Hello Readers, the Lens-artist theme is to share Colors of Autumn.
We enjoyed a two-day hike on a tiny section of the Appalachian Trail.
Sweet September brought a dash of autumn color – but there is still a lot of green – as shown in this first collage.
The tree on the right reminded me of someone with arms raised up saying, “Keep the energy flowing through those meridians – lift your chin, smile, and stand tall… You’ve got this.”
This next image is my feature photo for this post. Perhaps the two leaves show the dichotomy of late September: still feels like summer with much green – but cooler temps bring autumn color
This next photo I call “alien tree”:
Our brown Lab, Elway, is fun to hike with.
This next photo shows Elway plopped down in the stream.
Speaking of our Lab Elway, after the hike – we stopped to visit family and met another brown lab – her name was “Jackie Brown” and her owner said she was born March 19th, 2020 – so they call her a pandemic pup!
On the way to our entrance into the Trail head, we met a Park Ranger named Nathaniel, who invited “me” to fold the flag with him as he was closing the center for the day.
At first I was like, “NO thank you” – and firmly meant it. I then felt a little bad I rejected the offer so I tried to recruit another hiker to help him. But that lady had to scurry. He asked me again and I was impressed with his outreach. Isn’t this the opposite of a burned out, crabby worker? Yes, it sure is – because he was an engaged worker who enjoyed his duties and had a love for people!
He also had such a love for his country with the way he treated the U.S. flag. So… one of the reasons I then said YES was because I am so darn honored to be an American.
I know our country is NOT perfect – and seriously folks – if you think today’s drama is “new”- you need to brush up on your U.S history – because we, the people, of these here United States have had dividing issues all along. Our drama dates back to before the Revolutionary War – continued into the Civil War, and can be seen in shenanigans leading to almost all elections – (read about Teddy Roosevelt’s and FDRs) – and the list goes on! There has always been division and issues here in the US – partly because the great melting pot that underpins this drama Is also what gives us so much rich flavor! So let’s not ever slam our country and try not to let the heaviness weigh ya down. Instead, let’s do our best to love others and advocate our views respectfully.
This next photo shows the sign to inform hikers about possible bear encounters. The hubs and I read this together (later in our tent) and we chuckled at a couple of the points – but found the list most helpful.
This “recreating in bear country” sign had me thinking about my blog post last week- here – where I shared about watching the “American Tragedy” documentary. It was about Sue Klebold’s story recovering from her son being a deadly shooter. A huge takeaway was her call to raise awareness about “preparing people for difficult mental times” and to teach coping skills at younger ages.
Sue mentioned how she never thought her sons needed to discuss “suicide prevention” – it felt so irrelevant – until it wasn’t.
Now why did the park rangers post these tips for what to do (and not do) if someone encountered a bear? Because education makes a difference.
The chances are slim that a bear will appear while hiking, but planting seeds of knowledge and ideas about effective behaviors can save lives. Similarly, all humans need to be equipped with ideas and strategies for preventing suicide, which often relates to managing emotions that come with everyday life before that darker time shows up.
One of the programs Sue Klebold was involved with was teaching children how to breathe to calm their body and release stress. Other people suggest we teach problem solving and warn about mental distortions (i.e beware of the “all or nothing” thinking, maximizing a problem, etc.). Some folks have never been taught how to bring feelings into line and or how feelings follow behavior. We do not have to act on every feeling that comes our way and some suicide prevention involves just reminding people that they can dig into personal resources, reach out for support, and remember that all is NOT hopeless.
A little bit of educational seed planting could help save a life. Suggested tips or ideas could trickle into awareness and pull someone up from despair during their darkest moment.
We are not sure how all of the resources help, people vary so much, but know this – we CAN become more empowered and we all need to be mindful about planting “fecundatory educational seeds” that will sprout and grow.
Here are some links to resources:
- Go here for Suicide Prevention resources
- Go here for the framework for successful messaging http://suicidepreventionmessaging.org
- Christy B shared In a Minute You Can Change a Life: Post is HERE
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention here (AFSP)
- “Suicide” informational blog posts:
***a few more resources will be added as they come along – please let me know if you have any to offer ***
Let’s not forget that what we put into our mind impacts our thought life and our essence. We need to watch our mental diets and this song from Toby Mac has some edifying lyrics:
Closing with a collage from after the hike. – 🙂
Thanks for joining me today – and remember – the little things add up to lift our spirits.
The beautiful colors of autumn can bring much cheer – and sometimes we need to raise the arms, “Keep the energy flowing through those meridians – lift your chin, smile, and stand tall…You’ve got this.” 🙂