Ending Up As A Rock

fidel-castro-jpeg

So some people would say ending up as a rock is not a bad thing. 


A rock symbolizes strength and something that weathers time itself. 


However, it’s one thing being alive and a rock and another being dead as one. 


Fidel Castro, the authoritarian Cuban President of 50 years, the revolutionary who defied the United State and brought us and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war, the dictator who violated the human rights of millions of the Cuban people…and where does he end up?


Dead at age 90, cremated, with his ashed placed inside a 15-foot tall rock. 


That’s what’s left of the man. 


Of course, there is his legacy in Cuba that includes high literacy, universal health care, environmentalism, and competitive sport’s teams. But there is also mass poverty and economic dysfunction, gross repression and human rights abuses, and Island isolationism. 


So perhaps with Fidel gone, over time, Cuba will find itself on a path of greater moderation and reform. 


In the meantime, Fidel is gone–like every other living thing comes and goes–no matter how strong he acted or how repressive he ruled, what is he now but a big useless rock with a nameplate affixed.


(Source Photo: Associated Press Via Wall Street Journal)

Now You See It and Now You Don’t

Mother and Child.jpegthrowing rocks.jpeg

Took a little hike on Sunday through Sligo Creek. 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day. 

Walking along the creek, we saw a mother and child wading in the water. 

(Not sure that I would do that based on how clean or not it is, but they seemed to be cooling off and having fun). 

Then crossing a little footbridge, we came across someone tossing this pretty big bolder over the side and into the same creek. 

There was another guy at the bottom who seemed to be looking out for the big splash (or perhaps anyone happening by who would get clobbered by this thing). 

Anyway, this was just a stark juxtaposition of people (including children) having fun in the water and the potential hazards from above.

This is life, one minute everything can be sunshine and roses, and the next bing bong!

Got to be grateful for every minute of peace, health, and prosperity-they are truly gifts and nothing is owed to anyone from the Almighty. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Sugarloaf Overlook

Sugarloag_mountain

Went hiking on Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland today.

The trails were awesome–with amazing climbs and descents over and around rocks, trees, vines, and the natural vegetation.

This is a picture from the West View of the mountain, and what I liked about this photo is the story that it tells.

In it, you can see on the left, the rocks, which represent to me the obstacles in life to climb over, maneuver around, or even to push through–the last option is for the littler ones. 🙂

On the right, you can see the trees–areas for shade, rest, and sustenance on your road trip of life.

And in the center, in the distance, you can see the beautiful overlook view of where you are going–for miles around, there is heaven and earth and the meeting of the two.

There are shades of light and dark where you stand at the overlook, there bright times and dark–on the road–it is not all fun or all hard work, but it is a journey that combines the two.

I went with my wife and girls and together the trip–to overlook–was nicer and more peaceful, together.

I was happy going with them–yet, afterward, I was a little sad looking at some of the pictures, and thinking if only it could always be the way it is, right now.

But life keeps moving forward, through time and space, and what lies over those rocks and trees is but a glimpse of what truly lies ahead for each of us.

I love the peace of the moment, but the moment passes and the hike along the trail continues with more ascents and descents and around lots of curves.

I pray and hope for more beauty, health, sustenance, and peace–both along the way and at the end of the passage.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy Mr. Smiley Rock

Happy Mr. Smiley Rock

Remember the Pet Rock–someone made millions of dollars selling lonely people a rock with instructions for care.

Playing around on the computer this evening, I crafted a new character.

Meet Mr. Smiley Rock.

He tough as a rock, handsome with his lovely hair, and dashing with a smile that’s ear to ear.

I started with a picture of a rock that I noticed when hiking.

The rock had leaves at the top that made it look like hair to me (I know crazy, huh).

I thought to myself take the photo and then when I am back, I can just add a smiley face and voila–it’ll come alive.

I found this cute smiley face balloon online and created this mashup.

I showed it to my wife who gave it her expert blessing.

Now, I share it for your enjoyment and critique.

Hey, what are weekends for if not a little fun and creativity?

(Source Photo of Smiley Balloon: here and adapted with my photo of the rock with leaf hair)