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.



Friday, July 19, 2024

Little Story

In the middle of preparing dinner a few nights ago, I noticed a storm was rolling in. 

I went outside and inhaled deeply. It was a moment of lovely rejuvenation! 

 

Just as I glanced up in the middle of a tension-shedding stretch, my eyes spotted and followed the resident osprey. During many sunsets, I’ve seen her tearing at her dinner high up on a particular naked limb she loves in the Douglas fir just across the road.

 

...And as I followed the flight path of the osprey, she flew right through a rainbow!

 

Gentle awareness is what offered the gift of the rainbow as well as the rain-scent.

 

I saw her again last evening: Osprey, loosing from her talons bits of her full-fish meal. 

 

She reminds me to pay attention, to be softly open. She whispers the secret: I will lead you to beauty.

 

(Orig. posted in July 2016.)




Monday, July 15, 2024

Monday Meditations

mindful practices to nourish you throughout the day and week



Find an outside haven and bask in it for a while. 





Friday, July 12, 2024

What’s in a Sunset?

Fire and water in balance, in communion: 

flames and waves in equal measure. 

 

It is a painting, or a mantra, a prayer or jubilant ecstasy.

 

Sometimes it is the desperate sign of toxins in the atmosphere. 

 

It arrives in patterns, like a carefully woven textile.


On other evenings the sun sets in indecipherable codes, a language known only to mystics and poets, or to the unordained citizen who courageously listens in humility, with honesty, with the admission of non-omniscience and the openheartedness of a babe. 

 

A sunset is the best impromptu art piece 

but on some evenings it is a body of work or a movie in motion, apparently different masters rapidly at work in the heavens. 

 

Existing here is memory or reverie, hope or faith, a closing down and an opening in paradoxical simultaneity. 

 

It is a song and dance or the vast sigh of grief, 

a collage.quilt.montage.potpourri.anthology.medley.ecotone. 

 

The blazingliquidshift oozes and burns its way overhead, deepening at the horizon into a palpable beating heart. 

 

An organism alive and yet capable of stillness, it reflects back a perfect mirror of all things innerlandscapey. 

 

It is the expansive certitude of crepuscle and a night to follow, with the spiraling temporal motion offering its return.again.soon.

 

Blessed.

Glad.

Euphoric.

Paradisiacal.

Rapturous.

 

Felicityofsunset.





Monday, July 8, 2024

Monday Meditations

mindful practices to nourish you throughout the day and week


From an unusual angle, take a photograph of one of your favorite neighbor-trees. 




Friday, July 5, 2024

Savor Dandelions

We tend to think in big hunks. All or nothing. A bowl of ice cream, not just a bite. Hours, rather than minutes. The whole enchilada. Burning bushes. Crossing the Rubicon. A year instead of a tiny powerful moment.

 

But we do not have to live this way. In fact, we might live more fully—more grounded in this sparkling Planet Earth—if we can cherish the dandelions.

 

This week has been punctuated by stories of cancers, familiars or loved ones dying, job losses, divorces, conflicts of all sorts, excruciating bodily pain, mental or emotional anguish; these are just a sampling of that to which I have borne personal witness. At large, in the world too, a barrage of homelessness, refugees, wars, slayings, despair, inequities of every stripe, wildfires run amok. How can we make our slice of difference in this kind of world?

 

We do so when we take two deep breaths, noticing the pause between them.

We do so when we offer to a soon-jobless stranger the number of a helpful, free job consulting service. 

We do so when we make the small invitation to meet for coffee. Or to listen quietly on the phone.

We do so when we offer organic, innocent humor that mocks nobody.

We do so when we allow our veneer (…of professionalism, of helpfulness, of politeness…) to crumble and speak the persistent voice of our passion.

We do so when we send a short note of encouragement.

We do so when we choose not to mow down the dandelions in the dead-anyway-drought-grasses, allowing their golden clusters to brighten our inner (and outer) landscape.

 

It is these small plantings of seeds that keep us in balance. That keep us from tipping over into the impossibility of All-ness. It is this taking.a.bit.at.a.time that unsticks us from the muckplace and moves us back into the flow toward our passion and fullness. 


These seemingly tiny movements create ripples that serve, that save, that savor.


 (Orig. posted in 2014.)




 

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Image of the Week

"Hungry Heron"
...video I took of Great Blue Heron fishing on the sunny low tide beach last week...

 

Monday, July 1, 2024

Monday Meditations

mindful practices to nourish you throughout the day and week


After spending some time contemplating the first half of 2024, jot down a few ways you can share your passions in service to the world for the rest of the year.  




Friday, June 28, 2024

Stardust

I am not celebrating the birth of a nation but I do feel the awe of glittering stardust flowing in my veins; I remember that every living creature that was and is shares this stellar inheritance.  

 

That joyful hummingbird outside my window right now is liberated by living: free to follow his destined hummingbirdness path. His tiny body is a microcosm of mine, and all beings’ a macrocosm of his precious self. 

 

A jay picks up a snail from the garden bed and places it on the wood 3”x4” that edges the porch. My dog sniffs the shell as she steps over the beam. 

 

Baby finches squeal a highpitched desperation…or gratitude…I’m not sure which, when the adult comes to offer seed.nourishment. The redfinch male chatters incessantly from a tree branch:  time for a feeding but a human wanders her yard too close to the nest. 

 

That cat’s black fur contains at least four dozen burs; the dog’s bed and the carpet and her own white fur are surfaced with sharp points: hundreds of them. And running fingers through my own wet hair in the shower I am prickled by a few tenacious lingerers after fifteen minutes of plucking off my arms, legs, feet, and clothing a texturedplantskin of spiny seed cases. Last season’s green glory is this season’s unstoppable, relentless, overly generous offering of prickles – small.tan.irritating.prolific.

 

From the heavy.dark confines of a meeting room, my eyes focus on the slice of miracle framed by the open door: clusters of peaceful pink blooms on the heaven.greenest.tree against the sacred.blue.heavens.

 

I celebrate the crow who sits inches from me on a fence playing the staring game. I praise the pink and the white flowers that have sprung up in a drought. I bow down—quite literally with hands flat on dirt—and close my eyes so that I can listen to the wisdom of a breeze that lives in this valley. 

 

It is this receptive-hearted moment that creates the conditions for peace, for compassion, for silence that bequeaths impassioned direction. This is a day—as are each of the forty.two.million minutes of our lives—to celebrate unity with the nestlings’ anthem, with the finch parent’s dutiful attentions, with the bespangled arbor, with the geography.ignorant wild plant stalk, with the cochlear swirls of the snail shell. We are all one community without political boundaries, geography-free, sidereal, celestial, starmatter.

 

(Orig. posted in July 2014.) 




Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Image of the Week

"Primal Tree Vein"
...first time trying Gelli printing...


Monday, June 24, 2024

Monday Meditations

mindful practices to nourish you throughout the day and week



Reflect on one blessing in your life and then offer it creatively to someone else.