Today’s silver lining is gold

As anyone in north America knows, this has been a long and difficult winter. Even now, 10 days into spring, the thermometer is hovering around 35, rain falls steadily from a leaden sky, and 3 more inches of white stuff are due tonight.

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BUT … the nyjer feeders, bustling with traffic, offer up one unmistakable sign of spring: the male goldfinches are molting their dull winter plumage and donning the brilliant lemon “gold” of mating season. A great lining for a leaden day.


Many thanks to John Rakestraw for the photo above. Check out his latest, Birding Oregon.

One more

The Layers

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.

A new life

“I can hardly wait for tomorrow, it means a new life for me each and every day.”

Thank you, Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006)

The gift of life

When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you think of your art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgment of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself. And I think the world tends to forget that this … body of work … is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift of life.

Stanley Kunitz, Poet Laureate

Posted on the third anniversary of my mother’s death

No Trace

“The migrating bird leaves no trace behind and does not need a guide.”


Of both earth and heaven

I am awed by the intelligence that flits through my back yard on a daily basis. I hang 2 ounces of sugar water from the awning in a tiny plastic tube, and a ruby-throated hummingbird finds it in a matter of hours. How does he do that? What sense leads him to this little tube in the midst of the vast world? Ditto for the chickadees who know when I’ve replenished the nyjer seed and the downy woodpeckers who drop in when the suet feeders are full. How do they know this? Do they instant message each other?

Here’s another mystery. I have lots of travelers, especially in the spring and fall.

A reminder

“It is the stepping into the unknown, again and again, with our heart facing the direction that we value, that matters.” Jack Kornfield, writer, psychologist, Buddhist monk.

Sounds simple. Straightforward. Oh, that it were.

What direction is your heart facing right now?

The universe is always whispering

Six months ago, I signed on for a new group coaching project. Since then, I’ve been waiting for the organizers to launch it. In early May, we had a flurry of email exchanges, followed by some phone calls. In late May, I had a strong sense of wanting to withdraw. The project still hadn’t launched, but I knew I couldn’t just walk away and leave them in the lurch.

The next day, I got an email from the man who recommended me for the project. He wanted to introduce me, electronically, to a colleague. “I was thinking that if you need a hand with the project or just want some relief, she’d be a great partner.” Wow, I thought. The universe was

Shame and wholehearted living

In The Gifts of Imperfection, shame researcher Dr. Brene Brown says there are 3 things we need to know about shame. Everybody has it [except those with no capacity for empathy or connection]. We’re all afraid to talk about it. And the less we talk about it, the more control we give it in our lives. She’s right, of course, and fortunately, she’s talking about it in ways that give the rest of us permission to do the same.

So if you want to trade your own struggles with shame for what Brene calls “a wholehearted life,” then buy or borrow this book. It’s anchored in cultivating courage, compassion, and connection, not as lofty ideals but as

You can’t get there from here

My dishwasher died this week. It was installed 8.5 years ago and, according to the repairman, dishwashers now last 8 to 12 years. Eight to 12 years?? I’m thinking, Whatever happened to QUALITY!! My lawnmower was made in ’82 and is STILL plugging along!

“Planned obsolescence,” he said, reading my mind. “It’s alive and well.”

So I went online to do some comparison shopping, figuring if I’m going to spend