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It seems that every time I turn around someone is proclaiming the end of the world is nigh.  I look at social media, turn on the radio or tv, or read the news there is yet another example of ringing the warning bell.  Anxiety is high, and fear, anger and uncertainty hang thick in the air.

I am late on my self-imposed deadline for this post. As a new blogger, I try to keep a schedule for new content that is achievable within my life,  while still sharing regularly. In light of recent events I felt a bit remiss in posting another fluffy article about my garden, as I had planned.

I have been fretting on what I should write about, given my current thoughts about the world. I have rewritten this article several times. It has been full of stops and starts, coming out as scattered as my thoughts. I have nothing fresh  to add to the current political conversation.  I have no answers or insights on how to make things better. Still, I feel the need to express my own thoughts, for whatever they might be worth.

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There have always been storms.

I cannot remember a time when the world was not in conflict. In the whole of my life,  not a day has gone by where there hasn’t been someone, somewhere, who was willing to do a bad thing, and then justify it with what they feel are good reasons. From the small white lie, to the larger acts of death and destruction,  people have been doing the wrong thing for those “right reasons” since… well, always.

If it isn’t the human race out to get us all, it is nature. Hurricanes, tsunamis, disease, earthquakes, famine, poisonous creatures and plants amongst countless others, all pose a threat to this delicate thing called life.  It’s been this way since… well, you get the point.

Nobody is getting out of here alive. That is the only guarantee we have on this Earth. That, and change.
This is the rocky soil in which we are planted.

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The season here acts as a good metaphor for this change. The old falls away, making room for the new. The world prepares for the bitterness of winter, which looms not so far off in the distance. There is an ugliness that comes with the encroaching darkness, an uncertainty that comes with the cold, but there is also beauty.

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We mourn the loss of life.  Death is ugly and final. It also makes a way for new life. Like mushrooms spring up from the roots of a tree killed by the summer rain and heat.

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The dying vine still can yield a final gift of fruit.

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Although we can wish for our lives to be easy and perfect, adversity is ever present. The world has always been survival of the fittest. It is not always “right”, but it is what it is. Adversity either makes us stronger, or it wilts us.

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We will always experience losses. We will lose things, and people, in life. Either through our own choices, those choices that others make for us, or through the chaos that makes up the universe. Loss is inevitable.

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Life finds a way, though.
Sometimes life gives back something for what it took.

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Sometimes life can be heavy on the sour, leaving a bitterness in our mouths.

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Life may indeed give us lemons. Big, fist sized lemons, even.  It is up to us to make the lemonade. We must take the sour so we may better appreciate the sweet.

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We must try find the beauty in the world around us. It can be fleeting, leaving us only with the memories of what once was.

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We must appreciate our blessings. In my part of the world we are entering the season in which we are to be thankful for what we have. We absolutely should he grateful.

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A though it is not always what we had planned, or as much as we had wanted, we must enjoy what life does give us. We may not always enjoy such blessings in the future. We must not take for granted that others may have wished for such blessings and had not received them.

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Being prepared for what might happen may give us some measure of comfort as winter approaches. The stocked pantry, the full woodshed,  the hens in the yard, a strong community all bring a sense of security in an insecure world. While we cannot prepare for every storm, we cannot overcome all adversity, we can try and do our best to survive the best way we can. We can adapt to change, or we can resist it.

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I can only try and make the best of our situation. As the warning bells clang and the world fills with noise, I can only try and find my stillness. I can only try and weather the storm. I can only do what I believe to be the right thing for what I believe are the right reasons.

I can only keep looking for the bright side in the darkness.

With that, my dear readers, I will leave you with a recipe for croutons, I hope to fill your house with a warm, comforting smell, and to make the best of something that would be considered failure.
When the world seems so big and full of dark, sometimes it helps for a moment to find the small bright spots.

BRIGHT SIDE CROUTONS

Ingredients :

1 (1 pound) loaf imperfect loaf bread. I used a loaf of oat/wheat bread that fell while baking in the oven. You can also use day old or stale bread.
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Preparation:

Cut loaf into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl

mix together butter, oil, herbs and seasonings in small bowl

pour butter blend over bread cubes; toss cubes to coat evenly

Spread bread cubes in a single layer over two ungreased cookie sheets

Bake at 250° F for up to 1 hour or until lightly browned and dry, stirring occasionally

Store in an airtight container or plastic bag until ready to use.

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