Fire and the Danger of What We Exclude

Fire and the Danger of What We Exclude In writing The Uninvited Guest: Finding a Path to a Conscious Activism,  I have to work in fits and starts. Is it always that way when you are riding the edge? I am working something through. This morning I realized there is an underlying myth that’s been tailing me for ages,… Read more »

Arrival of the Uninvited Guest

Arrival of the Uninvited Guest Today I submitted my application for a two week residency next fall at Mesa Refuge, Point Reyes Station, California. I worked over the weekend summarizing my project, a manuscript that has been resting in the dark ground of my imagination over the last year. I had to write a one… Read more »

Activism: Ego Challenges

I remember sitting on the splintery, wooden pews of our country church, listening to scripture.  The minister’s monotone voice competed with the drone of the microphone, “Look at the birds of the air… Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, will he not much more… Read more »

Land Use and Spirit

Land Use and Spirit When was it that we stopped considering Spirit of Place first, and use of the land only in concert with Spirit? My family came from Ireland and Wales a couple of generations back, and land was and continues to be a presence that endures, like a good mother. Everything stems from her and through… Read more »

Another First: May Day-ed!

Another First: May Day-ed! I was napping in the back room when a loud rapping came at the closed door. Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! It was hot and we had been out to the Napa Home and Garden Show, so I was pretty out of it when this rapping occurred. Knowing my young grandsons were… Read more »

Earth Jurisprudence: UN Harmony with Nature Project

Earth Jurisprudence: UN Harmony with Nature Project Starting Earth Day, April 22, 2016, I am participating in a two month Virtual Dialogue on Earth Jurisprudence with the UN Harmony with Nature project.  Those of us participating are from various disciplines: Earth-centered Law; Ecological Economics; Education; Holistic Science; Philosophy/Ethics; the Arts, Media, Design and Architecture; and Theology/Spirituality.  My own discipline… Read more »

Private Property Rights and the Commons, Ego and Self

Private Property Rights and the Commons, Ego and Self Earth Day, April 22, 2016 Recently I became editor of Eyes on Napa, the newsletter for Napa Vision 2050. This citizen watchdog group is composed of representatives of 14 different citizen groups who are concerned about what is going on in their neighborhoods. My own group, Dry Creek… Read more »

Tall Grasses and Goat Trainers

Tall Grasses and Goat Trainers by Melissa McLaughlin I have been spending the early mornings and evenings pulling weeds in the lavender while the boys play various games throughout the large lavender plants. I work my way up the rows, clearing out the tall grasses within the plants so that, when we harvest, the bouquets will be… Read more »

Snake Mind: The Serpent and the Ally

Snake Mind: The Serpent and the Ally Yesterday a beautiful garter snake stretched herself between two awakening lavender plants. She was quiet, absorbing the April sun and preparing to shed her skin. Although I stood within a foot of her, she did not move. April is the month snakes return from their winter haunts in… Read more »

Lavender and the Ice Cube: Preparation for Life (and Birth)

Lavender and the Ice Cube: Preparation for Life (and Birth) by Melissa McLaughlin From the time I was pregnant with our first child, lavender has been a part of our “toolkit” for surviving and thriving through birth and parenthood. Over time I will share some of the ways we have used lavender as parents. Our… Read more »