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.



26 September 2016

Monday Musings QUOTE: “Take Care”

TEALarbor stories’ Monday Musings are quotes, poems, & practices offering simple ways to explore the ecotone of the inner/outer landscape. 



“Take care of yourself — you never know when the world will need you.”

Rabbi Hillel






All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2016 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

23 September 2016

Season-Ecstasy: A Love Note For Your Eyes Only

End of Summer. Autumn. Fall. Harvest Season. An Equinox. Turning Point. …

Blazing leaves, Halloween and Thanksgiving, breezes, cooler air, fires in hearths, return to routines, hunkering closer to home, rains, shift from light to dark, gathering and storing and bringing inside …

No matter what it’s called, no matter what associations come to mind, autumn can be an incredibly potent time. Every year I write a love note to the autumn.

9.22.16
Dear Sweet Autumn,

Today is your birthday: the equinox. I love you so very much. In fact, I blushingly admit: I adore you.

The ecstasy of breezes blowing through the bamboo chimes, shifting light, sunsets that pale in comparison to fire-bearing leaves, the smell of wood smoke in the cooling air, evening windows bathed with the yellow glow of family love. Call me a romantic. Silly. Frivolous, even. But when the sun rises later and later, and the dusty jackets of last winter are called to the coat rack near the door, I begin to feel the thrill of your arrival. I do not mourn the passing of summer; I relish watching you slowly make your way here.

Your beauty and brilliance captivate me. Your steady patience and reliable return each year soothe me. I love your ability to hold a wide open quiet space within—to guide me there, even as the winds rise up loud and strong, the rains begin to rip through the trees in torrents that send the cedar boughs flying. The vast and stunning inner landscape views open up: wide, sweeping, diverse, rich internal geographies.

You, my Dearest Fall, work your magic on me in inexplicable ways. And you have always done this for me. I have written reveries about your arrival when I was a little girl:

One dark wet night late in my fourth October, my tiny hands grasped the windowsill and my nose—pressed against the pane—watched dancing twinkles of raindrops, lit up a royal blue. I fell in love with you in that moment, Autumn. The next day you had scattered some liquidambar leaves that recited crispy poetry under my baby shoes as I walked to kindergarten in a love-struck daze.

Ever since, living in places wet or dry, distinctly marked by seasons or not, you have guided me, held a spacious nest of inspiration, and given me gifts extraordinary with your annual return.

Your birthday is my gift. How blessed I am! My present to you is my promise, my deep abiding commitment, to be attentive to your glories each time you return. To use the gift of your passionate embrace to root my own work deeper in the world: writing, creating beauty, honoring the opportunity for quiet solitude, being present with my people—those I’m called to serve. I will express my gratitude for all things Nature, all things Awe, all things Beautiful, or Edgy, or Unsure. Because, Dear Fall, you inspire me so! I return your embrace with all the love in my heart.

I celebrate this day, your birthday-equinox, with excitement and in deep respect. (And, you can count on hearing from me again, Autumn; my delight in you is boundless, though this letter is not.)

I love, love, love, love, love you, Autumn!

With abiding gratitude for the countless gifts you bring year after year,

Your Adoring Human



All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2016 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

21 September 2016

Image of the Week

"Decaying Leaf"     Fell Last Autumn. Found on Spring Equinox 2016.
Blessings for your Autumnal Equinox 9.22.16!


All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2016 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

19 September 2016

Monday Musings POEM: “Give Yourself”

TEALarbor stories’ Monday Musings are quotes, poems, & practices offering simple ways to explore the ecotone of the inner/outer landscape. 


Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose.
 
Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life
and wait there
patiently,
until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and
you recognize and greet it.

Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world,
so worthy of rescue.

M. Postlethwaite



All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2016 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

16 September 2016

Preserves for Crows


The crow lands on an outdoor dining table, plucks a strawberry preserves packet right out of the Smuckers eight-jam dispenser, and hops to the grass. He punctures the plastic peel-away film on top with one swift strike of his bill. With a deftness that betrays repeated endeavors in the past, the crow’s beak comes up dripping with the jelly. A few minutes later he takes the nearly empty plastic packaging to the roof of a four-story hotel. There, perched on the eaves and still dabbing up bits of blood-red jam, he is joined by a smaller crow…who merely watches.


All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2016 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

14 September 2016

Image of the Week

"Silence"     Inner Landscape     2016


All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2016 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."