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.



17 February 2020

Monday Musings NATURE PRACTICE

TEALarbor stories’ Monday Musings are simple practices for exploring the inner/outer landscape. Each weekly practice can take just a few seconds or as long as you like. The practice is most effective when repeated over time. 



Stand near something that pleases you in the natural world. 




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."

14 February 2020

Passion: Red-Hot Fiery, Crystalline Teal, Sweet-Cream Yellow

For me, it could be:

the glittering gem of a sunrise from that snowy pink morning last month

one short meditation started and ended by the gong, breath in gasps then even paces, then slowed and quiet, all thoughts or worries gone and replaced by present calm

the pure-gold full moon larger than the world, rising high enough to beam down rays from the holy, the divine

the threads of a knitted scarf that twirl in mixed color, the most discernible a soft wooly fiber that spirals in red-hot fiery ecstasy down the length of the piece

shades of light and dark that move, curl, pass through one another as the clouds drift overhead

the unexpected kind word from a stranger, 
being mirrored beautifully by beloveds, 
that mutually-held affection between acquaintances that deepens and indelibly bonds them

a coyote pup calling, rabbits foraging, nestlings rustling, the perfect paw print of the large black bear, the barred owl whose voice wakes me, and any moment that puts me in the path of wildlife 

saltwater, rippling, that blends itself into a luscious, crystalline teal

something created – food or art or a novel experience – that rises up and stamps itself into the memory of a relationship

achievements, time markers, transitions, ideas

making music with others, synchronized bells circles – no individuals, all one instrument

moving briskly in the damp cool of early morning, birdsong filling the spaces between tree boughs

ridged, moist bark upon which grow a line of mushroom bodies – orange or brown, or sweet-cream yellow

… these … and so much more … forces for com/passion, enthusiasm, life-spark, gaiety, peace.

What passions do you engage and carry - with great, nonjudgmental, unconditional love - into the world? 




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."

12 February 2020

Image of the Week

"Vibrant Stripes"



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."

10 February 2020

Monday Musings CREATIVE PRACTICE

TEALarbor stories’ Monday Musings are simple practices for exploring the inner/outer landscape. Each weekly practice can take just a few seconds or as long as desirable. The practice is most effective when repeated over time. 



Decide when you’ll take the next step toward being creative: buying art supplies, creating a design, starting the project, etc.




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."

07 February 2020

Caged in Nature

We hiked along a path that took us into the old, dried-up creek bed from our childhood adventures. But now at 50- and 60-something, we sisters made a startling discovery…:


the places where we had freely clambered down and back up – park to creek to riverside to neighborhood,

the locales for make-believe stories and a symbol in recurring dreams, 

the rich terrain for rockhounding, hide-and-seek, dares, and treasure-hunting,

the hiding spot from authorities after benign childhood hijinks, 

the secret space where dreams and worshipped sweethearts came alive in our imaginations,

the site for youth groups, family outings, bicycle breaks, and friend-romps, 

the place that became embedded in the inner landscape “map of childhood,”

the hillside that seemed almost dangerously steep: only true superheroes could traverse it, we kids said,

the rocks that we hoped would disappear from view under a deluge of floodwater (thirsty souls we were)


…: this area is now caged in, cut off, separated, segregated

by a twelve-foot-high, thick, metal fence with no toeholds or hand-grasps. My middle-aged self still held a fantasy of climbing up, over and down the other side. To prove that the creek bed and the park, riverside, neighborhood could be – would be - reunited by a traversable fence. 

From the caged-in creekside, I asked the hispanic grandma pushing her little ones in swings on the park side of the fence: ¿donde está la aperturaHer unambiguous response came clearly, no hay ninguna. No opening to the park? I couldn't believe there was no way out of the creek. But I stood there clinging to the fence, staring in disbelief at the park from my childhood that I now could not access from the creek as an adult. I felt like a monkey in the zoo looking out at freedom. (Though the creek wasn't a bad place to be, it lost something if separated from the parks it adjoined.)

I rattled every chain-and-padlocked gate farther down the creek. I fancied slipping through the gap between two widely-spread gates, but the chain binding them was too tightly held. I hoped I could use a cement wall of an overpass as a hoisting spot up the fence; the busy road that loomed below talked sense into my desperate desire to be freed from the now-jail of a creek bed. 

So a one-mile jaunt turned into five miles of dusty, cobbled hiking – down the creek bed and then back up when every avenue of retreat was fenced off. 

A child’s dreams dashed by the fact of a fence. Too tall. Too sturdy-thick. Too slippery. The perfect barrier between what was and what is. 

The adult me knows why they built that fence. She understands that those neighbors want to protect their privacy. She sees scattered along the once-pristine rock bed the needles and rusted shopping carts, the makeshift beds and mounds of litter, the hidden bent figure in the shadow of a tree, the stinky empty bottles, the wrappings from things I won’t mention: indicators of not-child-friendly activities…

But the little girl in me remembers the freedom of climbing and searching, rolling in cool green grass in the park, wandering aimlessly from friends’ homes to the creek bed to the next park north of there, throwing my bike down in my haste toward the next adventure crawling underneath the wide sweep of a tree branch overhanging the waterless creek. 

And I mourn what isn’t, even as I rejoice in the beautiful memories of a nature-filled childhood – 
a childhood in which everything was part of the story, everything was part of me: 

trees, branches, leaves – dried or budding, rocks too large to carry and stones just right for little pockets, the imaginal river that I wished could’ve moistened the creek bed, the grass stains and ants, the scent of eucalyptus, unrelenting sunshine pouring down on our tableau of childhood reverie. 




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."

05 February 2020

Image of the Week

"Earthy Moon"





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."