Photo taken in Wild Honey's Garden: Winter Blooming Camellia
Happy New Year and welcome to another year of the Wild Honey Buzz! I'm not totally sure of what I mean by "less is more" but I like the sound of it. I do have a goal of simplifying and decluttering my life in all areas and admire a lot of the tenets of minimalism. I think this theme of "less is more" is a follow-up to last year's theme, "Serenity in '23." Simplicity and serenity seem like best friends, like one leads to another.
In keeping with this theme, I'll aim for shorter blog posts! If nothing else, I tell myself that writing these posts is an exercise in dementia prevention!
Noticings and Reflections:
At the time of this writing, we haven't seen a single snowflake here in the Seattle area. It has been grey and rainy with mild temperatures. During a recent walk in the rain, I saw a blossoming plum and thought of the Japanese poet, Basho's, beautiful words: "Don't ever forget: In the middle of the thicket, blossoming plum." Also in my garden, pretty pink camellia blooms make me long for spring, and I try to remember that even in these dark times we live in, the beauty of nature is a constant. On this same walk in the rain, we were treated to a closeup view of a red tail hawk and two dozen graceful white trumpeter swans!
Speaking of dark times, two people I listen to who are shedding light on the threats to democracy that we are witnessing in America are the historian, professor and author, Heather Cox Richardson, who wrote "Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America" and pastor John Pavlovitz who addresses the dangerous Christian Nationalist movement. While I don't agree 100% with their views, I do find them very informative and both have enlightening content on their social media platforms. While I've focused on the young voters of Generation Z in the past, I have been reminded that suburban women like me "of a certain age" are also a powerful voting block. When I cast my vote in November, I will certainly be thinking of the incredible damage done to many pregnant women due to the abortion bans that resulted from the overturn of Roe v Wade and the politician/s and party responsible for these.
Another light in the darkness: this vision for a peace plan in the Middle East written by a Palestinian Christian theologian and Episcopal Priest.
One of the books I received at Christmas was a collection of poetry titled "Trailer Park Psalms" which I really really like and highly recommend. The author is Ryler Dustin who lives in Bellingham, WA. He has a background in slam poetry which is reflected in the wonderful musicality of his poems. They are also filled with images from the natural environment of the Pacific Northwest and the rural experience. The title poem is particularly well done. Another favorite is called "To Make Color" in which the author shares how his grandmother emptied the stove in their trailer home of ashes each morning "for the garden in spring." She was not forgetting "in the middle of the thicket (winter)" the promise and hope of "blossoming plum."
In December, I received notice that a poem I wrote about my visit to the Japanese island of Okinawa where my father fought in the Battle of Okinawa in WWII was selected as winner in the poetry category of table/FEAST Literary Magazine's contest for writers over 50. The poem is called "Orchids on Okinawa" and will be published in the spring, along with the work of the winners in the other genres. I am very grateful to the editors and judge of this contest and look forward to sharing the poem in a future post.
When I write my next blog, I hope to be able to do a "cover reveal" for my new book, "In the Grip of Grace!" (Finishing Line Press). I will also share information on how you can pre-order a copy which will be shipped in May.
In 2024, I am wishing you LESS heartache and MORE joy. May all beings throughout the world be free of suffering.
Wild Honey/ Marianne