• Austen Hayes

Pictures and Passages; Growth in Solitude, Reassurance in Nature

Updated: May 1


"No sooner am I alone than shapes of epic greatness are stationed around me, and serve my Spirit the office which is equivalent to a King's body guard...I melt into the air with a voluptuousness so delicate that I am content to be alone...I have written this that you might see I have my share of the highest pleasures and that though I may choose to pass my days alone, I shall be no Solitary...I am as happy as a (wo)man can be..." ~ John Keats

spring is arrived


So much that is new, unfamiliar - faces covered, six feet apart from strangers and loved ones alike, thousands working from home while some are asked to abandon safety to step out in courage to face the invisible threat...brave for those who stand behind. While the introvert, removed from crowds and small talk and pressing timetables may feel the contradiction of relief in the midst of sadness, there are those for whom the loss of connection means another kind of threat. The affliction of loneliness.


If ever there was a time to consider the role of perception in experience, this is it. Not what is, but the way you 'see' what is. A time to be afraid or a time for courage, a time of isolation or soul-nourishing solitude, hours of boredom or days of discovery, the intrusion of guilt or the practice of gratitude...we choose.

How will you move through...what will you realize when it is past? Newly found strengths? A you you hadn't known or understood before? A more creative, resilient, resourceful you? Or will it be a time you recall as having little value. The story will be yours to tell. How will it read...what will it say?

The tree - teacher of patience...

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No matter the news, Nature persists in gentle renewal...


Nature stands by in silence, to soothe, to welcome you into a place of undemanding safety. A single tree, one flower in a vase, an unpaved path or one bird serenading as you pass her perch on a budding limb - and you - in nature, of nature, announcing life in the face of loss and uncertainty with every step you take, every gift you give.

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May 1

"Standing here in the sun, it is hard to recall the downpours of winter, the gales and frosts of early spring. Now all is sunshine. As early summer rampages into full summer there is a fecundity all around which will not be held back. For all in the field it is a time to bloom, to reproduce. ...These May birds that I am watching today are only two of a host of migrants. Some will stop and feed and rest, others will be known only by their voices high in the night skies. All are subject to the same compulsion to live and beget life."

Passage and Sketch From "A Year in a Meadow", Pat Smith, 2002 (my grandmother's cousin)


Steady as the storm moves on...

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And...no matter the trial, the creatures seek what is good....


"Animals live outside in the wind, in the waters, in the mountains, and in the clay. The knowing of the earth is in them. The Zen-like silence and thereness of the landscape is mirrored in the silence and solitude of animals."

~ John O'Donohue, Irish Poet



Wishing you a glorious May...


Please pass on to someone you know...thank you. ah

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