Hills_and_LakeWe’ve been fretting about the state of the world. The other evening we put those worries aside and kayaked on the lake. We were at Sand Bar State Park, a lovely sandy beach with hills running into the lake on the north and south. Those hills used to be mountains, perhaps taller than the Himalayas are now.

The hills are rocky and tree covered. Twelve thousand years ago or so they were barren, having been scraped clean by Ice Age glaciers. Traditional people would have followed the retreating glaciers, so probably arrived in what’s now Vermont about then. By the time Europeans arrived, the dense forests of New England would have appeared to have been here forever. Continue reading

Awaiting Joy

The_Joy_of_SongI  feel deeply blessed, for I have had the opportunity to learn from, and work with, shamans and healers from many traditions and parts of the world. At the center of their practices and lives is the necessity of speaking up for those who have lost voice, including the Earth; feeding, clothing, and educating those who cannot do so for themselves; and awakening joy in oneself and those whose lives we touch.  They showed me that kindness, gratitude, and Joy are the sacred heart of living and healing. I am profoundly grateful. Continue reading

Farewell Christmas

Cat before the hearthToday is January 6th, Little Christmas, Epiphany. In the Orthodox tradition it is Christmas Day. For our family, today marks the last day of Christmas, the day we put away the decorations. (Actually, February 2nd is the last day, but that is another story.) True to form, we gathered all the decorations and returned them to storage. We also dismantled our tree. This process is the opposite of assembling it, with some variations. The first task is to remove from it the myriad birds, animals, angels, musical instruments, bows, and other ornaments we have collected, or made, over the years. Many are quite fragile and must be treated with great tenderness. Next we remove the lights, then separate the tree into sections, so we can return it to the box in which it spends most of the year. Continue reading