Tag Archives: clouds

At Home in the Mountains

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Earlier this week my family and I hiked a trail through Albion basin, up to Cecret Lake. This photo doesn’t nearly capture the amazing wildflowers that were in bloom everywhere.  I wish I could send you the smell of the Alpine forest and the feel of the wind.

Albion Wildflowers

Today we took a tram up from Snowbird to an altitude of 11,000 feet.  Not as many trees, but there were lots of wildflowers, beautiful clouds, open sky, incredible vistas.

Mountain Horses

Whenever I’m up in the mountains, a peace comes over me, and a joy.

Mountain Horses 2

Maybe the combination of the resins from the trees, the scent of the earth, and the wildflowers is aromatherapeutic.

Sky Mountains Flowers

Maybe the wind reminds me to breathe…and the cool air revitalizes my senses.

snowbird

But I don’t really need to understand why.  There are no words to describe this feeling of being at home when I’m so close to the sky and can see for many miles.  Every time I leave the majestic peaks, I count the seconds until I can get back again.  I hope the mountains will call me back home to them soon.

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A Recipe for Happiness

Start with sunshine
and vibrant wildflowers.
Pour in generous quantities of blue sky.
Add plenty of Earth.
Garnish with Rocks.
Serve on a bed of trees
and drizzle on top a touch of wind scented with nature’s finest perfume.
Season with your appreciation,
say a prayer of thanksgiving.

Sit down at Nature’s banquet table,
Sip delicately the broth of heaven.
It only takes a little sip.
Then–
Smile broadly, jump up, and dance for joy!

 

 

Contemplating Doorways (A Penchant for Questions)

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Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt resonated with me.  We were invited to construct a poem where each sentence was in the form of a question, except for the last one. Ask a bunch of questions?  Heck yeah!  I love questions.  I see them as open doorways to new experiences.  If we have the courage to step through the doorway, we might discover another world just beyond the threshold.  Here are some doorways I’m contemplating tonight…

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Contemplating Doorways

What do I write when I’m too tired to think?
Why have I made this decision to show up again for my writing practice?
Where will this practice lead?
Is it worth it?
My teacher told me that trying to accomplish too many things makes none of them good–
but is this true?
Couldn’t there be some good in this writing, even if I’m tired?
Could my thoughts rise up in some small glory, even if I think I can’t think?
And just who is the thinker of these thoughts?
Who moves my fingers across the keys?
Who chooses these words?
Who decides upon each letter, each punctuation mark?

Enough about my writing, what about my meditation practice?

I’d like to think that my meditation sessions, taken all together,
add up to some good.
So even if when I sit tonight all I do is try to stay awake,
even then, won’t that moment of showing up for meditation,
won’t that count in some small, beautiful way?
Isn’t beauty found in the smallest of details?

Enough about meditation, what about the moon?

I look for the full moon shining in her beauty–but where is she?
Concealed by the clouds, she doesn’t fret…
I hear she will be eclipsed tonight, but does she worry?
She doesn’t.
She reflects the light sent to her,
and accepts the shadows cast upon her
with equal calmness.
Could I do the same?
Light and shadow, two faces of the same coin–
could one exist without the other?
And what questions will go unasked
as I decide to end this poem?

Enough of these questions, how about some answers?

I have no answers, only more questions,
glowing in my universal mind
like a galaxy comprised of four billion stars.
In my youth the lack of answers used to feel discouraging.
But now I’ve lived long enough to realize that it is
only is recognizing that I don’t know
that I give myself the chance to one day know.
Each question is a doorway to another world,
and I have asked many tonight.
Maybe I will step through some of these doorways in my dreams
and awaken with even more questions to ask,
even more worlds to explore.

Moon Poem, Winter’s Last Embrace, Non-Attachment

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I look for the full moon, but she is hiding behind clouds,
like a queen lazing behind the gauzy curtains encircling her bed,
she refuses to make an appearance.
Her subjects long to see her bright, lovely face
but tonight she ignores their pleas, and won’t lift a single finger.
Cruel queen, shine your light on me.

Are you a prisoner of circumstance?
Do you long to be seen but are kept shrouded from our eyes?
We have no choice, we could not see each other if we tried.
My little hands cannot make the clouds part,
my breath cannot blow away the mountains of snow
looming in my sight.
Little round queen, I will wait for you.

For now I close my eyes and see you glowing in my mind.
My remembrance gives me hope.
Through this cold and cruel winter
I’ll keep warmth in my heart,
and in the golden glow of a candle,
Moon mother, I will sing for you.

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It’s a full moon tonight.  I’ve been teaching moon salutations in my yoga classes in anticipation of this, honoring the cyclical nature of the moon, how she swells to fullness and recedes into darkness over and over again.  Acknowledging that cycles of fullness and emptiness are natural, we learn how to embrace our own moments of fullness and emptiness on all the levels they can manifest.  Right now, I am full of the breath.  Right now, I am empty of the breath.  Fullness and emptiness, giving and receiving, forever.

I often find myself longing to see the bright full moon, shining in all her glory.  I love how she is so bright that her light casts a shadow of the window frame on the carpet of my meditation room.  On such nights, I sit in her light, turning my face up to her, focusing my eyes half open on her glow, and it seems that this light is an endless stream from the heavens all the way to my heart; she beams a divine smile on all those who look upon her.

But I cannot see the moon tonight, for she is concealed behind thick snow clouds.  The sky appears orange in the glow of the city lights. The forecast tells us that as many as six inches of snow will fall tonight, and my heart is sinking–I just want the spring to be here!  I want to see the crocuses and daffodils. I want hyacinths and tulips.  I want to watch the apricot tree blossom,  the sweet puffy white blooms shining against the backdrop of a pure blue sky.  I am sick of winter.

But here is another chance to practice non-attachment.  Enjoy this last bit of winter, feel the cold.  Bundle up.  Leg warmers, scarf, gloves, hat, long down coat, boots.  Pretty soon this will be a memory, and the contrast of the cold of winter held against the warmth of spring will give rise to a more authentic enjoyment of the spring when it arrives in full force.  Non-attachment.  Be okay with what is.  Love what is.  Allow it to be.  Breathe.

When I long to see the moon but she hides behind thick clouds, I feel abandoned.

When I want the warmth of the spring sun yet snow is falling all around, I feel slighted.

If I want happiness, I must awaken to being, and receive this moment as it is…because as Byron Katie says, “Fighting reality hurts, but only 100% of the time.”  I will not fight, because fighting will not help.  I will open my arms wide to the snowflakes, and say, “Come on then!  Come on!”

Breathe in, breathe out.  Fullness, emptiness. Forever.

 

More Pink Kitty

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More Pink Kitty

My daughter wasn’t in the napping mood today.  She wanted to dance around and play dress up and sing and do all the things four year olds do. Ah well, might as well enjoy it, I thought to myself, she won’t be young forever.

I had had so much fun last night collaborating with the girl, playing around with a coloring app for kids, so I decided to relaunch the app; I asked her if she wanted to color with me again, and she enthusiastically agreed.

What strikes me as we go about coloring these pictures together is how different her ideas are from mine.  I end up with my set way of seeing the world–the grass needs to be green, the sky blue, and a cat should be brown, white, black, grey, or orange…My daughter sees the world with fresh eyes and has strong opinions about the color everything should be.

No, the kitty is PINK!” she announced.

“Okay,” I said, and I colored the cat’s face, hands, and feet pink.

No,” she said, “The dress too!”  It was a polka dotted dress, so I colored the background pink and was going to leave the dots white.

“NO, no no!” she persisted, “The polka dots too!”  And there went my ideas of interesting color contrast and careful distribution of color to achieve balance in the over all look.  The cat had to be all pink.

I ended up really loving the drawing.   Her ideas continually freshen the art experience for me by getting me out of my ingrained perceptions and showing me a new way of seeing.  I play outside of my strict rules for conduct, I get to be free for a moment.  It reminds me of how when I sit down to meditate I need to quiet the mental chatter enough to allow for something different–a clearer, more quiet mental space, so that I can have this experience of myself outside of all of the habitual thoughts.

If I do this coloring with my daughter with enough frequency, letting go of my mental constructs and embracing the moment with an open heart, I might just attain enlightenment.

So here it is, in all of its glory, yet another pink kitty. (Dig the balloon that had to be brown.)  May all beings–especially those who long to create–experience freedom and lightness.  Everyone needs a little pink kitty in their lives.

My daughter insisted that the cat had to be all pink.

My daughter insisted that the cat had to be all pink.