I see or hear
that more or less
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
It was what I was born for –
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world –
to instruct myself
over and over
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these –
the untrimmable light
of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?”
“All that is important is this one moment. Make the moment vital and worth living. Don’t let it slip away unnoticed and unused.”
“Trees are poems that Earth writes upon the sky.”
“Go outside and don’t go to a special place. Just go into your neighborhood and repeatedly, over and over again, open your ears and harvest the sounds all around you. Whether those are tree sounds or car sounds or bird sounds. Without judgment, just be present for the physical experience of sounds flowing into our consciousness. Do that over and over again and the trees will befriend you — or come into your consciousness and teach you some of what they’re saying.”
-David George Haskell
“Come to the woods, for here is rest.” -John Muir
“Ah, Lovely October, as you usher in the season that awakens my soul, your awesome beauty compels my spirit to soar like an leaf caught in an autumn breeze and my heart to sing like a heavenly choir.”
-Peggy Toney Horton
The Columbia River Gorge, bonds Washington and Oregon, and has draped them both with overwhelming power and beauty. And the Gorge and its waters have touched my soul.
I long to spend more time here. There is a depth to be penetrated over time, in the inner and the outer realms. Rich tapestries of greens, radiance of waterfalls, myriad wildflowers, mysterious forests, sumptuous grand canyons, all endlessly beautiful. They touch the deepest part of me.
Every turn holds a wonder – a sometimes quiet and often times shuddering exuberance of majesty. Hidden wonders everywhere waiting to be explored.
Yes, I need more time here.
“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: What is soft is strong.”
“Water is the one substance from which the earth can conceal nothing; it sucks out its innermost secrets and brings them to our very lips.”
A few facts about the Columbia River Gorge (from the website for Foundation for Water & Energy Education; http://fwee.org/environment/what-makes-the-columbia-river-basin-unique-and-how-we-benefit/):
- Within the Basin, there are 2,500 square miles of waterways and lakes.
- The Columbia River and its tributaries account for about 219,000 square miles of drainage in seven western states.
- The Basin consists of the Rocky Mountains to the east and north, the Cascade Range on the west, and the Great Basin to the south.
- The Columbia River is the fourth largest river in North America.
- The Columbia River originates in British Columbia and flows 1,214 miles to the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon.
- The Columbia is fed by a number of major tributaries including the three largest, the Kootenai, the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille and the Snake rivers along with the Payette, the Sultan, the Cowlitz, the Santiam and the Willamette.
- The Columbia River is second only to the Missouri-Mississippi River System in terms of annual run-off as the water flows to the Pacific Ocean.
The Native American Code of Ethics originally published in the Inter-Tribal Times in October of 1994.
Depth in simplicity, honor in dealing with humanity and the earth.
Twenty tenants to live by…
It is done, it is good. All My Relations.
1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.
3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.
5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.
6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth – whether it be people or plant.
7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.
8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.
10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.
11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. Animals, plants and other living creatures are all part of your worldly family.
12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.
13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.
14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of one’s will within this universe.
15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.
17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others – especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.
18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.
20. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.
“The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the center of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.”
“The breath is coming in and out now, whether you believe you are worthy of it or not.
The earth is unconditionally supporting you. She is holding you whether you believe you deserve to be held or not. Rest in her presence.
The breath will be gone at some point, usually much sooner than we’d all like. Breathe deeply now. Breathing is only now. There is no “breathing in the future.”
“No matter what is happening in your life – maybe you have lost hope, you’re confused, your heart is broken, or an old dream has died. Or even if you’re experiencing some joy, some peace, if things are going okay. It is not an ordinary moment. It is never ordinary inside your heart.
The only thing we know for sure is that we will be returned to the vastness soon. Let us not forget what is most important, never apologize for the yearning in our hearts, and not wait any longer to be fully here.
Let us renew the vow we once made to not abandon ourselves, our emotions, our vulnerability, our bodies, our sensitivity. With the sun, the moon, and the stars as our witness, we will no longer pathologize pure feeling and the longing that has been placed inside us.
Let us take a risk on this new day, like a flower who cannot hold back any longer from erupting with color, with fragrance, with life, with her song. You are this flower. Attune to what is truly happening here. This world needs you now more than ever. Please don’t forget what you are.”
Sunrise Crater Lake
“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.”
Sunset Amelia Island
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods
There is a rapture on the lonely shore
There is society, where none intrudes
By the deep sea and music in its roar
I love not man the less
but nature more.
Sweet Solstice! The nectar of summer absorbed by all of the senses…
The layers of myriad greens, the sensuous breeze, the fragrances of pine and honeysuckle and wild roses, the raven song, the textures of grass under bare legs…. these small yet large, simple yet complex pleasures feed my soul.
Happy Summer, Happy Solstice, Happy Long Languid Days!!