~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blooming Cholla

The many varieties of Cholla are blooming, as is the Ocotillo, and the Prickly Pear is just starting. Along with myriad other plants, these desert survivors continue to blossom and thrive, which is still amazing to me since we haven't received any rain in weeks. As I walked through the desert, splashes of bright color met me in every direction.

Don't the Ocotillo flowers look like birds?

Red Flowers on Cholla Cactus

Cholla, Ocotillo and a young Saguaro

Yellow Flowers on Cholla Cactus

I don't know what this bush is but it's everywhere!
The Bottlebrush tree in our yard, in full bloom!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blessings of Mother Earth

Chiricahua National Monument

EARTH DAY! I love that my birthday is the same week as Earth Day. And this past extended weekend was marvelous because I was able to hike so many fabulous landscapes over the course of four days. What better way to celebrate Earth Day?!

Chiricahua National Monument
A vibration pulsed through my body when I walked upon ancient rock and gazed at boulders of beings who simply smiled during my passage among them. I walked through a corridor of stone and felt the call of shallow grottoes where millions of creatures great and small have crawled, flown or walked and slept protected across the expanse of time. I was invited to participate in their legacy of rest and pause but I didn't climb into the beckoning spaces. That would have to be another day when a schedule didn’t remind me--by pecking at the pencil marking boxes in my mental checklist--to continue moving into the next step of journey.

White Sand Dunes National Monument
One could easily see a photo of the White Sands and mistake them for a vast snowy tundra in Alaska. I quickly decided to remove my sandals and squish toes and soles into the velvety gypsum that was still cool from low morning temperatures. An exquisite sensation of immersion occurred as my feet would sink up to my ankles climbing a dune, contrasting with the firm slap of my bare feet upon the flat packed-sand surface--like a sandy beach after the tide has receded--of a stretch between dunes. 

White Sands National Monument
Already traveling in a landscape of nearly blinding brightness from clear skies, strong sun, and desert expanse, the additional reflection from the white sand caused my eyes to squint almost shut until I saw through a narrow slit that echoed the horizon. I gazed around me in awe at the waves of sand, and was touched by the realization of how time is incomprehensible without Gaia showing off Her masterpieces as She paints and weaves and breaks apart only to create anew in an entirely fresh and remarkable collage of beauty. 

Valley of Fires New Mexico

Imagine my delight to see an oddly familiar black expanse to my left as I drove upon the semi-deserted road between White Sands and Albuquerque. Could it be? Is it possible that the shortcut I took brought me into communion with the Valley of Fires? Yes! My heartbeat increased and a broad smile took over my face. There was such intense lightness of being at White Sands, and I was thrilled to feel the volcanic remnants ground me, earth me, no...wrap me from below within the comforting darkness of Her exposed blood long dried and cooled.

If the White Sands were Gaia’s flakes of skin being shed from the dryness and heat, the ancient lava flow, now brittle yet still echoing Her extrusions of transformative desire, was the blood once hidden. 
Valley of Fires

I hesitated only a moment. I knew that this unexpected stop might cause me to arrive too late for the original destination on my itinerary, but I was compelled. I remembered the Valley of Fires from a childhood vacation; it was firmly embedded in memory along with other nature exposures, and I simply had to take the walk through the black cremains of Gaia’s blood that flowed from deep within Her core. 

400-year-old Juniper at Valley of Fires
All moisture long gone, She was gorgeous as She fed the plants ... from a 400 year old juniper to the scarlet blossoms of a hedgehog cactus to the teensy purple feather dalea flowers scattered like fuzz upon their scraggly stems and other plants that clung to the bits of settled dust in crevices of the lava. The juxtaposition of white and black experienced within this same day left me giddy, as if I received a gift of harmonic convergence experienced among the sacred earth plane.

Petroglyphs National Monument
Meandering, striding, pausing along the shifting trail of rubble and sand, I witnessed the dark rock as the canvas for native images mystical and childlike. Etchings that are 400 to 700 years old seemed young compared to those I saw in Crete last year that were 5000 years old and yet were less visceral in spite of being older. A fascinating contrast involving location, culture, and expression that I had never really thought about until the pilgrimage. The petroglyphs seemed analogous to the pre-Minoan artifacts in their earth-centric and “primitive” art style. 

Petroglyphs National Monument

When I closed my eyes I could hear drumming and chanting, a rattle made from a snake’s tail, and a coyote howled in concert under the full moon’s illumination. The canyon still provides a fortress for coyotes as one watched me hike along the clearly defined path. The path really isn’t necessary as it simply follows the edge of the dark canyon hillsides that are forbidding in their sheer ruggedness rather than height, and yet a designated trail serves the purpose of preserving the rest of the desert floor. The coyote acknowledged my lack of threat by lying down upon an outcropping of flat rock, and we honored each other’s spirits ... until a noisy runner, panting and huffing, with a pack bumping upon his back sped past me on the trail, probably in training for some competitive event. The coyote leapt to his feet, turned his back on me and the oblivious runner, and loped up the hillside disappearing from my sight around a gigantic black boulder. 

Santa Fe, New Mexico
On Saturday, I drove to Santa Fe to meet a long time email friend; she invited me to her home and we hiked the trails behind her house, following an arroyo at first until it intersected with one of the trails on the nearby monastery’s 800 acres of wilderness. The way was steep and the sandy soil gave way often beneath my clumsy feet. The view from the peak was worth the effort! I had picked up a rock along the way -- black spots on smooth mahogany -- and meant to bring it home to Ron but left it instead as an offering of gratitude at the cross on the peak. Gratitude for this amazing land and to the Brothers for blazing the trail I had followed to receive the gift of the view from the top. 

Gila National Forest
The suggestion by Julia that I detour across to Silver City on my way home, thus passing through the Gila National Forest, was a great one. My reward was stunning vistas to feast my eyes upon and tall pine trees raining soothing ions. The road snaked around the peaks and across passes speckled with dark green and pale jade, multiple hues of browns and reds and golds. The bliss of presence as I drove subsumed all sense of time and I became one with Gaia, co-creating a state of immersion in movement across the land and within the planet’s energies. 

Four days of diversity, the blessings of Gaia’s many faces and bodies, bumps and folds, secrets and gifts, and always the whisper: “this is only the beginning.” 

Thank you, Mother Earth.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

tears for those who lash out

Can we shed tears 
for the suffering
of those who lash out,

and allow compassion to 
heal the pain
in all hearts?

I did.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Our words and the writing are structured so that we can understand each other and speak into the same space. Yet, as with the rest of the world, the intuitive and rational have been separated as if they are prohibited from holding hands on the same page of song and community. We allow for poetry yet even that has been co-opted at times into a rigid structure of so-called perfection. The linear left-brain control that is so masculine. Why? 

See the play of circles and spirals, the song of liberation that comes through the easy art of writing into the Divine Feminine. We call this unprofessional or incorrect. Who says? Are we so caught up in our rules and restrictions that we cannot read beyond the structure into a limitless perception that includes the weightless flight of words that resonate into Soul expression? When we write and read, where is the essence of Gaia to come through if we cast Her into the shackles of rational control of the word? Why suppress the shivers of ecstasy and keep them from resonating, expanding? What do we read and perceive in the words at play when we release our expectations and desire for control? Where is the freedom of poetry within everyday experiences that merge the faces of form and spirit? Where is the acceptability of soul within prose? 

So what if the expression is not real! What’s real? It is what we make it! All these rigid structures cannot be the end all or the totality. What if we were reading a translation of another language, where we retain the essence that leaves its scent upon the portals that open our hearts and minds, so we allow the aroma of the letters to waft under nose and skin, and settle into a bloodstream rushing easily from here to there. 

This is where I come from -- the structure and rigidity -- and there is where I am going -- into the open expanse of space where poetry and prose meet without separation. Who is to say that one is different or more important? Who is to say that our Souls cannot absorb and assimilate the pink lotus from the tall pine tree or the weeping reflections that fall from my eyes? We speak in a written language that can be infused with Infinite Spirit if we don’t squeeze the very life out of the freedom of expression. Where do we come into our own center of voice if we allow the external strictures to choke the Soul? 

Not all writing is meant to be read solely by mind as a manual that calls to the bastards and tosses them into the river before they’ve even lived. Not all writing is meant to be judged but rather it is to be felt in the heart and allowed to pulse in ecstasy throughout the subtle energy fields of one base existence to reconnect heart and mind. 

Maybe we ask ourselves ... what am I writing for and into? Why do we write? Is this piece meant to follow the gr’up footsteps of academic precision and vital learning or is it meant to bloom in the simple childish innocence of the wildflowers along the barren highway of long forgotten trails where pilgrims once traveled before the highway paved over free spirit?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mountain Song

From the spring on the mountain top 
gushes forth in scintillating silver 
the voices of every droplet of moisture 
that has collected within the wells of wisdom 
and we are jubilant in Her abundance. 
Song explodes around us 
and from within Her core 
we know our One Soul, 
our joined Spirit that unifies this planet 
into a beautiful biosphere. 
We see and hear and give voice to
the truth of individuality and same -- 
the song of dichotomy that makes no sense 
but is perfectly at home in our hearts. 
Truth and love are settled in each others arms, 
cradled in our hearts, 
and they sing us to sleep 
as we rock them gently 
within the mountain currents.

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