In the Now

Balance of opposites. Each contains the seed of the other.

The ten-year span from August, 2012 until now, August, 2022, has brought many changes, but events continue to evolve and exert their effects in multi-dimensional patterns.

As a plant grows from within, lives grow from the inside out, governed by an individualistic blueprint that may adapt but not change its fundamental nature.

Thus with my life. As I note my 70th birthday this month, I read my personal journal from August, 2012 and feel the continuity of my individuality, even though circumstances have changed.

My introduction to chicken-keeping in 2008 represents the beginning of an exploration into previously unimagined worlds. Each day brings new insights gathered from the Now as it relates to the Then, and to the imagined.

Together, they create a pattern of timeless associations, just as any emotionally significant experience does.

In August, 2012, I turned 60, by the calendar, and this month, August, 2022, I’ve turned 70. I’m now a septagenarian, having lived longer than both my parents.

I’ve also outlived others in my chronological “cohort” and mourn the passing of people, pets, and conditions that held significance for me.

Re-reading my journal for that time stirs emotions akin to what I felt then, but these now have the depth of memories accumulated over the past ten years, the sorrows, regrets, and the longing for what once was but will never be again.

I have the Now and choose to appreciate the gifts it offers. At the moment, peace and quiet, with my three chickens safely roosting in their preferred spots, and the stray cat I feed having eaten a decent supper before Cooney ran him off and stole his food dish. Cooney is one of an apparent family of racoons who have found that I am a reliable source of food, for as long as I can keep it up.

This evening, I learned that Cooney may be trainable, since he allowed Squire and Tweety to finish their evening treats after I ran him off the porch. He came back later, all wet and muddy from a swim in the river, so I let him steal the remainder of Lollipop’s cat food. The cat is skittish, but he seems willing to share food with the coon, and he is particularly deferential to Tweety, who is not afraid of cat or coon.

In the Now, we are all enjoying this break in the heat wave that has made days miserable for everyone except blood-sucking insects and other vermin. The rats and ants are thriving, as well as the chicken mites, termites, mosquitoes, and flies.

The torrential downpours we have had the last few days have cooled things off and are good for the mosquitoes and sand gnats but hard on my Goodwill shoes, floors and rugs.

I was actually glad to hear and see the Malathion Man’s helicopter the other day, as he sprayed the marsh in a futile attempt to control the mosquito population.

The Now is loaded with inspiration, for those who are awake.

7 thoughts on “In the Now

  1. Bindu & Krishnan

    Happy birthday Katharine. Wish you a great birthday and a wonderful decade ahead 🤗🤗. We hope to be in the US next year for a long vacation. Maybe we will get a chance to meet in person. Living in the “now” is the best way to be. That’s the only reality. 🤗 Love and regards, Bindu

    1. katharineotto Post author

      Wow! That was fast, and thank you. I was busy searching through my photo file to upload some of my favorite old pictures. Still trying to learn how to blog on this newfangled cell phone.

      My grandmother, Kate, lived to be 91, but continued learning throughout her life. She taught herself to type at 60 and started painting at 80.

  2. navasolanature

    Congrats on reaching the 3 score and 10. Yes, much of the Now and sometimes reflections on the Then. I guess there will now be more passings but I have sadly lost some friends too soon – before 70 and others who were older family friends. Love those chickens. We have a visiting cat but no other pets except the sightings now and then of wildlife. Heat in Spain too again, after brief rain and some relief. Mosquitos will outlive us.

    1. katharineotto Post author

      Mosquitoes as a group will outlive us, but I swat individual mosquitoes whenever I can, thus deny that particular genetic line from producing more blood-suckers. Little vampires.

      Did you know that the Panama Canal was only finished after Walter Reed and William Gorgas discovered mosquitoes carried the yellow fever and malaria microbes that were causing so many of their workers to get sick and die? The French had started the project but gave it up because of illness. I guess the Suez Canal had similar problems, before the Brits took that over from Egypt, I believe, with the ultimate purpose of shortening the trade routes between Europe and Asia.

      In the Now, my roosters are crowing, but I want to pose a question about Donald Trump’s pledge to “Drain the swamps”. I wonder if he was alluding to the swamp’s function as a habitat for disease-bearing mosquitoes. It has historical relevance, the world over.

      1. navasolanature

        Maybe Trump wanted to get rid of anything that annoys or irritates. There is an interesting reference to the discovery of quinine in a novel I read. Seems the Dutch were the first to really develop the use of it.

  3. Rosaliene Bacchus

    Happy Birthday, Katharine! Living in the Now is a great way of making the most of what each day offers. Memories of our loved ones that we’ve lost along the way can overwhelm us with sorrow, regrets, and longing for a time now gone. Sending wishes that your birthday week comes with moments of joy and laughter 😀

    1. katharineotto Post author

      Thanks, Rosaliene. There’s not much joy and laughter around me lately, but I just saw a couple of fawns run across the yard, and they make me smile. Tweety is also amusing, bad as she is. She’s so lively that I am humbled.

      Oh. Were you referring to people?


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