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Quivering with Life, or Making a Fatal Blunder?

Quivering with Life, or Making a Fatal Blunder?

Photo and Guest Post by Debbie Broderick

Special Treats for You This Week:

Happy Friday, peeps! This has been a wild, weird week as Hubby and I sped across the entire country from San Diego to Maine in a 48-hour road sprint. I documented this on my Instagram. 

Click the link to see the slideshow!

Lucky for me–and for you–friend and writer and blog reader, Debbie Broderick, sent in this lovely non-fiction piece describing the natural life she observes around her bucolic, lakefront property and how we might reconsider our “busy-ness” in our daily lives. You will enjoy her precise, descriptive prose and feel you are right there watching all the creatures in their habitat.

After you’ve read the essay, take a peek at the video at the bottom of this post. From quarantine at her Connecticut farm, Martha Stewart teaches Seth Myers how to make a cocktail. I just adore both Martha and Seth, and I’ve also watched Martha’s new show on HGTV called Martha Knows Best. It’s awesome. 

Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you again for following/supporting A Good Life In Crazy Times!


Quivering with Life, or Making a Fatal Blunder?

by Debbie Broderick

I have just spent what turned out to be my entire morning (after my requisite cup of coffee), at the water’s edge on an Adirondack chair with my feet in the lake. As an outsider looking in, it seemed as if there was peace and serenity all around me. That’s because I wasn’t part of the hubbub, I guess. But the longer I sat, the more I saw that what played out in front of me was a furious, ongoing battle to continue existing, and it was busy!

Black Ducks swam back and forth, using a log as a gathering- and drying- spot, in between ‘bottoms-upping’ in the water, and snapping at insects on the underside of Pickerelweed leaves. The surface of the water was alive with the perturbations of swarming Water Striders, and Dock Spiders patrolled the lilypads. I watched a grasshopper emerge, painfully slowly, from its exoskeleton, to rest vulnerably in the open as it recovered from its arduous task, not able to contemplate its future for actively living.

Here in front of me was a busy life – but it was the busy-ness of being and staying alive, where the meaning and purpose is simply to live, in its purest sense. Not to be driven to plan for another time, a common mistake we humans make, but to actively live in the now. I’m reminded of Thoreau’s insightful quote:

There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living. 

To be truly alive is to quiver with the gravity of what it means to breathe and live. But for us, in our hectic, money-driven world, we’ve lost sight of the fact that we’re ‘living’ by carrying out someone else’s directives and vision, not our own, for a future we may, or may not, have. Perhaps now, with our futures threatened by a pandemic, is our time to take cognizance of this humble reminder that life and a future is not a ‘given’, that life is ours to savor while we have it, that the pulse of the here and now is what is important. Like the insects and birds around us, we can ‘celebrate’ by appreciating that we haven’t been eaten or conquered, by appreciating what IS, by living purposefully and vitally, and savoring moments.

woman in canoe with foliage backdrop

A native of South Africa, Debbie Broderick moved to the United States as a young wife and mother. She blogs about nature, feminism, motherhood, and memories of her childhood and early adulthood in Durban, SA on her website

Happy Friday Happy Hour Video with Martha Stewart & Seth Myers

I couldn’t let you leave on a Friday without a Friday Happy Hour video. Since I’m in Maine and haven’t yet set up a proper space for creating cocktail & mocktail videos, I thought the next best thing would be a video of Martha Stewart teaching Seth Myers how to make a classic vodka martini with a twist. As a bonus, she also demonstrates a rhubarb infused elderflower spritz. Of COURSE she infused the liquor with her own homegrown rhubarb, and it is a luscious pink color. I will have to try this drink sometime.

While originally I wanted to post the actual video, it occurred to me that might be a copyright no-no. Instead I will leave you with this link HERE so you can watch it on the proper channel. 

Cheers, chickies!

Shelley xoxo 

Trees and lake at sunset

Photo: Sokokis Lake, Limerick, Maine at Sunset by Shelley Burbank

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