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 October 2018

Image of the Week

"Backsides are Beautiful"     October 2018 



All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2018 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

15 October 2018

Monday Musings CREATIVE PRACTICE: “Photo Montage”

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


Using photos of some of your favorite outdoor places, create a small collage. 





All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2018 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

12 October 2018

Empty

recently I have discovered the need to empty myself 
absolutely and unreservedly 
of expectation 
however small 
however insignificant

to release it 
actually to relieve myself of any guessing 
any hope 
any fear 
around what it is I might discover in a moment

and in that act of emptying myself – a total and utter cleansing – 
I find myself made anew: free of what could have been, what might be,
as fresh as those dozens of “poor man’s orchids” on the forest floor yesterday: baby, new, just birthed in this autumn season of decay and death
pink and white and supple and nothing like blazing red leaves

when I become a vessel of what is right now, I find a miracle and beauty:
childlike innocence, playfulness, 
judgment-free exploration of the texture of this phrase,
the delicate satin lace of that expression,
and the ability to paint something new along the canvas of the present: a gift

my thought was to go strolling but instead I knelt, 
I sat, 
I stared at the horizon across the water
marveling at the sea of yellow leaves blanketing the ground under the sprawling tree,
reborn with the wind blowing up,
and through, 
and under me: 
lifting my spirits, erasing my tension

I knew right then that who I had been the day before and who I imagine I’ll be in tomorrows to come 
do not matter

I am simply in community and in family as a breathing woman on this earth:
small 
humble 
ready to face the next thing … 
expectationless






All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2018 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

10 October 2018

Image of the Week

"First Week of October 2018"     Nature Calendar   




All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2018 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

08 October 2018

Monday Musings NATURE PRACTICE: “Listen to the Past”

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


Spend time outside listening to nature and identify one sound that brings back a memory from long ago; explore it. 




All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2018 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."

05 October 2018

On the Winds of Autumn

Change is here. 

Breezes; yellow and falling leaves; earthy scents rising from the forest floor.

Cooler and darker and wetter days. 

And moments of exquisite clarity.

This morning as I watched the old goat limp to her trough to eat the remnants of yesterday’s pellets – tan, dormant grass under hoof – I remember the feel of her thick tongue on my fingers. 

Clinging a bit too tightly to the apple and alder leaf treats I’m feeding her so she has to nudge and nibble my thumb, I speak in quiet tones.

Hello, Clara. How you feelin’ today? Do you recall the agility of your youth?

I’m sure she does not comprehend the words, but my gentle tone works for her. She “maaa”s, asking for more leaves while she rubs the side of her chin on the fence, on my hand. Clara puts her fat lips around my fingertips but the one snaggle-tooth in the front of her mouth never breaks my skin.

She is so very old, with coarse and wiry gray hair; her body is full of lumps and bumps, and a constant goo that afflicts her left eye. 

I waved to her this morning from my office window, as I often do while I work; she responded by staring back, and – once - by maaaing. Solidarity – the goat and me. 

When we let her roam the yard during the autumn, this goat feeds on the crisp fallen leaves - alder and maple snacks: potato chips for ruminants.

I believe Clara senses the change in the air, the scent of something else coming on the winds of autumn. 

Like the goat in her hay-filled shelter at night, I nestle into the cozy safety of my home: aware that change has arrived. I swallow what I can of it, saving the rest for another day. 



All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2018 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."