No Rainbow Today: For Charleston

Heavy cloud banks piled up over the mountains.

here comes the rain

And then it rained. But not just any old rain.

heavy rain

Sheets of rain washed down the windows; water seeped in under the balcony door; rain streamed down the driveway digging new ruts into the road.

Rain, rain, rain – drumming, pelting, driving, relentless rain.

It reminded me of the tears and sorrow among the shocked survivors of the Charleston massacre – tears for the loss of nine innocent black people, their lives cut short by a hate-filled young white man with a gun.

fallen blossom

How can a country that elected a black man for president still hold so much race-based hatred? How can a politician blame one of the murdered men for this tragedy because he opposed a law allowing people to carry concealed guns into churches? How can the confederate flag, the feared and hated symbol of white supremacy, still be allowed to fly next to the American flag?

raindrops on hosta

Between the cloud bursts, I was looking for a rainbow. But there was none.
between cloud bursts

I feel a sorrow as thick and deep as the rain clouds; a sorrow for the families of the murdered victims, for black people everywhere who were slammed with another painful reminder that history continues to repeat itself, generation after generation; for those white people who want to be part of a racially harmonious country and are left speechless. And my heart aches for those white people who must shore up their self-value at the expense of people of another race; filling their inner emptiness with hatred, and the rage that must be directed at the “other.”


I ache for yet another gaping hole in the thin fabric between black and white, the rainbow flag turned into a funeral shroud.


And the rain keeps coming into the night.

No rainbow today.


The Weekly Photo Challenge is: ROY G. BIV (for Red.Orange.Yellow.Green.Blue.Indigo.Violet, the colors of the rainbow).

Posted in Healing Ourselves and the Planet, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Lighting up the Woods: Mountain Laurel

During a Sunday drive through dense woods on the Virginia/West Virginia border, we were delighted to find large areas of blooming Mountain Laurel.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is a flowering, evergreen shrub in the heather family. Native to the Eastern US, it grows from Southern Maine all the way down to Northern Florida.

Mountain laurel along forest road

It thrives on rocky slopes in highly acidic conditions. You can see it growing here on poor, rocky forest soil:

Small shrubs on rocky slope

Some areas we passed through sported huge thickets of blooming mountain laurel. The waves of white blossoms flooded the normally dark undergrowth layer of the woods with lots of light. The size of a mountain laurel plant ranges from low-lying shrub to small trees, close to 30 feet tall.

Flower buds blush a delicate pink. Once they open into large, showy clusters, the blossoms range from light pink to white.

As beautiful as Mountain Laurel is to look at, all parts of the plant are poisonous to humans, horses, goats, cattle and deer.

And here I was just wondering what Mountain Laurel honey would taste like!



Posted in Appalachia, Flora | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Beauty of the Night

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dream now until daylight wanes

Pale green beauty of the night

Soon you rise on silken wings

To consummate your mating flight.

Posted in Animals and Critters, Ekphrastica (Photos & Poems) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Vivid and Handmade (2)

This morning, I walked along the fence line and started collecting wildflowers currently in bloom. I ended up with this handmade bouquet of flowers (aka ‘weeds’) that come up on their own, or have naturalized from an initial planting.

wildflowers in vase

What came to mind as I was gathering, was the chapter on “Giving” in The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give…
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”

Sweet William

“And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.”

grass with seeds

“You often say, ‘I would give, but only to the deserving.’
The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish….
Surely…he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.”

evening primrose

“For in truth it is life that gives unto life – while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.”

(All quotes from The Prophet).

The DP Weekly Photo Challenge is “Vivid.”

Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is “Handmade.”

Posted in Flora, Musings, Travel Theme Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Vivid and Handmade

There is something very different when our everyday items are homemade or crafted by someone we know personally – that could be beautiful wooden spoons, ceramic plates or mugs, woven shawls, knitted sweaters, a special painting, or an expertly crafted quilt.

Here is a quilt I have treasured for some time now, made by a local quilter. She came to my house to look at the colors of the bedroom, took in the energy of the room and then sewed this amazing quilt. I hung the quilt over the railing to dry, after its first washing – ever. Its colors sparkled as vividly as they did on the day I got this piece of handmade art.


Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is “Handmade.”

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “Vivid.”

Posted in Artistic Inspiration, Travel Theme Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments