February 7, 2017. Still weeks till Spring’s official arrival. But given three definitive signs arriving in the span of mere hours, I am celebrating the distinct possibility that hard freezes are behind us.
The image below is a very startled young possum cowering on a shelf beneath the pet feeder after the Labrador and I discovered him – crouched in the food bowl munching happily, no doubt proud of his discovery of “easy” feeding – a perspective shattered by barking, lunging dog and camera flashes in the face. (Too dark to see the visiting cat but I know well the source of those howls. The robins didn’t stick around to pose.)
December 21, 2016. Solstice dawned clear and sunny, a welcome followup to our first freeze a couple nights ag0, repeated, repeated – now history except for the abundance of plants turning into mush piles. The Brugmansia was trying to bloom another round. For a week prior to the freeze I gave it daily encouragement (with a hint of hurry up!) This morning I stood transfixed by rising sunlight beaming through the still-green wilted leaves and the still-yellow tubular buds – a different sort of beauty, a different sort of strength holding my attention – model for stepping into a radical change of seasons. Many dire circumstances could derail its Spring emergence, but Brugmansia isn’t burdened with worst-case scenarios. (Oh, for such clarity of being.)
August 16, 2016. More reflections from recent Gathering Of Circles (more at Gathering Of Circles on FaceBook).
In 2003, my first experience of GOC included a strong call to create a labyrinth! Located in the Lincoln National Forest, the protocol is “leave nothing, take only pictures”. My challenge was to find a weather-proof, terrain-adaptable portable labyrinth. Back home, gears turning, I improvised a “ribbons” labyrinth that fit into a duffel bag, thus fit into limited car space for transport. Ribbons are harness material from an equine supply – extremely durable for years of use.
In 2004, laying the labyrinth put me down on my knees alone on Mother Earth, for eight hours. Phenomenal experience. Subsequent years, the laying went a little faster, but always a ritual of focus and endurance. Time I savor still.
But I got older, less flexible, and had to stop laying the labyrinth. I missed it. Others missed it. And last year, I agreed to pass the materials to younger hands. This year Chris and Christine spread the ribbons, created the familiar path in a new location – beginning anew. My first walk was soon after sunrise, new light shimmering, ribbons inviting!
Clearing the clutter on my desk I found a pencil scratched poem from a morning I apparently recognized as worth remembering. When better than now? I feel blessed to spot the poem about the wren I never did see.
I’ve paired this with a photo taken a different morning, also worth of re-savoring. The tree stands in the center of the Seton NW labyrinth, here in Austin.
Two reflections of morning joy – oh, to be able to carry a tune like that wren! I’d be singing along …
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July 13, 2015. Even though I am retired, my daily patterns fluctuate with those of my employed partner – a high school teacher. Student perspectives on summer freedom are amplified big time by teachers! And I echo them, noting each summer the subtle and not-so-subtle shifts in both outer and inner landscapes – his and mine. Stress drops, and amazing pleasures seem to turn up – as though they’d been waiting for us to notice. I attribute my increased alertness to leisurely waking after sunlight creeps into the bedroom: the best of summer’s gifts!