You are born each spring
as the ice acquiesces to the sun.
For weeks, maybe a month
you are as smooth and
pure as new skin.
Adolescence starts in June
when the lily pads start
experimenting with independence, and
suddenly you bloom into fullness
as the reeds tower along your shores
for a time of glory. Continue reading “Lake”
Last evening I went out to pick the last of the day’s ripe blueberries, and as I was lingering in the garden enjoying the cool dusky air, I noticed the sunflowers. In the last week, there are four of them that have grown almost as tall as me and are starting to show signs of blossoming. Their heads are still tight in a bud, but you can tell they are eagerly waiting the day when they can show their petals to the sun and offer themselves to the world.
I just read an excerpt from the last chapter of Anatomy of a Rose, a book by Sharman Apt Russell, and it is about being cured by flowers. She points out that for a long time flowers have been used as medicine – from prescription drugs that contain some part of a flowering plant to folk medicine, flowers have healing properties. There are hundreds of ways to let plants, and specifically flowers, help our bodies heal: from evening primrose to sage to cornflower to prickly poppy, flowers have the power to cure what ails us. Continue reading “Cured by Flowers”
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Let your feet carry you on the worn path behind the house, down to the marshy shore of the lake.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Wander into the dense tree cover, trail your hand over the bark of an adolescent maple tree, and find your shelter among the roots and branches.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Splash through the puddles that pool at the base of the valley and listen to the call of the Sandhill crane in the fields as it stands at attention amidst the dying autumn crops.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Lay down in the hay-field and let your gaze drift with the passing clouds as the leaves rustle their lullabies.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Race through the blazing midday light, and once you are tired, pick up a stone and let your hand fit its shape to the smooth sun-warmed surface.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Rest in the shade of an old oak tree and feel the wisdom and strength of deep roots and patience fill you up with something you didn’t know was missing.
Go out into the woods, child. Go out.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote the words, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Though Thoreau lived in his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond many years ago, those words hold a deep truth. Wildness can mean so many different things to so many different people, but whatever it means to myriad humans across the globe, I have found embracing wildness to provide healing, inspiration, introspection and reason to explore. I have found wildness to be a foundation from which to do my work in the world, and I have found wildness to drive my choices as I tap into the potential of life on this beautiful earth. I have found wildness reason to cultivate community and exist in the world in a way that aligns with beauty and truth.
Here are 10 more reasons to embrace wildness, in all its forms, in the months to come. Because you just never know how making some little changes to your way of being might contribute to the healing of the planet. Continue reading “Why To Embrace Wildness”
It happens every year in many parts of the world. The days get shorter, the gardens get tilled under, the lawnmower goes into storage. Heavy coats and hats and sweaters get pulled out of storage, and chili starts sounding good again. Frost appears in the morning grass where dew used to be, and you can see your breath when you walk around the block. And then it snows. Winter is coming.
Granted, not every place on the earth sees harsh winter weather, but plenty of places have their fair share of cold and wind and dark.Daylight in the northern hemisphere wanes as the winter solstice approaches, and sometimes if we aren’t careful, whole days can go by without feeling any sun – however cold it might be – on our faces. Cabin fever sets in, and we start to wait for spring.
But…..maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. What if we could embrace whatever Mother Nature decides to dole out and made getting outside a priority no matter how cold or wet or snowy or dark it gets? I think it’s worth it to give old man winter a little love. Because a whole season with no natural light and letting a little cold weather keep us inside? Every year? No way, man. No. Way. Life’s too good to spend it waiting for summer. Continue reading “5 Ways to Fall in Love With Winter”
What would it look like to dance with a mountain? To be so attuned to the natural world that you could two step or swing dance with an ancient pile of rock and earth? To live so fully in your own wild nature that you could communicate with the world in a way that makes the sky weep in understanding and the plains shiver with anticipation of what is possible when life chooses harmony over dissonance? To figure out how to identify the part of ourselves that is akin to rivers and hilltops and soil and trees and holding that as our center point? Continue reading “To Dance With Mountains”
Wake up to bird song, or waves or whispering pines. Open your eyes to the dawning of a new day, and wander toward voices when you are ready for company of the community.
Stretch your body, swim, kayak, run, hike. Let your body move how it wants to move as the light starts to fill the sky. Remember that you are a body and your body is you – you are partners in this life, not enemies. Continue reading “A Summer Day”
I live in Minnesota. You may have gleaned that bit of information from other blog posts on this site by now, but in case you are new here, the land of ten thousand lakes is the place I currently call home. Right now it’s May. A glorious month in a state that has a long winter and a spring that usually gets either a slow start or a false one. That’s what we had this year: a false start of a spring. It was almost 90 degrees for one day in April, with lots of days in the 60s and 70s to boot. Things started growing fast, buds popped out and flowers started hinting at blooming. We rejoiced, threw open the windows, got the boats ready, tilled up the fields….and then it got cold. The starter’s gun fired a second shot. A chilly few weeks of rain punctuated with a few nights in the low 30s made us a little nervous. But we covered things up and life went on, despite the curveball that climate change likes to throw now and then. We toed the line again, and and now it’s 75 degrees, we are running strong and the forecast for the next ten days looks just about perfect. Continue reading “Why to Love May in Minnesota”
Today is April 22nd, and it’s the 46th April that has recognized an ‘official’ day to honor the Earth. As the day fades into night, the moon is full and shining over the waters of our little lake. We have a full length window in our shower, (weird, I realize….the former owners of our home had some slightly odd design ideas..) and as I washed off the day’s grime after putting my daughter to bed, I felt like a moon goddess being purified as the water shimmered under the tawny light. (or something like that…at any rate, the perk of having a full length mirror in your shower that looks out over a lake is a great view of the lake. It’s worth noting that we have no close neighbors.) So let’s start with that. Continue reading “3 Ways to Live Earth Day”
There is something magical about watching the light of a new day spread its fingers across the sky as the horizon changes from black to dusky pink to tangerine orange to glowing yellow. Maybe it’s the ancient rhythm that persists despite increasing human impact. Maybe it’s the spectacular color show that sometimes comes with it. Maybe it’s the opportunity to live another day on an incredible planet. Maybe it’s witnessing something that is infinitely bigger than we are, but of which we are still a part. It’s probably all of those things and more. Living on a small lake with a view out the kitchen to the east has afforded me plenty of opportunity to reveal in the first new colors of the day. I am grateful for the daily opportunity to put myself in the way of beauty. After all, it’s going to show up whether I notice it or not. I think it’s better to notice.
As Cheryl Strayed once wrote, quoting her mother:
There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.
Continue reading “Sunrise”