Picture Day 10: Mombassa

Mombassa Coast

Mombassa Coast

Mombassa Coast

Mombassa Coast

Mombassa Coast

Mombassa Coast

The closest I ever came to African soil. The powers that be would not let us leave the pier … some silly thing about safety and security.

Did you ever get close to place of mystery and was denied exploration?

Littlefoot

Day Trip: Berry Picking (Summer 2013)

Summer 2013 saw me back in NYC with an awesomely energetic 5-year-old in my charge. After, the requisite “What did I get myself into?” I decided that I must have a clear plan for what I will do with the little Tasmanian devil for the summer (really his energy is unending). My goal was to keep him occupied and the have him experience new things. I think we got the first goal accomplished quite well, only in the reverse. HE keep ME occupied. The second was a little more challenging for me to do. What new things could I introduce to a 5-year-old that he would like and I would not lose my mind in the doing of? We managed a few things, a museum to see dinosaur bones, a ball park for his first baseball game (go Cyclones!) and a ride out of the city to go berry picking among the other summer happenings.

Me & the kid

Me & the kid

After consulting the Google machine for farms that allow you to pick your own fruit, we settled on Ellsworth Hill Orchard & Berry Farm which is about a 2 hour drive from Brooklyn. Close enough for a day trip and far enough away to escape the noise and dirt of the city. I was a bit apprehensive about taking him into orchards and berry patches where we would most assuredly encounter bugs. My nephew does NOT like bugs. He throws a fit when one comes around and demands that I do something about the creepy crawlies. But I figure hey, he’s 5 he should get used to dirt and bugs and maybe even learn to make mud pies like his Auntie did at that age.

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After collecting our bags of berry we stopped at park at the bottom of the incline to see the waterfalls as recommended by the proprietors. We wished we had planned better and brought our picnic baskets to sit in the share of the trees and enjoy the cool waters running over our feet. Alas, we didn’t envision such a lovely glen so had no repast to sit down to. After a much too short time we moved onto one of the small towns in the area for lunch. We patronized the local library book sale and then when the gremlins could not be quieted any longer sat down at a tavern for some lunch. Alas, my phone died so no pictures of the delicious lunch.

You might be wondering if we ate all of those berries. Some of us did and for the excess I made a delicious Berry Crisp. Go check out the post and get your drool on.

Do you ever take day trips in your local area to sample the richness right in your backyard? Share your ideas and adventures in the comments.

Littlefoot

Question(s) of faith.

During the fall of 2013 I was struggling with questions of faith, what I believed and why and during this time I tweeted the following questions. They were more rhetorical musings that I chose to share with Twitter partially in hopes of striking up a conversation but more so to document what I was thinking/feeling at the moment.

If I’m having questions of faith does my prayers still get answered? #Questionsoffaith

If we were created in the image of God from dust of the earth (stuff of the universe, atoms) is there only one way to him? #Questionsoffaith

If God is made in our image does that mean that there is a duality of essence? Feminine/masculine in the God head? #Questionsoffaith

Is various religious expression of God, a reflection of the cultural variety that is the world after the flood & Babel? #Questionsoffaith

Fast forward to the winter of my discontent err of early 2014 and a trip to church brought me back to these ponderings when I took my aunt to church. It was the first time in months that I’ve darkened the doors of a house of worship to participate in services. The first Sunday of the month in many Evangelical congregations celebrate the Eucharist or Communion (add reference).and all believers baptized in the faith usually partake of the bread and wine. I chose not to, which was a difficult thing to do in the presence of my aunt & uncle who are ministers. But, it was the right decision for me. I felt it would be hypocritically of me to eat & drink of the bread & wine that symbolizes Jesus’s death and resurrection in the season of questioning.

I still believe in a creator and probably will always be a theist but at this point in my life I’m questioning the tenets of my Judeo-Christian faith and our belief that there is only one way to salvation and only one way to revere the creator of the universe. I question if we are born without sin why do need salvation and a savior. I’ve been dwelling on these things for months its part of why I’ve been so silent of my blog. I’ve many questions and no answers and partly an unwillingness to interrogate the turmoil in my mind and possibly make changes. Instead, I stay busy with important things (school, taking care of my nephew) and getting lost in the not so important (social media, old TV series). I just let the questions percolate … no that’s not right. The questions are more like the convection currents in our ocean, gyres moving by themselves and connecting with each other, swirling together and then branching off into separate channels.

It’s odd sitting next to my family members who are true believers, and not just believers but ministers taking the pulpit to sing, praise, preach and teach. I feel I am letting them down by not adhering to the tenets of the faith of my childhood. I don’t want them to feel as if they had failed to “train up a child in the way she should go” cause now that I am older I have definitely departed. As you can see from the few above my questions range from the mundane to borderline metaphysical. Over the summer I did some meditation and I’ve started doing yoga to help me stay connected to by body and to be grounded here in the now and perhaps open space in my mind to delve a little more deeply into things. Or at least bring some order and discipline to the chaotic mess that is my mind.

Looking out on Oslo Fjord April 2013

Looking out on Oslo Fjord April 2013

Have you had these periods of questioning? How do you deal with them? How do you get onto a faith path that brought you peace in your mind and body? Leave your reply in the comment, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is searching for answers.

Littlefoot