Away


I love the sea, I love a rural landscape. I love quaint village charm.

Welcomes

Welcomes

Martha’s Vineyard is sprinkled lavishly with the irresistable allure of its seafaring past, interwoven with farmsteads, artists, and unpretentious beauty.

pickets and roses

pickets and roses

This island is not trying to be anything more than it is; leaving aside the germane need tourists may have for t-shirts, arcades, and the stipulation to be regaled, this, this island is honest.

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The roads (other than the main highways) are  dirt, rutted, and furrowed.

tidal

tidal

The fishermen have this north-east island life hardships etched into their face, divulging her secret struggles, with the weather, with time, and changing earth.

Vinyard Haven Harbor

Vinyard Haven Harbor

Verdant farms dot the mid-island landscape. Farmer stands, and markets offer a seasonal supply of freshness. Sustainability and a natural approach to life and farming are central.

Lake Tashmoo

Lake Tashmoo

Days are slow, they are meant to be. Savor the fresh salty air, the warm ocean breeze. Take a moment, simply feel the suns gentle rays.

I think they're done.

I think they’re done.

Stand on her cliffs and wonder.

Gay Head Cliffs

Gay Head Cliffs

Imagine winter’s lonely nights as light keeper.

Edgartown Light

Edgartown Light

Be stirred by the wonder of spring’s arrival.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Contemplate memories of childhood, of sandcastles, starfish, and shells.

Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs

It is a place bursting with sustenance for the soul.

J & J

J & J

But, home,well home is where I thrive, the hills, the green fields, pastoral scenes, the barns, and the people.

All it takes to appreciate what you have is to be without it for awhile.

Hope you are well,

Jess

Walking


Walking and conversation seem to go hand in hand. Inspired conversation, thoughts from deep within, the longer the walk the deeper the conversation.

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I think I could write an interesting memoir of outstanding walks I have taken with others, during which togetherness was not only shared but settled tenderly into the landscape of memory.

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When I was a child, my sisters and I used to walk, from the busstops to home, through parks, across fields and up and down hills.

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We talked of many things, some meaningful (to very young children) and some completely outrageous, and quite a few very tall stories emerged on those walks.

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Whatever the content of the talking, those walks and those conversations remain important memories for me of my attachment to my family, and to nature.

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We used to stop along the way to look for Lady Slippers, a protected native orchid. We found a few. We found Poison Ivy more often.

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The content of these walks have become blurred, now they’re more a painting in my memory. There, As a whole, no particular parts.  Cherished.

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“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Get out there, it’s good medicine.

I am the walkingist girl around, we (my husband or daughter and I) try to put in 6 miles a day, though we don’t always achieve this; weather has her own say in things.

Be well,

Jess

Rainbows


Indian Lore, Celebrate Earth Day a day late.

There was an old lady, from the Cree tribe, named Eyes of Fire, who prophesied that one day, because of the (man’s) Yo-ne-gis’ greed, there would come a time, when the fish would die in the streams, the birds would fall from the air, the waters would be blackened, and the trees would no longer be.

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There would come a time when the “keepers of the legend, stories, culture rituals, and myths, and all the ancient customs” would be needed to restore us to health. They would be mankinds’ key to survival, they were the “Warriors of the Rainbow”.

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All the peoples would form a new world of justice, peace, freedom and recognition. The Warriors of the Rainbow would teach them how to live the “Way of the Great Spirit”.

They would tell them why our earth is sick, they would show the peoples that this (the Great Spirit), is full of love and understanding, and teach them how to make the Earth or “Elohi” beautiful again. They would teach of Harmony among people in all four corners of the Earth.

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Once again, they would be able to feel joy in solitude and in councils. They would be free of petty jealousies and love all mankind as their brothers, regardless of color, race or religion. They would feel happiness enter their hearts, and become as one with the entire human race. Their hearts would be pure and radiate warmth, understanding and respect for all mankind, Nature, and the Great Spirit.

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They would once again fill their minds, hearts, souls, and deeds with the purest of thoughts. They would seek the beauty of the Master of Life — the Great Spirit! They would find strength and beauty and the solitudes of life. Their children would once again be able to run free and enjoy the treasures of nature.

The rivers would again run clear, the forests be abundant and beautiful, the animals and birds would be replenished. The powers of the plants and animals would again be respected and conservation of all that is beautiful would become a way of life.

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The poor, sick and needy would be cared for by their brothers and sisters of the Earth. These practices would again become a part of their daily lives. The leaders of the people would be chosen in the old way ~ by those whose actions spoke the loudest. Those who demonstrated their love, wisdom, and courage and those who showed that they could and did work for the good of all, would be chosen as the leaders or Chiefs.

They would be chosen by their “quality” and not the amount of money they had obtained. Like the thoughtful and devoted “Ancient Chiefs”, they would understand the people with love, and see that their young were educated with the love and wisdom of their surroundings.

They would show them that miracles can be accomplished to heal this world of its ills, and restore it to health and beauty. The tasks of these “Warriors of the Rainbow” are many and great.

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There will be terrifying mountains of ignorance to conquer and they shall find prejudice and hatred. They must be dedicated, unwavering in their strength, and strong of heart. They will find willing hearts and minds that will follow them on this road of returning earth to beauty.

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It will be with this knowledge that we shall find our “Key to our Survival”.

Be well,

Jess

Still waters…


Have you ever noticed, it can appear some are floating on life’s river.

Ogunquit sails

Ogunquit sails

Yet, upon a closer look they are only appear still…

Ogunquit view w boat

Is it so bad to be still?

Is it so bad not to be actively chasing?

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Chasing careers, chasing financial success, chasing recognition, chasing bigger, chasing better; only to catch it to find it not enough.

Ogunquit juniper berries

Can a successful life be one with out notoriety or fame?

Can we still quietly achieve, not announcing every achievement  to the world?

Ogunquit gull

Maybe this holds my smoldering distain for social media, where every undertaking is announced, every exploit a plea for approval.

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It is ok to be.

Can you know you matter.

Recognition is a basic human need, I know this.

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But is this need now on steroids? Has this need become more demanding?

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My thoughts offer more questions than answers.

Can success be contentment?

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It is okay to stop paddling so hard; it is okay to savor what you have achieved.

To listen. To feel. To enjoy. To savor.

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Attend to where l your heart takes you next.

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There may be contentment in still waters.

Be well,

Jess

Feather your nest


The first day of spring is a perfect time to build your home; at least this couple thinks so.

Just outside my living-room window a sparrow family is building their nest in the Forsythia just swelling with buds.

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It’s not a terribly pleasant day for building. The sun is struggling to be seen through the clouds and we expect snow to fall.

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She is dressed rather plainly today, you wouldn’t want to muss your best finery would you. I don’t think she expected visitors.

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She simply won’t be seen this way in public and takes her leave. Thank you very much.

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Or perhaps she has stepped out for a few items of decoration to enhance the new abode.

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I think he’s decided to use this time to tidy up his appearance. I do believe she’ll appreciate his efforts. (or perhaps he has an itch)

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Where did she get off to; she can’t think I can do this alone.

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Oh, there she is.

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Do like how things are coming along? No? Oh well, it’s just the foundation.

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Maybe she doesn’t know I’m here…

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I believe she can see me now.

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Let me show off my chest a little; she’ll like that.

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How embarrassing, she didn’t even notice.

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Perhaps I should get back to work, she might like that more…I have to impress her somehow.

Enjoy your day.

Be Well,

Jess

And Just Like That…


And just like that, it’s mud season. Grab your muck boots and lets dive right in. You’d think with all of the snow and ice we have been driving in, we’d be happy to be rid of it, and you are right, mostly.
Winter’s opinion of our driving skills matters very little now. Should we fancy ourself worthy of praise? We made it through, we survived relatively unscathed, free of this foreboding stretch of time. Now it is giving way to the promise of spring, but getting from one to the other required passing through an ominous complication called, mud season, or pot hole season, call it what you will.
The problem with this season? No, it is not merely the gobs of the gooey, sloppy, boot sucking glop carried in your boots or paws. No, it is far more sinister than that.
The problem?
Driving.

This, this makes your road a mighty opponent, a duel between you (your vehicle)and the mud-rutted road. It separates the men from the boys; the wheat from the chaff.

First,logistics come into play; you must figure out where to direct your wheels. The decisions come fast and furious, vigilance indispensable, lest you take too long to decide, even a moment of indecision can slow your momentum. Do you ride on the high part or the low part to stay out of the ditch? You follow the tire ruts that came before you, don’t even think about forging your own path? You must abandon your instincts, and drive like hell. Bottoming out is a fatal blow in an area that is mostly uphill and down and mostly dirt roads. If you are venturing out in New England this weekend, don’t leave your gumption at home.

Do you think I can train the pups to leave their boots at the door.
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The goats won’t muck up the kitchen with mud. They are more polite and mind their manners. (except when the eat the pocket right from the apron I’m wearing)
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Mud-season, a battle of two, a season of indeterminate duration when spring and winter struggle for dominance. A season you won’t find on your calendar, a season all its own; none of spring’s lovely flowers, or Autumn’s showy colors, none of winter’s white billows of snow, nor summer’s freshly cut green grass, just serious mud.

Winter has yet to yield its grip, the snow is still feet thick near the hedgerow, it’s best it melts slowly. A flooded basement, streams, and rivers would not be a better option.

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Girl, you need a haircut!

Be well,
Jess