When Autumn Calls My Name

“Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the meaning of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon? ~Hal Borland


While I love the colors of Autumn, specifically October, I think what endears my heart the most is it teaches me the continuity of life. I see the beauty in maturity and death, and the hope of another cycle.


When I witness the brazen burst of color upon a subdued landscape I feel as if I’ve come home; I see in nature what I feel inside.


Jeweled trees dancing in the breeze and the crunch and rustle of leaves beneath my feet awaken the gypsy within me.


No matter where that road may be it always seems to be calling me home.


I find myself on that familiar path of home, the one tugging on my heart.


The mountains whisper my name, their messages traveling in the wind until I answer.


I settle into the soft hues of the meadows I call my own, and I am content.

The Little Rocket That Couldn’t

DirtMan and I hustled to the oceanfront in hopes of getting some great photos of the Antares rocket launch. Though launch was at Wallops Island, we knew we could get a glimpse from Virginia Beach.  He chose the 13th street locale so we could include the pier in our shots. We quickly set up with only a few minutes to spare. We heard a loud boom and assumed it was some Navy training since they were flying in the vicinity. We waited until the ten minute window was over, assuming the launch had been cancelled again. A passerby informed us of the epic fail, telling us of the explosion upon launch. At least, it was a beautiful evening to be at the beach…the air was warm with a slight breeze, salty scent of the ocean…








Pick Your Poison

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

― Mahatma Gandhi


We each have a thing. You know the thing that prohibits growth, keeps us stuck. It could be anything…fear, materialism, greed, addiction are examples of habitual obstacles.

What does this photo of persimmons have to do with this? Well, you see my childhood memories of persimmons are bitter. Yes, the mouth puckering kind. DirtMan told me to try one. He swore they were sweet. I picked the firmest one I could reach. Oh my, the inside of my mouth drew up like a dried prune. He told me to try a soft one, the mushy ones that looked like they were about to rot on the tree. I was hesitant but complied. It was sweet, juicy, and downright delectable. Some things in life take time to mature. We go through many phases before we come into our “goodness”. It is mostly a matter of awareness and the desire to want growth.

When we focus on our poisons, we gnaw away our insides until it clearly shows on the outside. When we don’t allow the blossoming of our souls we become bitter like that persimmon. Listening to our needs and following what insures growth permits us to sweeten.

DirtMan casually mentioned downsizing now that we are empty nesters. How dare he? This house holds my memories. It is my comfort zone. He claims we need to think about settling into a one story because one day those stairs will be killers on our knees. So, he has a point. I don’t do well with disruptions to my routine. I fear change…yes, the big word here is FEAR. I don’t like my security compromised. Here I am looking at what could be a new and exciting adventure as an end to my life as I know it. See, it’s all in how one looks at things. I could get used to the idea and go with it…might take me a while, but I’m sure I’ll come around.

The inability to let go; yep, that’s my poison. What’s yours?

The Stillness Factor

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in an clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.  Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.  ~Mahatma Gandhi


Have you ever noticed wisdom enters by the way of silence?

A Knowing of the soul occurs.

Mysteries are explained, problems solved, and creative urges born.

Answers wait in silence. As I learn to listen and decipher, I hear more than I ever did with my ears.

Have you ever experienced an epiphany?

These sudden realizations come to me after times of deep contemplation or sleep. These understandings even make appearances in my dreams.

Insights aren’t always clear cut. They can arrive in bits and pieces, like puzzles I must ponder to see how I fit into the equation.

If I enter a quiet time so focused on finding an answer my mind fills with chatter. When I empty my mind, I rise refreshed and observant. A simple switch in perspective is often what I need.

Refraining from speaking has been a lifelong challenge for me. I’m finding more and more how good silence is for my soul.

The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others. ~Solomon Ibn Gabriol

Nomad in the Mist



“I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible; to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.  I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom goes on as fruit.” ~Dawna Markova

Father's Day Weekend 2010 063

On our way to the mountains we found ourselves in the midst of fog. The mist would thicken, almost choking our senses, and thin into swirling grey tendrils. The scent, earthy and intoxicating, moisturized my soul. Fog has a way of slowing one down. Though not lost, it takes greater effort to navigate. Have you ever felt this way in life?

Lately, I don’t feel as if I’m traveling the mountain top or the valley. I am meandering the haze of even ground. I feel myself sinking into the soft mulch of my body. It is as if I’m experiencing an inner personal homecoming. This grey mist of melancholy is comforting. I am able to rise above and enjoy the social aspects of life and slip back into the cool night air of my soul.

There is something special to me about a germination period. It is generally a soothing time prior to a highly prolific creative phase and spiritual growth spurt.

I choose to inhabit my moments on whatever level I am taken.

I choose living and loving over fearing falling.

I choose to germinate and blossom in the time allowed me.

My Happy Place

prayer beads 002

My happy place is one of love.

It is made of people and memories,

of water and woods,

turquoise and sandalwood.

It is a candle in the darkness

and a quilt on a bitter night.

It contains the moon, the stars, and the sun,

and the washing of the controlling tides.

It feeds hot soup and homemade bread,

and of course, chocolate and wine.

My happy place is artistic expression

in fabric and threads.

It listens to Motown and rock and roll

and reads favorite books over and over.

It is calm but cries easily yet accepts what is.

My happy place contains words of peace,

gentle touches, and lots of hugs.

My happy place is a warm breath

in the cold wind, and but a pulse

in the heart of this world.

Spin Cycle: My Happy Place

Island Time

Ever just need to get away? DirtMan and I did, and it was wonderful. We stopped a few times for photogenic purposes on our way to our weekend destination, Ocracoke Island. Weather was perfect, moderate with a gentle breeze and gorgeous clouds for photography. We dug our toes into some cool damp sand and got splashed by some wild waves. All was good; the water and the breeze were refreshing. We took our bikes along to do some exploring. We shopped and checked out some restaurants as well. We even got to enjoy a free Motown concert from the condo deck! We were able to appease our fun and adventuresome side while relaxing our bodies and souls. We now understand the term “Ocracoma”.  I had a hard time choosing only a few photos…hope you enjoy them.

Our first stop was Bodie Lighthouse. This also happened to be the stop for 100 bicyclists participating in the "mountains to coast" ride.

Our first stop was Bodie Lighthouse. This also happened to be the stop for 100 bicyclists participating in the “mountains to coast” ride.

Another shot of Bodie

Another shot of Bodie

Trail at Bodie for viewing the wetlands, waterfowl, and rear of Bodie

Trail at Bodie for viewing the wetlands, waterfowl, and rear of Bodie

It was a glorious day for clouds.

It was a glorious day for clouds.

Surf's up and the birds are feasting!

Surf’s up and the birds are feasting!

Fishing Pier at Avon

Fishing Pier at Avon

Fishing pier at Frisco which was damaged (and irreparable) in a hurricane a few years back.

Fishing pier at Frisco which was damaged (and irreparable) in a hurricane a few years back.

View from the other side of the Frisco pier

View from the other side of the Frisco pier

Taken from the condo window

Taken from the condo window

View from the condo

View from the condo

An Ocracoke sunset

An Ocracoke sunset

As she slips away...

As she slips away…

Sunset photo bomb by the Ocracoke ferry!

Sunset photo bomb by the Ocracoke ferry!

Is he chasing the sunset, too?

Is he chasing the sunset, too?

...and the lighthouse lights up.

…and the lighthouse lights up.

Just an island view

Just an island view

Ocracoke Lighthouse in the daytime

Ocracoke Lighthouse in the daytime

From the other side of the island looking back at the condo

From the other side of the island looking back at the condo

Another shot looking across the water

Another shot looking across the water

Grabbed a photo opportunity while waiting for the ferry home...love sea oats!

Grabbed a photo opportunity while waiting for the ferry home…love sea oats!

Made it back to Hatteras just in time for the sunset

Made it back to Hatteras just in time for the sunset

Love this seascape at dusk

Love this seascape at dusk

Love the colors here

Love the colors here

...another day is done!

…another day is done!

Bonus pic: This is the only night shot I took of the Ocracoke Lighthouse, and it was taken with my cell phone.

Bonus pic: This is the only night shot I took of the Ocracoke Lighthouse, and it was taken with my cell phone.

Reclaiming Peace And Inspiring Creativity

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” ~Mahatma Gandhi


Yesterday I wrote about being off center. Fortunately, I recognized it was happening and knew what to do. I found the feedback from this post interesting since there was overwhelming indication nature soothes us and sets us back on track. Nature is calming. We can’t help but relax into it. The brain chatter disappears and creativity flows. We don’t need to head to the wilderness. A trip to a local park or a walk around the neighborhood seems to be all that’s needed to find ourselves. It’s almost ironic we need to leaves ourselves to find ourselves…but then again we seem to think ego is the safe place to fall. However, most of us know it is when we stretch ourselves we see deeper and reach farther.

I’ve spending my creative time in the kitchen. The past few weeks I’ve celebrated the ending of summer by making homemade ice creams. I tantalized the taste buds with blackberry, strawberry, and peach creams. Then I ushered in autumn by baking peach pies. Apple pies will be following. While I felt better I still wasn’t quite centered until I got some outdoor meditation.

This weekend I plan on getting back to nature and in my groove. I’ll tell you about it next week.

I wish each of you a relaxing weekend. I wish you the opportunity to rejuvenate your souls.

I hope you get outside to enjoy the changing season.

Most of all, I hope you, too, are back in the flow.

When We Call Ourselves To Attention

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” - Eckhart Tolle

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” – Eckhart Tolle


I feel disconcerted, not anxious about any particular situation just not quite centered. Unable to focus on reading and unable to pull forth words from my heart to write, I take it as a cue to sit and pay attention to breath. In a matter of moments I settle into myself. It’s interesting when one is enveloped in peace the rest of their world follows in a cloud of calm.

I spend the evening outside. The cool air welcomes me like a new adventure, fresh, exciting, and filled with promise. I spot a praying mantis slowly making his way across the back of the house and fly off. Cricket song keeps me company while darkness creeps in and wraps itself around the tall pines. Luna dances across the sky, only showing about half of herself which is enough to light a path through the velvet shawl of night.

After regaining my tranquility, I wonder how I allow it to slip from me. Without asking, I know the answer. It is always when I get too busy to pay attention. When I’m not in a state of awareness I find myself on the river bank of life’s flow. One would think it would be enough to keep me mindful. The moments of now are what keep me centered. As I watch Luna pull back the stars as she passes through the trees, I am at peace.

Do you ever feel out of whack? How do you find your center when you lose it? What gives you a sense of peace? When you find your calm disappearing, do you find it to be from outside influences or from not taking care of yourself?

dusk through the trees