Everyday Surprises

Everyday Surprises Happening across the unexpected always stops me in my tracks. It feels like a message from the Lords and Ladies of Creation, as my spiritual teacher used to put it. Open your eyes! Look what’s here! Life is precious! One of those surprises happens each January when I enter the garden to find the yellow jonquils, which… Read more »

Initiatives and Oaks

Initiatives and Oaks I continue to be shocked at how acrimonious things get when you get between a rich man and his oak! (see the comments on my Letter to the Editor, Napa Register, February 4, 2016) This so-called controversy is never more apparent than when the discussion turns to the importance of watersheds and what… Read more »

Celebrating George Wagner

Celebrating George Wagner On Saturday I attended a celebration for the life of George W. Wagner (1932-2015). I first got to know George in 2010 when his wife Suzanne Wagner and I participated in an Extended Education Earth Day event at our Institute, Listening to the Psyche/ Listening to the Earth. The day, planned in… Read more »

When the Earth Turns to Water and Goats Die

When the Earth Turns to Water and Goats Die Last week our goat Gaviota died. She had sustained a deep puncture wound in October that became infected with an antibiotic-resistant e-coli strain. We went through a regiment of cleansing and packing the wound with Manuka honey laced with lavender, cinnamon, and oregano essential oils, all which… Read more »

Meditation on Space: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Meditation on Space: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo (Ten Speed Press, 2014), is truly magical in its meditation on the space of your home. The tiny book can easily be held in your hand like a manual of… Read more »

Silence and Technology

Silence and Technology Our neighbor is running a leaf blower as I begin writing this. The noise is distracting— or might I say, my annoyance of it distracts me! It reminds me of an incident earlier this last week when a patient pointed out the ongoing barking of a neighborhood dog, a sound I hadn’t… Read more »

Nostalgia and The Other Side of Christmas

Nostalgia and The Other Side of Christmas We left our aging yellow labs alone in the house for two and a half days right after Christmas. Ramon checked on them several times each day, letting them out and feeding them. Why we didn’t think about what they would do, I do not know, considering how they wait, beaver… Read more »

Manger Scene

Manger Scene Another Christmas story from earlier years. My sister and I called the nativity the “manger scene”. We would get the set out of the attic for the first Sunday in Advent. The scene had the holy family, of course, and an assortment of angels, but also a cow, donkey, two sheep, and a… Read more »

Why I Believe in Santa Claus

Why I Believe in Santa Claus Another reprint of a favorite memory! I have been thinking about Santa Claus, that jolly old Christmas saint of giving. To me he is as sparkly as Christmas lights, one of the few mysteries we participate in collectively. As a young child I remember being taken to the “real”… Read more »

A Christmas Story: The Salvation Army and Paying It Forward

A Christmas Story: The Salvation Army and Paying It Forward Another of my favorite old memories I love to recount! This time of year I remember an experience I had many years ago as a teenager. My sister Judy, our Greek American Fields Service sister Charoula, and I were visiting our Uncle Rufus in Chicago…. Read more »