Sunset

Every day we have a sunset.

I think of sunsets as a kind of completion.

Sunsets are an opportunity and an invitation to pause and reflect about what is completing in our lives.

What is completing for you today?

Sunrise

As I took my morning walk, the Eastern sky lit up in a tapestry of yellow, orange, and blue.

Every day, we are blessed with a sunrise, a new awakening, that is calling us to new potential.

It occurred to me one day that sunrise is a thing worth celebrating and worth pausing and taking a breath.

It is an invitation, every day, to welcome what is awakening in our lives.

How can you celebrate what is awakening within you?

Totem

There’s a tree that stands midway up our driveway. It’s been dead for several years, but it is still beautiful, and still standing tall. It feels like a totem to me.

It is a sacred presence that welcomes us home.

What are the things that are a sacred presence in your life?

Dancing Tree

I call this the Dancing Tree, or maybe it is the Startled Tree.

Whatever it is, it is a character of the landscape, and it makes me laugh when I see it.

What is making you laugh today?

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?

Hope

I sketched these Snowbells just after they came up this year.

These bulbs amaze and delight me, because to me, they are little beacons of hope.

They come up in February and subject themselves to all kinds of weather: blizzards, fierce winds, snow and ice, and they still survive, year after year.

They are evidence that Spring is on its way.

What gives you hope?

Quiet and Stillness

As I stood outside sketching, it began to snow.

The world became quiet, as it does when the falling snow muffles everything.

I was being invited to quiet, and stillness.

What are you being invited to?

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?

Prayer for the New Moon

new moon too

I wrote a prayer for the New Moon, and I offer it to you, in case it resonates for you.

New Moon….

Let me immerse myself in your darkness.

Let me rest in the dark and the cool.

Let me gather my wisdom and my strength for the journey ahead.

And, finally, New Moon, let me be open and receptive to what is emerging from your fertile void.

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