Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Heart Bell

image from google: www.panoramio.com
On this Eve of ringing bells and ringing in, I sit with the whispered image of my heart as a giant bell. To whisper back to the image, "may all beings, all life, all forms know their hands hold the rope." To hear the infinite vibration and resonance ringing forth no matter the touch or pull. My heart beat but the bell dancing back and forth in joy and love. No resolution. Just the awareness and longing of what is...the heart bell and rope of humanity.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Bookmarked Wakening

I confess my struggle to find this thread. Perhaps it is meant to be another bookmark. To ponder this morning the picture of my beloved Gulf and hear the waves. To see the water gather and swell. The swells and wakes rising, cresting, and spilling upon the beach. 

Are waves singular? Is the water separated and individual? Or does not the entire Gulf or ocean move within and beneath so that all is contained within the one? Can a wave be a wave without carrying and being carried by all? Is discovering our true Self, humanity, heart, enlightenment or awakening a singular effort or wave? Does the Gulf or ocean offer but one wave and sigh “I am done”? Does the path lead to one moment and all effort and paths end? I know not how to express this whisper. Perhaps it is a bookmark calling for a return. Perhaps to simply say, it is but a whisper of A Wake n I.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cradled Waterfall

I know suffering, my own and the world's. I do not deny, suppress, nor turn my gaze. I know the tears streaming down and the knots suffering creates. Perhaps that is why the Celtic cross is created with intertwining knots and circles. Pain, loss, fear, whatever the label, I call them each by name as I would a dear friend. Each is my teacher, my mentor, and even the path.

The knots bind me with my own tenderness and those of all beings and life. The knots bind me in the circle of joy, gratitude, this moment flowing into the next. The knots woven by suffering are the cradle and cocoon of my heart and tears. And when the time is ripe, I emerge with waterfalls of joy streaming from the knots. The streaming down now bathes all without and within.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rooting Soil

I awakened this morning and felt my heart race. I am alive. My heart raced to see the shadows of light, to feel the floor beneath my feet, and the strength of legs and spine that held my body upright. When graced with such powerful caress all else I face becomes rooting soil.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Twists of Praise

This morning a whispered prayer that I might always and in all ways see something new in all I meet. That I might offer a gift of praise and thanks for their being. People are like my precious trees...always a new twist, bend, texture, or touch of light but you have to pause and see...not let fly by unnoticed.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Rock Music

The river's sound can calm any heart. But it is the rocks, ice, and tree limbs the water must move over, under, and around that creates the song. Still water is silent. The song is written in the notes of obstacles.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Day to Dance

Like the gentle dance of incense offering sweet joy to all, may your day effortlessly and peacefully flow.  May all the gifts be wrapped in ribbons of arms hugging the lovable and unloved, wrapping paper of gentle sincere smiles, and inside a beating, precious open heart of acceptance, joy, and a life alive.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Heart Light

"We know you always thought our houses small. We thought the same thing when we were your age and someone was always stepping on our toes. We know you always thought so much food a waste. We thought the same thing too when we were your age. Yes, in a world where so many are hungry it could seem that way. But when family is brought together and not for a funeral, I think perhaps our exuberance might be excused. Everyone is so busy with their lives, except for funerals, Christmas was the only time everyone would gather in one place, in our house, that seemed small. Yes, we know you didn't want clothes, but it was a way to hug you, long after the toys were put away. And yes, we remember your confused look when three different "Santas" gave you the same toy truck with horses. We blamed the elves. Thank you for never questioning even though we think that is when you grew up and learned a different kind of Christmas magic. Remember the magic, and the houses that seemed so small."

Thank you sweet morning for precious heart lights.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Why of What

I read and re-read the response – “What for?” The thread would not let go. They did not ask “why?” Is there a difference between “why?” and “what for?” Searching for the difference, “what” asks which thing or which particular one of many.” “Why” asks for what purpose, reason, or cause; with what intention, justification, or motive. “What” felt like an object or something expected to be received in exchange. “Why” went to the heart and mind and asked the source of the intent.

This time of the year especially, “what” abounds. Unless the gift disappoints the “what” no one asks “why.” Do we open “why” or “what”? Do we buy “what” or “why”? Can “what” oppose “why”?

I bowed my head and smiled. Wanting to respond truthfully to the question asked of me and the question I asked myself, I typed “love.” And with a silent pause, my fingers returned to the keyboard and typed “giggle.”

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Without a Knock

My favorite and often whispered phrase "sweet mercy." Not something earned or worked for. Not something bestowed as a gift nor even something we give away. Its only entourage is our breath and heart beat. Like a giggle, it arouses our awareness and reminds us of simple joy. Entering our being with our first breath it waits to bud before the last. It is patient and undemanding quietly moving to the end of the line of our grasping, clinging, if only's and this and that. It will not leave us. It simply waits...sweet, sweet, sweet mercy of life. Giggle, ain't it grand!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Tis. A word without judgment, without a single what if, could be, should be, or if it were. It is not complacent. It is the power of the keystone, the gap, the fulcrum between the inhalation and exhalation. A reminder that we cannot simply inhale nor can we only exhale. Written backwards it is the reminder to sit. It is the raising of the heart's chalice and toast of L'Chaim! ...with no if, or, nor, or but.

On this day of winter's solstice may we all know winter's transforming fire of tis. And when the solstice's night quilts our sleep, may we whisper twas and release.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Heart Exchange

The image is of my little four legged fur angel, Dibley. I did not "buy" her. I had been thinking of getting a dog to replace one I had recently lost. I worked for a rescue group and we were called in to a puppy mill that was going out of business. Whatever dogs/puppies we did not take would be killed. With so few fosters and the condition of the dogs/puppies, we were to take only those that had the best chance of survival. We were not allowed to say a word or speak of the conditions we saw. And there she was...a little puppy so small my hand was bigger than her. Scruffy and shallow breathing, the director of the group shook her head “no,” there were others who had a much better chance.

Being the rebel hobbit I am, I slipped her into my coat pocket, and she is my delight and heart five years hence. Her lack of early nutrition harmed her little brain and body in some ways, but no greater heart or softer eyes have I ever known. She sits in my lap so very quiet when I meditate and knows when the gong is heard it’s time for kisses.

She is my reminder that all that comes into our lives has a chain linked to others and the earth. We do not BUY things, pets, or love... all we bring into our lives is an exchange of the heart.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Threat of Love

On Monday a most glorious walk in nature. So peaceful and quiet except for the bulldozers and dump trucks working on the upper trail. I was able to tune them out except for one moment when the bulldozer went barreling down the path with its beeping back up sound blaring so loudly. I confess, I was miffed.

Yesterday on my walk the driver of the dump truck stopped beside me. He asked if I had been walking Monday afternoon with my dog. When I said yes he began to tell me he and the bulldozer driver watched from above as two coyotes were stalking behind my dog and I. They got within a hundred yards and went down into a crouched stalk walk. What I had interpreted as an unthinking driver of a bulldozer speeding too fast on the trail was their attempt to scare the coyotes away. It worked.

The same coyotes that thrill my heart, that I have seen on the path and offered blessings, were also a threat. How can that be? Nature is my sanctuary, my home. It is the chanting of my heart. Each tree, shrub, and drought hardened piece of earth I walk upon are honored and treasured, as are the coyotes. With my eyes I would never see such a threat. And so I smile as I write. My diminishing sight has taught me to see with my heart. Oh yes, I will be vigilant and not foolish. But I will also not accept fear. To love is to open to loss. To climb a mountain is to accept you will also slip and fall.  The gift of diminished sight is the clarity that the path is not meant to be smooth. It is, truly and simply, perfect imperfection. It is the “threat” of love…an open heart.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Karios Magic

The plane was packed on Christmas Eve. The line of passengers and luggage stuffed in the overheads made me think of clowns in a circus stuffing themselves into a tiny car. A young woman paused to let her child sit between she and I. I smiled but no recognition was returned. Their coats were too thin for the winter. Her very presence, coughing, watery eyes and flushed face painted the image of a mother not feeling well. She all but collapsed in her seat. The little one's excitement was quickly met with a stern "Be quite!" I stared out the window as the plane rolled across the runway and then to see the earth get smaller and smaller.

Glancing at the mother I saw she had fallen asleep. The little one clutched her toy, eyes fixed forward and tears rolling down her cheek. I nudged her with my elbow and smiled. Hesitant she just stared. For the next hour we played silently with her doll and magical creatures we created with my gloves. The coffee stirrer became a magic wand. A napkin became a cape and her doll learned to fly. Only a few soft whispers were exchanged. As the plane landed the little one's eyes looked up with such wonder and awe I almost cried. The mother took her hand and wearily said "Let's go." I gathered one of her bags to hand to her and in her hand I pressed all the Christmas cash I had brought me. With a wink to the little one, I waved the magic stirrer. To this day I still hear her giggle. There a moments now, over 4 decades later, that when I open my wallet I still see her eyes.

We can think of time as chronos - linear, always rushing forward ticking away seconds we cannot get back. Or, we can think of time as karios - the pregnancy of the moment filled with opportunity, possibility, love, and being. The picture attached looks like a magical forest. Or, you could see the truck that passed by stirring dust upon my body and in my eyes. Our journeys require different eyes and different ways of measuring time. The forest IS magical. A 60 minute plane ride has spanned 4 decades. A plastic stirrer still makes my heart laugh with magic. Today, may you hear only the ticking of karios and know the magic of time filled with presence, love, an open heart, and possibility. The magic of karios.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Welcome Recognition

He was so kind to put air in my tires. My eyes cannot read the gauge. I offered to pay but he would not accept, offering only a most gentle smile to say 'no need.' As is my custom, my hands went to my heart and I bowed in thanks. As I rose, returning his smile, he looked awkward and ever so stiffly he mimicked a slight bow. My smile grew larger and burst open when he bellowed and laughed "Hey, I like that!"  Two strangers joined as one in respect and gratitude.

Returning home, five candles were lit, forming a star. Facing each one I bowed to each and called them by name...fear, grief, loss, hope, and love. And somewhere, somehow, I heard the voice of "hey I like that!" Strangers and friends joined as one in respect, gratitude, and welcome.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Resting Questions

I stepped into nature's doorway with a question posed by Elizabeth Matti-Namgyel "How do we live a life we can't hold on to?" It is almost the end of December yet my walk among the Colorado mountains gifted a sweat the weather so warm.  While my body was hot the lake moved beneath a sheet of ice. I sat and watched the migrating geese as they rested from their journey. How long will their journey be? Do they ever wish for a sense of home or a life they can hold on to?

I cannot say I got an answer to my question. I did lay my body back against the warmth of the rocks and stared at the sky. I even stood on one leg like the goose and giggled to think that would not gift rest. I took off my sweatshirt and cap so my body could cool. And with a bow to the mountains and geese I made my way back. Such contradictory images, sensations, and textures remind me that sometimes questions are like migrating geese...sometimes to leave them to rest and simply trust the journey.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Opening Christmas Day 10: Unbounded Sitting

On this day 10 of opening Christmas I paused in my tiny room I think of as the sun room. Shelves hold my little plants and yes, the floor beneath provides a bit of storage. The window faces the west where I can sit in my grandmother’s rocking chair and watch the sun set. A small room, for some houses probably smaller than the closets. My little house was built in 1949 and the closet doors are no wider than me. I call it my hobbit house. The ceilings are low and even my short body and small hands can touch the top of the arched doorways. It was not built for storage and yet it raised a family of six and gifted Christmas to grandchildren until my purchase two years ago.

I sat down in the rocker and listened to the squeak of its old wooden frame. I watched a huge flock of geese pass by the window. I noticed a new tiny growth at the base of an orchid. A cloud rested from its journey upon a mountain. I heard the birds gather on the roof awaiting their seed. I heard the echoes of laughter from children to see wrapped gifts strewn throughout the house – no place to hide from curious and wondering eyes. My heart stirred to hear the chorus “fall on your knees” from the song O Holy Night playing on the CD.

Christmas is about joy. The knock your socks off experience that shatters any and all illusions of hopelessness.  The crumbling of all pretense and doubt that sends you to your knees in wonder, awe, and joy. It is not about storage and accumulation. It is not about what surrounds or does not surround you. It is taking your seat upon the cushion of your heart and shaking with laughter and tears of joy as you feel the smallness and walls of life explode in love. It is the joy of transformation such that you will never be the same even after the calendar has turned.

I’ve warmed the rocker…you’re welcome to come and take your seat. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Opening Christmas Day 9: The Reacher and the Light

On this day 9 of opening Christmas a simple image of a child’s arm reaching for the lights. And with the image a simple prayer, blessing, and wish for all. May the child in all and all of us, reach unencumbered for the Light and squeal with joy and awe….because we can. And may the Light in all our hearts be the lure and delight for the reaching hand.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Opening Christmas Day 8: RSVP NOT

On this day 8 of opening Christmas I ponder an email I tried to write last night. I was trying to thank someone for a simple simple gift they sent to me. A small gift nature gifted. Not Christmas. Something they said simply had my name written all over it. And...it did. Oh sweet mercy it did. Sweet mercy it did.

So why did my mind take off like a rocket trying to think of something equally perfect I could send? Why did my body tense wondering how I could match such a gift? Why is it so hard to simply receive? Why can't I just see both the day moon and the branches in focus and not focus on one overpowering the other?

 I remembered her words, "It had your name written all over it."  Holding the small gift in my hands, as my smile was gifted a drink of sweet tears, I whispered "Thank you." It had my name written. It had love and attention written. It did not have RSVP. Opening Christmas, may my heart also open to simply receive. Is that not the song sung in the heavens?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Opening Christmas # 7- Need

On this day 7 of opening Christmas I had to brave the big store to purchase a ladder. No matter the chair, even with books, I could not reach the repair. To my surprise the store was almost empty. Empty of people that is.. Each shelf was far from empty with this and that and that and this. I found myself thinking "Cool, I need that!" or "Wow! Never thought of that, yes, I must have!" I confess I stopped with my little cart and simply laughed out loud. Was it the colors? The wrappings? The Christmas music playing? The newness? What in the world drew my attention to "have" and "should" and "need"?

I left with naught but my ladder and stopped to ponder with nature the lure, the attraction, the surprised feeling of "need." And then to see nature's display. Is the winter shrub holding the rocks? Or are the rocks supporting winter's frail shrub? So little dirt the roots are exposed and yet this summer it thrived. Leaving a handful of corn meal blessing upon the roots and rocks, I gave thanks for need. I gave thanks for simple needs which causes even the angels to sing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Opening Christmas #6: Re-Gifting Magic

On this day 6 of opening Christmas I think of the gifts called white elephants. Giggle, though I do not know why the name. They are often considered gifts to re-gift- especially those gifts of reciprocating guilt for an unexpected gift received.

But what if, instead, we saw the sacred magic of an actual white elephant! What if we chose re-gifting as the perfect gift. The re-gifting of a friend's presence when we were stricken with sorrow. The friend who worried not about perfect words, their presence spoke healing. The re-gifting of a smile or the stranger who helped us pick up packages dropped. The re-gifting of an actual conversation face to face absent texts, emails, and cell phone chatter. What if we chose the re-gifting of all those moments others gifted that healed and perhaps even saved. Oh that we could see such amazing white elephants trumpeting and heralding the season that is.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Opening Christmas #5 - Bargain Aisle

Opening Christmas Day 5,  I ponder the conversation with my brother about items still remaining in our parents’ house. “Yes there are things I would like, but I have nowhere to put them. It is ok to discard.”  My gaze went to the corner where a kite hangs and gently moves with the furnace’s breath. I remember over a year ago when it sailed. At 58 my first ever time to fly a kite and I marvel to think of the joy that still overwhelms my heart.  A $2 kite flown for less than five minutes and even if the kite was not visible to my eyes the gift of life and joy would still be there.

 On this day 5 of opening Christmas may I seek not those gifts that require space and not heart. May I remember Rumi’s words of warning about Love – “This kiss will cost you your life!” To which Rumi replied, “What a bargain!” As I open Christmas on this day 5, may I seek only those gifts in Love’s bargain aisle.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Opening Christmas # 4 - Stepping Stones Gifts

Opening Christmas Day 4 returns the reminder that paths take many forms and are often interrupted. To let the mind settle from a calendar and clock. To honor the disruptions and lack of flow. To embrace the cannots of money, time, and even heart. To pause in wonder of a frozen lake where nature has left her footprints like cobble walking stones. All is well. Christmas is not a day. The day, the path is the journey.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Opening Christmas #3 - Opened Wrapping

Opening Christmas Day 3 I giggle to think of yesterday's attempt to open a package that was ever so taped and secure. I could not find a single opening to begin to peel back the layers of tape. I finally sat and just laughed at the box.

On this day 3 of opening Christmas may I ponder the soft layers gifted by morning. To know no matter how precious my heart, perhaps one could even say scared and bruised, I can offer it with openness and softness like the layers of morning and light upon the mountains. That is, truly, the gift I am giving no matter the contents inside a box. To release the tape and wrap with gentle soft layers that will greet the heart and hands that receive. No tape, no layers of protection, no fear...the gift is known in its opened offering.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Opening Christmas # 2- Tracking Gifts

On this second day of opening Christmas I stepped out to feed the birds and giggled with delight. They left a gift of softness and dance.

We track the to do's and to gets of Christmas. We know the gifts we need to give. To be these days mindful that wherever we walk or drive we are leaving tracks of gifts. All touched by our presence, energy, voice, eyes, and expressions are gifted with our being. These gifts do not wait for one day to open. They are opened immediately when touched by our being. Oh to be mindful of the gifts I give to all strangers these days.Oh to be mindful of those I gift myself.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Opening Christmas #1 - The Gift of Tilt

As one with no family or nearby friends to celebrate Christmas, a whisper to begin a reflection series and opening of gifts. To begin to reflect upon this season, the last before the calendar notes that I have now reached 60.
        The image is the moon dancing with clouds and the morning. Oh her illumination so grand in the night, a portal of light beaming through the darkness. And yet here she is, dancing in the day. Her presenceis  always there,. She is now seen simply because of the tilt of the earth and nature's season.
        In this time of bargain deals, frantic mailings, crowds, lines, and lists, I open the gift of tilting. Tis one thing to have a faith that shines a light in the darkest of hours. Tis another to behold and see the light that shines and dances during the day. To pause and feel the buffeting winds of preparations as but a reminder to look, see, breathe, and yes, tilt.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Focused Sight

Almost unseen the winter fog so thick. Tis but the combination of air, temperature, and moisture creating that which we call frost and fog. No story attached save the gentle touch and dance. To think first of how my failing eyes see the world as a fog. Then to giggle and see again. Tis not a lack or absence, it is but the dance of nature and her ever so soft gentle touch. I can in fact see as long as I see the dance.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

To Only Try

Some think me an idealist and offer a reality of burdens and cannots. I do not seek a perfect world. I seek only to see and love the imperfect as perfectly as I can.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Making an Entrance

With every doorway I pass through and every thought I enter the sacred. With every breath the newborn cry of life emerging anew. Simple, simple touches. As Rumi said, "Don't go back to sleep."