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.



14 June 2019

Slow Goodness: Personal Ruminations Outdoors over a Cup of Coffee

This meandered within me earlier this morning:

Kindness. Compassion. Gentleness.

These human capacities of ours can be a real antidote to the aggression, pain, harm, and atrocities we bear witness to every day. 

Just as we are bidden to rest when we are ill, a means to “healing” the aggression that feels so pervasive around us these days is to slow down.

It’s difficult to see others when we’re rushing headlong through traffic, crowds, errands, and life. 

The recent addition of road signs that read “Drive Friendly” – while a source of antagonism for some – nearly made me weep with relief … if drivers just slowed down, took their time, paid attention to their surroundings, we could avoid many of the vehicle tragedies that have plagued our little island in recent months. If people could just cultivate a little more friendliness. 

Holding a door. Smiling or waving at someone. Making pleasant eye contact. Greeting and thanking. Waiting one’s turn. 

Watching the swallow’s flight dance. Hearing the woodpecker’s thrum for food. Noticing the clouds, light, sunrise, wavering breeze. Observing the tight bud loosening, tip by edge by petal unfurling itself into full flower. 

These require a slowing. A slowing into goodness.

This morning, I gingerly untangled and plucked the spider web from the legs of a yellow-socked bee who struggled on his back on the patio table beside my coffee; I righted him to his feet.

A few minutes ago, I became distraught as I saw from my kitchen window the frantic hummingbird with the bindi-like red dot on his chest caught inside my neighbor’s deer-proof netting; I went outside and lifted the net as high as I could while encouraging the tiny bird … until finally he found his way under and out of the inadvertent trap. 

These required awareness, patience, tenderness.

Kindness, Compassion, and Gentleness ask that we slow down for, notice, pay attention to, and care about “the other”; in so doing we invite in and reinvigorate our capacity for goodness. Slow goodness.


(Orig. posted 7/2018.)

All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2019 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

12 June 2019

Image of the Week

"Dungeness Spit"


All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2019 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

10 June 2019

Monday Musings NATURE PRACTICE: “Summer Solstice"

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





Celebrate summer by resting in the shade of your favorite tree.
(Friday, 21stJune)





All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2019 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

07 June 2019

Anew

the thick scent of wet Earth: conversion experience anew
banana slug on path
the perfectly-rolled, dried-up maple leaf and the other huge, perfectly-flat-open, supple 
maple leaf
two dozen fat figs ripening on the branches
aching muscles and heaving breath from trail-running
a breeze that suddenly arises, strong, and then quickly fades
the squirrel on the tree trunk who screeches loudly as we pass by
garden lettuce and strawberries warmed by the sun picked sixty seconds ago and now in 
my dinner bowl 
            fresh moss in piles along the edges
            a sage-green, agate-white, mousse-black wad of lichen
            fur-fortified coyote scat
            thin threads of redcedar bark, vertical bliss climbing high overhead
two halves of a day stereotypically blue sky, white clouds, green fir trees, yellow sun: 
cleaved by an abrupt torrent of chunky rain for thirty-two minutes
rose petals, snapdragons, peonies, lilies, petunias
and one hairy bee climbing inside pansy after pansy, emerging from each with 
ever-thicker golden pollen-socks
the sweet images of burgeoning Earth: conversion experience anew



All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2019 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

05 June 2019

Image of the Week

"Lichen at Hurricane Ridge"


All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2019 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

03 June 2019

Monday Musings WRITING PRACTICE: “Summer"

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


For five minutes nonstop, write down as many favorable aspects of summer as you can; choose one that you will experience weekly over the next three months. 


All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2019 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."