I came upon a dead crow the other day while walking my dog. At the scene there were no feathers strewn about no sign of a struggle so maybe it was just this crow’s time. I kept thinking about that crow and its kind, about crow life and community, crow work and pleasure. Where I live crows have found a niche, they forage and hunt, they crack walnuts and acorns by dropping them on the road from high up in trees- I’ve seen this myself- clever critters. They heckle and pester the birds of prey like the hawk and owl that live in the trees near by. At dusk they seem to gather together in community in a big oak tree between us and the dairy next door, later they fly off to roost for the night somewhere else, our oak tree seems more like stopping by the pub after work to chat with friends. I don’t really know much about a crows life but I do know that anytime I’m asked what superpower I’d want if I had one I always say flight – and whenever I ponder a next life, if there is a next life to be had, I think please let me be a bird. And not a humming bird (too busy) not a woodpecker (hard headed) I don’t think eagle or even hawk is in my future (too noble) – although the crow is much maligned, I think a crow would suit me fine- clever and social, a little bit pesky, but interesting and a fine flyer defiantly a fine flyer. So if the universe is listening I wouldn’t mind seeing for myself how to get there as the crow flies!
It is officially Fall in the northern hemisphere, in my area here in Sonoma County CA, it has been hot hot hot these past few weeks. I commented to the Ranch camps directors one blazing day this week that “it’s starting to feel like Fall”, she gave me a quizzical look – you see she hails from New England where fall is FALL and is experiencing her first Northern California autumn. But what I know from 19 years in place is that Fall here is not about a chill in the air, although that will come – or a leaf show, although we have our own show as the vines change- it is about the length of shadows and the quality of light. As the days get shorter the shadows get longer. This is a series of photos I took walking the dog just past dawn this week, I couldn’t resist playing with my shadow and welcoming the Fall with a wave and a wag from my dog Lucky.
Happy Fall to all of you my dear readers- if you have time tell us what Fall means where you live!
Yesterday it rained. It rained eight tenths of an inch. Such a gift in this parched, scorched part of the world. This morning, as the clouds pushed east and the sun rose amid the mist of yesterday’s rain, I walked the labyrinth. I have been walking the labyrinth several times a week as part of my new commitment to meditate each day. I find walking the labyrinth helps me clear my monkey mind and be present to the big mind, the universe, God. I have taken to walking the pressed gravel path barefoot. Carefully placing each footfall – feeling the earth fully helps me be present. Today as I removed my clogs the rain soaked trees dripping in delight, the exuberant birds greeting the sun, the rain and their flock fellows, the ground made a new sound a new crunch each step spoke of the soil’s joy at being moist again. The labyrinth here at The Bishop’s Ranch, like many, has a path that at the beginning leads you very close to the center then it meanders back and forth and around taking the sojourner far from the middle. The labyrinth doesn’t have any dead ends or secret passages way if one stays on the path no matter how long the passage you will come to the center. When walking the labyrinth I remind myself that it is a metaphor for my life journey. I know the center I seek is there I have glimpsed it on my long life excursion but I must stay on the path even when it feels far from the comfort of the center circle. When I arrive in the middle I take a moment to count my blessing and say my prayers. And then because life beckons I exit. I always try to walk out with the same deliberate careful step I took as I had when I entered but try as I might I find the way out faster than the way in. But as in the beginning of the journey the labyrinth brings me close to the center one last time before birthing me into the wide world again – a reminder to slow down, to feel the earth on my bare feet to listen to the birds song and feel the fresh rain before it slips away.
i don’t usually post remotely but I flew from SFO yesterday to Philadelphia and had five hours to draw. I managed to take a great photo out the plane window looking back at San Francisco with the Golden Gate just peeking out of the fog and Mt. Tam in the distance. Hopefully I’ll get a great shot of philly on my way home Monday.
I’ve been spending more time in what I’ve now dubbed my Mixed Media Mediation Journal. I have found myself drawn into my studio and opening up to wherever the moment takes me. Today as I was cleaning out an art closet I found a pack of Sun Print paper that is probably 15 years old I had it in the throw away pile but thought better of it and gathered some leaves from outside my studio to see if the Sun Print paper still works after all these years – it does! You can see my row of sun prints drying in the art room. What started as a closet cleaning turned into a meditation in blue. I’m usually such an on task person – I don’t allow myself to play until the work is done – but I’m beginning to soften on that ideal – I’ve decided it is best to greet the muse when she presents herself – and today she was all decked out in blue and beckoning, I could not, should not resist!