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Harmony Matters - Earth Day & Every Day

Dunes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Blanca Peak greet me this day!

Dunes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Blanca Peak greet me this day!

God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature, and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see.  Frank Lloyd Wright (quoted in Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

Nature is intimately partnered with us in this physical experience, and that is perhaps the greatest boon of our incarnate existence, as nature is directly connected to and informed by the Universe.  Gregge Tiffen (Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues, 2006)

I’m profoundly blessed and deeply grateful to live surrounded by nature’s beauty and bounty. I step outside my door into a veritable feast for the senses 365 days a year. From a windy, overcast day yesterday to the clear blue sky of this morning nature reminds me that nothing stays the same on this planet, our home.  Nature is always seeking the harmony that IS the Universe. We contribute with our own harmony.

The flow of Cottonwood Creek, frozen just two weeks ago, brings snowmelt from the peaks and reminds me of the natural flow of life. The smell of freshness in the pines tells me that experiences in life are always new. The warm touch of the sun says that coats, hats and gloves can soon be put away and that the wood stove will soon rest until fall. Soon, I’m sure to hear the distinctive buzz of the season’s first hummingbird, and the itch to put seeds in the ground will need to be scratched.

After feeling a bit ‘under the weather’ yesterday, I was delighted to discover a clear, crisp morning as Luke and I set out for our walk. I planned a route – long enough for me to enjoy and for Luke to take care of business – as we headed out into the beauty of the day. Along that planned route, I was drawn off trail to a ridge that we rarely hike. Curious, I veered in that direction.

My first discovery was a disturbing one: off-road vehicle tracks and damaged flora. I checked my judgement and anger and reminded myself to walk gently on the tender vegetation, since I too was not on a designated trail. Reaching the top of the ridge, I was greeted with the vast expanse of the San Luis Valley, and morning shadows on the dunes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park some 20 miles away with gleaming Blanca Peak as their backdrop.

Daily I hold the intention to live in greater harmony with nature. I aim to hear and understand her messages more clearly.  Sometimes I simply enjoy the beauty of what is offered. Other times I take time to reflect on what message nature is sending. What can I learn from what I see, hear, smell, taste, feel?

This morning’s visual feast along with the warming sun reminded me yet again that the Universe is designed in harmony and our dominion over the Earth is to restore and maintain that harmony. With every thought, every word, every deed we are either making a harmonious contribution that supports nature or we are putting nature in the position of taking action to rebalance with our disharmonious  actions.  Our thoughts matter. Our words matter. How we maintain our bodies, our homes and care for our pets and our plants matters. How we walk through life moment to moment matters.

Harmony matters. This earth day, I’m rededicating myself to my own personal harmony, within and without. What about you?

The vast, beautiful San Luis Valley

The vast, beautiful San Luis Valley

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Elk, Meadowlark and the Setting Moon

Almost Full Moon Setting on Spring

Almost Full Moon Setting on Spring

Springtime.  It is the season to shake out the metaphysical carpet and throw off the heavy, winter blankets that may still seem so cozy even as the fresh breeze calls us outside. It is time to let our mind and spirit, still groggy with winter stories and pictures, move out to embrace the fun of spiritual adventure and inner blossoming. Gregge Tiffen (It’s Springtime: Flow with the Power of Nature – March, 2007)

Happy spring! Although snow is in our forecast overnight, today is the first full day of spring for those of us in the northern hemisphere. I may throw off the heavy winter blankets, but it will be a while before I pack them away. And, yet spring is in the air: warmer, longer days and the first hints of green grasses and wildflowers breaking through the ground into the light of day. The hard, frozen ground is giving way to the softness of sand and soil.

I too am opening to spring’s softness, breaking through my own cozy wrap of winter and beginning to envision how I’d like to see the next few months unfold.  As I do so, several tweaks to my home as well as business ideas have my attention – all in the planning stages now, but activity will soon ramp up.

And what, you might be wondering, does that have to do with elk, meadowlark and the setting moon?

Yesterday an early morning drive to take a friend to catch the daily bus to Denver gave Luke and me the opportunity to hike a trail that we love, but only do so occasionally.  Although the morning was cold (a chilly 13 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sun had yet to crest the 14,000 foot peaks, I was happy to have a special walk on this day of spring’s arrival.  I was curious to discover what would get the attention of my senses so that I might later reflect on any meaning and messages to consider.

On our trip to the bus stop we were heading west, observing the almost full moon as it gently moved toward the horizon. By the time Luke and I reached the trail, it was hazy and just beginning to meet the treetops. I sensed that this beautiful, almost full moon was setting on winter and calling forth spring.

Strength, Power and Nobility Embodied

Strength, Power and Nobility Embodied

As Luke and I set out on our walk, our first encounter was a large elk herd 200 yards or so from the trail. I stopped, watched and listened as they became aware of our presence and began to chatter. Their high pitched voice belies the strength and power of these amazing creatures. We watched them as they watched us. Those closest moved away, closer to the rest of the herd.  Luke sat patiently as ‘mom’ snapped pictures.  The herd settled, seemingly judging that we were not a threat, and I assessed that it was safe for us to continue.

A bit further along the trail I heard the unmistakable cheerful song of meadowlark.  Again, I stopped, listened and looked, but never spotted this cheerful character whose voice never fails to give me a smile. As the loop trail turned and we were headed back toward the car, a ray of sunlight hit the snow on one of the peaks. Such beauty!  I suddenly realized how cold I felt in the early morning shadow of the mountains. I picked up my pace and Luke happily followed suit as we trotted toward the car and its promise of warmth (and, for Luke, a treat!).

I felt deeply blessed by the presence and gifts of the moon, the elk and the meadowlark song, knowing that as I reflect more deeply over the coming days, the spiritual part of the journey will continue as the gifts of inner blossoming will show themselves ever more clearly. For now, I’m content with my curiosity – wondering how this experience will inform me as I spring into the projects ahead. Happy spring!

First Rays Hit the Peaks

First Rays Hit the Peaks

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Make Every Day NEW!

Green grass, green leaves, and a fascinating museum in Biloxi , MIssissippi

Green grass, green leaves, and a fascinating museum in Biloxi , MIssissippi

Nature is always moving forward and manifesting that which is truly new!  … By failing to make an experience new, we recycle ourselves into stunted growth patterns. By making such choices, we fall out of synchronicity with the Universe and produce boredom instead of development.  Gregge Tiffen (It’s Springtime: Flow With the Power of Nature – March, 2007)

I just returned from the warmer climates of Mississippi and Texas where spring is popping out in all her glory: green grass, green leaves, colorful camellias and azaleas in bloom and even a few early bluebonnets along a Texas roadway.

It was good to leave the snowy landscape and daily tasks of winter behind even though I love the cold, the snow and find joy and satisfaction in living at 8000 feet. Yes, I did miss Cool Hand Luke who stayed behind.

When I was invited to make the trip, I was a little wary. Who would care for Luke and the house? Did I want to step into the hassles of travel?  What about  _____?

Despite my reservations (or perhaps, excuses), I felt a deep, strong nudge to say ‘yes’. I yielded to that guidance, and the experiences along the way made me grateful that I did.

Starting with my decision to ride the bus and rail to the Denver airport, each day held new experiences. In Mississippi, I met new people and was treated to the best in southern hospitality and cuisine. I walked on and later drove along the beach, discovered new artists, enjoyed colorful Mardi Gras decorations galore, and saw many remnants of Hurricane Katrina, the deadly storm that devastated much of the Gulf coast in 2005.

The Texas leg reconnected me with family and a friend from college that I don’t see often. On a mission to savor some great Texas barbeque, I visited the small town where I worked in my first post-college job. The small ‘joint’ I remembered had moved and expanded, but the rustic ambiance and amazing quality remained four decades later. As we drove away (stuffed and happy), I saw a ‘municipal park’ sign and rediscovered the city park that I helped build in that first job. The park too has grown and changed, but the beauty of nature remains its centerpiece. I found new in the old.

When it was time to head home, I was full and ready to return to the mountains I love. In experiencing the new (including the new in the old), I was reminded to make each day’s tasks a new experience – EVERY day.

I’ll recycle paper, glass, plastics, cans and such, but not the experiences that make my life, MY LIFE. While Luke and I frequently walk the same paths, I aim to notice what is new, what is different each day. How much snow has melted? How does the earth feel under my feet? Where is Luke roaming?  When I build a fire each morning, I do my best to remember that, when I listen deeply, each piece of wood lets me know when it’s ready to burn. Each fire, each day has a different character.

I aim to put the same attention and intention on EVERY task I undertake and event I engage in. Sometimes I speed up and forget and find myself out of sorts and out of sync, gentle reminders to slow down and make what’s familiar new.

If you find yourself weary, bored or out of sorts this week, pause and consider ‘how can I make this new?’

Enter here for GREAT barbeque in Lockhart, Texas

Enter here for GREAT barbeque in Lockhart, Texas


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