I have been eaten by caterpillars & other early September stories



This morning a leaf beckoned me to open the deck door and walk outside.  Come, come, it whispered.  I am covered with dew.  I am a harbinger of autumn, even though most of your leaves still sing in green.  I have been eaten by caterpillars.  Perhaps even the caterpillar that fell on your hand that fateful night last week, Kathy.

It’s a caterpillar versus leaf world out there.  More accurately, it’s an interdependent ecosystem out there with each precious organism depending on another for its very lifeblood.

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Posted in September 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Rant from the “seat of my pants”

It may come to this  Ha ha!

It may come to this. Ha ha! (Nothing to wear, that is…)

Spoiler alert:  This is not a rant about how the world is going to hell in a hand basket.  It’s not a rant about how we sleep at night with starving children in Sudan.  It’s not a rant about Trump or politics or congress folk or the environmental value of wind turbines.

This is what has annoyed the heck out of me this week.  (Well, to be perfectly honest, it’s a multi-year feud.)  And it’s utterly trivial–and utterly important in its own trivial way.

Are you ready?  Jeans.  Jeans have caused me no end of grief recently.  Do you remember the days when you traipsed into your favorite JC Penney’s or Yonker’s or Kohl’s and grabbed your Levis or Lees or Riders and delightedly hurried up to the cashier to purchase?

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Posted in August 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

It’s life and death for them today



Fingers in brown sandy soil thinning crowded avenues of carrots.  I used to despair thinning these deep tap roots stretching down past undulating worms.  How could one decide carrot life or death?  How could one presume to kill this one or that one?

**The murderer poised her fingers between seedlings, yet another Hitler.**

These days it’s different.  The fingers simply pluck, pull, tug, weed, dance between the overcrowded green carrot fronds.  Something more is glimpsed than the random death march.  You can feel the life march, as well, the relieved sigh when dirt-space reveals itself.  Ahhh!  The remaining tiny carrots snuggle in the expanded space, desiring to puff outward, to grow fat, to marry dirt, to orange up in underground caverns now dredged in breathing room.

I notice how the Universe is always culling, as well as spinning new fronds.  How creating and disappearing always make room for each other.  How death courts life and how life dissolves in it.  How a field of infinite connected energy exists, but how it must continually open its palm and let go, and then continually create something new.

Out to the garden I go, when these typing words cease, in torn shorts and baggy orange “Isle Royale” t-shirt.  Will snuggle in on a faded purple high school football cushion, knees and calves grubby in dirt, fingers moving relentlessly in the carrot kingdom whispering, “It’s all love, it’s all love, it’s all love.”  Or maybe I won’t whisper at all.  The overhead buzz of red-flashing frantic hummingbirds, the drone of cicadias, the sensuous tease of basil, the bulbuous tomatoes heavy of vine, the dancing pattern of sunlight on oak leaves–these reveal the love without words.  I’ll simply bow my head and watch the fingers choose which carrot uproots and which stretches a little more languidly toward sky and earth in this deep August morning.

And into the furnace of the belly will simmer the tiny carrot thinnings tonight, and new life shall be nurtured from death, won’t it?


Posted in August 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Coming into wholeness



I have been thinking a lot about wholeness this week.  My friend, Deb, shared a post on Facebook recently about how she’s achieved wholeness in several areas of her life:  as a parent, as a spouse, as a descendant.  She spoke of past trials and failures and not-knowings and how she’s moved into a place of wholeness.

I sat with her comments for a long time.  At first, I couldn’t relate.  To me wholeness felt a state independent of success or failure, although that’s probably not what she was attempting to convey. Something inside urged me to dive deeper, to discover a tidbit attempting to surface, to illuminate the path.

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Posted in August 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Dance of illumination in the woods


Slumbering fern

Slumbering fern

I sat on the couch this morning watching the mind leap from past to future, yesterday to tomorrow, always spinning a thousand imaginings.

Slowly the restless mind settled into the ambiance of the room, the shadows of light dancing on the green carpet.  Slowing the moving ocean of mind lost its wind-driven busyness and opened itself to what is.  What presents itself in this precious and fleeting moment.

I looked beyond the living room window unto the woods.  Light illuminated long slender tree trunks.  The slumbering forest appeared in shades of green, gold, amber, brown.  Birdsong ricocheted through the leaves. Blue sky tenderly enveloped this emerging world of light-play.

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Posted in July 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Little House, Revisited

Single web of life

Little web in the big woods

When we’re six years old, or seven, or maybe eight, squinting over the big print in the Little House in the Big Woods book by Laura Ingalls Wilder–we’re enthralled with the characters of Laura and Mary growing up in the northern Wisconsin forest in the early 1870’s.

When we’re seven or eight or maybe nine years old we’re skimming through the smaller print of Little House on the Prairie marveling with the covered wagon headed west, Mr. Edwards saving Christmas, and the prairie wildfire almost devouring the wooden homestead.  We’re shivering as the Indians sing and beat their drums less than three miles away across the waving grass.  We’re watching Ma churn butter, or Pa play his fiddle.  Part of us is surely there, aren’t we?

Maybe we watch the series on TV produced in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, admiring Michael Landon as Pa and Melissa Gilbert as Laura.  It’s not quite the same as reading the books–nothing is ever quite the same as imagination sparked by the written word–but perhaps it satisfies in a different way as our visual senses undulate like the prairie grasses.

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Posted in July 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Balance for a troubled heart–staying close to the simple, the ordinary, the real

Birch bark curl

The circle of a birchbark world

So many of our hearts seem troubled these days.  We’re worried about politics, the state of the nation, the trials of the world, the gullies of the universe.  We’re pained about health, trapped children, money, jobs, relationships, pressures.  We’re feeling our red hearts beating blue ribbons of sorrow and we’re struggling, how we’re struggling, to stay afloat and upbeat in a foggy world where the answers aren’t immediately apparent.

I see folks arguing everywhere.  We’re pitting ourselves again the other, taking the swords of our opinions and clashing them against the swords of other opinions.  We’re living in the world of our ideas and using our ideas as guns against each other. The bullets look like “My idea is right and yours is wrong and it’s all going to hell in a handbasket!”

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Posted in July 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments