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The Rail and the Rose

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20+ years ago, I bought a rose bush at the local home-improvement store nursery. 
We were new homeowners, and I couldn’t wait to start making the yard my own. Roses were the first plants on my list, as I wanted something similar to what I had grown up with – small bushes with deeply colored blossoms. I planted my newly acquired shrub right out front, up against the white iron porch railing. I eagerly awaited the fragrant merlot blossoms that were promised to me on the tag.
As the first bud opened, I was greeted by a pale peach blossom. Huh? It was stunningly beautiful - soft, rich, and luxurious, but not the color I expected. Then there was another one, and another one. I stared at my new purchase, decidedly disappointed with the unexpected color, then finally settled into accepting the mistake. Clearly the tag had been mis-marked. Ah well. The peach roses did smell heavenly and graced the yard with a subtle beauty. 

A week or so later, out popped a merlot-colored blossom. Then another…

Dancing with Shadows

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We are descending into the darkest time of the year, made even more challenging by Daylight Savings Time’s end, which jolted us into sudden darkness at dinnertime.
We are hard-wired to the light, and our inner clocks struggle to reconcile the difference. We can feel a bit fuzzy-headed and sluggish till our bodies make the shift. I feel like this years’ time change was a doozy and hard to come out of.
As the shadows of sunset come earlier each day, we are drawn inwards. We feel sleepy by dinnertime, caused by the rising of melatonin in our bodies in response to the diminishing light. We long for comfort and warmth, and desire to linger in our jammies and cuddle on the couch. The world seems cold and harsh at times, and we reach for the sanctity of our caves, so to speak.
November brings us to a place of transition. The sweetness of summer is gone, the fall is being replaced by bluster and starkness, and the holiday brightness is not quite yet upon is. Our bodies, being attuned to the lig…

Hidden Value

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It is the little things that hold the tapestry of life together.

So often it feels like the only things we recognize are big milestones, like getting a job, or a house, or some kind of "great" success. Or worse, our glaringly biggest life mistake continues to haunt us, even when we've changed our ways and made recompense. Our culture excels at judging life's adventures as all good or all bad. It's easy to get caught up in that mindset ourselves. We can get so focused on achieving big things that we're not present for the small details that are constantly weaving our life story. 
When I look back on my life, it is the gentle and subtle little things that have been the "a-ha" moments, the most meaningful for me to experience. A sweet smile on a really bad day, a kick in the pants by a loved one who knows I need it, a message of gratitude from an unexpected place, or a moment of beauty at a highway rest stop - these are the tender moments that endure. 

Interpretive Truth

The world is a messy place. I've been absent on this blog due to topsy-turvey in my own life with a long illness and then moving, but I'm back. My heart has compelled me to speak what has been tumbling around in my mind since the weekend. It's not about plants or Nature, but the nature of humans. The violence in Charlottesville, VA is a horror that feels all-too familiar . . . a little supremacy and entitlement mixed with primal reactions, disputes and accusations, with harm as a result and someone feeling like they were the "winner". I personally can't see any winners in a situation where people were intentionally mowed down by a car and someone died. There's a whole lot of blaming going on. A whole lot of people pointing fingers, media filled with outcries supporting the various sides. Screams of protests against monuments that were intended to represent history but have become icons for prejudice and malice. Arguments over free speech vs. hate. I'…

An Invitation

Each day as the sun warms the earth, we are graced by the gifts of our planet. Nature provides us with all we need to not only survive, but be well and whole on every level. We are a part of the web of life on this planet, and Nature teaches us how we can be fully balanced within ourselves and in relation to every other living thing. We're shown these gifts every day if we're paying attention.
There is no true separation between us and the natural world. Just as our bodies are made up of billions of tiny atoms, so too are we the building blocks of our living world. As things are happening in Nature, so too, are we affected. Night and day, seasons and cycles influence us on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. Our own health affects the health of the planet. John Muir wisely noticed: "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
We are all connected, all One, all part of something larger than ourselves. When we…

Greater Than Fear

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The U.S. is in a state of vast change on every level. 
Let's be honest...we're all scared and frustrated, no matter which side we're viewing things from. Every one of us has been left out of something, somewhere along the way in this country. 
We cannot change the past, but I am hopeful, because we're learning from it. The inequities and injustice that have been happening for so long are being acknowledged, and we are coming together to do something about them. All our shadows are out in the open so we can heal them.
If we don’t like how things are, we have a rare opportunity to shift our gaze to the change we want to see in the world and go be that change. There is so much unknown right now that it has become the void of creation.

It can be a dark and frightening place, as it requires us to reach deep down inside and see what we're made of. It's messy and sticky and we have to feel our way through, untangling our lies and half-truths along the way to discern what …

Dear Universe

Dear Universe,
I see that Giant Asteroid 2016 didn't work out, so thanks for that.  I think. 
As you may already know, America has put out a cry for help. 
I have to confess that as a citizen of this country, I did not see how many of my fellow citizens were truly hurting. I was blind to their plight. I did not realize the depth of their unmet needs until last night.
I am now on my knees, wracked with sobs and in shock, now understanding that a majority of us here in the U.S. are so distraught and hopeless that we felt our only choice was to place our faith in a man simply because he wasn’t a politician. We are looking for a savior but forgot that we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for…we’re the ones with the power. We the People have become lost.
Universe, please be gentle with us. Our choice has a big impact on everyone on this planet, and yet we are still young as a nation and as a species. We are still learning, and we have chosen to do this the hard way. We need a little hel…