This morning I walked through the field, just after the sun had risen.
The grass is growing high - the tractor is broken down - the colors are
changing and the vibrancy of plant life is slowly ebbing.  
I turned toward the south and I saw one of the spectacular shows this
time of year,  if caught early on a cool, dewy morning, just as the sun's
rays pierce through them.  
There before me was the pre-autumn show of glistening spider webs.

I attempted to count the strands in the first web I found - there were
about 40.  I marvelled at the architectural skills - skills that must be
similar to those of the ancient Mayans - the mental power and physical
agility of those beings, able to build something so supremely delicate
yet firmly in its place (at least, until a bigger creature or harsh wind
moves it off its anchored course).  
I then saw another, and another, built in all directions - mostly the
same general size and shape.  In a few, I discovered its creator in the
center - still, and most likely at rest from the incredible task it had
achieved in the overnight hours while I slept, but no doubt perched in
vigilance as this intruder approached its center.  In some, I found the
remains of a captured bounty - a butterfly or other insect that had
chosen the inopportune moment to cross this arachnid's path.

It is a mid-September morning, and one of the reasons I love this time
of year is for this convergence of energies - the sun's light, the dew of
the condensation, and the advantage these brilliant and surreal
beings take of the tall, sagging grasses, purple knotweed and
goldenrod to build their masterpieces....thus rendering the confluence
of nature and art.  What we venture into museums holding collections
of interpretations of this beauty to remind us of the wonders around
us, and reminding us that art is as necessary as food and drink to
sustain us.

It is also 9/11, a date that of course now holds incredible and weighty
significance for humans, and particularly american ones.  I have so
many thoughts, I can't possibly fit them in one musing or

But for now, for today, I think of the spider webs, the beauty and
stillness of this morning's walk, and my prayers for inner and outer
peace...peace among neighbors, among family, among friends,
among nations, among strangers, within oneself.....
And as I think of the old ones, the Native americans, who taught and
continue to teach us the wisdom of living among rather than over
other living beings and the responsibilities we have as guardians of
this planet, I think of the lessons of spider -- and the words of Ted
Andrews in
Animal Speak:

"Grandmother Spider taught the mysteries of the past and how they
were affecting the future".


Nothing is Permanent.
We Have This Moment.

Blackbirds have returned.
Ice is melting off the trees.

Nothing is Permanent.
We Have This Moment.
in case we need a reminder....
October 3, 2019   in Province Lands

In Beech Forest, after stepping out of little Honey and walking toward the boardwalk that
wends through the beech, I stopped, taking in the majesty of the slender coven of beech
in front of if posing, in hopes of being seen ..... out of my mouth came the words,
"Oh, I am so sorry for all we have done to you..." and felt tears in the corners of my eyes.
Walking a bit further, we stopped at a resting spot, with railings so one could prop and
hold steady a camera perhaps.  Within moments, a chickadee came shooting by, close to
my head, and landed above me on a beech branch.  I felt the urge to reach out my arms,
resting on the railing, thinking maybe maybe I would be fortunate enough to have a
chickadee come close to me.  I'd heard all my life how chickadees are trusting of humans
and will even feed from their hands; I was never successful as I stood under the pines
back at home,  usually in winter when the chickadees were looking for seed...I would wait,
and wait, but no chickadee ever it became an unmet desire in me.
The chickadee flew off, and I thought that might be my missed opportunity, but still, I
stood with arms reaching out....when there it came again! - and this time, landed only
inches away from my upturned hand, then hopped an inch closer, then another inch, until
it was close enough to my hand that it was able to give the nail of my pinky a little "peck"!
Then another chickadee came, and this one hopped closer very quickly before hopping
ONTO my hand!!!!  Again, tears of joy for the connection to Nature....
After this, we drove to the Life Saving Museum....amid displays of old boats wide enough
to ride perpendicular to the tossing of the ocean and ingenius rescue apparatus devised
by these brave bodhisattva sailors who rescued drowning sailors from the tossing waters,
we found the dining room, with a library off to the side, with a very old book by Robert
Burns.  The gentle forest ranger, older and bespectacled with hair the color of the
Atlantic beach sand,  was so thrilled with our interest of the Olde Days. He clearly was an
incarnate soul, too.....his joy being among the souls of the departed.
Excerpted from:
Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
by Pema Chödrön,  pages 168–169:

Dharma in Dr. Seuss
One of my favorite dharma teachers is Dr. Seuss; he captures the human condition so beautifully. One
of his stories starts with two people walking toward each other along a narrow road. When they meet,
they each refuse to step to the side so that the other can pass. Everyone else builds bridges and even
whole cities around them, and life just goes on. But the two stubborn ones stand there for the rest of
time, refusing to budge. It never occurs to them even after eighty-five years that they could be curious
about why the other is refusing to move, or that they could try to communicate. They could have had a
really interesting debate in all those years even if they had still never moved.
The point is not that you’re trying to achieve harmony or smooth everything out. Good luck, if that’s
your goal. The point is to live together on this earth with our differences, to communicate for its own
sake. The process is the main thing, not the fruition. If you achieve your goal with aggressive tactics,
nothing really changes anyway.
-Pema Chodron