Ease

Enjoying this summer day as the fog moves in and out, I’m with these words of Henry David Thoreau.  

Simplicity

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as

two or three, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail …

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time.

To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome

and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the

companion that was so companionable as solitude …

If one advances confidently in the direction of his

dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has

imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in

common hour …

A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.

So our prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts.

We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and

took advantage of every accident that befell us. Sometimes, in

a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my

sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revery, amidst the

pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and

stillness, while the birds sing around or flitted noiseless through

the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the

noise of some traveller’s wagon on the distant highway, I was

reminded of the lapse of time.

“Simplicity” by Henry David Thoreau from Walden. 

Summer fog playing in the ridge

Buddha Cat meditates on rocks

One Heart

One son and I are participating in an on-line workshop with Adyashanti.  This week is about the heart.  My son is struggling to understand what it means to embody the emotional heart in the spiritual.

In going back and forth in our discussion, I remember holding hands with another as we’d swing around, both pulling as we balanced the circle until we collapsed laughing and tired on the ground.

Maybe when we discuss with another, go back and forth with thoughts, ideas, and sharing, it’s like that. We balance centrifugal force until we collapse in knowing what matters is circling with held hands and heart.

With another friend right now, we’re looking at what it is to be the first child in a family of elders, and then, second, third, fourth.  I’m a first child with all that that entails. I was worshipped as the Holy Grail. That’s lovely and there’s a pressure, too, so perhaps I still resist outside influence as I hold room for inner space.

This morning I had the image of a round card table we stored downstairs when the children were young.  One day the children pulled it out, turned it upside down and used it as a merry-go-round, which, of course, ripped the plastic cover, and didn’t do much for the structure. From then on it was either a merry-go-round, or a rather dilapidated and unstable table covered with a tablecloth.

Did it matter that it was ripped and torn and shaky on its legs? Aren’t we all beautifully put together, then turned upside down, so that when we come back up we see and function in new, perhaps unpredictable, and necessarily more creative ways?

I’m finding the political situation challenging these days.  I love the USPS.  I love to mail letters, and cards. I still enjoy paying some bills with a check and putting on a beautiful stamp and sending it off in the mail.  I find it satisfying but I got my first late charge this month and realized the mail service has purposely been slowed, so where I pay bills twice a month, I either need to pay everything on-line, or mail it back the minute it comes which may not come soon enough since slowed mail isn’t arriving far before the due date.

I recognize that these days are offering wonderful opportunities to practice our skills of equanimity. I give thanks for this daily expanding gift to stretch and circle round with joy, touch, connection, mindfulness and presence.

With that, I return to Angeles Arrien and her words on the four-chambered heart.  The Four-Chambered Heart is full, open, clear and strong. 

It’s a time, even more than usual, to ask each day.

Where am I currently full-hearted in my life and work?

Where is my heart open to new ideas, people and experiences?

What am I clear about with respect to my vision, values and behavior?

What situations require courage and perseverance, the fruit of strong-heartedness?

And here we are, dear ones of shared tenderness and care, navigating this world with circling and connected intention for full, open, clear, and strong hearts.  

Peace

I’d love to understand what blows through, and how, and when, and maybe it’s simply to accept the changing tides even as I nudge on the serenity side.

My friend Elaine has a sidewalk chalk fairy friend.  Support connects.

This appeared in front of her home yesterday.

Perceiving with the Heart

I’ve been working with dropping awareness often held in my mind into my heart. 

Yesterday I sat, paused, and felt my thoughts drop into my heart as though my heart was a washing machine and my thoughts were spinning slower and slower until they stopped, cleansed, and dissolved.

Perhaps this image came because my washing machine is broken and I’m washing clothes by hand which reminds me of washing clothes in a stream and rubbing them against rocks. I like the idea of communal washing in streams.

We’re living in challenging times.  So much that was hidden is now exposed.

Yesterday former first lady Michelle Obama said that racial inequality amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic has left her feeling that she has “some form of low-grade depression”.

She said that watching the hypocrisy of this administration is “dispiriting”. I find that helpful as I’ve been struggling to understand this weight I’ve been dragging around.

 I understand life comes to us as we perceive it, so perceiving from and with the heart is a way to cultivate new living in my being, trust.  I do that now, listen, receive.

What can I release? 

The wonderful poet William Stafford rose early each morning to write a poem.  He wrote a poem each day.  When asked how he could possibly write a poem each day, he said he lowered his standard.

Today I lower whatever standard I may have created, some false god or idol of some idea of “perfection”. I sense from and with the heart that surrounds.

I know I’m enough, just as I am, this moment, this day, this stepping in and out of time.

This is a beautiful immersion in the art of making a teapot, a focusing energy in form.

How do we form our clay and make room for air?

Full Moon

Last night I enjoyed the full Sturgeon moon.  Birds are tweeting like crazy these days.  Is it that I’m noticing more?  With only the screen door at night, I hear the opossum make his or her way through the yard.  We now have a camera on the front so we see his or her progress, which is slow, winding, and thorough.  

The debris box is gone, and three men are putting drywall on our garage walls.  There’s something about being home all the time that says clean, clear out, and brighten what’s here even though it’s only for the two of us, and even as I type “only”, I pause.  Aren’t we enough?

I read that houses in Tahoe are selling as fast as they hit the market.  People are realizing that quality of life is what matters, and working from home and having children learn from home, has widened the choice around location and surroundings.

I keep trying to look on the bright side even as I remember meeting my friends in person, and walking without a mask.

And the sun is shining and birds are tweeting and a skunk released its protective aroma last night, and maybe that’s what I’m doing right now, saying I’m here and with the best of intentions for equanimity, somehow there’s a slight stink.

And I’m breathing and healthy, and all in my small realm, is well!

Full Moon Rising

Neighbors

I sent a photo of the apples in the basket to the neighbor who gave them to me.  She used a watercolor app to send it back. Wow!

Waterlogue 1.4.3 (120) Preset Style = Fashionable Lightness = Darker Size = Large Border = Border

Waterlogue 1.4.3 (120) Preset Style = Illustration Lightness = Auto-Exposure Size = Large Border = No Border

Then another neighbor handed over the fence a just-this-morning round of homemade bread. 

Yum, and made extra crispy for Steve – nothing like bread made to one’s liking.

Life is good for me, and it just happens I have an actual bowl of cherries.

Life is a bowl full of cherries, and remember the fruit needs a pit around which to sweeten and grow!

Savor Summer Light!

The Force

Last night in celebration of the 8:00 howl, someone blasted forth the theme from Star Wars.

There’s a great deal of originality and creativity in the howl these days.  After all, it’s been going on for over four months.  Our voices may be worn out but we still have car horns and musical instruments. 

Someone pointed out yesterday that technology was separating us, isolating us, and now it’s bringing us together, so though we’re each in our own abodes, we can see and talk to others in their habitat.  We’re sharing more widely around the world.

I’m with these words of Mohandas Gandhi: Nonviolence is the greatest and most active force in the world. The more you develop it in your own being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by might oversweep the world.

St. Francis

His Garden

Summer Abundance

We’re feasting on corn and tomatoes, cherries, berries, and plums.  Our neighbor brought over a basket of apples from their tree.

Meanwhile the debris bin is full, a gathering of what we and the neighbors no longer need, and what isn’t worth giving away.  Some things do fall apart.  It’s odd to realize, to hold something in one’s hand and recognize it’s time for it to find new form.

I think of myself, and there’s something about plucking an apple or plum from a tree that allows me to feel the stream and circulation of my blood, the enthusiasm and joy that leaps and leads into unfolding within the swinging hammock of a new day. 

Enjoy! There’s no repeat.

Apples, vibrant and freshly picked