The Gift of Fog

I woke up to fog today. The earth is cold and the air is warm, and that is when we are socked in with fog.

Whenever I walk out into fog, I am reminded of so many times in my life when I feel like I am in a fog. These are times when the next step may be clear, but the whole path is not.

Fog also reminds me that it will lift eventually, and then I will be able to see the way ahead.

I feel like fog is an invitation to trust that the way will be revealed in good time, and that I am still on my path, even though I can’t see it.

What is foggy in your life, and what would it be like if you relaxed into it?

The First Step

“Traveler, there is no path. Paths are made by walking.” Antonio Machado

I love this quote because it reminds me that we don’t need to see the whole path before we take our first step.

What first step is waiting to be taken, in your life?

The House Where Pete Lived

petes house

Cinnamon and I were on our evening walk tonight as we passed the house where Pete lived.

The new owners were busy nailing some drywall up on the wall in the back bedroom. You could see that they are doing a lot of renovation to their new home.

When Pete lived there, he used to come out and visit with us as we walked the dogs by his house. He was a funny guy, and smart, and he liked the dogs.

He and his wife Bea were our role models for what we wanted to be when we are a little older.

Bea used to drive the two of them around on various errands and adventures. They would speed by us in their car, waving wildly and smiling ear-to-ear. Sometimes they would stop to talk, but most of the time, they were getting on with living, and they had fun places to be. They were always filled with spirited energy.

Bea died last summer, and Pete could no longer live there by himself, so he moved away. Bea’s death shocked me, in the way that deaths do, when someone who has lived so fully alive dies. Some part of me always expects people who live so robustly to go on forever.

I was sad tonight, as I remembered how much I loved seeing Bea and Pete, and how much I miss them.

It made me remember how I want to be as I get a little older. And that made me remember how I want to be now, so that I can always feel like I have lived my life fully, like Bea and Pete showed me.

How can you live more alive?



Generosity and Gratitude

grocery bags

As we walked the neighborhood this morning, almost every mailbox had a reusable grocery bag, filled with food, hanging from the mailbox.

The Boy Scouts have a community service project here on the first Saturday in March. They collect dry goods for our local food pantry.

At Rich’s house, there were six bags, filled with food, sitting in the middle of the driveway.

I wasn’t surprised to see those six bags sitting there, but I was inspired.

Rich is a generous and grateful guy. He takes every opportunity, it seems, to give back. He inspires me with his good and generous nature. It seems like he is always going the extra mile, and he is very quiet about it. He just does it.

At Christmas time, at Rich’s house, there is a wrapped gift, sitting on the top of his garbage bin on garbage collection day, for the guy who picks up our garbage.

On New Year’s Day, he and his daughter go door-to-door, taking goodies to all the neighbors.

It makes me smile to see the six bags in the driveway and the Christmas gift on the garbage can.

And these are just the things that I have seen him do. I don’t even live in his little neighborhood, so I’m sure there is a lot that I have missed seeing.

Thank you, Rich, for making our world a better place.

How does generosity touch your life?







Being Visionless


Today is a very mild day, for deep winter, and there’s a thick fog.

I can’t see my neighbor’s house or driveway, and the detail on all the trees has faded into a blur.

The damp is penetrating.

This is the latest in a number of grey, cloudy, colorless days. Nature is resting.

When it is like this, my vision is obscured. I can’t see much, and what I can see is blurred. Much of what I can see is a dull monotone.

This is a good reflection of how I am feeling: very quiet, and like it is time to rest.

I can’t see much in the way of a vision for my business right now. It feels like it is growing and changing, but the details are unformed at the moment.

As a professional coach, I live and work in a world that says that we “must” have a vision. Part of what I do as a coach is help my clients clarify their life and work visions.

As an owner of my own business, I am told by business professionals that it is essential to have a vision, for my business, for content that I publish, for social media engagement, and for a whole host of other things.

I agree that it is desirable to have a vision. Visions can be compelling and motivating.

However, sometimes there isn’t a vision to be seen or clarified. Sometimes the vision isn’t ready to be revealed yet. Like the dense fog outside, in time, clarity will re-emerge. What is called for in these times is patience.

Wisdom tells me that visions aren’t made; they reveal themselves from our deeper wisdom.

Whatever vision is needed for me will emerge when it is needed, from a space of listening within.

My challenge is to refrain from pushing on it. I don’t like being in fog, literal or metaphoric. I often try to do something to get out of it.

The fog is the wisdom, today. It’s telling me that while things are unclear in the moment, in good time, the fog will lift, and what I need to know will become clear.

What is foggy for you right now? What if you waited until the fog lifts?



Living the Questions

sun reflection snow

This picture doesn’t go with the writing in today’s blog. The scene isn’t a metaphor for life, or, if it is, I’m not seeing it the story in it yet. It is just a beautiful scene on a deeply cold winter day.

What is calling to me today is the Rilke quote from Letters to a Young Poet, about living the questions.

 “Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903, from Letters to a Young Poet

What Rilke says is a match to my experience of life.

If you read my blog, you know that it is all about the questions. I am always asking myself questions and I always offer a question to you, in case it resonates with your soul.

I find it very freeing, that we don’t have to have the answers. And, even more, that we don’t have to strive or search for the answers. We don’t have to figure it out.

All we have to do is Live the Questions Now.

But, what does that mean? How do we do that? (I’ve always got a question!)

I think Rilke gives us a clue in his quote when he says “try to love the questions themselves.”

I love questions, but I think I could “love the questions” more. I could wake up in the morning with a question on my mind and just love that I have the question alive in me.

I could love that question like I love other things. I could fill my heart with love and gaze at it. I could love it, appreciate it, savor it. I could turn it over in my mind, delighting in every aspect of it. I could fill my heart with love and send it to the question.

That would be fun.

I think there is another piece living the questions, and that is to hold the questions with a light, playful spirit of curiosity.

And, to be ok with Not Knowing. That might be a little more challenging, in our culture. We are supposed to have the answers.

Some of the questions that are alive in me now are:

  • What if it is all about Love?
  • How can I live more tuned into my inner essence?
  • What would it be to live my life from a grateful heart?
  • How can I be more generous?

These feel like big questions. But, I don’t need to have the answers. All I need to do is to Live the Questions.

What are the questions that you are living right now?





Path or No Path

snowmobile track too

I’m walking Harper. It is a mild day for mid-winter, 32 degrees F. There’s a slight breeze coming off the snow fields, so it feels a bit cooler.

We’re walking along a path that was made by a snowmobile a few days ago.

There are a lot of things that I don’t love about snowmobiles. One of them is that they are really noisy. Their sound cuts through an otherwise tranquil, deep winter night.

However, given that I am such an equipment hound, it would be incongruent of me to despise snowmobiles altogether.

Snowmobiles make paths through the farm fields. They compact the snow so much that it makes it very easy to walk on the path that they cut.

This opens up a whole new territory for me in the winter. I have to love that.

The irony of me wanting to walk on someone else’s path is not lost on me.

All of my life, I have eschewed others’ paths through life, in favor of cutting my own.

I have a bit of a rebel nature, and I like the independence and creativity of finding my own way.

Then I made an obvious discovery. You really can’t follow someone else’s path. You only have your path.

Or maybe even more accurately, “Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking.” – Antonio Machado

How do you find your path?




Playing Hide and Seek with the Moon

hide and seek moon one

Harper and I are again walking at dusk. It is a mild Winter night, around 20 degrees F, snowing lightly and softly. I am so grateful for walking again, after a spell of brutally cold weather which was not fit for woman nor beast.

We get to a forested area, and when I look up, an almost-full moon is peeking out from some clouds. It is visible just over the top of the trees.

I can see that it is almost full, and I long to get another glimpse of it, but the clouds come in and cover it up.

Harper and I continue. It is such a nice night, that we walk longer and farther than I had expected we would. The walk is giving my mind an opportunity to clear, and to rest. All I need do for right now is to steer us safely through the snow.

The moon peeks out from the clouds just briefly as we walk through the yard of the long-ago closed-school.  The yard is blessedly desolate during this time of the year.

We walk down a street with a few houses, and they are quiet, too.

The more I walk, the more I want to walk, but it is getting dark, and I’ve forgotten the flashlight, so we turn towards home.

As we do, I turn to look behind us, to the East, and there is the moon, full, in all its glory. The thick clouds have left the sky. It is absolutely still, and I stop to take in the beauty of the scene. My soul craves this stillness.

hide and seek two

The full moon reminds me of the beauty in the cycles in nature. There is fullness and emptiness, or darkness. There is waxing and waning. Nature is always going through cycles.

We all also go through these cycles, even if they may not be as clearly noticeable as the phases of the moon. Our own creativity waxes and wanes. Our spirits go through periods of feeling full, and feeling empty or dark.

The moon helps me remember that no matter where I am in the cycle, change and transformation is afoot. Heraclitus said “The only constant is change.”

What is changing in your life?

A Quiet Beauty

quiet beauty

It is the day after a violent sleet-snow blizzard, and it is utterly quiet.

I breathe in the stillness, and appreciate how nature has settled into a silent reverie.

In stark contrast to yesterday’s bedlam. the snow is a meditation of white, wonder, and awe.

It feels like everything is at ease.

Yesterday, I was standing in this very same spot, as the 50 mph winds howled with what felt like menace. The sleet was beating on my face relentlessly. The road disappeared and left behind a flurry of disorientation.

Today, I settle in, too, and as I do, I begin to take in the beauty of the landscape.

I often fail to appreciate the depth of beauty in winter, but today it is undeniable. The subtle shades of browns and greys lend a complexity to the land that takes my breath away.

The variety of shapes, colors, and textures, in the most ordinary of landscapes, is stunning.

It is like all of nature’s winter beauty has come out to show itself, after being in tumult, and hiding, yesterday.

Nature is such a lesson in impermanence.

It is also a reminder of cycles.

Like nature, we all live in natural cycles of waxing and waning. Our own creativity consists of bursts of activity, and then quiet, dormancy, incubation.

I am reminded of how I often expect myself to just keep going at a steady pace. This determination to keep plodding on is an unrealistic, and unfair, expectation. Nature teaches us this.

As I walk along in the calm tranquility, I wonder: what would be possible if I learned to sense the ebb and flow of my own natural rhythms, and, even more importantly, I respected them?

What would it be like for you, if you respected your natural rhythms?










spaciousness two

I’m out on our road, near sunset. It is cold, and the sun is bright in the western horizon. I’m walking down to our neighbor’s driveway, to deliver a note to their mailbox.

I’m on a rare walk by myself. I take my time to savor the winter landscape. The colors are stunning tonight: blues, violets, and oranges, all set off in high relief by the white of the new snow.

It’s cold, but the wind has died down, and I’m breathing in the sense of calm.

What I am noticing most is the space.

I cherish living in a place with such a feeling of space. This is the land of the prairies, where the horizon stretches on, seemingly endlessly.

I live out in the wild, wide open spaces, where the wind blasts down from the north in the winter, and the coyotes and foxes roam, and the red-tailed hawks soar.

The spaciousness enlivens me. It feeds my soul.

I grew up in the hills of California. While it was relatively unpopulated then, it had a completely different sense of space. I felt contained and held by the hills all around me. There was hardly a flat piece of ground anywhere around us. You walked out of your house and you either went up or down.

Now, I live on a slight hill, in a small woods, and I feel held and contained by the trees. The hundred-year-old oaks are like sentries, standing in a wisdom circle around us. I can feel their powerful, grounded energy. I love this feeling of being held and contained. It feels very grounded and nurturing to me.

However, I also need the wide open spaces. When I get out in these wide open spaces, I can breathe. I feel expansive. I can feel the sense of possibility that is present in these spaces. I’m very aware that I need clear space if new things are to come into my experience.

I feel like we all need both experiences: feeling grounded, held, contained, and being in the wide open spaces of vast potential and possibility.

It is like they do a dance together, and they both serve me in very important ways. I come home and feel grounded, and then I go out where I can breathe into pure wide open space, to know what’s possible.

How do you get a feeling of space in your life?







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