Transformation

Transformation is so clear this time of year, well, every time of year really, every time of day, moment by moment.  I’m not sure why I feel more alert these days but there’s something about the ripening of pumpkins that speaks to me, hollows me out with the rounding need to expand and stem.

Yesterday in a book by Flora Thompson, I read about a children’s game where the children find a place outside and touch the earth lightly, and bounce up and come down, singing, “We are bubbles of earth.  Bubbles of earth. Bubbles of earth.”

I’m inspired to see myself as a bubble of earth.  

Thich Nhat Hanh says that, “When we are able to take one step peacefully, happily, we are for the cause of peace and happiness for the whole of humankind.”

That seems especially key these days especially as thoughts are with the oil spill off Huntington Beach and all the creatures at risk.

The root of the word transform is “to move into beauty”.

May this be so!

Stinson Beach on a foggy day, which is not today –

Receiving

Today is a beautiful autumn day.  I think of pumpkins ripening in the fields, gathering sunlight, nourishing seeds even as there is that huge open space inside.

I’m with these words of Joseph Campbell:

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

What resilience and trust that requires, and yet there is an energy to it too.  What comes now as the light changes inside and out.  As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

And in these staggeringly complex times, Jimmy Carter guides us with his words: 

“A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It is a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity.”

And with that, a return to Hafiz:

I wish I could show you,

When you are lonely or in darkness,

The Astonishing Light

Of your own Being!

Birth

It’s the first day of my birth month.  Each year, there’s something that reminds me of that preparation in the womb.  There are more years behind me than ahead.  This morning Steve and I discuss re-reading Sogyal Rinpoche’s book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.  Yes, we may have many years ahead of us, and we are aware.

I’m with the words of Rilke:  “Love and death are the great gifts that are given to us; mostly, they are passed unopened.”  I want to open them all guided by the words of Maya Angelou.

The desire to reach the stars is ambitious.  The desire to reach hearts is wise.

On the Train

Autumn

This morning I was out watering at a time in the summer it would be light but instead the darkness was lit by the moon and stars. All was quiet and still, and for some reason, Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence moved through me.

My cat Bella is now on antibiotics and eating a few bites, but in my worry I’ve been with the words that complete the poem “In Blackwater Woods” written by the late Mary Oliver. 

To live in this world

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it go,

to let it go.

Recently I learned that the strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue.  This tells us why we must be so careful with our words, words we say to ourselves and to  others.

And now, be with The Sound of Silence!

Harvest

It’s a beautiful fall morning.  My father, born in 1921, would have been 100 today.  He died in an accident in 1969.  He was 47, the age my oldest son is now.  Time.  Trust.    Today I’m with James Wright’s beautiful poem “A Blessing”.  There are so many ways to step out of our bodies and into blossom.  

A Blessing
Just off the Highway to Rochester, Minnesota
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

~ James Wright ~

The tide moves in and out
And we Bloom

Connection

People have mixed feelings about Next Door.  I have mixed feelings about it too but yesterday there was a post about a lost chicken under someone’s car.  What to do?  Advice came clucking  and the chicken was rescued and is cuddled and safe.  It takes a village.  

I was at the Cat Clinic yesterday with my cat Bella.  I was there twice as she had to stay for tests.  We’ll find out the results after twelve today.  They don’t take appointments so there’s usually a  long wait.  Sitting there, I thought of the old advertising slogan, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda!”  I was thinking “You meet the nicest people at the vet.”  In the waiting room, each cat is acknowledged, examined and clucked over.  Yes, chickens are on my mind, and you can make that a political statement if you so desire.

Last night, I took an on-line test on kindness my son sent me.  I was surprised to see how much the day affected my answers.  I was in a super-good mood.

I offer the test to you.  It’s part of a study and anonymous but take it and see how it affects your endorphins.  Invite the questions and answers into your moments and days.  Notice stimulus and response.  

The link to the test is at the bottom of the article but all of it is fascinating.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210921-what-we-do-and-dont-know-about-kindness

Appreciation

Hildegard of Bingen, born in 1098, wrote, “If we fall in love with creation deeper and deeper, we will respond to its endangerment with passion.”  

Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring was published on this date in 1962.  Her words, which showed the dangers of DDT, mean we see pelicans flying today.  We hear birds singing. I thank Rachel Carson.

Marcel Proust wrote, “Love is space and time made perceptible to the heart.”

I just finished reading Richard Powers’ powerful book Bewilderment.  I recommend it. 

May we all work passionately to develop empathy and compassion as we fold in and out of this world of Love we share.  

So many niches to explore and bring to Heart

Folding and Unfolding

In Sensory Awareness we often speak of Unfolding.

Jonathan Swift said that “No wise man ever wished to be younger”.  I take that to mean we keep unfolding the beauty of the years.

Of course, today, we would expand that word “man” to include women and then we’d unfold outside of gender and humans to embrace this whole universe that is expanding and unfolding.

Yesterday it was suggested that I sit with a dish towel and fold and unfold it, and then, put something precious inside, maybe my own heart-felt and full beliefs, and fold and unfold with the deepest reverence and care.  I do this in my imagination first, a delight of play.

Then I bring forth a dish towel, one now converted to fall so that harvest colors capture the autumn light.  I gather abundance and wrap it up like a gift, and then open it out to share. 

Unfolding Light

Reverence

This morning meditation called me, not as something on my to-do list but like food or water or the rising sun and setting moon.   I meditated and went outside in the dark to water plants.  The moon was still up in the west and now this first day of autumn, the sky is radiant with sun pouring through.

I honor the day with these words of Br. David Steindl-Rast:

In each of us there is a spark that can reverse the trends of violence and depression spiraling within us and in the world around us. By setting in motion the spiral of gratefulness we begin the journey toward peace and joy.
Inhaling the scent of Jasmine

Birth

Last night I was outside with the full moon, and now I receive the news that a baby we have been waiting for is born.  What a relief!  I know that childbirth in this country is mainly safe but years ago, a friend died in childbirth at a hospital in Palo Alto, and so I’m always on alert until the little being is through the canal and here, seen, and cared for.

Her mother had a tough and long labor and now this little girl is here and my grandson has a new cousin.  He loves music and rhythm, and so alive with vision and possibility, he channels Gene Krupa and the joy of playing the drums.   

The Reward for Labor