Thursday, February 23, 2017

Aging Stargazer Lily

For Valentine's Day, my sweetie bought me a bouquet with a stem of 3 star-gazer lilies. A week later, the bottom lily has withered and turned brown as the top lily unfolds her bud. I feel i am seeing 3 generations--grandmother, mother, teenage girl. The young one is so beautiful and fertile, my attention is naturally drawn to her. The middle generation still looks lovely but just not as fresh. And the old lady drops her petals on the table, one by one.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Black Squirrels

We say we are feeding the birds, but we are feeding almost a dozen gray squirrels as well. When they hear us opening the door to the deck, they scatter to the four directions. This morning, i noticed that one of the gray squirrels is black. These "black"squirrels are rare mutations, but colonies of them can develop.

I noticed that all the other squirrels were not noticing the "specialness" of the black squirrel at all. And i wished that i, too, could be so color blind that i would not notice the color of someone's skin.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Amaryllis Joy

My neighbor, Cliff, has inspired me to grow amaryllis. He reliably has an amaryllis blooming every year. Today he has a single amaryllis flower in a vase on the kitchen table.

When you look at just one flower, and when you look in detail, the mind slows down to pure joy.

So it is with mindfulness. By bringing our attention to one thing in each moment, the tension in the body relaxes, the mind relaxes, and voila! Joy arises.

Slow down. Right now. Feel your eyes touching these words. Feel your i-toy under your fingers. Feel the body, as a whole. Notice the mind. Just for a moment.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I bought a new sprayer for the hose in my solarium yesterday. The check-out clerk said, "Now that's something you don't see every day, in January." I could hear the question in her voice.

"The sprayer on the hose in my solarium leaks, shooting water out of the handle," i said.

The coiled hose in my solarium is very handy for watering houseplants. Much handier than lifting 6 gallons of water in a watering can twice a week.

Sometimes we are called to do things out of season. Some of my friends are parenting their grandchildren. Sometimes our lives do not unfold in a so-called "normal" fashion. I am about to go on a one-month self-retreat, the mention of which makes several of my friends flinch even as they are saying "Good for you."

Life unfolds. The ego tries to control Life, but, really, that is quite useless.
Allow your life to simply unfold today--without your touching it and yet being touched by all that Life has to offer. In season or out of season.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice

My sweetie came home from the grocery store with a bag of juice oranges last evening. I immediately juiced up 2 glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice--with pulp! A delicious (and non-alcoholic) aperitif.

Of course, fresh-squeezed orange juice meant 6 orange rinds for the compost.

Isn't this the way it goes? You buy something beautiful without thinking about the waste stream it's going to create. In the case of food, the waste stream is fairly immediate and visible. Orange rinds into the compost bin. As you already know, orange rinds do not decompose very fast. Composting citrus peels takes time and patience. Many other non-food items can take hundreds or thousands of years to compost.

Here's another opportunity to bring mindfulness to shopping. Take a moment and visualize the entire lifestream of that item. Where did it come from? And where is it going?

I use a plastic fork to eat a grab-and-go something. That takes 10 minutes. I throw the plastic fork away and it will take more than 100 years to decompose.

We say we want to save the earth, but do we act accordingly?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Fresh Air Daffodils

Spring is just around the corner in London. Walking through Covent Garden yesterday, i saw a pot of daffodils on an outdoor table at a restaurant.

Many restaurants in London have outdoor tables with people sitting at them, bundled up in their coats, enjoying their meals, or perhaps more often, their drinks or cigarettes.

You'd think that the outdoors would mean a breath of fresh air, yet that's where people go to pollute their lungs with cigarette smoke.

The little daffodils silently remind us to breathe and enjoy this breath. This breath of fresh air. This breath of city air. This breath of smoky air.