Freedom Founded In Benevolence

Friends gather on the banks of the beautiful Kanawha River at Glen Ferris West Virginia. They’ve come to enjoy the warm sun and the cool waters. Playfully they leap into the air for the occasional game of tag and to float on the warm air as it rises and carries them to the tops of the trees. Their lives are completely devoid of aggression and malcontent. They soar on the slightest breeze because they have no burdens to hold them down.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that good will leads to a happier place in life. It is a promise made to us by God. We all have good days and bad days. There’s days when I can get triggered by the slightest little thing and before I can stop myself I’ve said or done something that I regret for weeks. And, you know what? It takes twice as much expression of good will to free me from that regret. I might feel like I was winning a debate or putting someone else in their place but the truth is that those actions become a burden almost immediately. So, if you want to know the real secret of joy and freedom it’s benevolence.

Daydreaming of Summer

I can’t believe it’s still Winter. Well, more to the point, I don’t want to believe it’s still Winter. I’ve had enough of gray skies, muddy roads, cold and damp. I want to see green grass, blue skies and life everywhere I look. I miss the butterflies and honeybees that fill my yard. Warm weather brings songbirds to my mountain. I know each one of them by their voices. Some of them have returned every year to live in the brambles in the edge of my yard.

The Ironweed in the photo is a late summer flower. It emerges during the warmest part of the year.

Today I’m hiding from ice and snow but in my heart it’s still Summer.

A Trip To The Meadow River. 

Today is dreary day in the mountains of Appalachia.  There’s been heavy rain and gray skies all day. By morning the ice and snow is supposed to return.  On days like today I like to look at the summer images that I’ve taken.  It makes me feel like I’m sitting by one of our rivers with a Zebco 33 and one of my favorite lures.  The simple repetitive action of casting and slowly drawing the line back in has a meditative quality for me.  I don’t even really care if anything bites. Like Zen archery ( or at least my understanding of it ) it’s all about clearing the mind and regaining focus.  The image above was taken on the Meadow River during one of these trips. The spot is known mostly to locals and I’m sworn to secrecy as to the exact spot.  Behind me a small campfire crackles softly making just enough smoke to keep mosquitoes away.  It didn’t seem to bother the butterflies that danced and played on the buttonbush.  I made one last cast into the river and slowly retrieve.  There’s a tug on the other end of line. But, I let him go. Sometimes  is not about the fish,  it’s about the fishing and memories that are made.