Two Buckets Full

An empty kindling bucket lead to a lesson in mindfulness this morning. It didn’t take long to remember how attentive and alert you have to be when your splitting kindling with a hand ax. I never lost awareness of where my fingers were or the steadiness of the piece of wood that the ax was about to come down on. After filling two kindling buckets I was darn near a Buddhist monk!

It only takes a few minutes of mindful motion to feel a peaceful energetic recharge. Not only does it balance the mind and body but it can make you more aware of when you are becoming imbalanced.

An empty life can fill with meaning as painlessly as two kindling buckets with a mindful practice. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself like the wonderful children’s book, “Have you filled your bucket today?”

You don’t live life standing still. Witness its sacred motion and it won’t pass you by.

Between Skins

Between places bring to mind a notion of imbalance but to me these seams in the fabric of our lives help us choose what the design of it will look like. Between-ness frees us from being stuck in a relationship, job, indecision, etc. The hard place of between is where we are given the opportunity to view our circumstances from every direction. We come into difficult places of uncertainty to stitch softness into the sharp edge of choice with a needle of trust.

Betweens are a threshold to a spiritual state of contemplation, a place of gentle unfolding to pause and listen for guidance to take the right next action. The fray of between-ness is an opening to our higher self. These are powerful places of observation and to gather understanding of how we got to where we are, so we can get where we want to go. We forget how much of life is lived in this potent space for intuitive decision making. The pause between our breaths, words, thoughts; these are sacred spaces charged with clarity.

Be grateful for these points of contemplation. It means you have a choice in the direction you want to grow. There will be many times in life when you feel you don’t have one.

Hem in worry and life stops unraveling.

Between Skins

Garter Snake left something behind,
a lacy sleeve
of his diamond design.
Soft and fragile,
thin as a whisper.

He breached restriction,
peeled it away.
hooked by the log
inside out and in one piece
the tissue print laid.

Trusting each twist, every turn
Surrendered to the struggle.
I wonder how that feels
to wholly leave behind
all that will not grow with you.

Wet flesh of newborn knowledge
understanding’s tender spiral.
Shedding is both
quiet and beautiful,
skin and tears alike.

Garter Snake and I
both have reached this place
where we can be
stretched no further—
stretched no further.

I looked for him
among dead leaves
and smooth grass.
Perhaps he sought refuge
under dark undergrowth.

Restless as the forces of creativity
Garter Snake can’t be held still
or tight for long.
When stirred hidden passion glows
like embers buried in ash.

In this place—between skins
all of me
wiggled free
by creative energy.
All of me free.

Here grow the light,
live in the sunfields
when you can be stretched no further
leave something behind—
leave something behind.

Holy Harmony

What ear doesn’t turn towards the winged-one’s song thick in the March air?
Passionate chords strung together on heart strings,
hoping to snare a mate.

On a limb touching the sky I see him.
His crisp crimson outline easy to spot against the drab scenery.
His whole body reverberates the rapture in each note.
The beat found in nature’s pounding chest.
I pause.

Such intensity.

I wonder, could it be a primordial song of survival?
I feel the lifeless unborn come alive.
That’s what spring does.
It saturates the world with fresh life.
Soak in the song of rebirth.

I thought of St. Augustine who said, “He who sings, prays twice.”
Listen for the holy harmony around you.
You will hear singing from your heart.

Heaven’s Kiss

through the night’s darkness
an icy mist fell
fog floats over the earth
like a grey phantom

nothing left untouched
dampness drips from the landscape’s heavy bones

a mystical mist
mother earth’s breath
trapped in the fallen sky
silently heaven’s soft kiss moves in

sunrise sweet lips
a gentle warmth reached

chill crumbles in the face of light
numbed emotions thaw
mysterious meanings revealed

I walk with my feelings
towards light’s waiting kiss
behind me
lost in the shadows
my darkness

Divine Hands

Mild temperatures gave my husband and I an opportunity to check on our beehives. For the most part, we leave the bees be; only interrupting the hum of the hive when necessary. On this occasion, we wanted to remove mite medicine placed in the hive a week earlier. We felt fortunate that only two out of the four hives had mite counts high enough to warrant treatment.

As we approached the hive we could see the bees were very active and agitated. On closer inspection, it was obvious something had removed the entrance reducer, possibly a skunk or a raccoon. Wasps were trying to enter the hive and raid the hive’s winter stores of honey. Guard bees were protecting the entrance but the large opening was giving the wasps an advantage. Once we replaced the entrance reducer the bee’s demeanor quickly calmed. Our human help must have seemed like divine intervention to the bees.

As we watched the bees come and go, we noticed that some were bringing in pollen. I was astonished to see them collecting pollen in November but there it was! The robust yellow-orange bundles clinging to their hind legs was hard to miss. It felt as if a much greater hand was working with ours to help the bees help themselves survive the winter.

Helping…no matter who or what or how much…creates connection. We energetically weave another strand into the web of life, strengthening humanity. You know there is sacredness in the act of helping. You feel the intervention of divinity stir in your heart and spirit. We lend our hands to the Divine when we intervene on behalf of the helpless.

Note: In the featured photo you can see the pollen clinging to back leg of the bee in flight.

Heart of Pine

As a child I would steal away time from my farm chores to play among the white pines that grew wide and tall next to our land. They grew best in the coarse, sandy, well-drained soils on the top of small hills. On windy days the sway of the boughs motioned to me like the repeated curl of an index finger beckoning closer. This time of play among the peaceful pines strengthened my spirits gentleness. Many people wish for a heart of oak but I long for a heart of pine.

Nothing escapes pine’s restful rapture. In their company the spirit wanders free and easy. Whose soul isn’t soothed by the faintest tang of pine scent? Gazing at the whorl of branches rise and fall my consciousness slides effortlessly into the flow of creation. In the gentle whisper of the pine, listen for the silence. You will hear things.

Many people wish for a heart of oak but I long for a heart of pine.

Harvest Happy

Most days now begin before the warmth of the sun has a chance to drink up the dew clinging to smooth blades of grass. Nonetheless, I’ve taken precautionary measures. I know the sun will be high and mighty before I’m through harvesting the garden’s bounty. Stretched across my brow, a bandana folded over itself several times to secure hair and soak up sweat. We’re at the tail end of the dog days of summer here in Wisconsin but the sultry weather is hanging around like a bad case of fleas.

Basket in hand, I head to the peace of the berry patch to harvest abundance. The thing about abundance of any kind is seeing it through to the harvest.  However you bring abundance into your life; grow it, attract it or visualize it. Know you will have to; pick it, preserve it and participate in distributing it. Prosperity is all around us rotting on the vine.

If there is one universal law everyone forgets it’s the Law of Action. To manifest anything in our lives we need to engage in actions that support what we have been visualizing or affirming. Take my gardens for example. The visualizing started back in January. Planning what crops to plant and where. Come spring the action shifted from my head to my hands. There was compost to move, soil to turn and seeds to plant. Nothing was guaranteed but without action the plan doesn’t get set into motion. It’s not so much finishing what I started as it is staying with it through the good(sunshine), bad(drought) and ugly(Japanese Beetles) parts.  As my Mom used to say, “Don’t be afraid of a little hard work.” Nothing teaches that lesson better than a garden in my humble opinion!

Picking vegetables as soon as they are ripe often encourages the plant to keep producing. Nature might be hinting at something here. Maybe that’s how it works with abundance. You have to be willing to pick an action when the opportunity is ripe. If we make a practice of taking actions that support a thriving life, the Universe responds by bringing in even more prosperity. Ever action, no matter how small, lets the Universe know what you’re striving for and it produces big time!

This time of year I lack for nothing. The garden’s overflow is shared with family and friends. With the pantry shelves filling up fast the feeling of abundance will last for many months to come. Which brings me to another gift from the harvest of abundance—gratitude. Most mornings you can find me in the garden, pick’n peace and grin’n with gratitude— harvesting happy.

“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action”.  ~Meister Eckhart