Sunday, December 14, 2014

After The Storm... (or not...)

There is nowhere I would rather be than the ocean, and there's really nowhere I'd rather be after a big storm than there. It's messy and chaotic and powerful and so very alive. That, plus the absolute abundance of negative ions everywhere, it's hard not to be in the middle of that without feeling its affects. Even while the hurricane is still thrashing about in one's personal life, for the moment it is washed away, and there is clear space, some peace and relaxation, and yes, even some awe.

I feel so lucky to live within about an hour's drive of the ocean. The love affair began early; my mom throwing us all in the station wagon, egg salad and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the picnic basket (pimiento-cheese for her), Kool Aid in the jug, if we were lucky and it was near payday, some Hydrox cookies and we were off. As a teen, I piled as many friends in my red VW Bug as would fit and headed south or west depending on our mood. Pepsi, Marlboro's, transistor radio, sand, surf, sun on our skin, wind in our hair... and if we were lucky, cute boys to ogle... oh my. It's where I took my own kids, watched as the spell took hold, and then, once in therapy, I took myself often, sometimes it was the only place I felt safe, and I would stay for hours, listening to the waves, processing, walking the long beach, reading - devouring actually - books about healing, about the descent, about the wild feminine soul, the words burning a fire in me... the brightest light, the truest knowing even in the midst of the dark. And sometimes, most often actually, doing nothing, nothing at all but sitting and letting it wash all over me, sooth me, hold me as I prepared to dismantle more, to dig ever deeper. One day I saw dolphins, like magic, nearly forty years going to the same beach and there they were, unbelievable! and another love affair began.

Yesterday my oldest daughter and I headed over after the big storm two days ago. The surf was magnetic; loud, frothy, beautiful. I watched it work its magic on her, if even for a few moments forgetting, snapping photos with her iPhone in one hand, her DSLR in the other, confessing her love of film over digital - as though criminal behavior! As waves crashed all around us, talking the mystery of creativity, the uncertainty of life; of endings and grief, dreams dashed, the void; awash in the long-awaited news of a story being published, and with it hope resurrected and seeds planted. Precious moments of heartfelt intimacy.

All too often, mostly since my own upheaval a few years ago, I tend to focus on what is not instead of seeing what is right before me. Even in the dark, stormy times there can be such beauty. If we can only see it. And I don't mean the light in the dark, I mean the beauty in the gloomy, stark landscape itself; where there is no choice but to just be, where all of life ends and begins, where there is nothing and where, in actuality, there is everything. Especially as we head toward Winter Solstice and the darkest time of the year, honoring the change of season, the dark, the endings, the pain and grief of transformation, the mystery itself, and at the same time opening to what is always, always here, no matter the season or the weather or the circumstances... that thing of the heart we call love, plain and simple and humbling in its intensity; the river beneath everything, sweet, holy, precious, heartbreaking, messy, chaotic, sacred, life-affirming, the-only-thing-that-ever-matters love.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


In the past five days Northern California has gotten more rain than in the entirety of last winter. A mere drop in the bucket for this serious three-year-long drought we are in but still, I swear I think I can hear the earth singing... or maybe that's just me, or maybe it's this sweet creek, that has not had a drop of water in it in the two years that I have lived here. Hearing its melody as it trickled over rocks and roots, imagining how nourished the plant and animal life - the very earth itself - must be feeling because of it, feeling my own awe at such a small, beautiful thing, was a joy.

When the downpour broke for a few minutes, I couldn't wait to get over there to the park. I donned my raincoat and boots, grabbed my camera, and headed out the front door, a woman on a mission. Only to be stopped by the sheer beauty; everywhere I turned such stunning fall color, more vibrant I'm sure after getting their leaves so thoroughly cleansed. Everything seemed to vibrate, the leaves, the clouds, the air itself. 

Life is hard right now. Big changes are happening for members of my family. The air here is awash in loss, grief, conflict, sorrow, vulnerability, fear of the unknown; and I am fighting, though most of the time losing, trying to keep my own balance, wanting to be there for the deep need, feeling pulled in too many directions, my own childhood traumas triggered at the same time that my own loved ones need me, and my normal go-to's not working. But on that little break yesterday, out in the crisp and clean air, under thick, full clouds, everything covered in raindrops, trees painted their fall colors, puddles full of leaves, water flowing, squirrels scurrying about, birds calling out tentatively, there was respite. In those moments, my mind grew quiet, and I could feel a letting go, a calming of my nervous system. She - Mother Earth - is the very ground beneath us; without Her there is nothing, period... and I need to remember that a profound nurturance is found there, that it is there we can experience renewal; even if it means no more than opening the front door and breathing in the fresh air, stepping outside and feeling her solidly beneath me, taking in her colors, shapes, textures, patterns, her myriad life forms, or staring into the vastness of the sky that holds Her. It's so simple really... I just need to remember.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Today I am grateful for clarity amidst a sea of blur... (no doubt why I'm so in love with my new Lensbaby lens...)

I am grateful for the people I work with that help me heal... on all levels, that help my psyche and my nervous system and my body and my spirit recover from early and not so early life traumas and woundings.

Today I bow down to the sacred journey... to the great mystery of who we are, why we are here, and why we have the experiences we do... and what fertile ground they provide for deep and sustained transformation and growth.

Today I am humbled by courage... that invisible thing that somehow, through some grace not of my own doing, deposited itself in my lap years ago, and has propelled the journey ever since... to keep going, to keep looking, to keep asking, to keep inquiring, to not give up, even when it is really hard, even when it feels like it will never end; that has met the longing for knowing, understanding, and healing and walked hand in hand with it on this long road.

Today I am grateful for the small but precious circle that surrounds and supports and sees and listens, and for the tenderness, patience, understanding, and love found there.

Today I am especially thankful for the puzzle piece that slipped almost silently into place, unexpected and yet hungered for, safe in the warm lit room, sprawling oaks and golden maple leaves under a deep gray canopy outside, desperately needed rain, a long awaited visitor tapping at the window; heart spilling open, a light of truth dawning so bright it sends me reeling, and from it, a knowing, deep, abiding, that this is it, this is the thing, the part that has been eluding me; and suddenly it all makes sense and I know, just as I know my own name and my reflection in the mirror, that this is what it's all about... this particular circumstance, this room, this longing, this journey, this life... and I am blown open... plain and simple... blown open... yet again.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Never Not Here

This sweet bird gave my sister and I what felt like hours of fun on our vacation up north. In truth, it was maybe ten minutes, fifteen tops. But in those moments, time stood still and we experienced pure joy just watching this tiny little being play with the big, powerful waves. What a strut, what a swagger! and what a sense of humor she had; we even suspected she knew she had a very appreciative audience, and was playing just for us. We laughed, we snorted, we were in awe. All over a simple little seagull.

The simplest moments can be the most sacred. We (okay, I) think we need the big bang, the great Walenda, the fireworks, the ecstatic experience. The birth of the baby, jumping in the water with wild dolphins, waking up on Maui, falling head over heels in love. And yes, it's there for sure, pronounced even, available for the taking. But the truth is it's everywhere... it being the sacred, embedded in everything, palpable in those holy moments, those seconds or minutes of grace, when thoughts are silenced, self disappears, and there is just oneness, an unveiled meeting with what is... an openness, a connection, an instantaneous descent from the head straight into the heart. It's the bird at the beach and the one splashing in the birdbath; it's the clouds suddenly painted bright pink - or not; it's meeting the eyes of a stranger, the sliver of moon at dawn, dewdrops in the sun, taking a photo; it's coral leaves, choral voices, the bass beat, the Moody Blues; the Christmas story, the Buddha story, Mary's story, the Hindi chant... it's in our very humanness, our pain and grief and suffering, our loves, our longings. our joys. It's mothers and daughters and love so big it spills out everywhere, sometimes not so gracefully. It's birth and death...and everything, I mean everything in between. The moments big and small, each breath, each beating of our heart, our bodies, aging; each creature, every particle of air, even the space that holds it all. The Sacred... never not here.

What amazing grace.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Mystery

Our souls know the way
~Miranda MacPherson

This photo was taken at Trinidad Bay, far up on the Northern California coast, and possibly the most beautiful beach I've ever seen. The play of light, surf, fog, land, trees, was exquisite. So raw and dynamic, we stood in awe of the beauty and power of Nature.

We came across this small bay totally by accident. We were looking for a different beach; I had asked in a local coffee shop about the one beach that should not be missed if our time was limited. We never found that beach, but stumbled on this one in the search... and could not imagine our luck OR a more beautiful place. So much so that we stopped for a longer time on the way back, when this shot was taken.

I wonder how much of life is like that... we think we are going one place, only to find a fork in the road along the way. And my sense is it's never an accident... just part of the mystery of life that I am so in love with... that great Unknown that we are all a part of... guiding our way - be it looking for the perfect beach on vacation, be it the people who appear in our lives, what interests and inspires us, our work, the spiritual path. We so tend to think that it's us, that we are in control, that we are making the decisions, that we are lighting our own way. That we know exactly where it is we are going and how exactly we are supposed to get there. I so love it when life challenges this assumption... when it gives us a hint, or even sometimes something so glaring we can't look the other way... when it reveals itself and all we can really do is bow down before it... be it this lovely little bay, or that completely unexpected thing that rocks our world... the veil lifts even for just a moment and we get a glimpse, and something deep within us shifts. 

Trust this mystery that has called you... that's actually called your name, that has touched you... 

Friday, October 24, 2014


Feeling the quiet, the amazing deep silence in the giant Redwood groves in Northern California was sublime. My sister and I would get out of the car, on the more remote roads off the beaten path and I would say, oh my god, do you hear it? and she would say hear what? and I would say yes, exactly! Nothing. Complete and total silence... stillness.

I've felt that same quality of stillness a handful of times and places. Looking out from Yosemite's Glacier Point across the deep, river sculpted valley, past Half Dome to stark, rugged Tenaya Canyon. Watching meteor showers over Crater Lake in the middle of the night cradling my sleeping six-year-old in my lap. Looking out and down from the Kalaupapa Lookout on Moloka'i, to the sheer cliffs that rise three thousand feet from the ocean and the tiny, once-tragedy-filled peninsula below. Alaska's other worldly Glacier Bay. Swimming in the Gulf Stream, where deep indigo and golden sun rays dance with such mind-boggling intimacy; and being in the water eye to eye with wild dolphins...

I've never been quite sure exactly what I was experiencing. Quiet and silence, yes. But I suspect it is much more than that. Something intangible and unnameable... that is at once quiet and yet so full it overflows. Something so permeable it is not just out there, in the beauty of nature, but also inside. In everything in fact; in me - how else would I recognize it - the trees, the animals, the sunlight, the air, and the space that holds it all. It is ageless, eternity itself; it catches my breath, fills me with awe, and leaves me in wonder, knowing with certainty I have come face to face with the sacred. Here's another thing I suspect... I suspect that this thing, this stillness, is always there... is never not there, in fact, but it takes a certain place, no, not even a place, though I'm guessing it's more accessible in certain circumstances, in ancient groves for example, in deep meditation for example, in the wild, in deep water, starry nights, anywhere there is quiet, always there; in bliss, in fear, in despair, in contentment... always there... never ever not there... 

“Whenever there is stillness
 there is the still small voice,
 God's speaking from the 
nature's old song, 
and dance...” 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Gift From Our Mother

A fogbow (also known as a white rainbow), which I didn't even know existed until two days ago... Trinidad Bay, Northern California.

This was after the bald eagle took off and flew directly over the car (in Marin County no less...) and after the drive through the ancient Redwood groves, the tallest trees on Earth. It was before the herd of elk, including a wobbling kneed baby, and an amazingly regal rutting male, prior to Agate Beach where beautifully sea-polished semi-precious stones are there for the asking.

She is so stunning, our precious Mother Earth, so full of magic, messages and gifts; startling beauty, power, fierceness, gentleness, graciousness.

Tonight I will go to sleep to the sound of surf just outside the room.

How lucky we are to be living in this beautiful world...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

366 HOPE

 I am so loving the Honoring Our Precious Earth (366 HOPE) project that I began a week ago. I thought I was doing a really selfless thing, committing to spending some time each day in prayer and meditation for our earth. And instead of photos, which can get too caught up with ego for me, one of my daughters suggested I do art and so each morning, I spend half an hour writing my Earth prayer for the day and doing art in combination with it. I am SO not an artist in that way, and so this seemed challenging and also perfect. No too much problem with ego when you pretty much suck at something and have zero expectations. Not going to be showing it to anyone or posting it here! And so in that way, it became a more private project that I had at first envisioned, and I really like that.

What I didn't expect was what a total boon this would be; how amazing that half an hour ends up being, how lost and mindless I get in the writing, and then the colors and shapes and doodles that present themselves on the page. How deep I go inside myself; like a kid again with crayons and a piece of paper, creating only for the sake of creating, no agenda, nothing that has to look a certain way, be defended or acceptable, or god love us, get a grade. What a relaxing, inspiring, fun, meditative joy it has been.

I'm also noticing my relationship with nature changing. I'm drawn more and more to be outside, and feeling more and more comfortable when I am; less afraid, more nurtured. This morning I went to one of our wilderness parks, found the creek that runs through it and a rock to sit on and stayed for a good chunk of the morning. I've always been afraid to be out in nature alone... it's a woman thing, a conspicuous thing, a mountain lion/rattlesnake thing... and yet there I was.

It seems like it's also a dolphin thing... planting seeds, watering them... watching in awe as they sprout and grow, knowing there is no way I could have choreographed this. And once again, I'm just so blown away.

* * * * * 

And p.s., these photos were taken with my new Lensbaby lens... I don't even really know what I'm doing with it yet, and already I'm so in love. The Lensbaby motto is "See in a New Way"... how perfect is that?! It's all about blur and choosing exactly what is in focus and amazing bokeh and infinite new creative potential. :))

Saturday, September 20, 2014

How About You?

This morning when I went to the park, there were so many crows, and they were raising a huge ruckus. I mean loud, so loud and so continuous that I finally just had to stop meditating (or trying to!) and marvel at them. Perched high in a couple of the big, broad trees, deep black shapes against the sky and the foliage, new ones flying in, announcing their arrival, it was a beautiful sight.

When I got home, I looked them up in my Animal Speaks book, and here's what Ted Andrews has to say about them:
Wherever crows are there is magic. They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength. They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life. They are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that are alive within our world every day and available to us. 
It's hard not to be in awe... every moment, actually. If we just look around, pay attention, be aware. Nature is magical. She is mystical. She has so much to share with us, show us, teach us; so many ways to inspire, to amaze, to help, to heal even. Do you ever stop to think that our lives are completely and utterly dependent upon Her? That without Her, there would be no life, period?

My wonderful & amazing friend Jill has decided to start her own Honoring Nature project this Monday as well. I'm wondering if there's anyone else out there who might want to join in? It doesn't have to be much... maybe even just a moment during the day, an alarm set on the phone, to remind you to stop what you're doing. and think about our Earth home. Or as you're waking up, or just before going to sleep, when the sun sets, the wind blows through the turning leaves, the crow caws. When you eat that tomato, that piece of chicken, drink the milk, be it cow's, almond, or coconut, gas up the car, when you read or hear that she, our planet, our home, is in peril. Maybe pause for just a moment... send out a little thought... a thank you, a prayer...  a little piece of  your heart.

Image from the 2011 Official Earth Day Poster, Words by Llewellyn Vaughan Lee, beautiful font by Bright Ideas, Typography design by me. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Maybe There Really Are No Mistakes

Artist Unknown, which is too bad, I would love to credit the creator of this beautiful image.

Maybe Blogger knows what it's doing after all... or is in cahoots with some greater invisible wisdom, mysteriously sending out random old posts - that are weirdly changing things. The first one actually got me writing again, this last one, from yesterday, about the (former and incomplete) 365 Grateful project has got me seriously thinking...

Thinking about a possible new project: about making a commitment to something meaningful; about honoring nature, our planet, our beautiful Mother Earth. It most likely will involve 365 days, and photos, it might even involve prayer - though that said, since I'm not religious, I'm never sure who or what exactly I'm praying to... and yet I believe in the power of prayer; thought is energy, energy makes our world go round.

Next Monday evening (my local time) is autumn equinox. Here in North America, autumn equinox marks the first day of fall. It's when the day and the night are (almost) exactly equal in length. It's when the sun passes into the sign of Libra. Nights and mornings are brisk, leaves are beginning to turn, change is in the very air itself. It's the time of harvest, of completion; and also, in spite of the fact that we normally wait to do this at the calendar new year, it's the time for assessment, for shedding the old; it's a time of transition, and planting the seeds of new growth and goals. So stay tuned... it seems like the perfect time to take on something new...

And thank you to this weird random Blogger/Universe thing for setting this whole idea in motion

The autumn equinox opens the cycle of the Year of the Soul for one who wishes to attune to the true mysteries of Nature.   ~Ted Andrews, Nature - Speak: Signs, Omens, & Messages in Nature

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What's Going On With Blogger??

Some of you receive new posts by email... and I appreciate all of you who subscribe to my blog. A couple of times lately, for reasons I have no idea of, old posts have been emailed out again. So, if you get an old post, please disregard it... and I will see if I can figure out what's going on.

Thanks so much!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I have always loved Kahlil Gibran. I know I was in my late teens when I was introduced to his work, though I have no idea how that came about... except that it was the 60's... a time when his writing, especially The Prophet, made a big resurgence. (Ah... the 60's...!)

That I have owned a copy of this book since I was that age says a lot about my love of words. The right words have the capacity to carry me far away... and at the same time, to bring me so deeply inside, so squarely home. They can melt my heart in an instant, leave me breathless, inspire, bring understanding, wisdom even, touch places that are - weirdly - beyond language. Certain poems, song lyrics, quotes, that single paragraph in a novel can be magical, and can captivate me like few other things. In fact, to say that I love words doesn't begin to cover it. It's a love affair, plain and simple.

There has been a longing in me for quite a while now to begin incorporating words with some of my photos. Since I began learning about typography and the art of design a couple of years ago, since discovering the beautiful fonts that people are creating, I have wanted to venture out into a whole new branch of creating; combining in my art images, words, fonts, feeling...  though I haven't said a word, because fear and anxiety have stopped me. Fear and anxiety, those god-awful twins, that can so keep me paralyzed...

I am in a seven-week Wisdom Goddess course that is exploring the Hindu goddesses. This week we are studying and meditating on Kali... always known as the great destroyer, yet now what I'm learning is that what she destroys is untruths and things that keep us stuck, and that what she desires more than anything for us is absolute liberation and freedom. This morning, while sitting against a big beautiful oak tree meditating, I offered Kali the cloak of fear and anxiety that I have worn since I was at least five years old. It was heavy, beyond cumbersome, there was fear even in the removing of it, but I was able to, and I handed it up to her, where she danced atop a roaring fire. I watched as she dropped the garment in the fire, sat mesmerized as it went up in flames and was quickly reduced to ashes. All the while she continued her dance and stared lovingly, so incredibly lovingly, straight into my eyes. And now here I am, a few hours later, putting into words what I have been afraid to say... which is, what I want to do with words. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

30 Sales

Original Photo 
Post Processed

Today I'm celebrating 30 sales at my Etsy Shop. Maybe for some 30 sales in 30 months wouldn't seem like a very big deal... an average of one sale a month, and about $20 a month in revenue. But for this budding wannabe artist, who was shaking in her boots, embarrassed even at the very idea of putting herself and her work out there, whose mind kept up the who-does-she-think-she-is litany, and for whom it took almost a year to put up her first images after creating her shop, this is a very sweet deal

Truly, the fact that there are people out there who like my art enough to pay money for it and hang it on their walls is nothing if not frosting on the cake.  I look back at my creative journey, which grew out of the most painful and dark time of my life... fertilized in the primordial life-changing soup, the creative impetus at times all there was that got me out of bed, that called me to put one foot in  front of the other, that gave my mind sweet, desperately needed relief, that forced me by its very nature to see the beauty around me, that encouraged me  to buy my first decent camera since my Canon AE-1 Program film, my first digital SLR, Nikon this time before I left for three months on Moloka'i; that saved my life when I was so isolated in Sonora... And then, somehow, by some wonderful bit of grace, the photography as art in a whole different way - namely digital post processing AND throwing out all the "rules" and doing my own thing - arriving at my door; then the sweet, sweet frustration and finally the miracle of mastering the simplest of Photoshop programs, learning how to layer and adjust and texturize... then finally, finally, when I got one day to just photograph what I love, and my personal creative style was born. 

I love my art... and first and foremost, I create because there is a deep burning desire to do so. My sister tells me that when she looks at my shop online, what she feels when she sees my images is a sense of peace.  One friend has seven, seven of my photos now in her bedroom, another just bought three for her meditation space. Wow. Such high praise, all of it. I love having the shop because it gives me a wonderful outlet for the work. But mostly, mostly what I'm grateful for, even overwhelmed at times by, is that something so beautiful, and so sustaining was born from the darkest of nights, was planted, nurtured, and sprang to life from the bleakest of abysses. And not just my art, of course, but my whole life... where I sit now, my home, my journey, my favorite friend/sister on the spiritual path, the sweetest cat companion ever, my relative peace of mind... none of it, not one piece of it can be seen as arriving separately from those most challenging of years. 

The photo above was taken at Make (Maw-kay) Horse Beach, one of my favorite destinations on Moloka'i, beautiful, most always deserted, and where the final (love) scene from Pirates of the Caribbean III was filmed. 

And p.s., I think the original photo is pretty exquisite in itself... the way the big, beautifully colored surf rolls so gracefully in and spreads like yards of beautiful lace on the sand... I could go for either one, but I do so love the deep painterly mood in the after photo. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I love trees. Especially oak, redwood, birch, and this amazing stand of I-don't-know-what-kind-they-are trees in Golden Gardens Park in Seattle. It bothers me that I don't know what these trees are, their name, and I just spent half an hour on the internet trying to find out. So okay, I don't know their name but here's what I do know: Every time I went to visit my daughter during the two years she lived near Seattle I headed west, across Lake Washington, all the way across the bustling city to Puget Sound, and this lovely park, and once there stood mesmerized by them, just right there, growing up out of the sandy beach, next to the water. Tall, commanding, beautiful. In every season I saw them, bare, just leafing, in full leaf, in their fall outfits. If I were to visit Seattle today, the first thing I would do would be to get to this park and partake of these trees. It matters not that I don't know their actual name... to me what they are is glorious, magical, sacred even, and they move something in me.

I read recently that when we name things, we take something away from our experience of them. No, not just something, we actually alter our direct experience; when we name things, we no longer see them innocently, or as the miracle that they are, or their very essence. We miss the marvel of birds actually flying, the wonder of waves curling in on themselves as they meet land, how silent and invisible wind is, the phenomenon of a cat's purr, what we feel when we gaze into the eyes of another...

Once I sat with a spiritual teacher who said to me, "Without all of your labels, who are you?" My mind went completely blank. Who was I, he was asking, without all of my names, who was I beyond Debby, woman, wife (well back then anyway), mom, daughter, friend, sister, teacher, seeker, writer, volunteer, wounded, confused, and insecure one? I was silent for what felt like an eternity, my mind totally befuddled, and then told him simply that I had absolutely no idea...  To which he smiled.

This morning I hugged a tree. That's what I set out to write about before I got sidetracked. I wanted to write about what a strange experience it was; how it felt at once completely awkward and yet amazingly natural and wonderful. How intimate it was; how afraid I was that someone would see me. How relaxed I became when I felt our warm bodies touch, how it felt like home, that tears welled up.

Sometimes when I walk in the mornings, I just call everything god (you'd have to know me well to know what an incredible thing this is...). But as Shakespeare's Juliet said,

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

Exactly. And while I still don't know who I am apart from my names, any more than I know who/what that beautiful, wild, gnarled oak tree was that I hugged this morning, the years between then and now have brought some clarity, some parting of the veils, some new experiencing of what/who it is that actually lives here in this body... and oh my goodness, holy shit! whatever that is, it's exactly the same that lives in the tree, the bird, the dolphin, my cat, every person; in the air, the sun sparkling off the ocean, the night stars, every part of life, pre-name, pre-language, that thing, that whatever it is (NO NAME!) that animates, that gives life, that lights up, that IS.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spiritual Practice

"Sometimes we lay our heads sideways on the water to look up at the skies and just gaze... ... The night sky and the sunrise and sunset in particular provide doorways for you to enter the greater realms of your being...  We know that the portals of the sky are opening. For that reason, and for their sheer beauty, we like to gaze up and indulge in a state of remembrance."
~The Dolphins, from The Dolphin Letters by Muriel Lindsay

Tonight I did something I've been intending to do for months... I turned off the TV, closed the computer, put down my novel, and went outside for the sunset. I took a five-minute drive from my house, up to the top of a hill (where new construction that I have loudly complained about brought roads and vistas previously not available) and stood watching as the earth silently turned just enough for day to meet twilight and burst into flames.

Ever since I read that bears, among other animals, stop what they are doing and turn toward the setting sun, I knew that I wanted to make this a part of my day... no, not just a part of my day, but a part of my spiritual practice. To consciously observe the sunrise and the sunsets; to be more in tune with nature; to go out after dark and commune with the stars. I do these things on vacation, especially if I am in a beautiful locale, near a beach, in the mountains... but why not as a part of my every day life?

Living alone after decades not alone, evenings are sometimes challenging. Not in a big way, (well, sometimes in fall or winter in a bigger way...) but if my aloneness wants to make itself known, it is always in the hours after dinner. And so, just in case, I make sure I have plenty of movies to fill the time; tv shows to fall into; work to do on the computer.. Things that distract me, and I realize, that take me away from myself. No wonder I feel alone. Tonight, when I got back home after the sunset, after time consciously with myself with nature, I found to my surprise that the last thing that I wanted was to turn on noise. I felt at home within myself. I sat on my patio, watched the sky turn from light gray to darker gray, listened to the water in the fountain, felt the breeze on my face, spied the first star... and it was enough... so much more than enough in fact. Just me and myself, the earth, air, sky, water. Peaceful, soothing, beautiful.