Dowsing and Evolution of Consciousness

My father taught all of us kids to dowse. He was a quiet man, farming all his life, probably an introverted feeling type, but it is hard for a daughter to tell! In the early spring he could hardly wait until the fields were thawed and dry enough to plow, disk, harrow, and plant. Winter… Read more »

March 22: World Water Day: California’s Crisis

Today, March 22, 2015, is World Water Day, a day designated by the United Nations in 1993 to celebrate Water. Being in our fourth year of drought, there never has been a time that Californians are more aware of water. Many of us may be joining the 780 million people of the world who do not have access… Read more »

Thank the Goddess for the Love of Napa Valley NIMBYS!

Many of us are reluctant of being characterized as NIMBYs when we object to projects in our “backyards” such as event center wineries or vineyard incursions into our hillsides and watersheds. Such a designation often implies a narcissism.  The American Dictionary defines NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) as “a person who objects to the siting of something perceived… Read more »

Physical Labor and Multidimensional Consciousness

My spiritual teacher Norma T. ( I write about my time with her in Farming Soul) once told me that it is easiest to develop spiritual tools to access multidimensional consciousness when we have direct contact with nature. I instinctively knew this to be true, familiar with the state of mind that comes when I… Read more »

Life’s Issues … and a Writing Retreat

Life’s issues have their way of meeting us everywhere, even a writing retreat! We six women meet once a month in this place outside of time. Castlekeep, as we have come to call it, is a large, usually unoccupied house surrounded by blackberry brambles and jonquils who’ve lost memory of flower beds. The ranch house was… Read more »

On Ecological Sustainability: Judith Parrish, Plant Ecologist

My first interview on ecological sustainability is with my sister Judy Damery Parrish,  Chair of the Biology Department at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. She is a passionate teacher who loves the earth with fierceness, reflected in here. What is your background and how did you come to ecology? I grew up on a farm and spent many… Read more »

Russian River: All Rivers

The Russian River is a great, lazy serpent in the summer. Her lovely green body curves through redwoods and vineyards, through open meadows and old tourist resorts, on her way to Jenner and the Pacific. I raised my sons well into their elementary years on that river. We learned her many moods: her rushing insistence in the… Read more »

In Search of a Land Ethic: The Grand Coalition

On Tuesday afternoon, January 20, 2015, The Grand Coalition of Napa County met. Fifty of us sat around a square assemblage of tables representing ten citizen groups who have been addressing land use issues in Napa County over these last years. Some have formed non-profits which hired experts and attorneys to address some of the developing problems… Read more »

Train Travel and Life

Why do I love train travel so much?  Every chance I get, I arrange “adventures” for family and friends that involve the rail, and they cheerfully oblige, at least the first time! Donald and I are traveling home from Minneapolis to Chicago, Chicago to Martinez, CA, now just beginning the climb after Denver into the Rockies. My iPhone… Read more »

Joanna Macy and Sustaining the Gaze

One of the many phrases that will stay with me from this week at Women’s Future First 2014 Congress is that of Joanna Macy: sustaining the gaze. Even though what we see in the world is frightening and enraging, it is so important we witness (not deny) what mankind has perpetrated upon our planet and to feel, to let ourselves have open hearts to… Read more »