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.



24 August 2016

Image of the Week

"Moonsnail Mirth"     Our Beach     Photograph of my hand taken by JHarlan     2016


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

22 August 2016

Monday Musings QUOTE: “Wake”

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

“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”


Kahlil Gibran





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

19 August 2016

Words Off Pens

pens, tree trunk
transporting nourishment of our hearts to the edges
to the far reaches of branches, twigs
our fingertips gently coaxing words into being

our juiciest guts appear in a moment
from the heart
apparently
bypassing the mind’s inclination to construct
oozing into colored lines
wet
curved, looped, dotted, pricked with a point, straight

this is what pens do.

flowing ink that leaves its sentient trail along the page in shapes of symbols
we recognize as letters,
words we have woven from the experience
of tangibility,
feelings,
all simply directional pointers

abandon –
for just a few moments –
the plastic keyboards of electronics:
always conveyers of legible lettering, homogeneity of shape
not always so well-connected to the pathways
of the heart

pick up a pen
find the landscape edge of a page
remember what it feels like to be four
with a crayon
draw the words out
onto the paper

perhaps handwritten words are the bridge between inner and outer landscapes.
as are tears.
a smile or giggle.
a grimace.

an act of handmade beauty.

(Originally posted in Aug 2015)





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

17 August 2016

Image of the Week

"Curvey"     Puget Sound Area & Olympic Mountains   June 2016


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

15 August 2016

Monday Musings POEM: “If You Knew Yourself for Even One Moment”

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


If you knew yourself for even one moment,
if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face,

maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply in that house of clay.


Why not move into your house of joy
and shine into every crevice!
For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, and always have been.


Didn’t you know?


Jalal al-Din Rumi



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

12 August 2016

Drought

***I composed and posted this almost a year ago today. This week, Aug 2016, I am grieving a different kind of loss, sitting in my new residence back up in the oh-so-beautiful and comforting Pacific Northwest.


Currently, I live in California.

Upon waking last weekend, I felt an unnameable sadness, uncharacteristic for my usually optimistic self. It seemed like grief associated with geography. I imagined it must be my continual longing for the verdant land of the Pacific Northwest, a place I have called “home” for more than twenty-five years. 

That evening I saw a huge fire-cloud: smoke from yet another nearby wildfire. I snapped a photo and then went home. Suddenly I heard from within me:

Ohhh! I’m grieving the drought!

This was a shocking and powerful recognition.

I know that I have embodied grief about the earth before: I felt sorrow about the clear cut forests of Washington; I felt sorrow one year ago when a huge temblor shook our nerves and broke our homes. I felt sorrow when I first visited Yellowstone during the huge blaze of 1988. I feel sorrow each time I encounter tangled-in-plastics sea species, housing developments where fields or groves once thrived, malls near protected areas. And many, many other earth sorrows. But today’s sorrow, unexpectedly sharp as it arrives in my inner landscape, is about the desiccated land of California being consumed by ravenous wildfires hungry for the tinder of dead grasses.

I could easily return to the Pacific Northwest.

And, I have a place right now in this beautiful-but-desperately-thirsty land.

I can feel my heart break at the sight of brown, smoky skies and the eerie, fluorescent red of the sun…I can feel it in my parched emotional landscape as an abider in nature, as a seeker of stillness and silence beside creeks-oceans-under forest canopies-atop mountains-on hiking trails with my face upturned to the sun and my hands resting firmly on grass, bark, sand, mud. I love this gentle and fierce, pulsating and beating, breathing earth. Her winds and waterfalls. Her mountains and meadows. It is my supreme delight to rest upon, move across, ponder deeply, and breathe in the Air.Fire.Water.Earth of this planet.

But her parched dusty skin frightens me.

I will love her, no matter; she is my strength and my soul-aesthetic. I will offer her beauty in the form of reverent words, soul ponderings, blessings, and altars in her sacred outdoor places. I will caress her with hands firmly laid upon her grasses, moist or dried out. I will conserve-water-beyond-usual. I will remember each time what a blessing it is to shower or wash hands. I will honor that which still grows and thrives in dried-out-beyond-recognition landscapes.

And I will honor the drought by being true to my grief.





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