Easy breathing, autumn air early mornings turned satisfyingly crisp the sun has softened like sleepy eyelids drooping gently in the pastel sky Time to get cozy and start lighting candles celebrating sumptuous spices and savory foods using up the squashes left over from one last harvest patient preparation of nests for the cold months ahead Another successful cycle completed observing the graceful pirouette of mother earth showering colorful leaves from her folded skirt as she spins new life into old, familiar stories Sit with me awhile and listen to the cicada chorus begin its evening song to signal the bittersweet surrender from summer a goodbye serenade to constant sunshine Learning to enjoy the subtle sadness of certain endings seeing myself in the auburn fade of fallen leaves allowing my own colors to seep out slowly to nourish the dark soil with all that I once was
Summer Saturdays by the waterfront the Festival of India in Wheeling, WV streaming colors of elaborate scarves the wafting fragrance of warm spices Celebrating ancient cultures with old friends buying raw crystals from a precious grey woman suddenly handed prayer beads and a mantra pleasantly trapped in impromptu meditation Slipping away after a free meal of fresh curry a few secret shots behind the door of a bathroom stall just a little liquid courage to quiet evening anxiety before blending back into the smiling crowd Reckless abandon and eager enthusiasm for mind altering substances at every moment used to make me feel exciting, wild, and interesting but as I near 30 it's starting to feel shameful instead Hoping no one notices my enhanced mood wondering at these strange things I do even more curious to know what private lives other people lead when no one is looking Shocked at the idea of all the things that could be hiding behind bright eyes disturbed by the notion that I'll never really know another person completely
Summer stirs something deep inside a soul shaken awake by sunshine renewed and ready to add its song to the symphony of early morning Slipping unharmed from the jaws of winter wondering at this cycle of renewal once again where did I go while the world was dark resurrected by blue skies as a brand new being The shadow of death has fled from my heart crept into the creases to await autumn ready to beguile me with cottage core cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice Every season seems splendid and romantic in the intoxicating summer air full of flowers all of life seems brighter, softer, less scary than before safety found in long, winding, aimless days Warm skin soaked in bright light greedily drinking the sun's special elixir this soul of mine is solar powered one juicy charge lasts until January Every season is all or nothing in the summer I know I'll live forever in the winter I know I've already died celebrating my 28th year of reincarnation
Summer weddings in West Virginia a single cloud offers happy tears as it passes above the rolling hillsides before the ceremony begins Blending in to a crowd of strangers to celebrate a giddy spectacle of love the ritual of vows and rings sealed with a single kiss Mingling with smiling faces around tables spilling over with food, drinks, and delicate decor dancing ensues as the sun goes down Slipping away into the cool night a secluded sunken structure offers shelter in the dense forest sharing a solitary flame Infiltrating the mountain lodges the elites like to frequent people watching and pondering this bizarre, beautiful life The night ends with a live performance a solitary girl with her acoustic guitar sings a song that is dear to my heart a wink and a nod of sacred synchronicity
Summer settles in around the eaves of the houses a heavy heat that grows and expands Lush gardens swell creating a hopeful sea of green rough leaves reaching upward toward the sun The atmosphere buzzes the electric hum of birds and bugs the gentle breeze rustling through the leaves The cycle of the seasons reflected and repeated in each creature the metronome of moments that connect us all The misfortune of our clever distractions that separate us summer slips by unnoticed beneath the blue sky
Winter wipes away all memory of the sweetness of summer air it stops me in my tracts when my senses are infiltrated again with the intoxicating scent of soft petals The cacophony of sensation that saturates the warmer months never fails to fill my soul with reverence and awe for our magnificent mother Inspiration seeps into every pore when the world reawakens at my doorstep the miracle of resurrection witnessed once again When all hope is nearly lost the tender blades of grass whisper "just give us one more day" I fall to my knees upon it and gratefully obey
My sorrow comes in cycles waxing and waning with the moon regular intervals of lapping tides frigid dark waters against a jagged shore long desolate seasons of solitude convince me that joy was never mine the cosmos close in around me a heavy weight upon my sunken chest when the sun finally emerges on the other side of that cruel and endless winter wasteland happiness breaks over my heart like a revelation my sleeping soul cracks open shivering with delight in the warm heavy air finally freed from its cramped cocoon to absorb the majesty of the world reborn open and unafraid, buoyantly held above the stark reality of the season past the second side of my dual nature shaking off the bizarre burden I've been carrying why was I so sad before? what was it that I'd been pained by? now suffering seems so far away was it ever here at all? I don't recognize myself as I look back through the snow and the aching, bony trees caught in the swift, sharp wind the summer beckons me forward into a bright mirage of green where nothing can cause me harm where this time the cycle has surely stopped each moment maintains its own eternity forever paralyzed in each part of the pattern immovable sadness giving way to boundless joy always and again
Bring me back to the sun to the smell of damp soil to the rising dust of a dry earth as the sudden summer rain begins pelting it with lush droplets let me refill my cup with the sweet nectar of fresh life with the soft rhythmic sounds of the land as it wakes again let me wake along with it let me rediscover the light that has long been lost from me to surrender to the smooth air heavy with the perfume of so many plump blossoms the vastness of nature has space for my cramped sorrow inviting me to offer up all my private pain to lick my wounds alongside shimmering streams and to pour out my heart to the healing light of the moon
Today was my first time going to a local vegan festival called VegFest. Even though I’ve been vegan for nearly a decade now, I somehow never managed to make it out there. I’m so glad I finally went though. It was so much busier than I could have ever anticipated. There had to be thousands of people crammed into the span of a few blocks. There were over 40 local vendors selling all kinds of things from plants and art to baked goods and bourbon. I don’t even want to calculate how much money I spent. There were a lot of things I wasn’t even able to try because the lines were too long or they sold out before I had a chance to stop.
I highly recommend attending any vegan festivities in your area. New vegans could definitely benefit from discovering what type of vegan options there are in their area. Experienced vegans can benefit from the uplifting atmosphere of being surrounded by like-minded people and seeing just how much support the vegan movement actually has. Even in more vegan-friendly areas, it can feel like a lost cause at times. There is nothing more inspiring than gathering together with your community to celebrate.
It’s really crazy for me to think about how far veganism has come in just my small area. There used to be hardly any options for me in the grocery stores or at restaurants. If I wanted to eat a dish that was even moderately tasty I had to put in all the time and effort to make it myself. Now being vegan is easier than ever.
I used to get it when I was first transitioning if people told me veganism was just too difficult for them. It was a big adjustment in a society that catered to carnism alone. Now I’m shocked that anyone can still use that excuse. With the Impossible Burger at Burger King, dozens of different vegan ice creams in the supermarket, and hundreds if not thousands of other perfectly incredible replacements for anything you could possibly desire, how could you still ask a vegan, “so what do you eat?” or “I could never give up x or y.” Hell, even the dinky little road side ice cream shop in the middle of nowhere has nondairy options now!
Even though I can no longer hold out hope that veganism will save the earth, it can still save the animals from enduring unnecessary suffering in the short time that we have left here with them. I am so grateful to be have been reminded today that there are so many other people in this world that are fighting to end that senseless pain.
Breathing in I taste the thick sweetness of summer air breathing out A shimmer of satisfaction ripples through me Enveloped in a world so miraculous and perfect humbled by the chance to simply be my soul sings sweetly along with the heartbeat of existence So much beauty to behold the many layers of this life an endless spiraling inwards and outwards far past infinity incomprehensible complexity Unfurling like a flower to the sunlight my innermost essence opens to encompass the vast vibrations of this earth Five superpowers called senses ten fingers, ten toes a body that heals and grows a brain that questions and creates at one with all there is but also somehow separate How sublime it is to surrender to the deep knowing in our bones that stardust inside of us that says, "all is well" that tells us, "have faith, and you will find all you seek"