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Archive for the ‘soul’ Category

Saturday is a day to unwind

Saturday is a day for unwinding,
Whether or not the sun in shining,
Whether or not the birds are singing
(which they are, by the way).

All your stress spins off into the grass

Let your stress spin off on the grass,
Fertilizing green sprouts while weeding your mind.

Notice that moment when time slows enough
for your soul to catch up
and sing in slow motion.

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Before I could welcome the New Year
I had goodbyes to say
and thank yous to pray,
and rare sunshine showed up to take notice.

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Goodbye was due to my old friend Doug Fir,
whose last wish was I dance on his growth rings.
His rings tallied up drought and the raining disasters
that helped him grow tall and yet taller.

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Before my goodbyes my knees buckled and bent.
Long skinny shadows suggested forgiveness I seek
for too many days through too many years
tucked under a desk, life ignoring.

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As penance and promise when I welcome the New Year,
I will measure the width of your growth rings, Doug Fir.
I will witness your years with the breadth of a hug
that tugs my heart wide, wide, wide open.

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Take a deep breath now, I said to myself,
and I shifted my sorrow to solace.
Will you dance with me now, Mr. New Year? I asked.
Will you honor my friend
who is gone?

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Yes I will.
Who will lead?

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We’ll take turns.
You go first.
Spring leads.
Summer follows.

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But it’s winter.

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As I welcome the New Year
I will dance in the darkness
deep down in my heart
I will welcome the shade
and the cold.

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Then let’s dance in the sunlight
that shines on us now
even though the air
is still frosty.

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Bring me lightDSC_0901

Bring me joy
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Bring friendship
DSC_0899Bring blue sky

Help me ring in the New Year with gladness.

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Make me silly
Make me strong
Make me giddy

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Make me wrong
to sit too long at my desk without playing.

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Help me laugh

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Help me sing
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Help me flap my strong wingsDSC_0979

Help me land on my feet DSC_0950

Please stand with me each day,
Mr. New Year.

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May I count my own growth rings
this year as I change.

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May I remember to bow
and say thank you.

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May I take time to dance
and play with my friends.

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And sing wondrous songs with my soul.*

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Thanks for dancing with me, Mr. New Year!
~ You’re welcome! ~

*Big thanks to my friend Alan Claassen for permission to put his wondrous song in this video:

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00 -finding pinecones-

Two Sunday mornings ago when the rain finally stopped, I ventured outside. Fallen branches greeted me, a bit embarrassed to be on the grass.

That’s because three Tuesdays ago a fierce Westerly Wind roared over the water, ripped past our town, raged up the hill, right through and around MacMurtree the tree. Try as Mac might to be flexible, the Wind won the wrestle, ripping off branches that crashed to the ground.

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And nearby those branches, all over the yard, I found pinecones. Knocked loose from their limbs, still tightly coiled and sealed in sweet sap.

I felt sorrow to see them sprawled on the lawn because I remember last summer, how I sat on my picnic blanket, witnessing dainty gold-dusted fairy seeds fluttering free.

I herded the pinecones into a pile. They didn’t know what to do next, stunned anxious at their unexpected separation.

“How are we supposed to seed forests?” they cried, rolling around on the ground in dismay. “We’re supposed to stay on our limbs and open up slowly. We’re not ready for this!!”

“I don’t know,” I replied, feeling their angst.“Come up on the porch. Come sit with me and we’ll figure it out.”

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While they gathered themselves and their thoughts, I ran inside and brought back a book. I thought they could use some encouraging words.

Pinecones - 1

“I know you’re not where you thought you should be. That means your Plans must become entirely new. You’re gonna need Courage for that!”

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The pinecones lined up to listen, and we all wondered what words might spill forth from the pages to bolster their spirits.

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I fluttered pages at random to see what the old book hoped these friends might find out. A bird pulled up a fencepost to listen.

Pinecones - 7 bird

“Give us, O give us, the person who sings at her work. I found words by Thomas Carlyle. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst marching to music.”

The bird whistled Yes!

“What song might you hear in your heart?” I asked the pinecones.

“Lollipop, lollipop!” one pinecone piped up after the briefest of pause.

“We are the Champions my friends” sang another with lyrics.

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After the singing slowed down I read further down on the page.

“No pinecone is born into this world, whose work is not born with her.

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“Like the tree seeds within me!” said this pinecone who then sat up straighter.

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I sat up straighter, too, realizing that Book’s favorite words in her pages weren’t all that these pinecones needed to know.

“Do any of you remember the wonder of where you come from?” I asked the dear lovely tree seeds.

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“We come from our mother, MacMurtree, a Deodar Cedar. She’s at least a century old, probably more,” said the eldest pinecone.

“We each belong to the Deodar family. In Sanskrit that’s devadāru, which means wood of the Gods.”

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“Why that means me! Daughter of the tree gods. Oh my! I better get up!” this one said out loud to herself.

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“Imagine the many trees waiting inside us!” said that one out loud.“There must be a way to get our Possibilities into the world.”

“I have an idea,” I said.“I have friends all over the planet. What if I put you each in a box and ask the Mail to take you someplace new? That will be like the Wind carrying your seeds, except this time you get to go along and see where they land. You’ll meet the most amazing people!”

“You can ask them to bring me inside where it’s warm,” said one pinecone.

“And put me on a table by a window so I can see where I am,” said another.

“I would enjoy spending the holidays with a family,” added that one.

“And,” I said,“as their fireplaces heat up their homes, your wings will unwind. And your fairy seeds will unfold from inside. Just like they would have next summer if you had stayed here.”

Their excitement was mounting as plans started to form.

“And perhaps, just perhaps,” I suggested, “they will know a good place with soil and sunshine and some magic. And on some sunny day, when a soft breeze is blowing, they’ll toss your seeds into the air and away they will float, just as they should. Just as they would have, but somewhere exotic and fun. It’s a bit avante garde, I suppose.

“How about it?”

Well, it took us a week to figure it out. We gathered up boxes. I found my address book. And seven brave pinecones volunteered for adventure.

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Into boxes they jumped. Tucked in with some branches. And a note with instructions.  P.S. Watch out for the sap, we said.

Not everyone wanted to travel. And that is just fine. One for sure is staying with me. Another one asked to be strapped by the birdhouse so she can try spreading her wings in the spring.

And this group, well they’re having fun talking. So they’re hanging out on the porch for a little while longer. They don’t mind the rain.

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Check your mailbox!!

Here’s the wordless musical version:

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Stacking my thoughts

I made Monday a Sunday.
Slept in. Dawdled. Worked only one hour.

Then I went to the beach by myself plus my soul and my snapshot machine. And beach blanket.

High tide was on its way in. So much for exploring.

My self said lets sit. No need to explore. We can see what we see from this spot on the rocks.

She was right. Our eyesight grew sharper with a short-sighted focus. What could we see in the sand and the gravel and driftwood from here? A lot it turns out.

Like flat rocks to stack, like thoughts on a shelf.

And blue mussel halves of size large and medium. Then lo and behold, a super small two-halves still-intact whole!

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Add a half ancient shell with hole for a string to add to my collection back home, then a super small shell of the same kind, sans string hole.

Clear sandblasted glass then a green shard.

My eyes were having so much fun noticing, I mostly took pics with my mind.

I noticed how high tide comes in with so much stuff in the swells. It matches the muck in my mind that’s needing releasing.

The waves serenaded. The sun played hide and seek. The sand bugs jumped up and down in delight or delirium; it was hard to know what they meant in their popcorn-like frenzy.

Time slowed. Time passed. Sea slowed and did a 180 sans fanfare.

By the time dinner called I noticed the waves were clear of all stuff. So was my mind.

On the beach blanket

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[Please enjoy our second video story and photos!]

I walked down to the meadow on Saint Patrick’s Day to visit my friend, Mr. Gnome. The daffodil sisters were shouting with their hyacinth smell for me to come over. They had something to say.

I stood on a log to get closer. The eldest leaned down. I peered into her face, and inhaled as big as I could.

“Oh my gosh, you smell divine!”

I heard them whisper

“Why, thank you,” she said, on behalf of the whole clump of girls. And they giggled and waved with delight.

“The slugs have been bugging us,” the eldest told me. “Their breath is so bad. Can you help?”

“I’m not at all sure,” I replied. “What can I do? They live here, too.”

“Just look at these holes in our petals!” she cried.

“You may look bedraggled,” I said, “But that’s what comes from a full season of growth. You’re living your life. You’re feeding the slugs. You’re perfuming the air with your heavenly notes. You’re lovely narcissus!”

Then I added, “You’ve made this meadow a sight to behold. I’m beholden to you and your crew.

“And I know for a fact, you’ve blessed and impressed more than me, the slugs and the bees. We’re so lucky you live here. I don’t know what to do, but let’s ask Mr. Gnome.”

I knew with his spidey-sense ears that he’d heard the whole conversation.

Mr. Gnome simply whispered, “I’ll have a talk with the slugs.”

We met in the garden

P.S. If you missed the last story, it had a video, too.

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This morning’s glorious blossoms called for a song.
And a serenade.

So we invited Izzy’s spirit to our backyard
and invited him to play for us
and his namesake plum tree.

Apologies for the birds, the bees and the Cessna
for their fly-by’s in hopes of being seen.

Every blossom on the tree cheered when Izzy was done.
It really is a wonderful world!

 

 

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My shadow snuck up on me

I was just standing there
enjoying the view
breathing in the salt air
when I felt a presence behind me
breathing out.

I froze for a second
afraid of what I might find.

I turned suddenly

I spun around
and said “Ha!”
as if to surprise the intruder.
And I saw it was me.
“Ha!” my shadow said back
unsurprised
and happy to see me
face to face.

Hello old friend

Hello, old friend
she said to me
and I said to her
in the same breath.

Shall we dance?

Shall we dance?

She whistled a tune
while we danced a jig
and laughed when
I tripped over my toes
and almost fell into the tide.

Let's go explore

Oh, I’ve missed you!
Where have you been?

Here. As always.
You forget to listen
for my whispers,
she said without hurt.
Life gets loud, doesn’t it?
she said with compassion.

And then, to change the subject
and get back to some fun,
she said,
Let’s go on an adventure…

shadowcorner-sq

As we peered round the corner
seeing where to go next
we drew close enough to swap secrets.
Nearly one as shadow and light
but not quite.

I love sunny days.

Last dance

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Blue doors have been my thing for a very long time. I’ve always claimed blue as my favorite color, sometimes periwinkle, sometimes cornflower. But blue. I’ve never had a blue door though I’ve painted blue walls.

I have a blue door in the alpine meadow of wildflowers where I go when I meditate really deep. It stands there, no walls, in the middle of the meadow, as if I’m supposed to go through.

But I couldn’t. I would sit down with my back against the door. I heard a laughing invitation to just walk around the side, that I didn’t have to go through. But I couldn’t. I was stumped.

Another time, not long ago, I landed in my meadow out of the blue. I opened the door. Beyond it was a dark midnight sky full of stars. I stepped through and soared through the stars for a bit, tethered to the doorway by a silver cord. I didn’t stay long.

A few weeks ago, I finally stepped all the way through, not just that door but a whole series of doors. I erased some hard parts of the past, walked down paths now easier to see and to choose. And I heard, “Trust and believe. Expect miracles.”

I didn’t expect what happened the very next day. I saw my blue door, live and in person, around the bend in an old country road, in front of a cottage for sale, with a tree swing out front. I screeched the car to a halt and pointed. “Look! A Blue Door!”  We sat there in awe. Then we got out of the car.

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bluedoor-opening600This blue door beckoned. It seemed to lead to a land of bliss and enchanted forests and talking trees and one friendly sit-on-your-shoe kind of squirrel. The cottage holds a piano, built-in bookshelves, and wrap-around windows with a view to the sea. Only a cane in the corner would have made it feel like our own Miracle on 34th Street. It seemed to say, here is your doorway to heaven. You’re welcome. Come in.

So the question is whether this cottage for sale, this land of bliss, this tree swing, this door, this meadow with room for a horse and some chickens, is supposed to be ours.  It sure feels like a soul sign. It sure feels like a miracle.

I do know, at the least, that this real-life blue door is a sign from my soul to pay attention to miracles. To pay attention to gifts that come out of the blue. To open the door and walk through, with courage not fear. With hope, not with doubt. With wonder and more wonder and more wonder yet, and some patience to wait for the answer to “I wonder what this all means?”

I don’t know the answer. Not yet. We’re doing some work called Logistics and Research. That hard human work that makes miracles happen for real. Or at least invites the result. Accepting the invitation to a miracle takes as much courage and work as you can muster, it seems.

And I’m waiting to see if the sign was a “Yes, this is your home.” Or if it means something else. Trust and believe can mean anything. But I do believe in blue doors. And I believe that miracles might have a different answer than the one I first thought of. I don’t know the answer. Not yet. I just hope I am asking all the right questions so the right answer will come when it’s time.

Trust and believe.

Fingers crossed.

 

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Tuesday night felt like one of the last
I could get to the beach before the sun said goodnight.

Shorter days, longer nights shouldn’t make me so sad.
It’s part of the plan. Those seasons.

High tide greeted me when I arrived.
The pink gold glow would have pleased Van Gogh.

high tide greeted me

I climbed out on a log to watch two ducks
the waves,
and the sunset.

silly ducks

The same couple of ducks that nipped at my ankles
last Friday, protecting their puddle on the path.
Silly ducks.

A labrador jumped on the sand and scared the ducks into the tide.
Silly oblivious dog. Ducks remained unamused.

soaking up the sun

I stood to salute the October sky.

I wished I could swim, float, dance on the sea.
Instead I do-si-do’d with the tide.

I do-si-do'd with the tide

As the sun sank over the edge
I offered to return some green to the sea.
Emeralds woven into a scarf for the mermaids.

Then the sun kissed my head as it left for the day.

the sun kissed my head

 I stepped back on the path, not wanting to leave.
Lingering like the light, I stayed one minute more,
saluting the pink as it finished painting the sky.

Pink in the sky, silhouettte

Good night, Puget Sound.
Thank you, high tide.

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 The other day I was down at the beach at low tide.

I’d been talking to seaweed and jellyfish
When I saw him half submerged in the rocks.

Well, not so much submerged as laying there with a mouth full of sand.

Washed up on the beach

So I went over and introduced myself

And asked if he wanted a hand.

So I went over an introduced myself

 I wish I could spell the sound of a shell spitting sand from it’s mouth.
I gave him a shake and he was clearing his throat.

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He coughed and he sputtered and was about to say thanks

when

Oooops!

Ooops

I wish I could spell the sound of a shell hitting sand.  I didn’t mean to drop him.

Slippery little sand feller.

I’m so sorry!

Let’s just a sit a minute.

Ahhhh.

Warm sand. The sound of soft ocean waves.

Shhhh.

There now. That’s better.

Let's just sit a minute

So once we had rested a bit, I suggested we go.

Let me take you up to the stairs
where we can see more of the sights.

Let's go up to the stairs

I know. It’s a great view from here.

Yeah, I come here a lot. I love these old steps.

Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to my friends.

We’re going to have such a good time…

 

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