When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.
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A jumble of
images, now remembrances of falling waters. Magnificent, thunderous
streaming down sun-gold cliffs, ah but we went on further than we had
originally planned. It was getting colder as clouds rolled in, following the
suggestions of other travelers on a path they had traversed before, we kept
going. Until eventually we realized we were not the seasoned hikers they surely
must have been, there was no way we could make it across the ridge, tired as we
already were. So then and there we turned back down the slick muddy trail.
Reminding one another “things don't generally go the way you expect them to”
followed by: “how boring life would be without surprises!”
A sudden sandy slide
down a boulder took a bite from my knee, very near the end of the hike. The
blood trickling down didn’t bother me then, because both knees were already
seizing up in pain as muscles contracted, tight elastic vices binding and
squeezing, like never before. I'm not sure it was MS related or not, it doesn't
really matter. And although Gordon's pack was too heavy and felt burdensome on
his shoulders and even his legs, (we did lighten it some for the rest of the
week) it was full of exactly what we needed and others too, it turned out, for
we helped an older woman with her own knee problems along the way with our
first aid gear. They were not as prepared for the unexpected as we were
with our unwieldy pack. Our intention of an easy four-hour warm up hike turned
into seven. Day one was grueling, yet beyond beautiful, this carried
We felt frustration.
We practiced patience. We opened our hearts in compassion for these bodies,
strong yet fragile, not quite up to climbing as high or as much as we'd hoped.
Yes, great compassion and joy in the little things. We had to go slower, take
gentler hikes on the following days. We never reached a summit this year,
and that is fine, it didn’t feel important. There were tiny bright mushrooms,
and heart shaped lichens clumped on the softest green moss fronds. A
grasshopper posed while rain filled clouds hung heavy above. We found a field
of painted wildflowers, tall gaillardia (I think or maybe coneflowers… can anyone tell me?), tamped down, by a moose it
appeared. On another day we sat by calm waters listening to the gentle flow,
cool air on our bare skin, my knees were still too sore to go far. A different
lazy afternoon after a short traipse through the woods up an incline that was
pocked with ground bee nests, we decided to visit a few small art galleries
tucked in a village we’d not been to before, enjoyed a long lunch and then
sweeping views of Mt. Chocorua across the lake, a mountain we had climbed,
crossing the ridge several years ago. Sunsets each evening and one morning I
watched it rise from our bedroom window, staying tucked in for two hours more
beneath the covers, grateful for this life, for my husband breathing deeply,
still sleeping beside me. This was not the intense hiking trip we had
imagined; it was exactly as it was meant to be.
Tuesday, the Hebrew month of Elul begins. This is time to take an honest look
at our lives; investigate what is true? What is important? How can I
be kinder, soften and open my heart wider, act with more compassion? Nature and my body,
as they often do, have me prepared to engage with this deep soul-work. So I
offer a jumble of images, now remembrances, to you this week.
we could all taste
pointless why not enjoy the cool drops drink in life's blessings exactly as they're offered
Observing the remarkable beauty of the world reflected in raindrops, these are moments that make my heart sing.
I'm going hiking so will be offline and
totally present to nature starting Sunday. These lowland photos from last week are
from the bog near our home. As much as I love that magical place, I am looking
forward to breathing in the mountain air. I am so grateful that after a rough
start this summer I’ll be able to hike and scramble as I did last year. Hiking update: We hiked a "moderate" hike yesterday, that ended up being harder than expected… fatigue took over at the end and my knees seized up, but I was more concerned about an older lady who we helped with an ace bandage, she was in pretty bad shape. We found a park worker on the way toward the parking lot and he went back up to help her out and call fish and game. It reminded me of a story a 14 year old student shared in an art class I was teaching years ago about how a single butterfly's wing movements can change the weather… how we as individuals through small acts of kindness can be a force of goodness and change. I'm sore today and we'll do something easier (ha, ha) but I am not missing a minute of this beautiful opportunity to hike and love the great outdoors. As I was coming down the mountain and my knees were searing with pain, I just kept saying to myself, I am Sally Siegel's daughter, I am strong and courageous, I can do anything! (My Mom is the most courageous, push through, make your life meaningful, live and love each moment, person I know!) Incidentally, the woman on the trail who was injured was also named Sally and had red hair like my mother. I prayed and practice metta for her and everyone still up on the mountain, it was very slippery. Offering prayers of wellbeing for others helped me to get to the bottom. It is amazing how loving thoughts for others take your mind of your own suffering and expands your heart, eases your breath, relaxes muscles, gives strength. Faith is a powerful force.
It is rare for me to see monarchs where I live, I can't remember the last time I saw one. This was a wonderful surprise. She was shy so I had to cautiously step around the garden with the camera before I was able to take only two good photos of her. I feel like this rare visitor to my garden is a symbol of hope, she represents the possibility of change, the transformation of hearts in conflict within, among and between individuals, communities, humans around this beautiful planet we are blessed to be able to share. My heart is breaking for the deep suffering and so many terrible tragedies around the world. It could be different, it should be different.
we share the same blood turned river running through streets lay down the weapons spread your arms to form shelter feed our children love's nectar