Downward Palms

My category ‘Pictures & Stories’ are posts with me writing a fictional, creative short story about a picture.

Downward Palms

Downward Palms –

Palms will grow with light

Palms will grow with water

Palms will grow to great height

Palms will grow toward that which provides

Palms grow upward

Palms grow sideward

Palms growing downward

Palms growing downward, maybe deceiving

Palms growing sideward, maybe believing

Palms growing upward, always relieving

A poem lovely as a tree

Trees – Poem by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

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A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

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A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

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A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

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Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

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Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

Exposing Me – a video

I wrote in my post ‘to expose me‘, the following –

Now over 8 months later I have realized fellow bloggers are supportive of me and have welcomed me with open arms and appreciate my writings.  Because of this I decided to expose myself, my identity, to you my fellow bloggers.  But a course I am not doing it all in one post, I still have 3 months to write a post a day.

So I will write a series of posts to expose me – my identity to you and the blogger world.

In today’s post I write the following –

In my ‘to expose me’ series, I slowly identified myself to you.  There were the hands, the feet, the wrinkles, the hair, the body, the location, the voice, and my face.

Today let me put it all together into a video.  This video is the first of many future videos that will be part of my video blog series.

Let’s chat about how size matters – oh no, not that!

Does size matter?  Well yes, in the whole scheme of everything.

I am talking about how small we are in other’s lives, space-time continuum, world, universe, the whole scheme of everything.

In my post ’12 BILLION years for me to write’ I wrote about the cosmic calendar which included the following –

11:59:46. All of recorded history occupies only the last 14 seconds. Every person you’ve ever heard of lived somewhere in there. All those kings and battles, migrations and inventions, wars and loves, everything in the history books happened here, in the last seconds of the cosmic calendar. 

In my post ‘My Life My Way’ I wrote about the average death of a man in the US which included the following –

In 2013 the life expectancy in United States increased to 78.84 years. That year, the life expectancy for women was 81.30 years and for men 76.50 years.

So the world is about 12 billion years old and my average life span is 76 years – my size time is very small in other’s lives and in the space-time continuum.

There is excellent information out there on the internet about the size of earth compared to other planets and our universe.  I will not bore you with all the details, but with pictures instead –

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78Pictures provided by –

http://www.joshuakennon.com/how-big-is-earth-compared-to-the-universe/

I am 5’9” living in a 3,800 sq. ft. home on an 8,000 sq. ft. lot in a city of 1.5 million people, in a metropolitan area of 6.7 million people, in a state of 26.96 million people – well you get the idea.

My size is small in the world, universe; the whole scheme of everything.

Size does matter – in the whole scheme of everything – we are small – in the whole scheme of everything – let’s make the most of it.

Be kind to others – be kind to yourself – help out when you can – don’t sweat the small stuff – most of all enjoy life and make an impact – a big one!

When do plants grow?

I know they grow, and I have seen them grow, but I do not actually see them grow – so when do plants grow?  I have many plants in my yard consisting of mainly perennials with every spring some annuals are planted.  Every fall, some plants are trimmed and others completely cut to the ground and covered for protection from the upcoming winter.  The next spring, the perennials start sprouting new growth to come alive for another season – so when do plants grow?

I know plants need water, nutrients, air, soil, light, warm temperature, space and time toimages5 grow – so when do plants grow?

I read on a website about plants the following –

Finally, plants require time. They do not grow overnight. It takes time and patience to grow plants, some more so than others. Most plants require a particular number of days, months, or even years to produce flowers and fruit.

Ok, so plants do not grow overnight, so when do plants grow?  If they do not grow overnight then they must grow throughout the day, but I do not actually see them grow – so when do plants grow?

Actually plants literally do grow overnight and during the day – our perception does not allow us to actually see the plants grow – just the result of the growing.

It is the same with our bodies and our lives – we do not see our bodies grow, from infancy to childhood to adolescence to adulthood.  Arms and legs grow longer as does the torso and everything else.  But we really never observe this growth, it just happens.

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And so does life – it grows along with our body growth, along with plant growth, along with earth growth – all occurring together simultaneously.  We really never see the actual growth; we just know it takes place.

The dictionary.com has this definition for life cycle –

The characteristic course of developmental changes through which an organism passes from its inception as a fertilized zygote to its mature state during which another zygote may be produced. A progression through a series of differing stages of development.

Boring definition – I need something more interesting.

Ok, I performed some research on ‘when do plants grow’ and ‘when do people grow’ and received some informational results, but none very interesting.

Usually when I think of a topic, I have an idea of what to write about and when I thought of this topic, I thought it would be a good one.  But this topic stumped me!

I was hoping the phrase ‘When do plants grow’ would have an ironic meaning or be a metaphor for a profound post.  The only thing I can think of is ‘Plants and Life have much in common’.  Here is my list –

The foundation of plants and life can be messy, dirty and sometimes includes manure.

Seeds for plants and life need to be planted in order for growth.

Patience is needed for both plants and life.

Sometimes growth is out of control for plants and life.

Essential elements are needed for plant and life growth.

At times cutting back is needed for plants and life.

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In the end plants live their life cycle with purpose and so should we.

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12 BILLION years for me to write

Who watched the documentary television series ‘Cosmos’ last year?  If you did not you should take the opportunity sometime to read about it – it was very interesting and fascinating.   I like learning about space, how things work, how things are built, travel exploration, history – all those areas that I had no interest in as a younger person, especially in school when I should have paid attention.  As an middle age man, now I want to learn, maybe because I have more time on my hands or as a ‘wiser’ person I ask the questions ‘what is the purpose of life’ and ‘why are we hear’, see my post ‘Life in a Petrie Dish’.  I don’t necessary need the answer to those questions, but expanding my knowledge of areas I avoided in my younger years is important now.  Unlike my younger self, I appreciate the importance of learning because learning is growing and growing is moving forward to a better understanding.

Ok, back to the ‘Cosmos’ –

In the first episode titled ‘Standing Up in the Milky Way’, the host Neil deGrasse Tyson described the evolution of the universe as a calendar – a Cosmic Calendar.  So to not bore you with all the details of the Cosmic Calendar, here are some highlights from the actual script –

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The Cosmic Calendar begins on January 1st with the birth of our universe.  It contains everything that’s happened since then, up to now, which on this calendar is midnight, December 31st.

On this scale, every month represents about a billion years.  Every day represents nearly forty million years.  Let’s go back as far as we can, to the very first moment of the universe.

January first — the Big Bang.

Our Sun’s birthday is August 31st on the Cosmic Calendar.  Four and a half billion years ago.

Life began somewhere around here, September 21st, three and a half billion years ago on our little world. 

December 17th was quite a day.  Life in the sea really took off, exploding with a diversity of larger plants and animals.

Forests, dinosaurs, birds, insects, they all evolved in the final week of December.  The first flower bloomed on December 28th.

11:59:46. All of recorded history occupies only the last 14 seconds. Every person you’ve ever heard of lived somewhere in there. All those kings and battles, migrations and inventions, wars and loves, everything in the history books happened here, in the last seconds of the cosmic calendar. 

We are newcomers to the cosmos.  Our own story only begins on the last night of the cosmic year.  It’s 9:45 on New Year’s Eve.  Three and a half million years ago, our ancestors — yours and mine — left these traces.

At 14 seconds to midnight, or about six thousand years ago, we invented writing. 

So starting January 1 of the Cosmic Calendar – image2

It took 12 BILLION years for me to start writing.  Why did I wait so long?

1946 – 1964

1946 – 1964, the Baby Boomer generation – this includes me.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –

Baby boomers are people born during the demographic post–World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the term “baby boomer” is also used in a cultural context.

Article titled ‘Baby Boom Generation’ from u-s-history.com –

The term “Baby Boom” is used to identify a massive increase in births following World War II. Baby boomers are those people born worldwide between 1946 and 1964, the time frame most commonly used to define them. The first baby boomers reached the standard retirement age of 65 in 2011. There are about 76 million boomers in the U.S., representing about 29 percent of the population. In Canada, they are known as “Boomies;” six million reside there. In Britain, the boomer generation is known as “the bulge.”

This article is full of great information about what started the Baby Boomer generation in the forties, the changes of this generation in the fifties, the experiences and transformations of this generation in the sixties, the dreams of this generation in the seventies, the social movement effect of this generation in the eighties, the movement to mainstream of this generation in the nineties and finally now into the future; who we the ‘Baby Boomers’ are today. The article concludes with this paragraph:

As boomers head for retirement, it is well to remember that most Americans who fit within the Baby Boomer designation have lived responsible lives: working, paying taxes, rearing their children. They just happen to be the ones who surfed on the crest of runaway change.

I was born in 1960, so I missed out on some of the ‘runaway change’ for the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation. Some changes I remember are watching the first channel on TV that just showed movies; I think it was called ‘Channel 100’ – now you can watch movies everywhere, anytime on just about any device. I remember the first cellular phone; it was nicknamed ‘The Brick’ because it was square and weighed almost 2 lbs. and they were for the rich – now everyone has a cell phone and they are light weight and fit in your pocket. I remember the first personal computer; they were big, bulky and slow – now just about everyone has one, or a tablet or a smartphone and they work much faster than ever imagined. And I cannot forget the music; this media always defines a generation and makes us who we are and though some of the music today is good I still like the oldies, they make me want to dance in the streets!

Daily Dose of Vitamin D

I mentioned in my post ‘Addictions or Habits or Routines’ that I have an addiction, habit and routine of tanning. Many studies indicate overexposure to UV light is linked to skin cancer, especially tanning beds. Using a tanning bed for twenty minutes is comparable to being on a beach with no sun block for an entire day.

So why do I tan? It may be the addiction or the habit or the routine or that I like the images6way I look or I like myself better with a tan. Dr. Audrey Kunin, dermatologist and founder of DERMADoctor Inc. is quoted as saying “People think that tanned individuals are more attractive, healthier looking, and it’s incredibly difficult to get someone not to do something that perceive as providing them with a positive perception.”

Our sun provides many good things; wonderful sunrises, spectacular sunsets, warmth, light and vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for our bodies.

Excerpts from Wikipedia.org –

Vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol can be ingested from the diet and from supplements. Very few foods contain vitamin D; synthesis of vitamin D (specifically cholecalciferol) in the skin is the major natural source of the vitamin. Dermal synthesis of vitamin D from cholesterol is dependent on sun exposure (specifically UVB radiation).images5

A diet deficient in vitamin D in conjunction with inadequate sun exposure causes osteomalacia (or rickets when it occurs in children), which is a softening of the bones. In the developed world, this is a rare disease. However, vitamin D deficiency has become a worldwide issue in the elderly and remains common in children and adults.

Researching more about tanning, I stumbled across the article ‘Tanning Can Cause Cancer, Not Tanning Could Cause a Lot Worst’ from the website gizmodo.com. Excerpts from this article –

Vitamin D, produced when skin is exposed to light, is essential for our bodies. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles have minimized our time we spend under the sun. The Sun’s Heartbeat explains why a tan isn’t as bad as previously thought.

Enter modern vitamin D researchers such as John Cannell, MD, executive director of the Vitamin D Council, a nonprofit educational corporation that believes that “many humans are needlessly suffering and dying from Vitamin D Deficiency.”

“We are the first society of cave people,” he lamented to me in 2010. “In the development process of creating the skin, nature never dreamed that we’d deliberately avoid the Sun so thoroughly.”

The implied answer, of course, is that we were designed to have a high and steady level of this vitamin in our bodies. Yet as more and more people are tested, researchers are finding serious vitamin D deficiencies in virtually all of the population of the United States, Canada, and northern Europe. The reason? According to Cannell and the other doctors on the Vitamin D Council, we have been hiding from the Sun for decades.

The skeptical might well wonder how, when cancer typically takes decades to develop, such a huge drop can be detected after just a few years. Heaney believes it’s because vitamin D prevents tiny predetectable tumors from growing or spreading. “That’s the kind of cancer I’d want to have – one that never grows,” he told me in June 2010.

I understand the risks of tanning and like many other people continue to tan anyway. During the colder months I spend about 15 minutes or less in our tanning bed we have at home. During the hotter months I spend about an hour tanning in the beautiful sun. I have olive skin color and my body is accustomed to tanning, so I never burn and I tan in moderation by my terms.

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So what is the point of this post?

The sun can be our friend.