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.



29 March 2017

Image of the Week

"Painted Petals"     2017



All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2017 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

27 March 2017

Monday Musings QUOTATION

TEALarbor stories’ Monday Musings are practices and quotations offering simple ways to explore the ecotone of the inner/outer landscape. 



By saying grace, we release the Divine sparks in our food.

Rabbi Herschel











All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2017 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

24 March 2017

Simple Awareness

Today as I drove down the highway of the little island on which I reside I remembered the many gifts of nature we’ve enjoyed in the past few days:

a thick-furred, healthy coyote across the ballpark…all of us carefully eyeing one another
flower buds on an orchard tree…closer inspection revealed a tiny petal about to unfurl
a bright pink cherry blossom bough overhanging a fence
crocuses, irises, and some tiny white flowers in the grass
peepers (frogs) singing their hearts out at night
constellations glistening brilliantly against the charcoal sky
the rich scent of wet soil during the rainstorm
an inches-thick coat of moss along an alder’s trunk glowing emerald green in the sunlight
the resident pygmy goat running down the driveway toward her snack of salal
two bald eagles in flight high overhead, one vying for the edible goodies of the other
a rainbow on a blustery day

…and that is only the beginning of my list.

There are so many ways to describe gratitude.






All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2017 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

22 March 2017

Image of the Week

"Twenty-Eight Days"     February 28, 2017     Nature Calendar



All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2017 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

20 March 2017

Monday Musings CREATIVE PRACTICE: “Equinox Close Up”

TEALarbor stories’ Monday Musings are practices and quotations offering simple ways to explore the ecotone of the inner/outer landscape. 
 


Take a close up photograph of something just outside your door that signals “springtime” to you. Nature’s transitions nourish!









All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2017 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

17 March 2017

Jaunting Around the Moment

Come with me. Just for a minute…into my office, over to the bookshelf. It’ll be fun. I am going to look up a word that I use throughout my writing: moment.

Earlier this week I realized I wanted to do a very tiny exploration on this word. Of course, this meant I had to start with the dictionary (The New Oxford American) on my shelf. Do you see what it says?:

* a very brief period of time
* an exact point in time
* an appropriate time for doing something, an opportunity
* a particular stage in something’s development or in a course of events
* importance

The dictionary goes on for quite a while in this vein, even bringing in physics and statistics. (Ha! I’ll spare us both on these.)

Then the American Oxford offers phrases: 

“in a moment”
“moment of truth”
“not a moment too soon”
“of the moment”
“not for one moment”
And my favorite:  “live for the moment”!

Neighbors in the dictionary include “momentarily,” “momentary,” and “momentus!”

What I take away from this quick hike through the pages leading the reader from “mole to Monet” is that a moment is *short, *specific, *rightful, and *very significant.

*Each moment is finite, in the schema of hours, weeks, years, or a lifetime.
*Every moment we truly live within is one which we can also identify 
in the painting of our life.
*The moment, this one or that one, has a place in the landscape of our life; it is not
random or inappropriate but rather shapes the quality of one’s life (and    
perhaps of all Life). Every moment is a part of…Without each moment, 
something is missing, the fabric of the whole is holey. (I want holy moments, 
myself.)
            *A moment (particularly this one) is crucial.

I found a magnet a few years ago and affixed it to my refrigerator; it reads: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!” And yet, I do not measure moments. I wouldn’t know when “this moment” expires. Understanding a “moment” requires for me hindsight, reflection. I can feel a moment, though. And this seems of absolute import in the scope of my short tenure as a human on this earth. That’s what the magnet is really saying to me:  

Succomb to each one, every tiny thing as it is when it arrives in the collage of my day; allow my chest to heave and my lips to utter “oh!” and “ah!” 

Of course, this also asks that I slow down long enough to notice…a challenge for a doer like me. Yes, what “The Moment” (the specific one, each and every last one of ‘em) asks from each one of us is attention, presence, respect…to be noticed, perhaps even without judgment.

This is my lifetime practice. I love to write the words, to play with these ideas here in an unedited piece that I throw onto my blog like a loaded paintbrush which randomly flings colored, wet drops onto the page as I wildly swirl its handle…The outcome I can never predict. But perfection is not in a final product or outcome; the beauty is in engaging the practice of the moment: playing with words; ideas as gooey as colors on a canvas; the moon in the instant it shines light from behind the thick, moving, obscuring clouds; robins bouncing and plucking through thick, wet grass. 

The moments that take my breath away are not measurable by a clock, or a calendar; they are weighed by my heart and inner wisdom which feels the valuable gift of each one that I happen to remember to notice.

Thank you for taking this moment out of your day, to enter my study and flip the dictionary pages with me. To which moment will you next pay deep and abiding attention?

(Blog first posted in March 2012.)







All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2017 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."