The Wild Places Beyond

This is the view outside of my office window. It is an east view, so I often see the rising sun from here.

This morning my eye was drawn to the hills beyond that fence.

I was asking myself: What are the Wild Places, towards that horizon, that are waiting to be explored?

I can feel the beginnings of a need to explore some new territories.

What are the wild places that are calling to you?

Awakening

The woodpeckers have started to drum on the trees. This is what they do in the Spring, to establish their territories.

To me, the drumming of the woodpeckers symbolizes awakening.

It is one of the early signs that Nature is awakening from the deep slumber of Winter.

What is awakening in you?

Stirring

When I go out on my morning walk now, there is lots of birdsong.

The birds are beginning to stir.

What is stirring in you?

Inbetween Time

This morning, the woods are alive with large flocks of migrating Robins and Red-Winged Blackbirds. Their song fills the air, and it lifts my spirits, after months of quiet mornings.

We are in the Inbetween Time again, as the seasons begin to transition from Winter into Spring. One day there is snow, and the next, the sun is warming the earth and the bulbs are beginning to break through frozen soil.

There is a going back and forth, in these Inbetween Times.

Sometimes there is a going back and forth for us in our lives, when we are going through transitions, and this is OK, as we begin to grow in the fullness of who we are becoming.

Where, in your life, are you in the Inbetween Time?

The Inbetween Time

inbetween-time

Today it is cool, rainy, and I am shivering in the damp as I watch the leaves being blown off the trees. Yesterday was a cool sunny day, with a crisp, blue sky. The day before that, a hot, muggy wall of heat enveloped me as I walked out of the house.

We are in a transition from Summer to Fall.

We are in The Inbetween Time.

Every year, when we move into this transition time from Summer to Fall, I feel ambivalent, and, at first, a little disoriented. It always seems to me like it arrives suddenly, when I wasn’t looking.

I find myself wanting to hold onto the long days of summer, and the bright colors of growth.

I can feel the resistance in me as I am dragged into shorter days and brisk winds.

In The Inbetween Time, we are living some of the old, even though we know it is being dismantled. We can see and feel some of the promise of the new, but the details aren’t clear or sustained. The new is a wisp, rather than something we can hold onto yet.

In this time, if I let it,  Nature is teaching me how to be with uncertainty and change, how to be an explorer and an adventurer, and how to come to life with openness and curiosity.

The Inbetween Time is a powerful space of creative potential, if I can let go what I expect and where I think I am going, and instead be open to surprises and the gifts of the new season.

Most of all, I want to feel grateful for the gifts of absolute uncertainty and surprise that The Inbetween Time brings.

I want make space for what is coming, even though I don’t know what it is yet. In the last few weeks, I’ve had an instinct to clear my office, and my mind, for new possibilities.

For me, it takes faith to welcome the abyss, and to let the unknowing and the space just be, until clarity begins to form. I have to hold myself back from filling the space with what I know, in order to leave room for the unexpected. Nature gives me this faith, because Nature is a model of rhythms and cycles.

The Inbetween Time is a threshold, a suspension. It is a luminous time of transition, between what we know and what we don’t.

How do you want to be, in The Inbetween Time?

Fog and Fungi

Red Mushroom

I’m out on my morning walk with Harper, and we are immersed in a dense fog. The fog is obscuring my vision and I’m enjoying the feeling of being closed in. It feels somehow comforting.

Things seem to blur, as if in a relaxed focus, and unfamiliar shapes take the place of things that I see and know every day.

Fog invites me to slow down and savor what is right in front of me, within my limited range of view.

As a metaphor for my life, fog is a relief. I don’t have to seek clarity. It will come naturally, when the sun gets bright and the fog lifts.

Today I am also noticing lots of different kinds of wild mushrooms. There are red ones. There are tall slender ones, with narrow caps. There are short creamy ones with big wide caps.

These fungi remind me that summer is beginning to draw to a close, and that soon, Autumn will grace us with its presence. Autumn is when mushrooms are most prolific around here.

The sounds of crickets and cicadas have replaced the fullness of morning birdsong.

The days are noticeably shorter than they were a month ago, both in the morning and in the evening.

I welcome the transition from summer to autumn. I love the cooler days, and the dark green colors, turning eventually to vivid reds, yellows, and oranges.

What I don’t always welcome is the passage of time, which feels to me like it is continuing to accelerate.

The only wise response to the passage of time, for me, is to savor more.

When I bring all of my attention into the present moment, and savor something, and really behold it, time seems to stop its relentless forward march.

So I stop to savor the fog, and to behold the mushrooms, and to just appreciate life, right here in this moment. And, for just this moment, time seems to stop and widen.

What are you savoring today?

Water Under the Bridge

bridge zubiri

I haven’t written on the blog for ages. I made a commitment to myself a year or so ago that I would only share my words when I am inspired to share, rather than writing just because I haven’t written in a while.

My commitment is to be open and receptive, and what comes will come in its own timing. I wish for all of us that we live our lives in the flow, rather than pushing against it.

Speaking of flow, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since I last wrote.

Cinn and Hamilton

Our dog Cinny passed away, after 12 years of fun, frolic, and feistiness with us. We feel so blessed that she was such a big part of our lives for so long. This picture is of Cinn with one of her favorite toys, Hamilton. Be free, sweet Cinnamon; we miss you every single day.

mandala rose

I created and led an experiential workshop called Bringing the Sacred into Everyday Life. Eight of us gathered to spend five mornings together, creating altars, walking the labyrinth, drawing mandalas, communing with nature, and painting blessing flags. It was a rich week of fun, deep sharing, and profound learning.

2016 pilgimage

I have begun another virtual pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. I feel called to be a pilgrim when I find myself in Not Knowing Land, in various aspects of my life. I have done two other virtual pilgrimages in the last five years, one on the Camino (the same route), and one to Ireland.

Being on a pilgrimage helps me remember that it is OK to Not Know, that sometimes Not Knowing is the most powerful place to be, and that all we really need to know is our next step.

At its essence, a pilgrimage is an inner journey, so it is not necessary that we actually set foot out our doors (although a real pilgrimage walk is a very powerful and luminous experience; ask anyone who’s done it).

I believe that our lives are pilgrimages, when lived consciously and with intention.

When I look back at the last few months, what I see is my commitment to pay attention to that which is precious in my life.

What is the water that has passed under your bridge, in the last 3 months?

What is precious to you?

What do you want to pay attention to?

What’s Blooming in You?

bulbs three

The garden is bursting forth with blooming bulbs. Spring, it seems, has finally arrived!

I love bulbs, for lots of reasons. They give us color when there is very little color in anything else in the garden. They’re a source of early nectar for the honey bees. They look cheerful. But, more than anything else, I love them for their ability to push up through the hard-caked, frozen ground of late winter.

These blossoms herald a changing of seasons and give us all hope for a new, robust, verdant tomorrow.

It will be a while before anything else blooms, and it will even be a few weeks before most of the trees will leaf out. In the meantime, we can be uplifted by the joy that the blooming bulbs bring.

Part of me can relate to the bulbs. Sometimes there will be a few months where things in my life feel kind of slow. There isn’t much happening creatively. It’s almost as if things needed to rest, or perhaps the next creative activity is incubating, and I just can’t see it yet.

During those times, I take heart from the bulbs. It helps me to see their cycles, and to appreciate the inevitability of their growth. All I need to do is to remember the joy I feel when I see those first green shoots starting to push out of the ground after a long, grey winter, and I remember. That we are all inherently, and naturally, creative beings.

What is blooming in you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life is Showing Me

reflections pond

The wind interrupts me. It jolts me. It shakes me awake. It cleanses me. It demands my attention. It can’t be ignored. It is literally in my face today.

In any moment, I know that Life is speaking to me. It is telling me, reflecting to me, the wisdom that I need to know right then.

Life is showing me where to look, and what to know.

Of all that could be getting my attention, right now, of all the things that I could be aware of, cloudless sky, fullness of sun, reflections in the ice, this wind is what has spoken to me.

So, this is where the wisdom lies.

Of all, this wind is what is most alive for me.

I pay attention to what is getting my attention. To me, it is Sacred Essence, reflecting back to me just what I need to know in this very moment.

This presence is available to me in every moment, in every experience. I need only to be aware of it. And therein lies the hitch. I must pay attention, to what is alive for me in each moment.

Today, again, I renew my pledge to pay attention. To tune myself to the subtle awakenings,  the slight movements, and the gentle stirrings.

I want to attend to the subtle invitations. Life is always inviting me to something. It is engaging me in a constant conversation.

Today, the wind is inviting me into a greater aliveness, an increased vitality. I only need to stop and listen, and it tells me this.

It is inviting me to wake up and be fully present.

What is Life inviting you to?

 

 

 

The Turning of the Season

crane migration too

The Sandhill Cranes are flying North. This is a sure sign of the turning of the season.

We don’t know how they know, but they do know when to return to their Northern breeding grounds, which are far North of here.

I always love seeing them. They are one of the signs of hope and promise of the new season, for me. They are heralds of hope and new growth. They represent the new and the renewed.

The cranes are a tonic for my soul that has been buried in the underground of dormancy and incubation for months now.

They are a call to return to the possibility of the new, even though I may not know what it is, yet.

They are a call to pay attention to what might be awakening from the dormancy, deep within.

Now is the time to pay attention.

What are you paying attention to?

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