Archive for the ‘The Mysteries’ Category

It’s Sunday morning. I’mriver2 sitting in my kitchen at the old rural school desk that is tucked in between the refrigerator and the corner cupboard. I’ve drinking coffee and practicing being present, being aware. It helps that I’m on my 3rd cup of coffee! I’m trying to get back into a daily spiritual practice, and, am doing so, in bits and spurts. I’m reminded of what Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Hmmmm. I breathe slowly, in and out, and notice what I am seeing.

Out my window is Sand Creek, which is just visible if I stand up and peer over the fence.  I see a red squirrel racing from limb to limb. Surely she has had more coffee than me thissqauirrel6 morning! I keep losing her among the limbs, but then she stops and investigates something. Is the sap starting to seep out of the Maple Tree? And do squirrels like it?








Across the river I can see a pair of gray squirrels chasing each other up into the highest limbs of the cedar tree, then leaping into an old willow, going round and round the trunk, then disappearing into the depths of a snowbank. Up they pop. Off they go again!


Once summer day Dan and I were sitting on the deck, half way down the river bank, when we heard a PLOP.  There in the middle of the creek was a squirrel which hadn’t quite made the leap from limb to spreading limb from one side of the riverbank to the other. Learned something new that day! Squirrels CAN swim.

I stare up into the trees and imagine what it will be like in a few months, when the leaves will nearly block the view of the houses that are nestled onto the opposite river bank. In summer it is almost like we are living on the edge of the forest. That thought leads me to thoughts of the forest, and then, as thoughts often do, this one turns into contemplation. Pondering. Thinking about how the interweaving branches of the trees, those that allow squirrels to travel across the forest and even over the river, never touching the ground, are a great metaphor for the connections that we make in life.

I take up my pencil and write this, which, now, I offer to you.

I imagine myself as a tree, standing in the woods. You. Yes, you. You are one of the trees in that interlocking forest of my life …  branches touching, weaving together to create a network of relationships. Challenging. Supporting. Protecting. Inspiring. Applauding. Critiquing. Reacting. Denying. Questioning. Bristling. Loving. Pondering. Caring. Growing. Sharing stories. Apart. Separate. Yet together, grounded in the same earth, breathing the same air, drinking the same water, being shone on by the same sun. I can’t imagine being a single tree, standing alone in the meadow or on a mountaintop. I am thankful to be one tree in a forest full of trees with branches that connect with mine.



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The view out my office window is dreary indeed, not at all like last fall’s blaze of sun-bright yellow nor the spectacular glow of ice-white which greeted me one morning last winter.






Today it’s gray, a dull lifelessness, which fits my present mood. I’ve no reason to be glum as the future is full of creative possibilities for joy and love, adventure and discovery, compassion and connection. I do believe that, but last night I let myself watch way too much cruelty, dissension and hatred on TV. That, on top of days of political news and confusion as to what’s moral and what’s true, plus my own disheveled getting-ready-to-move house and studio, and I went off to bed feeling like curling into a fetal ball, which I did. As a result I woke before 5:00 this morning feeling the dread of an already forgotten but way too vivid dream.

So here I sit, determined to bring myself back to that inner space and place where I can look at both myself and my fellow human beings with light and hope reflected in my gaze. I know that there are many ways to center oneself and reconnect with soul. There’s prayer, mindfulness, breath, yoga, meditation, gratitude, forgiveness, paying attention to one’s thoughts, various healing modalities, physical activity, volunteering to help others … and there’s storytelling.

I believe that all of us have a knowing, a wise soul, inside of us, deep in our inner core where we connect with Mystery, with each other, with All that is. We each access that inner knowing in a way that fits us, who we are. One way that I connect with that Truth is to immerse myself in nature. Another way is to sit down and have an imaginary friar2poster2conversation with the Pippsywoggins, little friends from the edge of imagination.It may sound weird to some of you, but it’s great fun, really, and a bit magical, too, as going into the world of make-believe allows me to access inner truths that escape me otherwise. Speaking with the Pippsywoggins let’s me be a kid again and put voice to ideas that otherwise are only rumbling around somewhere, beyond my grasp. Letting go and seeing where the conversation leads, has, in the past, been a great adventure, but it has been on hold for the last 15 or so years because, well, life has been busy. But, just maybe, now’s the time to open the door, that little one that’s hidden at the base of the old willow by the creek, and see if anyone’s there.

I’ll let you know …


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This photo suits my mood this morning.  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  And the reason?  That addiction/condition called perfectionism.  Couldn’t post if I didn’t have time to do it “right” or if I wasn’t in the correct mood or if I didn’t have time to write each word with precision.  Yet whose judgement is it that I crave?  And what happens if I continue to get in the way and keep spirit and soul from permeating the “work”?

And I do just that.

So here I am.  Again.  And with me come these two magnificent pictures of clouds, just as they are.  And all is well.


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Graceful VinesWhen I was a little girl, I saw God as a big white man with a flowing beard, like Moses. But, as I got older, that image didn’t work for me anymore. For awhile I tried to just not think about it, as the subject made me uncomfortable. But part of me yearned for an image that reflected God to me. Since my religious heritage is Christian, I could attach the tradtional image of Jesus as that of the visible face of God. But, to me, the physical face of Jesus seemed to be only a partial view of God, only one of God’s faces.

I’ve always delighted in seeing faces in the things around me, like in clouds and in the grain of wood and hiding in the crevices of stones. I realize that’s probably because I, as a human being, am trying to see my own species reflected in everything I see. But it surely is fun. On the other hand, if God is an unanswerable question, an infinite mystery, the source of all being, then it must also be true that the creative force, the essence, or face, of God, can show up in unexpected places and be incorporated into everything that is. Perhaps, if we look closely, with the spiritual eyes of knowing, we’ll “see” God in everything around us, including me, and you.

With that premise, I’ve been collecting pictures of the face of God. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But these pictures illicit in me a reverence and awe that reflects my view of the majesty and mystery of God. This first offering is titled Graceful Vines. Or grace-full vines.


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