Serenity

On Friday, we drove to the Merced National Wildlife Refuge to see the migrating Sandhill Cranes.  We saw many birds, but though we heard them we didn’t actually see the cranes, and yet the place is so beautiful that as we watched the sun set, it was clear that our journey was soothing, nourishing, and complete.  

On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address at Gettysburg where from July 1 to July 3, 1863, more that 150,000 soldiers fought in the Civil War.  More than 7,000 died in a town with fewer than 2500.  Imagine dealing with the dead bodies in the heat of July, and imagine the injuries both physical and psychological, the soldiers carried home to friends and families, injuries that still reverberate through us.

I’m with balance these days as my eyes continue to adjust to the change from sixty years of hard contact lenses to glasses to surgery in February.

How do I balance on serenity and integration as I meet and meld the past and present with what comes?

Honoring the magnificence of travel and flight

A Sanctuary

What gathers and guides a communion of flight

Looking Down

Peace

Settling Down

Seasoned by Seasons

Last night a treasured  friend sent a photo of the first snow last night, and then this morning a photo of her dog in front of the fire.

Memories harvest in my chest.

In December 2017, our family gathered in CT because we knew my brother was dying, and yet, when we saw him, he seemed blooming and healthy, thin, yes, and easily fatigued, but up and dressed.  It was the first snow of the season and we Californians were out in the snow taking pictures of ourselves shoveling this delightful gift from on high.

We kept the fire going day and night, talked and talked, ate and ate, and played games, and even now tears come with memories.  A fire burns through me, a fire of harvest to warm this beautiful life I’ve lived and still live.

I continue to study Sensory Awareness.  As my breathing is, so am I.  My heart is touched with the exploration of breath, the knowing this air I breathe is given to me by plants and trees, and so we hold limbs in sharing memories and seasons, present treasured, rooted, and lifted with the still living treasures of the past.  

I give thanks.

Warmth reflecting and shared

The gift of Covering Protects

Birds fed

The fun of shoveling snow when there’s no need or reason to leave

Inhaling

Circled with the ringing of bells!



Bobbing

Come forth into the light of things,

Let Nature be your teacher.

– William Wordsworth

A friend is planting bulbs.  I revel in the hope revealed in placing this globular ball into a hole in the earth, tamping dirt around and over it, adding some water, and waiting til spring for stems to rise and buds to form and burst forth.

It’s the time of year when branches of trees hold light as their leaves fall and decompose below.    

Meanwhile we insulate ourselves to nourish an inner light.  

Great Blue Heron Reflecting

Birds enjoy the tides as trees reflect

This Precious Life and Light

I was with my grandchild when his father called him “precious”.  He asked me what the word meant, and I showed him with a hug, cuddle, and snuggle, but I’ve been with the meaning of the word ever since, with how precious life is, this inward and outward expansion and sharing of rhythm and breath.  

This morning when I poured water over coffee grounds, I paused, stunned at capturing the moving swirl and complexity of absorption. Precious! And then there was the twirl in the mouth and the swallow down the throat. Again, awareness brewed and bloomed in reception and touch.

Today I sit grateful for my doctors and dentist who have their offices along the bay which may not be helpful with climate change, but for now offer a walk and a view to calm and support each visit.

Reflecting

Serenity doubled in the momentarily still water of the bay
By the shore

The Mountain Watch

Juxtaposition

Yesterday I was at the Presidio in San Francisco.  There’s now a way to cross over the road to the bay, and there’s a beautiful playground for children.  There’s something for all!

Learning to walk out of thinking mind into flow mind or awareness mind is the ultimate medicine.

Jan Chozen Bays, “How to Break Free of the Inner Critic”

The Golden Gate Bridge, bay, and playground

Honoring and Blending the present and the past

Play Structure

Look up
Looking and climbing through

Looking down and under

Reverence

Yesterday I was at our local native plant nursery, a place to be with sculptures, fountains, plants, and bees.

Robin Wall Kimmerer:

Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world.

 

Flow

Rise

Gather

Slither and Slide

Glide, side by side

Our Planet

I’ve been with the words of William Shatner and his experience venturing into space.  He, too, like others, looked back at our planet with wonder.  It’s such a precious jewel.

I’ve been meditating outside these days, inside, too, but this morning was outside wrapped in fog, with the hooting of an owl leading to caws of crows and the shriek of a hawk.  Somebody scrambled up the redwood tree.

More and more I find myself settling into the wonders of this world of which I’m part and whole, form and non-form, life and death.  

Chief Crowfoot:

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

The Blue Angels flew over our house on Sunday – a trial run to see if they could do the show, but the fog closed in and the show was cancelled.. I didn’t have my camera when they flew over, so when I got it, I caught only this – enough!.

The full moon Sunday night with Jupiter and her moons

Autumn

Yesterday, before time with my grandchild, I stopped at Filoli Gardens to celebrate Fall.  The name comes from the motto of the former owner, Bourn.  FIght for a just cause, LOve your fellow man. LIve a good life.

Meanwhile today, the Blue Angels are thundering overhead while birds circle in the sky proclaiming a quiet superiority.

Motto

History

Peeking through to the house

Formal Gardens

Rustic Seating

Harvest Time

Plants and Critters share the richness of the land

Informal Garden

Centering

The sun is directly over the equator today.  I balance on a ball that invites me to put my arms out and twirl, centered in what answers and calls. 

View of the city from Sausalito yesterday morning

View enjoying breakfast in Sausalito yesterday

A neighbor’s home signs the way

So many choices to go one way and another

And there’s right here today

Fall Equinox

It’s a time of balance.

Pumpkins, gourds and winter squash shine vibrantly orange as we nourish on foods filled with vitamin A to refresh our eyes to see in the dark.

It’s a time to sink into the sensations of breathing, to notice more clearly the stimulating and calming movement of air in and out.  

The morning darkness invites us to light a candle and begin the day with a meditative ritual. I begin with this.

Exhale energy down the left side of the body; inhale up the right.  Do this three times.

Then exhale down the front and inhale up the back – again three times.

Next bring energy up the feet through the center radiating from the top of the head like a fountain and back down to the feet.  Do that as long as you wish.

You are your own playground.