THE BLOG ...exploring the inner/outer landscape through writing & creativity…
Welcome! This is a place to share how we celebrate & deepen our relationship to Nature. Here you will find stories, images, & ideas about wilderness, human nature, & soulfulness. Drawing from the experiences of everyday living, the topics on this blog include: forays into the natural world, the writing life, community service, meditation, creativity, grief & loss, inspiration, & whatever else emerges from these. I invite you on this exploration of the wild within & outside of us: the inner/outer landscape.
Reviewing for the
visiting vet the antics and abilities that characterized the youthful version
of my “95-year-old” dog: s-l-o-w transitions following the course of vibrant puppy,
beloved dog, old friend, mortal being
Hearing the spiraling
trill of the robins creating homes for eggs that will later be hatchlings,
chicks who fledge, parents: cycles that repeat but which are called out anew each
March by the deeply stirring, ancient-yet-spring-borne song of the nest
continents’ worth of trips from old to new computer and seeing in one window
that pandas play alongside koalas drunk on eucalyptus, that king penguins
totter beside African elephants: weeks and years that my work in the world shifted
from stagnant and obscure to deep, clear calling
Sitting with a
new friend to listen and recount as we shared life-shaping stories with one
another: perceptions that take new forms as we mature, age, and find new
companionship in “things that matter most”
to a roomful of hospice volunteers a combination of things about which I’m passionate
in service to their sustained wellbeing: life review through nature, writing, wholeness,
beauty, compassionate care for others and self, gratitude; these are the result of time passing and active
engagement in life
All these in the course of a single day.
How will you cherish this moment of your relationships, blessings,
deep stirrings, work in the world, movements of nature … so that the threads of
your life are woven one by one through deep engagement rather than a fleeting
easy it is to forget the beauty, the return, the awakening.
easily the simple bird’s name escapes me year after year, until I use my field
guide to identify him, again this year, as the same one who amazed me last
is a rainy early spring day. The pour-forth has come again, not torrential but
certainly heavier than mist.
what is filling my view, right now as well as all morning, is the exuberant
activity of birds outside my office window.
downy woodpecker dominates the feeder, than a small flock of juncos, then a
chickadee, then more juncos. Robins are as yellow-billed as ever, and the trio
of Steller's jays has now come to act as a team to control the feeder.
apple tree is loaded with buds: pale but ever-growing. I check on their
progress every single day.
it’s not just the feeder. Coyote scat is now a daily find in the yard. And the
deer are coming in triplets and quadruplets…no fawns yet, but last year’s young
and the mature male and female feed around the yard during all hours of light
as I type this, two flickers have arrived: the vying among the flicker, junco,
and jay astounds me. One flicker likes to rattle the metal drainpipe, pecking
on it for all the world to hear. The past few days he has scooted along the
eaves and I’ve been inches from his tail feathers pressing up against the
another tree trunk the solo downy woodpecker searches for a meal.
those tiniest ones—the chickadees—just flit to and fro in slightly bigger
flocks than the juncos, and they do not vie with anybody; yet they frequently
get a long turn enjoying the bounty.
other day it was the cherry blossoms budding and flowering around town. I
forgot about those, too.
it was the alder leaves sprouting in leaf-packs aplenty.
it was the dark mouse who suddenly ran up and across my windshield as I drove
home from the post office. (I squeamishly checked for a nest under the hood
when I arrived home; luckily I didn’t find one.)
today, as I hung up from a client meeting on Skype, I looked out to see that particular
plumage I knew but had forgotten from several seasons ago: orange and dark gray
in stunning patterns, including the “necklace” across her throat: and Sibley
reminded me that this is a varied thrush. I did my typical gasp-in-awe at the
beauty of this very fat visitor. As I stared through binoculars, I got the
premium view: her colors looked like wet paint, and her tail feathers
actually dripped one oversized raindrop after another. She did not compete at
the feeder but looked rather content perched in the tangle of twigs, surrounded
by all those pearly buds. I talked to her through the window. I photographed
her over and over again, all the while knowing that the dirty glass barrier
between us would prevent any good picture results. But I didn’t care. Full with
the delicious news my client had just delivered. Full with the sight of the
backyard birds returning to the yard after a quiet winter.
every year I forget how much I love the potential of springtime: the buds, the
nests and eggs, the wandering wild ones, flowers to come and leaves to adorn,
the rich smell of wet grass and fertile mud after an earthscent-less winter.
is vibrating with aliveness and simple purpose. And I am agog, remembering,
re-learning, and seeing anew. Perhaps this is the greatest gift of springtime:
the reawakening from the amnesia, the slumber of the wintertime.
don’t know if it’s …
splendor of other seasons and my immersion in each one,
the sense of rootedness—that this is so very much how it is: this weather,
these creatures, this temperature,
the clinging to permanence even when we know that everything, every season, is
the childlike feeling of timelessness,
that nourishes the amnesia about how powerfully transformative the spring time
matter to what this memorylessness is attributed, each year around this time, I
find the blessings of springtime to be fresh, brand new baby glorious, incredible.
Actually: each renewal, each bud opening, each vibrant bird feather is
testament to the holy flame of nature.