Sunday, August 31, 2008

Every Purpose Under Heaven

To every thing
there is a season,
and a time to every
purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
and a time to die,
a time to plant and
a time to pluck
what is planted,
A time to kill,
and a time to heal,
a time to break down,
and a time to build up.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 - 3.

Of Note: These biblical words perfectly sum up the seasonal cycles of a garden. These sunflowers are the last blooming reminders of the coming fall. The sun is already leaving us earlier in the day as the morning temperatures drop to the upper thirties. The garden is taking notice. On the shortest day of the year in December the sun sets at 4:30 pm! By then, the garden will be most likely covered in snow and readying itself for next spring.

Today's Weather Report: It was three years ago this weekend that I started having symptoms of blastomycosis. Little did I know how it would change my life. Hurricane Katrina was flooding New Orleans as I lay there coughing and feverish. The coming Hurricane Gustav may be a reminder of that fateful weekend. Up here in northern Wisconsin with temps today predicted in the upper 80's, you'd never guess what is going on a thousand plus miles south.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Flame of Blessing

When the all-pervading rays
of the Buddha's compassion
are focussed through the
magnifying glass of your
faith and devotion,
the flame of blessing
blazes up in your being.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Of Note: There have been many Buddha's other than the one that lived 2500 years ago. Buddha is simply the name of a type of saving Avatar, and many have walked the Earth. In this sense, Christ was a Buddha as well and was often accepted as such in the East. So, if one can only see a Buddha statue in their mind's eye when seeing the word, substitute the word Christ. The buddhic message of love and compassion is universal. Many thanks to Marie for the gorgeous Texas sunset shot used as a flaming backdrop.

Today's Weather Report: More sunshine and cool mornings. I can't remember August ever being so lovely. Then, I've never been home every day like this to enjoy it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Faith Revisited

Faith consists in believing
when it is beyond the
power of reason to believe.

It is not enough that a thing
be possible for it to be believed.


Of Note: Faith is a funny thing. Ancient wisdom says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. How can faith be substance and therefore evidence? Voltaire hits on the answer above when he alludes to the fact that faith is a belief, a thought. Energy. Substance with the power to move mountains when the motive is love. Simple really.

Today's Weather Report: Last night a stealth thunderstorm moved in around 8 pm and did it dump some rain! Torrents. Today blue skies prevail with temps in the upper 70's although it started out at 40 degrees or so.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Inspirational Path

We all have the karma to meet
one spiritual path or another,
and I would encourage you,
from the bottom of my heart,
to follow with complete sincerity
the path that inspires you most.

Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: This tranquil photo was shot on a path through the woods by my house which is not trodden often so is lush with grass. Although this view is inspiring to look at, a real spiritually inspired path is often full of pot holes and ditches, and to a casual viewer would not make a great picture. It takes courage to step onto that path with open eyes and a heart aflame.

Today's Weather Report: Thunder awoke me around 3 am or so and somewhere between then and 7 am the rain blew in. Looks like more rain and at 62 degrees, it promises to be a cool shower. The garden is drinking it up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Treating It Like Dirt

"With eight billion people, we are going
to have to start getting interested in soil.
We are simply not going to be able
to keep treating it like dirt."

David Montgomery
University of Washington

Of Note: This ended a great article on soil in the September 2008 issue of National Geographic. Eight billion refers to the number of people in our grandchildren's world. While the US has done pretty well--or could with technology--in the dirt department, much of the rest of the world's soil is in need of remediation. Without it, many of the dreams of self-sustaining communities will come to naught.

Today's Weather Report: Clouds, clouds and then more clouds--although for a few hours the sun peeked out to say hello. I reminded myself today that most of November is cloudy like this. The moderate temps today are NOT like November, however.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Lover of Silence

If you love truth,
be a lover of silence.
Silence, like the sunlight,
will illuminate you
in God.

St Isaac
7th century

Of Note: These gigantic, 12 foot-tall sunflowers seem to be reaching up to the heavens. They do have a ways to go before matching their 80-foot white pine tree companion in the background, which no doubt has been into celestial communion for some time.

Today's Weather Report: Another 38 degree morning greeted us but soon warmed to the perfect 70's. The old cat, Beaner, has been sleeping on the deck in the sunshine all day. Maybe he's communing with God as well.

Monday, August 25, 2008




Of Note: If you think about it, we know very little about anything. Miracles are thus the promise of what science holds in store for the future.

Today's Weather Report: It was 38 degrees this morning and is very slowly warming. That means that the porch plants will have to start coming in soon.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Interior Beauty

Through love and sincerity,
continuously beautify your inner life every day.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Of Note: Marie's gorgeous day lily is a perfect backdrop for this inspirational Sunday quote. God provides nature's outside beauty. It's our responsibility to activate our inherent, interior radiance.

Today's Weather Report: Clear and cool. That sums it up. We just came from Chicago-land where the humidity hung in the air. This is like heaven.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Repairing the World

First we receive the light,
Then we impart the light,
Thus we repair the world.


Of Note: This photo I'm sure is a rerun, but perfectly reflects the quote above. Humans as light givers, as redeemers, may be a new concept but we should get comfortable with it. We are not Divine because we are special, we are divine to serve.

Today's Weather Report: The cloudiness continues, though no rain has fallen yet. That could come later today when we are heading south to Chicago, but definitely by tomorrow. The temps are moderate as they've been most of the summer. The pesky deer have started munching on the cosmos. But they are in such profusion, I think I'll let them this year and keep you posted as to how that goes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Echoes of Kind Words


Mother Teresa

Of Note: The same could be said of the energy associated with unkind words. Hopefully, Mother Teresa will not turn over in her grave when her wise quote is attached to a picture of my garden scarecrow admonishing the local deer to steer clear. In past years, the pesky critters loved to eat the spiderwort plants directly behind but not this year. Obviously, they can read. If you look closely in the bottom right corner, you will note a fake owl that was supposed to do the trick the other years. That was a complete flop and last year housed a hornets nest. Maybe the wasps can read as well because they stayed away too!

Today's Weather Report: It is totally overcast and looks like rain any minute. It's only in the 60's so far. One of these days very soon, it will be too cool to wear shorts any longer. That usually happens about the time the kids start back to school.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Revelations To Come

"I reckon that the sufferings of the present times are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us . . . for we are saved by hope . . . for I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God."

St. Paul as quoted by A. A. Bailey
in The Consciousness of the Atom

Of Note: Marie's sunset shots always evoke God in my mind. This one is no exception. One could just get lost in those Texas skies.

Today's Weather Report: This morning was a very cool 54 degrees. Feels like fall, although the past two warm days sure didn't. Pure blue sky at the moment, not a cloud in sight.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Seeds That You Plant

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap,
but by the seeds that you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Of Note: This area of my garden is flooded with echinacea plants. It all started from one white plant and two purple plants. Interesting, there is still only one white, healthy plant, though the purple have multiplied beyond count through prolific reseeding.

Today's Weather Report: Poofy clouds are floating by on a mid-eighties sort of day. It certainly got hot yesterday but surely didn't make it to the 90's as predicted.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Be Swift To Love

Life is short
and we never
have enough time
for gladdening
the hearts of
those who travel
the way with us.

O, be swift to love!
Make haste to be kind!

Henri Amiel

Of Note: Today is God's Day, it being the Day of Sun. This message is brought to you by Him who is Love through one who is learning.

Today's Weather Report: Well, was I surprised to see those big, black clouds roll in late yesterday afternoon and then dump a ton of rain quickly. In a flash it was over, but my plants drank up every drop. With our sandy soil, you would never have known it even rained. Jim promises that this afternoon it will be in the 90's. That's news.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Catastrophe as Spiritual

Catastrophe is the essence of the spiritual path,
a series of breakdowns allowing us to discover
the threads that weave all of life into a whole cloth.

Joan Halifax
Being With Dying

Of Note: Photographer Marie never would have guessed I would use her great mountain scene for a quote on catastrophe. But catastrophic describes perfectly the forces that originally uplifted these mountains which we now describe as magnificent, which vistas send our souls in search of meaning.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy and coolish at the moment. But by mid-afternoon, I expect that all to change to hot. What has been nice about this summer has been the lack of humidity for the most part. We haven't had to use the bedroom air conditioner this week, so our electric bill says thank you.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Strange Medley of Life

We cannot tell what may happen
to us in the strange medley of life.
But we can decide what happens in us...
and that is what really counts in the end.
How to take the raw stuff of life and
make it a thing of worth and beauty.

Joseph Fort Newton
Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul
Of Note: The symbol of man is a five pointed star captured so well in this unfurling Datura bloom by Marie. Nature takes the raw stuff of life and turns it into something beautiful without pause. Man takes what nature provides and messes with it first before finding the natural intrinsic beauty in the strange medley of life. The underlying divine elegance is always present, though--it is just that we wear blinders most of the time to its radiance.

Today's Weather Report: I woke up last night thinking I heard thunder. As it turned out, it was just the cat falling off the top shelf in the closet and then trying to get out the closet doors by rattling them. It took awhile to figure this all out when half asleep. Sure sounded like thunder to me! Wishful thinking maybe. Another bright, sunny day greeted us this morning.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Private Door

God enters by a private door
into every individual.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Of Note: Texas sunsets are sensational and are reminiscent of an open door into the mind where heart and soul fuse. A closer look will reveal the layers of luminescent colors emanating from the glowing ball of the sun. Thanks to my sister, Marie, for this meditative shot.

Today's Weather Report: The weathermen forecast clear skies today--however, it wouldn't be the first time they were wrong. We aren't complaining, though. This is much preferred over 20 below which is coming soon enough.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Complaints of Imperfection

It is only imperfection that
complains of what is imperfect.

The more perfect we are,
the more gentle and quiet
we become toward the
defects of others.

Joseph Addison

Of Note: This elegant sunflower from my garden,, though perfect from a distance, has its imperfections when viewed up close. Ancient wisdom has it that all forms on the physical plane are imperfect, and we are getting closer to Reality when we begin to comprehend that fact. Mr. Addison and the Dalai Lama should talk.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy with showers looming. At this very moment the sun has peeked through and is casting dancing shadows on the ground. The temps in the high 70's are close to perfection.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Faith Is Believing

Faith is believing in things when
common sense tells you not to.

George Seaton

Of Note: Faith would have you believe that these arches just stay up by themselves. Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no. One huge arch fell this past week at the national park. It was kind and did it in the middle of the night so no tourists got smashed in the rubble. Just so happens that the arch was one of the favorites and right off a popular trail. Needless to say, the trail is closed until further notice. Stress fractures in at least one other popular arch may keep all of these grand sights off limits for the time being.

Today's Weather Report: Who ever said that sunshine could get boring? Well, just to spice things up, the heavens have provided clouds today and may throw in a thunderstorm or two.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tracks We Leave

We will be well known forever
by the tracks we leave.

Dakota proverb

Of Note: The light and shadows on my late afternoon garden path simulate footprints. The Dakota Indians used to hunt in our area in northern Wisconsin so, could be, they walked on this path as well. It runs adjacent to Mossback Lake which used to be the Namekagon River, their thoroughfare for entry into the region. Using our "As If" capabilities opens a whole new avenue of imaginative thinking.

Today's Weather Report: The mornings are consistently cool now so fall is not far away. Our summers are short, but this one has been even more so with a cool, long, wet spring. Right now I've got a sweatshirt on to keep warm in my office.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Things Don't Change

Things don't change.
You change your
way of looking,
that's all.

Carlos Castaneda

Of Note: This surreal photo was taken in my garden today. It gives a new name to "looking at things."

Today's Weather Report: The Olympics in Beijing are the talk of the town. The Chinese have really pulled off a good show, and it's only just begun. The sun is shining in celebration of great athletes in great shape.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


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

16th century

Of Note: We will call this picture on oldy but goody--one of Marie's outstanding sunset shots taken at Big Bend National Park in the spring. It is a great backdrop to this thought-provoking quote about thoughts, which are bound only by the mind. Many say, and Paraclesus might agree, that the mind is ultimately boundless and is the place of all universal creativity.

Today's Weather Report: Another cool, two-comforter morning. A robe and slippers are already a requirement when trundling out of bed. Other than that, the day is bright and full of cheer with a slight breeze blowing.

Friday, August 8, 2008

True Compassion

True compassion is not
just an emotional response,
but a firm commitment
founded on reason.

Therefore, a truly compassionate
attitude toward others does not change,
even if they behave negatively.

Through universal altruism,
you develop a feeling of
responsibility for others:
the wish to help them
actively overcome their problems.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Of Note: A full double rainbow was the northern remnant of the Texas hurricane that went through my sister's neighborhood last week. It's God's promise that some day we will all be as wise as the Dalai Lama. This quote is brought to us by in its Word For the Day, July 14th.

Today's Weather Report: News today is the very cool temps that greeted us this morning--42 degrees! Burr. We can feel that fall is already in the air.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Opportunity for Kindness

Wherever there is a human being,
there is an opportunity for kindness.

Of Note: My older sister, Marie, has always been the exemplar of this quote. Thus, her photos exude the quality of kindness, compassion and decency.

Today's Weather Report: Well, I was fooled by the morning sky yesterday. It rained twice with clouds that rolled in fast and furious. It's cool at the moment with a few fluffy clouds sprinkled throughout. This is a far cry from the 100 degree temps Marie is having in Texas.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Noblest Pleasure


Leonardo DaVinci
15th century

Of Note: These are Marie's backyard zinnias in various stages of bloom. The white one has a surreal appearance when combined with the orange-red flowers--almost like it was superimposed.

Today's Weather Report: The weather station said rain was in store for us today. You could have fooled me--though, that is not hard to do sometimes when it comes to outside conditions. All I know, is that at this very moment, the sun is happy to be showing its bright face.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Steady Flow of Love

If you see good in people,
you radiate a harmonious
loving energy which uplifts
those who are around you.

If you can maintain this habit,
this energy will turn into
a steady flow of love.

Annamalai Swami

Of Note: Marie's moving sunset shot shows one manifestation of God's radiating energy on the physical plane.

Today's Weather Report: With all the cloud cover yesterday, not a drop of rain was shed. When the sun came out, which it did late in the afternoon, the humidity was a drencher. Today we are back to clear, sunny skies.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Journey from One Mind to Another

The absolute truth cannot
be realized within the domain
of the ordinary mind.

And the path beyond
the ordinary mind,
all the great wisdom
traditions have told us,
is through the Heart.

Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: Red and Heart just go together. Wonder why. Marie caught what I think is an azalea earlier in the year when they were blooming down in Texas. It is one flower that I truly miss up here in the north woods of Wisconsin.

Today's Weather Report: Boy oh boy, we had quite a thunderstorm yesterday, but the sun peeked out around 7 pm. Today clouds blanket the sky, and it will surely rain--though the forecast says only a 30% chance.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Extinguishing the Lamp

Death is not putting out the light.
It is extinguishing the lamp

because the dawn has come.

Rabindranath Tagore

Of Note: If truth be told, this one of Marie's many glorious pictures of a sunset rather than a sunrise. But, when you think about it, our sunset is someone else's sunrise so we can just pretend and act "as if" this was a shot of a refulgent dawn, brimming with possibilities.

Today's Weather Report: The clouds are moving in smartly, and rain may be in the offing. Temps must be in the mid-70's because it feels neither hot nor cold, just right to quote Goldilocks of porridge fame.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Communion In One

Human pride and human greed
suffocate the spirit of generosity
and blind the yes of the soul
to its natural state of
Grace Through Sharing,
a Communion in One.

This is Humanity's current crisis
in its most elemental form.

Ginny DeAngelis
"Making Crisis Creative"

Of Note: Marie took this tranquil shot at the Dallas Arboretum in the spring. Its tranquility and its concomitant state of Joy is our natural state and the antithesis of crises.

Today's Weather Report: More sunshine and blue skies. This must be a record of days in a row of sunshine and no rain. Perfect summer weather--sit outside and picnic kind of stuff.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Source of a True Smile

The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.
Smiling helps you approach the day
with gentleness and understanding.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Peace Is Every Stop

Of Note: That's my Mom on one side of me and my daughter on the other. We all have aged a bit since this shot was taken by a willing waitress at a restaurant in Bayfield, WI a few years back. One thing that hasn't changed is my Mom ageless smile, and it is quite contagious when she's around--which she is today.

Today's Weather Report: More of the same--sunshine, sunshine, cool breeze. Bring her on. Perfect for a summer day.