Monday, May 31, 2010

Spontaneous Service

Just as a flower gives
out its fragrance
to whomsoever
approaches or uses it,

so love from within us radiates
everybody and manifests
as spontaneous service.

~ Swami Ramdas

Of Note: Every one of us is busy. So busy, we often cannot find time to give as we would like. Often that means we are left to contribute money as our only humanitarian effort. With a check securely sent in the mail or, more often these days, donated on-line, our consciouses are clear, and we move on to another hectic day. Swami Ramdas has another idea of service--that of giving by being love. No money is required. Being love is not easy, but ultimately, it might be the only REAL act of service required.

Today's Weather Report: It is another great day in the 70's Fahrenheit, neither hot nor cold. Perfect. Only a few little fluffy clouds grace the sky. I was out mowing today for a few hours. Seems the grass is shouting alleluia at the perfect weather by growing several inches a day. That may be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Today is Memorial Day, and we remember all of those who have died in service to the world. Thank you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

ATouch of Genius

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger,
more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage
to move in the opposite direction.

~ Albert Einstein

Of Note: The gulf oil spill is an example of a situation for which there is no off-the-shelf solution. It might be the first case that the public sees up close and personal the workings of many geniuses coming together to find an answer. It is my prediction that in the future, groups of Earth-bound geniuses will be the norm not the exception in finding solutions by bringing in the light. Actually, this was the case throughout history but these guides stayed out of the limelight for the most part. However, in the coming age, more and more we will be seeing those who have guided us all along.

Today's Weather Report: It must be in the 70's Fahrenheit because it feels perfect, neither hot nor cold. This photograph was taken last night at sunset from where the old dock used to stand. What a showy display of colors--quite mesmerizing actually. I just stood there for quite some time taking in the various shades of purple and red. The garden has exploded in color as well--at least two to four weeks earlier than usual. The fact that we had no snow after February must have brought in a very early spring. The turtles are even laying their eggs already, a situation that has definitely gotten the dog's attention.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

God Is Awake

Have courage for the great sorrows of life,
and patience for the small ones.

When you have laboriously
accomplished your daily tasks,
go to sleep in peace.

God is awake.

~ Victor Hugo

Of Note: Many people think of God as a Person, an Entity, and if that be true, God is indeed awake at every moment in time. Like a great Deity watching over his flock. Another way of thinking of God as awake would be to consider God as a Principle underlying all of creation, that which we see and that which we don't. In this sense, God Is as in All That Is. All. Of course, we cannot really get our brain around the notion since we have no real concept of that which we see let alone that which we cannot see or comprehend. But in meditation when our brains are quiet, such revelations become possible. For those interested in getting to the crux of the matter, meditation on the concept could potentially speed up the process.

Today's Weather Report: The oppressive heat has let up, and it is now again in the 70's Fahrenheit. There is not a cloud in the sky so I have no idea why the forecast shows showers today. My daughter and her husband visited last weekend and took this picture of our lake. Several years ago before the drought, the lake covered these logs which are remnants of logging in the late 1880's. At that time, this elbow-shaped lake was the Namekagon River, and logs were moved down it to the mill in Hayward. Later the river was permanently diverted to the other side of our property so that the logs would have a straighter path. This discovery six years ago was the start of a book by my husband that was published last fall called The History of the Northwoods.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Evolutionary God

I give thanks, Holy Mystery,
to have a part in this evolutionary phenomenon,
and to strive for communion with all life,
however diverse and bewildering,
to be alive and conscious
in the midst of an unfolding universe
whose existence stretches back
an almost unthinkable passage of time,
across an almost inconceivable
ocean of space.

To know my own true name this day
is to recognize myself to be your creature,
your child, your very hope and promise,
and to pledge myself as faithfully as I can
to celebrate my part in this colossal drama
with passion and humility.


~William Cleary
Prayers to an Evolutionary God

Today's Weather Report: Hot and humid. Sticky and muggy. Tongues hanging down to the floor kind of day. No respite. It was 90 degrees Fahrenheit with 90% humidity. That says it all. Thunderstorms are expected this evening, some of which could be severe. Last evening Chewy, the 8-month old, 82.5 pound puppy got a treble hook from a lure stuck in his lip. That entailed a 9 pm emergency trip to the vet clinic in Spooner--it being Sunday, the on-call vet took care of the matter expeditiously with a piece of cotton fabric and a quick flip of her wrist. There was not even any blood. The $236 bill made that lure the most expensive on record.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Dance of Life

To be alive in this beautiful,
self-organizing universe--
to participate in the dance of
life with senses to perceive it,
lungs to breathe it, organs
that draw nourishment from it--
it is a wonder beyond words.

~ Joanna Macy

Of Note: Only fools would try to explain why we are here. Yet, day after day fool like me go at it with vengeance. Problem is, the push to know often results in little progress. Maybe that is because we are trying too hard to know the visible while Reality reigns on the invisible planes. Maybe the answer is to simply look at what is before us and meditate on the cause of it all. Jesus once said, "Ask and you shall receive." If we want to know badly enough and with the proper motive, certainly the Cause of It All will provide a response.

Today's Weather Report: The day started off sunny and is coming to a close with multi-layered clouds in the sky. A little while ago it was sprinkling tiny, tiny drops which is perfect for the six lilacs and other new plantings. Today, my Mom, who was visiting from Texas, and I created a colorful window box full of begonias fashioned after that of a friend. I had always wanted one but could not get my brain around what plants to put with what. Well, with some help, it all came together.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Life Shatters You

Life does not accommodate you;
it shatters you.

Every seed destroys its container,
or else there would be no fruition.

~Florida Scott-Maxwell

Of Note: Life after the life the soul evolves its consciousness through varied experiences, many apparently unpleasant. At death the container is shattered through sickness, injury or simply old age. Death provides the means for new, expansive experiences for the soul the next time around. We only see the container and believe it is the fruit that is important. Not so. In reality, the seed of the soul is the buried treasure.

Today's Weather Report: It's in the 80's today and HOT in the sun. So we went from cold, rainy spring to hot summer weather in a week. Not unusual for northern Wisconsin. Today I bought 6 lilac bushes to plant on a berm I denuded of wild raspberry bushes last year. In prep for a new planting of something, all the weeds that grew among the raspberries were killed. The place was a mess before and untouchable because of the prickly berry plants. Now we will have something more civilized, more in keeping with the rest of the expansive flower gardens.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Awe Is What Moves Us Forward

The divine manifestation is ubiquitous,
only our eyes are not open to it . . .
Awe is what moves us forward.

~Joseph Campbell

Of Note: Human psychology is such that without pain there is no gain. We all think that life would be so much better if hardship would disappear and leave only beauty in its place. Not so. Think about it. How would we know beauty without its contrast? How we we know Truth without its opposite? Earth is the school of duality from which we must graduate. We don't know why. Yet. But when the revelation comes, bet it is going to be awesome.

Today's Weather Report: It's in the 70's Fahrenheit. I know that because it feels neither hot or cold. Perfect sleeveless shirt weather. Yesterday, I mowed for four hours and the temps were in the 70's as well. It is predicted that the sun will shine, and these temperatures will continue for the next week. Perennials are cropping up everywhere, and because no deer are around to eat them thanks to the wolves and the dogs, they are particularly abundant. Some I've never seen. Forgot I planted them, actually. In the past much to my chagrin, night-time foraging deer had mowed many plants to the ground. This photo was shot from our dock one summer evening in 2007. It still fills me with a sense of awe.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Difference We Cannot Foresee

We must not, in trying to think
about how can make a big difference,
ignore the small daily difference we can make
which, over time, add up to the big differences
that we
often cannot foresee.

~ Marion Wright Edelman

Of Note: Lately, I have been reading stories of people who have made a huge difference in the world. People such as Dr. Paul Farmer and Greg Mortenson. Treadmill time allows me to read books written by and about these altruistic lions. Emotionally, I want to catch the next plane to Haiti or Afghanistan to volunteer or maybe start something of my own. Realistically, of course, that is impossible--and probably not even advisable. We can't always do what our emotions dictate. Sometimes our souls have something else in mind. Like staying right in the environment we are in. For some, meditation as service is all that is required. Just think. If each of us reached out to two others the whole world would be covered overnight in a web of light. And nothing would be the same any more. Check out under "Service, Triangles" and read about one way to serve the world right from home.

Today's Weather Report: At last the sun shineth. After a rainy week, it is a welcome sight. Thankfully, because it has also been cold, the grass has not grown much. Had it been warm, it would have grown several inches and made mowing difficult. Mowing is on my mind, bet you can tell. In the house this week, I painted the old cigar Indian who guards the gardens. His paint was chipping on all surfaces where the rain and snow beat down over the last 7 or 8 years. With a new, colorful body, he is back on his rock. During a short re-installment ceremony, with me and the two dogs in attendance, I thanked him for his service. New this spring--no deer damage as these critters have either been killed by wolves or have simply flown the coup because of the new dogs. Because of this, flowers have bloomed that I've never seen before, like three different colors of grape hyacinth. Beautiful! In past years with little fanfare and stealthily during the night, the deer mowed them to the ground. I like to see deer in the distance, but deer in the garden is a non-starter.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Wise Shape Their Minds

As irrigators lead water where they want,
as archers make their arrows straight,
as carpenters carve wood,
the wise shape their minds.


Today's Weather Report: It has been pouring rain all day. We could use it as the above photos show. Mind you, the water used to be up to the board parallel with the bottom of the picture though not for several years. Thus, one day recently we decided to take the old dock out and call it a day. Two local entrepreneurs, the Doc Doctors pictured here, came out a hour after we called and within two hours had the old dock rolled out for $50. Amazingly, the tires were still inflated after all these years. The gargantuan snapping turtle that dwells under the old dock may miss the shade. Maybe it will move on to another location so the grandkids can swim there. Obviously, this is not possible with the turtle lurking.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

As God Is

As man is, God once was;
As God is, man may become.

~Joseph Smith Jr.

Of Note: What I am about to say may be controversial, and I usually try to steer clear of controversy. However, the fact that the Entity we call God evolves as we do explains so much it cannot be ignored. The Tibetan Masters explain that all Higher Beings were at one time human and that Earth is considered the school of hard knocks. It is boot camp before moving on to levels of higher consciousness and cannot be circumvented. We are not privy to exactly why training has been set up in this way but we are part and parcel of this Plan. One day, we too will be one of these Higher Beings and will then know why. However, I suspect that we will little care because the Earthly past will be a distant memory as the future spreads before us like a prismatic horizon.

Today's Weather Report: Well, it is not snowing yet though snow flurries are still in the forecast. If all we get are a few sprinkles, the 80% chance of rain won't mean much. The garden and lake don't care what kind of precipitation; any will do. Misty is stitch free as of this morning, and Chewy's ears are up permanently. A friend said that German Shepherd's ears stand erect at three months. Chewy didn't get that memo so waited another 5 months just to prove a point. What point, we will never know. The cats are scarce downstairs since the dog's arrival but in Jim's small turret office, four cats and two gargantuan canines often cohabitate within a few feet of each other. What a sight.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Make Visible the Invisible


~Robert Bresson

Of Note: The breaking news in genetic science: most people carry Neanderthal genes. That revelation surprised the scientists, who had no idea that the burly Ice Age hunters, long thought to be extinct, survive in humanity embedded in their DNA. This was the first time that a genome of an ancient human species had been reliably sequenced with no doubt that the DNA came from Neanderthals and not sloppy lab technicians. Based on this information, many have now asked whether Neanderthals can be called a separate species. Diane Ackerman mused: "It began in mystery and ends in mystery, but what a beautiful country lies in between." I would bet that when all genomes are routinely sequenced, more surprises will be in store. After all, we also carry genetic traces of worms. Some day the meaning will be revealed.

Today's Weather Report: It is partly cloudy today with an 80% chance of SNOW tomorrow. Snow, can't believe it. About this time of year, I'm ready to put on shorts, cut the grass, pull weeds and tend to my flower garden. Snow blows a hole in that plan. Misty will have her stitches out tomorrow from that attack three weeks ago. She is healing well but stays a bit closer to home that she used to. We still have no idea what got her, but a human attack is not out of the question.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

This Political Lion

Have you noticed, how moving toward
a great dream summons from life's jungles
the fiercest lions, the scariest tigers
and the grizzliest bears . . .
who eventually turn out to be the noblest teachers,
the bravest guides and the dearest friends?

You're on your way,
The Universe

~ Anonymous

Of Note: Yesterday a friend and I had the privilege of attending a National Park Service event where David Obey, our northern Wisconsin Congressman, spoke. Following a standing ovation, Hon. Obey, the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, commented on the announcement of his resignation he made earlier in the week. He basically said that it's been fun but time to move on after forty years of service. Looking at the picture of him above, we weren't entirely convinced that he meant it. Also in attendance were former Vice-president and Senator Walter Mondale with his wife, Joan, as well as Mrs. Gaylord Nelson and daughter Tia. In a teasing way, Tia wistfully opined that Dave has always been like a cranky uncle to her. Laughter was heard from the large audience because the venerable congressman has always been famous for his volatile temperament. All the admiring comments from these friends were tinged with a note of sadness and sounded to me like one eulogy after another. However, I have a feeling we have not seen the last of this political lion.

Today's Weather Report: Here is proof from last evening that we did indeed have snow yesterday and through the night. Snow completely covered the rocks by morning. Now, however, the sun is trying to peek out, though it is cold and in the upper thirties Fahrenheit. The two tulips seem to be taking the strange weather in stride. We will see later if they continue to bloom or retreat by wilting. The apple trees were just in the process of flowering and sometimes weather like this at this time means no apples later in the season. The apples would be missed. The daffodils and grape hyacinths are simply ignoring the disturbance.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nothing Else To Do

The sun, with all those planets
revolving around it
and dependent upon it,
can still ripen a bunch
of grapes as if it had nothing
else in the universe to do.

~ Galileo Galilei

Of Note: Albert Einstein once said that there are two ways to look at life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, and the other as if everything is a miracle. He and Galileo should have gotten together, don't you think? Two revolutionary geniuses discussing their worldviews would have been something to hear.

Today's Weather Report: The weatherman had it right, snow is falling as we speak and has been all afternoon. No telling where it came from exactly, but we all hope it comes and goes quickly. Thankfully, few plants are up yet; so, they will not get nipped in the bud. The little apple tree I planted a few days ago is probably loving the moisture. The dogs, who went running with Jim in the snow, are completely soaked and happy. They love running more than anything, except a biscuit.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sunshine Upon My Heart


~The Upanishads

Of Note: The universe does not ask much from a human being. It simply asks that one human love another. If this tenet was followed, all else would flow automatically. We get in the way of the flow, however, and then things do not go according to plan. What is needed is en-light-ened leadership--literally--and it can start with each of us loving who and what comes our way. It's the connection that important: heart to heart until we are one vast chain of love. Then watch out world, things would never be the same again.

Today's Weather Report: Can you believe there is an 80% chance of rain tomorrow that may turn into sleet and snow?? We did not have the usual snow storm on or around April 1st so this must be it--on May 7th. The tulips pictured above may or may not care. I wouldn't know because these are the first I've ever had grow after many failed attempts. Last year the the bulbs came in an Easter arrangement, and I threw them in the ground after the blooms had wilted. Forgot all about them until recently. Amazingly, Chewy had tried to dig up this flowerbed not once but twice and the bulbs survived. The wagon wheels in the photo are Chewy deterrents. So far, the scheme has been successful.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spirituality--No Penthouse of Existence

Sometimes people get the
mistaken notion that spirituality
is a separate department of life,
the penthouse of existence.

But rightly understood,
it is vital awareness that
pervades all realms of our being.

~Brother David Steindl-Rast

Of Note: Ah, spirituality. That word connotes in many minds religious experience of some sort. Thus, many people who would not identify themselves as religious do not identify with spirituality either. In fact, as the kind Brother notes above, spirituality is not an experience rather a growing awareness of a way of being. It opens the door to the Reality that Love is. What it takes to get from one revelation to the next can look messy on the outside. As a matter of fact, it can appear absolutely chaotic--but that is only an illusory appearance. Thus, as we tread the spiritual path, for in fact that is what we all are doing every day, judgment of others must be left behind for appearances can be and usually are deceiving.

Today's Weather Report: It is cloudy and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, with a slight breeze blowing. Last Friday the main dock here was hauled off as it was useless with no water under it anymore. The second dock is being replaced today by a new one that will extend further out into the lake where there is still water....and away from the gigantic snapping turtle which holed up under the old dock that was removed. This monster was 2 feet across and maybe 100 years old. Although I'd heard tales, I had never seen it until last summer. Interestingly, the small painted turtles ate the growths trailing from its back, and it could care less. Instead, it lifted its head from the water and looked curiously at my granddaughter and I, who were stationed safely on the dock. The tales it could tell!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What We Love Transforms Us


~Jan I Richardson

Of Note: No one would argue that central to growth is a constant process of evolution. That is the meaning of the phrase Onward and Upward. What is little understood is the place that love plays in that transformation. Humanity has gotten quite far with their brains in overdrive--"technology can fix everything" is the steady mantra. But the heart is sometimes lost in the search for the material goods. What is needed to get us past this current impasse is the connection of head to heart. When that occurs, another world unfolds--one that we did not know existed. That is the world that the Christ is offering to us in revelation. It is the world of the future that is being created today as we transform ourselves through the magic of love.

Today's Weather Report: It's late and the dogs are barking at the moon, no doubt. Since last writing this blog, the two have gotten much bigger and are now quite at home. Misty, the older pooch, tangled with something two weeks ago, and it took 18 inches of stitches to close the two wounds. We will never know what or who did this to her and wish she could tell us. We do know she is not that interested in going outside without us. The spring has been temperate and today it was around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The ice went out on the lakes on March 28--one of the earliest on record. This was the first year I can remember that we did not have snow on or about April 1st. The violas pictured above are some of the first flowers to grace the garden.