Friday, May 31, 2013


A baby sits in a high chair and watches his foot move.  He is fascinated by it’s life and energy.  His focus and awe in this moment is akin to adults watching an animal in the wild.  We are exhilarated, filled with a sense of wonder at a creature whose movements and life seems so different from us, so apart from our being.

Like the child we slowly begin to understand that we are connected to these forces outside of our skin.  In the case of the foot, it begins to dawn on us that when we think about moving it a certain way, there is some relation to what it does in space.  It is perhaps harder to see our relation to the larger world, but not because the links are missing, but because our hearts and eyes are drawn elsewhere.  If we settle into a tub of water, we can see the displacement of the fluid and watch the level rise.  If the sun shines down on seeded earth, there will be sprouts.  If we look and ponder more seriously the world around us, if we actually seek to see the interactions, they are apparent. 

With the elk or deer, we see that if we move too quickly towards it and frighten it, it too will move in relation to us.   If we walk into a room where there is love and happiness, we will experience that differently than if we enter a space with anger and hostility.  Being the humans we are, we often stop the noticing right there with that lesson.  We forget to keep noticing the dance of what we do. We stop thinking about the interplay with the world. We lose the wonder and magic and mystery.

We can search for  mastery over our lives and our bodies and there is some goodness in this.  Sometimes the illusion of being able to control our world becomes an obsession, a compulsion, something we do instead of noticing how we feel when the world zigs when we want to zag.  It is easier to be mad or enter the chase to make it different..

Our lives are not static and written.  We are constantly asked to witness, to meditate and to see more clearly the forces around us and how one little movement sets the scene around us in motion.

We cannot control everything,  We cannot have mastery over every aspect of our lives, like we do with our extremities.  We can, though, settle into our audience seats and enjoy the focus and awe that comes with knowing we are part of a very large production.  A dance of thousands….. think Busby Berkeley choreography of the entire planet.  Wow, look at all those synchronistic movements.  Look at the beauty!
Enjoy the feather boas and headdresses.    Then, of course, get up and dance.

But of course, there is more.... when we get up and dance, not only are we transformed, but the space around us changes, people around us, shift, just that smallest bit.  They either notice us, or feel us, or choose in that moment to sit and rest.  The floor beneath us ages a bit with the weight of another dancer, which shifts the dirt underneath, that minuscule grain settles.  That puts pressure on the the aquifer beneath the surface and a spring somewhere bubbles a little louder, and the river water gets taken into clouds and somewhere it rains, maybe feeding the seeds or flooding the plain, and somewhere someone cries and somewhere else someone laughs.

If we are really still.  If we really look at our world, like a child does.  If we explore the specificity of each life in front of us, we will see the way we are bound.  We will see the way we tickle each others toes, or roots, or auras, or sky.  We will know this. We will remember that we are small, but essentially a piece of a grand dance.  When we know this, we lose a part of our fears, and we are allowed some PEACE, which I read recently was defined as.............. JOY resting.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


It was a good day for rabbits.  Cottontails to be exact.  This morning as I walked along the bluff walk near my house, I was overlooking the ocean, watching the tidepools and the breaking surf away from the cliff, and the trail ahead of me.  Usually the sea is empty of boats, but this cool morning I could count 17 small vessels out there, probably saturday fisherman.

But the big count of the day was for the rabbits.

This is my hour long walk on most mornings.  I enjoy counting the wildlife that I see.  There are sometimes coyotes, or more often their scat, a rattlesnake or two, and birds.  Birds of the bush, the sea and I suppose of the hand if we are being metaphorical.   But, today was the day of the rabbit.  I started out with seven, and I had hardly gotten feet on the trail, but then none for a long while.

I had time to watch the horizon, the distant fog and the graveled sound of tidal waters pushing into the coves and inlets below me.

I got to thinking about expectations.  Some mornings, I NEED to see animals, I HOPE to see animals, I WANT to see animals, and there is no real pattern to their appearances.  I think I know where the nests are.  

I think I know where I am likely to see them, but each day of the last, oh twenty or so, they have surprised me.  They are NOT where I expect them, nor are their numbers even mildly predictable.

We like to use science.  We like to use patterns to predict things.  It adds to the illusion of having control over our world.   I am not saying those things are not of value and important.  But I am saying this:   Mostly we don't know what is coming!

This can be the most disconcerting thing or the most magical.   Today as the count of bunnies kept hopping up.... (sorry couldn't help myself), I immersed myself in the wonder of it.  The final count was 38!   Thirty eight little critters let me see them.  Most just hugged the edge of the rubbled path until I was close and then disappeared into the bush.  But I have to admit that my favorites were the ones that seemed to fly across the path up ahead.  Their big bounce that sent them sailing laterally before me, was like a slo mo section of a movie.  A slight arc of fur, ears layed back for more lift and poof.......gone.  Epiphanies of rabbit!! Delightful,  and yes, totally unpredictable.

I was minutes from making the loop and getting back to the car, when I looked down a cleared out area and there was a pair of California quail and 12 very tiny chicks, all scurrying behind the topnotch headed mother.  Little fluff balls, rolling light, like ping pong balls, and then, blink,  they were gone too.

Mostly we don't know what is coming!

And that made it fun.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mists of Olympia

Sometimes it is hard to know what is real.

Sometimes it is hard to know where to go.

Sometimes we just need to breathe in the beauty,

the generosity,
the unselfish,

 bountiful world.

We dont' need words

to see illusions

To receive the joy.


none of us travels alone.

photos from the Olympic Penninsula