Friday, October 22, 2010


Sometimes we are given a gift, and are blessed beyond our knowing. I found that to be true as I walked to my writing cabin this early Friday morning. Dawdling along, with my laptop under one arm, I noticed a tiny heart-shaped leaf sitting on a flat stone alongside the path. It took my attention first because it was red. Then, as I stooped to pick it up, the leaf felt warm in my hand and I lifted to my cheek. No doubt the sun had shed its rays upon this treasure, so I carried it inside my cabin.

As it sits here beside me I realize that it is a gift from the nature that surrounds me. It's as if the trees, birds, and animals know that my heart is filled with love as I spend the last day of my week here in my hide-away.

Sunday I will travel to Long Island, to be with my oldest son's family. My granddaughter will be undergoing a kidney transplant on Monday, and we all feel blessed by the donor. A family friend turned out to be a perfect match, and is donating a part of himself to her, so she may live on in this world.

The love from all our hearts will live on forever within this treasure of a man. He is showing all of us, by his example, what it means to be giving.

Thank you for your gift of love.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Feeling blessed:

On the day before another 9/11/2001 anniversary I want to share my love for the safety of my family, my home, my friends, and my land. I am grateful for the nature that surrounds me, and for the lack of fear as I work in my writing/meditation cabin.

In this time of poor economy, I feel wealthy. The gifts I receive are from the trees, animals, and birds. As I walk my woods, I feel blessed.

When any one of my eight grandchildren give me a hug, it is the finest gift of all. Thank you God for our freedom.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Need water...please?

Nature has been at it again! I’ve been shown many perfect teachings before, but this week has been extremely special.

We’ve needed rain in my woods for the past few months. In fact, some of the trees are already dropping their foliage as a result. Everything has been dry and the animals are not receiving the amounts of hydration they need. When I walk out onto my deck or screened porch, deer scramble over to the water baths I’ve set out for them. They let me know if they’re out of water. Usually I’m on it, but they have been drinking more than usual.

When deer and other animals eat the leaves from bushes, and tender shoots from the ground, the moisture in that leaf or shoot gives them their proper nutrition. They know when the balance is off. And, they come and ask me to change it by giving them extra water. Some of the small streams have dried up, and as a result all of the animals have to walk a distance away to find other sources.

In this past week I’ve had deer, raccoon, rabbit, opossum, birds, wild turkey, chipmunks, a stray cat or two, and fox come to drink my water. They all know it is there. The deer pound on the ground while looking in my direction, the smaller animals knock the water baths around the forest floor. It is their signal for me to refill.

I’ve listened and answered their requests! Could it get any cuter??

Monday, July 12, 2010

Finding strength.

As I opened a window in my cabin this morning, I startled a doe sleeping close by. She was chewing and dozing in the dappled sunlight, and I never noticed her until she stood and turned her attention toward my sounds. She looked directly at me and her eyes held mine for several moments. I whistled soft and low, my personal voice to the animals that spend time here in my woods. She settled then, and so did I.

Later, in my reclining chair, I put my feet up and gazed out at her. I am fortunate to be so physically close to these friends. The back wall of my cabin is mostly windows, looking out to the woods and beyond. I could not see her fawn, but she is close. Mother and child, there is no separation.

She taught me to be aware of my surroundings, alert but quiet. Paying attention to what needs doing, and leaving the rest alone. Our personal goals do count, mostly because they cause us to go through a process, and it’s the process that ensures us of the outcome. We find strength within the silence of ourselves, go there and see.

Sunlight faded like a benediction as I closed the door to my cabin toward evening, and I walked home spiritually renewed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Human destruction

This afternoon I came home from running errands, and as I pulled onto my lane I heard the sound of tractors and heavy equipment. Parking my car, I got out and looked into the woods and beyond. A Pennsylvania Power & Light electricity line sits at the edge of my forest, and the noise was coming from that direction.

As I approached I could see they were cutting down every tree, bush, and plant that had grown under the lines. They do this every ten years, they went on to say. I looked around and noted that some bushes and small lovely dogwood trees were at least twenty-five feet from the lines above, maybe more. They did not care. It all has to be cut every ten years the men said, again, as if memorized.

I was saddened by this approach, and decided to write a note to the company. Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that this will stop the cutting and destroying of God’s handiwork. But at least I will feel as though I’ve tried to protect the eco-system in my area. I know that because of what they do, everything around me will change.

Rain will not filter as well through the dense underbrush as it had, but that is only part of the destruction. They are destroying the berries that grow profusely on the barberry bushes for the birds, and it is these red gems that manage to keep them alive during the winter months. Also, the does left their fawns to sleep in that beautiful thick underbrush knowing it would keep them safe and hidden from predators. My red fox and her family, and the bunnies that eat the tender spring shoots, will now suffer as well.

Nothing was left but dead branches and exposed roots, as the workers left for the day, happy in their work. Nests, food, and comfort were taken from many of God’s finest creations this afternoon. But no one seemed to care! At least not enough to stop the devastation and it made me sad. I could get angry, but it won’t help. Neither will my sadness. Instead I will give attention to what these men have left behind. I will make large piles out of the cut brush for hiding newborn babies, while trying hard not to stand in judgment, and I will fill my feeders each morning for the birds.

My woods will stay as pristine as possible, and the animals and birds will find comfort here on my land. Although I have only a few acres, it will continue to be a sanctuary for them. The apples and peaches on my trees in the field will be left for them to eat this year, as I can purchase mine at the orchard close by. It is one more thing I can do.

They give me their songs and beauty as I watch them fly to my feeders, or eat from my feeding stations. Deer, fox, birds, and bunnies all gather on my land for refuge. Yes, I will do my part for them. One human who cares enough!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Unexpected serenity

I found inspiration yesterday in an unexpected place. Within a massive-sized hospital on Long Island, New York, a young girl showed me serenity. She was candid, and totally within the moment as she spoke.

Her illness presents hardships I can’t imagine, but her enthusiasm for life continues. She spoke of a love for horses, and how she will compete again by the beginning of the next year. Having no preconceptions about her Lupus disease or finding a kidney donor, she was elegant in revealing her passion for a full recovery.

Her face was pale, yet serene. Her eyes gave way to discomfort, but she remained concerned that I had a comfortable place to sit. Her arm, swollen and painful from recent skin graft surgery, rested quietly by her side as we spoke of our love for all animals.

Alex's honesty lights my fire, and brings hope to my choice of finding a way to raise awareness for this disease.

In the midst of a hospital’s chaos I felt my granddaughter’s quietude, and found she has a profound capacity for love, insight, and healing.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer Storms...

Now and then, a summer storm explodes through the woods and the roof of my cabin dances within its chaos. I love the joy it brings as I sit and listen and laugh. Thunder and lightning play peek-a-boo with each other and the wind whips the leaves of my trees until they give up and turn upside down.

It is intense for a short while, and then it passes. In its wake a light vapor hangs over the moist forest floor. Peering out my window I am privy to sights that normally go unnoticed. The explosions of newly exposed tree roots appear white and shiny, as if rubbed by a fine polishing cloth.

Damp earth gives the air a new aroma of freshness, and at once I feel blended with nature again. Through the open windows of my cabin I hear nothing for a few minutes, but the woodland sounds quickly return. Turkey and deer come back to my feeding stations, while birds fill the air with their melodies.

As the song goes, “I am, as God created me…in the Light, in the Love, in the Glory….”

Friday, May 21, 2010

Walking to my cabin

A tall dead oak sits near my cabin. As I walk by each day, my eyes are drawn to its weathered skin, and leafless branches. I think of taking it down with my chainsaw, knowing I need the wood for the up-coming winter season. But I can't do it. Too many emotions surface as I look to its topmost branch.

You see, the last four years a pair of flickers have come to the small hole within to raise their family. First, with my binoculars, I see them carrying bits and pieces of wood shavings from my log-splitter, then they layer the nest with leaves, feathers, and moss. I wonder how they know to come back each year, but they always do. To me they exemplify integrity, and I am stunned by their diligence and focus as they work each moment to completion.

Nature is my teacher. By listening, I hear the flicker babies call out as their mom approaches with food. By watching, I see the integrity of their search in rain, wind, or heat. And by caring, my heart opens to the devotion of their work and the trees surrounding them. We are mid-spring, the underbrush is filling in and ferns cover the forest floor. Soon I'll be seeing fawns scampering through the dappled sunlight of my woods. Integrity. I am honored to be a part of its completeness as I recognize my prosperity.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This morning from my cabin window:

Nature quieted me as I walked to my cabin this morning. Birds sang, squirrels snarled, chipmunks squeaked, and a red fox ran for a short distance before he turned to stare. Neither he, nor I, was bothered by the other.

As we each claimed our space, the darkish early morning went its way.