Sunday, June 28, 2020

Plants Communicate

Our little garden is teaching me. It talks and I listen and hear. Plants communicate.

For years I cultivated the earth where I lived. Then, after the death of my oldest daughter, Naomi, I lost interest in many things, divorced, and began years of traveling alone. I did not feel attached to places or things. 

Now, only in the last two years have I begun gardening again—albeit on a small scale. Amy and I share the enjoyment.

The goal in gardening is to bring a plant to fruition. That may be for flowers, vegetables or fruit. Some public gardens are decorative, with full time staff and entry fees, others are on family farms. 

I have begun longing for a life where most of my time is spent communing with nature. Cultivating, listening, then responding appropriately.

Unless native and wild, plants need tender care from beginning to end. The soil must be fertile and able to hold moisture and convey nutrients to the roots that feed the stems, shoots and leaves. Proper light is necessary for photosynthesis. Too much sunlight and heat can damage some plants. A gardener has to watch carefully . . . the plants show what they need by the way they grow. 

Pumpkin growing on a vine

People need similar loving care from beginning to end. 

Like plants, people need from the beginning shelter from storm and drought, loving nutrients to the roots, appropriate sunlight of guidance and education, space and training . . . states of being that promote growth and fruition. Contrast that to conditions too often seen in our world of humanity; barren circumstances, neglect, no “sunlight”, pests and attackers. 

Our problems are mostly of our own making. 

Lettuce and spinach under shade tent

When will our society become the beautiful garden it is meant to be?

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Be One

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” 
-Marcus Aurelius

I go to my health club spa four days a week and swim for exercise. There are two pools; one indoor and the other outdoors. It’s so good to swim outdoors on a hot day.
Recently I ran into a friend in the locker room and briefly talked about the current state of world affairs. He said, “Wow, it is like when we had three historic upheavals going all at once: the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, world war I, and the stock market crash before the great depression.”

Certainly this time is unlike any I have lived in my sixty + years on earth.
The worldwide pandemic binds all humanity in a common struggle, but differing beliefs and opinions drive us apart. Everywhere people shout—usually past each other.

Our highest leaders are most often ineffectual egocentric windbags.  Not just in America.
Corruption and suffering are seen almost everywhere.

On Facebook, I do not “unfriend” or block people who have different opinions than me, so I see massive enmity. I notice a huge war of words and accusations being waged and much of it is hurtful. Like two sides engaged in primal screaming.
I posted online that I would not be engaging negatively, but rather, staying cosmically unified with all humanity . . . and for this I got support but also a lot of blowback. 

So, I will take my stand for virtue, for that is what is lacking in all this mess. Lack of virtue is the root cause of disease in the world; and that includes the coronavirus, global warming, racial hatred, excesses of wealth and poverty . . . you name it. 

There are so many virtues to acquire why bother with anything else? Here are some, and their opposites:

Justice — corruption
Charity — stealing
Mending — neglect
Kindness — hatred, hostility
Courtesy — disrespect
Unity — division
Bravery — cowardice
Quality — inferiority
Sobriety — drunkeness
Moral — immoral
Loving — hateful
Temperance — excess
Wisdom — thoughtlessness
Enlightenment — stupidity

The list goes on—hundreds! 
So this is the real work . . . 

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” 
-Marcus Aurelius


Sunday, June 07, 2020

Jumping Into The Ocean Of Life

Thank God my father, Richard Boone (March 29, 1927 – February 26, 2014) had absolutely no prejudice. In fact he worked for social justice his entire life. Often he brought home people of different races—many worked with him in “the struggle”. 

One summer (I was about 10 yrs.) when we lived on Long Island, outside New York City, he brought two youngsters to join our already large family. They were of Puerto Rican ancestry and lived in the Spanish Harlem ghetto in the city. He got them off the hot, crime filled streets and gave them a home away from home with us. Some years later during high-school, he sent me off to work on the Navajo Indian Reservation. I also worked in the projects for awhile in the ghetto areas of Washington DC; again, during a summer recess from high school. I loved the diversity that he fought for.

I decided to take a year to go around the world in 2008, and to begin in Belize, the only English language country in Central America. I chose a black community to make my home for awhile. I remember thinking that I wanted to know how it felt to be a minority. I had not had the experience. So I chose Dangriga, a coastal town settled before 1832 by Garinagu—Black Caribs. I made friends and began entering a state of mind I came to call DREAMING. I lived and experienced in a wide open state and did not judge what was happening to me—the moments were all infinite and woven in the eternal. I lost my little self by jumping into the ocean of life and “drowning”—and then becoming the ocean itself. 

Hugh, Dangriga, Belize

Palace or shack, it was all the same to me: EXPERIENCE.

When I told my mother that I was going to Africa, she pleaded with me; “Oh Steven, please don’t go there, they will rob you for your shoes.” I knew I had to go to the mother continent. 

I arrived in Egypt. People had warned me not to go since several of the attackers that flew airplanes into the World Trade Center seven years earlier were from Egypt. I immediately came to love the people and for the most part they loved me back though I am not muslim.

Kenya, 2008

I went to Nairobi, Kenya and reveled being a white speck in a sea of black humanity. Then on to Tanzania and safari in the Serengeti. But it was not elephants, zebra and lions that gave me the most pleasure during that sojourn. It was the Masai people I met along the way. My fellow travelers stayed apart but I was drawn like a magnet to meet them .

“The world is one country and mankind its citizens.”  —Baha’u’llah

More about Richard W. Boone

and obituaries in his honor