Monday, June 30, 2008

Jump at the Sun

Mama exhorted her children
at every opportunity to
"jump at the sun."

They might not land on the sun,
but at least they would get
off the ground.

Zora Neale Hurston
Dust Tracks on a Road

Of Note: Marie must have been thinking of "jumping at the sun" when she took this stunning solar shot with the ground apparently a few feet beneath. Any one of us could jump that high. This was today's quote from

Today's Weather Report: Cool mornings in the upper 40's greet us before it warms to the 80's later in the day. Clear skies, at least at this very moment. Seems we get some cloud cover every day before evening, however.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Ten Thousand Things

The ten thousand things
carry yin and embrace yang.
They achieve harmony
by combining these forces.

Lao Tzu

Of Note: Marie sent this mesmerizing beach scene from her iphone today from Galveston! Isn't technology wonderful? I can just about smell the salty ocean and feel the warm breezes against my face that epitomizes harmony of forces.

Today's Weather Report: Yesterday was overcast and drizzly all day until a big thunderstorm hit at around 5 pm. Did it come down! Today, the sun is out gloriously and at this moment the temperature is perfect--must be in the 70's. I planted some seeds from my brother-in-law three years ago which resulted in only little green plants for the first two years. This year, finally, tall spikes emerged that erupted in quite showy purple flowers. Thing is, after all these years, I forgot what the flowers are called!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Intelligence With the Earth

Shall I not have intelligence with the earth?
Am I not partly leave and vegetable mold myself?

Henry David Thoreau
19th century

Of Note: If you will look closely, you will see a yellow butterfly partaking of the leaf and vegetable matter for its own purposes. Marie caught this scene in March in Texas, when we still had snow on the ground here in the northwoods.

Today's Weather Report: Yesterday a large storm loomed off to the east but broke up as it approached Lake Superior. That is not an unusual pattern. The big lake has a way of manipulating weather; in fact, many times, it makes its own. Because we are so close to the lake, we are the recipients of both the good and the not-so-good in that regard.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Soul Happiness

Happiness resides not in
possessions and not in gold,
the feeling of happiness
dwells in the soul.


Of Note: Thanks again to my wonderful, but humble sister, Marie, for this picture that leaves you wondering where the road leads. Where ever it goes, the soul goes there as well.

Today's Weather Report: Party cloudy and cool, then totally sunny and hot, then partly cloudy and cool--but not overly so. High was in the mid 80's. The first day of summer came and went without a howdy-do. Jim says we have bluebirds nesting in our new red birdhouse. Boy, it didn't take them long to set up housekeeping!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Heart Energy In Action

The chief requisite of the application of the heart's energy will be an understanding that physical effort is unnecessary . . . the sending of the heart is accomplished without outer tension. The exercise of the command of the heart demands the least effort. Pure thinking, constancy, benevolence bring the heart energy into action.

M. Morya

Of Note: Another haunting shot by Marie. Makes you want to dive through the center of the heart to see what's on the other side. Look closely and you will see a wee birdie's head on the left.

Today's Weather Report: More thunderstorms and clouds off and on. More off than on, though. The temp was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. Just right.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Change of Stillness

Stillness within one individual can
affect society beyond measure.

Bede Griffithe

Be the change you wish
to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

Of Note: Would it appear to you like it did to me that these two were singing from the same page? Check out www. for other goodies--they do more than daily quotes. My hat goes off to my sister, Marie, for catching these resplendent moss roses--two shots for two quotes.

Today's Weather Report: Yesterday we had thunderstorms all afternoon--dark, dark clouds with thunder that sent the dog to hide where ever she could. Today is cloudless, blue-sky kind of day with a still breeze blowing. Supposedly it will be in the 80's later. It was 50 degrees early this morning, so that's a 30 degree difference!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Naked Reality

In a world of tension and breakdown,
it is necessary to seek to integrate
our inner lives not by avoiding anguish
and running away
from problems
but by facing them in their naked

reality and in their ordinariness.

Thomas Merton

Of Note: Many of our ancestors faced trials about which we can only dream. Hardship was an ordinary part of their mundane existence. We have much to learn from these ghost's of yesterday. Marie took this haunting shot on her trip to West Texas in April. You can almost hear an intrepid Mom calling her brood for a hardy lunch.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy and cool this morning, starting out again at 40 degrees or so. Around noon it sprinkled, then got hot with the sun beating down, then got cloudy, cool and sprinkled some more. Guess Ma Nature could not make up her mind today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sensing Love

Love is the poetry of the senses.

Honore de Balzac
19th century

Of Note: Contemplation on flowers has a way of attuning the senses to all divine attributes, including love. Marie caught this black-eyed Susan in its effulgent glory.

Today's Weather Report: Can you believe it? Two gorgeous days in a row, although the plants were shocked at the early morning temp of 40 degrees! Much below that and we'd be bringing the green babes in at night.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Global Responsibility

It is our collective and individual responsibility
to protect and nurture the global family,
to support its weaker members,
and to preserve and tend to the
environment in which we all live.

The Dalai Lama

Of Note: This is one of Marie's best shots from her trip to Big Bend National Park earlier in the year. Even with the prickly cacti in the background, the photo has a soothing effect.

Today's Weather Report: Finally a gorgeous day and not too hot. The garden is really responding well to all the rain this year with very happy plants. Now it's the purple time with the flowers which followed the yellows. Pinks and reds follow. The hummingbirds think they are in heaven.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Body and Breath

Body and breath, essence and energy are one . . .

Sun Simiao
7th century

Of Note: Children are always the essence of energy--they are so skillful at it. Thanks to Marie for catching that divine quality in this shot of children playing in a refreshing fountain.

Today's Weather Report: It started out at 50 degrees this morning and only rose to the low 60's. Burr. A stiff breeze chilled the air even more, and with the cloud cover one almost forgot that the sun was back there somewhere.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Our task is to strike a balance,
to find a middle way,
to learn
not to overstretch
with extraneous
and preoccupations,
but to simplify our lives

more and more.

The key to finding a happy balance

in modern times is simplicity.

Sogyal Rinpoche
The Tibetan Book of Days

Of Note: This dragonfly was going about her day simply, one leaf stretching away before the next. Marie caught her in the act.

Today's Weather Report: Very cloudy, but rain is doubtful. Moderate temps in the 70's, but it's not short-sleeved weather exactly. It a nap kind of day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Magical Morning

I have always been delighted
at the prospect of a new day,
a fresh try, one more start,
with perhaps a bit of magic
waiting somewhere
behind the morning.

John Priestley
18th century

Of Note: It is Marie's birthday today. So, Happy Birthday, Sis! And thanks for sharing all your inspiring photos this year. You and they are truly incredible.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy and sporadically windy, but all in all a lovely day. Had to be in the 70's because I was neither hot nor cold.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Natural Clarity

I often compare the mind in meditation to a jar of muddy water:
the more we leave the water without interfering or stirring it,
the more the particles of dirt will sink to the bottom,
letting the natural clarity of the water shine through.

Sogyal Rinpoche
The Tibetan Book of Days

Of Note: Marie does have a wonderful husband, who is looking reflectively at the muddy Rio Grande River on their vacation to Big Bend National Park in Texas. Yes, this is the same river the illegal immigrants cross to get from impoverished Mexico to the wealthy USA. Magnetic attraction is at work here for sure.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy, very breezy and in the 70's describes our current situation. Lately it can change on a dime. Yesterday I spotted a rabbit in the garden. It is certainly taking its life in its hands with 5 cats on the prowl, though the old cat, Beaner, just looks on now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Did My Mind Change Me?

Did I change my mind,
or did my mind change me?


Of Note: Marie caught this darling calf on film at a moment when the wide-eyed babe was obviously contemplating what that foreign object was in front of her. Bet she'd never seen a person with a camera before!

Today's Weather Report: Rain and more rain constantly since yesterday although it's a warm 60 degrees or so. We were without power from 3 am until 3 pm. Apparently, a tree and an electric wire crossed paths somewhere out here, and it took twelve hours to repair the damage. That makes two times in a week without power. Welcome to the north woods.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spaciously Loving

We can be spacious yet full of loving kindness;
full of compassion, yet serene.

Of Note: I thought it was important to see both views of these sunny flowers. Two different perspectives on spaciousness and beauty. Marie has such an eye for these scenes, and she is to be applauded for sharing them with us.

Today's Weather Report: More of the same cloudy skies with cool temperatures. It was 45 degrees when I awoke this morning. Jim says we are about to have a thunderstorm of great proportions. I don't doubt it looking at the growing dark sky.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Earth's Captive

Captive now upon the Earth,
I commune with the chorus of the stars
who share in my joys and sorrows.

Gerard De Nerval
19th century

Of Note: Though no stars grace this picture, it is reminiscent of stars somehow. Marie has once again captured a moment!

Today's Weather Report: Burr, chilly and rainy. The birds are a-twitter with delight. The frogs sing as well in a call and response type tune.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Wrapped in the Ordinary

Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary.
There are burning bushes all around you.
Every tree is full of angels.
Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb.

Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB
A Tree Full of Angels

Of Note: Nothing could prepare me for the experience of looking at this soul-filled picture. I must warn you, it is mesmerizing. Thanks, Marie, for another inspiring shot! And thanks to for the quote of June 9th.

Today's Weather Report: The East coast is sweltering, the Midwest is under water. And we in northern Wisconsin sit on the edge of it with clouds moving in and out. A warming sun greeted us this morning.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Untroubled Retreat

Nowhere can man find
a quieter or more
untroubled retreat
than in his own soul.

Marcus Aurelius

Of Note: Once again Marie has taken an outstanding photo. Makes me want to dive into the picture in search of soul.

Today's Weather Report: While the Midwest is getting hammered with severe weather and tornadoes, we are merely cloudy, being right on the upper edge of the trouble. Yesterday one of our thermometers read 100 degrees! But it was in actuality only in the 80's in the shade. Today has been cool again.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Crammed With Heaven

Earth is crammed with heaven,
and every common bush
afire with God.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Aurora Leigh

Of Note: Marie takes the best fiery sky photos! Thanks for this exceptional shot taken earlier in the year!

Today's Weather Report: Yesterday we had the most unusual wind and stormy clouds, though it never rained. The electricity went out from 4 pm until early this morning and made for an early evening with no lights to read by or Fox News to watch. Thankfully, it is bright and sunny right now in the sixties.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sitting Quietly

What life can compare with this?
Sitting quietly by the window,

I watch the leaves fall

and the flowers bloom

as the seasons come and go.

10th century

Of Note: This mystical shot was taken at Old City Park by my sister, Marie. It is reminiscent of the quiet beauty that surrounds us whether we are aware of it or not.

Today's Weather Report: Well, I spoke too soon yesterday. The sun was out for about 10 minutes before an electrifying thunderstorm rolled in and provided pyrotechnics for hours. The dog hid. This morning the glorious sun again shown but is now hid by ominous clouds. At 65 degrees it is warm even with a wind at a gusty 10 mph.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Art

Thoughts create a new heaven,
a new firmament,
a new source of energy,
from which new arts flow.

16th century

Of Note: Marie received this lovely koi fish quilt from her best friend. Such creativity! Such love! Quilts have quite a capacity to impress those of us without the conceptual and sewing skills to pull off such a feat of pure art.

Today's Weather Report: Oh, my, the sun is popping out right at this moment! We haven't seen it for days and thought it had headed permanently south for the spring.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Scenes of Pure Air

I know that our bodies were
made to thrive only in pure air,
and the scenes in which pure air is found.

John Muir
19th century

Of Note: Marie took a photo of this tranquil scene at Old City Park in Dallas. Can't you just smell every bit of it?

Today's Weather Report: At 8 am it was 48 degrees and cloudy. Not a shorts day for sure!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Give the Strength to Do It

The worst thing in
politics is when you
are so scared of losing
support that you don't
do the right thing.

What faith can do

is not tell you what
is right but give you
the strength to do it.

Tony Blair
TIME magazine
June 9, 2008

Of Note: Marie captured this glorious, sun-tipped cloud at precisely the right moment. The scene calls up images of the beauty and bounty of God, Who is the ultimate giver of all strength.

Today's Weather Report: More cloudy and cool. Looks like it could rain at any moment. The plants are a bit confused if this is spring or fall.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Toward Consciousness

Plants are the young of the world,
vessels of health and vigor.
They grope ever upward
toward consciousness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Of Note: The road to full consciousness is beautiful, like Marie's photo. A closer look reveals obstacles that make the travel hazardous but ultimately rewarding.

Today's Weather Report: The cool rain continues. All the plants are sucking it up, especially the grass. Yesterday the tomatoes were planted along with the artichoke plant from Idaho.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Face of God

How I long to see
among dawn flowers
the face of God.

Basho, 17th century

Of Note: These gorgeous spring poppies taken by Marie in a Texas field are months ahead of their Wisconsin counterparts. Their beauty certainly betrays God's motives for Earth.

Today's Weather Report: A typical spring day greeted us this morning: partly cloudy, in the 70's, popple pollen flying through the air like cotton balls. It resembles spring snow and accumulates in every nook and cranny.