This morning, sipping hot coffee on the couch, I announced to Barry, “The Winter King kissed us with snow again last night.”

He eyed me above his coffee mug, raising his eyebrows only slightly.

“What–are you taking some online poetry class now?” he asked.

“Hmmmphhh!” I replied. “Nah, I wrote a blog about the Winter King last week, and am just continuing the theme. I didn’t tell you about it because I didn’t think you would be interested in poetry and metaphor and analogy and such.”

“Thank you,” said he, and I did not dump his coffee on his lap inadvertently because, well, you just know what interests a person after forty-some years of sipping coffee on the couch. And poetic ramblings are not his thing, even though his wife swoons–yes, swoons–to dream deep into fairytales where intangible things become reality, thank you, Stacy, very much for those magic words.

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Posted in February 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Last night the Winter King dreamed of pussy willows.

Pussy willow snow

Last night in the heart of February, the Winter King dreamed of pussy willows. He dreamed of them sitting atop red buds in the lair of his woods. He dreamed them fresh with life and song and laughter. But, because he’s the Winter King, he can’t truly feel Spring so he dreamed the pussy willows out of snow droplets.

Some of you may have seen them this morning.

The Winter King, as many of you know, wears icicles in his beard. He carries a staff carved with reindeer and moose and sassy elk. I think he wears a long midnight-blue cloak that sparkles with stars and cold moons. If you reached your hands into his infinite pockets you can touch the North Pole. His cheeks gleam frosty over his tangled white beard and he’s wise, wiser than you and me, wiser than his summer sister with all her beautiful green dresses woven with wildflowers and sunshine.

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Posted in February 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Poof! (and she disappeared again)

And she’s gone

I apologize in advance for the times of silence on this blog. For quitting reading your posts. For just going quiet and seemingly disappearing into thin air. Poof! Just like that…gone.

This time, during the 75 day spiritual blogging commitment, I earnestly vowed not to do this again. NOT to disappear. To at least stay active reading and commenting on your blogs, because, truly, many of you have been faithful friends this past decade and beyond. And I love hearing what’s going on in your neck of the woods.

But vowing is one thing. Listening to what wants to happen is another. And what wants to happen in these times is silence. Quiet. Just being.

Engaging in blogging or social media feels like pulling teeth these days. And that’s an owie almost impossible to override.

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Posted in February 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Catching up, fake news, I was wrong, Path of the Heart

Picture of our old wood stove. Winter fire.

It’s a frigid January morning here in our little house in the woods. The propane furnace motor hummed during the night trying to keep us warm, and this morning at 6 a.m. I started a roaring fire in the wood stove for today’s heat.

It’s cozy now, and I sip coffee and breathe. Listen to the silence, the noisy thoughts, the wood stove, the subtle hum of life.

Barry’s off to work and I don’t need to help out with school accounting today. Actually, I could sign in remotely and try to fix a $480 journal entry connected with payroll liabilities but, hey, that’s for another morning.

It’s been a peaceful spell here–except for the day of the capitol riots–where we sat glued to the computer while Barry worked on plumbing pipes in the basement. My heart is still heavy thinking of it, but we’ve on to hopefully happier times and I don’t want to talk about that any more right now.

It took about ten days to relax and shift gears after my 75 day spiritual daily blogging. Then, like clockwork, it all settled again into a new rhythm. Now am just waiting for inspiration to arise, with no need to write or not write.

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Posted in January 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

The joy of sauntering

To softly saunter

So often in our society we vow to exercise, walk briskly, hike four miles, cover ground, get our hearts pumping for health and longevity.

Nothing wrong with that. Our bodies may appreciate the vigor, movement, intensity.

But I am in love with another kind of walking: the fine and subtle art of sauntering.

Does anyone else adore sauntering? Meandering? Wandering aimlessly in nature’s sweet theater of unimaginable beauty and surprises?

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Posted in January 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Loose ends, gray skies, and affirmations of light

On the Lake Superior waterfront in Marquette

Good morning, friends. It’s the eighth day since finishing the 75 day spiritual daily blogging commitment, and it feels like time to stop by and say hello again.

It’s been a challenging eight days in many ways. Often when a project, commitment or trip ends I feel at loose ends for awhile. What to do next? It happens like clockwork after a vacation; it feels hard to settle back into the rhythm of our quiet life here in the woods.

I wander, sit, get up, walk to the mailbox, sit some more…wonder what to do next…and so it goes. It’s relaxing, but it’s also disconcerting. Have any of you experienced this?

The 75 day commitment felt filled with such a sense of purpose.

And now? I am deeply listening to see what wants to happen next.

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Posted in January 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

What the heart knows now

To sky

Today is the last day of my seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.

Wow! What a ride it’s been. I can’t believe we’re at our destination. The train has chugged up to the station. The airplane has landed. Our hike through the woods is over.

Bye, 2020. Namaste. I bow to you. I thank you for everything you’ve given. For all that’s been given–both wonderful and challenging–I put my hands to my heart and say, “Thank you, Spirit, for another year of life.”

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Coyote or wolf comes teaching trust

Coyote photo taken by Department of Natural Resources in the early 1980’s

Yesterday was such an active day filled with blogging, dyad, work, grocery shopping in the “big” town 45 miles north, phone calls with family, stoking fires, making dinner, responding to blog comments, oh, and a dozen other already forgotten undertakings.

A challenging moment popped up mid-afternoon and I paused to gaze out the window. Movement on the ridge on the other side of the ravine caught my eye. The leaves are down from the skeleton trees, so you can glimpse woods animals more often. Almost always it’s a deer or six ambling by. But yesterday I noticed short legs. It was a coyote or wolf. It moved swiftly between the trees, so quickly that absolute identification proved impossible.

Native Americans call coyote a trickster. It can be an unfortunate omen. He’s also a creator, teacher and keeper of magic. (Talk about paradox, right?) The wolf shines as a teacher as well, but also portends strength and loyalty. When you’re having trouble with trusting others, call wolf in–one source suggests.

I don’t always pay 100% attention to what others say about animal totems and signs. Sometimes it feels spot on. Sometimes it’s a maybe. Other times it’s a definitive no. What feels more compelling is to turn inside and ask Spirit what the coyote/wolf signifies in this new moment.

“Just trust,” an inner voice advised. “The teacher is here.”

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Playing spirit hide and seek

Chickadee in spruce tree silhouetted by snow

December has worn her drab gray dress every day. OK, maybe she jazzed up with some weak yellow sunshine occasionally when she felt festive. But mostly she’s just dulled us with mono color.

This is nothing new here in the Upper Peninsula. She’s a winter princess, our December, and she likes to blend into the woods suggesting again and again that it’s we humans who must open our eyes and find the color of what’s true.

You can stare out the window and think drab, drab, drab. Nothing to see out there. Yawn. So lackluster.

But sometimes we’re urged outside to play hide and seek. To see if it’s possible to find spirit peeking and poking out of muted backgrounds. To find what’s hidden in plain sight.

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Ready for it to end! Don’t want it to end…

An ending? Or a beginning?

I can’t wait until this seventy five day blogging commitment is over. Counting the days until it’s ended…six, five, four… Man, it’s lasted forever and a day. 2021 can’t come soon enough!

I am going to be bereft when this blogging commitment is finished. Probably at loose ends, mourning a bit, sad, not sure how to proceed. Oh no, how could it end this quickly?

Good morning, friendly readers! How’s your day going so far? If it’s like mine, every day resembles a paradox where different inner viewpoints and feelings present themselves.

Two seemingly opposite things can be true at the same time.

We can be so excited for something to end–and yet conversely grieving that it’s over.

I find this utterly fascinating, don’t you?

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Posted in What the Heart Knows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments