These are just a few samples from Light City Baltimore, the first International Light Festival. The winds were strong, temperatures low, yet the crowds came out by the thousands to see the sights. We decided to wait for the crowds to clear after the parade to take photographs, but an hour later people just keeping pouring past. Spirits and energy were high! It warmed my heart to see so much love and joy for the city!
Visiting the Lexington Market has been on my wish list since I moved to Baltimore and I finally made it! What a delightful experience! The sounds of the steel drum band added rhythm and beat as moved from stand to stand. There were oranges, lemons, limes, grapes and strawberries in vibrant jewel tones.fish and shell fish in iridescent white, silver and pinks. Scrumptious cupcakes, pineapple upside down cake, cinnamon rolls, and breads of every size and shape, color and texture. Something for everyone and the prices were fantastic! We would have stayed longer but we had too much to carry!
What a marvelously creative unexpected combination - history and candy!
Mycala recently brought me the most delightful package of candy from True Treats, a store in Fredericksburg, MD that sells historical candy! Their slogan is "History never tasted so sweet!" They have selections that the Native American Indians used, Civil War Candy, the Industrial Revolution, and much more.
Love the concept of using candy to add another dimension to history! It's almost too pretty to eat. Some is more a novelty than a delicious treat, but others are scrumptious! All are a fascinating part of our history and a wonderful way to step back in time!
Mission BBQ in Camden combines their support of Veterans with a fantastic menu and a museum like atmosphere! It is a chain so you can find it in places other than Baltimore. They contribute to organizations that support Veterans, first responders and the Wounded Warriors Project. Bonus - the food is delicious and reasonably priced and the staff is friendly.
Today i attended the fourth of a series of lectures, It's More Than History, in City Hall in Baltimore. Luke F. McCusker, the Managing Director of the Irish Railroad Workers' Museum, delivered the presentation.
"Only people who are willing to put all they've got on the line
. . . make a difference."
~ Perry Noble
Yesterday I turned in two course proposals for the fall. One was a repeat of my course on Herbs, and another is on seeking the sacred in everyday life - not a new concept, but one that needs to be repeated.
Workshop description: Our world is filled with beauty and wonder but we often miss the miracles as we are bombarded with fear based, negative messages. What we put our attention on increases, yet too often we focus on illness, not health: fear, not joy. This course will include readings and video clips from some of the world’s most innovative thinkers, past and present. There will be exercises for self reflection, and techniques for finding daily treasures.
Last night I started to have second thoughts. Maybe another topic would be more valuable. Today several messages crossed my path validating the need to speak if there are words that are helpful, even it we feel we are taking a risk by sharing an opinion that may not be understood or embraced.
And this from a friend -
"I think your class sounds absolutely amazing! And you have been waiting for something to pop up for you in regards to direction....perhaps this is your purpose? Is to teach wellness and give people a compass for happiness? It is dearly needed in this world! Mikell I honestly believe that people no longer know how to actually feel happiness or have a compass for well being. They have become so immersed in the world they don't even recognize the horrible level of negativity they are exposed to on a daily basis!!! These are much needed skills!"
~ Carrie Faden
Carrie's observation that some of us don't remember what health or happiness feel like rings true. Someone very dear to me has been diagnosed with lung cancer. He has trouble breathing and a cough that sounds painful. His energy is depleted and he walks slowly with a cane. Yet he keeps reassuring me that he "feels fine." It reminds me of the story about the frog who is thrown into a pot of water and it is slowly brought to a boil. It happens so gradually that he doesn't realize things are changing and he is in danger. If he had been thrown in at a rapid boil, he would have jumped out immediately.
Being aware of how we want to feel, and comparing it to how we are feeling, can guide us to making better choices. We can begin by asking questions.
How many times a day do we stop and consider out blessings?
Do we spend more time in the present, or are we living with the fear of the future or regrets of the past?
Do we actively use our senses? (for example, do we gulp down fast food instead of preparing and savoring quality meals with a variety of colors and textures)
Do we realize the power and impact that words have on us? Do we carefully chose the words we use? (firing off Instantaneous e-mail response instead of thoughtfully composed letters)
Do we spend time in nature and value the lessons she teaches?
Are relationships deep and meaningful or are we paying more attention to our screens than the person across the table?
We spent yesterday in the exquisite Walter's Art Museum in Mount Vernon, Baltimore, MD. It was originally a private collection of William Thompson Walters, born May 23, 1819, from Liverpool, PA. Walters moved to Baltimore at the age of 21, made his fortune and married Ellen when he was 26. He and his wife had 3 children but one died in childhood. Henry, born in 1848, and Jennie in 1853, survived. Walter began collecting art with his wife in the summer of 1861 in Paris, then traveled through out France, to Italy Switzerland and England. Ellen died of pneumonia when she was forty years old in 1862 and William continued collecting with even more intensity to attempt to dissuade his grief. After the war, in 1865 he and his children returned to Baltimore. His son eventually became involved in his father's art collection and carried on after his death.
Their collection of 22,000 works of art from 55 centuries of art formed the basis of the collection and today the collection contains over 35,000 works of art including an expansive Egyptian collection, china, Faberge eggs, illuminated journals, French Impressionist paintings, bronze statues and so much more!
Insights From a Child
Their are endless opportunities to learn and enjoy for all ages as evidenced by this young person's observation in a "What have you discovered?" journal encouraging comments.
Worth sharing -the scrolling options on Google. The "I'm feeling lucky" option has a scroll bar for - "I'm feeling puzzled, I'm feeling trendy, I'm feeling playful" and more! I chose "I'm feeling wonderful" and it led me to a World Wonders Site. On the upper left I chose Art Projects and it led me to a wonderful (appropriate, right?) gallery of art! I could get lost all day in this Google treasure! Oh, there's one for "I'm feeling playful" too! Off to play!
Working with young people in schools and women in the prison system reinforced those lessons. After my first session with a group of seventh grade students, I hurried into the prinicpal's office to thank her for the opportunity to work with them and rave about how talented and delighful they were. "How did you decide who would be in my class," I asked. "They are such a great group of students."
She literally took two steps back. "They are the worst kids in the school." I left her office wondering which of us was more stunned.
The following week I asked the students how they had been chosen to be in my class. They reinforced the principal's statement. One girl seemed amused that I didn't know. She said they let me think the best of them instead of the worst. Treating them with respect and making it clear that I expected the best from them had been a winning situation for me as well as the students. There were no limits based on false expectations, and the young people continued to surprise and delight me with their talents, insights and creative potential.
It was the same in the prison. We didn't ask why the women were incarcerated. The less we knew, the better. Many had been labeled and expected to do poorly all of their lives. The women I met were intelligent, creative, kind and spiritual. Their paths often led them in the wrong direction because of a "go along to get along' attitude. They didn't have enough self esteem to refuse to participate in activities that could get them into trouble. And once incarcerated, their labels, and the labels from others, stuck, whether they were true or not. The white dead nettle, as does everything in nature, has lessons to teach.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!