Pausing to Reflect

Victor Frankl:

Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our happiness.


Nina Simone:

I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear.


Wherever you are, that is the entry point.


Mountains and oceans have whole worlds of innumerable wondrous features. We should understand that it is not only our distant surroundings that are like this, but even what is right here, even a single drop of water.

View of the ridge


There are so many poems that give me pause.  I feel the beat of my heart, the flow of my blood, embraced, entranced, enhanced.  This morning  it’s this poem  by William Stafford.

Living on the Plains

That winter when this thought came — how the river
held still every midnight and flowed
backward a minute — we studied algebra
late in our room fixed up in the barn,
and I would feel the curved relation,
the rafters upside down, and the cows in their life
holding the earth round and ready
to meet itself again when morning came.

At breakfast while my mother stirred the cereal
she said, “You’re studying too hard,”
and I would include her face and hands in my glance
and then look past my father’s gaze as
he told again our great race through the stars
and how the world can’t keep up with our dreams.

~ William Stafford ~

(The Way It Is)

Orchid Twined


This morning as I meditate, I feel spring in my heart, the opening scent of flowers, the invitation to unreel the layers of the bud, build a nest, fill it with eggs of creativity, and birth what’s here.

Yesterday, Steve and I decided he needed an x-ray of his arm, swollen and bruised from a fall and so we rushed out of the house even before I could grab a Kindle or book. I waited outside of the medical office and meditated and took photos of flowers lining sidewalks and streets.  I realized I was near a library but it closed as I walked up,  so I sat on a bench and sat, and felt, and thought of porches with rocking chairs and benches, and how enclosed life can be with ATM’s and self-checking, and everything delivered and left right at the door.

Because I watched and enjoyed The Wizard of Oz with my grandson this week, I came home and watched Pollyanna.  Okay these movies are fantasies, very colorful fantasies, escapism, and yet, what is it when so much has left technicolor for a darker view of life? Another shooting – oh, my!

How do we balance what we view, and how we involve and evolve with immersion in the flowers blooming everywhere, except perhaps Tahoe which continues to stay white with snow.  Yesterday I appreciated the gift of sitting outside with nothing to do and nowhere to be.  Steve is fine, just swollen and bruised, and I feel the opening call of spring even as I more firmly root.

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Paying attention acknowledges that we have something to learn from intelligences other than our own. Listening, standing witness, creates an openness to the world in which the boundaries between us can dissolve.

Outside my window – oak and redwood twine
Outside the medical center
Along the parking lot

Celebration Time

Yesterday I drove down to Menlo park, entranced with the clouds.  They resembled images sent back from outer space.

Today is a full moon, Buddha’s birthday, and Cinco de Mayo.

From Writer’s Almanac: It’s the birthday of the man who said, “No man is lonely while eating spaghetti”. Christopher Morley, born in Haverford, Pennsylvania (1890), wrote a hundred books.

Morley said, “You can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book. But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries.”

It’s a day to read, and either fast, or eat rice, guacamole, or spaghetti, or all three.


The Mill Valley Marsh

Today I was early for my dentist appointment so I strolled along the marsh.

Duck and Killdeer share a niche.
Egret lifts nearby
A sturdy bridge
Camouflaged, so look closely to see three Killdeer
Egret and Killdeer
Killdeer, a sentry for eggs laid on the ground while egret feasts
Regal with destination
Egret and Duck

May Day

As a child, we made baskets for this day and filled them with candy and flowers, and hung them on our neighbors’ doors. This morning I read that baby swans were just born at the Las Gallinas ponds, so out I head for a May Day celebratory treat.

I’m excited to see a swan.
And then a mother on her nest with four babies. A duck watches nearby.
Active babies
A family of Canadian Geese
An egret – Golden Slippers
Babies exploring
The wind comes up and dad returns. Mom covers the babies.
A Black Crowned Night Heron rests close by

Your Own Drummer

Be out of sync with your times for just one day, and you will see how much eternity you contain within you.

Rainer Maria Rike – 

Revel in the elements
Large and small, in and out, coming together in you as view
Rock Beauty and Wave

The Corded Chord

In the living room, I have a wall of books, all of which were removed so the shelves could be painted.  Mindfully, I’m putting them back, pausing, arranging, giving away and though I’m not physically out walking this weekend, I feel the joy of traveling through books I touch, peruse, and love.

I make a chord.

Rebecca Solnit:

Walking, ideally is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though there were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord.

It’s Spring!
Color Abounds!
Look closely to see a couple of meadowlarks feasting in our yard
Our neighbor works on, well in, his 1967 father’s, now his, truck
And watering occurs

China Beach in San Francisco today

Looking across to the Marin Headlands
Looking east to the Golden Gate Bridge
A ship passes by
A jellyfish on the sand
The waves pour in
Ladybugs on kelp
Good luck ladybug on a wishing rock
And a big rock stands marking why so many leave their hearts in San Francisco