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More Gratitude, Less Worry

Soon after I moved here, I noticed something of grave concern: There were wasp nests under many of the eves of the cabin. Most were fairly small starter homes, but nonetheless, they were there and I was not going to peacefully co-exist with them. Peter, the supremely helpful owner, offered, “You can knock them down with a broom, but they’ll just come back. They’re pretty benign.” Benign? Are you kidding me? In my mind, they were dive-bombing the plate at mealtime, chasing me down the hill as I gardened, and keeping me from entering the front door altogether. Before I caught sight of their scary little legs dangling down in hot pursuit, I got online and spent hours researching my options. I d

Befriending The Dark

The first time I came home to the cabin after dark and shut off my lights at the end of the long gravel driveway, I sat in dread. This was a huge mistake. There was no way I was going to walk from the car down the tiered steps through the tunnel of trees to the front door. Nope. It was pitch black, coal black, not a drop of light black. Perhaps the universe was sending me down a little joke, handing me a reflection of my life at that time. I sat for long minutes in humorless terror before a heart pounding race to the door. So why does darkness provoke fear and light provide safety? Why in spirituality do we equate the dark with evil and the light with goodness? Why do we dread the dark and r

Lessons From A Fire-Breathing Bull

I crossed the one-lane bridge and caught site of the enormous black bull who lives in a bucolic field next to a lake on Hunters Road. Walking up the hill I wonder, What is your name, Big Bull? In rhythm with my steps, I roll over possible names for him. He needs a regal name. A big name for a big guy. A name for the ages. Abraham. That’s your name. You’re Abraham! Standing at the split rail fence I call him bravely but sweetly. “Abraham! Abraham! Come here honey! Come on boy!” He stares at me for a long time, then slowly and thoughtfully the ginormous bull starts lumbering my way, male parts sashaying with each thunderous step. I stand my ground holding on to the fence until Abraham is direc

Kindness and The Farmer

In early spring during my walks around the sheep and llama field, I watched the farmer behind a local inn plant what became a flourishing, organic garden. She tilled the soil and lovingly infused the Virginia clay with rich compost. She padded up the rows, planted precious seeds down the center, gave them a deep drink of well water and covered them with hay. One day when I arrived for a walk in the late afternoon, I saw her standing there, caked with dirt after a long day’s work, just looking, smiling with arms crossed, admiring her co-creation with nature. This. This is good. These beautiful, bountiful things. By mid-summer, the garden was teaming with every imaginable vegetable. Flowers gr

Grace and The Bluebird

For hours I heard the heartbreaking flutter of little wings in the pipe of the wood burning stove with no idea of how to help. A friend advised opening the flue and letting the little guy drop into the stove, then trying to fish him out from there. Really? Just catch a bird? This was all new territory. When I opened the stove door, I was shocked to be eye to eye with a beautiful little bluebird. He was huddled in the back corner, frightened, and in a fleeting moment, I was within his tender body looking out. I was stuck in the darkness with no sky. I was born to fly free, but not seeing any good options. I recognized myself in him. Then gently closed the door to ponder my next move. I retrie

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