I have a ritual upon returning home from my travels. The first morning back, I take the trail out my house, up the hillside, up another steep single track, until I reach a rocky outcrop that is for me an altar. I pray there, to the trees, sky, bay, mountain. I have planted acorns as wishes and buried loved pets close by. It’s my special place, and now I am trying to open my heart to it. And struggling, a little.Read More
A silence ensues. It has such a quality and presence it seems to shimmer like the light from the windows of the Old Chapel where the session is being held. This is what Rumi's poem is talking about, I say, breaking the silence. Earlier I'd read aloud his much-quoted poem:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense.Read More
A gopher snake will also shake its tail, confusing predators into thinking it is a rattlesnake. In dry grass this makes them sound eerily like a rattler. When Bruce and I came across a four foot gopher that Easter morning, the sound it made on the gravel trail stopped us in our tracks.Read More
I feel myself differently when I'm surrounded by noise and crowds. I am more defended, less open, less aware, and somehow less part of everything around me. So I try and make time for silence. I walk alone or get up early and sip coffee and let my imagination lope around in the emptiness and hush.Read More
Together, we've confronted grizzlies and mountain lions, stood in awe of bristlecone pines and bobcat, gazed into the amber eyes of coyote, and devoured thick sandwiches to the hum of bees in meadows of sun-warmed grass. We have skinny-dipped in the skin-biting cold of glacial lakes, snowshoed moonlit mountains and skied through forests of giant sequoias. We have felt the ecstasy of lying on our backs watching the northern lights swirl green and purple above our heads, the heat from the day still warming the earth, our hands touching.Read More