© 2010 Rachelle Jewel Beach band

The Summer of Sadness and Beauty

Today, walking home for lunch I watched a magnolia leaf crowd surf down the grassy hill.

A block later, a young man stopped to offer a ride to a family with two young babies waiting in the hot sun at the bus stop.

A few steps more and a mocking bird sang me a song from the sagging power line.  It was a joyous song and quite pretty, for a mocking bird.

Meandering down my road, I thought about how much beauty there is in this world while background music played ever so softly from the piano of my neighbor’s living room.

It has been a long time since I blogged.  I promise to be better.  But it has been a crazy couple of months.  I am in Tallahassee and not Toronto.  So, no internship for me.  But, I am so happy to be in the Gulf.  I would be heart broken in Canada away from my home that is being engulfed in darkness.  It is easy to forget how much beauty there is in the world.  Especially with a tragedy like the oil spill.  The images look like what I would imagine hell to be like, if I thought there were such a place.  All of the parties and dinners and grocery stores are filled with people talking about how sad they are.  How this won’t be better in our lifetimes.  I have dubbed this “The Summer of Saddness.”   As there are a lot of heavy hearts and minds.

I last went down to the beach a couple of weeks ago.  It was beautiful.

I watched a stoic Osprey float high in the sky and dive down into the gulf while the pelicans circled in the distance.

I sat on the dock and watched the sting rays and crabs flit about in the bay.  The mullets were running and the oysters were safely tucked into their beds.

I sat on the dock thinking how much we take for granted and how I knew that.  I am acutely aware of taking so much for granted, yet, I always assumed that the bay would remain the exact same way.  I thought that because it had been there for hundreds of thousands of years, it would be there for hundreds of thousands more.

I have tried, ala Bruce Mau, to focus on the positive side of this mess in my unrelenting quest for optimism.  I hosted an event, The Sweeter Side, to raise money for our closest oyster bed, the world famous Apalachicola Bay.  It was a bitter sweet success.  My hope was to raise awareness about how good design can change the way we live.  We are American’s and we can innovate.  We can become leaders in renewable energy.  It is an option, especially with good design.

I have thought a lot about this blog and the reasons I am writing it.  The actual title of Mau’s manifesto is: The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. And during my brief attempt at living the manifesto, I have realized that everyone needs a manifesto and that my growth was an important part of this process.

I have started keeping a list, but that is for another blog.  This blog is about today.  It is about optimism.  It is about the beautiful world we live in.

And it is about my first manifesto.

R1.  Walk a slow and meandering path.  You will miss a lot of beauty if you don’t.  It is hard to catch the details in a fast moving machine.  And beauty, not the devil, is in the details.



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