Friday, January 31, 2020


Jasmine grows wild here in the Caribbean. Small white flowers beckon me from the roadside. Ahhh. The heady, sweet fragrance of jasmine--one of my favorites.

Jasmine's named is derived from an Arabic word meaning "gift of God." What are we doing with our god-given gifts? What am i doing with my God-given gifts individually? And what are we as a society doing with the gifts that God (or Nature) has given us?

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Houseplants in the Tropics

The very small garden (4' x 4') at our vacation condo's front door is crowded with plants that i have in my solarium at home. Banana tree, variegated scheffilera, agave.

Here in their native habitat in the tropics, they thrive and look lush. My houseplants at home--banana tree, plain green scheffilara--look pathetic in comparison.

During their summer vacation outdoors, my houseplants perk up and look lush. Then i bring them in doors and they start to decline and look piqued.

I have houseplants in the first place for the joy they bring me. Ahhh. Green and growing plants. Some, like geraniums, with flowers.

When the mind compares my housebound North Country plants to the tropics, i and my houseplants always lose.

The comparing mind can't help but compare. That is its main job. And the comparison? Useless. Really useless.

I'm sinking into the beauty of what is. Right here. Right now.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Blue Sky

We are on vacation in the Caribbean, expecting sunshine every day. Yet a few days have been overcast with sprinkles or easy tropical rain. By afternoon, the clouds clear and the sun is shining in the blue sky again.

The Blue Sky vine (Thunbergia) is a lovely familiar tropical vine whose periwinkle flowers drop on the ground.

Rain falls. Flowers fall. It's all impermanent. Things change. The weather changes. Flowers change. Yesterday the blue vine flowers were fresh and lovely. Today they are old and brown.

I'm enjoying the blue sky here in the Caribbean.

Monday, January 27, 2020

No-see-ums on the Beach

Every evening on vacation, we walk down to the beach to watch the sunset and marvel at the colors.

Just then, no-see-ums come out and start to crawl on my skin--one on my arm, another on my toe. Annoying. They're not quite itchy, but they will be if i scratch the itch. If i can bear to let the itch just itch, then i won't be scratching the same bite for the next 4 days.

This is how it is when we try to break a habit. Oh, it's so enticing to just do that same thing again. Scratch that itch. A moment of relief. Then the itch starts again. This is the price i have to pay for succumbing.

The beach is so beautiful at sunset.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Caribbean Milkweed

Here in the Caribbean, they grow BIG milkweed--about six feet tall with leaves as big as my hand. The purple-and-white star flowers are about an inch across, which is big for a milkweed.

Interesting that this toxic plant is named after the Greek god of medicine--Asclepius.

Sometimes we take a little bit of poison for a cure or as a prevention. Radiation and chemotherapy for instance. Or the blood thinner Coumadin, which is rat poison.

Several of my friends who have refused radiation have since sailed out into the ocean of life and death. Sometimes, Nature simply takes it course.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Beautiful Bougainvillea

Miracle! Suddenly, we are in Caribbean. Going barefoot. Wearing shorts. Beautiful bougainvillea outside our bedroom window and draping over the patio below.

A couple of days ago, i was surrounded by snow and ice. The temperature was in the single digits. I kept chucking wood into the woodstove.

Change. All sorts of change--weather, clothing, location. Only one thing is changeless: can you notice the invisible Presence of the wordless? The screen upon which this entire play of life is projected. That which is with you all the time--closer than close.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Icicle Moon

A fingernail of the waning moon hangs in the sky at dawn, flirting with a small pink cloud, which drifts away as the sliver of moon rises into the day and disappears. A nearby icicle watches all of this, frozen as it is on a freezing day.

The moon disappears though we "know" it is still there. Sort of like Awareness, there but invisible to ordinary eyes. Our ordinary eyes focus on icicles, freezing the ever-changing movement of Now into things. And we play with these things as if they are real. As one teacher says, "Nouns are just slow-moving verbs." Nouns make us think that things exist. Nouns delude us into everyday reality.

We catch glimpses of Awareness, just as we catch glimpses of the fingernail moon. Awareness is always there--quietly saying nothing.