Welcome!

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.



Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Musings NATURE PRACTICE

TEALarbor stories’ Monday Musings are simple practices for exploring the inner/outer landscape. 

 


Kneel down outside and touch the ground beneath you. 





All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2021 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Friday, January 15, 2021

TreeSpeak

I read an article a few days ago about trees, specifically about an artist’s efforts to create a tree alphabet. Smitten, I was. So I downloaded those treesy word guts and began typing them onto the page of a document to see how my name and the names of my beloveds, even the word “tree” itself, looked in this font. I typed the first sentence of my Writing on the Landscape book in tree font. 

 

Using the color version of this alphabet, I created a photograph for each letter of the tree alphabet. Then I began to group them into words in single photographs. 

 

What does a snapshot of a name look like made only of trees?

 

Yesterday I had a lively conversation with my special pod of others who had read this article. We discussed communication, listening to trees, and how to nurture deeper relationships with individual trees, and groves or forests of trees. I’m usually the one who brings this up, week by week in our meetings – related to whatever we’ve read or not. Because, well, it’s simple: I am obsessed with trees. We also amply shared about our individual experiences listening to trees. 

 

In this morning’s group – a whole other Zoom-room full of people with a totally different reason for coming together, someone read Maya Angelou’s wonderful inaugural speech from years ago. Then we were offered a writing prompt: “What are the trees saying to you?” I could not believe the synchronicity!

 

Unedited, here is what I quickly jotted down in response:

 

They’re saying: settle, root yourself deeply, and listen to us. We mean ‘listen’ as … slowing down. Being utterly, vulnerably, and unabashedly present. See rhythms. Feel interconnectedness with us and with all beings. Use the Earth’s magma as your guidepost. Let birdsong fill your heart. Allow wildness to buoy you. Show your fierce tenderness. Allow light to suffuse your striated clouds within and create exquisite sunrises and sunsets of compassionate kindness for all to enjoy and by which they’ll be blessed. Be still within as you offer your blazingly lovely service to the world. 

 

Let it be!

 



 

Tree alphabet pictured here created by Katie Holten.

 


All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2021 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Image of the Week

"Extravagant Gift"









































All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2021 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Monday, January 11, 2021

Monday Musings CREATIVE PRACTICE

TEALarbor stories’ Monday Musings are simple practices for exploring the inner/outer landscape. 



Sketch the outline of your creative intention for 2021.










All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2021 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Image of the Week

"The Year: Budding Anew"






All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2021 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Image of the Week

"Old Year, New Year"





































All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2020 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Image of the Week

"Christmas Cactus Gift"





All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2020 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Image of the Week

"Winter Solstice Blessings: 
December 21st, 2020"


















































All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2020 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Image of the Week

"Red Wonder"





























































All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2020 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Friday, December 4, 2020

Writing Breaths

I breathe out a sigh of relief: 

a gesture of trust that the next inhalation will come,

a release of all that I have held – we have held – this year, 

an offering to the trees around me.

 

I breathe in deeply, greedily:

grateful that I’ve got this moment, 

eager for the restoration that will come, 

open to the gift of Spirit.

 

Like you, I have given much to this year:

to staying the course when the path was unsure,

to holding hope every day - except in the moments when grief swelled too hard,

to creating anew, again and again, and again once more.

 

Now I will take my renewal, my restoration, my refuge:

in the haven of writing pen, paintbrush, collage papers, piano keys,

amid the soft glow of colored lights, candles, and hearth,

into the darkness and warm fire of winter’s inner and outer landscapes.

 

In order that I may more deeply move:

through the pages of my coming book project,

in the womb of inspiration, 

via the guidance of Beauty, and in the name of Nature …

 

I will be on a writing sabbatical starting December 11th (through January 10th). For now, you will only find the Wednesday “Image of the Week” posts featured here. Instead, I will put all of my writing efforts during this period into my next book. Thrice weekly posts will resume on January 11th

 

Thank you for your engagement with this blog throughout the week and over the years. If you want more Earthy, nature-based creative posts to read during my time away this month, feel free to browse the blog archives (on the sidebar to your left). 

 

Blessings to you and yours during these holy days … each day, every day, a sacred opportunity to live more deeply, love more widely, and say thank you more frequently. 




 



All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2020 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Image of the Week

"Living Wall"


























































All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2020 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."

Monday, November 30, 2020

Monday Musings GRATITUDE PRACTICE

TEALarbor stories’ Monday Musings are simple practices for exploring the inner/outer landscape. 



Despite the challenges of 2020, make a list of one great blessing per month that you’ve received this year. 







All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2020 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."