Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Local Yule Trees

To be honest, I don't know how far the Yule trees traveled that were featured for sale on my local fire department's lot. Maybe they came from North Carolina or quite possibly Maine, but I do know their close proximity to my home allowed me to obtain one without using any fuel this year. Typically, my family and I head out into the country, spending the day and lots of gas to arrive at the perfect place to select and cut down our tree. But when we noticed a tree lot being set up by the fire fighters at our local station, we decided to purchase our tree from them instead. To support their cause and our desire to shop local.

After selecting our tree, Mike and Ryan carried it the few blocks home where it now stands proudly decorated in our living room, ready for the upcoming Yuletide.

As 2011 winds down, I feel a sense of gratitude that this year has brought me the opportunity to finally begin to live my environmental values in a huge way. To have downsized into an appropriately sized home for our family. To live within walking distance of all day to day activities such as the food co-op, library, bank, post office, public transportation etc... To have reduced the use of my car to mostly just going back and forth between church and my son's alternative education center twice a week. To have close walking access to the woods and creeks near my home for my enjoyment as well as my pup's. To have found a sense of community in my neighborhood and borough as well as through my church and son's alternative school, allowing me to begin to put down strong roots and create a sense of place for myself and my family.

So yes, our Yule tree may have come from somewhere else far away. But so did I. I am not local to here either. After a bit, my tree will be chipped up and spread on the gardens and soil of this new place creating new life from itself, just as I myself will bring something new to this place I now call home.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

For the Journey...

This branching tree with its many paths, I view each morning as I look out my window. Tall and straight, reaching skyward, it certainly knows where it is heading. Along the way the tree had many choices, many branches to develop further but it choose instead to grow upright, following it true path.

Its roots are grounded solidly with as much below ground as above. Digging deep, searching for the strength to keep itself from toppling. Rooted in the knowledge that it is on the right path.

When I head into the woods, I notice there are many trees that serve as examples of a life well lived, a knowing. These guides offer stability, wisdom and strength for the journey to those that are willing to stand close and feel the roughness of their bark. Venturing into the woodlot, friends and family, books in tow, I know I am on the right path, the clear path to me.

While I understand I am wandering on the correct trail, I still don't necessarily know where I am going. I sense this unknowing in life doesn't have to be known. It can just be followed, taking a step forward, enjoying each step over the leaf strewn path, around the rocks and over the hills to a secret spot.

My spot, where I can sit amongst the trees and watch the creek amble along. The birds offering their thoughts and the stones at my feet radiating warmth. This place, this space is mine. Where I can journey forward knowing that it's OK to not know.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Day...

Looking east out my window, the sun not yet up, a new day begins, perched between what was and what will be. This in-between place, this moment, not yet written in history and not something you are looking forward to but the place where you are living now, this second, is what matters. Is what allows you to build a life, these moments built one on top of another, joined together.

I want to rest within this space in time, stretch it out and linger in it, feel my breath, listen to the birds outside my window, notice my dog resting on the couch, feel the warmth of the heat from the furnace, smell the coffee brewing. This moment, this day, let it begin slowly as I pause to feel gratitude for all that graces my world. The beauty that surrounds me, the love that holds me, the community that supports me. There is much good in this world. As the sun reaches higher in the sky, a new moment is upon us. Enjoy it!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Can't see the forest for the trees...

Sometimes when you spend so much time looking at the small pieces of a puzzle that make up a whole, you miss out on the big picture. You go round and round, looking at each piece and trying to figure out how it relates, how it impacts your life. And you come up empty because you can't find the connections. One day something is pulled back- much like when the leaves fall off the trees in the fall and you can finally see how far a woodlot extends- and suddenly everything makes sense. You can see the whole forest, your whole life as you've lived it clearly. Your world opens up when this happens. You no longer have to wonder why things have been the way they have been because you know. As the leaves have been falling this fall, my awareness has grown. With the leaves finally off, I now know. May all of our deep questions find answers so that we can live our truth unencumbered.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Taking Steps...

Been looking for some ways to take better care of myself. To find that elusive "me time" that can be so difficult to find as a wife and mother. Since sometime last month, I have shirked my household responsibilities for the most part and focused instead on participating in activities that bring meaning into my life. Spending time working on my passions rather than spending time spinning my wheels.

This process of change first began to take place by setting aside two days a week while my son was at his homeschool co-op in order for me to spend time on the pursuit of my interests, nothing else. No errand running, no returning phone calls, no shopping. To leave the house in the morning, my bag filled with books and computer, writing paper and camera with a solid 7 hours ahead of me to do research or reading, contemplation or just spending time in the woods.

I am amazed at the results, finding this time of following my passions to be expanding into many other areas of my life as I've gone along. No longer do I find myself pursuing my interests only two days a week, but find this special time has found its way into many other days of the week, essentially changing the way I approach all of my days. Reinvigorating me, giving me a sense of purpose. Time for myself is no longer something "out there" that I never seem to have time for but something that feels available whenever I need it.

The funny thing is, none of the rest of my life seems to be suffering because of my new focus. In fact, everything feels more organized than it has in ages with the laundry done, dinner on the table most nights, and the house relatively clean. What I am discovering then is that when people are fulfilled in life, they have more energy for all aspects of life and can find room for all they need to accomplish.

Taking steps. Letting go of the "must do's" for the "want to do's" and finding it all come together.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Through the Forest...

Newly fallen leaves,
drenched with recent rain,
makes the trail through the woods
slippery and unpredictable.

But ahead,
the forest opens to a meadow.
Wildflowers nodding
to all that you are.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Creating Belonging...

Last night at church, in a room full of about 15 people, we gathered together to talk about how to create belonging within our church. To go beyond just a coming together on Sunday mornings and move instead to a place where we form deep connection with one another. To find joy in our interactions. Togetherness.

What is belonging, how do you define it? How do you go about creating it within your community? For me, belonging is first found within the smaller groups of a church or any large organization. These smaller settings are a place where you can build relationships and get to know one another in a more intimate way, which then can branch out into the larger community.

Creating belonging takes some effort on both the side of the organization, and the person desiring to join the group. The organization needs to offer small groups which serve as safe places for new people to get a foothold and the person wanting to join needs to be willing to put themselves out there until they form a few early relationships. It is a two sided street and both must offer up something of themselves.

Some recent examples of ways I have found my way into new groups here in my new area are as follows:

1) At church I joined a Small Group Ministry group last fall which allowed me to meet a group of great women pretty quickly and those relationships offered comfort to me which then allowed me to move into other groups within the church, thus resulting in meeting even more people.

2) At my son's homeschool co-op, they started offering Open Campus days which allow the community to come together for a day once a month. Many different small groups are forming such as book and game clubs, allowing one to get to know others on a smaller scale.

3) I have met most of my neighbors here in my new neighborhood and one neighbor invited me to participate in a weekday morning gathering of dog owners. Her willingness to reach out and include me resulted in me feeling comfortable enough to join in with the larger group of 10-15 dog owners, building community around the shared interest of dogs.

In all of these examples, belonging on my part was found because I was willing to put myself out there and also the organizations I joined provided an easy way for me to get involved through small groups.

I love participating in these organizations and the sense of belonging that comes with it. To begin to find a group of people to share the journey with where we offer up care and support for one another in this often fragmented world.

Monday, October 24, 2011

From Southern Great Lakes Forests to Northern Coastal Forests, you can go home again!

Ever since I left my native Michigan 30 years ago, I have been looking for home. Looking for a place to sink my roots and establish myself. I have lived in many states since then- Oregon, Colorado, Georgia, and Illinois- to name a few, but none have ever felt quite like home. I always had friendships with people in those states and other things reminded me of home, but there always seemed to be something missing.

When I first moved to Philadelphia, what I noticed most was how life opened up for me and I found my place in many area groups. I began to feel that maybe I had found home due to the many connections I was making with others and I began to think that discovering "home" was all about finding lots of friends in an area.

I also wondered if this area felt more comfortable because Pennsylvania and Michigan had other things in common. They both had Big Ten colleges in their states, both had sports fans with huge loyalties to their professional sports teams, and they shared many of the same chain stores and restaurants.

But after a bit, I realized that there was something more pulling at me here in Pennsylvania. Something more than friends and chain stores. I first noticed it when I was in the woods over at Ridley Creek State Park last week. The way the sun came through the forest and hit on the picnic tables nearby really spoke to me. The dirt path on the trail winding its way through the forest. The feel of the ground under my feet as I walked along. The smell of the woods. Suddenly, I realized I could have been in my native Michigan, the feel of the forest was so similar, so very familiar. The fallen leaves on the path, the bridges over the creeks, the rolling topography, the beeches, the oaks.

After doing some research, I discovered that Michigan lies in the Southern Great Lakes Terrestrial ecoregion and Philadelphia lies in the Northern Coastal Terrestrial ecoregion, different ecoregions for sure, but similar all the same. They both are comprised of hardwood forests and share many of the same local birds and animals. They both have understory trees and forest blooming wildflowers. While their climates are a bit different, Michigan colder in the winter certainly, they both share hot humid summers.

This pull, this feeling of home that I have been searching for and haven't been able to find outside of my native state, has been found finally here in Philadelphia and it wasn't due to just finding friends or chain stores, but due to finding a place whose natural spaces are much like what I grew up with. A place with the same ancient mysteries that essentially take me home. Home, I'm discovering, isn't so much about what you create on the surface of a place, but what a place does to touch those deep recesses of your soul. If you can find somewhere that replicates the woodlands, prairies, deserts or mountains of your childhood, you can go home again, even if you no longer reside there.

For more information on ecoregions click on the links below:

EPA list of Ecoregions in the United States

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Yellow jewels hang from branches, beckoning me into nature's embrace. Tree litter covers my tracks as I leave the world behind. Time stops, obligations fall away as I make my way along the dirt path before me. Soon I must go back to pick up my son and make dinner, but for now, I will revel in the ways of nature.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Red Sculpture Lessons...

A split in the path of sorts. One rising higher for all to see, but stunted. The other taking a more gentle climb. Taking longer yet going farther. The lower path pushing past crossroads, obstacles, and moving into new space. Moving skyward, each crossroad bringing challenges but resulting in supportive lessons and wisdom. Lessons that work toward wholeness. Eventually moving beyond the crossroads, no longer impeded, rising high enough to bask in the warmth of the rising sun, the authenticity of self.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Planting Garlic under the October Full Moon

When I moved away from my Illinois home in June of '09, I left behind the garlic I had planted the October before. Somehow it felt as though I had left part of myself and when I came back for a a visit later that summer, I walked by my old house and peered over the fence at my ready to harvest garlic, their long stalks doing a dance for me.

I planted garlic for the first time ever in October of '07. The post I wrote about the experience and how I loved growing garlic so much that I wanted to become a garlic farmer can be found here. My love affair with garlic happened naturally and spontaneously and really was unexpected. Maybe it was because my garlic crop connected me to the land. Allowed me to find a way back to the land when I didn't even know my connection had gone awry.
Today is the October Full Moon and many farmers use the full moon in October as a measure of when you should plant your garlic. I have been looking forward to this day for a long time, excited to sink my hands into the dirt of my new home. Excited to know my most beloved crop would soon be nestled in the ground beside my garage. Connecting me to the land of my new home and bringing connection in other ways I have yet to discover.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Picnic Tables - Memories of my Past, Becoming my Future.

Traveling south on US101 just south of the Oregon border, my husband and I stopped at a roadside pull-off and took out our cooler to sit at a picnic table and share some lunch. The day was cold, it being late December, but we didn't notice the chill so much. Just the sheer beauty of the coastal woodlands we found ourselves immersed in. We were on a grand adventure heading towards the huge towering redwoods of northern California and the city of San Francisco beyond, our first big vacation since marrying. While I have fond memories of all that happened on that trip, it is the stop at the picnic table and the sandwiches we enjoyed that come back to me time and time again.

As a young girl, my family always stopped at picnic table filled waysides to eat while traveling. I loved the novelty of eating outside, family gathered round as we reached into the cooler and brought out food prepared from home. Our hands scrambling to hold plates and napkins down as the wind tugged at everything, threatening to send it all flying up and away. Challenge met as we ate peanut butter sandwiches, stretched our legs and enjoyed the break of a long car ride. Pleasant memories etched into the fabric of my being.

I have read that home is imprinted on children around the age of eight. That the landscape, culture, nature, and place where one resides as a young child forms a bank of memories that can be triggered many years in the future by a scent on the wind, a song on the radio, a view from the car etc...that will send one back to that place of home many years prior. I feel that these home place memories become so etched into who we are that they not only decide what activities we enjoy as we move into our future but also determine which memories we hold dear.

Recently I came across an empty picnic table in the state park near my home and my thoughts turned to the long ago picnic table outside my grandmother's cottage. Suddenly, I was 10 again and sitting beside my cousin as my extended family gathered around to feast on fruit, sandwiches, and buttercream cake put out on the table by my grandmother. I can remember the way the sun glistened on the lake, the way the woodlot beside the cottage smelled as though it was yesterday.

The picnic tables of my youth have become the tables of my future. In a supposed desire to go home again, I continually find myself unconsciously drawn to places that offer picnic tables because those places are where I feel most comfortable, especially after a lifetime of hopping over those wooden planked seats as I drew up to the rustic tables. From campgrounds to parks, all the while imprinting the love of picnic tables onto my own sons, I find myself seeking out picnic tables and have never stopped to consider why I am so drawn to them until now.

I can see now how they tell the story of my long ago past, taking me home again by invoking pleasant memories, but I see too how their comfortable warmth will also take me into my future. The tales those tables tell and will tell. Both of where I have been and also of where I am going.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quieting my Mind, Slowing my Pace...

I need to sit awhile and contemplate where I am going. I have been spinning about, moving my belongings from one house to the next and in the process, losing my sense of self, losing my sense of balance. Mind you, all of this spinning has brought me many riches and I love the community I have landed in. I just am not yet planted here. Inertia, a resting and thinking will bring that. I just need to slow down. Way down.

This morning, as my pup and I made our way to the park to meet up with some other dog owners, I stumbled upon a pocket park with a beautiful mosaic bench tucked into one corner. I love things with character- especially those that have the hand of the artist on them- and I immediately slowed down to take a longer look at the pictures created in the tiles. I was reminded that my art, what I want to create for myself in life, had been put away for too long and needs to be drawn back out and worked on.

I think I need to go on a personal retreat. To use solitude to find myself and collect my thoughts. So that I can begin again anew. To find my balance. To think, to breathe. To create something beautiful which speaks to me in much the same way this bench does.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Journeying With Others...To All Who May Know Me...

Come with me, lets link arms together. Share our lives by upholding the best in each other. Embrace this glorious day and hold it with a smile. To thank you for you and me for me. So joyous to share this journey of life together!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hold Your Stone and Know That You Are Home

Tomorrow at church at our annual Ingathering service to kick off the new year, we are going to bless our stones of joy and sorrow. Everyone is asked to bring a stone picked up from a meaningful place this summer, so that these stones can be used each Sunday morning throughout the year as part of our joy and sorrow ritual. A time in our service when one can come forward, pick a stone from a basket and toss it into a bowl of water, the ripples of water sending your silent joy or sorrow out into the universe.

As I thought about what stone I should bring to the service, I realized I hadn't visited any fancy place this summer in which to bring a stone back from. But suddenly it dawned on me that the most important stone for me to bring would be one which was from the backyard of my new home. Of course I thought. Home. My home. Finally. This stone would represent home for me. Finally finding my home. No longer searching for my place and finally being able to embrace what it meant to be home.

As I stepped out into my back yard, all I saw where some simple rocks, gray in color with mottled black throughout. They really didn't appeal to me or really I should say, none of them spoke to me. I didn't feel any sort of connection or energy coming from the rocks I saw until out of the corner of my eye I spotted a smooth white rock tucked under some dirt, a cockeyed smile of sorts etched upon its face. Immediately I knew this was the stone for me. Smiling up at me, asking to become my special rock, the stone that represented Home.

After bringing my rock inside and giving it a good wash, I turned to a book called "Little Stone, Your Friend for Life" by James Wanless and inside I found myself captivated by the section labeled "Home" It so resonated with me and what I was feeling at the time that I would like to share some of the passage here:

Mother Stone

"As first matter, stone is our MA, our mother. Out of stone we have emerged, so it's true in a way: Little Stone is our mother. Just imagine how many human, animal, and plant births she has supported. As the mother of all mother, the Mother Stone makes us feel secure, at home. She gives of herself with unconditional love, always reliable and dependable. So strong and yet so soft. Through her, we grow our roots and wings...so that we can fly, knowing we can return to her. She is home base, always there for us. Haven't we all felt at times insecure, dislocated, unsure, foreign, maybe even alien? Without a sense of place- home- there can be no peace, no comfort, no security, no rest. Feeling at home is the base, ground zero for happiness and success in life."

Going forward, throughout the church year, when I step forward to express a joy or concern, I will look for my little stone smiling up at me, reminding me that I'm home.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Finding connection in all the wrong/right places.

When my son asked if I would be interested in visiting an amusement park with some friends of ours, I really didn't want to go. To me, amusement parks feel so fake and lack connection with the natural world that I so crave. I have disliked amusement parks so much in fact that my son at age 15 had never visited one. Never felt the thrill of roaring down a hill on a roller coaster or splashing into the water at the bottom of a flume ride.

As much as my son pushed to go, I pushed back with a million reasons why we shouldn't. The heat, the crowds, the bad food, the corrals of people waiting forever to board a ride. Ugh! No, no, no, I exclaimed! I wanted Ryan to see it my way, to understand my thinking and agree that we should just stay home and avoid the whole very bad scene.

But Ryan was not to be dissuaded and after a bit, I came to understand how important the trip was to him. Even though I didn't agree with his thinking and even though I really hated the thought of spending the day at a place that went totally against how I like to spend my time, I relented.

The day before the trip, as I complained to my mom about the amusement park, she offhandedly suggested I take my camera, thinking I might want to shoot something interesting for my blog in one of the many small towns along the way. While I didn't see anything worth photographing along the way I did began to photograph my son and his friends enjoying the rides at the park. After a bit, as I reviewed each shot after I took it, one thing began to stick out in the photos time and time again. Ryan's smile. His big, authentic, full of happiness smile.

In that moment, something shifted within me and suddenly all of Ryan's smiles were worth so much more than anything I could have accomplished by staying home. Making him happy by giving up something of myself felt so good and reminded me of the fact that life isn't about getting what you want but about giving up some of what you want in order to find deep connection with another. That hanging in there and finding your way through a disagreement or tough situation can bring something unexpected and incredibly meaningful.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beauty in the Storm...

With no power at home, trees down across roads and flooding conditions as a result of Hurricane Irene, there really isn't much to appreciate about enduring a hurricane. But just a bit ago, when the sun peeked out for a few minutes, I saw the most massive rainbow I have ever seen. Serving up an important life lesson and reminder for myself that when life feels stormy, beauty endures.

Life is stormy. People don't do things the way you would like them to. They live life differently than you do. They don't follow through or are late or don't show up at all. They make different decisions for their family than you do yours. They don't treat others the way you feel they should. They don't understand you and sometimes say mean things to you. For these reasons and more, you feel certain people are not part of your tribe and deserve to be scorned, walked away from or ignored, bringing gray skies to your life and theirs.

But beauty endures. Shining sun upon rain clouds brings rainbows. Make yourself into a ray of sunshine when you encounter people that bring storms to your life. Many times things are not as they first appear. Switch things around by looking at the situation from many angles and attempt to put yourself in their shoes, to figure out where they are on their own personal journey. Maybe you were once where they are today. Light up with understanding and compassion rather than the cloud of judgement and scorn. We do not all have to be on the same page and different colors residing next to one another is what makes a rainbow so beautiful.

Bring beauty to this world. We have had enough storms.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Afternoon Coffee's On...Precursor to Fall Weather

When the coffee pot is put to brew in the mid-afternoon and not just in the morning, I know fall is just around the corner. Like birds that are signaled to fly south when the weather turns cold, I feel it in my bones when the planet has made a shift from summer toward fall and I find myself desiring a cup of joe in the afternoon.

Today dawned with a coolness, a fresh breeze that made my morning walk with my pup feel especially wonderful, as I found the stale, humid air of late blown out and away. The blue sky was a welcome sight after all of the rain storms we've been having this summer as well. As Dakota and I made our way around the borough, we made a stop at the library to return my overdue books before continuing along, stopping to greet other the dog owners also out enjoying this fine day.

After my morning cup of coffee and a not so fun trip to the dentist, I found myself making my way up to the co-op to fetch some items for dinner tonight. Again, I enjoyed the delightful air and blue sky as I ambled along. A side trip to the bank to get some money was nice because I got to peer into each shop along the way, their doors thrown open to enjoy the day. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Well, not really those shops. But sometimes when I walk along the streets of the borough, I feel as though I have gone back in time. All of the homes are almost 100 years old and with most everyone on foot or bike, it feels like I have traveled through a time machine.

I just heard the train from Philadelphia running along the tracks and blowing its horn as it crossed over a street near my home. Soon my older son, transported by that same train, will walk through the door returning from his job in the city.

The afternoon is passing, my coffee has brewed. I need to begin to finish making a potato salad I started earlier so that it will be ready for a potluck dinner meeting I am attending tonight. My contemplative time is over. I will rush about for a few hours now before settling down and watching the day pass into night. The cool air floating through my windows, guaranteeing a delightful night sleep.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Remembering My Brother Erik, 11/5/63 - 8/19/08

In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them.

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them.

In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them.

In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.

In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them.

When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them.

So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

~Ronald B. Gittelsohn

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Replacing Lawns with Gardens...

With the weather starting to cool and make a move toward fall, I find my thoughts turning to gardening. It has been a long 2 years since I have owned a home and now that I am in a place of my own once again, I can do what I'd like with the yard. The many beautiful gardens in the borough I live in inspire me as my dog Dakota and I make our morning rounds.

Flowering gardens are given preference over boring green lawns in my town and it is so refreshing to see how beautiful a yard can become when one decides to not have any lawn at all. Nature abounds in these spaces and calls me to create something born out of wild abandon in my own yard.

I have always been drawn to wild over restrained and I am glad to see most in this area feel the same. Nary is a lawn mower heard on a Saturday around here. The sounds of insects buzzing through the garden and birds in the trees sounding out loud and clear and not drowned by man's machines. Why can't more people embrace nature and allow it into their spaces? It certainly would make for a more beautiful world.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Longing for Mother...

I have always wondered about the pull I feel when I am out in wild spaces. The ache in my heart that speaks of amazement, wonder and longing and can be found whether I am looking skyward at the trees towering overhead or viewing dancing wildflowers along a wooded trail. I feel this pull as I revel in all that the natural world offers and this ache brings me into nature's fold, wrapping me up in its beauty, embracing me in wildness.

This is the same embrace a child feels as she is swept up into the arms of her mother. Fulfilling a longing, a connection to be with what brought one into being.

After spending a fair amount of time in the natural world, residing in the bosom of nature, I begin to feel adequately satisfied and find the ache, the pull, begins to ebb. I find that time spent resting in the lap of my mother, earth mother, fulfills a longing, allows connection with what brought me into being.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dark Damp Day

Waking up to the sound of rain upon the roof and distant rolls of thunder, I knew today would bring a slower pace than usual. No walk for the pup, no yard work to tackle. Just a slow ramble through the day reading and thinking and resting. I love the forced relaxation that rain filled days bring! Enjoy the day!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reaching for the Sky...

A once read that the root system of a tree is as big underground as the growth you see above the ground. That the roots and branches are essentially a mirror of one another, roots spreading out underground and supporting all of the branches reaching skyward. I would imagine herbaceous plants such as the sunflower would need this same sort of support structure as well.

Just like plants, I understand that I need to have a strong support structure in order reach skyward myself. Every time I move to a new place, my roots severed, I find it takes me a bit to regain my footing. I falter and am not able to put much out into the world as I rebuild my roots and connections in a new place.

Such has been the case with my recent move but slowly, as my roots push deeper, I am beginning to put out some top growth. Recent connections with neighbors and fellow dog walkers have allowed me to branch out and discover that local dog owners meet each Saturday and Sunday morning in a park to let their dogs run free. A visit to that park this weekend will allow me to connect with new people and continue branching outward in new ways.

Other neighbors I have recently met have shared with me the history of my house and town, where the best coffee shops are, news about how the borough operates and what the loud horn blasting at various hours means (a call out to the volunteer fire department), allowing me to form a foundation and understanding of this new place I reside in. As I process all of this information, I find myself getting more and more comfortable, getting more rooted.

Part of me wants to rush this process of getting established here. To move straight to the glorious leafing out part, standing straight and tall and starting to put out blooms. I find myself frustrated that I have to go through this all again. I have moved so many damn times in my life, cut my connections so many times, I feel I should be entitled to just skip all the ground work. But when considering what nature requires, the need for foundation to support growth, I find my frustration easing, knowing that the groundwork I lay now with allow flowering down the road.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dakota's Summer Morning...

Just as the sun was cresting over the horizon, bringing forth brand new possibilities for this day, my dog Dakota and I were out taking our morning walk. Easing our minds into thinking about how we wanted to spend this morning, her with thoughts of a rest upon return home, me with thoughts of how to settle my mind after a month filled with orchestrating a move to my new home.

After breakfast, Dakota settled upon the couch in the living room, me in the family room. Dog bowl filled at the ready for her, coffee cup in hand for me.

As I watched Dakota beginning to let her day unfold, resting upon the couch, it dawned on me that I should do the same. Just let things happen as they should and not try to force or figure out how best to spend the day.

Taking cues from Dakota, I decided to watch the world go by.

Let the sun play upon my face.

Wonder about things.

Investigate from an armchair.

Take it easy,

And just be. What will this day bring I wonder?