Posts Tagged ‘spring’

A Yogi’s Vernal Equinox

March 26, 2017

About once every six weeks, sometimes more often, I meet with a powerful group of women to explore books on spirituality and/or to have a unique experience with the vast theme of Spirituality.  Before the holidays at the end of 2016, I hosted my group’s Spiritual Book Club.  We hired Rory Link, an urban shaman, author, poet, visual artist, musician, Renaissance man, and friend, who guided us on a Spirit Quest with loud rhythmic drumming and visualizations.  We made wonderful discoveries and we can’t wait to have Rory come back for another round of spirit quests.

On Wednesday evening, my group celebrated the Vernal Equinox with poetry, quotes, and other Spring inspired readings. We also brought to the table a seed or intention that we would like to “plant” for this SPRING season of rebirth.

Colored eggs

Colored eggs (done up with markers and colored pencils)

Michele brought eggs and a chart explaining what various images depict or symbolize.  Me, being me, had to cover my egg with at least one of every image on the list below.  I brought the egg with me to Ocean Shores this weekend.  After doing a lot of gardening and planting of vegetable seeds, I took time to plant the decorated egg!  Rick joined me in planting it right next to my dad’s fig tree, which grows big lush leaves and tiny starts of figs, but has yet to produce a ripe fig in this wet rain forest we call second home.  Together Rick and I shared our intentions for this season of renewal!

What the images symbolize

SHARED READINGS:  We next shared the following readings.  It was pretty magical place for me to be, drawing on the egg and listening to everyone read.  I used to do a lot of art, but, for some reason, I rarely draw anymore.  As I was drawing, I was reminded of how lovely it is to draw.  Below you will find some of our shared readings.  The first three are the ones I read.

One of the spring ritual suggestions I read about is to end your days with prayer.  “The earth is always a good teacher- and especially in spring.  End your days this season with this prayer from the Native American Tradition.”

Earth Teach Me to Rememberby John Yellow Lark

Earth teach me stillness

as the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering

as old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility

as blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth Teach me caring

as the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage

as the tree which stands alone.

Earth teach me limitation

as the ant which crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom

as the eagle which soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation

as the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration

as the seed which rises in the spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself

as melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness

as dry fields weep in the rain.

Ute, North American

The Gift

Lift one foot. Surrender

Place the other. Claim

Step by step life unfolds behind me

The future beckons me forward

The path wasn’t clear until I chose it.

It will be gone once I have passed.

The gift is in this choice to surrender and claim

This choice to create my life one step at a time.

The gift is right here where I am.

And I found this lovely poem by Mary Oliver called Spring:


a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her—
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

And from the genius of Goethe:


When I take part in shared readings, I always make discoveries.  The book below is one such gem.  Kristen brought this book and read from it.  The poem is from the book is below.


And here is the poem by Marge Piercy about the promise of spring:


image1 2

And an inspirational quote by our 28th President, Woodrow Wilson:


And lastly, an inspirational spring poem by Li-Young Lee:

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.



Green Thumb and Broody Hen

April 12, 2013

I will treat you to some beautiful spring photos of Simone’s dazzling tulips.  Everything Simone plants seems to grow larger than life.  Last year, one of my blog posts featured her dahlias,  dinner-plate-sized bursts of summer.  This spring Simone planted pots of tulips in her garden.  Many of the photos I took came out blurry, perhaps due to the evening coming on, the overcast skies, and brisk wind.  However, I did capture a few good shots.

Simone's tulips!

Simone’s tulips!

Fiery Red!

Fiery Reds!



Whereas perhaps I was disappointed that I couldn’t quite capture the full magic of Simone’s green thumb, I did succeed in capturing the full-on majesty of Don and Simone’s rooster!  Yes, they have a rooster!  Why, you may wonder?  After all, Simone and Don live in an urban setting.

Mr. Rooster!

Mr. Rooster!

Don and Simone initially only had hens and, unfortunately, one hen became a Broody Hen!  A Broody Hen suddenly won’t leave her nest unless she needs to eat, drink, or poo.  She will sit on her eggs day and night.  If you try to take away her unfertilized eggs, she will attack you.  She is no longer docile.  She becomes temperamental and protective of her eggs at all costs.  She will puff up her feathers to appear bigger and more frightening, so you will leave her alone. She will begin to pluck away at her own chest feathers feathers in an attempt to create more warmth for her eggs because she has a strong desire to hatch her eggs and raise her young.  The sad thing is that, if the eggs are not fertilized, this behavior goes on and on.  The Broody Hen’s behavior is hormonal and it is rather unusual to have this happen to your hens (that is, if you have hens…I don’t have hens, though having urban hens is becoming quite popular in Seattle).   Don and Simone felt worried about their Broody Hen, so they went to a chick hatchery and bought a few fertilized eggs for the Broody Hen to sit on.  Only ONE of the eggs hatched and it was a MALE.

They watched this male grow more than twice as large as his “mother”.    He was very attached to her, and even as he grew big, he continued to snuggle his big body under his mother for warmth at night until she died suddenly last week.

Flapping Wings!

Flapping Wings!

Big Boy!  Who's the boss around here?

Big Boy! Who’s the boss around here?

Mr. Big Boy has become the holy terror of all the hens.  He is incessantly mating with them and plucks at the feathers on their heads to show his dominance.  Still, somehow, Don and Simone hang on to  him because, after all, they watched this guy come into the world. They watched his featherless weak body fall over as he hatched forth and they were certain he would not survive. Mr. Big Boy proved them wrong.

Don feeding the hens.

Don feeding the hens.

These hens eat organic produce!

Meal time

Happy (wet) Spring!

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