Thursday, July 31, 2008

Descending Grace

Gratitude is an ascending reflection
of a descending grace.

Beverly Novak

Of Note: The photographer, Marie, and sunsets just go together like birds of a feather. This one reminded me of the hands of God touching his reflection Earth.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy again but no rain predicted. Drat. One needs a good rainy day every once in awhile. It started off this morning at 52 degrees but will end up in the mid-80's. Perfect temps for a summer day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Singing Stream

It may be that when
we no longer know
which way to go
we have come to
our real journey.

The mind that
is not baffled
is not employed.
The impeded stream
is the one that sings.

Wendell Berry
Collected Poems

Of Note: Berry speaks of the what could be called the paradox of impedance. Could it be that we should welcome crises as the only opportunity for growth? Marie captured this sublime picture at Big Bend National Park in the spring.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy in the mid-eighties. That's it. The garden continues to put forth its beauty.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Your Present Actions

If you want to know your past life,
look into your present condition;
if you want to know your future life,
look at your present actions.


Of Note: For some reason this photo by Marie of these colorful leaves reminded me of India from whence much ancient wisdom emerges.

Today's Weather Report: LA had a small earthquake this morning. Boy, California is really getting hit with forest fires and now an mild shake. A thunderstorm rolled through here this morning and then sprinkled on and off until about noonish. Then the sun came out in all its grandeur, and it wasn't fun to be outside any longer as the temps rose to the mid-80's. The bugs drove Jim inside. Not a one pestered me for some reason.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Beginner's Mind

If your mind is empty,
it is always ready for anything;
it is open to everything.

In the beginner's mind
there are many possibilities.
In the expert's mind
there are few.


Of Note: Mountain vistas provide a great backdrop for meditations on mind. Marie provided this one and will have more upon her return from Utah and other points west late next week.

Today's Weather Report: Blue, blue skies and no clouds are providing us a perfectly still day--with lots of bugs enjoying it also. Thank heavens for bug spray!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Sky Inside Your Mind

To calm your mind,
go for a walk at
dawn in the park,
or watch the dew on
a rose in the garden.

Lie on the ground and
gaze up into the sky,
and let your mind
expand into its spaciousness.

Let the sky outside awake
the sky inside your mind.

Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: This northern Wisconsin sky screamed spaciousness and foretold an impending storm. One could get lost in sky-gazing.

Today's Weather Report: We are back to temps in the 70's, sun out and just a regular sort of day. A few clouds are sprinkled here and there in the sky. Perfect sky-gazing kind of day if you wanted to share the space with the hungry ticks, deer flies and mosquitoes.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blessed Influence

Blessed is the influence of one true,
loving human soul on another.

George Eliot
19th century

Of Note: Is the butterfly wing reflecting the zinnia color or does it match that closely? Bet Marie could answer that question since she took this awesome photo in her new backyard garden.

Today's Weather Report: Four sprinkles yesterday after an hour of thunder-boomers was quite a letdown. Now we are back to clear skies and sprinklers. Jim's putting green is coming right along with little grasslets carpeting the ground like a shimmering green carpet.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Everyones Highest Ideals

Our duty is to encourage
every one in his struggle
to live up to his own highest ideal.

Swami Vivekananda
19th century

Of Note: This is just one in a series of shots that captured perfectly the unfolding of a Datura flower in Marie's backyard garden. The seeds were from my Datura grown up here in northern Wisconsin that is overwintered in the house. These are prolific seed-bearers--one pod, which in some ways is as showy as the flowers, has at least 200 large seeds.

Today's Weather Report: Yesterday it got cloudy then showered off and on. Never more than 5 minutes. Today is supposed to be the rainy day--just in time for our fishermen guests who swear to get the best fish in the rain. We are so glad to oblige!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

From a Safe Distance

It's easy to be brave from a safe distance.


Of Note: This little guy must have been very brave in the face of the danger imposed by a looming giant with a huge eye pointing his way!

Today's Weather Report: Ditto yesterday. Our guests arriving today should have great bass fishing in the lake. If nothing else, they will catch some rays.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stop a Moment

In the name of God,
stop a moment,
cease your work,
look around you.

Leo Tolstoy

Of Note: I snapped this picture on the shores of Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay on Sunday. If you look really closely, you will see seagulls frolicking on the rocks. I wasn't the only one taken with these birds, another lady was teetering on rocks to take them as well.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy in the 80's. Pretty nondescript day as far as weather goes. It's the kind of day you don't even notice the conditions outside--they just are.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Immensity of the Sea

If you want to build a ship,
don't herd people together
to collect wood and
don't assign them tasks
and work
but rather
teach them to long for the
endless immensity of the sea.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Of Note: Marie caught this endless expanse of the sea at Galveston which may be hit by a hurricane this week. We humans can't even get our brains around the immensity of the ocean which covers most of our planet. We have little knowledge of what's in it, on it or around it. Amazing really how little we know about something that is so hugely a part of the Earth.

Today's Weather Report: Sunny and hot today. I know it's hot when the Daturas in the pot on the southern exposed front porch wilt every day without water. But they always revive with a little drink.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Path to Freedom

Although we have been made to believe
that if we let go we will end up
with nothing, life reveals just the opposite:
that letting go is the real path to freedom.

Sogyal Rinpoche
Glimpse After Glimpse

Of Note: I've used this photo before but hope you will forgive me because it fit this quote so nicely. Marie took it at the Dallas Arboretum which was written up in the Wall Street Journal last week.

Today's Weather Report: Must be in the mid seventies because it feels neither hot nor cold. Sunny and bright--a real energy giver.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Warrior Spirit

To open deeply,
as genuine spiritual life requires,
we need tremendous
courage and strength,
a kind of warrior spirit.

But the place for this warrior
strength in in the heart.

Jack Kornfield
A Path with Heart

Of Note: Marie took this striking shot at Old City Park in Dallas a few months back. That day has provided many of good photo for this blog, and I appreciate each and every one.

Today's Weather Report: It's a sleepy kind of Sunday with clouds overhead and impending rain. The flowers and other garden plants are waiting expectantly.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Having New Eyes

The real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking
new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

Of Note: Marie will soon be heading out west again to get more great shots like this one.

Today's Weather Report: Jim said it would rain tomorrow because of a big cloud mass out in the Dakotas. Well, a storm hit here at 2:30 pm--nothing huge, just light sprinkles. Before that it was sunny--perfect for yard work. Maybe that bigger storm will happen tomorrow as predicted.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Embrace of the Sun

The Earth has received
the embrace of the Sun,

and we shall see the
results of that love.

Hunkesni, "Sitting Bull"
19th century

Of Note: Texas certainly has some showy sunsets, and Marie does an excellent job of capturing the mighty orb in transit.

Today's Weather Report: It must be in the 80's but with a slight breeze is very comfortable. Sunshine and deer flies, that's what our day is like!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bird Call

The bird does not sing because it has an answer.
The bird sings because it has a song.

Chinese Proverb

Of Note: Look closely and you will see a dove winging its way across the sky in this photo by Marie. If we heard the song of this giant dove, it might change the world.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy and the low 60's greeted us this morning after a severe thunderstorm during the night with LOTS of noise. Everything garden-wise is drippy but happy--except the tomato plants which prefer sunshine and heat. By this time every year, we have plants 4 feet tall with lots of blossoms. Our foot tall tomato plants this year certainly don't match-up.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Learning From the Unenlightened

Keep in mind that
you are probably
learning more from
the unenlightened than
they are learning from you.

Be grateful for what you
gain and not so impressed
with what you give.

Florence Widutis

Of Note: Marie caught this intriguing shot at the school in Old City Park in Dallas of the rail for the kid's lunch pails. How things have changed!

Today's Weather Report: It's partly cloudy right now with a 50% chance of rain. That would be good to break the mugginess. In the 80's, it's pretty hot when the sun was out. Too hot actually to do any meaning work outside.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Consciousness of All Humanity

Human consciousness is not an individual consciousness.
It is the consciousness of all humanity.
When man understands he is part
of the whole,
then he will become
responsible for what he is doing.


Of Note: There's nothing like an unusually vivid sunset to connect one to the whole. Marie has a way of spotting these opportunities.

Today's Weather Report: Early this morning a loud thunderstorm rolled through. Our adult guests were afraid of the loud thunderclaps. The four kids slept right through it. Right now it is clear and sunny with chances of thunderstorms later.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Young Heart

To a young heart everything is fun.

Charles Dickens

Of Note: Bleeding heart flowers are the most beautiful in any garden. Marie obviously knew that when she took this vibrant shot this past spring.

Today's Weather Report: Sunny and totally clear. The four grandkids here think they are in heaven--especially the six-month old I'm holding as we speak. He thinks this computer is the neatest thing since sliced bread.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Divine Quest

Each minute of life should be a divine quest.


Of Note: It being Sunday, it seemed appropriate to mention the divine. I should suggest to Marie that she put together a burning bush series because she takes great shots of sunsets through trees! This one is particularly outstanding.

Today's Weather Report: It started to rain lightly as we retired to bed last evening. Today mid-50 degree temps greeted us with heavy overcast skies. More rain would be welcome. With our sandy soil, often the ground is totally dry soon after a big downpour.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Sweet Truth

When you shoot an arrow of truth,
dip its point in honey.

Arab proverb

Of Note: If you look really closely, you will see a wee bee collecting nectar in this trumpet vine flower. Marie caught this bee in the act. Across the globe, bees carry a real load in pollinating plants while they go about their usual business of honey-making but are succumbing to a mysterious virus yet to be identified. Be thankful, therefore, when one passed time in your garden.

Today's Weather Report: Bright and sunny again in a cloudless sky. Rain blanketed the area yesterday but then cleared up to these sunny conditions. All the flowers in the garden lapped up the rain even if short-lived.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Holding Infinity

To see the world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wildflower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an Hour.

William Blake

Of Note: The ocean and beaches always remind me of Infinity personified. The vast deep is so mysterious and covers most of our planet. It could hold a whole other civilization, and we would never know. Thanks to Marie for sharing this mellow ocean shot.

Today's Weather Report: I awoke this morning to dense cloud cover. We must have had some rain because the ground is damp, though not drenched. It must be in the 70's because the temp feels neutral--neither hot or cold.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Go With Heart

Wherever you go,
go with all your heart.


Of Note: Marie knows about heart and knew that we'd all be moved by this Galveston shot with the auburn sunset caught in the boathouse windows. You would have thought it was a different sunset than the one in the background.

Today's Weather Report: The lake continues to recede like last summer. Some shallower lakes are all gone with only a muddy bed remaining. Even thought we've had a rainy year, it hasn't been enough to fill the lake. Another sunny day greeted me this morning. Cool and breezy so far.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Step into the Unknown

It is familiarity with life that makes time speed quickly.
When every day is a step in the unknown,
the days are long with gathering of experience.

George Gissing
19th century

Of Note: My older sister, who takes these fantastic shots, understands that perceiving beauty in everything around us inspires hope. She has always had the ability to look for and see hope in every experience. If we all could that that, we would change the world.

Today's Weather Report: The morning after a thunderstorm is so refreshing. The storm clouds gathered yesterday afternoon rather unexpectedly and the temps dropped suddenly to the low 70's. It was nothing earth shattering, just a nice, soft pitter-patter to put us to sleep without air-conditioning. Today the glorious sun is shining, but more thunderstorms are forecast. Bring it on!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Commodities of Trade

The ideal economy combines
the spiritual and the material,
and the best commodities to
trade in are sincerity and love.

Morihei Ueshiba
20th century

Of Note: Here the water looks motionless, caught in the act of reflecting the sun. Marie snapped this shot at the Dallas Arboretum in the spring.

Today's Weather Report: Yesterday was a good day not to be working outside. It got into the 90's in the shade and was well over 100 in the direct sun. That's hot anywhere but for northern Wisconsin is blistering. Today promises more of the same.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bringing Happiness or Pain

Because the law of karma is
inevitable and infallible,
whenever we harm others,
we are directly harming ourselves,
and whenever we bring happiness,
we are bringing ourselves
future happiness.

Sogyal Rinpoche
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Of Note: The world might be a better place if belief in the law of karma spread to every corner. Even to the corner Marie illuminated in this captivating photo of Utah.

Today's Weather Report: Jim said it was going to rain today most likely. Well, it's sunshiny and in the 80's with not a cloud in sight. Apparently, the Great Lake Superior captured the storm and broke it up. That's too bad because now we could use the rain; our lake is down again.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Unending Thanksgiving

May your heart be an
altar from which the
bright flame of unending
thanksgiving ascends
to heaven.

St. Mary Pelletier
Embrace the World

Of Note: Texas has the most amazing sunsets, and Marie captures them regularly. She takes transcendent flower pictures but her sunsets are beyond the beyond.

Today's Weather Report: More sunshine and hot, although the mornings start off cool in the upper forties or lower fifties. The dog doesn't move very far after noontime, preferring to loll in the shade.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Goodness in Suffering

Suffering exists not for the
purpose of hurting us,
But to teach us where in general
good is to be found,
and thus to make us stronger,
more intelligent and more vibrant.

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Of Note: Could it be that God love speaks through suffering? The mesmerizing ocean scene taken by Marie can take us away in meditative reflection on that potentially illuminating thought.

Today's Weather Report: It is getting redundant, I know, but the sunshine and cloudless sky at 70 degrees is just perfect. I started off this morning in a robe at a cool 48 degrees but will end the day in shorts.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Even Those Without It

I am never far from those with faith,
or even from those without it.
Though they do not see me.
My children will always be
protected by my compassion.


Of Note: For some reason, God is always close in sunset pictures. What is it about the sun and God? Marie has always had a good eye for God and shows that in this magnificent shot.

Today's Weather Report: More of the same, just like yesterday. We will take it! Our garden looks like a bevy of purple this year. Or, maybe it's just my eyes predominately seeing that regal color.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Breathless and Beautiful

There must be always remaining in every life,
some place for the singing of angels
some place for that which in itself
breathless and beautiful.

Howard Thurman

Of Note: The ocean has a way of capturing the soul in its expansive beauty. Marie caught the moment perfectly in this shot at Galveston last week.

Today's Weather Report: It's a good day when the temps are in the 70's and a light breeze is blowing with the sun shining. Not a cloud in the sky. The mosquitoes and flies are having a heyday, however. Those huge, nasty horse flies are the worst. They actually take a chunk out of the skin when they bite. Ouch!