Thursday, August 31, 2017

Squirrel Lessons

Squirrel was out this morning, rooting around the Pine trees North of the cabin. Disappearing behind a tree trunk, I couldn't see if she had climbed up or headed off the the Northwest, out of my line of vision.

Just seeing Squirrel got me thinking about all the Squirrel lessons I learn. The fact the Squirrel wasn't over on the East side of the cabin where the Acorns are reminds me that life isn't always about gathering supplies and being prepared. Sometimes it's okay to root around in the Pine needles just to see what's what.

Today, I will be thinking about Squirrel and the lessons she teaches me about possibilities for living.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What Is

I woke up this morning to Cardinal's call. Cardinal's call is a lot like Chipmunk's alarm call, a pattern of single loud chirps. I figured it was Cardinal because of the way it moved around the cabin, getting pretty close to the upstairs window before it moved off to the West.

This got me thinking about how easy it can be to mistake one thing for another. If I don't pay really close attention, I can be convinced I am hearing one thing, when it is actually something else. In most instances it is about taking the time I need to really listen or really look and see, or really thoroughly feel.

Today, I will be doing my best to slow down so I can make the distinction between what seems to be and what, upon further reflection, actually is.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What Heron Sees

Great Blue Heron glides gracefully over the pond. As she stalls her flight, her long stick like legs penetrate to surface of the water, seemingly without a ripple. Like a 747 landing on a lily pad, Heron improbably morphs from magnificent soarer to stealthy hunter finding her footing in the soft clay bottom of the pond.

To accomplish this act of transformation Heron is able to see through the water surface. In order to calculate her gentile trajectory, she must be able to see where the bottom of the pond is, and be sure that the depth of the intervening water is not deeper than her legs are long.

Heron gets me thinking about how easy it is for me to see the surface of things and miss the richer description that includes what is just past the immediately obvious. Like Heron, it is useful to see and understand the surface, but to also take in what is below, just beyond what we notice at first glance.

Today, I will be remembering to ask questions that illuminate territories that exist just beyond what is immediately obvious, so that my life can be more richly described. I will also remember that what might seem obvious is also worthy of my curiosity inquiry.

Monday, August 28, 2017

7 Billion Geniuses-7BG Ideas- Sing Your Heart Out

Summer Chill

Here in Maine, the chill of the coming Winter starts to show up around the middle of August. By now, most mornings are pretty cool. This morning my thoughts about the coming cold distracted me from the abundance of this time of year. Elder is bursting forth with berries, the potatoes have yet to be harvested, and there is more Mint and Rhubarb than we could ever use. Fresh greens are everywhere, and Winter berry and Partridge berry will be around till the Spring.

This gets me thinking about how the abundance of the Earth is around all me the time, it's just a question of knowing where to look. The obvious abundance of Summer can be overwhelming, while the abundance of early Winter is more subtle. Subtle or not, it is still there, I just have to stay open to the possibilities.

Today, I will be remembering that abundance is all around me all the time, I just have to be open to its varied manifestations. It may not be what I'm looking for or what I think I want, but it's there.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


As the Sun rose from behind the mountains, they seemed like a ridge of rolling hills. The center one did not stand out in any way, aside from seeming slightly higher than the rest. Without knowledge from the previous day, I would not have known it was what we call Mount Washington.
Eventually, the Sun crested just to the South of the peak, and began to illuminate the craggy top giving some contrast to the scene. Eventually, the other peaks were exposed and gave reference to their relationship to each other. Not only the height of the top of the central mountain, but its proximity to me were easier to discern.

This got me thinking about how much my perspective and view of thing can change over time. Things that seems near, can eventually seem farther away. Things that seems to be one way can, with some illumination, appear completely different, and then change again. This process goes on constantly, yet I am rarely aware of it.

Today, I will be paying attention to how often my perspective changes and is changed by what is going on around me, and by what I am doing in the moment I am in.

Dog Eat Dog

My culture teaches me that it is a dog eat dog world. My experience is that, if it is not a survival situation, most of my creature cousins live in balanced coexistence with each other. I also know that when my local friends were given the opportunity to gather in support of Love, 40,000 of them showed up.
Today, I will be noticing opportunities I have to stand up against the idea that it is, or even has to be, a dog eat dog world.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Morning Sun

Each morning around this time of year, the point at which the Sun rises over the horizon tracks further and further North. As this happens, the are fewer and fewer bird songs when I find myself out on the back deck sitting. Since the time that I go out is based on clock time and not the actual cycles of the Earth what seems like the same time for me every morning is actually earlier and earlier for my creature cousins who's lives are connected to something far older than my culture's clock. So as the Sun rises later and later, they sleep in longer and longer.

This gets me thinking about my culture's mythology that teaches me how hard and long my creature cousins labor to “survive in the wild.” These stories of constant toil and suffering aren't supported by my experience. When I am getting up in the darkness because the clock tells me it is six in the morning, I know my creature cousins are still sleeping because their calls don't greet me when I get outside. I know they are sleeping in until the Sun comes up and warms things a bit. When I'm working into the darkness because the clock tells me the day has not yet over, by the time I get outside to end my day my creature cousins are already in bed avoiding the cold of the nighttime. I sit alone in the back deck, accompanied only by the vastness of space unfolding above my head.

Today, I will be paying attention to the effects cultural ideas have on how I think about my life, and the choices I make to comply with these ideas (or not).

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Impermanent Sky

As I approached the Southern edge of the garden to collect Mint for tea, I realized I hadn't yet taken in the sky. I looked up and was awed by the pale blue expanse filled with high textured clouds. Each quarter of the Sky seemed populated by a different pattern, some almost imperceptible, some more defined. The resulting light rained down like an airy ocean, blending blue with green as it enveloped the trees.

As the Sun rises in the East, Sky morphs in response, ever changing, ever original.

I am grateful for Sky, and it's ability to remind me that everything is in a state of flux, and that each moment contains it's own fleeting uniqueness.

Today, I will be looking for signs of Sky in everything I experience, standing up against the mythology of stagnation and recognizing the beauty in impermanence.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cricket Song

This morning I was woken up by the call of Pileated Woodpecker. Later, Woodpecker called out again. Hawk also called out from the Northwestern forest.

I wondered if I would see either of them, and if they would have a lesson for me. I waited and listened carefully for some indication of where either of them was. The I noticed something. While I was listening so carefully for my bird cousins, I had not heard the Cricket song that was going on all around me.

This got me thinking about how I can get so intensely focused on something I am searching for or waiting for that I can miss what is already happening in front of me. I was so anxious to see my bird cousins, that I wasn't hearing my Cricket cousins. I started to wonder what else I was missing.

Today, I will be noticing when I start searching for something that I might find, and am missing what is already in front of me. I will also listen through what I am listening to to hear what I am also hearing.

Monday, August 21, 2017


It seems to me ironic that I stared this journal one year before a solar eclipse. When I was young, I was told stories of how the ignorant savages believed that the darkening skies foretold the end of the world. Later, I learned that these same savages knew that the world was round, and, long before the civilized world discovered it again, understood the ideas of zero as a place holder.

All I know is that some of the most important lessons I have learned about living come from Squirrels and Crows. Lessons about fun and family and courage and forgiveness have all come from my creature cousins. These are people not civilized, but connected to a way of living worth attending to.

I have been told that if a full solar eclipse happens in the Spring, the Peepers will start their evening song. Is that because they are ignorant, or because they do what makes sense in the moment they are in?

I am deeply grateful for the support I have received from all of you who read this journal. Your interest has inspired me to keep my head up and eyes open, curious about what lessons today will offer. I don't know if I will continue to write. What I can do is be awake to the gift of this moment. What happens tomorrow will have to wait till then.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sacred Confluance

I was sitting on the deck this morning when a large dark shadow landed in a tree in the Eastern woods. As big as Cooper's Hawk, I could see it moving in the upper branches. Was it Hawk?

The morning Sun had not yet crested the canopy and still filtered through the trees, causing the leaves to glow in green translucence. Till now the bird was shaded from the early Sun by the tree trunk, but then it swung around the North side of the tree and into the light. When it did, the silhouette of the bird's head flashed bright red like a burst of flame.

Pileated Woodpecker.

She hopped to another branch, out of sight, and the flame was gone. I kept looking, wondering what Woodpecker would do next. After a moment or two, she burst from the trees flying West, her gorgeous black and white wings in sharp relief to the bright blue of the morning sky. Passing over the house, she flew out of my line of sight, and was gone.

Woodpecker gets me thinking about the Sacred confluence of events. How many things had to conspire for me to see that sudden flash of red? I' m not sure, but I am so grateful that they did.

Today, I will keep my head up and my eyes open looking for the effects of the next Sacred confluence of events.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Spider Lesson

On the inside of one of the skylight screens this morning was Spider. This particular spider is one of the ones that seems to jump when it moves, starting in one spot, then appearing again in another. Its movements are so quick my eyes can't follow them.

Spider got me thinking about the limitations of my vision. In the infinite spectrum of color, there are only a limited set of colors I can see. The same is true for all of my senses. Spider reminds me that even though my senses can't track everything that exists, that doesn't mean it's not there. Spider is moving from one place to the other. Her seeming to disappear and reappear is an illusion.

Today, I will be paying attention to Spider's lesson. Spider teaches me that what I see is not all that is. My limited particular experience can make illusion seem like truth.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Great Blue Heron stands almost motionless in the pond behind the cabin. Not really blue but gray like a ghost, now completely camouflaged from upward looking prey against this mourning's cloudy sky.

Heron hunts by waiting, knowing from experience that, eventually, something will come along. Years back my friend, Dan Gardoqui taught me that the best way to see is not to chase, but to wait. Eventually, everything you are looking for comes to you.

My culture teaches me teaches me that I have to constantly be running after what I want; That if I'm not constantly on the move, I might miss something. Heron teaches me patience, and that good things are coming. Heron knows that running after things is a good way to keep thing running in the other direction.

Today, I will be working on patience, remembering what Heron knows; That sometimes what I am looking for will come to me. All I need is the courage to wait.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Perfect Day

Sitting out on the back porch this morning I was thinking about the weather man saying the toady was going to be a perfect day. The sun was rising clear and strong in the East and the high wispy clouds were all that kept the sky from being clear and blue. Middle eighties and low humidity, that's what the weather man meant by a perfect day.

I know that today will be filled with lessons. It will contain plenty of times when I make mistakes, and when what is going on around me will be replaced by worry, doubt, and fear. I will have lots of opportunities to catch myself living in my head so I can practice coming back to my senses, returning to pay attention to what is actually happening in my life. For me, that's a perfect day. Just like yesterday, and just like tomorrow, but there's nothing wrong with a little nice weather.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Alarm Calls

Walking out the Eastern door of the cabin this morning, the first thing I heard was an alarm call from Chipmunk. Chipmunk's alarm call is a single loud chirp. Louder than a smoke alarm, it rings out across the Forest. And it's not just for Chipmunk's relatives. Anyone who can hear it gets the message, even me. And it's not a warning that says, “Run!” or “Hide!” That's because running and hiding aren't always the best ways to respond. In fact there is no one right response to an alarm call. Chipmunks message simply means, “Pay attention.”

Today, I will be listening to Chipmunk's alarm call and paying attention. In response I will do what makes sense for me.

Nature Boy/If I Had a Hammer Mash Up

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

7 Billion Geniuses- 7BG Basics -Work II

Quiet Morning

The gentle rain fell quietly as I sat on the porch with Birchy, the dog. Hawk was quiet, and the most apparent noise was Cricket, still trying to chirp the morning Sun through the clouds. Suddenly, Birchy stood up and barked. At the same time, something crashed through the underbrush to the North of the cabin. Whoever it was moved quickly to the Northeast and into the deeper woods. All I saw was a brief flash through the thick branches.

This gets me thinking about how things can seem to be one way, then suddenly change because of something I didn't notice. Was whoever was there trying to teach me to pay better attention, or is it that I was teaching them to be more aware?

Today, I will be remembering that sometimes the lessons aren't for me, and that sometimes I am the teacher and I don't even know it.

Monday, August 14, 2017


This morning the quarter Moon hung in the Southeastern sky trekking towards new. Looking up at it, as it glowed in the bright blue morning sky, I noticed how it connected me to a larger ark. It reminded me that there is something bigger than me and this town and this state and this country and this Earth. Bigger than our solar system and our universe and our cosmos.

And I am part of it. I am at the same time insignificant and vital. There is a part I play that no one else can play that weaves into the fabric of eternity, and yet the role is one of an infinite number of roles that intersect and effect each other in myriad ways. It is humbling, overwhelming, and energizing to know that I am a part of something so extraordinary, and yet it is as ordinary as breathing.

Today, I will be remembering to pay attention to the Moon as it reminds me of my connection to the infinite.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Cooper's Hawk is getting better. That's the word from the Center for Wildlife. They are somewhat surprised, since his injuries were so severe. But yesterday morning when they came in they found him standing up and trying to perch.

Sitting on the back porch last night I was telling a friend this news. As I did, one of Hawk's family members showed up in a tree about forty feet away. I wondered if my creature cousin was listening to the story. Then I wondered if Cooper's Hawk knew how concerned his family was. Then I wondered if he knew about our love and concern.

Then it occurred to me. The possibility that someone could be disconnected from the stream of Love was based on my cultural experience. My culture teaches me that love is something that is limited, that must be earned, and that can be revoked. The Earth teaches me that flow of Love at the center of all Life is something that is given freely and without condition. It is infinite, and is never withheld. This Love is a force that one must choose to disconnect from.

The default position if Love is ON. From that perspective, Hawk would have had to disconnect in order to be unaware of the outpouring of Love going on around the cabin.

This gets me thinking about how often I am missing out on the Love that is flowing around me because I am choosing not to participate, or I'm distracted by worries and fears. Then I get thinking about how the easiest way to reconnect with Love is to start to send it out.

Today, I will be paying attention to when I receive invitations that distract me from the Love that is all around us all the time. I will be doing my best to send out Love so that I might reconnect with the Flow.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush was dead, at least that what I thought. I learned later that the entirety of the plant dries up every year and regrows in the Spring and Summer. Butterfly Bush is now seven feet tall and flowering.

This gets me thinking about how limited my vision can get. How could a huge Bush possibly grow back each year? I could see it will small plants like Lilly and Black Eyed Susan, but Butterfly Bush? And evens still, there is Butterfly Bush, towering over me, unaffected by my shortsightedness.

Today, I will be paying attention to the effects of my ideas about what is possible and allowing what is actually happening around me to widen my frame of view.

Friday, August 11, 2017


On the Eastern side of the cabin the land rises up to the stonewall that marks the Southeastern edge of the property. It is there that the Acorns land when Squirrel and Oak Tree send them to the ground. This morning a young Squirrel crept up the slope stopping near the top. Passing up Acorn, Squirrel settled down and munched on Mushroom.

There are some that say that watching what our wild cousins eat is a good way to know what is safe and what is not. There are others that say they have found our wild cousins dead from eating the wrong thing. Still others say that taking the chance on the often poisonous Mushroom doesn't make sense. They say the food value is to low to take the chance.

All this gets me thinking about young Squirrel, making choices and living life. I don't know why Squirrel chose to eat Mushroom in stead of Acorn. When I got a closer look, I found out that only the top of Mushroom was gone. Was the stem where the poison lived? I realize it is impossible to know why Squirrel does what Squirrel does. The best I can do is take it in, making my own choices living my own life.

Today, I will be noticing when I let my ideas about why other people do what they do get in the way of me making my own choices and living my own life.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Oak Tree

This morning I walked out the Easterner door of the cabin and heard an Acorn fall. “Squirrel,” I thought. Then I realized that this thought had shut down the possibility of other explanations. So I sat and looked up into Oak Tree. There was no movement. No Squirrel. Then I realized. Oak Tree lets go of Acorns on her own as well. All the Acorns aren't pulled down.

This got me thinking about how knowledge can sometimes shut me down to further possibilities. Sometimes thinking I know what's going on keeps me from staying open to what is happening in front of me.

Today, I will be paying attention to time when what I think is going on gets in the way of seeing what is actually unfolding in front of me.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Our Bird cousins start singing at around 4:30 am. I start singing around 6. I love to sing. It is one of my favorite things to do, but for me singing it is a practice. Practice is about learning. I learn by doing something over an over, tweaking and modifying things along the way toward what I can do which become what I will do next.

We get good at what we practice. Today, I will be paying attention to what I am practicing.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Learning to Fly

This morning the two remaining young Hawks were darting and diving through the trees just North of the cabin. With every move, each was teaching and learning, pushing the other to fly faster and better, pushing each other to improve. Better flying means better hunting and better skills of escape from their larger Raptor cousins.

This got me thinking about my Human cousins and the “In order to achieve what?”question. How do we as Humans ask each other to improve and in what direction? What does it mean to be a better Human and how do the actions of the Humans around me form the direction in which I go?

I believe that there is an essential unfoldment for each of us that leads us to living in our own unique genius. Today, I will be paying attention to the lessons I learn from my Human cousins and how they contribute to or distract me from my path.

Monday, August 7, 2017


Up in the canopy of Oak Tree, Squirrel pulls Acorns and lets them drop to the ground. I have seen Chipmunk waiting on the ground. Chipmunk grabs an Acorn when it lands and disappears, returning later to grab another. Later still, Squirrel climbs down from Oak Tree and spends time burying some of the Acorns.

This gets me thinking about the mythologies I was raised on. Some are about what Squirrel does with Acorns. The story goes that Squirrel takes them all and hides them in a tree trunk. I learned that later, in the Winter, Squirrel would return to the stock pile and pick away at it through the cold months.

What I have seen is this. Squirrel buries some, eats some, loses some to Chipmunk, and spends a lot of time living life up in the trees doing other things. The idea that Squirrel diligently harvests Acorns to create a stockpile to live out the Winter seems more like a description of what Humans are encouraged to do. Prepare, prepare, prepare. We leave out the part about sharing and eating and planting and living.

Today, I will be paying attention to the possibility that some of the stories that tell me how I am supposed to live are based on thin descriptions of the lives of my Creature Cousins.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


The idea of rescuing wild animals always brings me a profound sense of uncertainty. I am never sure it is the right thing to do.

This morning as I walked out the Eastern door of the cabin, I spooked two of the Cooper's Hawks. They must have been roosting on the old swing set that stands there. In all the months we have been neighbors with the Hawks, we have never seen them settle on the swing set. Were they waiting for me?

I had to go back inside to do a chore, and when I returned they were perched in Cherry Tree, down by the pond. All this is in close proximity to where I eventually caught their brother yesterday. Are they looking for him? I know I have altered the course of all of our lives, but I am left wondering if I did the right thing.

This gets me thinking about acceptance. Whether I did the right thing or not, I did what I did. My actions live in the past and can not be changed. All I can do is make choices about what I do now.

Our Hawk neighbors are closer and louder than they have been in a week. I put in a call to the Center for Wildlife to check on their brother.

Now the Sun shines. Now the Wind blows. Now I am eating my breakfast. Everything else is a dream.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


There is a box next to the wood-stove hearth. In it is a blanket. These are all that remains as a reminder of this morning's adventure with Hawk. I woke up to a bird squawk and a bang, and found Hawk belly up next to the screen house. We transported Hawk in the blanket covered box. Hawk is now at the Center for Wildlife in York, Maine.

During the process, I held Hawk in my hands, trying to be comforting. In those moments, Hawk did not look at me, nor did he seem comforted. I was thinking so many thoughts and feeling so much. I was overwhelmed.

This got me thinking about conversations I have had with folks about what to do in response to overwhelmed. I realized that in those moments when I was holding Hawk, there was no option but to be overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed was a testament to how much I cared and how concerned I was that one of our neighbors was in trouble. Being overwhelmed was not only unavoidable, it was important.

Today, I will be paying attention to times when I get caught up in the idea that certain feelings are feelings I shouldn't be having, and how those feelings are emblematic of what I stand for and hold dear.

Friday, August 4, 2017


I found Rock on the back deck this morning. Without much thought, I threw it over the side. Then it occurred to me that I had no idea how Rock got there. It hadn't been there yesterday.

This got me thinking about how many times I encounter something unusual in my life, but don't really take it in. I just toss it over the side and move on.

Today, I will be on the lookout for more experiences that show up in my life that are unusual. I will be resisting the impulse to toss then over the side before taking them in.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Maple Tree

Maple tree connects Earth and Sky just to the Northeast of the cabin. The top of Maple is dead. About ten feet up the trunk, Maple has sprouted new branches. In my culture, I am taught that trees stand blind and dumb, available to be harvested to fulfill my needs. The ability to spontaneously grow branches in response to peril seems to contradict this idea.

This gets me thinking about the mythologies I have been indoctrinated into that shape my expectations. Today, I will be paying attention through those mythologies to experiences that exist just on the other side of what they would have me believe.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

7 Billion Geniuses-Basics-Work


Rock climbing is a process of finding good handholds and footholds. Sometimes, however the hand and footholds that are available aren't perfect. Sometime they aren't great, and sometimes they are rather marginal. Even so, there are moments when even the marginal holds will have to do. This gets me think about times when a possibility was lost because I was looking for the perfect handhold. Waiting for things to be perfect can get in the way of me taking a step.

Today I will be paying attention to times when waiting for things to be just so get in the way of me taking a step forward.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


For a moment this morning there was no Bird song, and it was silent outside. I realized that my ability to experience silence required my having heard sound, and that silence was more an experience of the lack of Bird song than the presence of silence. Everything I experience is a manifestation of change from what was.

This gets me thinking about how sad it is the we have a word for Freedom. We have this word because we have experienced existence without it and needed to describe what was missing when it was gone or what we had when it returned. It strikes me that most of my creature cousins would not need a word for Freedom, since they have never experienced life without it.

I am grateful for the Freedom I experience. Today, I will be paying attention to when fears or doubts or worries invite me to limit my Freedom, or the Freedoms of others.