A couple of days ago, I noticed that a reader had liked one of my posts from February. Now that’s a great thing because it wasn’t one of the stories that was “pinned” to my home page then. Generally speaking, our older posts drift backward in time and out of the spotlight as we write new ones. So the reader had to take a little time to hunt this one down. Or maybe they just stumbled upon it. Either way, I was happy they found it.
And then I noticed that this particular piece, Coffee, had one of the highest number of likes of all of my posts.
Continue reading Shuffled – “Here’s Looking at You Kid”
Yerba Mansa or the Bear Root
The past few years have held many traumas. Many disintegrations. Many challenges.
A number of failures.
Continue reading Anemopsis Californica
My shadow was short this morning.
I had hit the trail late and the sun was close to being directly overhead.
I should have started earlier, much earlier, because it was already 90 degrees and with 70 percent + humidity, it’s stifling out here. The air is heavy, thick, hard to breathe. Kind of like you’re underwater, but it’s hot water.
More like thick steam.
Continue reading Dragonflies and Catalpas
Photo: Part of the Yellowstone River as it winds its way through Hayden Valley.
Yesterday, a friend took me out to a conservation area I hadn’t visited before. It was a beautiful Spring day as we drove, and then hiked, deeper and deeper into the woodlands. We emerged from the Midwest Jungle upon a fifteen, or so, acre lake.
As we strolled about, I noticed this wildflower. It was in a small cluster of like flowers, but this small grouping was the only one of its kind along the shore.
I haven’t positively identified yet, but it looked pretty close to a flower called the Great WaterLeaf. And I thought, I like that name, even if it’s not this plant because I see so many wildflowers have been given a name with the first word being “Common.” Like Common Milkweed or Common Dandelion or Common Clover. And I don’t regard any part of Nature as being “Common.”
So whether or not this flower is the Great WaterLeaf, I find it to be “Great.”
Living the in the mundane is definitely a death sentence.
Photo: Hiking in the mountains in the borderlands.
I was out of breath as I reached the top of the bluff. But it was worth the hike. I now had a falcon’s-eye view out over the South Fork of the Snake River. Absolutely beautiful.
The sprawling flood plain to the East was fully plowed and planted. Potatoes, wheat, and alfalfa. And maybe a few specialty crops lay low in the distance. Broccoli, cauliflower, rhubarb, and cabbage. Casting different hues of green. Forest green to fern, to mantis, to dark pastel, to castelton.
Continue reading Serpents and Milkweeds
The wind picked up as I hit the fourth mile mark. The warm breeze wrapped around my face and lifted upward and to the East.
It had been a cool fifty degrees when I started my trek an hour and a half earlier, but once the sun crested thirty degrees above the horizon the temperature had been in a steady climb and was fueling the wind gusts that reminded you that the invisible vapor we breath is a powerful force. One not to misjudge. It is tornado season after all.
Continue reading The Star Beneath Our Feet
Well, I’ve slowed down a little on my writing. Time is a proportionate thing. Right now I’m in training. Training for my next adventure.
So as training time increases, time for everything decreases.
But since I’m out and about as part of my training, and since it’s Spring, it’s time for wildflowers and flowering trees. I guess I’ll stick with the Photo Journal until the right combination of forces conspires to persuade me to tell another story.
Photo: Chicory – an amazing plant. You can use its roots as a coffee substitute. And now for the close-up of the close-up . . . Hope you like the color Blue.
It’s that time of year. The flowering trees have started to bloom. It usually begins with Wild Cherry and Plumb. Then come the Redbuds and Magnolias. Then Dogwoods, Catalpas, Buckeyes, and Mimosas.
There are a lot of trees in my area with small, white flowers. Probably too many to know all of them. But the other day, when I was out on the trail, I spied this little beauty laying in the grass. It only took a second to realize that it wasn’t a ground flower. There was an entire blanket of these blooms lying under a tree. The Hawthorn Tree.
This was the first time I took a close look at this particular blossom. And it was quite a gift for the day 🙂
The center sort of looks like a creature with unfolding tentacles. Perhaps a Sea Anemone. Take in its beauty and use your imagination. What do you see?
Yesterday, my post was about the need to get back out into Nature to promote both our physical and mental health. What constituted the path to true happiness. The outward journey to inner healing.
So I felt the need to balance that today with this quote about the inward journey. This is the toughest journey of all. And it’s something we often try to avoid. It can be a scary trek, but it’s also the most rewarding. Making contact with our spiritual selves. Without all of the distractions from the external world.
The quote is spot on. Sometimes people lose themselves. They become automatons. Traversing the same trails every day. Speaking in clichés. Allowing platitudes to fill the mind. Avoiding self-examination.
A little time spent in quiet meditation every day is a step to getting back in touch with our real selves. Unplug from the technological world. Disconnect from the external illusion and find your authentic soul.
Photo: I chose this pic because this isolated cabin in the Ozark mountains is a good analogy to our inner selves. Yes, in the material world it’s an external physical structure, but it can symbolically serve to represent our inner consciousness. Our soul. Our particle of awareness. Our gift from the Source.
It is surrounded by a vast external world of distraction and illusion where we often flee.
Come home and relax for a spell. Sit by the fireplace. Reconnect with your spiritual self. Expand your consciousness.
I actually stayed in this little cabin a few years back. It was a great place to get back to Nature. Away from the frenetic pace of modernity. And away from our self-generated hubris. Not only a place to heal in the outdoors, but a place to make that inward journey in peace and solitude.
I’ve been doing a lot of stumbling lately.
I really like that word. Its main definition is about walking in an unsteady manner, being clumsy, to almost fall, or to make an error. Blunder. But I like the other definition, that of unexpectantly coming upon something – like truth.
Now that’s no error. That’s magic.
Continue reading Call of the Wild*
I like this quote because it truly cuts to the heart of it. We can not find happiness in the external world, or through ownership of material possessions. True happiness is an internal state of mind and the mind can’t find its way there if it is living in the past, or focused on the future, or by thinking that something or someone else outside ourselves will somehow deliver it to us. In a pretty package with a bow on top.
It can only be found in the moment with love and through grace in actually living.
I must say for me, travel, being in motion, taking in the real world around me with all of my senses, helps me to live in that moment of spiritual experience. Just like the moment of this sunset 🙂