Saturday, September 19, 2020

Frost Warning

It's supposed to freeze tonight, so i've spent the day harvesting the garden. I've picked all the green tomatoes and the green beans. I've also harvested calaloo.

Calaloo is a spinach-like green from Trinidad & Tobago. In July, a friend gave me a 6-pack, and now each plant is 5 feet tall. I chop the leaves and steam them for a few minutes before packing them into freezer bags. You know how greens cook down. I now have eight quart bags full.

When the first frost approaches our lives, what will we say that our lives cooked down to? All those years, and what does it add up to?

I recently heard a guided meditation on a near death experience. Here's the song that played in the background of the visualization.

Why have you come to earth? Do you remember?

Friday, September 18, 2020

Scared Katydid

I brought a basil plant indoors to make pesto, and a katydid hopped on to the counter. I managed to capture her, and she wandered around my arm for a minute, but the whole encounter obviously scared the s**t out of her.

Fear is running rampant in our society right now. The question is: Am I going to pick it up? Or am I going to leave it right there--in the TV, on the radio, in the newspaper? I don't have to take it on board.

Yes, it seems like fear arrives in the mind in the middle of the night. That's one reason i have a policy: No mention of politics and no news after sunset. I know what exacerbates fear in the middle of the night--too much news, which gives rise to a feeling of powerlessness.

The katydid hopped off my arm and onto the deck. Enable your mind to hop off of fear.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Turkeys Eating Ticks

 I opened my eyes during meditation this morning and saw 22 turkeys strolling across my lawn. Heads down, alert to their surroundings. They were all pecking at the grass--eating ticks, i assume.

Have you seen the movie My Life as a Turkey? A wildlife rehabilitator raises a clutch of motherless turkey eggs, and he himself sees much more life in the woods than usual because he is seeing as a turkey.

When we look closely at our own inner landscape, we see much more than we usually do. We might see the arising of a thought, the disappearance of a feeling. Last spring, i discovered the earliest warning sign of oncoming sleepiness--heaviness behind my forehead.

Knowing that the turkeys are cleaning my garden and woods of tick pests, i feel much safer.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Lettuce Wagon

My meditation friend Paula grew her lettuce in containers this summer and had lettuce all summer long. Here's how she did it: She put her pots of lettuce in a wagon. In the morning, she let it welcome the sunny day; in the afternoon, she wheeled the wagon into the shade. On 90 degree days, she parked her lettuce wagon in her cool basement.

What's the best climate for growing our mindfulness?

I sit outdoors on the deck at 6 a.m. The coolness keeps me alert. Even just a little warmth can make me wilt.

And what good is wilted lettuce?

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Apples Tempting Deer

 Deer - Paradise Nursery

The old apple tree in my lawn is dropping apples, so i hurry out there and pick them up before the deer discover them. Sometimes, a squirrel scurries away, so i throw his partially-eaten apple into the woods. I really do not want the deer browsing in my flowerbeds. What they don't know (i.e., that apples grow here) won't hurt them.

Sometimes, what we don't know does eventually hurt us.Ignorance is not always bliss. Ignorance is what keeps the wheel of samsara turning. Through meditation and mindfulness, we begin to see things as they really are.

Really, i should say that what the deer don't know won't hurt me, my feelings, or my garden.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Hummingbirds Farewell

On Tuesday, a hummingbird hovered near me for a few seconds. Is she saying good-bye? i wondered.

Yes. She was. Our hummingbirds have gone south for the winter. I loved it when one of them sat near me on the deck while i was meditating at 6 a.m.

We don't know when we are saying farewell for the last time. As winter approaches and we expect a surge in COVID, we really do not know when good-bye may surprise us and be the last adieu.

My prayers go with all hummingbirds, flying south.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Kiwis are Ripe


Kiwis are ripening here in the North Country and are for sale at our local farmstand. To distinguish them from their southern hemisphere cousins, they are sometimes called "kiwi berries." They are about twice the size of grapes, and they taste, well, just like a kiwi.

Kiwi season is short--mid- to late-September--so don't dally. Look for and buy kiwis soon. Now.

No dallying around that spiritual practice either. Meditate. Pray. Practice mindfulness. Practice compassion--which we need a ton of right now.

Kiwis are sweet. Let's sweeten our mind while we may.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Baby Loon

We are home now after spending a week in a cabin on a lake. A cabin with no wifi.

The small lake had a pair of loons with one chick. I was surprised that the downy chick was so young this late in the season. It still had not learned how to dive.

It often swam with its head underwater--to see what food might be down there or perhaps to see where Mother Loon was or what she was bringing home to eat.

One of the big challenges in meditation is to stay alert even when we feel our energy is sinking. If we can stay as alert as the loon chick, even when we feel underwater, it is quite an accomplishment. Interest re-ignites energy, and then we are swimming along in meditation again.