"Day after day, ordinary people become heroes through extraordinary and selfless actions to help their neighbors."
~Sylvia Mathews Burwell
The Buy Nothing Project is so much more than a place to gift and receive items through purely neighborly generosity. The BNP is quickly becoming the new standard for truly connected communities supporting individuals and fostering the security and sense of belonging that strong communities thrive on. They still CAN thrive on those foundations, and with over 35,000 members we are seeing the amazing impact of those pillars within our local groups thus far.
If you are a Burien resident, please consider checking out our local chapter, Buy Nothing Burien!
If you are interested, but reside in an area other than Burien (We now have over 275 local communities in 8 countries!), we can help you find an existing local group or help you start one in an area where we have not yet arrived!
A "better way of doing things" does NOT need to be engineered...it is already here! Come check us out!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
There was once a man
Handsome, strong, and able
Loving, kind, and honest.
Blue eyes rivaling the sky
He was once...or would have been.
Some say dreams are real
That life is the land of shadows,
Of unreal things we cling to
Forcing them toward solid form.
One shift of sand, one tilt of earth
And all we know is upside down.
In sleep this man is with me
But waking steals his face away
Leaving empty Mother's arms aching with the lack of his weight.
Some say God remembers.
“In God's memory”, they say he lives, so there is hope.
God is not forgetful, not even of sweet milky breath.
He knows things I do not, exists outside of Time.
So how does He recall those blue eyes?
Wrapped in infant flesh?
Grown to give sight to the most honorable of men?
Or as the Grandpa he will never be?
Where does his potential blossom...
Infant innocence and manly maturity unite?
Once a baby nestled in a Mother's arms
Tender breaths concluded all too soon.
One hundred eighty degrees...half a circle...incomplete, yet amazing in itself.
One hundred eighty years...two, maybe three lifetimes.
One hundred eighty months...so many nights flooded with full moon's light.
One hundred eighty days...a mere blink...not nearly enough to know the man who could have been.
It rained the day we saw him last,
His tiny shell dressed like such a man.
Dark clouds wrapped us up and the whole earth seemed to weep.
He journeys now in oceans deep and coastal waves,
Rippling ever outward, visiting lands those blue eyes never cast a gaze upon.
Yet still I cling, unable to bear the final parting.
Out of time, his leaving was.
Not correct...out of order...not as all should be.
Hence the ripping pain, always present, never ceasing.
Many days the Mother's eyes stay dry
Many nights a clawing grief shreds her dreams, raking its talons across her heart again.
How many band-aids does it take to soothe a severed limb?
The count continues.
There was once a man...or should have been.
There was once a mother to a son.
The number of completion swirls into view...
The eighth trip of the earth around the sun since his newborn cry sang into the night announcing his arrival.
A year of finishing...
Of learning how to conclude something that barely began.
Until then, the haunting...
Sunday, March 9, 2014
All of the important stuff will remain right here, though in a more organized and searchable fashion. New areas will also be added, bringing a vast amount of material here into one house, including cooking and recipe ideas, discussions on frugal living, crafting projects, gardening and food preservation and a monthly guest post by other noted writers and specialists in various fields.
Our focus recently has evolved to embrace the essence of life here in the suburbs, but with the added elements of a quiet and independent lifestyle whenever possible. Many years ago in my old neighborhood, several of my neighbors joked with me about my "little suburban farm". It was true: we grew and enormous garden, raised rabbits and ducks, and enjoyed the benefits of preserving many of our own foods. Every autumn we brought home a pickup truck full of fresh corn from a local farm. Processing one hundred dozen ears of corn (Yes, I said two hundred DOZEN...or over a thousand ears!) is a fair amount of work, so we always turned it into a community event by inventing our neighbors and friends to help. At the end of it all, everyone took home some freshly packed corn for their freezer, we had enough corn to last our own family for the entire year to come, as well as the perfect garden mulch cover of corn husks!
Now, not everyone will enjoy these kinds of activities, or will prefer to do them on a smaller scale. The point is that most of us will never live on a rural farm with tons of acres of land, but we can still enjoy many of the benefits of a simpler lifestyle and independent living. To that end, we are expanding Chasing the Shade to include material with that focus.
Thanks to all of you who have visited over the years, and we look forward to your comments on our new look. As always, we appreciate your suggestions and feedback. Meanwhile, keep looking forward to the coming springtime, remember to be kind to one another, and stay tuned for all the great things to come here in the Shade!
Here's to our independence...