Archive | July 2012

Privileges (Blessings)

Tomorrow begins the month of Ramadan.  I will join my brothers and sisters of the family of Abraham in their fasting effort.  Those who are too old or sick are not to fast; therefore I consider it a privilege to be able to do so.  Nevertheless, it is not a piece of cake.  Oh, what an unfortunate choice of expression!  Today I had the munchies in anticipation.

In a few days I will have the privilege of praying in the place where God spoke in 1977.  Both of these efforts will bring nourishment.  Effort and privilege go together.

It Was a Dark and Rainy Day

Here in Brittany, if you wait for sun to do something, it is not likely to get done.  Il ne faut pas se laisser abattre, literally one must not let oneself get slaughtered, meaning one must not give in to despair, in other words, if you wait for sun to be happy, you’ll be miserable.  That is how we came to go out riding even though it was a rainy day.

We put the bikes in the car and drove a short way to a “rails to trails” path called a Voie Verte (green way).  This a nice place for biking because the slope is gentle.  There weren’t any other people about.  I really enjoy that feeling a few meters into a ride, that one of lean, lithe, free, alive.  It takes me back to third grade, speeding down the hill to school.  I would always slip out without a coat, to my mother’s dismay, but I preferred being a bit chilly in the morning to lugging a coat back home in the afternoon.

Part of this path has been black-topped but part of it is …….  brown-topped?  A sort of sandy mud, all over me, I was surprised to see when I looked down.  I wanted to copy Jack’s photo.


I was not coordinated enough to adopt the exact same pose.

There was more than I realized to be seen from the back.


At one point we came to a railroad station.  There is a business located there which rents out what is called gypsy caravans.  They are horse-drawn.  People camp out in them.

You can see what kind of day it was, dark and yet a certain luminescent beauty.  My “subject” moved just as I snapped the photo, so I moved and zoomed in, taking another shot.


We went 12 km and then turned around.  It seemed to me we had been going uphill until then and at first we hardly pedalled on the way back, but actually there were some stretches with the slope in the other direction.  I was glad because speeding downhill without pedalling, I might have gotten cold.  As it was, all was well.  So we did 24 km in about 2 hours, 10 minutes, with stops to look at things.  No record setting.  That may be one of the reasons I have never considered myself to be athletic;  I don’t worry about competition or forcing myself, but lately upon reflection, I realize I have always maintained some degree of physical activity.  Nowadays I relish it.  Having slimmed down, and maybe cleared stuff out due to my change in diet, I feel rejuvenated.  Previously I felt revitalised spiritually by discovering The Revelation of Arès—I guess a change of diet for the mind and soul.  A few lines each day pronounced with the intent to accomplish It is for the soul like a bike ride for the body.

When we returned to the car, this was the state of my bike.


When we got home, I rinsed it off and then had to pre-wash my clothes in a bucket—I didn’t want to put all that in the machine.  I had put on my good jeans so I would look decent if we met anyone. 

Today there was more cheer for another dark and rainy day—a thoughtful gift.



Never Mind Roses, Diamonds

A present from my husband
(we shared)

The label reads hand picked
sun ripened
(literally gilded by the sun)

Cycling, Birds and Flowers

We had a few hours of cloudy, no precipitation, so I got out my bicycle, had my engineer adjust the brakes and went out for a spin, about 10 km.  Uphill through town and downhill to home.  Today I let her rip down hill.  I don’t know why I felt more courageous but physically this change in diet has brought a lot of good.  Fruit, fruit and salad, in case you’ve forgotten.

I saw this on the road.


I checked on a few plants in the garden.


I was out here trimming the shrubbery the other day and noticed a nest in the dogwood.  I hoped I hadn’t overly disturbed it.  Today I peeked, couldn’t see anything directly but when I held the camera up over it, I got this shot.