Thanksgiving Eve

In the United States, it’s Thanksgiving Eve, a time to gather even as we honor historical complexity.

This is my day to cook as memories jog, and yet before beginning the mixing of flour, butter, salt, and water for pie crust, I read the news. 

Shocking, and yet there’s a video on You Tube of a dog and sea lion playing catch at a beach in Santa Cruz.

May we all give thanks for diversity, curiosity, enthusiasm, and heroism on land and sea, especially where they meet.

Waves in Morning Sky

Trees share, each a niche with space

Peace and Ease

Falling Leaves

On Saturday I was with my three year old grandson and the falling leaves from a Japanese Maple tree.  We stood under the tree as though it was snowing beautiful red leaves upon us, and then he lay down in the leaves and made a Leaf Angel.  

As more leaves fell, I raked them into a huge pile and wrapped them all around him so just his head was out in the air.  The leaves became his racecar and then it was as though he entered a peaceful place, a study in bliss, as did I.

Each of us is being sprinkled right now in the memories of this closing year as we integrate and transform, as we are integrated and transformed with what is present and past.

May we receive with ease.

A rooted rise

Embraced

Serenity

On Friday, we drove to the Merced National Wildlife Refuge to see the migrating Sandhill Cranes.  We saw many birds, but though we heard them we didn’t actually see the cranes, and yet the place is so beautiful that as we watched the sun set, it was clear that our journey was soothing, nourishing, and complete.  

On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address at Gettysburg where from July 1 to July 3, 1863, more that 150,000 soldiers fought in the Civil War.  More than 7,000 died in a town with fewer than 2500.  Imagine dealing with the dead bodies in the heat of July, and imagine the injuries both physical and psychological, the soldiers carried home to friends and families, injuries that still reverberate through us.

I’m with balance these days as my eyes continue to adjust to the change from sixty years of hard contact lenses to glasses to surgery in February.

How do I balance on serenity and integration as I meet and meld the past and present with what comes?

Honoring the magnificence of travel and flight

A Sanctuary

What gathers and guides a communion of flight

Looking Down

Peace

Settling Down

Gratitude

As we move into increasing hours of darkness and the sharpening guide of slanted light, I’m with these words of Thich Nhat Hanh:

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves.

The Morning Sky

What’s the message for today?

Seasoned by Seasons

Last night a treasured  friend sent a photo of the first snow last night, and then this morning a photo of her dog in front of the fire.

Memories harvest in my chest.

In December 2017, our family gathered in CT because we knew my brother was dying, and yet, when we saw him, he seemed blooming and healthy, thin, yes, and easily fatigued, but up and dressed.  It was the first snow of the season and we Californians were out in the snow taking pictures of ourselves shoveling this delightful gift from on high.

We kept the fire going day and night, talked and talked, ate and ate, and played games, and even now tears come with memories.  A fire burns through me, a fire of harvest to warm this beautiful life I’ve lived and still live.

I continue to study Sensory Awareness.  As my breathing is, so am I.  My heart is touched with the exploration of breath, the knowing this air I breathe is given to me by plants and trees, and so we hold limbs in sharing memories and seasons, present treasured, rooted, and lifted with the still living treasures of the past.  

I give thanks.

Warmth reflecting and shared

The gift of Covering Protects

Birds fed

The fun of shoveling snow when there’s no need or reason to leave

Inhaling

Circled with the ringing of bells!



Bobbing

Come forth into the light of things,

Let Nature be your teacher.

– William Wordsworth

A friend is planting bulbs.  I revel in the hope revealed in placing this globular ball into a hole in the earth, tamping dirt around and over it, adding some water, and waiting til spring for stems to rise and buds to form and burst forth.

It’s the time of year when branches of trees hold light as their leaves fall and decompose below.    

Meanwhile we insulate ourselves to nourish an inner light.  

Great Blue Heron Reflecting

Birds enjoy the tides as trees reflect

This Precious Life and Light

I was with my grandchild when his father called him “precious”.  He asked me what the word meant, and I showed him with a hug, cuddle, and snuggle, but I’ve been with the meaning of the word ever since, with how precious life is, this inward and outward expansion and sharing of rhythm and breath.  

This morning when I poured water over coffee grounds, I paused, stunned at capturing the moving swirl and complexity of absorption. Precious! And then there was the twirl in the mouth and the swallow down the throat. Again, awareness brewed and bloomed in reception and touch.

Today I sit grateful for my doctors and dentist who have their offices along the bay which may not be helpful with climate change, but for now offer a walk and a view to calm and support each visit.

Reflecting

Serenity doubled in the momentarily still water of the bay
By the shore

The Mountain Watch

Election Day

It’s a privilege to vote, even when the choices may not appear to be the best.  We vote with compromise, recognizing no one candidate can possibly fulfill our own personal desires but we choose who comes closest, who is most representative of our personal and big picture desires and views.

Recently there have been some unpleasant incidents involving a few of the high school students in the community where I live. This has led to a great deal of discussion, some productive and some not.

On the side of kindness, some suggest that teenagers need a place to let off steam and we don’t have that here. Others point out that this group of youngsters has been, and is still going through major issues with the pandemic. Young people have fears around climate change, their financial future, and their ability to contribute to what is on rapid approach. They also have to process the bombardment of blatant lies and lack of ethics in some who lead the media stream. 

How do we lead our children on an open and compassionate path? This is a day to reflect on just that.

Meister Eckhart: 

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.  

Egrets gather to view and discuss

What’s seen? Bell, leaf, cave, space, tree – all scene –

Juxtaposition

Yesterday I was at the Presidio in San Francisco.  There’s now a way to cross over the road to the bay, and there’s a beautiful playground for children.  There’s something for all!

Learning to walk out of thinking mind into flow mind or awareness mind is the ultimate medicine.

Jan Chozen Bays, “How to Break Free of the Inner Critic”

The Golden Gate Bridge, bay, and playground

Honoring and Blending the present and the past

Play Structure

Look up
Looking and climbing through

Looking down and under