Technology

This world requires technological knowledge which is why I often call my son for Tech Support.  Today is one of those days.  I was getting email messages asking why I wasn’t responding.  It seems that over 105,000 messages have been stored in an account I don’t check because it forwards to another account.  It was full, which I didn’t know, so now those over 105,000 messages are deleted, and all “should” be working as before.  I say “should” as I thought all was working but there was one more snafu to overcome which I discovered when my sent emails were returned. I believe all is currently working, and if you haven’t heard back from me, that’s why.  

I’m grateful I just posted about being water so I could crash on a shore of adjustment and sink into the sand of passing time.  Does that make sense?  Probably not since my brain fries with computer glitches and then I pour water on, and now I’m water-logged.

I’m grateful I have a son who can “take over my screen” and fix problems from afar.

Okay, back to different forms of water as I now work with organizing files and papers to prepare for the new year.

Peace and ease as I move gently and forcefully into 2022.

Fireworks at a beautiful wedding we attended in CT in 2019
CT. in May
And rivers eddy and flow

Be Water

As this year comes to an end, we’ve been meeting with a lawyer on our end of life plans.  It’s something to contemplate how much of one’s body to donate after death.  Specific organs or all organs – information for research – education.  We have signed a DNR, and are updating that to ensure, and still there’s something sobering in it all even though we are very clear.

Therefore, I’m with the words of Bruce Lee where he speaks of emptying the mind to become formless and shapeless like water, which “can flow or it can crash”.  He said, “Be water, my friend.”  

Of course, there are a multitude of ways to visualize that.

The Long Dark

Guardian Light

Did it seem a little lighter this morning or is it that I’m staying in bed a wee bit longer to reflect. We’re upgrading our Trust, which means I saw my younger brother is still there as someone who would help oversee our desires when we pass.

Change.

Yesterday I watched this beautiful talk with Michael Lerner and Francis Weller at Commonweal. I recommend it.

https://tns.commonweal.org/podcasts/weller-lerner/#.YcoAoC-B2X1

I walked outside to get the mail and a beautiful hawk was sitting on a branch of a tree. I ran inside to get my phone and friend hawk and I spent some time together. Blessings. Blessed.

And now it’s enough. He lifts and prepares to swoop in a wide curve, to circle in flight.

Absorption and Reflection

It’s a day to absorb the excitement of gathering and to begin a slow return to the earth’s turning.  At the solstice, even the movement of the sun appears to come to a halt, to re-adjustment, and so do we.

Yesterday we were discussing the odds of intelligent life outside of what we know, and I found myself looking around amazed at what is here.  I was astonished at our gathering of family, dogs, and one elderly cat, in our small, intimate space for two days, and now, I am with the intelligent life within and on this planet – well, perhaps diversity is what is better celebrated as we all have different backgrounds, responses, and perceptions.

The continuing rain means a fire in the fireplace and candles aglow, and showers and abundance for All.  

This quote comes my way today, guidance for movement into this winter season, and a new year.

“When winter comes to a woman’s soul, she withdraws into her inner self, her deepest spaces. She refuses all connection, refutes all arguments that she should engage in the world. She may say she is resting, but she is more than resting: She is creating a new universe within herself, examining and breaking old patterns, destroying what should not be revived, feeding in secret what needs to thrive… Look into her eyes, this winter woman. In their gray spaciousness you can see the future. Look out of your own winter eyes. You too can see the future.”

–Patricia Monaghan, Seasons of the Witch

On another note, I always thought of the Saint Bernard as a dog who rescues those caught in avalanches.  I now know that it’s a myth that these dogs carry brandy in kegs around their necks. Alcohol brings blood closer to the skin, and isn’t helpful in keeping warm.  When it’s cold, we want our blood tucked safely inside in its circular route.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t imbibe a bit of holiday spirit, but then, I was tucked inside a family womb.

I learned today there is a Saint Bernard.  He was confirmed as the patron saint of the Alps in 1923. His image appears in the flag of some detachments of the Tyrolean Alpine Guard. He is also the patron saint of skiing, snowboarding, hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering.  And here is his wisdom.  

Saint Bernard: 

Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no fruit; it is its own fruit, its own enjoyment. I love because I love. I love in order that I may love.

Sunrise this morning
Looking south for the rising of the sun
And the seasons circle round and round

Peace

What speaks?  What comes?

Listen!  

Pause

Flow!

Thich Nhat Hanh:

The peace is in you

“You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you.”

Cattail in the Marsh

Mother Trees

When I was young, I had a tree, a nest into which I climbed.

I resonate to these words of Richard Powers from The Overstory.

The judge asks, “Young, straight, faster-growing trees aren’t better than older, rotting trees?” “Better for us. Not for the forest.”

She describes how a rotting log is home to orders of magnitude more living tissue than the living tree. “I sometimes wonder whether a tree’s real task on Earth isn’t to bulk itself up in preparation to lying dead on the forest floor for a long time.” The judge asks what living things might need a dead tree. “Name your family. Your order. Birds, mammals, other plants. Tens of thousands of invertebrates. Three-quarters of the region’s amphibians need them. Almost all the reptiles. Animals that keep down the pests that kill other trees. A dead tree is an infinite hotel.” She tells him about the ambrosia beetle. The alcohol of rotting wood summons it. It moves into the log and excavates. Through its tunnel systems, it plants bits of fungus that it brought in with it, on a special formation on its head. The fungus eats the wood; the beetle eats the fungus. “Beetles are farming the log?” “They farm. Without subsidies. Unless you count the log.” “And those species that depend on rotting logs and snags: are any of them endangered?” She tells him: everything depends on everything else. There’s a kind of vole that needs old forest. It eats mushrooms that grow on rotting logs and excretes spores somewhere else. No rotting logs, no mushrooms; no mushrooms, no vole; no vole, no spreading fungus; no spreading fungus, no new trees. “Do you believe we can save these species by keeping fragments of older forest intact?” She thinks before answering. “No. Not fragments. Large forests live and breathe. They develop complex behaviors. Small fragments aren’t as resilient or as rich. The pieces must be large, for large creatures to live in them.”

Trees and Puddles
Celebrate the nature we are – our Interdependence

Invitation

Perhaps because I connect with my pagan roots, this day after the winter solstice, begins a new year for me.  

I’m on the ninth floor of an eleven story hotel looking out over Silicon Valley in the rain.

I wake at four and open Mary Oliver’s wonderful book, Owls and Other Fantasies, which I highly recommend.

She begins with this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson from “May-Day”, which invites me to simmer in myself that perhaps each day is a day to ask, “May I”, as I feel into what answers my needs. 

Emerson:

Beloved of children, bards and Spring,

O birds, your perfect virtues bring.

Your song, your forms, your rhythmic flight,

Your manners for the heart’s delight.

Oliver’s whole book invites us into presence and the revelation of transformation that is death, but one essay in particular, “Bird” tells of her rescue of a gull, and what she, and therefore we, learn from the life and transition of this bird.  

Oddly, this posted first on my Breast Strokes blog. Perhaps, it, too, asks for acknowledgment and reception of light.

Pelicans swirling the dance of life over Sausalito’s Bay
Lift!

Winter Solstice

It’s the time to celebrate the return of the sun, the light, even as we enter winter.  

Henry David Thoreau said: “In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are half concealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends.”

Pathways Call

Solstice

Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year.  I sink into the darkness, the touch of candlelight and the scent of pine and cedar.  Two squirrels chase around and up and down the redwood tree.  

The tilt of the earth’s axis gives us the seasons. It’s a time to honor and reflect. What comes to me now, and how open am I to receive?

Peace – dark – light – change 

Nature

I woke this morning thinking of Richard Bach’s book Illusions and then drove to McGinnis to look for birds.  It was early and muddy and beautiful.