Friday, March 29, 2019

Bug Hotel

While cutting across Russell Square in London, i stopped to have a look at the bug hotel.

Russell Square is surrounded by hotels for people, so it seems appropriate that bugs should have their own "hotel" in an effort to promote biodiversity.

Bees might make their home inside hollow reeds. Dead leaves and bark provide homes for other insects. My insect "hotel" at home is a dead tree. One dead tree can host 52 different creatures, so we keep several dead trees standing in the woods near our house.

Our own dead bodies can host several creatures. One friend who died last fall had a green burial for this very reason. Her shrouded body was not embalmed and was placed in a cardboard coffin that was decorated by her family and friends. The coffin was then placed in a shallow grave also with several worms.

Our compost piles are excellent bug hotels. Kitchen scraps rot and become dirt, thanks to bugs and bacteria.

Life springs forth out of dead stuff.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Coltsfoot--Early, Early Sign of Spring

Image result for coltsfootColtsfoot is blooming in damp sunny places--one of the first flowers of spring. So named because the leaf supposedly is the shape (or size?) of a colt's foot.

Many people assume the bright yellow flowers on the side of the road are dandelions, but hold your horses. Yellow, yes. Dandelion, no.

We are often confused by look-alike emotions. One of my favorite targets is niceness. Niceness is not the same as goodness. Goodness comes from the heart. Niceness comes from wanting other people's approval.

Of course, we need other people's approval. We want to belong. We try to be nice to them.

Goodness doesn't really care if the other person likes us or not. We act wholesomely for our own benefit. We practice goodness simply because it feels good.

Coltsfoot is blooming in the ditch alongside the well-traveled road. Sometimes, we need to practice goodness even in the ditch of life.

Monday, March 25, 2019


Driving on the backroads of Wales, i passed this magnolia tree, espaliered on the front of the house. Normally, a magnolia tree is 15 feet wide, but this espaliered tree has been trained to grow flat against the house, thereby taking up very little space in the already small front yard.

Some of us learn early on to take up very little space in order to be accepted. Women often allow men to do the talking, for instance, thereby confining the female voice to a very narrow role. Reticent people also take up very little space. And i'm sure we all know people who take up more than their share of space--physical space or conversational space.

Those of us who have been trained to take little space or who learned to "give way" to others may have to learn--uncomfortably--to express ourselves in public.

When my father died, 22 years ago, i felt like a big oak in the forest had fallen. Suddenly, there was space for me to breath and grow up toward the light. I had no idea how constrained i had felt previously--living my "supposed to" life.

What is one thing that makes you feel authentic?

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Primroses and Gravestones

We walked past a church graveyard that was carpeted in primroses. Old tombstones stood all around the edge of this small graveyard in the center of Caerleon, Wales.

The beauty of spring takes our eye off the old, indecipherable gravestones, which are now moved out of the way to make way for younger, more modern graves.

Spring is springing--fed by the graves below.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Visiting Roman Ruins

For years, my sweetie has wanted to take a tour of spring in The South. I drag my heels on this idea because April is my get-started-gardening month, and i don't want to miss a single rainy day of it.

This year, we find ourselves in the British Isles in March where... It's spring!!! Yellow daffodils everywhere. Primroses and pansies. We are staying at a hotel in an old abbey where our room has a backyard and a magnolia tree in bloom! Ruins of a Roman fortress are also within sight.

The ruins of our own life are within sight, but it's so much more delightful to focus on the new, on the spring of life.

My traveling companion is older and slower. We tour the Roman baths, the Roman amphitheater, the barracks--all now just rock walls at ground level.

We too are returning to Mother Earth.