working, and we need to move forward in a different, more positive manner.

Although I am very well aware of the fact that the phrase settling out isn’t a logical term or a regular one, to me it perfectly captures the way that I’m feeling. How are you feeling?

Pronounce. Pronounce…Pronounce? What do I do with pronounce? The obvious comes to mind, but I’m not sure I feel like writing the obvious today. Given what is going on in my life with volunteering, I find myself talking to many different people in NYC on the phone, and I sometimes get caught off-guard when I think that I’m being very clear, but I get a swift reminder that maybe I am not, and how important communication is. That’s the obvious. Now for the not so obvious thing to write about.

Color.

Words.

Music.

Sound.

Tone.

What do all of these words have in common?

They all are a part of,

How I define pronunciation.

How does the voice sound?

What color would you associate the tone with?

Music.

Speaking and singing both contain music.

How you pronounce something,

Has a certain music to it.

A certain tone.

Can you hear exactly how the word is pronounced?

Can you hear every part of the word?

Every syllable?

How does it sound when each syllable is combined?

Can you feel the warmth in someone’s voice?

Or is it gravelly?

How do those two,

Effect the sound.

Exactly.

It’s all…

Pronunciation.

Photo: Sarah Pflug/burst.shopify.com

Limp Bizkit

Interesting word for today! Ironically, the first thing that came to my mind in response to the daily word is the band “Limp Bizkit.” The reason I say ironically is because I have never once listened to them (as far as I’m aware). When I was younger a couple of guys in my 7th/8th grade class were really into Limp Bizkit and would constantly talk about them. Me, I was more into my musicals and some Good Charlotte with a sprinkling of Green Day. In fact, that’s mostly what I still listen to other than podcasts and lo-fi, lol, but an image of Fred Durst and Limp Bizkit is the first thing that popped into my mind. It got me thinking about 90’s music, though, and how long ago it was. I can’t believe it! It feels like just yesterday that these bands were crazy popular and the thing to listen to. Do you have any bands that you think of in this way? I’m actually curious, so please leave a comment if you’d like! OH, also I like the Beatles.

Times are strange, aren’t they? How are you all keeping it together? I’ve been trying to find a new normal with purpose and structure. It’s not easy. Composure is hard to keep. Composure is…changing. Everything is changing. Or so it seems. So how are people keeping their…composure? The word is a hard one to write about today, it seems. In a time when everything seems to be up in the air how do we keep it all together? Does keeping it together even look the same anymore? Or are there such changes in our outside world that we must change on the inside drastically? It seems to me that that’s the case. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. New opportunities might come of this tragedy.

While trying to cope with all of the extra time on my hands, stuck inside, with life topsy turvy, I was having a tough time. My boyfriend made a suggestion: why not volunteer? I had no idea that anyone could really volunteer virtually. I mean, I’d never heard of that. I took his advice, and two weeks later I find myself feeling more cohesive…more composed, happier, stronger. That is not to say that I was unhappy before, or weak, but I have a newfound sense of purpose during this time, as I generally volunteer a couple of hours almost every day. You see, before this happened I was looking to find a remote job (I’m still looking), and I thought the only thing I’d be good at is customer service. Through my volunteering these past couple of weeks I’ve realized that my customer service skills can be put to good use to actually help people and my horizons have been broadened. The work I’ve been doing is providing assistance to those in need by calling to check on constituents and connect them with mutual aid resources. I love it. I get to help people, and that warms my heart to the nth degree. It makes me so happy. It has also been socially helpful during social distancing. I get to chat with volunteers every day and we even have a social hour once a week on zoom! I’m connecting with people I never would have met otherwise. It’s all beneficial. I hadn’t thought of this before, but I’m sure there’s a way to use my customer service skills to work remotely while providing assistance and understanding to those in need. I truly hope so.

It’s odd that the word composure brought up an idea that has absolutely nothing to do with the word, but for some reason when I think of the word composure the word “grounded” pops into my brain. To me, to have composure means a person is grounded in their body and their soul. That is exactly what volunteering has helped me with. If you’re curious about virtual volunteering during this time, let me know in the comments! You don’t have to live in New York or even the USA to be involved in the virtual organizations here. I hope to see you on the volunteer lists and that you are all happy and healthy. Have a great day!

Cover Photo courtesy of Nicole De Khors on Burst free images.

Footer photo courtesy of Shopify Partners on Burst free images.

Yesterday, while walking to do an errand, stuck in my own head, thinking about trying to keep distance from people who did not seem to be thinking about social distancing, I randomly looked up to the sky. It was a beautiful, bright blue day, and, very uncommonly, I could see the moon crisp and clear. It made me stop and think about my previous post. I had written about looking up to the sky, centering oneself, and being grateful for the frontline workers. Sometimes I forget my own advice, as I’m sure we all do. Yesterday, I stopped and took a breath. The sight of the moon looking down over the world reminded me that there is something so much bigger out there than all of us. There are larger forces at work than mankind. It was very comforting thinking about how all of us are simply small creatures allowed to live on this beautiful planet that has, miraculously, supported us for so long. It reminded me that the world provides us with what we need if we stop and listen. I couldn’t let myself forget that moment, so here is the photo that I took.

Although I know that today’s word is twinkle, this memory of the moon popped up in my mind as I started deliberating what to write about. I generally go with whatever the first thing is the springs to life, as I enjoy writing stream-of-conscious style posts. Also, the cosmos is just such a fascinating, beautiful, unifying place. I wonder what it’s like to look back at the earth from the International Space Station and see the world for what it really is. What a life-changing experience. What a point of view.

Perfect for This Time

What a perfect word for this time we are in! One would think that the word coyote wouldn’t normally bring up something so readily for me, but today there are a couple of reasons that word resonates.

As many of you know, in NYC we don’t get much in the way of wildlife (unless you count the pigeons and rats…ugh), or, if we do get any animals their presence is overwhelmed by horns honking, sirens, people, etc. Well, mother nature is certainly making a big comeback around here. The flowers are beautiful. The grass is green. There are birds…chirping. In Colorado, where I’m from, that is not so strange, but in NYC this is very odd. It’s beautiful. It’s also eerie. Were I in Colorado, or somewhere that is not a hotbed of Covid-19, the sound of birds would be welcoming and beautiful. It is even now, but it’s also a stark reminder of why we are able to hear them now. Nonetheless, they are beautiful.

The second reason that this word rings a bell today is because howling at 8 has become somewhat of a popular event in the US recently. An entire community has been created. People are sharing their stories and the reason they howl. It’s cathartic for many! Side note: on a recent facetime with my family my sister told me about this howl at 8 thing they’ve been doing that my nephew loves and was very surprised when I told her I know one of the people who started it. The facebook group was started by a buddy that I knew/know from college, and it has just exploded. In case you haven’t heard about it abroad, you can join the facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/howlat8/) and howl in your own time zone at 8pm. There are over half a million followers, and it is a wonderful activity in such a difficult time.

So, everyone, if you hear random howls at 8pm, don’t be alarmed. It’s just solidarity in action. I hope you are all well during this time.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com