Monday, July 31, 2017

Common Place

When I walked out the Eastern door this morning, I did my best to take everything in as quickly as I could. There is so much happening around the cabin these days, I didn't want to spook anything or miss something. This got me thinking about how I prioritize certain types of experiences. Thing is, there is always a lot going on around the cabin. Whether it's Squirrel in the trees or Turkey passing through or Mouse tunneling under the snow in the deep chill of winter, someone is always doing something. It might not be as attention grabbing as Hawks playing in the Northern woods, or Fawn walking up to me as I sit on the porch steps, but something is still going on.

Today, I will be paying attention to when I discount the simple things that happen around me. I will be working to remember that every situations has something to teach me, no matter how common place it might seem.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


There is a major die off of Ants that happens around this time of year. We see piles of dead Ants in specific places, and live Ants carrying bodies back to their colony. This mourning I found Ant standing motionless. I wondered it Ant was dead. I touched Ant with a finger. Ant reared up as if to begin a battle. I pulled my finger back and Ant relaxed, but did not move away. I watched for a while, but Ant did not move again. It struck me that if Ant was dying, she still chose to respond to my prodding her with strength.

Members of many Native American cultures have a Death Song. For me a Death Song is a way to approach my passing with courage and strength. Like Ant's rearing up at me, a Death Song is about begin fully alive until I am not, and engaging with every moment with all the energy I have until I have no more. Singing my heart out embodies this notion for me in daily life.

Today, I will be doing my best to sing my heart out in everything I do. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Hawk or Twig?

As soon as I woke up this morning I started thinking about what the Hawks would teach me today. I walked out to the screen house and sat down. I heard Hawk off to the North. The call seemed some distance away so I wondered if Hawk saw soaring, something we haven't seen the Hawks do since they've been here. Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement to the Northeast. Expecting to see Hawk I looked up into the gray of the morning sky, sure that I would see Hawk complete a circle. I didn't. What I saw was a twig caught in a Spider web hanging from the corner of the screen house.

I was convinced I had seen Hawk soaring, and it got me thinking about the power of expectations. Hearing Hawk at a distance, I had put together an expectation so powerful that the movement of the stick connected the dots and created Hawk for me. I started wondering about how often this might happen, where my expectations coupled with a little information create a seductive unreal reality.

Today, I will be paying attention to the effects of my expectations. I will be noticing how my expectations about what is happening get in the way of my experience of what is actually unfolding in the moment I am in.

Friday, July 28, 2017


This morning, I sat on the North steps of the porch hoping to see what the Hawks were up to. These are not quiet Hawks, especially in the morning. As a result, I quickly located two of them. One was calling from the Northeast, and one from the Northwest. Then two flew out of the woods and joined the one in the Northwest. As I sat there noticing, it occurred to me how open I was to what they had to teach me. I was not critiquing them, or judging them, or thinking I had a better idea about what they should be doing. I was simply open to what was happening in front of me, and paying attention, joyfully curious about what might happen next.

Our culture teaches me to look at others from a critical perspective. In fact, much of the pessimism I experience about what we will and will not be able to achieve comes not from thoughts about what we are capable of personally, but what others won't be able to do, or the shortcomings of our neighbors.

Today, I will be doing my best to see others the same way I see my Hawk neighbors: As teachers who can change my perspective and shake me out of a view shaped only by my fears and expectations.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


On my way home yesterday I saw Turkey and two chicks crossing the road. The chicks legs had to move quite quickly to keep up with their mother, but they made it, and the three disappeared into the woods. I was struck by what I saw. In order to get to their destination the three had to cross and extraordinarily dangerous obstacle, and the only way to do this was for each of them to convey themselves. The Mother could not carry her chicks, or send them ahead so she could protect the rear. They had to follow her, and do as she did. It is an interesting way to learn. She acts. They observe and do as she does. Following behind her, they learn how to eat, where to sleep, and how to get from place to place. She teaches them how to live by doing. They learn by making the choice to follow. She protects them by showing them what they need to know. Her attention is mostly on what she is doing, not if they are paying attention. In this way each has a responsibility for their own actions. If the chicks don't pay attention, they will not learn what they need to know.

I have heard stories of birds protecting their chicks under the shelter of their wings, but it strikes me that if that's all they did, they would all die of starvation. Taking the risk of letting the chicks out into the world to learn, unprotected by sheltering wings is an essential part of their figuring out how to live.

Today, I will be paying attention to when my own desire to stay close to what is comfortable and safe is keeping me for me learning lessons that are only available just outside the bounds of what I already know.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Subtle Signs

Sitting on the porch this morning, I could see four Coopers Hawks. Two were on the utility pole, and two were perched in Maple tree. They were all illuminated by the early morning sunlight. I noticed to my surprise that there were no alarm calls. The other birds were singing and flying freely from place to place, seemingly unconcerned by the presence of so many Hawks.

Why weren't they calling out warnings about the abundance of predators? There must be some subtle sign that I didn't understand that told the prey creatures when Hawk was a threat and when Hawk wasn't. I wanted to understand this sign. My culture teaches me that Hawk is always a threat, and that I need to be always be on guard. But apparently, there is wisdom here that I have yet to decipher.

Today, I will be paying attention to situations that I would usually consider dangerous and looking for subtle signs that tell me when I need to be on guard and when I don't.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Hawk could easily out fly the rain storms that come in slowly and stall here on the coast of Maine. Hawk could fly East and stay in the sunshine, hoping the storm will dissipate before she needs to turn back toward land. But Hawk stays, perched in a tree, and the storm to passes.

Hawk gets me thinking about how I could run from my struggles, and avoid the pain and suffering, hoping the storm will dissipate. Hawk reminds me that if I stay where I am and face what is happening, the storm and the pain and the suffering will pass. If I run hoping to outrun the storm, I will probably have to turn around and face it anyway, and I will also have to deal with the fatigue of trying to avoid d it in the first place.

Today, I will be noticing when I contemplate avoiding struggle in stead of taking it as it comes, where I am right here right now. 

Monday, July 24, 2017


I found a moth out in the screen house this morning. Moth was no bigger than a sesame seed, and fluttered toward me. I reached out to grab Moth, then I noticed something falling to the floor. Thinking it was Moth, I opened my hand. Moth flew out, and was lost from sight.

This got me thinking that sometimes what I want is right in my hand, but I don't notice until I reach out for it. Doing so, I lose what I wanted because I didn't realize it was already mine.

Today, I will be paying attention to what I am looking for and noticing when I have already found it.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hawk Calls

The abundant Hawk calls sing out like a round with Chipmunk's alarm calls. I wonder if Chipmunk is yelling at Hawk because of an interrupted day, or if Chipmunk is telling other Chipmunks to stay sharp. And is Hawk calling out as a warning to Chipmunk, or calling out to friends?

Then I let go of my human centered idea that something said has to be said to someone. That's when Crow shows up with all her relatives. Many Crow calls fill the sky, as the birds dive and climb. They circle the cabin then fly off to the North.

Calls get my attention, even if they aren't talking to me. Hawk, Chipmunk, and Crow get me to notice what I might otherwise miss. The wind is stronger this morning than it has been for a while. Hawk calls start again, and the Wren sings out.

Today, I will be remembering to notice.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pink Cloud

I woke up this morning and out the Eastern window of the cabin, I saw a pink cloud. There is an old saying that goes, “red in the morning, sailors take warning.” It refers to years of experience that have shown that red clouds in the morning usually mean storms in the afternoon.

When I got outside, I noticed lots of Hawk calls from the North. Almost immediately, I saw Coopers Hawk fly off to the Northeast, but the calls continued, as did the alarm calls from other birds and Chipmunk. Then I saw what looked like a young Coopers Hawk hopping from tree to tree, heading East. I noticed another Hawk in its path. When the two finally got close together the Hawk calls stopped, as did the alarm calls from the other creatures. It was silent for a moment. Then the bird song began again. The two hawks perched quietly in the tree close together until I had to head in to do other things.

What did it all mean? Why did the bird song start when the two predators were close together? Why were Coopers Hawks perching in the tree together in the first place.? Then I remembered that if I wanted to know, all I had to do was wait and watch. Eventually, the reasons would manifest in what they did next. The reasons why would become what happened. That's how it works out there. Nothing is hidden, you simply have to watch what is happening, and see what happens next. The sky is red in the morning, there is a storm in the afternoon. It's simple.

This gets me thinking that I can lament the loss of millions of years of wisdom sacrificed through our separation from the Natural World, or I can remember that it is all still available; Sometimes in old rhymes, and sometimes fresh and new and right in front of me, somewhere between what happens and what happens next.

Friday, July 21, 2017


Tick lives in the grass and woods around the cabin. Tick is there, doing the same thing I am, figuring out day by day what to do to stay alive. Though sometimes described as a parasite or a pest, what Tick does to get through the day isn't substantially different than any of the others who live here.

I read somewhere that I should build a fence around the cabin to keep Deer away. Doing so would supposedly also keep Tick and the diseases she carries away from me and my family. Unfortunately, there is no fence that would contain Tick. Like me, she travels where she will based on reasons that make sense only to her. She does not always hitch a ride on Deer.

Ideas like fences simply promote fear, and ask me to sacrifice interactions with all of the creatures that walk close to the cabin. There is no fence that would keep Deer out and allow Raccoon and Fisher, Squirrel and Mink to get though.

I am left to live with the possibility that Tick may end up on me, and that I may end up with one of the diseases she carries. For me, the sacrifices of the alternatives are too great. Today I will be living with the effects of my choices, in my experience of how I feel right here right now. I will avoid the limits of actions that are intended to protect me from what might happen at the expense of my freedom and the freedom of others, including Tick.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mountain Lion

I have been told that by the time you realize you are being stalked by Mountain Loin, it is too late. The trap has been set and sprung. This gets me thinking about the “In order to achieve what?” question. When I am being stalked by Mountain Loin her intentions are about survival. I am not begin taken advantage of or exploited or tricked. It is simply the unfolding of a life sustaining process. What is being achieved is the continuation of her life or mine.

I live in a culture where the intention of situations that involve risk and danger aren't always as clear or sincere or honorable. Sometimes what is being achieved is the continuation of profit or power or fear. Today I will be doing my best to discern when I am participating in these sorts of interactions. I will be checking my intentions and asking myself the in order to achieve what question in an effort to live life as clearly, sincerely, and honorably as I can.

7 Billion Geniuses-The Basics-Plants

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Funnel Spider

The mist is so thick this morning, it begins to obscure the trees not 100 yards from the cabin. It floats through the air like smoke. Looking out the North window, I see at least one hundred Funnel Spider webs. I see them because they are soaked on the morning dew. They look like patches of frost sprinkled amongst the low greenery. It is the culmination of the light and the mist and the web that makes them visible. Without this mornings abundant moisture, they would be much harder to see, brilliant traps set in the night by hungry Spiders. But this morning they seem to be everywhere.

It gets me thinking about the seemingly random intersection of events that makes things visible, and how often experiences that can pass without catching our attention are suddenly and briefly illuminated. When the morning sun burns the morning mist away, Spider's webs will disappear from view.

Today, I will keep my head up and eyes open for those fleeting moments of possibility that manifest and disappear like Funnel Spider's web. I will be doing my best to notice and discern what they are offering me. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


If I put a grain of rice on the floor and stare at it long enough, it will disappear. If I move my eyes, even slightly, it will come back. This reminds me of how I can take things for granted. Over time, even this most amazing experience can become something I am used to.

Today, I am noticing times when I am not paying attention to the amazing parts of my life that, over time, can become what I am used to. I will remember that a slight change in perspective can reawaken me to the grain of rice.

Monday, July 17, 2017


After three days of cloudy beginnings, it isn't surprising that I noticed the sky this morning. When I went out, the quarter moon hung in the Southeast. The Sun was still set low, filtering through the Pine grove. The clouds that were in the sky were high, and reminded me of Elephant's skin, bumpy and rough. They gathered in one continuous narrow band, running over the cabin Northeast to Southwest.

It occurred to me that there was nothing between me and them except Air, and that lifted my heart. How beautiful, and ever changing, I thought. Transforming from one moment to the next, one monumental spectacle to another, with no attachment to what was or what will be. It is, then it is, then it is again. Now I look up, and it is clear blue, but darker here and lighter there, never just one thing.

Last night I had dream. In the dream I realized I could fly. I kept putting me feet down to make sure I wouldn't fall. When I did, the flying stopped. I finally realized that I could fly, but only if I stopped putting my feet down.

Today, I will be paying attention to when I take myself out of the ever evolving flow of change. I will be thinking of Sky as a reminder that change from one beautiful way to another is possible, but only if I don't out me feet down.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ground Ivy

There is a plant growing in the Strawberry patch that I have been pulling by the hands full for weeks. A friend of mine identified it as Creeping Charlie. When I was pulling it, I found that I really loved the smell. It reminded me of my childhood for some reason, so I decided to find out more about it.

This morning, I discovered that it is a plant with many names. Creeping Charlie, Cat's Paw, and Ground Ivy are but a few. It was imported by the settlers because it prevents scurvy. Must reports suggest that it is high in vitamin C. That would be the scurvy connection.

An Elder of another friend of mine once told her that most of the plants we are overwhelmed by are so abundant because we don't eat enough of them. Perhaps the message is that I can get my vitamin C from oranges imported from 3,000 miles away, or from the plants growing in my backyard.

Today, I will be looking out for times when my expectations and assumptions have me looking to the distance for things that are right on front of me.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


The little boy asked his father, “What's it feel like to have a fever?”

The father thought for a moment, then replied, “I know what it feels like to have a fever because I know what it feels like not to. When I start to get better, I will know because it will feel different than I feel now.”

Friday, July 14, 2017

White Pine

If you walk out the basement door of the Cabin and continue due North, the first obstacle you will run into is a 50 foot White Pine. About five feet past White Pine is baby White Pine. Baby White pine isn't more than seven feet tall, and probably six years old. More than likely, Squirrel found Pinecone and started ripping it apart, eating some Pine nuts, and leaving the one that became Baby.

From White Pine I see a way of parenting. From White Pine, Baby knows to shade without prejudice, to drop needles when it is the Season, to stand tall, not bent down by the weight of supposed to's, to heal and grow at the same time, to reach up to Sky and down to Earth, to breath out as freely as you breath in, to be White Pine. But, White Pine doesn't teach Baby, White Pine just is.

White Pine and Baby remind me that the most powerful messages I can give come, not from what I say or write, but from my actions. When I lament the absence of good role models in the world, I am abdicating my responsibility to be one. If the world needs role models, I will do my best to meet that need by being what I would want a role model to be. I will begin with what I see White Pine doing, to give without prejudice, to accept change when it is the Season, to stand tall, not bent down by the weight of supposed to's, to heal and grow at the same time, to reach up to Sky and down to Earth, and to breath out as freely as I breath in.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Rain Forest Man

In a thought, I went to the Rain Forest. I saw a man. He was hunting Monkey. I said to him, “My people are lost. Can you help us?” He kept hunting. I said, “I don't know what to do. Can you help?” He kept hunting. In frustration, I shouted, “We have forgotten so much, we don't even know that we have forgotten.” He stopped and turned his face toward me. Smiling gently, he said, “If all that is true, how is it that you knew to come here for answers?”

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Deadly Nightshade is a viney plant that likes to grow around the garden. Right now there are large swaths of it growing North of the Rhubarb, covering the paths. The thing about Night Shade is it vines out from a central root. What can seem like a huge patch is actually only one plant. Nightshade reminds me that something can seem huge and overwhelming, when it actually is manageable. But in order to know that I have to start pulling.

Today, I will be paying attention to times when I am putting off getting started because I have already made the task overwhelming.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cherry Tree

To the North of the cabin there is a Cherry tree. It is one of the largest and oldest trees on the land. It is dying, and eventually it will fall to the ground to begin the next cycle. But it's not dead yet. It is still tall and majestic, a sentry of the days when the land was a Cow pasture, and it stood alone.

Today, I am remembering to enjoy what is, and not be distracted but what will be.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


As I sat on the back deck this morning, I realized that the air that I breath connects me across time and space to everything. It is the air that has been breathed since there was air. It is the air that everyone breaths everywhere. There is only one air. Air connects us to one single cycle of breath, in each moment of each day.

Today, I am grateful for gift of air.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


This morning I found Moth in the screen house. It was no bigger than an Appleseed. It is our practice here at the cabin to catch bugs trapped in the screen house, and bring them outside. My impulse about this moth, however, was different. Because it was so small, I thought I didn't need to do anything.

I was struck by the idea that this small creature didn't deserve the same care as something larger.

Today, I will be paying attention to how I make determinations about what deserves care and what does not, and the ideas behind these thoughts.

Friday, July 7, 2017


Tracks are everything and everything is a track. The Comfrey outside the Western window of the cabin is a track. I could follow the tracks of that plant back to the origins of how it came to be outside the window, but that is only one Comfrey path. The plant is also a track of its own origins back to the beginning. In its DNA, its roots, its Spirit, the tracks of its beginnings are all right in front of me.

It is the same for everything and everyone. I am a track of the path that brought me to this moment, right here, right now. I am a track of my ancestors and their origins. I am a track of the Earth, and the Cosmos, and the origins of everything. We all are. In this way, we are all connected to the infinite in every moment, in everything we do. We are inextricably linked to and a manifestation of the infinite. And its all staring back at you when you look in the mirror.

Today, I am remembering to pay attention to my connection to the infinite. I will use this to change my perspective when I am invited to take up the idea of finite possibilities.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Around the Corner

I didn't want to pick Strawberries today because I didn't want to accept the the harvest was waning. I did anyway, and found more than enough for breakfast. My path took me to the Mint for tea, then past the Wild Blueberry patch. The berries are just starting to ripen. Now my breakfast includes some of the beginnings of the Blueberry harvest. All this reminds me that abundance follows abundance. Rhubarb to Strawberries to Blueberries to Potatoes to Garlic to Apples to Pumpkins. On and on.

Today, I am paying attention to when my attachment to something can keep me from seeing the abundance that is around the corner. These are tracks of love.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tracks of Love

The shadow from an Oak on the East side of the cabin is the same shape as the crown of the Apple tree on the West side. Apple stretches out its branches beyond the limits of the shadow to catch the morning sun. These are tracks of Love.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


While I was sitting this morning, Phoebe came and perched on the woodpile. She had a bug in her mouth. Phoebe seemed to doze for a moment, and I thought”What would happen if, in a doze, she didn't notice Hawk?” Then I thought, “Where is her mate? Is he dead?” Moments later, he showed up. I was relieved and noticed how much I loved them living on the East side of the cabin.

Later, as I opened the door to go pick Strawberries for breakfast, I startled Coopers Hawk. She flew from the ground up into the canopy. Not twenty feet to the North, on the dog run, Phoebe looked on. Had her mate just been killed? I walked down to where Hawk had been. There were small gray feathers scattered around in the grass. My heart sank. The other Phoebe flew away.

I walked up to the Strawberry patch to pick. I was not quite steady on my feet. In the moment it seemed that there were no more berries. “Has the time of Strawberries passed,” I thought? Then I began to see them. Still there. Still many. Why hadn't I see them moments before? “What else am I missing,” I though?

Once I'd picked enough berries for breakfast, I walked East to see if I could spot the surviving Phoebe. The Eastern deck came into view, and I saw one. I waited for the moment. Then I saw the second. Grateful, I though, “Not our Phoebes.”

The thought shuttered through me. “Not our Phoebes?” What about Hawk? What about the bug in Phoebe's mouth. Bug died. Phoebe died. Strawberries were picked. Then I started to see. Attachment to Phoebe had caused my heart to sink. More importantly, my attachment had distracted me from something larger. A friend of mine introduced me to a powerful image. It is the image of holding a frame and pulling it back, allowing more to become visible. I use this image to change my perspective. In a small frame the death of Phoebe is tragic. In a larger frame, Bug, Phoebe, Hawk, Strawberry, and I are all part of something miraculous. Something where death and life meld together into a sacred flow of purpose.

Today, I will be doing my best to hold that larger frame, though I want so much to return to the smaller more familiar one. The familiar one where Phoebe and her mate live forever on the back deck, and I watch them happily, choosing not to think about bug.

Monday, July 3, 2017

7 Billion Geniuses-7BG Basics-Breathing


If I take a misstep or make a mistake what matters is what I do next. I can't undo what is done or return to the past. By I am in control of what I do right here, right now. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Here, in the woods of Maine, the Elder is in bloom. Elder teaches me the difference between living in the future and planning. Elder is a gentle antiviral. A tea brewed from the dried flowers has taken the edge off many colds for me and my family. However, in order to have the tea, we have to pick the flowers.

Picking the Elder flower is not living in the Winter cold, it is paying attention to what is. In this moment the Elder is in bloom. What do I do next? I pick the flowers. Once the flowers are hung, I have done what I can do.

The freshly cut flowers hang from the Cabin rafters, swinging rhythmically to the gentle breezes of early summer. That is what is happening in this moment, right here, right now.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Looking out one of the Northern widows of the cabin this morning, I have a twinge of melancholy as the days of summer in Maine slip by. Then I remember that trying to hang onto moments has me missing what is happening in this moment, right here, right now.

Today, I will be savoring every second of what promises to be a day in Maine.