Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

The weather has cooperated with me the last three weeks, and I have been able to go on substantial hikes. The first was in Cedarville State park and was a 7-mile hike. Although I was tired after that relatively flat hike, I was very proud of myself.  I had been thinking about hiking, and I actually hiked a respectable distance. The next weekend we went to Rock Creek Park and logged 5-miles but with a lot more challenging terrain. This weekend I logged almost 8-miles at St. Mary’s Lake with a 500 ft elevation change.

What started this was that I had watched the movies A Walk in the Woods and Wild, both based on true stories about hiking the Appalachian and Oregon-Pacific trails. There was something quite thought provoking about each of these stories. It stirred a longing in me. A desire for more adventure, to be in nature more, to explore… to challenge myself.

I’ve started with these trails in order to build up. Soon I want to walk the entire Three Notch Trail from Charlotte Hall to Baggett Park which is about 11-miles.  I’ve ordered a couple of books about the trails in the MD, DC and VA area. With my ultimate goal to do some of the Appalachian Trail.

I have been quite surprised at all the offers by friends to come with me. While that’s heartwarming, I have my sister and grandson who are logging miles with me. And I’m also wanting to do some of this on my own, I think this is where challenging myself comes in to play.

Spring has been the perfect time to create and start this new adventure, and I’m looking forward to see how it all grows with me.  And I certainly hope the weather continues to cooperate with me!

Wishing you an adventurous month!


Read Full Post »

Granted, I have a different routine this year. My work location is new plus I’m in Opal driving throughout the day, so I’m seeing a lot more of nature during the day than I’m used to. There are three nature activities that have bombarded me this fall – the amount of squirrels, spider webs, and beetles I’m seeing.

The first has been the squirrels. One day I literally lost count of the squirrels in the morning, they were everywhere! I have never, ever seen so many squirrels at one time, multiple squirrels crossing the roads, running up and down the trees, and scrounging the ground for nuts. I see them running across the roads with their cheeks full of nuts every day.  And that is the prevalent detail that I have noticed is that they all seem to be storing up for winter.

The second is all the spider webs. I saw a tree one morning that had so many webs that it looked as if it was decorated for Halloween.  One morning I went to my mailbox to find it completely ensconced with various little webs. I have those big spiders making those huge webs on every corner of my house, garage, and on the trees.  I’m usually very watchful for these webs, but I even walked into a web last night.

And lastly is the beetle, specifically the common black beetle. Seems every time I look down, I see one of these little fellas scurrying about. Every day, for weeks now, I’ve been seeing these beetles at work, at home, and where ever I am during the day. And this is a new one for me, so I’ve had to look it up – and wow!

The basic keynotes for these three are: activity and preparedness, weaving and creating (looking just at the webs), and to keep moving forward. Hmm. I can see where movement is intertwined with each of these, and that the beetle confirms that I am moving in the right direction.  To paraphrase quornesha.com, the beetle represents peace and protection acting as a shield (side note, the Lakota believed that any warrior adorned with spider symbol is invincible to arrows and bullets, that the web allows the arrow to pass through the warrior without doing any damage), and also represents wisdom and being endowed by the Gods to serve those whom will have need of your service. I will definitely be mulling these over some more.

Now we have two more months to this year, to do with as we wish.  The holidays will make quick work of taking up quite a bit of this time. I’m already filling in my calendar with various events. November holds Thanksgiving, the day to count our blessings and give thanks.  As I muse on my many blessings, I think of each of you reading this and am so grateful for having you in my life. Wishing you a beautiful and peaceful month.


Read Full Post »

Ahhh, fall time is here!  The season of visual change. The season where nature teaches us the beauty and necessity of letting go. The time of year when day and night are in balance, allowing us equal time to be active and to rest. Oh I’m right there with you when you say this is the season to bring out the boots and sweaters and sit back with a big pumpkin spice latte, and it is that too. There is so much going on out there if we watch the animals and the earth.

In preparation to write my newsletter, I often look back at the previous emails for that month. When I looked back at all the emails I wrote for October through the years, I was surprised to see how every October seemed to bring definite change for me.  I’ve had big educational and career changes that seemed to frequently happen in October through the years.  Sort of seems to coincide with the autumn equinox.

This fall is relatively stable for me this year.  But I do recognize the turbulence within nature and the world. No denying very active hurricanes, earth quakes and fires – – encompassing all four elements!  We also have a very unstable social-emotional element going on in our world as well.

Well, now that I’ve written that, I did experience a huge ‘instability’ last month. I woke up one morning with the severest case of vertigo I’ve ever had.  Talk about turbulence in my world! It was so severe that I missed several days of work, went to the hospital (twice), and am now in physical therapy. Who knew there’s physical therapy for vertigo? And on top of that, there are several different types of vertigo! I am now working with a really great physical therapist on the various types of vertigo that plague me. I am much improved in that I can work and go about my day; but no bending over for me!

My dear sweet Boo came to visit last weekend. Thankfully he was very safe and did not have any damage from the hurricane that went through FL. As always, it was so wonderful being with him.

And now we look towards the upcoming fall and holiday seasons.  In all this activity – both outside of us in the world, and within nature and the environment – I hope you do bundle up in your favorite fall clothes, snuggle up to a warm cup of pumpkin spice latte to relax and watch the beautiful activities of nature.  Notice those huge spiders that weave those amazingly big webs overnight.  Watch the flock of geese flying in formation, and wonder at their navigation.  Smell the autumnal air and pick out the pine, sweet grasses, and different woodsy-spicy scents.  And take the time to find the balance in your life, to find the harmony within your own personal world right now.

I leave you with this quote:

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

Letter to Miss Lewis, Oct. 1, 1841 – George Eliot, George Eliot’s Life, as Related in Her Letters and Journals – Volume 1

Read Full Post »

A few of you have reached out to me recently seeking a little help with signs and messages you’re receiving.  Oh how I love helping with this.  A good amount of the signs and messages I get are easily understood, but I still have to work at interpreting some of them.

Growing up I knew I was a sign seeker, although when I was in school I recognized it was an immature method of seeking answers. However I still felt like there was a Universe out there giving me little signs of encouragement, support, and help along the way, and I was ever so attentive trying to figure it all out.  As I learned and grew in life so did my way of picking up and deciphering these messages.

Ted Andrews wrote in Animal-Speak “The true shaman, the true naturalist, works to reconnect conscious human life with Nature and Spirit through totems and ritual. The images of the animals and the expressions of Nature help us to transcend our normal, waking consciousness so that we can more easily attune to the ethereal realms and beings. The first step begins with realizing that all vision and imagery, originating in Nature or the inner mind, has validity on some level.”

I have found that most of the time, we’ve picked up on the sign but are not sure if it is a sign.  And then how to interpret.  To paraphrase an example Ted Andrews gave in workshop I attended, one night you have a dream with a skunk in it, then you’re driving down the road and you smell a skunk, then you go home and turn on the tv and there’s Peppe Le Pew, and a few days later you’re in a store and in with the stuffed animals is a cute little skunk… well how many times do you need to be hit in the head with a 2×4 before you realize skunk is trying to get your attention?

If you’re questioning whether or not an animal or something in nature is a message or sign, then chances are it is. The mere fact that you already are thinking it is indication. Trust yourself! When that dragonfly lights on you and sits with you for a while, you know you are truly communing with nature!

Last weekend on my walk I was surprised by how much white I saw in nature. It was as if there was more white than green outside.  The white mushrooms, dandelion puffs, the clover blooms, flowers, tree bark, fences, clouds, rocks, various moths, a worm, and a couple different dogs. I took notice of what had been on my mind, of my emotions, about my heartfelt reaction to seeing all this white. If you don’t have any books on the various meanings, then you have the world wide web.  But don’t be too quick to look outside of yourself for answers. Always consider what that symbol means to You. Expand your awareness and observations – and then enjoy your connection with nature and spirit!


Read Full Post »

Have you been keeping up with April the Giraffe? She is at the Animal Adventure Park in NY, and I discovered her about a month and a half ago on Facebook. She is pregnant, and due any moment now.  Watching via the live webcam, I’ve been learning more and more about these beautiful animals. Giraffes are pregnant for about 15 months, and coincidentally April is 15 years old. Watching the very curious and gentle April, I got to wondering about the message Giraffes bring us.

According to Animal Speak by Ted Andrews, their keynote is farsightedness.  The most notable things about giraffes are their very long legs and necks.  The neck has great symbolism; it bridges the upper (the head-thoughts, spiritual) and lower of the animal (the body-action, groundedness), and allows them to see great distances.  These long necks and throats are also a symbol of expression and communication.  Balance is very important, as they can become quite vulnerable when their heads are to the ground. They actually have 3 horns, the third looks more like a lump under the skin and is located just above the eyes – in the third eye center.

After watching April’s webcam for over a month, it dawned on me to see how the message can apply to me right now.  Looking back 15 months ago, was when I had just started the classes I took to become a nurse tech. And here I am now, a nurse tech at the hospital I where I wanted to be.   However, I’ve been having a difficult time in my new job.  I’ve really struggled with the career change and a few different aspects of the job.

So as I watch and wait for April to bring her fourth calf into the world, I’m going to think about these gentle and graceful animals and what I can learn from them. I’m also looking at the numbers that are prevalent with this event. I hope I can traverse through my difficulties with some of the grace, gentleness and beauty that April has!


Read Full Post »

The other day I was driving home from work. The same roads I’ve traveled for many years. And the thought popped in my mind of looking at my surroundings as if I had not seen this place before. If this were the first time I was sitting at this traffic light, what would I be looking at? What would I think about this intersection and all around it? If I were passing through this town, would I think it a nice place to live?  All this caused me to look at the leaves on the tree, noticing the beautiful pine cone bundles on the one pine tree. I saw the greenness of the grass, and how attractive the store fronts looked.  I saw the beauty instead of just waiting for the traffic light to change.

A day or so later I found the quote by Thich Nhat Han (below in the Whispered Musings) and the timing of that same message at two different times is making me remember to bring my new seeing eyes out.  People used to say “you need to stop and smell the roses.”  Now we talk about being ‘present in the moment’, or even seeing with through the eyes of a child. However we remind ourselves, it is simply taking time out to simply notice what is around us without the assumption that we already know what is there. Letting nature show us the subtle changes it’s made, or looking at the little affirmation note we posted beside our computers so long ago that we now overlook. It’s about quieting our distracted minds and looking at things we stopped looking at a long time ago.  It is all about being present with our surroundings, even if it is at a red light.

My class is going fantastic! It sure has been a transformation in more ways that I thought.  I have finished with the textbook and lecture, have completed all the clinicals!, and am now preparing for the state exam before the nursing board which will be later in October.  When I start to worry about the state exam, I remind myself of the SUCCESS affirmation I started all this with.  And then I remind myself of those precious women and men in the long term care facility I cared for during clinicals, and I am able to let go of the fear, and move forward with knowledge, safety and compassion in my thoughts, actions, and heart.

And in the midst of all this is the most beautiful of all seasons, autumn! The corn field around me is completely brown and withering down, and the weather is finally starting to cool a little. What a perfect time to be looking around with my new seeing eyes!  I hope you can find time to go play in a corn maze, pick pumpkins out of a pumpkin patch, and most definitely, go pick apples out of a real orchard!

Read Full Post »

Spring is coming! I can see signs all around: my lilies have grown above ground, the birds seem to be pairing up, and let’s not forget to mention the longer daylight and warmer temperatures.  I’ve heard plenty of people complaining about cold weather and their want of summer.  But let’s not rush through life here!

Meteorologically, we are still in winter, and I want to make the most of being in winter – or in the North in the Medicine Wheel.   This is the position of short days and long nights. A place of enjoying the warmth of the fire in the stove and sitting together to talk. A place of not pushing ourselves so much, and recouping from all the work we’ve accomplished in all the other positions.  Thinking back on this wintertime, I think I’ve made good use of this more quiet and reflective cycle. I’ve thought through some things and been able to see clearly to making decisions that feel good.  And yes, there is that familiar feeling of energy waking up from its long winters nap within.

So I guess I am ready for spring this month. As I look to starting some new endeavors soon, I feel I’ve rested adequately to spring forth with some renewed energy. On my walk this morning, I dare say I could even smell spring freshness in the air.

The very end of January into February my brother, sister and I went to visit our dad for his 87th birthday. What a great trip that was – in so many ways. My brother, sister and I always make time to get out to the desert and find rocks. It funny, this trip we thought about checking out some new areas to go to, but ended up going back to our good ol’ mesa that we love so much. There truly is something very sacred about that mesa for me.  I find connection there, and I feel very, very peaceful there.

Enjoy the last days of winter as we prepare to welcome spring this month! Envisioning colors blossoming into your life, and as always – wishing you much peace.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »