Showing posts from October, 2017
Over the weekend I went to Hampton Bays on the Long Island Sound for a workshop. Saturday morning I watched the sun ease into the sky and throw a walkway of orange light across the Sound. It seemed that I could step out on the water and take a stroll. Swans, gulls and cormorants were more practical as they tended to breakfast. I walked the beach looking for the remains of stories. Moon snails, quahogs, slipper shells, razor clams, bay scallops, hermit crabs were all eager to share tales of arrival on the beach. Some were harrowing tales of predator's meals; some were stories of being cast upon the rocks. Now the shells would delight beachcombers like me or return to the beach as sand. I inched down the tideline, a place rapidly changing and so full of wonders and mysteries. A cormorant waddling along the beach caught my eye. Walking, not diving or flying - strange. Then I saw why - a large fishing sinker swung from its neck. A noose which condemned the bird to land, not to fly or
Last weekend I joined a couple of friends to do the Walkway Over the Hudson in New Paltz. The walkway, bikeway, skateway, strollerway is an ingenious bridge created on the bed of an aging and abandoned train bridge that once linked  Highland to Poughkeepsie. Our day was blue-skied and warm for October. The leaves were still teasing us with only pockets of color - single candle trees of orange and red. Lots of yellow shimmered in the October sun. The Hudson danced below. Spread out in shining waters to the bends of the River that Flows Both Ways, as the Mahicans called her. There along the banks were stories - nature and human told. Cliffs rising above the river. Trains on each side - west for cargo and east for passengers. Promises of mergansers and sturgeon and cod were whispered by the waters. Everywhere there was delight. The humans on the bridge, many with their dogs, mirrored the delight of the day. People of every color, shape, fit, ethnicity ambled, ran, talked and walked acro
Fall is seed time. There is an amazing array of seeds that are ready to fall and sleep and be prepared to spring to life when the earth warms. Nature packages her seeds in such creative ways! Some, like milkweed, burst their pods in silky white billows, carrying seeds like little parachutes over meadows and fields. Oaks just drop their acorns unceremoniously sometimes pummeling those below. Lindens swirl their seeds like the blades of a helicopter, or is that where humans got the idea for helicopter blades? Mullin holds her stalks of  seeds aloft for small birds to feast on and spread the rest. Maples twirl down delightfully pirouetting into the ground. Cattails, brown and bursting soft, gauzy fill hide their seeds. Nuts trees are very protective and wrap seeds in hard casings. The abundance and magnanimity of plants preparing for the next generation is astounding! Nature's inheritance is passed on wrapped in so many lessons for us who are students of learning to let go so more can
Today is Indigenous Peoples Day. That upsets people who celebrate Christopher Columbus today. I used to enjoy upsetting people about these points of American history. I don't enjoy it anymore but I see the importance of the discomfort. It is important to face our history on this and other hard issues.   "While we cannot change the past, we can realise and remember the pain that millions suffered throughout our nation's history. We can also recall the tremendous achievements of the original inhabitants of our continent." - Hilda Solis ( authored the LA County motion for a resolution to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, slated to take effect in 2019) On Saturday, I went to Ware, MA to the Agape Community for a gathering "Listening to Native Voices: Standing Rock is Everywhere". I went as a pilgrim to learn more about what our Indigenous People are still suffering, to listen so my heart could understand more deeply. Chief Arvol Looking Horse, of
Autumn has so much to share, so much to teach us. As with many of Earth's teachings, we need to be attentive, to be open. Most of the time, Mother Earth does not compel us to be her students.  Two week ago on a hike at Grafton,  I was given a teaching by the falling leaves... Tell me about dying... Is it tumbling out of a maple- free falling, twirling red and orange -  flaming? Is it nestling in the rich muck of earth letting go, settling into become the greening? Is it needles of the pines spinning browness against the blue of sky, yielding soft duff for weary feet? So much dying that goes unnoticed wait, no - celebrated, sung over, embraced not as death  but promise. 9/25/17
This blog is really and simply about Encountering Earth! Everyday we have encounters with the Earth community. Sunshine coming in our windows, our yards, the wind on our faces, creatures who co-habitate with us (pets, but also spiders, ladybugs, fruit flies...). But nature is often just a backdrop to our busy lives - she is there to hold us up, to feed us, to cloth us, to give us the raw materials we need for our stuff. Is she there as a "subject", as someone with which we have a relationship? Are we present to her in real attention and in gratitude? So I hope that this blog will serve as a point of awareness in our busy lives to share moments of encountering Earth in simple and awesome ways! Visit Encountering Earth web page