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.



02 April 2020

Hearth: comfort, beauty, nourishment for the soul

TEALarbor stories’ “Hearth” blog posts offer a tiny, gentle respite during this incredible transition we’re in. Rest for a few seconds here in the hearth of everyday nature and creativity. 



"Mountain Sunrise"

Last November, I found myself cozily tucked inside at this exquisite North Cascades location. Here is the panoramic view that lured me outside in my pajamas (and bathrobe, down jacket, scarf, hat, gloves, snow boots...) on a twenty-degrees-Fahrenheit morning. May your spirit find relief in this softly-glowing sunrise. 





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."

01 April 2020

Image of the Week

"Plenty of Beauty"




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."

31 March 2020

Hearth: comfort, beauty, nourishment for the soul

TEALarbor stories’ “Hearth” blog posts offer a tiny, gentle respite during this incredible transition we’re in. Rest for a few seconds here in the hearth of everyday nature and creativity. 


"Circular Meditation"

Start at the center - eyes focused on the dark, circular interior. 
Inhale very deeply. Release your breath slowly. Stay there, right in the center, for as long as feels good to you. 
Without thinking too much, v-e-r-y slowly allow your gaze to move to the next ring of colors. 
And the next. 
As you move toward the outer petals of the flower, notice how the details become clearer and yet more nuanced. 
Relax into the image and stay as long as you like. 





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."

30 March 2020

Monday Musings GRATITUDE 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. 


Send an e-card to someone who has helped you recently. 





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."

28 March 2020

Hearth: comfort, beauty, nourishment for the soul

TEALarbor stories’ “Hearth” blog posts offer a tiny, gentle respite during this incredible transition we’re in. Rest for a few seconds here in the hearth of everyday nature and creativity. 



"Beauty as Healer"

Several weeks ago an article I wrote was published in the online journal Minding Nature. I wrote it last autumn, long before any hint of our current global pandemic had arrived in our everyday landscape. For a long time leading up to when I wrote this, I have felt that beauty can heal us. Today, more than ever, I am increasingly experiencing how beauty does heal us. 
Please click this link to read the article. Or, at least, look at the nature-based creations I made and photographed, strewn throughout my article. 




(Journal cover image copyright 2020 Minding Nature.)

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."

27 March 2020

a bustling crowd of loving trees

the other day something happened to me.

i’ve tried to explain it once, twice, to trusted others. to no avail. 

i’ve heard others say things similar to what i experienced. 
heck, i have probably said similar things in the past. 
actually, i know i have said similar things in the past, even as recently as last autumn when i wrote about a deciduous tree who welcomed me (http://tealarborstories.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-welcoming-tree.html)

trees as sentient beings. not a new idea, nor a new experience. 

but what happened the other day felt completely different, unprecedented. perhaps because we are in unprecedented times:

(…it may take me a few tries, over time, to really articulate this clearly…)

as i stepped onto the dirt road that leads me to my forested trail – where the protected area is to the left and a few forested properties are to the right -

i was stopped. by the sea of trees on my starboard side.
out for a vigorous hike but suddenly just stopped on the road, agape at this crowd of “not-forest” forest trees.

for a few seconds
they were not just trees, not just alive, not just the same guys i pass every day, not just ecological beings, not just redcedars and douglas firs, not just those whose lives i honor in as many ways as i can think to do
no.

these trees became sentient. beyond sentient: perfect, brilliant, intelligent, healthy, my kin, my people – tall, strong, sturdy companions

they told me that:
they are here,
they are not sick, 
they intend to stand by me: caressing, holding, nourishing, protecting, remaining
they will guide, soothe, inspire, instruct, envelop, nurture

all of this was palpable in a swift flush of image, sensation, insight

and in my overwhelm of feeling, all i could utter - as i brought my hands together at my heart - was: 

“thank you”




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."

26 March 2020

Hearth: comfort, beauty, nourishment for the soul

TEALarbor stories’ “Hearth” series offers a tiny, gentle respite during this incredible transition we’re in. Rest for a few seconds here in the hearth of nature and creativity.  



"Walk with me #1"

Join me here. 
On this short stretch of trail, we walk in silence. Our footfalls and a half-phrase of birdsong are the only sounds we hear. And we relish this journey that soothes us. 
Come back to experience this walk over and over again. 





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."

25 March 2020

Image of the Week

"Sunny Creation"


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."

24 March 2020

Hearth: comfort, beauty, nourishment for the soul

TEALarbor stories’ “Hearth” series offers a tiny, gentle respite during this incredible transition we’re in. Rest for a few seconds here in the hearth of nature and creativity. 


"Pathway #1"

Enter in. 
Imagine the speckled sunlight on your cheeks. Conjure up the chill in the air on this early spring morning. Gaze overhead at the towering firs. Notice the spaces between canopy boughs that are colored by the return of blue sky after a dark, cloudy winter. Look at the thick crowd of tree trunks and know they are friends, companions on this journey. 
Abide here in rest.


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."

23 March 2020

Monday Musings GRATITUDE 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. 





Consider the ways in which your physical self remains well today. Thank your body for the health, mobility, and wellbeing it is providing to you right now







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."

20 March 2020

Towhee as Healer

Over the past several weeks, I have made a great effort to walk almost every day in the natural world. For healing. For solace. For inspiration. 

For wisdom about how to reach out to others in new ways that serve this particular and inconceivable time we’re facing. 

I’ve experienced anew:  

unfathomably tall trees
poignantly beautiful birdsong
mosses aglow in filtered morning sunlight
soothing silence
dinner-plate-sized fungi
squirrels racing with mouthfuls for their cache
green boughs singing lullabies high overhead
dew-covered grass
pine-scented air

and so much more. Everyday experiences of long-acquainted beings. 

My commitment to you during this time is to share more of these small moments, scattered throughout the week, so that you – too – can experience the beauty and healing of this amazing Earth. 

Let’s start with the spotted towhee who sat on a nearby branch and called me over to listen. You’ll also hear the heartrending beauty of springtime robins' song as the background chorus. 



(Don't forget to turn up the volume on your device.) 





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."

18 March 2020

Image of the Week

"Heartbeats"



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."