There is a branch of the Jedi Knights from Star Wars Lore called the Agricultural Corps. The Knights of the AgriCorps use the force to nurture and care for green and growing things.
According to the Jedi Path Handbook, the ability to control plant growth is known as Consitor Sato. ‘The most important quality for an AgriCorps member to possess is patience says the Jedi AgriCorp teachers.
Rhonda McRae certainly has Consitor Sato ability and would qualify for membership in the Jedi’s AgriCorps. Legend has it that a friend once gave McRae a plant leaf and three weeks later McRrae gave her back a healthy young plant.
McRae discovered her talent for communicating and growing plants soon after she moved into her first apartment and someone gave her a plant for a housewarming gift. She has a feel for them and they respond to her.
“Plants have consciousness,” says McRae, “they are aware of their surroundings. They like music, for instance, and are sensitive to the moods of their caretakers. When people talk to them they understand what’s being said on an emotional level. And they have different personalities just like people. Some need a lot of care, some like to be left alone. All plants thrive in peaceful harmonious environments.”
McRae says plants also communicate with each other. “Once, I decided to sell all of my plants because they were taking over my home. The plants were friends with each other and had formed a community. The last plant left became very sad and started to wither away. I managed to keep it alive, but it never was the same.”
Two of the most obvious benefits of owning plants are that they purify the air and add beauty to your home says McRae. But she says there are others benefits that are more subtle. “Sometimes when I’m feeling stressed, I’ll look at my plants and talk to them and they’ll tell me everything will be ok.”
McRae sells custom made plant hangers done in different themes such as sports colors and flags. She can be reached at RhondaJMcRae@comcast.com.
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Little blue Christmas lights along the walls and mirrors cast a mood in the club. A silver party ball goes round and round overhead, sending little shafts of light through the darkness. A murmur of voices, a woman laughs, the orange glow from a cigarette brightens and then fades.
He’s stirring a fresh drink at the bar, he’s had…how many? And yet the pain just, just won’t quit. He knows that this time it’s probably over. Maybe he should give it one more try. He shakes his glass and the ice rattles around inside of it. It sounds like a skeleton hanging from a tree, swinging in the wind. A laugh erupts from his throat, that’s funny, he thinks, dry bones.
The voice inside of his head seizes the opening, and it is merciless ‘You killed it,’ The voice whispers. ‘Her love was the best thing you had going for you and now…well, she got tired of soothing your tortured soul. When she realized that she couldn’t compete with your broken dreams. You lied to her didn’t you? Liar liar, pants on fire,’ the voice sings softly.
He sighs, downs his drink and calls out for another. Suddenly the jukebox comes alive. He pauses and listens, then slowly gets to his feet and offers her his hand. She smiles, gets up and slides her arms around his shoulders. He hugs her waist just so lightly, presses his cheek next to hers, closes his eyes and let the music guide him in the darkness with shafts of light spinning around and around.
The Bud Billiken Parade is an institution in Chicago’s African-American community. The annual parade and picnic have been held since 1929 in the Bronzeville/Washington Park neighborhood. It’s the largest African-American parade in the nation.
Robert S. Abbott, the founder and publisher of the Chicago Defender, created the fictional character of Bud Billiken, which he featured in a column in his paper. Children were taught that they should be honest and trustworthy, and respect one another. A cartoon character, Bud Billiken, taught them how.
David Kellum, an editor at the Defender, suggested the parade as a celebration of African-American life. Kellum was a long-time member of the Chicago Baha’i community and civil rights leader. He dedicated his life to inspiring young people and improving relations between the races.
To help realize his dream, Kellum started the Bud Billiken Club. Members of the club participated in a pen-pal program with children in Africa, South America, Europe and the Middle East. The Billiken Club helped chip away at the wall of segregation that had separated these children.
I went to the 2016 Bud Billiken Picnic to try and capture the spirit of community promoted by the parade and have some fun.
When I visited the fantastic landscapes of the American Southwest the feature that caught my imagination the most was the Anasazi ruins, particularly the cliff dwellings. I wondered how the Anasazi built them. As far as I knew, Native Americans didn’t have technology that was sophisticated enough to carve villages into cliffs hundreds of feet above the canyon floor. When the dwellings were built, nearly a 1000 years ago, they didn’t have the horse or the wheel. So just who were the Anasazi? To me, their cliff dwellings held as many mysteries as the Pyramids in Egypt.
Archaeologists have come up with few answers. In the end, they shrug their shoulders and say ‘it’s a mystery.’ But I thought somebody had to know, some old tribal wisdom keeper somewhere knew, after all, these dwellings weren’t built into the cliffs of Mars. And sure enough, here’s a tale told by an Apache chief named Asa DiLugio.
“We came from the old, red land when the fire god crawled out of the caverns, and thrust his long tongue through the sea, for in this land the earth walked, and the sea came up in mountainous waves and covered the smoking, burning temples. We came in ships, sailing to the high mountains of the southern snows.”
The red land DiLugio refers to is Atlantis. Alternative archaeologist Frank Joseph
says in his book, Advanced Civilizations of Prehistoric America: The Lost Kingdoms of the Adena, Hopewell, Mississippians, and Anasazi,
that as the island nation began to crumble and sink into the sea, many Atlanteans migrated to other parts of the world such as Egypt. One group of colonists went north into the Americas. They eventually found their way into the Southwest where their descendants built a sprawling civilization in the Southwest and its magnificent capital at Chaco Canyon. People from all around the area came to live near the capital and the Anasazi were looked upon as gods.
But then the climate changed and brought a severe drought to the area and the people fell on hard times as the crops failed. When the Anasazi were unable to restore the land, the natives branded them as false gods as their glittering civilization collapsed. Then, among the ruins of the Anasazi’s grand palaces, the natives began to hunt them down and massacre them for their betrayal. In desperation, the Anasazi built the cliff dwellings in an effort to protect themselves from the marauding tribes. But it wasn’t enough to stop the hatred of fallen gods. The Anasazi who did not leave were wiped out.
According to the Ancient Origins
website, The word Anasazi means ‘ancient ones’ or ‘ancient enemies.’
“The older I get, the more I’m conscious of ways very small things can make a change in the world. Tiny little things, but the world is made of tiny matters, isn’t it?” ~Sandra Cisneros
I met Joan while taking a walk along Promontory Point early New Years’ Day. She was warming herself at one of the fire pits after going for a swim in Lake Michigan. I asked her what it was like swimming in the cold, cold winter water. “It’s invigorating, incredible, indescribable,” she said softly.
She said there’s lots of ice in the water so you have to keep your arms out in front of you so you can clear it out of your way. “It’s so cold that you could cut yourself on the ice and not know it.” How do you handle the cold? I asked. “The water’s cold, but your body gets used to it,” she said. “It’s worth it because of the high you get when you come out of the water. It’s like a rebirth.”
Below is a link to a magazine article I wrote about Derek Grace, a man who left a prestigious job to pursue his calling.