Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

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.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tu b'Shvat

In honor of more glorious trees and the Jewish holiday Tu b'Shvat, the 15th of Sh'vat (aka New Year for the Trees) which falls on 1/30/10 on the Julian calendar this year. I decided to come back to sharing winter tree images (and a special spiral leaf too). I often find that trees connect me to the immediacy of the Divine.

Branches naked,
but for glittering ice
and dreamy white snow

black silhouettes
a tangled living web
dare to kiss the sky
as evening falls

encased by cracked ice
while within the womb of the earth
roots are flowing

tiny buds forming in the
glow of slivered moon
winter is not death
it is simply life

Hebrew letter of the Hebrew alphabet - Shin

roots and branches
robed in ice and snow

for God's voice
in the blustery wind
in the hush of
fallen snow


  1. What a glorious post! I feel the same strong connection to trees, and feel closest to the Devine when I'm around them. When I was a child, I hugged trees whenever I had the chance.

    I love your photos, but especially like the first one of the gnarly old tree. You don't see too many trees that old and full of character around here anymore. Sadly.

  2. I love the concluding poem! Tu b'Shvat, with its emphasis on the returning tree sap, reminds me of the pagan festival Imbolc (Feb 2) which celebrates, not Spring, but the promise of Spring.

  3. "shhh, listen for God's voice in the blustery wind, in the hush of the fallen snow..." how lovely these words. I am of the belief that when one connects with nature, one is finally at peace. It is our 'true' other half.

    The pics were all beautiful, especially the one with the leaf encased in ice (spectacular!) yet I am partial and always will be to trees blanketed in snow.

    Hope you are doing well....


  4. Hi Angela,
    I loved that gnarly old tree feels so wise to me!

    Hi Debra,
    I think many religions borrow from older traditions and incorporate them into their own. This may well be the case with Tu B'Shvat...We humans like to believe we are original...Mostly I think we are really creative at taking something already present and making it our own...And that IS creative...and Authentic-but not necessarily original, if you know what I mean...And I think that's really ok.

  5. Rebecca,
    I like that, "our 'true' other half".

    We sometimes think we are separate from nature because we are busy doing, going, caught up in technology (she says as she types on her mac) but looking out the window, taking a bite of an apple...these things remind us that we are indeed one with nature. The Divine essence is in everyone and everything..."our 'true' other half".

  6. Beautiful... oh how easy it is to hear that voice when listening with a tree...

  7. So beautiful!! Both the pictures and the concept take me out of ordinary head-space. Thank you.

  8. Thanks Brooks...headspace can get really cramped sometimes...glad I could give you some reprieve.

  9. Laura, thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment! I'm glad I found your blog this way. Beautiful post!! Silke

  10. You've certainly expressed some sentiments which have been becoming clearer to me quite recently. The oneness with nature. The connection with trees and animals. Your photos are lovely. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  11. this is a very touching post. wonderful photos and text. congrats for the award too.

    thank you for your visit and kind comment

  12. Thanks for visiting my blog!
    This is great wintershot and text:-)
    God bless you!

  13. Hi Silke,
    Thanks for returning the's always so much fun to find a new blog hangout for me!

    Hi Hilary,
    I love your blog. Yes oneness with all that is...I understand this more and more every day.

    Hi Vaggelis,
    Thanks for popping over...I love your photos!!!

    Hello Spiderdama,
    Your courage in climbing the way you do inspires me tremendously!

  14. HOW WONDERFUL..A NEW YEARS FOR TREES..A CELBRATION AND TO GIVE BACK THANKS! I love the images..espcially some of the close ups..wonderful!

  15. Thanks Kyungmee,
    One of the things I love about blogging is the exchange of our cultural and religious traditions from a personal perspective...things that we might not otherwise have an opportunity to learn about. This is the lovely nature of our global blogging community.

    Trees are certainly universal in their appeal and ability to inspire all humans.

  16. life turning inward... oooh, I am loving this active approach towards the passive. retreating within, listening... it reminds me of this: "If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet... maybe we could
    understand something." - Federico Fellini
    wishing you moments of quiet, subtle blessing!

  17. Thanks good to hear from you all the way from Jerusalem...I enjoyed reading about the recent family firsts on your blog. Ordering salad...that is a big first! And I LOVE the shot of Loren with the back pack on his "first day of school".
    from wicked cold NH!

  18. I LOVE the second tree...trees are incredible aren't they!
    Thanks for passing by this morning.

  19. Hi Char,
    Welcome, welcome. Trees are AMAZING! I'm so fortunate to live in a place surrounded by them!

  20. Beautiful post .... to bring honor to the trees ... sometimes I feel as though they are watching over us and all of our comings and goings .... patient and rooted.

    You have a lovely blog :)

  21. I feel that way too they are watching over us and wondering why we are always so busy!

  22. Yes, trees, and especially leafless ones (they look so vulnerable - yet they remain standing) take me breath away. Beautiful photos.

  23. Absolutely stunning photography. There is something infinitely melancholic about trees in winter. A certain sadness comes across from your pictures, however also an in depth beauty, very pristine, lying in the very details, that others miss...
    Beautiful pictures and words.

  24. Hi Rochelle, I was just talking about this exact thing with my husband last is the vulnerability, the nakedness of winter trees that draws us humans to love them so very much in the midst of the harshness of winter...we feel this way quite often in the world...and we long to stay rooted too, despite the cold, our fear, our nakedness...we want to dig in, be strong, and sway gracefully with the force of life's ferocious winds. Hmmm...I feel a blog post coming on.

  25. Hi Zuzana and Mama Zen,
    so guess what I did today? I went out for a morning drive with my husband and photographed more trees! (I'm insufferable.)

  26. Hi Laura...
    Oh...these trees are holy and wise...and giving. I breathe them in..and your words. Thank you for generously sharing yourself with us... a gift indeed.

    love, Cheryl

  27. Thank you Cheryl...I miss you.

  28. Trees carry the wisdom of the ages, the strength of the present, and the hope of the future. They speak to those who will listen: In Spring they speak of youth, growth, and possibilities. In Summer they speak of life and beauty and strength. In Autumn the voice is one of reflection, remembrance of days gone and anticipation of what is yet to come. In Winter, there is a naked truth as all is stripped away, laid bare, to look inward, to go back to basics whisper softly and listen to the still inner voice of God.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful Photo's and beautiful words. Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P

  29. What beautiful images you have shared! We are in a state of emergency now due to snow...Virginia, USA...I think it's absolutely glorious. If I listen in silence as the snow falls, I do believe I hear God's voice. Shh, do you hear the snow falling gently... Thanks for sharing your divinity so freely and lovingly.
    Peace, Light and Love, C.

  30. Hi,

    Tree's are my best friends in my childhood.I talked with them, laugh and play with them. They should respond our feelings. When we feel happy they also look like happy. When I feel bad they will give calmness and make me feel free. Definitely this is a heart touching post. I like your pictures. Those are very beautiful.
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  31. Beautiful post and Blog
    Happy New Year Trees!
    Glad you came by.



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