pinecones

This weekend I saw something that I hadn’t really seen before – a pinecone being formed and it looked like the tree turned from branch to pinecone in a switch at the last minute.

Here:spruce cone

It turns out that not all coniferous trees do this, but it is a Spruce thing. cool.

I’m sure there is a deep hidden meaning here, but I need to go make dinner, so if you could fill it in, that’d be great.

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home

the leaves are starting to blow down from the trees in the cooling winds.

it is good to be home and I pray for grace as we get ready for the winter with music, details, cooking and fall chores.

while we were out and about, AC got to be ringbearer in his aunt and uncle’s wedding. sweet.

ac is ringbearer

grace

My yoga teacher in Boulder, Sofia Diaz, said during class something along the lines of – if we could feel the grace that pours on us every moment of every day, we would be melted completely.

 

I have tasted the edges of this grace the past few evenings, walking at dusk in these warm late-summer days with our five-month-old snuggled in my arms, listening to the crickets and other clattering insects and watching the light from the day go from pink to dark on the mountains that I love.

 

May I also remember that grace when the same five-month-old needs to be carried around the kitchen instead of watching me cook or do dishes from the comfort of his bouncy chair or wakes me up in the night for the 6th time.

 

May I connect with the grace as I move through the world.

 

tidbits

A couple of links for you.

Here is a link from a former teacher of mine about healing collective trauma. Directly written about the Colorado flooding, but applicable everywhere: www.thresholdshealing.com

 

And here is a link for 6 ways to help bust biotech: www.organicconsumers.org

 

And here is a link asking Governor Hickenlooper to put a moratorium on fracking: act.credoaction.com

 

And here is a photo of some Aspen Boletes in the wild. There seems to be some people who don’t digest them well, but we didn’t know that when we started eating them, and if you’ve been able to eat them, then it seems you won’t develop trouble later. Not quite as yummy as King Boletes, but still pretty tasty. It’s been a good year for mushrooms and I have so much gratitude for them.

 

DSCN0929

 

 

 

 

update from my world

hello there.

Well, the pickling went well. They are now ready and tasty. It’s time to get the pickles out of the crock and put in some kimchi.

-cabbage
-daikon radish
-scallions
-carrots
-ginger
-garlic
-hot peppers
-salt and pressure + time = kimchi (or, since it’s not fully traditional, I’ve heard it called kimchi-kraut). If you’re feeling more traditional: http://youtu.be/0sX_wDCbeuU

 

This weekend we went out for a quick visit to the woods:

DSCN1029 nourishing!

 
Today, I’m feeling thankful for the rain. It means that instead of rushing around this morning before work to water everything by hand, I dug a bit, prepping a lettuce bed that I’ll plant for fall lettuce tonight or tomorrow. And then I had tea.

 

And now for more food preserving. Tomato sauce this evening and maybe another round in the dehydrator (it heats the house and preserves our food at the same time, what fun : )

end of August

I’m sitting on the porch with the sound of a few gentle raindrops on the apple tree above the overhang. It has been a sweet quiet Sunday, a two nap day, finally getting caught up on rest after perhaps overextending a bit for the first part of the month.

It was fun – camping, backpacking, hanging out with Pretty Gritty, teaching a workshop to a worship team in Fruita, heading over to check out the first annual Arise Music festival and seeing some of my favorite bands: Gregory Alan Isakov, Xavier Rudd, Zap Mama, Michael Franti, Sea Stars and some fun new music too. And I got to get up on stage with Scott and Shanti Medina to offer a bit of embodiment practice, yum. But I stayed up maybe a little too late, and ate maybe a few too many coconut caramels and breathed just a little too much dust.

And when I got home, the laundry had piled up and the weeds were growing just as fast as the plants in the garden. And a bit of overwhelm kicked in. 

And then, I started feeling concerned because just as the abundance that we have worked so hard to produce in the garden was coming into the kitchen, I was feeling burdened.

Luckily, with a bit of sleep, it all comes back into perspective. . . those 20 pounds of zucchini would make yummy fritters for the winter. And the eggplant that has been asking to be picked for at least a week is now baba ganoush and both recipes have earned a place in my “let’s do that again” folder.

Luckily the next peach tree on the property has given us a bit of a breather, but I hear the promise of soon. . . 

peaches

I’ve been feeling the peaches lurking. We’ve got a tree in our driveway and the branches start to brush on the roofs of our friend’s vehicles as they pull into the driveway. And I kept checking, and they were not ripe. And I wanted them to be, but they were not. And then. . .

Boom.

Peaches.

They are falling when people drive up the driveway. They are falling when the wind blows. It is time for peach preserving.

So today I rallied a small crew and we made peach sauce, peach chutney, peach cobbler, dried some and froze some.

Yum. Peaches.

I didn’t really use a recipe for the chutney, but here’s the basic ingredients, and you can adjust to your tastes.

put this all into a pot and let it cook for a bit:

– peaches (once they start to cook mush them with a fork or potato musher)
– raisins (or cranberry bits or dried cherries or currents)
– onion (diced)
– hot pepper to taste (fresh if you have it)
– ginger (fresh and grated or chopped small)
– garlic (minced)
– salt

eat with chips or lentil soup or indian food or rice.

Yum.

But the thing is this. . . we spent all afternoon on this project and we got a lot done, but there will be more to do tomorrow. And the next day and the next. If we want peaches, this is it. . . preserve them or loose them.

So many things in the garden happen this way.  I tried to plant the “exact right” amount of zucchini last year, so that we wouldn’t be overwhelmed, and what happens? None of them grew at all. 0 zucchini. So this year I planted lots, and lots of zukes. I decided that too many was better than none. And overall we’ve been keeping up. . . We’ve dried some and frozen some and given some away.

And I’m sure this is a metaphor, but I’ll let you fit it into your own life and say this:  I’m so thankful for the abundance.

balance

This morning I harvested mullein flowers for mullein oil. I gathered culinary sage, lemon balm, red clover blossoms, and a bit of chamomile all for tea – or rather for infusions (more plant material, soaked longer). The garden is so abundant; it’s almost overwhelming. It feels like such a dance – this freedom that is created by growing and making my own medicine and the dedication and consistency that is required to plant, water, tend, harvest, preserve and use the medicine.

We were thinking about going backpacking this weekend, but I panicked. Too much calling me here. I’m in the market for day-long hikes where I still get to come home and water the garden. I love the woods, but it feels like my work is here this season.

Lately, and more than usual, I feel fragments of my personality/being asking for different things. There are parts that want to stay on silent retreat in my home for weeks, parts that want to go out clubbing in the city, parts that want to stay in the woods for as long as possible, parts that want to host house parties and play music. I’m not sure how to sit in the center of all these parts and navigate what is most true for the wholeness of my being. How to give myself the nourishment being asked for without sacrificing other aspects?

Yesterday in our writing circle I wrote this:
Open the window; the howling begins. Howling and keening and dancing. I want bonfires and I want the end of self-consciousness. I want to wander in the mountains and live on berries and bark. I want to set down my pink polyester backpack and my pink polyester raincoat and strip down to my birthday suit and “c” words all about: caterwaul, careen, carbone, caper, cartwheel, chitter, crawl, and cachinnate. But there are mosquitoes and I don’t like to be hungry and I don’t know how to take down the boundaries of this technological age and let myself be taken into the woods for vision. I’m not sure what true freedom would look like or how to get there from here.

I also wrote this poemish:
Outside I say yes, sure, find.
Inside I hunker down to find a soft warm hole to slip into and sing myself lullabies.
Outside I look, or try to look, confidant, composed, alert, on top of it, present.
Inside I am dreaming of magic, of self-cleaning kitchens, Thai food ordered in, and a bed so comfortable I never have to leave.
Outside I’m getting it done, crossing if off the list.
Inside I’ve set it all aside and will spend the next ten years diving inside the sound of the willow leaves rustling against themselves.
Outside willow nubs are dropping into my lap.
Inside I am dropping up into the willow, swimming in layers of leaves. Dancing and tiptoeing my fairy feet on the branches. Catching a ride on the cottonwood fluffs and allowing myself to be taken by the wind over to the next horizion.
Outside I wake, I eat, I bathe, I sleep.
Inside mostly I breathe. The heart beats. And this is enough to fill my whole universe for eternity.
Breath. Pulse. Here.

communication with nature

Communication implies an exchange of information, thoughts, ideas, feelings. It is not just me informing the kale I am going to harvest, it is waiting until I get a sense that it’s okay before I begin.Sometimes I take the time, sometimes not. I like the experience and myself better when I do.

Do I believe communication is possible, yes. Do I get clear, long treatise from my peach tree, no. But some people have reports of doing so, such as Machelle Small Wright in “Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered”.

In “The Deva Handbook,” author Nathaniel Altman says this, “Developing our five acknowledged senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch – is essential if we yearn to commune with nature’s subtle forces. It is not unlike needing to have a sensitive antenna and other electrical equipment if we want to receive television transmissions. If the station emits a given frequency, our antenna needs to resonate with this frequency or our television set will be blank. By the same token, sensitivity is necessary for us to resonate with the energies transmitted by the members of the subtle realms.”

If you’d like to try communicating with nature you can start with a tree or place you love or a dandelion. Alicia, my herbal studies teacher, recommends dandelions because they are friendly and will be happy to introduce you to their friends.  If you happen to be in the woods in the fall, I just heard a recommendation to begin the conversations with the amanitas (don’t eat them unless you know what you’re doing). They can help point you towards the tasty edible mushrooms.

I just finished reading “Talking with Nature” by Michael J. Roads. A story about the author’s journey into communication with the larger world around him.

At first he expresses his confusion and doubt about the conversation he is having with the natural world. Then, as he opens to the experience, he expresses this, “If this is an illusion I am experiencing with Nature, if it is all imagination – then it’s okay. I like it. Who can make me a better offer? Polluted food and air? Is that better? To maintain a belief in death, fear, greed? Are they better? A dogmatic religion with a judgmental God? Is that better? My experience is uplifting, expanding, loving, creative, intelligent. Who can offer me a better reality or illusion? If I feel a great love toward Nature, and I feel love radiating to me from Nature, who has a better illusion to offer? If I feel compassion and love for humanity, if I am happy doing exactly what I want to do, who can offer me more than this?”

 

This weekend at Mill Lake in Fossil Ridge Wilderness, I asked for wisdom/messages from Nature. The reply was – “What you seek cannot be given in words – receive THIS offering (indicating the wholeness of the moment).” Peace. Stillness. Choicelessness.

fuzzy

Well dearies,

say an extra prayer and check your car keys before you lock your door, it seems to be that sort of a day. Just a little bit cosmically fuzzy.

At least for my family, and as soon as it hits more than just me, it makes me think it’s a larger pattern.

So, here’s a prayer for simple living. Here’s a prayer to deep breaths that help us stay centered. Here’s a prayer to the glory of the sun and the beauty of the sky and the complexity of the larger cosmos.

And a quote from Rob Brezsny (it’s Taurus’s astrology reading, but I think it is appropriate all around): In *The Book of the Damned,* Charles Fort revealed one of the secrets of power. He said that if you want power over something, you should be more real than it. What does that mean? How do you become real in the first place, and how do you get even more real? Here’s what I think: Purge your hypocrisies and tell as few lies as possible. Find out what your deepest self is like — not just what your ego is like — and be your deepest self with vigorous rigor. Make sure that the face you show the world is an accurate representation of what’s going on in your inner world. If you do all that good stuff, you will eventually be as real and as powerful as you need to be.

 

So, here’s to realness!!! More real than fuzzy communication. More real than car trouble. More real than forgetting things.

 

Nature.

spring 2012 take 2 1163