This week Ann-Christine (Leya) invites us to explore where or what is our hideaway.
What exactly is a hideaway?
Roger’s International Thesaurus (revised: Robert L Chapman, 1977) offers two understanding of Hideaway: 1) hiding place – secret place, corner, asylum, sanctuary, retreat, refuge, cubbyhole and 2) retreat – secret place, den, ivory tower, hideout, cell, lair, cloister, hermitage, ashram
One may take refuge, claim sanctuary, throw oneself into the arms of, make port, reach safety.
My hideaway…retreat…sanctuary is my backyard where my family plays, camps, swims, hikes, photographs, share memories/hopes/fears, and laughs. These places where we sought sanctuary include Medicine Bow National Forest, Horsetooth Reservoir, Poudre Canyon, Cameron Peak, North Park.
Today, all threatened within the Mulen Fire and the Cameron Peak Fire.
“…from another perspective, refuge is about how you relate to the experience of life itself. When you stop looking outside or inside for something to free you from your struggles, you take refuge in direct awareness. …When awareness and experience are not different, you stop struggling with what arises and you are taking refuge in clarity…when you experience life without grasping, opposing or ignoring what arises, you take refuge in unrestricted experience.” (cited: Ken McLeod, Reflections on Silver River)
if one comes across a person who has been shot by an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about where the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned. Rather, one should focus on immediately pulling out the arrow.
~ The Buddha
Life is short; it must not be spend in endless metaphysical speculations which will not be able to bring us the Truth.
Andres Hedman, Consciousness from a Broad Perspective
“The Buddha’s teachings can be read on many levels … at a fundamental level, all the storytelling was a way of conveying ethical values. One of them is the peaceful coexistence of all life forms, which is very germane today. We’ve wandered dangerously far from that principle in the era of climate change. Referring to the seated Buddha sculpture in San Francisco, which is inscribed with the message that all things are connected by causality (in contrast with the deterministic belief that our fate is out of our hands)… What [the Awakened One] saw when he woke up is that things don’t happen by chance, that everything is connected by causality … and if nothing else, Covid-19 is waking us up to the fact that we are all connected.”
Have we now come to the time in which to honestly acquaint
ourselves with private inner and outer moral guiding principles
and within this solitude with self
foreseehow our individual choices/actions may impact the future of humanity?
I begin this contemplation with a clear knowing that I do not wish to wake from this time of mistrust and uncertainty to the prison bars of moral shame.
Stay at Home Order … day 24 plus 14 seclusion retreat days
“… Syme could hardly see for the patterns of sun and shade that danced upon them. Now a man’s head was lit as with a light of Rembrandt, leaving all else obliterated; now again he had strong and staring white hands with the face of a negro. The ex-Marquis had pulled the old straw hat over his eyes, and the black shade of the brim cut his face so squarely in two that it seemed to be wearing one of the black half-masks of their pursuers. The fancy tinted Syme’s overwhelming sense of wonder. Was he wearing a mask? Was anyone wearing a mask? Was anyone anything? This wood of witchery, in which men’s faces turned black and white by turns, in which their figures first swelled into sunlight and then faded into formless night, this mere chaos of chiaroscuro (after the clear daylight outside), seemed to Syme a perfect symbol of the world in which he had been moving for three days, this world where men took off their beards and their spectacles and their noses, and turned into other people.
That tragic self-confidence which he had felt when he believed that the Marquis was a devil had strangely disappeared now that he knew that the Marquis was a friend. He felt almost inclined to ask after all these bewilderments what was a friend and what an enemy. Was there anything that was apart from what it seemed? The Marquis had taken off his nose and turned out to be a detective. Might he not just as well take off his head and turn out to be a hobgoblin? Was not everything, after all, like this bewildering woodland, this dance of dark and light? Everything only a glimpse, the glimpse always unforeseen, and always forgotten. For Gabriel Syme had found in the heart of that sun-splashed wood what many modern painters had found there. He had found the thing which the modern people call Impressionism, which is another name for that final scepticism which can find no floor to the universe. As a man in an evil dream strains himself to scream and wake, Syme strove with a sudden effort to fling off this last and worst of his fancies. …
cited: The Project Gutenberg Ebook of The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesteron
The above photographs were created with a Nikon D750, f1/8, 35mm, 100 ISO. Shutter speeds of 1/3200 to 1/4000.
“The rapid increase of carbon dioxide concentration in Earth’s modern atmosphere is a matter of major concern. But for the atmosphere of roughly two-and-half billion years ago, interest centres on a different gas: free oxygen (O2) spawned by early biological production. The initial increase of O2 in the atmosphere, its delayed build-up in the ocean, its increase to near-modern levels in the sea and air two billion years later, and its cause-and-effect relationship with life are among the most compelling stories in Earth’s history.”
(cited: Lyons, Timothy W.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Planavsky, Noah J. The rise of oxygen in Earth’s early ocean and atmosphere: Nature, Volume 506, Issue 7488, pp. 307-315 (2014).
“The oxygen holocaust was a worldwide pollution crisis that occurred about 2,000 million years ago. Before this time there was almost no oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Earth’s original biosphere was as different from ours as that of an alien planet. But purple and green photosynthetic microbes, frantic for hydrogen, discovered the ultimate toxic waste, oxygen. Our precious oxygen was originally a gaseous poison dumped into the atmosphere. … (The atmospheres of Mars and Venus today are still more than 95 percent carbon dioxide; the Earth’s is only 0.03 percent.)…”
(cited: Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution
~Buson (cited: Y Sawa & E M Shiffert, Haiku Master Buson
you just can’t go and ask a tree
“Fall is so wonderful because of the change in the colors of the leaves, and [during the autumn months], the deciduous trees pretty much shed their leaves and become bare—well, most of those trees. …
“The process of shedding leaves is really interesting and shows the intricate evolution of nature as a way to survive through all seasons. When the days grow shorter and the amount of sunshine available to leaves decreases, the process that makes food for the trees ends. Chlorophyll begins to break down, the green color disappears, and we get those splendid colors of the fall before most trees drop their leaves.
“The process of leaf drop is also a neat little trick of nature. At the base of their stem (referred to as the petiole), leaves have a zone called the abscission layer, located near the branch to which they are attached.
“The word abscission (sounds like scissors) comes from the Latin ‘to cut away’. The abscission zone has special cells that act like scissors, cutting the leaf off from the main part of the tree in autumn. The part of the leaf stem, or petiole, nearer the leaf contains a separation layer of thin-walled cells that break readily, allowing the leaf to drop. On the branch or twig side of the petiole, there’s another special layer of cells that have a corky structure, which forms a protective layer on the tree, neatly closing up the break to prevent injury or disease. So, the cold of winter gets sealed out, while precious water that the tree continues to use through the winter is sealed in. When spring finally arrives, the return to rapid growth from the trees limbs makes leaf buds expand and swell, and the old leaves finally break off if they haven’t already. Nature is so cool!
“Most, but not all, deciduous trees go through the abscission process. But there are a number of species that exhibit marcescence, or the retention of their leaves, to some degree through the winter months. That’s what you may see when you walk through the forest in the winter. Marcescence is most common by far in the beech, followed by many species of oak as well as hornbeam
“Scientists have not established the exact reason why certain trees exhibit marcescence—you just can’t go and ask a tree. However, there are some common theories. A few of those theories are based on the observation that marcescent leaves are found most often on younger or smaller trees or on the lower limbs of bigger trees.
“One theory suggests trees may keep their leaves to deter deer and other browsing animals from eating the nutrient-rich twigs. The leaves may conceal sumptuous new buds. In fact, researchers have found that the dried leaves are less nutritious than the twigs, and that characteristic might keep the animal from trying to munch on the lower twigs of trees.
“Researchers suggest another possibility for trees holding their leaves through the winter. It relates to the availability of nutrients for trees as they head into the growing season in the spring. When leaves drop in the fall, the nutrients from those leaves that accumulate on the forest floor are pretty much gone by the next spring when the tree needs food to kick off the growing season. This mulch layer would also hold in precious moisture for the trees. If the tree holds its leaves until spring, then releases them to the ground below, they may act as quick-start nutrients as the growing season begins, and this is most important for the smaller trees under much of the canopy from larger trees.
“On a related note, in some years, rapid onset of early frosts or freezes may halt the abscission process and cause many other deciduous trees to hold their leaves into part of the winter season. This would include varieties of maples and other species, but as the winter wears on most of these trees finally do lose their leaves.
“There’s no debate that the muted browns and yellows of marcescent leaves provide a beautiful backdrop in the bare forests of the winter. In addition, one benefit of trees like the beech, which keep most of their leaf canopy during the winter, is for birds who can seek shelter from the cold winter temperatures and winds among those clumps of leaves.
“For those who choose to take that wonderful saunter through a forest path during the winter, you now know why there are trees who choose “not to go naked” during the season, but wait to complete a quick change as nature’s spring fashion season swings into full gear.”
cited: Weather Underground,Tom Niziol. Marcescence: why some trees keep their leaves in winter, January 22, 2020
“The BC and Federal Governments have abruptly stepped away from talks that were scheduled for this week as the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary chiefs justly stated they would not ask other Nations to stand down as a precondition to having Nation to Nation talks.
“Powerful actions and a widespread will to struggle against injustice have proliferated in response to the raid on Tyendinaga as anger grows at the Government’s use of force and steadfast refusal to negotiate in good faith.
“The Government’s demand that blockades end for talks to begin illustrate how powerful this movement is and how afraid they are of widespread and sustained Indigenous resistance. The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary chiefs have asked for people to continue to act in support of their demands.
“… people have risen up in defiance of colonial injunctions and set up new rail and road blockades across the country: Over 500 people shut down rail traffic in Toronto, The Port of Vancouver was shut down for over 24 hours, Kahnawake Mohawks reinforced their barricades in response to an injunction, Indigenous youth retook the BC Legislature vowing to stay until Nation to Nation talks occur, and new rail blockades went up in Chase, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Hamilton, Gitxsan territory, Lennoxville among many other incredible actions.
“As police begin to act more aggressively towards new blockades many people have made tactical temporary retreats avoiding arrests and setting themselves up to continue to struggle in a sustained fashion.”