Refreshment ahead

Cogitation 24 Friday 12 June 2020 Featured image: The Greencroft Goshen campus offers fine options for meditative strolls, taking physical distancing in stride. “Walking’s old hat, blogging’s not,” I wrote in my first blog, 30 November 2014, adding, “Marty and I have been walking for exercise and pleasure for more than two decades. I’ll be reflecting on walking, reading, writing, and related topics. Thanks for checking in, as I blog along.”

Oh, the brevity, the promise, the anticipation of it all, and the Id. The Id? “Id, Freudian psychology, is the whole reservoir of impulsive reactions that forms the mind, of which EGO is a superficial layer. It is the totality of impulses or instincts comprising the true unconscious mind.” Thanks to: The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (Cassell & Co. Ltd, 1959, 1995).

As you may surmise, I’m arriving at the point where it’s time to pause my Cogitation blog. It seems prudent to relax the pace of producing, in recent years, a weekly post.

I’d love to digress into a discussion of Freud, but I’ll let that slip. It matters not how I came up with 253 posts over the past five-plus years. There’s no need for me to ramble on about the psychology, Id/ego, of what’s constituted this blog, even though that could be fun, given a flashback to when friends Ray and Alvin and I ate up that strange new world with professor Peter one Sunday night at Ferrell’s Restaurant in Waterloo, Ontario. May bygones rest well in fond memory.

For the present, pure and simple, I want to say that producing the blog has been eminently rewarding. It has keep me busy. It has given me a first draft record of many of our doings and beings. It has kept me, as any one of my uncles might have said, out of trouble. My aunts would have had perceptive, insightful, kind comments. Cogitation has taken me into unexpected realms. It has introduced me to a host of fine readers. It has been a wonderful ride, um, walk.

I’ll complete one more post, #255, next week, as a wrap-up in the current mode. Oh, sure, Cogitation may rise again and continue in a new form or frequency. That remains to be seen. For the present, I’ll let it simmer, perhaps lifting off the lid once in a while for a whiff of what’s cooking.

A selfie before picking up groceries at the nearby Martin’s. Smiling.

From a start in Cornwall

Our County Cornwall, UK sojourns really got Cogitation started. We visited Cornwall on holiday in 2002 and 2006. Approaching retirement we decided to go for a longer period as a buffer between the 8-5 work routine and that new discretionary-time world of retirement/re-firement. We went, we saw, we returned, now having spent a cumulative total of 28 months of winter/spring in Cornwall.

The Cornish footpaths first lent themselves to seeing, thinking, photographing and posting from the place and people that revealed more and more a sense of “home from home.” We love Cornwall, sunshine and mud, rock and sand, gardens and farms and natural areas, an almost-island surrounded 80 percent by sea.

Cornwall rests close to our hearts as a haven for walkers, a reservoir of engaging people, bushels of history and prehistory, arts, entertainment, pubs, delicious foods, fresh air, spiritual nourishment, church bells.

We found a church home in the Benefice of St Anta & All Saints and St Uny, Carbis Bay / St Ives and Lelant. Weekday Evensong services at Truro Cathedral, about 45 minutes away by train, too, provide a heart- and spirit-lifting “must do” service after walks in the vicinity.

Until we may be able to return to Cornwall, I’ve got books, maps, photographs–and blogs to plough through, to cultivate, harrow, disk, cultipack, water, weed and harvest the life beside the sea, below the moors, among small fields bounded by 3000-year-old drystone hedges. There’s bliss in memory and pain in the uncertainty of the times. God save the Cornish. God save the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, and people and homes in nations everywhere.

Next steps

Now, almost a dozen years into retirement, I want to reread the blogs and related records. Cornwall Cogitation has dealt with travel, footpaths, history, extended family and friends, books, writing, food, religion, moving, climate, justice, aging, health, safety, a smattering of politics and sundry gleanings from various sources. We have been, as many religious would say, richly blessed.

The week’s pictures

Idle playground at Waterford School, near the end of our two-mile walk to breakfast this past week at Goshen Family Restaurant. We were well-separated from the few other diners, but I watched open-mouthed as a maskless newcomer greeted a friend he hadn’t seen in ages, a man, also sans mask, seated and waiting for his takeout order, greeted the guy with a hearty voice and handshake. By the end of their catching up on each other’s news, they had shaken hands three times. I hadn’t seen or done a handshake in more than three months. I sensed the men were somewhat cautious and accommodating to Covid-19the risk factors, but just not fully vigilant. Come on, people, mask up. I know, I know, I want to find an ordinary normal, but it just isn’t going to be as long as people exchange contact with Covid-19.
Walking home from breakfast, toward College Mennonite Church, Goshen College, Goshen Hospital across the street on to the left and Greencroft Goshen a half mile across the tracks.
On Sunday, after virtual church, we opted for a country drive to Leesburg in neighboring Kosciusko County for lunch at HOPLORE, a brewpub in the Old Leesburg Mill. Currently they only serve food out-of-doors, at tables in the back. Marty had an Old School Reuben and I had a Tandoori Chicken Taco. Very good, same for the beverages.
Downtown Leesburg, a village with a population of 558, fortunate to have countless bricks among its streets. The town’s motto is, “Gateway To the Lakes Region.” Events website-listed include “Town Garage Sale Days June 12th-13th” and “Town Cleanup Days June 26th-27th.”
Graduates in Leesburg, as in many communities, are honored with well-wishers driving by.
The Elkhart River flows over the Goshen Dam.
Shoup Parson Woods arch.
Curious “out on a limb” growth along the path from Greencroft to Goshen College.
Thistles thrive in a natural area where we sometimes walk.

Sustainability

More than 25 years ago, John Elkington coined the phrase, “Triple Bottom Line.” It’s a management concept that Elkington in 2018 said should be rethought, revised as corporation and government measures of sustainable financial, social and environmental performance. The original concept promoted measuring the bottom line according to the three P’s: people, planet and profit. That’s not enough, Elkington said.

Significantly, around 2,500 businesses worldwide were “dedicated to be not just ‘best in the world,’ but ‘best for the world,'” he said, adding, that’s good, but not enough. In a June 25, 2018 article, Elkington suggested that the needle needs to move with “radical intent,” to change the system “needed to stop us all overshooting our planetary boundaries.”

In one of his blogs he wrote, “To paraphrase Dickens, this will be the worst of times for those clinging to the old order, yet potentially the best of times for those embracing and driving the new. Buckle your safety belt.” Find out more by Googling John Elkington.

Lily Pads and Exponential Thinking

That’s the title of a blog post by Jonathan Becher, February 2, 2016. While exponential is mainly explained in its mathematical function, Becher takes a storytelling approach. He made up a story about a pond that has one lily pad: “Imagine a large pond that is completely empty except for 1 lily pad. The lily pad will grow exponentially and cover the entire pond in 3 years. In other words, after 1 month there will be 2 lily pads, after 2 months there will be 4, etc. The pond is covered in 36 months.

“If I asked you when the pond would be half filled with lily pads, the temptation would be to say 18 months–half of the 36 months. In fact, the correct answer is 35 months. Right before the pond is filled, it’s half filled; because it doubles the next month.”

It’s hard to get our linear way of thinking out of the way of how exponential activity takes place. Exponential is how the novel coronavirus spreads. In our drive to get back to normal we’d like to think it will somehow step aside, stop spreading like it has, maybe even peter out. We must stay vigilant in applying our minds, hearts and hands to the brain-free onslaught of Covid-19 and impediments to sustainability. Heaven help us.

I’m off to put the kettle on. A spot of peace and quiet to your day. Another week, thanks be to God.

-John

8 thoughts on “Refreshment ahead

  1. Oh John, dear John, I so much look forward to your weekly blogs. But we live just a few short blocks from each other, so I guess there are other ways of keeping in touch.
    John Hertzler

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    1. Yes, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. Will reflect on what’s ahead in the wrap up blog this week. Thanks for your good word.

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  2. John, I will miss your weekly posts. They are so well done, and it is one way of keeping track of what you and Marty are thinking and doing.

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    1. We’ve years of connection to celebrate and we’ll find ways to keep that up, even if not on a weekly basis. Thanks for all you are and do.

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  3. Oh my, John. I’m a latecomer to the blog, but I have enjoyed it so much. Especially the reports and musings and photos from Cornwall. Sigh….

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  4. John
    How hugely I have enjoyed the blog – especially photos, quotes, worship resources, books to read, thoughts and insights… well, that’s most of it! Took notice of the nugget mentioned in this one, HOPELORE (did I mention food?) Looking forward to a comprehensive guide to visiting Cornwall.
    Blessings on all creative work and walking ahead! Frances

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  5. Like others who have responded, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your musings and photographs, John. Such a fertile, creative mind you have, with wide-ranging interests. I’ll miss hearing from you regularly but hope we’ll stay in touch in other ways.

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