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Rants and Gratitude

Cloudbird. It was too big to fit in the frame, so its wings leak off the edges.

Just saying: If you don’t read the newsletters and internal memos and emails for the place you work for, and you miss something critically important, you can’t go around telling people you weren’t briefed. I mean, it’s happened to me. I’ve occasionally missed something important because I skipped over the newsletter, thinking I would come back to it later. And it was my responsibility to keep myself informed, not the responsibility of someone else to pull it out and mark it with a highlighter, and remind me to read it. And I am not the president.

With that sort of grouchy rant to start my morning, I suppose I should say something nice.
1. I’m going to work today at Radiance! That makes me happy and satisfied.
2. We thought that the things Jon planted were sort of a bust after the deer and groundhogs and storms raged through, but last evening, I harvested some wonderful zukes and cukes and beans, and Jon got a nice binful of broccoli.
3. Yesterday I took an online conference on Online Teaching, which is kind of the LAST thing I ever want to do again, but now I feel like I really might be able to do it, if it comes down to that.
4. That sky bird in the clouds last evening.
5. The people who ground me, who hold the strings when I go kiting off on a rant, who remind me to be nice.

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“The only thing worse than the thought it may all come tumbling down is the thought that we may go on like this forever.” ―M.T. Anderson, Feed


‪”I just watched a mosquito sip my blood, hover in the air like a ruby with wings, then leave the circle of my porch light for the dark trees. That’s me, that crimson speck rising like a campfire spark. My blood will feel at home in those perfect woods and my goodwill goes with it.‬” —Jarod K. Anderson, the Cryptonaturalist


“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” —Alvin Toffler


”I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:

I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing—these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt—has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.” —Brené Brown


“Oh, what we could be if we stopped carrying the remains of who we were.” —Tyler Knott Gregson


“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” —Wendell Berry

Finding Poetry

We met a fellow seeker on the paths at Sam Lewis last night.

I took an online class on Saturday morning on redacted and black-out poetry. While I have worked with this format in the past, this two-hour session really inspired me. I’ve broken through a bit of a wall in the Found Poetry realm in the past few days.

Gratitude List:
1. Finding poetry
2. Toads in the leaves
3. Going rambling with the fambly
4. Looking forward to an educational conference (online) today. I am becoming increasingly worried that Pennsylvanians’ refusal to just wear the mask will mean we have to teach online during at least part of the fall semester, and I don’t want to go into that kicking and screaming. This should provide me with strategies for teaching, no matter what happens. (And yes, that was a gratitude infected by a snarky dig.)
5.The little air conditioner. I don’t tolerate the heat/humidity nexus quite like I used to.

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“We live by mystery, not by explanations.” —Cecil Collins


“For we have, built into all of us, old blueprints of expectation and response; old structures of oppression, and these must be altered at the same time as we alter the living conditions which are a result of those structures. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.

As Paulo Freire shows so well in “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, the true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations which we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us, and which knows only the oppressors’ tactics, the oppressors’ relationships.” —Audre Lorde


“Live in the center of your life.” ―Sark


“Cluster together like stars.” ―Henry Miller


“Now that you’ve awakened. . .immediately take a nap! Naps are when the angels come out to take special care of you.” ―Sark


“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
―Arundhati Roy


“Every child of ours needs to learn the simple truth: She is the energy of the Sun. And we adults should organize things so her face shines with the same radiant joy.” ―Rob Brezsny


“In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can. The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms.” ―Clarissa Pinkola Estés


“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except to be able to grow in rows” ―Doug Larson

Always Becoming

Every day is a new opportunity to begin again.
Was yesterday harsh or difficult?
Did you find yourself (like I did) complaining and grousing and expecting the worst of people?
Did you miss the chance to get outdoors and breathe fresh air?
Did you put more time into stuff and money than into people and ideas?
Did you forget to notice the green, the birdsong, the summer cast of sunlight?
Did you write or say something you wish you hadn’t?
Today is a new day, a fresh slate, a blank sheet of paper.
Choose your pathway with determination and lightness of heart.
Begin, begin, begin again, beloved.

Grateful for the always freshness of beginnings.
May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“Always we begin again.” —St. Benedict


Thomas Merton: “There are only three stages to this work: to be a beginner, to be more of a beginner, and to be only a beginner.”


“If the Angel deigns to come it will be because you have convinced her, not by tears, but by your humble resolve to be always beginning; to be a beginner.” —Rainer Maria Rilke


“One does not ask of one who suffers: What is your country and what is your religion? One merely says: You suffer, that is enough for me.” —Louis Pasteur


“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.” —James Bovard


“We must ask ourselves as Americans, ‘Can we really survive the worship of our own destructiveness? We do not exist in isolation. Our sense of community and compassionate intelligence must be extended to all life-forms, plants, animals, rocks, rivers, and human beings.” —Terry Tempest Williams


Jan Richardson:
did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?


“I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.” —William Stafford


“There are years that ask the question and years that answer.” —Zora Neale Hurston


“Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.” —Hafiz


“One puts down the first line. . .in trust that life and language are abundant enough to complete it.” —Wendell Berry


“Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee.” —Job 12:8


“Sometimes the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” —Wallace Stevens


“Tell all the truth, but tell it slant.” —Emily Dickinson


“The contemplative stance is the third way. We stand in the middle, neither taking the world on from another power position nor denying it for fear of the pain it will bring. We hold the dark side of reality and the pain of the world until it transforms us, knowing that we are both complicit in the evil and can participate in wholeness and holiness.” —Richard Rohr


Clarissa Pinkola Estes on the Curanderisma healing tradition: “In this tradition a story is ‘holy,’ and it is used as medicine. The story is not told to lift you up, to make you feel better, or to entertain you, although all those things can be true. The story is meant to take the spirit into a descent to find something that is lost or missing and to bring it back to consciousness again.”

Finished!

Early in the summer, I agreed to create a Camp-in-a-Box for my school. I decided to do a camp on Zine-Making, which is something I love, and I got into the project with gusto.

A few things about me: I am a Leo, and I am a Seven, so when I get excited about a project, I can tend to go a little teensy bit overboard. Roar. But I can also get snagged on the tail end of a deadline. Sigh. The materials are due tomorrow at 9 am, and I just finished packing them up.

I thought it would be really fun to have all the instructions for every day in little Zines! And every day should have a sample Zine! And more instructional Zines! In the end, I wound up folding nearly two hundred Zines for this project.

But it’s finished now. On to the next thing!


Gratitude List:
1. We’re trying to get one long walk or bike ride in every day. I’m loving making a habit of going to the local trails for a daily walk. There is so much beauty here!
2. Yesterday at High Point, we saw and heard several grasshopper sparrows, and two meadowlarks!
3. I’m done with that L-O-N-G project!
4. So many generous people.
5. Art and poetry.

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


Hold onto your hearts. Take Courage.
Here are some Thoughts for Friday:
Mother Teresa: “So often the problem is simply this—that we make the circle we put around our family too small.”


Chimamanda Adichie: “Stereotypes are not wrong; they are just incomplete.”


“We must ask ourselves as Americans, ‘Can we really survive the worship of our own destructiveness? We do not exist in isolation. Our sense of community and compassionate intelligence must be extended to all life-forms, plants, animals, rocks, rivers, and human beings.”
—Terry Tempest Williams


“It’s hardest to love the ordinary things, she said, but you get lots of opportunities to practice.” —Brian Andreas


“To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.” —Manly P. Hall


Be softer with you.
You are a breathing thing.
A memory to someone.
A home to a life.”
—Nayyirah Waheed


“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
―Howard Zinn


“Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” —Representative John Lewis


Antonio Machado:

“Traveler, there is no path.
The path is made by walking.

Traveller, the path is your tracks
And nothing more.
Traveller, there is no path
The path is made by walking.
By walking you make a path
And turning, you look back
At a way you will never tread again
Traveller, there is no road
Only wakes in the sea.”


“I don’t write out of what I know; I write out of what I wonder. I think most artists create art in order to explore, not to give the answers. Poetry and art are not about answers to me; they are about questions.” ―Lucille Clifton, who was born on this day in 1936


“Everyone is born with a set of sacred agreements to a higher authority than those of this world. Like a pole star, there is a divine Self which directs and shapes our lives into what we’re meant to become. Sooner or later, we must navigate by our star’s light, or risk being lost in the dark night of the soul.” —Toko-pa Turner


“To love at all is to be vulnerable.” —CS Lewis


“. . .without a sense of the sacred, all knowledge remains abstract.” —Rosebrough and Leverett, Transformational Teaching


“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” —William Butler Yeats


“We live in a world of theophanies. Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb. Life wants to lead you from crumbs to angels, but this can happen only if you are willing to unwrap the ordinary by staying with it long enough to harvest its treasure.” —Macrina Wiederkehr


“The storm walked around the hills on legs of lightning, shouting and grumbling.” ―Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites


“most people don’t set foot outside their own heads much.” ―Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

Good Work

White Friends, this is difficult and constant work that we’re doing, that we must do, and continue to do. How can we really know how deeply we’ve been indoctrinated into this culture of white supremacy until we know it? And then know it more deeply? And then again. It’s not like a Bandaid that you rip off, and deal with the sting, and then everything’s fine. It’s layer after layer after layer.

And yes, it’s exhausting. And yes, it’s painful. But we have to do this work. Now. And always. It’s exhausting and painful for BIPOC folks to have to deal with microaggressions and explicit racism and systemic racism and inadvertent racism every day. We have to do this work. And keep doing it.

There is so much to learn on the way: new ways to articulate powerful ideas, new ways of exploring our own difficult feelings, new ways to see people and the world, new ways to experience the history of all of us, new ways to become more fully human.

I don’t quote many Bible verses here, but there’s one that fits pretty perfectly in this rhetorical moment. It’s in Romans 12: “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world. Instead, be transformed by the continual renewing of your mind, that you may discern the will of the Holy One: what is the good and acceptable and perfect.” The patterns of white supremacy in this (US) part of the world are institutionalized and powerful. It’s going to take some intentional and constant work to break and transform those patterns.

If you hear a new thing that challenges and unsettles you–about white supremacy, or privilege or fragility, or about taking a new look at US history and ideals–I urge and challenge you (me, us) to not begin in defensiveness and argument, but to simply sit quietly a moment, and ask yourself (myself, ourselves) how it applies, how the integrating of this idea might be transformational and renewing. And then begin to rip off that bandaid.

There are doorways all around us, leading us to places where we can be more fully human and humane, and right now there are constant opportunities to see them, to walk through them, to learn and to grow. Let’s join the Good Work, beginning with ourselves.


Gratitude List:
1. So many good and challenging things to learn.
2. Watching a thunderstorm from the shelter of the pavilion by the River.
3. Good exercise. Moving my body. Healthy, limber, and strong: That’s my mantra for the summer. (It includes a lot of aches and pains on the way, but they’re the good ones.)
4. Toads. They’re such wise and ancient folk.
5. Finishing projects

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“You are a pure Soul in darkened soil.” —Rumi


“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” ―Helen Keller


“What we need is here.” —Wendell Berry


“Million-to-one chances…crop up nine times out of ten.” ―Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites


“Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful than sadness. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.” —André Gide


“Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” —Ms. Frizzle


“We stand guard over works of art, but species representing the work of aeons are stolen from under our noses.” —Aldo Leopold


“It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you’re attempting can’t be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history.” ―Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites


“Hilta laughed like someone who had thought hard about Life and had seen the joke.” ―Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

Evening Encounters

My camera phone is pretty grainy, especially at distances, but if you look closely, you can see the spotty white breast of the wood thrush against the trunk on the lower left, and the curious deer in the trees on the upper right.

Last evening, we went for an evening walk up at Sam Lewis State Park. It’s easy sometimes to forget the glorious gems of we have in our own backyards. There is a series of walking trails through the woods around the crest of the ridge, over rock tumbles, through piney groves, along meadows, between mountain laurels and pawpaw trees. Massive oaks and maples stand sentinel at the edges of the woods.

I never really quite know where I am going when we set out on a trail at Sam Lewis. It’s probably no more than two or three miles of trails total, and they wind around and cross each other, and they’re all completely familiar. There’s no chance of getting lost, but I often think I am going to emerge from the woods at one point, and find myself at another point altogether. It’s not disconcerting or frustrating, partly because its so contained. It’s just a tiny bit mystical and dreamy. Probably it’s just me and my strange sense of direction, and maybe if I start walking up there several times a week instead of once every few months, I’ll develop an inner map of the place. I’m not sure I want to. I like the slight and utterly non-anxious disorientation, the sense of discovery.

It was a grateful and grounding walk.
It was St. John’s Eve, and I found a patch of St. John’s Wort at the edge of the meadow.
Down on the piney path near the big meadow, we encountered a wood thrush, who seemed completely unfussed at our presence, and sang a call and response with a friend further up the hill.
At one point, we were caught in currents that carried scent of pine, wild yarrow, and the freshly-opened buds of milkweed.
On a trail that wound around a group of giant boulders, we found some mountain laurel still blooming.
Around one bend in the trail, near one of the frisbee baskets, we met a deer. I’m not sure who was more interested in whom.
At the very top of the bald, where people like to go to fly kites, and where you can see the whole river valley laid out before you, evening breezes came tumbling up over the ridge.
The paths go from gentle ramble to strong and steady upward climb. My legs and lungs were glad of the exercise.

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“Inside a moment, centuries of June.” ―Emily Dickinson


African proverb:, “When death comes, may it find you fully alive.”


“I think there ought to be a little music here: hum, hum.” ―Mary Oliver


“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” ―Albert Einstein


“I do know one thing about me: I don’t measure myself by others’ expectations or let others define my worth.” ―Sonia Sotomayor


“Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.” ―Buddha


“I have something that I call my Golden Rule. It goes something like this: ‘Do unto others twenty-five percent better than you expect them to do unto you.’ … The twenty-five percent is for error.” ―Linus Pauling

Holy Trees

The cathedral beech at the Jesuit Center.

Last year at this time, I was spending the better part of a week at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville with my favorite trees. The Jesuits are planning to close and sell the property in another year, so I will need to make one last pilgrimage in the coming year. The grounds require a great deal of upkeep and maintenance, as does the marvelous old building. The community of men who live there are aging, and there aren’t many of them anymore.

I long for someone to buy the place who could work with environmental groups to make it a nature preserve, to maintain the building as a spiritual retreat center, to keep caring for those holy trees.

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!

“In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing
When you look at the sky at night.”
―The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery


“All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you.” ―Octavia Butler


“The world is not to be put in order. The world is order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.” ―Henry Miller


“The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” ―Jane Goodall


Prayer for the World
by Rabbi Harold Kushner

Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.
Amen.

Cherry Cobbler

Here’s to good neighbors! A couple days ago as we were walking, our neighbor down the road invited us to his Solstice drumming circle. I would have taken him up on it, but we were going to see my parents the next day, and I wanted to limit my exposure to other people. I do hope he asks again!

And a couple days ago, another neighbor texted me that she had a bunch of extra sour cherries from her cherry tree–Could we use them? Um. Yes, please, and thank you! Supper last night was a sweet summer fruits meal: cherry cobbler with ice cream.

Gratitude for kind neighbors.

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.” ―Granny Weatherwax, Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites


‪”Nature is real and vital. Wealth is neither. How is it we grant imaginary dragons the power to breathe real fire?‬” —Jarod K. Anderson, The Cryptonaturalist


“Only you and I can help the sun rise each coming morning. If we don’t, it may drench itself out in sorrow. You special, miraculous, unrepeatable, fragile, fearful, tender, lost, sparkling ruby emerald jewel, rainbow splendor person. It’s up to you.” —Joan Baez


“You can tell people of the need to struggle, but when the powerless start to see that they really can make a difference, nothing can quench the fire.”
―Leymah Gbowee


“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” —Dr. Seuss


“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” —Nelson Mandela


“Every child you encounter is a divine appointment.” —Wess Stafford


“Children are one third of our population and all of our future.” —Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981


“Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.” —Fred Rogers


“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” —Nelson Mandela


“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” —Frederick Douglass


“Do not be afraid to include other people in your story, to ask others to hold the light for you in times of darkness and pain. This is a grace and a gift you offer them, to allow another the honor of walking beside you on the path, in silence or in song, no matter how treacherous the journey.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider, 2012


“When you realize the Earth is so much more than simply your environment, you’ll be moved to protect her in the same way as you would yourself. This is the kind of awareness, the kind of awakening that we need, and the future of the planet depends on whether we’re able to cultivate this insight or not. The Earth and all species on Earth are in real danger. Yet if we can develop a deep relationship with the Earth, we’ll have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change our way of life.” —Thich Nhat Hanh


“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.” —Rachel Carson

Maker’s Monday

Look at that violet and indigo swirl of cloud above the barn.

Not much to say today. I’m going to make masks, make zines, create writing prompts for a project, crochet the arms of a doll I started over the weekend. Read. Make a cherry cobbler with the sour cherries my neighbor gave me. Watch for Beauty. Plot the Revolution. Pet cats. Stretch and walk and learn some more Spanish. I suppose that’s my Gratitude List for today–looking forward to a week of making and noticing and working on inner transformation in order to keep participating in world-changing events of the day.

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“I sometimes visualize the ongoing cycle of racism as a moving walkway at the airport. Active racist behavior is equivalent to walking fast on the conveyor belt. The person engaged in active racist behavior has identified with the ideology of our White supremacist system and is moving with it. Passive racist behavior is equivalent to standing still on the walkway. No overt effort is being made, but the conveyor belt moves the bystanders along to the same destination as those who are actively walking. But unless they are walking actively in the opposite direction at a speed faster than the conveyor belt—unless they are actively anti-racist—they will find themselves carried along with the others.” —Beverly Tatum


“The Holocaust was not the holocaust until it was too late.” —James Regier


“People are hard to hate close up. Move in. Speak truth to bullshit. Be civil. Hold hands. With strangers. Strong back. Soft front. Wild heart. ❤️” —Brené Brown


“We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!” ―Wangari Maathai


“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” ―Joseph Campbell


“Every person who has ever achieved anything has been knocked down many times. But all of them picked themselves up and kept going, and that is what I have always tried to do.” ―Wangari Maathai


“It is the people who must save the environment. It is the people who must make their leaders change. And we cannot be intimidated. So we must stand up for what we believe in.” ―Wangari Maathai


“How many kinds of beauty exist in nature? A sunset’s beauty is not the same as a river’s beauty is not the same as a newborn’s beauty is not the same as a kind act’s beauty is not the same as an old oak tree’s beauty. And yet, they are the same. Why do you think that is?” —Jarod K. Anderson


“The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. . . . To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.” —Terry Tempest Williams


“The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.” ―Malala Yousafzai


“There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.” ―Edgar Allen Poe


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ―Mark Twain


“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility. ” ―Rachel Carson


“…drink in the beauty and wonder at the meaning of what you see.” ―Rachel Carson

Feel the Shift

Like feeling your way along in the dark, or letting your nose lead you to the little shop in a town that is baking fresh bread, or looking just to the side of the Pleiades so you can get a clearer sense of the seven stars, or following the call of the indigo bunting along the edge of the woods until you finally spot that drop of impossible blue–that’s how we feel the shift into midsummer. Feel the directness of the light, and look sideways, between the sunrays. Feel how the sun hits your shoulders, sense the shift in birdy activity from the establishment of territories and nesting spaces to the gentler rhythm of housekeeping and childrearing, intuit the planet’s pause in apogee–at the end of its long cycle outward, as we begin the slow roll inward. Here we are in the season of fire, of long days and short nights, of full green and hazy blue, of harvest and abundance. Summer can feel like a sleepy time, a dreamy place, but it doesn’t have to be a time of dullness, just a time of taking in the signals of the world through your skin, through every sense you can name, and more that you can’t. Deepen your roots. Unfurl your leaves and petals. Feel the seeds of the new thing forming within you.


Sometimes everything
has to be
enscribed across
the heavens

so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.
—David Whyte


“Whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market.” —Pope Francis


“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” —Annie Dillard


“This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath.” —Margaret Atwood


“Now, on the longest day, light triumphs, and yet begins the decline into dark. We turn the Wheel… for we have planted the seeds of our own changes, and to grow we must accept even the passing of the sun… Set Sail…See with clear eyes…See how we shine!” —Starhawk


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” —Albert Einstein


“Ceremonies large and small have the power to focus attention to a way of living awake in the world. The visible became invisible, merging with the soil.” —Robin Wall Kimmerer


“The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.” —Isak Dinesen