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A Walk In The Woods April 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature.
41 comments

Florida is NOT all Sun, Sand, and Surf . . . it’s also the silence we sense between each echoing splash.

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It’s water and rocks and islands of pine shading soil from sun.

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Florida’s ancient roots trace back to Africa before continents shifted from where they were to where they wanted to be.

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If continents and trees are open to change . . . who are we disagree.

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Just be . . . and let the future unfold.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Cryonics April 5, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness, Nature, Spirit & Ego.
36 comments

300px-MortTim Urban (Wait But Why) wrote a terrific post about Cryonics ~ Why Cryonics Makes Sense.

After explaining what Cryonics is (and isn’t), Tim counters many of the moral, religious, and scientific objections people have raised to the experimental practice.

If you’re even remotely interested in the topic, his well-researched post is worth reading.

If you want to read it right now, go ahead.  Death waits for no man!

OK . . . let’s continue.

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By the end of the article, it’s clear that Tim sees no downside to pressing the “pause” button on death . . .

His conclusion doesn’t seem “silly, gullible, or selfish” to me . . . given his current beliefs about life and death.

But I don’t share his beliefs.

And I do see two downsides to Cryonics that he didn’t explore:

(1) Tim starts the post with an Either/Or scenario ~ Either stay on the plane and go down in flames OR grab the experimental parachute and cross your fingers that you land in a better place.

If those are only two options, grabbing the parachute might seem like a no brainer.

And, for an atheist, like Tim, those may be the only two options to consider.

250px-Astronaut-EVATim sees death as The End.

As a result, he’s satisfied that “being alive is a lot more interesting than being dead.”

But what if he’s wrong?
What if death is not The End?

What if being dead is a lot more interesting than being alive?

What if Cryonics means you’re pressing the pause button on what might be an amazing “after life” experience?

Cryonics means hanging around in suspended animation in a tub of liquid nitrogen for “eons” waiting for technology to advance far enough so that science can un-pause you so you can rejoin the living.

As amazing as that experience might be (assuming all goes as planned), maybe we don’t have to wait.

Maybe death is an immediate transition to something better.

Do you still want to grab that parachute?

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(2) Cryonics is about preserving and resurrecting the brain ~ based on the assumption that “who we are” is encapsulated there.

But what if that’s not where “we” are?

What if the preservation and resurrection of the brain is not synonymous with the continuation of “me”?

I’m convinced that we are not the thoughts that we think, the emotions that we feel, or the memories that we cherish.

I’m satisfied that there is more to “me” than that.

What if that “something more” (spirit) doesn’t cooperate when we press pause? What if our inner essence flies the coop before we land in the Cryonics tank?

What if “me” is M.I.A. once my brain is “brought back to life”?

What if I grab the experimental parachute, jump into the tank, hang around in suspended animation (with Tim) for eons waiting for the future to arrive, only to find that I’ve landed in a strange landscape with no friends, no money, no home, no job, no bank account, and no . . . “me”?

Donald-Duck-DivingEven though I don’t view Tim as being “silly, gullible, or selfish” in his decision to jump into the Cryonics pool, joining him in the vat just doesn’t appeal to “me.”

Then again, if “me” flees and flies off into the light to enjoy an amazing life after life experience . . . what do “I” have to lose?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Snowbirds! March 29, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Nature.
44 comments

Brown Pelicans hang out in the Sunshine State year round.  That’s why they boast a perpetual bronze tan.

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Their cousins, the larger light-colored White Pelicans, visit for only a few months each winter, never staying long enough to develop tan lines.

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Like their human counterparts, White Pelicans (and other Snowbirds) fly south to avoid frigid temps and icy terrain up north.

Smart.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Just Ask Eve February 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Nature.
34 comments

On occasion, gators have wandered into houses in Florida through pet doors before patrolling the rooms with a lumbering gait.

“Honey!  I’m home!”

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In other places, snakes have staked out a claim to the inside of a residence by slithering through registers when no one’s looking.

“Ssssss . . . any one home?”

Reptiles are sneaky beasts.

Just ask Eve.

Aah . . . cats are awesome!

Beyond Thought November 23, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nature.
44 comments

Thoughts often pull us out of the Now, causing us to become distracted and discontent.

Unburdened by a steady stream of chatter, we experience life without a filter ~ awake, aware, alert, at ease.

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Nature helps me shift from thinking, with its perpetual analysis, judging, and weighing, to “just being” ~> sensing sights, sounds, and smells.

Until . . . thoughts creep in on padded paws and begin to negate the state I’m trying to embrace by cluttering up the space with words.

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Rather than following these passing thoughts, I allow each to drift away, and return my attention to “just being” with the wind and the waves.  Listening to life’s heartbeat.

Content again (for now), my mind settles down.

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The waterfall flows.  The clouds part.  The sun shines.  As a detached observer, I watch the Eternal Now unfold without feeling the need to steer . . .

Here I am.
Alive. Awake. Aware.
Watching the “what is” as it is.
Allowing it to be.

Beyond thought.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Attempting to understand consciousness with your mind is like trying to illuminate the sun with a candle. ~ White Fire, Mooji

Beneath The Breeze November 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Music & Dance, Nature, Poetry.
45 comments

_0001cOne night, I saw beneath the breeze

Beyond the leaves
To an ocean of shimmering cells within

Another world revealed

Nothing stagnant
Everything vibrant and alive

Awake and aware

Dancing to the beat of the Eternal Now

Aah . . . that’s better!

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

~ Lao Tzu

The 7 Wonders Of The World August 15, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness, Nature.
42 comments

If asked to list the 7 wonders of the world, most people would include at least a few of the following:

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1. Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. Great Wall of China
7. St. Peter’s Basilica

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On further reflection, perhaps we might revise the list to include:

IMGP1676a1.  Seeing

2.  Hearing

3.  Tasting

4.  Touching

5.  Smelling

6.  Laughing

7.  Loving

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Free of Charge! July 23, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness, Nature.
41 comments

IMGP1097bLike the sun, our inner spark never dies.

Sometimes we can’t sense the flame because it’s obscured by the “clouds and fog” of daily living.

Battered and bruised by a barrage of distractions, we become limp with nothing to fill our sails.

The whisper of the wind or the wash of waves on the sand may be all it takes for us to soar again.

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Nature recharges our batteries.

Free of charge!

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Even when we are grounded.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related: Keep Close to Nature’s Heart (Find Your Middle Ground)

Rising Tides July 18, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Nature.
46 comments

170px-Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detailA minister got caught in a flood. When the water was up to the porch of his church, a canoe came by and offered help.

“No, God will provide.”

The flood waters rose still higher until he found himself on the porch roof.  Again a canoe came by offering help.

“No, thanks.  God will save me.”

Soon the minister was clinging to the church steeple. A helicopter lowered a line and told him to grab on so they could pull him to safety.

“Thanks.  But God will save me.”

The waters continued to rise and he drowned in the raging flood waters. When he stood before God, he asked why he was allowed to drown. “Why didn’t you save me?”

“I sent you two canoes and a helicopter. What more did you want?”

Aah . . . that’s better!

“People always call it luck when you’ve acted more sensibly than they have.” ~ Anne Tyler

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Bok Tower Gardens June 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
47 comments

Early May, we drove across state to Bok Tower Gardens, a national historic landmark in Lake Wales.

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Established in 1929 by Edward W. Bok as a gift to the American people, the 50-acre garden was designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

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The acres include ferns, palms, oaks, pine, flowering foliage, fountains, and wide expanses of manicured lawns.

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This flower waved at us from its shady perch . . .

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This plant’s radiant spikes caught our attention . . .

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Here’s some perspective on the size of its spikes . . .

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In the midst of the greenery stands the 205-foot-tall marble and coquina Singing Tower.

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Each day, a carilloner climbs into the tower to present a concert on the 60-bell carillon.

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The bells range in size from 22,000 pounds to 12 pounds.

After the tower’s construction, the bells got lifted into position through an opening now filled with this sundial.

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The grounds include a Visitor Center and Museum with changing art exhibits and a 9-minute introductory video about the Tower and the Gardens ~> an air-conditioned oasis on the HOT day we visited.

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The gardens are quiet, peaceful, and contemplative, especially when the carillon’s peals ring out from the Singing Tower.

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The site also includes Pinewood Estate and Gardens ~ a one-of-a-kind 1930’s Mediterranean style home surrounded by rolling hills and crowds of blooms.

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Wandering a remote path near Pinewood Estate, we found a baby scrub jay out of its nest.

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After giving it water and building a lean-to to shield it from the sun, we returned to the 20-room mansion to alert a director ~ she hoped to find someone knowledgeable enough to save the baby bird.

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Also on site ~ a Gift Shop, a Plant Shop, and the Blue Palmetto Cafe.

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After admiring the sights and sounds while walking 2-3 miles around and around the grounds with the blazing sun beating down, we climbed into our air-conditioned chariot for the ride home.

Aah . . . that’s better!

And now a few quotes for the Three Quote Challenge (thanks, Sylvia!):

* The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. ~ Alfred Austin

* My family lived off the land; summer evening meals featured baked stuffed tomatoes, potato salad, corn on the cob, fresh shelled peas and homemade ice cream with strawberries from our garden. With no air conditioning, the cool porch was the center of our universe after the scorching days. ~ David Mixner

* If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

If you want to play along, consider yourself nominated.  Then swing by Another Day in Paradise to see how many rules I failed to follow.

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