Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Still flowers bloom

Some days, it feels like the whole world weeps --
such evil and destruction --
and still, out in my garden, flowers bloom...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mirroring the Divine

An open mind becomes a calm reflective surface,
more readily able to mirror the Divine...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Abandon assumptions

Creativity may take many forms,
But it always begins with a willingness 
To set aside our assumptions.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thank the leaves

Leaves, like people, come in many different shapes and sizes,
yet each one contributes oxygen so we may breathe.
Every leaf contributes to the health of the whole --
and so do you. Have you thanked a leaf today?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A sip of Spirit

Some days, meditation's a bit like a cocktail party:
we greet the guests -- the worrier, the planner,
the Fears, the Hopes, the Memories --
and hold a brief conversation with each,
then gently but decidedly move on
to sip again from that refreshing glass of Spirit...

Friday, May 26, 2017

When your tide is out

Your tide may be out, leaving
your darkest, roughest thoughts exposed,
your usual escape mechanisms grounded.
Why not take this time to poke around a bit,
see what treasures might be hidden here,
and what sharp objects might be tossed,
to protect from further damage...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Something old, something new

There's comfort to be found in seeing
the beauty of a mix of old and new:
the rust of dying complements
the bright green shoots of spring,
and gives us reassurance
that whatever's passing away in us will always find
a balance in something fresh that's being born.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Promise of Return

As the waves glide toward the beach, then slide away,
Each path we follow circles back around
Until at last we recognize the home that lies within,
And realize each breath offers the promise of return.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This heaven-scented now

Each morning offers its own unique invitation
to start again: to travel down the path
though you cannot see around the corner;
to let the mountains hold you, cupped in their embrace;
to breathe, and step, and breathe again,
trusting in this heaven-scented Now.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Predictable losses

Just because it's time to go,
doesn't mean we don't miss them when they're gone...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What brings you joy?

Wondering what to do, or where to go next?
Ask yourself this question:
What brings you joy, and what, through you,
brings joy into the world?
Now: find a way to do some more of that!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Step away; step outside

It's easy to get hooked on acquisitions.
But can anything we build or buy
ever match the glory of what's already out there,
created for our viewing pleasure?
Take a moment; step outside and breathe...

Friday, May 19, 2017

Achieving presence

Stop whatever you're thinking or doing.
Stop, breathe, and ask yourself:
How is this thought or action
helping or harming the world?
What am I doing right now to make a difference?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The forest of your dreams

How far are you willing to venture
into the tangled forest of your dreams?
Have you not long suspected there is beauty hidden there?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sad or grateful?

Sad? Or grateful? Beautiful or all used up? 
It's all in how you frame it.
Tossed aside to wither away after a lifetime of service?
Or resting, safe and secure, after decades of grueling work?
Which story will you choose?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Balancing the ordinary

Nothing -- not even talent, or inspiration -- lasts forever --
Except, perhaps, old patterns of behavior. 
Creativity somehow finds a balance 
between the brilliant and the ordinary...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

All the ways we mother the world

The root word of compassion, I've been told, means "womb" -- compassion is about caring for someone or something as if it were the fruit of your own womb.

 So, to me, Mothers Day is about celebrating all those who show compassion for the world around us. I would honor the doctors who mother us back to health; the chefs who feed us; the people who fight to save the environment and care for the poor; the friends who support us when we're down...  It's not just about giving birth, it's about nurturing and encouraging and making it possible for something or someone outside yourself to grow and thrive.

... And so today I'm posting this picture, which was taken by my husband, of the not one but two bird's nests which have been built in the Christmas wreath we forgot to take down from our front door. It's not all that convenient -- we've blocked off the porch to protect them -- but we're honored they've trusted us with their young; we laughingly refer to them as our grandbabies and look forward to seeing them fly. Just another way of mothering the world...😊

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Holy ordinary

Seen through the eyes of love,
even a rock on a hillside can be beautiful.
Can you not see that you are beautiful, too?

Friday, May 12, 2017

The wonder of now

What could possibly compare
to the shimmering impermanence of this moment,
right here, right now? Lose yourself
in the wonder of Now.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Not a pretty picture

Every once in a while,
all the ways you let yourself and the world down
rise to the surface, and you feel like an ass.
Next time that happens, look at this picture.
See? Asses are lovable, too!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In crisis, opportunity

For every blind, reactive response
that leaves us feeling shamed,
there is a corresponding wound beneath.
This is our opportunity to find it,
soothe it, sit, and invite healing.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Variety is the spice...

When will we finally realize
that variety is truly a delicious spice?
What infinite pleasure and sweetness we find
in the mixing of multiple colors and kinds!

Monday, May 8, 2017

The pleasure of stretching

Try something new today -- perhaps not hugely different,
just a slight stretch from what you've done before --
and see if just that tiny shift might carry you into unexpected joy...

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The song you long to hear

Make time for silence. Sit a spell, 
and listen for the clamor of the voices in your head.
Below their litany of concerns there lies a deeper song:
a song of joy, of peace, and love: the song you long to hear.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Promise of spring

In the stillness of a gray morning,
The air is rich with the scent of promise:
Spring, waiting to be reborn...

Friday, May 5, 2017

A blessing for creativity

I offer hope today for every gifted child
whose creative spirit was crushed by an authoritarian teacher,
that their playful ingenuity may soar again
and bring new joy into the world.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

On a foggy morning

It's cliched, of course, to describe the sound of a foghorn as mournful. But awakening to that sound this morning seems to have put me in a mournful mood: I found myself missing -- and mourning -- the life I lived some 20 years ago.

In those days I lived on a real island -- not like this one -- an island only accessible by a remote, hour-long ferry ride, with only 160 residents, only one store (which was rarely open), no coffee shops or restaurants, a tiny library and museum open only a few hours a week, and a small school with only 10 students. My house and furniture were not my own, my possessions were few, and my time -- when I was not shepherding my daughters, who were 7 and 9 at the time -- was spent meditating, reading, writing, walking the beach by my cabin, and doing photography.

I still live on an island, but it's more of a suburb: there's a bridge at one end, and the busy city is a half-hour ferry ride away. There are 23,000 residents, 3 shopping districts, and multiple schools, both private and public. My kids are grown and gone, I no longer live on the beach, I'm rarely out with my camera any more, and though I still meditate, read, and write -- and have added painting to my repertoire -- my time seems to mostly be eaten up volunteering for numerous organizations.

So what is it I miss?

I suspect it's the solitude; the peace and quiet of the uninterrupted life. I was in serious retreat mode when I moved to that little island, having left a job that had shaken me to the core of my religious roots, and I remember how challenging it was to adjust to a life with no job and no income after having worked for 25 years. A life where my only responsibility was raising my children seemed curiously empty: who was I, if not a rising young marketing executive? What did I believe in, if church was no longer an option? And yet, somehow, out of that, I was able to discover what it meant to feel whole and complete in a way I hadn't before.

Perhaps that's the issue now -- I'm feeling fragmented again, beset by responsibilities I no longer want, busy in ways I no longer want to be, surrounded by "stuff" I no longer feel a need to own... And so I look at the tired old ferry in this picture and I wonder: do I feel its mournful echo in my soul because I, too, have become old and decrepit? Or is it that the life I'm living no longer serves my needs? Or is that mournful feeling just a nostalgia, a longing for a simpler past? Thoughts to ponder on a foggy morning...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A morning to yourself

There's something so delicious --
even to a crow --
about having a morning all to yourself...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Contemplating mortality

When forced to contemplate 
our own mortality,
We cannot help but treasure
Life's beauty and fragility...

Monday, May 1, 2017

Home as canvas

Our home life is our canvas.
Upon it we inscribe the truth
of who we are: our dreams, our aspirations,
and all our darkest secrets lie exposed to those who know us best...