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Hiking with Leah

Even after all this time The sun never says to the earth–“You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky. Hafiz My daughter Leah and I went on our first of many backpacking trips together when she was nine years old. If you read last week’s post, Yes…

Yes I Can

“Time is the substance I am made of,” wrote Jorge Luis Borges. “Time is a river that sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.” There’s no scrambling up to the…

The Best of Natural Medicine

The body’s harp gets handed to the soul to play. Rumi It is winter time. About a foot-and-a-half of snow remains on the ground, and it is raining and cold, the roads treacherous. Such weather calls for a cup of tea, a fire burning in the wood stove, and a stack of books to keep…

Bearing Witness

It is what I was born for– to look, to listen, to lose myself into the soft world– to instruct myself over and over. . . Mary Oliver The painting you see above was transferred from the riverbank to the canvas by my grandmother, who was an accomplished oil painter. My grandfather was an early…

Happy Hiking

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. Edward Abbey It is New Year’s day, and like many people I become pensive at this time of year, reflecting on the year that has passed and wondering what the new one will…

Sweet Memories from the Summer Sun

Cultivate the attitude of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously. Ralph Waldo Emerson I was delighted recently when a friend gave me a quart of frozen huckleberries. This time of year of course most edible gifts are plates of sugar cookies or a tin of homemade…

Around the Campfire

Do not be surprised that the return of the light lifts your spirits. Do not be surprised that warmth on your back calms you and makes you glad. Feel your spirits lift as the sun rises higher in the sky: this is part of you, this snaky gladness, part of who you have been for…

Petals and Patience

“Patience” comes from the same ancient roots as “petals”—to open like a flower, to unfurl, to receive the stroke of a moth’s tongue and the ministrations of a bee. And so we are given “passive” and “patient” and “passionate.” Kathleen Dean Moore in Wild Comfort The flower you see in the photo above is a…

Remember “The Mountain”

The answer may not be in the mountains, but shouldn’t we at least check? Anonymous As my readers know by now I grew up in Tacoma, Washington with a view of “The Mountain” outside my bedroom window to the east. Everyone referred to it that way, though there were other mountains visible in the nearby…

Grateful for the Trails

The good life gives no warning. It weathers the climates of despair and appears on foot, unrecognized, offering nothing, and you are there. Mark Strand It is Thanksgiving week, so of course it is the time we are officially reminded to be grateful, and many of us come up with a gratitude list. Once a…

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