Multitudes as One

From Walt Whitman, Song of Myself:

Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

As a child, on Memorial Day, we went to Bedford, Indiana and laid flowers on family graves.  Flags flew on the graves of the veterans, placed there by my uncle who fought in WWII.  His father fought in WWI.  My father was a pilot of a B-17 shot down in WWII.  Lives, memories, honoring in a desire for no more wars, for coming together to solve and honor the complexity each of us is, in a world complex, and in that complexity, whole.

Recognizing the multitudes of which I consist, I hope on this Memorial Day we can come to peace in ourselves and the world.  It’s a time to honor what’s come before as we use it as a launching pad to honor the dead by living in peace.

Many ropes are required to climb into and open up trees
Living diversity
Clouds, fog, buildings, marsh, plants come together with a place for all


Yesterday I was at Bedwell Bayfront Park with my three and a half year old grandson and his dad.  I was watching him ride his new bicycle, a bike complete with hand brakes and a kickstand. 

When I told him I needed to go to the bank and invited him to go with me, he said, “Toad Hall”, and I was stymied with the connection until I realized he loves the book Wind in the Willows, and his only knowledge of a ‘bank” is the river bank in the book.  I’m not sure he was impressed with the interior of a financial institution, but everyone was friendly, and there was a bowl of tootsie roll pops which he was not allowed to take. It was a good reminder of the complexity in language, and what we visualize and hear.

The water cycle we are
The trail is steep
And beautiful
Which way
An easy down
“I’ve got this”

From Nothing, Something

The little wren is back.  She is an industrious little being with the sweetness of her flight.  The top of the lamp has been empty since her eggs hatched last spring and she left, but now she’s back, and in a few days of flying back and forth gathering twigs and such, there is a nest.   

During the pandemic, we didn’t drive a car that sat outside.  When we went to start it, the battery was naturally dead.  Under the hood, a perfect little nest, it’s maker now departed, but there intertwined was my discarded hair.

John O”Donohue:

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Outside a medical office
The north side of Mt. Tam –

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

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

By the Bay

A family of geese
Five babies growing up protected
Flowing in a row
One way and another
Look up to Wisteria


I’ve been in Menlo Park with my three-year-old grandchild.  I’ve been living the life of exploration, discovery, and  imagination.  

Today I spent time with him in his preschool, so I was with a group of three year olds.  Because I lived in Florida and San Diego and have spent wonderful time luxuriating and playing in the sun, twice a year, pre-cancers are frozen off my body, especially my hands.  Today six children gathered around me, very concerned about my “ouchies”.  They held out their smooth young hands, hands in an array of colors and tones, and I wondered how we ever got into disagreement around skin color.  Skin is our largest organ, our exchange between in and out, and for these children, there is nothing to notice or discriminate against. Their only concern was my ouchies.

I also saw negotiation in action.  When there was a conflict, a discussion between the two children ensued, with an examination of what happened concerning hurt feelings and/or physical hurt.   When all was resolved and understood, if a hug was desired, a hug was given.  I think of all the squabbling happening these days.  Could it be resolved with discussion and a hug?  

Grandchild is ready for a bicycle, and so there has been discussion on who gets to give it, and how, and when.  That leads me tonight to the wonderful response to the letter asking whether or not there is a Santa Claus.  Yes, Virginia, there is.

Yesterday I drove down state route 35, Skyline Highway, which goes between 280 and highway 1, two routes I usually take. I stopped in two places where land is preserved for nature and sacred hikes. California is an extraordinarily beautiful state no matter which route one takes.

View down to the ocean
A clear day
A beckoning path

A Day to Reflect

It’s a day to pause and reflect on the seed resting in darkness like the chick in the egg, resting and mobilizing to rise and break into even more radiant light.

This week, like all weeks, is Holy but for many there is even deeper intention to come together to celebrate in ways that honor the past even as we allow our own precious flow to unfold.

My friend Anna Shemin sent me two photos today. One is of her home decorated for Easter.  The other is what she created from petals falling on her kitchen counter when she was arranging flowers. 

Altar Honoring
The Heart of Art
Rescue Greyhound Ebi has special shoes for Spring to protect her hurt foot

And we branch