Tea on deck; perfect autumn afternoon

Good thing we didn't put away that lawn chair.

Good thing we didn’t put away that lawn chair.

It’s a perfect Indian Summer afternoon here in the northwoods.  The temperature is a sultry 73 degrees (23 C).

I’m drinking tea on the deck and feeling that delightful moment of grace when summer sings back into our lives for a few short autumnal moments.  Even though the hummingbirds are long gone, dragonflies still whirl in the blue sky above.

A few robins linger on the grass, gathering energy to fly south, south, south.

Continue reading

Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 59 Comments

Tribe of weirdos?

Your tribe of...

Your tribe of…

Yesterday morning, lazy-eyed and yawning, the coffee cup half-way to these lips, I opened the Kindle Fire and glimpsed this email forward from a friend:

When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with cries of “Me too!”  be sure to cherish them.  Because those weirdos are your tribe.  –Nanea Hoffman

An involuntary grin arose.

Isn’t it an amazing moment in life when someone actually celebrates your quirks?  Instead of writing you off as too wild, too weird, too awful, too socially inappropriate?

What would the world be like if we all celebrated quirks instead of judging them (if even in our own minds)?

We’d be quirky world!  (Which we are anyway, but wouldn’t it be much more cool if it was combined with kindness and tolerance?)

Continue reading

Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

What do you want to be when you grow up?



I don’t know about you, friend, but I never figured out the answer to that question.

It makes me even wonder if this question has any validity.

As Americans, we change jobs a lot.

It’s been rumored that we often experience seven careers in a lifetime–but that’s just a wild rumor according to this article.

I started out, briefly, in adolescence, working at my dad’s drugstore as a clerk.  Followed by an internship as a reporter at a daily newspaper.  Succeeded by a stint working as a secretary for a psychologist (I wanted to BE the psychologist but, alas, that did not happen–so far–in this lifetime.)

Continue reading

Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Rumi & back pain

White Buffalo

White Buffalo

I am finding Rumi gems hither and yon and re-falling in love with this poetry.  As someone with a wee bit of lower back pain this morning, I smiled when accidentally discovering this poem.  Suzi Banks Baum sent it to me in a comment back (no pun intended) on this post  in January, 2012.

May we all discover the light that exists in pain, in grief, in the “cold and dark” of a  moment’s cave.

Wishing you the best, always, my friends.

Continue reading

Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Missing it

Lush September garden

Lush September garden

Sometimes I truly miss my year-long outdoor blog commitment.  Some of you may remember Opening the door, Walking Outside.  From Solstice in December, 2008 through December 20, 2009, I spent time outside every day and blogged about it.

It proved both wonderful and challenging, as you can imagine.  By mid-January I felt exhausted by the entire endeavor and totally irritated by the *stupid* commitment.  Yet, one soldiers on.

As the year progressed–and a reading audience grew–feelings of delight and appreciation for nature expanded.  An adoration of blogging blossomed.

As he croons in the song–It was a very good year.  Thanks, Frank Sinatra.

Continue reading

Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 68 Comments

Hello, mouse & other early morning ponderings



1.  I have nothing to say and should be getting ready for work.

2.  A perfect time to write a blog post!

3.  If, by the time this post ends, the fingers type all nonsense–well, it’s easy enough to delete.

4.  A big-eared mouse and I met on the circular stairway this morning at 5:45 a.m.  He panicked.  I jolted.  We both froze.  He high-tailed it back upstairs and I sighed.  Why can’t we share our living spaces with wild creatures?  Because we can’t.  The Buddhist part of me never wants to slap a mosquito.  The more practical part searches for a trap.

5.  Autumn approaches from the north.  How does one know?  I felt it two days ago on a walk up the road.  Suddenly the air held that nip.  You know, the nip which foretells dying tomato and green bean and squash vines.  That breath of cold wind which eventually sings a million vibrant colors into our northern leaves.  That change of the seasons spinning.

Continue reading

Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 64 Comments

In memory of Mary who died

This early September afternoon, just after our Michigan schools have opened their doors to laughing and shouting students for another school year, I would like to share a blog post I wrote way back in May, 2009.  Mary was the principal at our small school–someone I truly loved and admired.  She died four months after I wrote this post. Thank you for remembering her with me.

Beautiful death by frost

Beautiful death by frost

Mary is going to die.
She’s opening her heavily-lashed eyelids this morning in a cheap hotel near Mayo Clinic.  Are the birds chirping so sweetly outside her window, their high-pitched trills cascading the scale of life’s melodies, up and down, singing out an indecipherable pattern perhaps only known to the birch trees, the sloping hills, the good garden soil back home eager for spring seeds?
I want to roll over and return to sleep’s forgetting.  Mary is going to die.  Where is that voice rising from?  Shouldn’t it be qualified by hope?  Shouldn’t it be radiated and chemotherapied before you utter those words even in the privacy of your own head?
Tuning in

Tuning in

Mary is going to die.  Sweet Mary.  Calm Mary. Peaceful Mary. The minister’s wife snapping her wrists as the bell-caroled songs fill the church.  The principal of our tiny school, softly scenting the hallways with her unflappable peace that you feel down below your own churning heart, way down between your ribs, way down into the marrow of yourself–
While her marrow dances with cancer cells, multiplying endlessly in rhythmic frenzy, fearlessly, over-running and over-spilling the vessel that takes everything in like an embracing hug, like Jesus feeding bread and fish to the multitude.

Continue reading

Posted in 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 23 Comments