Each One of Us

This morning I’m thinking about superheroes.  I watched Superman as a child but have never really related to the idea of a superhero, and this morning I realized why.  We are all superheroes, and babies and small children show us the way if we forget.

My almost six month old grandson can now use both hands to put things into his mouth.  Somehow that new ability seems like the most superhero thing I can imagine. 

I watch this little guy learn something new every day as he reaches out to explore his environment.

I’ve been studying and practicing Sensory Awareness for 27 years, and yet yesterday being led on the Sensory Awareness Zoom call I felt and learned something new. I felt a new awareness of what it is to be centered, to be off-balance and centered.  I played with the two learning that the center is always there for me, and in that dance of play, I can branch out like a tree.

I felt what it is to be still enough to feel the movement of breath in and out, not just through heart, throat, and lungs but everywhere. I receive, and without doing anything, my inner moves in and out. I’m involved even when still, perhaps even more so when still.

We are all Superheroes, and letting ourselves feel and honor that, well, that is a gift.

My Maple Tree this morning!

Petals Fill the Air

The only constant is change. That’s abundantly clear as we shelter-in-place, and the moments stretch like taffy between in and out, past and future, here and there.

This morning, I woke refreshed, feeling calm, trusting, safe.  Before I rose, I reveled in the darkness and stillness outside.  I’m a morning person, a lark, and I’m happy to be awake.

I sat, and still sit, with my morning coffee with cream. I’ve placed Steve’s coffee mug and a thermos of coffee in a safe exchange place. We continue to honor separation until we get the results of the Covid-19 test. A kitty is here with me, a soft purring curl of beauty and light. 

I’ve been cooking comfort foods. I knead bread and roll out pie crusts. Yesterday I made meatloaf, something I haven’t made in years.  Meatloaf was the first dish I learned to make as a child. I’d forgotten the only way to mix the ingredients is with your hands, which results in a lovely squishy sound as meat, egg, milk, onion, ketchup etc. come together to bind in new ways. 

When shelter-in-place was ordained, I ordered meat from a family ranch, Alderspring, in Idaho. I know the history of the family and the lush environment of the cows so I envision their lives as I knead and squish. Normally we don’t eat much meat but these are not ordinary times.  I return to my Midwest background, and meat and potatoes are essential ingredients to bind then with now.

Each morning I read Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac.  Today I’m struck by these words of Carol Bly: “Literature has low enough standards. But we can avoid writing the worst literature if we make ourselves ask ourselves, every two or three sentences we write, ‘Is that what I really think?'”

Why would we do that with just writing?  Each moment we can ask ourselves, “Is that what I really think”, and perhaps add, “Is this what I really feel?” 

We can allow thought and feeling to percolate through like petals dropping softly to the ground. Sometimes I’m startled when I hear the thud of a petal fall and hit the kitchen table. I think of petals as fragile and light, but they are strong and purposeful. They’re not here just for our heart’s delight.

When my friend’s mother died, we dealt with what needed to be done, but that night I felt her mother scattering rose petals on my friend and me.  Was it imagination or “real”? Does it matter?

Friends say they’re having trouble sleeping.  That’s never been a problem for me, but in these times of stress, I have an evening ritual. I tuck into bed, which is now the couch since Steve has our bedroom, and I imagine those I love who have passed away, and I picture them scattering petals like feathers over me as I go to sleep. Usually it’s roses, but these days, it may be the flowers I see during the day, so pink jasmine, lavender, and rosemary.

I feel bees full of pollen return to their hive to share and sleep.

One more thing.

I’ve been putting off washing my kitchen floor. I’ve kept everything up but that, but now as I plan my open, spacious day, I’m reminded of Anne Rudlow’s book, Butterflies on a Sea Wind: Beginning Zen.

A busy woman, she gave herself the gift of time in a retreat center. Her assigned task was to clean the stairs. They looked perfectly clean to her, and she was a bit peeved at performing what she felt was a menial and made up task, but then sweeping revealed the stairs weren’t as clean as she previously thought.

In addition she learned it wasn’t about the stairs. In cleaning our surroundings, seeing more clearly, we cleanse the lens with which we perceive.

So maybe today I’ll clean the kitchen floor which is clearly in need of a sweep and a wash. Another friend finds comfort in ironing but I think that’s way too much for me right now as I need folds and creases as I origami my way to be.

Am I a swan, hawk, duck, or crow? I’m changing all the time, so all four and more.

Blessings for each of us on this new day.


I woke this morning feeling myself as a hovercraft floating over the waves.  I hopped out of bed excited to discover a new tool to inspire.  

I’ve been working with allowing my ups and downs to flow like the waves in the ocean, to go in and out with the tides, but today brings a new image with which to play. 

Enjoying flowing like a hovercraft, I realized I needed to refresh on the difference between a hovercraft and a hydrofoil.

Because a hovercraft uses a giant fan, it can travel on land or water.  Christopher Cockerell experimented with vacuum cleaner tubes, and empty cat food and coffee tins to discover that when he placed a small can inside a larger one, and blew air through the smaller one, it hovered above the bottom surface of the larger object.  He had a working prototype in 1955 and a patent in 1956.  

In 1988, we traveled with our children on a hovercraft from Calais, France to Dover, England.  That was before the Chunnel which opened in May of 1994. The opening of the Chunnel led to the last hovercraft crossing in 2000.  20 years ago – how can that be?

A few years ago, Steve and I sped back and forth on a hydrofoil from Hong Kong to Macau.  A hydrofoil boat uses an underwater wing to travel over the water. It skims the surface like a bird.  

Yesterday I admitted I was having a hard time with sheltering-in-place.  Because I have a beautiful place to be, and I’m an introvert, I felt I had no right to complain, and certainly complaining isn’t always helpful, but it’s important to feel what’s there and allow it to flow through. 

Confessing I was struggling freed something in me, for this moment anyway.  After all, I am a process, a verb, so who knows where and when I next swerve but for now, I’m lifting over the waves and floating on air.

That brings me to the movie Inside Out.  It might be a good time for each of us to watch this movie that explores our emotions, and how they come together, or don’t.  How do we balance what’s happening inside and out?

Here’s a trailer for it, and maybe that’s enough if you’d rather be enjoying the trees, birds, and moon both inside and out.


I thought the rain was over, but my husband was sitting outside in the dark this morning when he heard his friend skunk’s shuffle, and raccoons rumble, and then what sounded like elephants.  Rain. More rain.  

Enjoy and savor what comes, and if you need to rise about it for a moment, or two, fill yourself with air and float. Be buoyant in this song we dance with gravity and air.

A Moment

It’s Monday morning, a new week, and I’m awakened at 4 by my cat needing to go out.

I rise to meditate with intention to surrender to the current situation.  I believe that when we surrender, we are held like a baby, rocked. Buoyancy is our rock as we lean into movement grounded in stillness, in support.

When we were cleaning out our basement, I came across a treasure trove of journals from 1993.  I haven’t felt ready to go back through them, but since I’ve now exhausted every mode of distraction as I shelter-in-place, today I open to some pages from November, 1993.

I had returned from six weeks in Nepal, four of them in the region of Everest, Khumbu, and was struggling to adjust to the abundance and busyness here.  I found it disorienting that people who had so much didn’t seem as happy as people who had so little. Perhaps it was the closeness to death there, and nature.  Their feet knew the ground, and of course a constant bowing and saying “Namaste”, “I see the spirit in you, and therefore in myself”, also helped.  

Wanting to understand and integrate my return, I walked with a friend to Tennessee Valley Beach and we talked.  She grew up in the Bahamas on an island where there was no electricity, no phones. She spoke of the earth and nature, and said people who are close to the earth, who are farmers, are warmer and more generous people.  She said the people on her island are religious and aren’t into material things. She said, “as you accept natural reality, you begin to understand other human beings as people, and you understand what it is to live, love, share”.   She said the White House and our government do not set an example or model. That was 1993.  

She then asked, “How can we survive?  How can we make it better for our children?” 

In Nepal, I learned to be comfortable with silence, to wait.  After all, I’d returned from a small room where I spent a week with a gecko who was my friend and companion.  We were together, but didn’t speak.   

My friend answered, “We can love and pray. Science and religion are now connected.  The mind is healing.” 

She continued: “People here expect things to be handed to them but happiness is within. We are made to reach out and help each other.  True happiness is when you help someone.”

I sit with that now.  We’re seeing that in action.  People are helping each other, seeing and feeling connection even as, or maybe because, we are isolated in place.

What matters right now, this moment? 

Perhaps being with what comes, right now, this moment, is the answer.

I loved quotes then, as now, and this gem anchors this portion of my journal.

Thich Nhat Hanh: 

“It is with the capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.” 

“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.  Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment.”

And so it is!



I haven’t yet worn a mask.  I’m rarely out so I haven’t needed a mask to protect myself or others.  I’ve been isolated now for over two weeks so I think I’m “clean”, and I want to do my part in this crazy world we all share. 

Yesterday I learned how to use Apple Pay as my local grocery store is requesting it as a way to pay without touching anything.  I probably don’t need to venture out for another week.  

I feel unnerved somehow, and this morning The Lone Ranger comes to mind.  Of course his mask just covered around his eyes and wouldn’t have fooled anyone.  It certainly wouldn’t have kept the virus away.

I’ve never used a mask.  In 1993, when I was in Kathmandu, my two friends used scarves to cover their mouth and nose but I wanted to breathe it all in.  I still have the two scarves I bought there just in case. When we were in the mountains, in the evenings, we wrapped the scarves around our necks to absorb the smell of wood smoke and bring it home with us. 

I see from youtube I could make a mask with those scarves and two elastic bands, though I gave the bands away when I went through chemo and had no hair. Hmmm!

I feel discombobulated this morning, feel like crying, and I balance that with some strange need to keep a “stiff upper lip”.  The news is dire, and yet this is news we all share, so we bond in support and find humor in creative ways, even as a few take advantage of the situation.  

We love the show Foyle’s War, and are considering watching it a third time.  It shows ethics and bonding through the hardship of war, contrasted with those few who use a tragic situation for their own ends.  

Today’s lift comes again from One Last River of Song by Brian Doyle:

“Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heartbeats to spend in a lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise, and live to be two hundred years old, or you can spend them fast, like a hummingbird, and live to be two years old.”

“The biggest heart in the world is inside the blue whale.  It weighs more than seven tons. It’s as big as a room. It is a small room, with four chambers.  A child could walk around in it, head high, bending only to step through the valves.  The valves are as big as the swinging doors in a saloon. This house of a heart drives a creature a hundred feet long.”

We know little about the ten thousand blue whales on the planet, but we know the “animals with the largest hearts in the world generally travel in pairs, and their penetrating moaning cries, their piecing yearning tongue, can be heard underwater for miles and miles.”

“No living being is without interior liquid motion. We all churn inside.”

We all churn inside, and now I think of making butter from cream, which leads me to buttercream and chocolate cake.  I have the ingredients, so maybe today is a day for cake. May we all be well and remember what we can do with “our own two hands”.

Hold and cherish with our own two hands!

Good Morning

I wake at 3, rise at 4, meditate with “Little Sweetie”, Bella, our cat.

Last night I began reading a book on the influence of classical Chinese poetry on this country.

I’m struck by this quote by Henry David Thoreau, in Walden, in 1854.

“They say that characters were engraven on the bathing tub of King Tching Thang to this effect: “Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again.” I can understand that.  Morning brings back the heroic ages. “

I check out King Tching Thang who was born in 1748 and died in 1798.  He was King of Manipur, a state in Northeastern India from 1759-1762 and 1763 to 1798.

I think now of the poem Ozymandias – 



I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

And so I travel to Brian Doyle and his book One Long River of Song which begins:

“Consider the hummingbird for a long moment. A hummingbird’s heart beats ten times a second.  A hummingbird’s heart is the size of a pencil eraser. A hummingbird’s heart is a lot of the hummingbird.  Joyas voladoras, flying jewels, the first white explorers in the Americas called them, and the white men had never seen such creatures, for hummingbirds came into the world only in the Americas, nowhere else in the universe, more than three hundred species of them whirring and zooming and nectaring in hummer time zones nine times removed from ours, their hearts hammerging faster than we could clearly hear if we pressed our elephantine ears to their infinitesimal chests.

Each one visits a thousand flowers a day.  They can dive at sixty miles an hour. They can fly backward. They can fly more than five hundred miles without pausing to rest.”

We humans perhaps do the same with our minds, and now is the time for us to come together and unite to save as many people as we can, as we recognize the global rounding which brings our senses together in shared breath.

I believe this uniting, this renewing cleanse, requires a deeper recognition that the current leadership in the U.S. is corrupt, incompetent, and inept.  

Here’s Heather Cox Richardson reporting on yesterday: 


Grounding in Place

It’s April Fool’s Day though today is no joke.  It’s also the beginning of poetry month.

Enchanted with stones and poems, I combine two of my favorite things.

The poem is by Charles Simic.


Go inside a stone 

That would be my way. 

Let somebody else become a dove 

Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth. 

I am happy to be a stone.


From the outside the stone is a riddle: 

No one knows how to answer it. 

Yet within, it must be cool and quiet 

Even though a cow steps on it full weight, 

Even though a child throws it in a river; 

The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed 

To the river bottom 

Where the fishes come to knock on it 

And listen.


I have seen sparks fly out 

When two stones are rubbed, 

So perhaps it is not dark inside after all; 

Perhaps there is a moon shining 

From somewhere, as though behind a hill— 

Just enough light to make out 

The strange writings, the star-charts 

On the inner walls. 

River Rocks in our Yard
Lavender outside a sachet, enjoying air and play

Sinking In

Though we’ve been sheltered-in-place, it’s felt a bit like a lark, but now another month, and the reality of our household as independent is clear.  Do we have enough cat food? That’s the big question as they look at us with huge eyes, and say we are here to comfort, and all we ask is a little food, well, sometimes a lot of food.  They go in and out on consumption.

I don’t know what to say but this gives a lift, a gift of laughter and tears.


And there’s this poem by Martha Postlewaite.


Do not try to save

the whole world

or do anything grandiose.

Instead, create

a clearing

in the dense forest

of your life

and wait there


until the song

that is your life

falls into your own cupped hands

and you recognize and greet it.

Only then will you know

how to give yourself

to this world

so worth of rescue.

― Martha Postlewaite 


My son is incredulous.  You spent 18 minutes watching a porcupine at the Cincinnati Zoo?  Yes, I inform him, and though it’s for kids, adults, too, can send in a creative project showing what they learned.

“What did you learn,” he asks, adult now to my child.  “I learned how cute they are, how curious, and how even in a safe environment, they might feel fear and lift their quills.  They can’t shoot their quills, and they need interaction. They love to climb and this little guy had to learn how to use his tail as a fifth leg.  Mainly I saw how much we and porcupines need and love stimulation.”

I point out to my son that he has the joy of being sheltered-in-place with his adorable five and a half month old son.  He is stimulated. I want to learn something new every day too.

Mainly though I’m grateful for the gift of being able to shelter-in-place.  I understand that travel from our country has infected people in other countries. A doctor in India points out that many people there, and here, too, of course, have no ability to socially isolate or sanitize their hands. 

I’m a person of privilege, and I know and appreciate it.  I Face Time with my sons and grandson every day, and yet, even so, or maybe because of it, I enjoy watching the Jellies at the Monterey Bay aquarium, and reading about Orangutans playing with otters at a zoo in Belgium, and seeing a porcupine explore his human-created environment. 

Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five star general who not only served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe during WWII, but was also president of the United States from 1953 to 1961 said that: Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.

Imagine if we had that kind of leadership now, and yet this requires each of us to wake up and enter into responsibility for our lives and responses.  Our Interdependence is clear, and we thrive on interaction, touch, stimulation, connection, and Love!!

Baby pine cones in my yard
Jasmine Thriving


I’ve read many books on coming to slowness.  I came to slowness when I trekked in Nepal, and when I went through chemotherapy and radiation, and when I broke bones in both my feet and couldn’t walk.  Slowness. Stillness.

It’s so still here this morning the wind chimes hang, no sound.  The trees and clouds are so still I feel like I’m living in a matte painting.  A friend says to view this time of sheltering-in-place as being on a retreat.  Yes.

Anne Lamott writes, Peace is joy at rest and joy is peace on its feet.

In this moment, I’m peace listening to the twitter of birds while all seems still.  

The sky this morning

Wind chime hangs still to receive