All I See Is Yellow

Under the Bigleaf maple.

Looking out the window to the south and all I see is yellow. The leaves have turned and are waiting for that one big blow to see them on their way. Today and tomorrow still dry and then Friday a little more chance of rain. Gratefully back from the city although yesterday had some great conversations. It’s nice that I can look forward to having a good time there, a place where most people don’t or can’t.

That has taken work though and perseverance. Changing something bad to good is possible most times I think. Is it perception or inspiration or the Holy Spirit or all three? Always the questions. Anyway possibilities open up in life even considering the sometimes nasty little details.

Walking in a minute. A good morning to feed the birds and say a rosary. Maybe Charlie will show up to serenade my sensibilities.

alperfect loves, Felipé.

Back From The Big City



Appointment day at the Institute today. Dr Gold gave me a big thumbs up with my numbers looking good. I am good to go for another three weeks. Three weeks an eternity these days.

And author and pilgrim Debra Jarvis checked in today after her walk across Spain. She was here for one day of our Veranda and then flew off and now is back. So I did a debriefing on her. She is having a bad case of reentry. And I had to reassure her that that was a good thing.

We know now that if you come back with no problems you really didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary, right? It just has to be a jolt to come back. How to deal with that is the question. She has been doing some writing on the topic. Maybe I can get a hold of some of that for us here.

Well, it is the evening now and I am falling asleep while I am trying to work on this. Have to go, more tomorrow.

almost Thursday loves, Felipé.

The Short Answer

Maple leaves on the green grass, November it is.

The other day I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while. He said that I looked good which I appreciate. And he asked about whether I was still doing OK meaning with my cancer hobby. And I said, “my cancer is so lazy” and then adding to that I continued with “or I don’t give it good ground to grow in”. He understood what I was getting at and wished me well and we parted shortly after.

Guy conversations are like that, short and sweet without the complications of details. I think most people appreciate a good short answer that is tailored for them. It’s understandable in their alley so to speak. My friend is a lineman for the power company, he doesn’t have time for the long answer when he is on duty. And we wouldn’t want to keep him from that either.

But sometimes I answer THE question with, “Oh God is keeping me alive for his own reasons.” which is a dandy short answer especially for a church audience. “I have good doctors and nurses.” which is indeed true could be a keeper. Or “God must think me humorous.” maybe. I don’t know there are hundreds of good short answers out there.

And yes, they are the short answers ultimately, useful but not complete. But really coming up with a good long answer seems maybe shrouded too deeply in the mists of life to be found with any sort of ease. It could take an hour to come up with something close and then it would only be a sort of loose knit approximation. And by that time your fellow conversationist may be asleep.

So, maybe it’s all good using the ever-changing short answer. It seems to do the job and keeps us all happy which is sort of the point most days. So breathe easy I am not going to accost you and tie you down to listen to something long and boring.

The way it appears loves, Felipé.

Savoring Ordinary Time

fall colors

It’s like when it is boring in the emergency room, that’s a good thing, right? Sometimes ordinary or even boring are the place to be. It’s a break from the drama. It just is what it is and nothing more.

Have a walk this morning and feeding the birds is the fun there. Lots of chickadees are around, a few nuthatches and no juncos as of yet. Juncos must be hung up somewhere in British Columbia. And I have lots of sunflower seed this year which was kindly donated so the birds are happy.

The leaves are thick on the ground through the woods. It is kind of fun to kick through them, an autumn wonderland. Deer tracks this way and that left behind as they look for the last of the fallen apples and pears.

The other day Wiley counted 44 ravens fly over him. They are definitely getting more numerous in the neighborhood. Guessing that is from the general landscape getting more wooded. The old farm land is being taken over by trees and the ravens like the forest. The crows populate the shoreline and the open areas and the IGA parking lot. They don’t seem to mix with the ravens. We used to have crows and now we have ravens right here.

And more owls and eagles should be arriving as winter approaches. They are fun to hear and see. Yup, come walk and check it out.

our leaves are falling loves, Felipé.

An Hour Early

William points out a leaf.

Yes, I did forget to set the alarm clock back one hour last night. Yes, yes, I know. So right now having a little extra time before I have to clean up for church.

I thought that I would check in with you, my favorite people, while the opportunity popped up. Hope that things are well with you there. There is this little lull before Thanksgiving and the sucking vortex of the holidays. Not that we don’t love Christmas and the deep meaning of all that but the whole gift giving festive extravaganza is lurking in the shadows ahead getting ready to pounce on us.

Yea, so let’s enjoy the moment while we can. Get out there and drink a glass of cider and burn a pile of leaves, something like that. That’s righ, it is still Ordinary Time in the official Catholic calendar, not Advent yet, so we are safe.

Well, Wiley and I are scheduled to cut and wrap his deer that has been hanging in the 40 degree cooler at the IGA butcher shop. That is a sure sign of Autumn. So we will be busy.

Time to go. I have a half hour before Catherine picks me up.

as always loves, Felipé.


Cris and a few of the Perseverants!

Just copied that word “perseverants” out of Cris’s last comment about Farmer John’s Friday post. Spell check thinks it’s bogus but some of our best words are bogus. Maybe it’s the new hip word that just got birthed. Spell check liked ”birthed”. I’m not sure that is a word though.

Sometimes life is confusing like that. Maybe it would help to capitalize it and then it would sound like a sports team. Or maybe it is like The Commitments which was a film about a band with that name. Maybe we need a sports team jacket with The Perseverants arched across the back in bold letters. Then we could see if that looked right.

Anyway, I think her idea is sound. I just reviewed Farmer John’s post and it talked about being enamored with things that last. We seem to be lasting here at the blog. Not earthshaking are we but just a constant soft vibration that you can hear if you are in a quiet place and listen intently.

But the Perseverants must be folks that have a certain bent, a certain way. There must be a commonality in the thinking or the sensibilities or the purpose. It also might be that they appreciates a certain sense of history about things.

I don’t know, just kicking around ideas here today I guess. Time for lunch here now and I do know that. Thanks for being here as always.

soft vibration loves, Felipé.

Farmer John On Friday 11/1/19

Pilgrims circa 1500, just yesterday.

“The pilgrim route is a very ood thing, but it is narrow. For the road which leads us to life is narrow; on the other hand, the road which leads to death is broad and spacious. The pilgrim route is for those who are good” Codex Calixtus 1140 AD

Long before I became a Pilgrim on the Way of St. James, I had been a fan of “things that last”, be it a well-made tool or a well-used book, or a prayer that had provided succor and hope for generations. This penchant for the permanent was probably, yet unknowingly a driving force behind my immediate recognition that this journey was something I HAD to do.

My early conversion to fan-hood of Phil’s Caminoheads Blog has led to other like-minded Blogsters (Google thinks I made that word up. Maybe I did). Phil’s Blog is perhaps the epitome of “Long Lasting”. There are others that have attracted my attention and won my loyalty. Paul Salopek, for instance, is on a multi-year walk around the world, and writes a splendid blog called “Out of Eden”. He is now in his third year of trekking. He is following what is thought to be the migration route of all of us humans from the beginnings in Africa. His skill at writing of these all-encompassing experiences is superlative.

Phil Jenkins has walked to all 88 Temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage in Japan. His journey has also lasted for ages and his photos are wonderful!

And a free spirit and intrepid sojourner from the last century could put me and most other infrequent long-distance walkers to shame, though from her writings, it is clear that she never would do that. She started walking in earnest while yet in her teens, and had walked much of Europe by the time she was twenty. The Orient was her true fascination, and she spent may years walking in Tibet. Her legacy is long, and she lived to be 101. There’s that “things that last” again. The following is a quote from one of her several books.

“I climbed barren mountain-tops. Long tramps led me to desolate valleys studded with translucent lakes … Solitude, solitude! … Mind and senses develop their sensibility in this contemplative life made up of continual observations and reflections. Does one become a visionary or, rather, is it not that one has been blind until then?” Alexandra David-Neel.

The point I make today in my Stand-In-for-Phil-Blog-Rotation is that this preoccupation of ours with “our” Camino creates the ultimate ripple effect with all those others of our ilk. It’s like, ya know, we’re connected.

Pilgrim Farmer John, Iowa.

Keepin Warm

The new woodstove all cranked up. Getting ready for November.

The last day of October, Halloween it is. Not that we have ever had a trick or treater. The driveway is too long and scary for everyone.

The last day of the regular deer season today. I was out last evening before dark and saw two small bucks close up but couldn’t grow them any bigger by looking at them hard. Well, still got this evening and then there is a four day late season around Thanksgiving.

The wood stove is running all day and night and will be for a long while now. Yea, and the new little stove is working out nicely just have to get used to it’s quirks, likes and dislikes. Every morning it is a special ritual that we go through to resurrect the flame. And the ritual is different than the one that I had with the last stove that we had for twenty years. Have to figure out the finer points of the new dance.

All this might seem a little primitive or quaint to some of my city friends but it seems to make sense out here. Some of us have to live out on the prairies or in bayous or on islands.

quaint and slightly crooked loves, Felipé.

Labyrinths, Walks And Shrines

William points out a leaf.

We recognize things, we build things, we use things. It is what we do in between feeding ourselves and fighting wars and other such “necessary” activities. Somehow we need to touch the beyond on a regular basis. We can’t live on bread alone, someone important said that.

As we walk our laps here at Phil’s Camino we are participating in this quest. As we walk a labyrinth we come into contact with that bigger thing. We travel to a shrine to touch something that doesn’t seem readily available in our daily lives.

Henriette brought a friend yesterday by the name of Donna. She works with labyrinths. She knows about people too. And she try’s to get labyrinths and people together. That is my very basic understanding. So I have been thinking about that this morning.

Of course Catalina enters my thinking when on these topics. We enter into this world with her words. It resonates with us, this talk, these ideas. We long to touch this other place with her.

Thank you Henriette and Donna and Catalina for this news that you share with us. Thanks for pointing it out and bringing it into focus.

it resonates with us loves, Felipé.