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Author Archive

Spring Forward, Fall Back

It is that time of year when we adjust our clocks.  Spring Forward, Fall Back is a great way for me to orient myself regarding where the precious extra hour is supposed to go.

Daylight Saving Time was designed to give folks extra evening summer hours so they could have some fun after work, beneficial to retailers, but not so for farmers.  The idea of saving time got support in the early days of electric consumption.  People would have extra hours of sunlight and not have to turn on indoor lighting and in doing so stress  early delivery systems.

However, even though DST was touted and talked about for a few years, it was not until Germany enacted a plan in 1916 to save on coal consumption.  DST was adopted by the United States two years later in 1918.

My computer clock adjusted itself several days ago, but the ritual of changing the clocks  is pretty much done by hand, one-at-a-time.

I get the concept, I experience it’s effect.  But twice a year I marvel and giggle that we mortals actually think we can literally save time.  I know that in the process many of us lose sleep, and during the adjustment period we are either running early or running late.  And, to add to the confusion there is EST, MST and PST. 

I am an early-bird,  I like light in the morning.  However with ageing I am suffering ‘night-blindness’  when I drive, so I also like the later evenings.  Hmmmmm, life is indeed about compromise.

A Maxfield Parrish Sunset

Such an incredible day.  The more I allowed yesterday to unfold, the better it got.  Beginning with coffee and crossword, both excellent and fulfilling, then onto client consultations; very uplifting. 

Entering my final preparations for the Altar & Altar Making class that I am presenting this weekend ( and again on November 20), I am feeling really good.  I love teaching and this is going to be a fabulous class.

Earlier in the morning I made a quick dash to ‘Andy’s’, the local Farm Market Stand, and scored some artichokes at an awesome price.  The afternoon was filled with another wonderful client connection; a great conversation with Mark Cummings-Rogers and preparing a dinner including those artichokes.

Squab, rice and an artichoke recipe from a beautiful Italian Vegetarian Cookbook gifted me by my dear friend Elizabeth right before her move to Mt. Shasta.  Mm-m-m-m.  So, the recipe called for a cup and a third of white wine.  H-m-m-m-m.  My sister sent me two bottles of Chardonnay made to her specs by Amity in Oregon.  I was saving one for my upcoming Birthday and one for Thanksgiving.  Oh well!

The day became a fabulous ‘unbirthday’.  As I sat down to begin my feast I looked out the window.  The apple trees were bathed in a subtle, gorgeous golden hue.  I turned off all the interior lights, marvelling at the cloak of gold that surrounded me.

With excitement welling I moved quickly outdoors.  As I faced west, the sunset swallowed me whole.  Maxfield Parrish colors splashed across the heavens, taking my breath with them.

With an Oregon-made Chardonnay in hand (that is an unqualified match for this years Sonoma County Harvest Gold winners), I toasted my Unbirthday, giving  thanks to the Creator for all my blessings.

Morning Sky

In the wee early hour,  looking heavenward, my breath catches as I view the crisp, starry morning sky.  It is a perspective; a stunningly visual affirmation of how small I am in the greater scheme of things.

Absorbed in the starry spectacle, I wondered what the view will be from my new home.  Although still a rural location, I will be closer to city lights.  And what about the other views that have become so familiar?  I know what I am leaving; I don’t  know what I am moving toward.

I like it very much; the look and feel of my new home.   It is a sweet little place.  Perfect for me as I begin the twilight journey of my life.  But it will be different.  I will adapt to the change;  I will wonder at my new vision of the early morning sky.

It will be different.

 

 

World Series Winners

I live in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.  How exciting that the Giants have won the World Series!   I didn’t think they had a chance. 

I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan, and I was sorely disappointed when MLB moved to the west coast and SF got the Giants.  I remained an avid Dodger fan for a few years until the likes of the Say-Hey kid and his cohorts won me over.  Then came game after game and year after year of almost.  Almost winning that game where they had a huge lead… almost winning the World Series.

Today I tip my hat not only to the ‘gang of misfit winners’ but readily to the generations of fans who believed.  Who took their children and their grandchildren to see the Giants play baseball year in and year out;  the faithful fans; the ones who believed.  They richly deserve to celebrate their Giants.

And, I am reminded that faith has it’s rewards.

Literature That Lingers

I recently finished reading The Wisdom of the Donkeys by Andy Merrifield (2010).  It is not the kind of reading that one dashes through, rather like an exquisite truffle and a glass of fine wine, it is to be slowly savored.

A beautifully crafted work that leaves me wanting to have a donkey as a pet, and if not, then I want to befriend a donkey somewhere close by and visit regularly.

With a search for slowness and tranquility in mind, Andy Merrifield set out on a journey of the soul with Gribouille, a friend’s donkey, to walk for days amid the ruins and spectacular vistas of Haute-Auvergne in southern France.  While Merrifield contemplates literature, science, truth, and beauty, Gribouille surprises him with his subtle wisdom, reminding him time and again that enlightenment is all around us if we but seek it.  With a forward by acclaimed writer Elizabet Marshall Thomas, The Wisdom of the Donkeys  reminds us that observing, being mindful, and living in the moment are essential to leading a fulfilled life.”   This excerpt is from the back cover, and expresses very well how I feel about this book.

I invite you to into the journey with Merrifield and Gribouille.

The Even Day

The everyday routine is back after the odd-one-day hiatus; domestic chores, paper-work, grocery shopping, plant-watering, cat-caring, ironing (yes, I still iron) and raking leaves day.

But there is something I noticed yesterday that my odd and even days have in common:  The joy I feel experiencing  the life around me. 

The chickadees are migrating.   I love watching as many as ten at a time of the sharply marked little birds taking turns snatching seeds in a flurry of feathered feeding.  The red-tail hawks are back in the hood; and the intense spicy,  outdoor smell is intoxicating to me.  

The beauty of the clouds and the majesty of the surrounding hills;  fir-tree tops  peeking through the sensuous mist that engulfs them, that bathes them;  vineyards turning gold, stunning even in the cloudy light; early blooming Christmas Cactus.

And again, I give thanks for the cornucopia of abundance that dances and weaves itself  throughout the tapestry of my life!

The Odd Day

Yesterday was one of those odd days for me.  No appointments,  car in the shop, no pressing chores.  Plenty to do, but….

What I know about myself and the odd day is that when it comes along it shines a spotlight on my productivity and/or lack of same.  I did get things done yesterday.  But it seems when my schedule opens spontaneously, I get out of my structured rhythm.  It is not about what I do, it is about what I don’t do. 

Many years ago a woman commented to me that she was a much better housekeeper when she was working.  Chores had to be done on a schedule or you would spend your days off cleaning and catching up.  At first it didn’t make too much sense to me, but as the years passed I finally get it.

So, if you missed my blog yesterday, you now know why.  There wasn’t one. Blogging  went completely out of my mind, not returning til much later in the evening.

I am not getting on my own case, just entertaining my observing self and the insights provided.  Don’t know if I am going to do anything to change the odd day; don’t know if I want to. 

Odd days are kinda cool, like little mini-vacations. Enjoy one if it comes your way.

Fall

After a sound drenching ( 4 inches of rain in 24 hours) this past weekend, I find myself deeply breathing in the spicy smells of Fall;  rich, scintillating and earthy.  It is a smell that surprises me every year with its unpredictable appearance, and its thoroughly delightful and engrossing spell.

It will soon be Halloween and then Thanksgiving and their associated smells are already wafting through my consciousness.  And again, amidst the frenetic pace of  these times, I am reminded of  the simple elegance of  Fall and the many gifts of  abundance that surround me.

Potlatch

The Potlatch ceremony originated among the Indians of the Pacific Northwest.  Potlatch literally means, ‘to give away’ or ‘a gift’.   Usually a winter festival, one tribe would host another and the ‘gifts’ exchanged were blankets, food, dances and songs.  The potlatch is considered a redistribution of wealth.  I believe that, for the most part, it was a way to ensure survival for all during the winter months.  The potlatch was banned by Canada in the late 1800’s and by the US in the early 1900’s.

I am reminded of this tradition because I recently was gifted by a friend with some awesome hand-me-down clothing.  We dispose so much of  our wealth into landfills when there are so many ways to potlatch.  Passing on unwanted, and unused items to family, friends or the community at large is a wonderful way to recycle.

Although many people attach a emotional stigma to this kind of giving, it is a sensible and easy way to spread wealth.  So, next time you are cleaning out your closets, the garage, the pantry, think about doing some personal potlatching.

The Weasel

At the beginning of  Retreat Weekend each attendee picks a Medicine Card and the animal represented is their totem animal for the duration of the Retreat, (and beyond , if one wishes to work with the energy).

This year I choose the Weasel.  I was surprised as I usually chose a hawk, a fox, a panther, but never a Weasel or member of the mustelid family. However, when I read about Weasel in Ted Andrews fine work, Animal-Speak, I was duly impressed by how much I resonated with the book’s description.  I laughed out loud when I read, “Are you missing the obvious?”

I see complexities with astounding brilliance…but the obvious continually eludes me.  I am thankful for family and friends who unfailingly continue to direct my attention to the obvious. 

Animal totems can be very useful to us for the insight they provide into our own nature.  In many cultures the animal totem can be one of the most common forms of spirit guides. 

I gained a great insight into some aspects of my own nature through the weasel.  I invite you to look into the animal totem in your life.  It will be the animal you feel closely associated with during your life.