Candlemas & Imbolc – Take a break, celebrate the returning light & have some comfort food!

February 1 & 2 fall mid-way between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. The most ancient of cultures would have noticed this as a good time to have celebration and ritual. It is the downhill side of winter survival, a time of hope for the future, yet also a time of weariness of winter hardships. People were ready to celebration, to begin preparing for the coming planting season, to honor those who could assure them a successful harvest, and to rejoice in the returning light. It’s a time to clean out the ‘cob webs’ of winter.

dsc02180In Celtic tradition this mid-winter time is celebrated with the Imbolc Festival on February 1. The first written reference to Imbolc dates to the 10th or 11th Centuries in the writings of Irish monks. How extensively it was celebrated throughout the Celtic world no one knows for sure, but ancient Celtic architecture emphasizing alignment with the sun at this midway time in its cycle indicates celebrations go back much further. The Gaelic word Imbolc means “in milk” or ” in the belly”. Foods and beverages made with milk (especially ewe’s milk, as it is the time of lambing, thus fresh milk was available from the ewes) would be prepared, and milk beverages would be used to bless agriculture implements, such as a plow, and poured on orchard trees for fertility in the coming growing season. Homes would be blessed and candles lit.

IMG_0488.JPGIn Ireland, the day is celebrated as the festival of St. Bridget and blends ancient Celtic traditions with newer Christian traditions. St. Bridget herself seems to bridge the Celtic world, as her predecessor was the Celtic goddess, Brighid. Brighid (whose name has many spellings) represents light in many forms – candles, fire and Sun. Foods symbolic of the sun (see below about foods) would be part of the festivities. There is still debate as to who was real and who was mythical, the saint or the goddess. There are certainly overlaps in what each of them represents in their particular spiritual tradition – who they protect, and what their role is in handing out blessings. You can read delightful stories of both. I’ll go with the idea that both were real, and stories and tales down through the ages made them both mythical. I’m always ready to embrace a belief in a strong, benevolent woman who did good things and hands out blessings! I’m sure it is more than coincidence that Brighid and St Bridget have the same name, and both are seen as the personification of light returning and new life. Most Christian holidays follow in the footsteps of, and use many of the same symbols as, pre-Christian holy-days, it was the best way for people to incorporate the old with the new.

February 2 is Candlemas, celebrating the 40th day after the birth of Jesus, the first day his mother could take him to the temple. At the time of Jesus’ birth women had to wait 40 days after giving birth before entering a temple, a period of time they were considered ‘unclean’. On the fortieth day Mary could enter the temple with her baby and have him blessed, so the day is often called “the Presentation of Christ”, or the “Blessing of Christ”. This celebration is observed in many Christian churches, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. During Candlemas the candles that will be used in the church throughout the year are blessed. It is also a time of celebrating light, and of purification.

Looking for a sun symbol for mandala making, this very odd one was appealing! A pumpkin that froze, instead of rotting, creating an oddly textured yellow mass of yellow! One of my stranger mandalas! ;-)

Looking for a sun symbol for mandala making, this very odd one was appealing! A pumpkin that froze, instead of rotting, creating an oddly textured mass of yellow! One of my stranger mandalas! 😉

There are many versions of these celebrations, many traditions and interpretations. In reading about them, what appeals to me is the preparation for spring planting and the new cycle of life, as well as receiving the blessing of returning light.

It might be a challenge to celebrate hope and light, or seem irrelevant to do so at this time of such darkness and decline in the world, especially here in the United States. But perhaps that is even more reason to do so. Create your own ritual for blessing your home, fruit trees if you have them, and perhaps your garden. Lights candles, inside, outside, and do whatever “purification” and cleaning out you feel inclined to do in your physical environment, make it your place of refuge from the darkness. Make some special foods (food ideas below). Allow yourself to feel blessed by Brigid, either in her Celtic form or Christian manifestation. St Brigid is associated not only with spring and fertility, but also healing, poetry and smithcraft. Write a poem, plant some primroses, sow some early seeds. Let your spirit and your mind take a break and celebrate the light. It is here, we just have to let it in.

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And if all else fails to arouse hope in you…there’s always Mr. Groundhog, the ‘ancient’ American seer of weather! There are no “executive orders” for canceling the coming of spring, so embrace it.

See below for foods and recipe.

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traditional-foods

For fabulous, fancier recipes for celebrating Imbolc , I recommend one of my favorite blogs: Gather.

 

 

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Mandala Chaos and Discontent Plant Bits!

img_7166Another of what I call a “simple story”, sharing a bit of wit and wisdom learned from pondering life’s experiences with Nature…

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winter quarters for plants that need protecting

Feeling gloomy today, so much negativity whirling around. I overloaded on the news yesterday.*  A woodsy walk did not calm the mind. Though uninspired, I decided mandala making might help. As I worked with tiny fallen petals from the geraniums hibernating in my office/storage room, I thought how they sit in the dark, soil dried up, having no idea their fate, yet blooming, petals vivid, almost iridescent in their mostly dark winter quarters. As they reach for the limited light coming in the window, their colors seem even more vibrant in the stressed conditions then they did in summer’s sun.

Hmmm. I was thinking of this metaphor of colorful survival and act of defiance in hard times, thinking how there is so much fear and concern our country is headed in the direction of fascism and wondering if there has been studies of how people survived, even thrived and held on to their values and principles in the face of fascism in other countries, when one tiny bit of purple statice in the top corner of the mandala started to move, as though some micro-bug was under it, rocking it back an forth, then taking off with it. Except there wasn’t any such propelling force, not even a breeze.

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note a few bits of statice trying to escape under leaves!

The sun was breaking through the heavy gray cloud cover. I realigned the rogue purple bit, several times, went inside to get my camera, but when I came out it moved again, then another bit moved, still no noticeable breeze, just a slight air temperature difference from the sun’s rays.

As I rearranged the rebels, quickly snapping pictures with strange shadows from the sun, pink petals began rolling over, soon there was mandala chaos! (I did feel a very slight movement in the air then.)  Though tempted to just sit and watch it all dismantle, I carefully carried the purple porch chair inside, rearranged the now subdued bits of flora, thinking – the winter of discontent! Even bits of flora will not stay put and ‘obey’! They too have “minds of their own.” (I’ve been listening to the audio of The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, by Peter Wohlleben , Narrated by Mike Grady, so defiant plant bits are not too far fetch to my imagination! I highly recommend the book!)

The sun disappeared, but I am grateful for the multiple metaphors and bit of humor Nature once again provided!

mandala left overs with a very hardy pumpkin that seemed to defy temperatures in the 20s and teens!

mandala left overs with a very hardy pumpkin that seemed to defy temperatures in the 20s and teens!

 *  How to Stay Outraged Without Losing Your Mind is a short article on the importance of taking care of yourself for the long haul, and avoid becoming numb and accepting of these not-normal times.

When carrots give hope!

the guard at the gate and his friend moss rock

the guard at the gate and his friend moss rock

January 20 was an uncomfortable day for many people, myself included. Not wanting to focus on the ‘changing of the guard’ in Washington D.C., and recovering from my second bout of flu/cold virus, I did not want to feed myself, or the universe, fear and negativity. I’d had enough of that. So I went to the woods. A peaceful walk down our trail ended in a place where I often offer prayer. I poured out my heart to the Divine above and the Earth below. Part plea, part invocation, I felt heard in that somewhat quiet place, with Nature as my only witness.

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Turning around, I was enchanted, as always, by the winter sun filtering through the open canopy of a mixed conifer and deciduous forest. The bare branches of giant, aptly named, Big Leaf Maples allow the low, side-ways sun to flood places shrouded in shady tones under the summer canopy. This light will eventually awaken the first signs of wild bleeding hearts, nettles, and other early spring plants, which will thrive until the Maples block the light. But it is early, and the winter has been exceptionally cold for the NW. Here on our hill the ground was frozen with heave and ice crystals from mid-December until just last week. No signs of spring in the woods…but signs of survivors. Impressive are the tender leaves of little-green-plants-whose-names-I-forget that are fresh and green, while others around them succumbed to weeks of being frozen.

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The peacefulness I was feeling as I stooped to photograph the brilliant green glistening water of a wintertime mini-pond was rudely interrupted by loud repetitive gunshot. For the past few years we have been hearing gun shot frequently. A gun enthusiast  seems to spend his free time on holidays and weekends shooting whatever, somewhere across the street from where we live. But this was closer, and louder. After a minute or so of repetitive shots, there was a long volley, and then it stopped. I suspect it was a celebration salute to the moment of transition in D.C.

My moment of woodsy peace was broken. Abby was gone, though I didn’t see her leave. Though I wanted to make a mandala in the woods, I reluctantly walked back to the house to find a shaking dog on the front porch. Not willing to go inside myself, mandala making took place on the back porch, with whatever I found close at hand.

"survivor" carrots, minus the big ones I ate and the ones in the mandala!

“survivor” carrots, minus the big ones I ate and the ones in the mandala!

The biggest surprise find was the carrots. I noticed them when the ground first froze and heaved back in December. Left behind when I dug out our two little rows in the fall, the frozen ground had pushed them up, but also held them tight. I wrote them off as frozen food, soon to be mush when the thaw came. I forgot about them as I struggled through December into the New Year being sick. Frozen carrots in frozen ground were not on my mind!

But on this sunny day, there they were, brightest color around, freshly washed from the rain, half out of the ground, green tops long gone.  They stood like little round-topped, slightly tipsy sentries, and not the least bit mushy! About a dozen carrots, most small, edible, and tasty!

I made my mandala and thanked Mother Nature for giving me a small, somewhat humorous sign, that “we can survive” (and even be bright and colorful doing so!).  The next day, as millions marched peacefully throughout the world, I have no doubt we will!

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A medicine mandala for hope, with anti-viral and anti-bacterial usnea, leaves of pain-relieving fever few, another survivor of the below freezing temperatures.

How did you survive inauguration day?

Survivors

As we dip into the 20s again, I went out to gather bits for a mandala.  After last week’s temperatures in the teens, there are still masses of hardy violet leaves, green and bright, even a few purple buds (two broke off at the base where the ground froze).  The plants look like they think spring has arrived!

I’m always impressed by the tenacity of Nature and these violet leaves are a wonderful example, remaining green as everything around them turned brown under a thin layer of icy snow in below freezing temperatures.

A sage plant has some browning, but hanging in there,  leaves still soft fuzzy green, and of course there’s the conifers, including big Douglas firs (who lost branches in last night’s wind storm) who keep the woods ever-green! The needles I gathered today are going into finishing salt.

Little geranium blossoms greet me from the back window sill every day from a jar where I crammed plant cuttings on a cold day in early December, before the first big chill. Gathering together potted geraniums to put inside, I attempted to dig and pot up a plant growing in a raised bed, only to discover it already had rotten roots. The leaves of the cuttings all turned brown, dried, and fell off, but quickly there were new roots,  new leaves, then tiny clusters of cheery red-orange flowers blooming. Survivors.

img_6871Together my little collection of survivors make up my mandala today.

Now for some sage and violet tea!

(Note: this post was an experiment in posting via a WordPress app on my iPad, using photos taken by iPad camera. Not so pleased with quality of photos, nor limited options posting through the app. Experiment and learn, eh? )

Happy New Year from my muse!

Happy New Year!

img_6768Water holding fire, stones & blooms, with little birds & evergreens, usher out the old and welcome in the new.

15823007_10208383395523141_4978219945121430358_nWhen I shared a favorite poem in a post after the election, I was inspired by its message: those who survive difficult times keep active learning, creating, writing, playing music, sharing conversation. (poem re-posted below)

With the goal of making a mandala ‘almost’ every day til the end of the year, I made 41 mandalas and 8 angels in 50 days. Some days it was a challenge.  There were several weeks of “sick days” with the winter “bug” going around, and 20-30 degree days in our old funky, hard to heat house that left me less than inspired, but my muse persevered.

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Such simple acts of creative expression and reflection, with Nature to inspire, can help focus in the moment, focus on the gifts and beauty around us. I recommend you let your own muse shine in 2017, in whatever ways you are inspired!

Not sure where my muse will take me next!

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A Christmas Eve lesson from Nature on Gentle Strength

christmas-eve-mandalaAs I thought of each plant while making the mandala above, (neither as pretty or even symmetrical as I’d hoped for Christmas Eve!) I pondered how in Nature gentleness, softness or diminutive size are traits not exclusive of strength and purpose.  A lesson from Nature.

Dusty Miller’s soft fuzzy leaves hardily survive in the garden next to plants blackened by below freezing temperatures. Flexible Cedar trees sway in the wind, thin tops vulnerable to breaking out in strong storms, yet baskets woven of cedar bark will carry stones and some have survived hundreds of years.  Star Anise’s fruit, fleshy and soft, when dried hardens into pods hard as the shells of nuts, protecting tiny seeds.  Delicate white blossoms of the spider plant are fragile, yet spider plant is a powerful detoxifier of polluted air. The Lilliputian ‘cones’, barely noticed on the forest floor, fall from Red Alder, a tree straight and tall whose wood, strong enough for building houses and making furniture, makes for hot fires. (My analogies aren’t a perfect fit, but you get the idea! And there are many more examples!)

The celebration of Christmas focuses on the birth of a tiny babe over 2000 years ago who grew up, according the gospels written after his death, to teach of love and forgiveness, to teach that in the eyes of God everyone was equal and anyone, regardless of social status, whether they were criminals or ‘sinners’, men or women, could find the “kingdom of God within“.   The stories and events of his life will forever be discussed and debated, but it is known that he lived at a very tumultuous time in history and was likely seen as a revolutionary leader with a growing following who, among other acts of defiance, confronted greedy money changers and disagreed with the ‘temple tax’ every man had to pay.  An advocate of the poor and working class at a time of tyrant leaders, Jesus represented a caring, protecting presence and gave hope to those who followed him, but to those in power he was a rebellious troublemaker.  He died young, a victim of political conspiracy because  he was ‘anti-establishment’ and his ability to attracted great crowds of people was a threat to religious and political leaders.  He was, from what was written after his death by those closest to him, a compassionate person, kind to all, who could be strong as steel and hot as fire when he needed to be, especially in the face of what he saw as injustice.

Whether you are celebrating the birth of Jesus this weekend, or the the miracle of light as Hanukkah begins, I hope you have an opportunity to spend time in Nature on these wintry days and see what she has to teach you.  In the winter Nature can be peaceful and calm, for it is a time of rest before the energy burst needed for spring. But she also has a powerful stormy side as witnessed in winter storms.  She can teach us the same lessons that Jesus and other great religious leaders have taught – be gentle when gentleness is needed, and strong when strength is needed.  Love all, protect those in need, and stand up to those who are unjust and driven by greed for power and money.

Not much has changed in 2,000 years has it?

Peace and Happy Holy-days!

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Solstice Thoughts About Our Thoughts

A few seasonal thoughts and a warming recipe with star anise, my gift for you!

from-the-dark-to-the-with-glowHere in Northwest USA, where days are quite short on the Winter Solstice, frosty fog obscures the sunlight, a fitting welcome to this turning of the seasons! Outside my window three deer munch along the trail into our yard, hesitate, and munch back up the trail. I have not seen them in months and it is a sweet solstice gift to know they survived hunting season.

If you are not feeling celebratory as we enter this holiday season, I hope this quote posted on Facebook by a friend, might help you along.

Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.            img_6473-2
All things break.  And all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.
So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.
L.R. Knost

Christmas and Hanukkah both celebrate hope, love, peace.  Because many are feeling we are entering a time, not of light, but of darkness and despair,  it is doubly important to embrace the message of hope, love and peace and carry it into the New Year in all we do.  Let it influence how we relate to others as we fulfill our responsibilities at work, in our families and in our communities.  Let it influence actions we take, decisions we make.  Most of all, let it be in our thoughts.  Regardless of outer circumstances, or who is in “power” we alone control our thoughts, and our thoughts have power.

I recently listened to an interview with Anthony Ray Hinton, sentence to death for murders he did not commit, held on death row in solitary confinement for 30 years.  His story is compelling. I read other articles and interviews of him, wanting to know all I could about how a person survives such a horrific journey into darkness.  Anthony Ray, a good person, raised to live a decent, law abiding life, was convicted because he was black, though evidence did not prove he was even at the crime scene. Anthony Ray went through many phases of anger, mental escapism, and spiritual faith.  He said he learned he could take his mind wherever he wanted to go. For 30 years he went every where, beautiful places, football games, to visit the Queen of England. No, he did not lose his mind and go crazy.  He survived through the power of controlling his thoughts, for his surroundings and circumstances where not intended for his survival.  He consciously and with intent created a life through mind power, a life he was deprived of by an unjust criminal justice system. Bryan Stephenson, attorney with the Equal Justice Initiative worked for 16 years to open the case with new evidence, and was turned down three times. Finally, the case was reopened, the evidence examined, and April 2015 Anthony Ray was released into a world he knew only in his mind.  (His case was not overturned because of DNA, but DNA testing has resulted in many other people freed after equally long prison terms for crimes they did not commit.)

Anthony’s story is an example of the power of the  mind, not the usual example where people say they ‘manifest’ what they want in their lives, or bring about miracle healings, etc., compelling as some of those stories are.  His story is the power of the mind to bring light and beauty into ones soul regardless of outer circumstances. To survive in the face of feeling powerlessness. It is a story of hope.

Let your mind take you where you want to go in the New Year, let it envision the world as you would like it to be, regardless of how outer circumstances may appear.

Have a wonderful holiday season, celebrating in whatever tradition you celebrate, the message of hope, love and peace!  Let peace guide your actions, carry hope in your mind and love in your heart, even when outer circumstances do not seem to reflect any of these three.

Below – a recipe for a warm, spicy, easy winter comfort food, made from most the elements of this mandala. You’ve probably made it yourself, if not, it’s a yummy treat alone, or as a condiment or sauce with other foods.  To make it sweeter, I recommend adding maple syrup to taste. (Makes everyday morning oatmeal a holiday treat!)

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I’ve add many seasonal mandalas to my mandala page: Flora Mandalas.

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Odsc01752ther posts for the season:

Seasonal Reflections
Sweet Silver Bells
Spice Up Your Winter Days
Christmas
The Turtle and The Star
The Chaplin’s Christmas Message

Thanksgiving

Begonia preparing for winter, primrose in spring mode, and hardy little fever few keeping on!

Begonia preparing for winter, primrose in spring mode, and hardy little fever few keeping on!

It’s the time of year to count our blessings, and to all who read my blog posts, you are among my blessings! You provide me a reason to put into words thoughts and inspirations, to share photos and tidbits of information about this and that. Such sharing is important to me, writing is important to my muse, and I hope, now and then, it is of value to you. Thank you!

Perhaps like many of you, I have been riding an emotional roller coaster the past few weeks, each news story deepening my concerns and fears for many people. Part of my coping is to limit news, (easy since I’ve also been coping with chronic headaches and dizziness, making it hard to read) and to make and share a mandala a day. Yup, I mentioned in last week’s blog I was going to do this and so far I have!  If you would like to see my mandalas, besides Facebook & Instagram, I post them here: mandalas. This has helped me focus my thoughts on the beauty of Nature, the satisfaction of design, and the joy of sharing with others a bit of visual pleasure.

we-stand-with-youYesterday’s mandala was made specifically for a hashtag on Instagram, #artistsforlove, a call for solidarity among artists to support all those feeling fear due to the future administration’s agenda of exclusion and bigotry toward many groups of people. (For those unfamiliar with Instgram, hashtags are a way of grouping similar posts from many people, i.e. by writing #artistsforlove under my post, it automatically posts to a group of pictures posted by other artists with the same intent).  I also purchased, on Amazon, wool blankets and socks to be sent to the Water Protectors in North Dakota, where medics are treating many people sprayed with pepper gas and water during sub-freezing temperatures Sunday night, and shot with rubber bullets. (If you would like to donate, there is a list of needs and were to send in this article: Truthout)

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have a spicy Thanksgiving! 😉

As we enter the holiday season, beginning with tomorrow’s celebration of gratitude and abundance, a time to count our blessings, it also seems a good time to assess our priorities and values. What is important to us?  What, and who, are we willing to support and how can we do so? Even very small gestures like those above help someone, somewhere. And they helped me to feel less powerless. When we feel powerless we give someone else our right to be who we are, regardless of outer circumstances. As an aging Caucasian woman with health issues, living in the woods, far from cities and neighborhoods where people of different religions, skin color, and ethnic backgrounds are scared, scared for their children, scared for their lives – what can I do? If we look, there are always small ways to help – letters, phone calls, goods and gifts, donations, prayers, sharing with others what you do to inspire them to do similar acts. You might want to rethink your holiday shopping and gift giving based on your current assessment of your values and priorities.  There has been a shift, a change, and it is time to shift and change how we live our lives and how we (even us recluses in the woods!) are involved with others.   It is a time not just for good intentions, but for good actions.

People anticipate funds will be cut for many services and resources that help people, our state may lose funds for refusing to follow a policy of exclusion, environmental organizations will have extra battles to fight to protect lands, parks, species. The list goes on, and only as time goes on will we see what happens when those in “power” take actions that do not reflect our values.

I know I ‘preach to the choir‘, as most of you have already realized the importance of supporting and helping others. Thank you for what you’ve done, I hope it helps you feel less powerless. I’d love to hear in the comments below your stories of decisions you’ve made on how to make a difference, how to support what and who is important to you.

Let the news inspire you to take action, not ” steal” your peace, your power…….and most of all, do not let it steal the joy of the holidays!

still some color on the ground!

Many blessings for Thanksgiving, may it be filled with joy and love from family, friends, or if a quiet time for you, feelings of gratitude and peace! ❤

Keeping On

dsc01410This week-after the election I notice many friends are taking social media sabbaticals. Though there may be shared feelings of grief, disappointment, and uncertainty, everyone copes with these feelings differently and it can be hard to absorb other people’s thoughts, reactions, and feelings, and reading all the pundits predictions can be overwhelming.  There is a range of emotions – fears of doomsday, rallying cries of revolution, and, at the other end, those who say move on, it will all work out. None of these sentiments fit everyone. Perhaps none fit you. Or maybe they all do.

I fall somewhere in between revolution and moving on and that’s a big space to fall into!  We no doubt, at the very least, need a major change of the old guard in both our governing and election systems. To me personally revolution sounds exhausting and I have little energy for it. We are a society so polarized at this time, hopes of transition without people getting hurt in some way seems dubious, something important to my concept of revolution and transition.

dsc01515Moving on in our lives is most important – there are jobs to go to, families to care for, gardens to tend, births, deaths, weddings, education to be had, services to provide for others, all more important to expend our energies on than fear and anger. Most important, there is looking out for one another as the months unfold and uncertainties manifest.

 

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Below is a favorite poem that came to mind the night of the election.

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This poem, especially in the last verse, speaks to the need to keep on creating, keep on learning, to keep ourselves engaged regardless of circumstances, especially when faced with unknowns, when the winds of change around us seem threatening.

made with old spices and powdered herbs, of which I have many so this is likely the first of a new experiment!

made with old spices and powdered herbs, of which I have many, this is likely the first of a new experiment!

To that end I hope to create a mandala (my latest creative outlet) every day, at least several times a week, until the end of the year, perhaps beyond. With less floral and herbal materials available this time of year, they may be made of other materials, but my mandalas are not meant to be permanent. Mandalas have been used throughout history and in most cultures for meditations, for healing, for rituals, for many purposes. For me they remind me to focus on what is front me, whether a creative project, a mundane task, a person needing to be heard or cared for, my own self care.  And they remind me everything is transitory.  I create them and within hours they have changed, blown away, shriveled up, been made into tea, or gone off to the compost pile! They keep me connected to Nature and my love of aesthetics, life lines for me, and provide a way to share those connections with others. I’ll be sharing them on Instagram, some on Facebook, and they will all appear on the mandala page on this blog.

img_6282I encourage you to identify ways to keep on keeping on, letting your muse, your heart, and your curiosity keep you focused on what’s important in your life.  It may seem obvious, but in moments of fear, anger, uncertainty, it is good to have consciously made a choice on how you will step out of those emotions, or express them in a way that is helpful.

Based on life experiences, I’m a proponent of the concept that we bring about what we focus our energy on, and it is often a challenge to focus on what we want when distracted by the needs and emotions of others, especially if you are an emphatic. Creativity can be a place to center a distracted, scattered mind. Perhaps it will work for you. Another favorite re-focus strategy is hanging out with and caring for children.  My life isn’t blessed with them right now, not on a daily basis, but for many of you, children, grandchildren, friend’s children, are a constant reminder to stay in the present moment, and to play!

Collectively we can create a society of caring and inclusion, one that honors others and Nature, by applying our energies in our individual lives in the direction we want our country to go.

Remember, when the mind and heart gets fearful ~ “Each note of your flute, each word of your song, can drive out the sound.”

Post Script:

at the beach

at the beach

Sharing also a link to an essay by Charles Einstein, an excellent writer, able to express a “bigger picture” understanding of world events and people.  I found many of his thoughts similar to my own, only better organized and articulated.  Perhaps you will appreciate it too. http://charleseisenstein.net/hategriefandanewstory/

 

Veterans Day

dsc01476War changes people. My Dad was a Lt. Commander on a mine sweeper in Japanese waters in WWII. Lonely, dangerous work, he watched several times as other mind sweepers got blown up. He was in the Navy reserves all my growing up years. He did it for his family, for the extra income. He was handsome and proud when he put on his uniform. As he got older he told stories of his mine sweeper days, some were funny, about life on the ship. The experience never left him.

dsc01478My husband Mike, stationed on Mt Tamalpais in CA during the Vietnam era at an Air Force defense station, never went overseas, his job was radar detection, watching for (mostly Russian) planes that might wander into our air space. He was proud of his work, but a motorcycle accident landed him in a military hospital for months where he laid immobile. He watched Vietnam soldiers get carried in, broken men, many screaming through the night, many died. He became passionately against the Vietnam war, but completed his work protecting the country.

                                                               Wars change people.

                                                               Blessings to all veterans this Veterans Day.