July 26, 2012

what a hoot and what it means

Last night I was pondering the state of the world which seems a bit precarious to my eye.  What bothers me most is that most seem to ignore what seems pretty obvious stuff- global warming, over consumption, the fact that we will run out of water, that fact that we are filling the oceans and landfills with trash, and so forth.  So why would anyone drive a huge over powered SUV?  Why are people taking unnecessary drives?  Why do we buy things we don't need?  
I was told that I was not put on this earth to save the world. Thank the good lord for I don't know where to start.  Whales, endangered species, air pollution, Monsanto, the homeless, water?  My mail consists of people asking me to act, to send money and I don't know where to begin.   I stay awake at night some times because I don't understand what to do.  -- the state of the world makes me unhappy,  anxious, angry and wakeful.

the picture is of Hoot, my faithful XB.  I thought when I bought Hoot that she was a car.  Guess what? she is an SUV.  I almost threw a fit when I read that. To me SUV's are evil gas suckers.  Their size blows me away.  Every tried to see beyond  one pulling out of a parking space?    I who wanted a small car with good gas mileage bought an SUV?   Well Hoot is really a benign SUV short, gets good mileage with its little engine  AND I drive slowly. My statement to the world.   I make people crazy because I conserve gas by driving at the speed limit or less.  I do it intentionally not to make them crazy, merely to conserve and also so I can see what is around me (okay there is this perverse side that wants to slow down the rest --  those that are in a rush).  I can do little to save the universe when all others seem intent on using up resources except for this. Hoot and I out to save the world  SLOWLY. 

July 24, 2012

Words that come before all else

 Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen means
 “The Words That Come Before All Else.”   
also know as  “The Thanksgiving Address,”
  Traditional HaudenTheosaunee (Iroquois) say these words to begin each day, 
to open meetings, ceremonies, and socials.   
It is an acknowledgement, greeting,  and appreciation 
for every part of the Natural World.  

It is long.  There is much for which to be thankful.
Remember the Iroquois say this daily 
before they meet or socialize.

It slows one down, grounds one and most importantly
reminds us of  
our connection to all else.
I used to say a shortened version each day as I walked.  I stopped.  I miss it.  
Time to remember to be thankful - to be one.

The Earth Mother

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Waters

We give thanks to all the Waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms - waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of water.

Now our minds are one.

The Fish

We turn our minds to all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Plants

Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants

With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs

Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning, they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

The Animals

We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one.

The Trees

We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many peoples of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

The Birds

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds - from the smallest to the largest - we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds

We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers

Now we turn to the west where our Grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

The Sun

We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon

We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of women all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

The Stars

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to all the Stars.

Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring Teachers.

Now our minds are one.

The Creator

Now we turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

Closing Words

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.

July 23, 2012

less I forget....

This is regalia.  Native American regalia that I have hanging on my wall to remind myself to be who I am.  This was given me by my husband who purchased it from a shop that made it.  I wore it and danced in it in powwows.  Lots of errors, made in innocent at the time.  One does not "buy" regalia or one shouldn't. A Native makes their regalia. A great deal of prayers, love and time go into making one's regalia.  Us white folk shouldn't be taking on native regalia or culture.  It does not matter how much we would like to be Native, how much we admire their culture.    

I had decided I wanted to learn native ways and went up to Canada to sit with the wife of an Elder, the traditional chief.  This woman was amazing.    She told me "go home and learn your roots, your culture your way".  I had more than one Native tell me this.  I so did not want to hear this.  It took me awhile to hear it, get the message.  

My awakening came at a powwow.  Grand Entry is the first dance and it is done by tradition in order.  First to dance in are the men by age, followed by the woman eldest first and then children.  There is more to it than this,  but that is the basic.  Well I was hanging out mid-line waiting to dance in in my store bought regalia.  The women started chatting and comparing ages so the oldest women could move to the front of the line.  Well I was the oldest woman there that day.  White, non-native me, so I led the natives in.   I suddenly understood that this girl from Anglo Celtic roots did not belong in regalia, did not belong in front of the line leading in the Native American women.  

I came home hung up my regalia where I can see it.  I never danced in regalia again. I have never danced in Grand Entry again.   

What a huge lesson. I am still embarrassed that I did not get it for way too long. Do not try to put on the clothes and traditions of others. I would not have put on the clothes of a Buddhist nun would I?

Be who you are
 and be proud of who you are,
 honor your family,
 your culture and  roots. 

July 19, 2012


 Cornflower on the drive in.  Don't see it much in Maine but there is a huge catch along the lane.  I have a few that I have managed to get in  the yard, but just a few.  They are knock out beautiful in the morning and then close up.

July 17, 2012


Three Yellow Curtains Blowing

Right now the winds have picked up after a still, hot, humid day and  these winds feel delightful.  Wind is hard to capture.  Most important is the feel, it touches you and no video or photo captures that.  Then there is sound - you can hear it way away, then it moves toward you sometimes big like a train coming at you and sometimes soft, gentle.  Always an amazing sound.  that sound can be captured.
The fact that wind is out there and we cannot grab it and hold it thrills my soul.  

Wind with its extremes can do such damage. It is a power unto it self. It can be our friend the cooling winds  of tonight / or not a friend, driving rains, pushing fire, blowing down branches, trees. 

“Close your eyes and turn your face into the wind.

Feel it sweep along your skin in an invisible ocean of exultation.

Suddenly, you know you are alive.” 

July 16, 2012

wet sandals

thoughts on wet sandals
     for swimming with great dane  --  great dane swims?
            sandals hold an immense amount of sand
                fantastic buy at goodwill a million years ago
                          Jesus shoes, can you walk on water?


1350–1400; Middle English sandell  < Medieval Latin sandalum  <Late Greek sántalon,  dissimilated variant of sándanon  ≪ Sanskritcandana

July 14, 2012

Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, 
seeing less so I can see more, 
doing less so I can do more, 
acquiring less so I can have more.”

        Jon Kabat-Zinn in Wherever You Go There You Are

July 11, 2012

1625–35, Americanism  < the Massachusett reflex of Proto-Algonquian *šeka·kwa  (derivative of *šek-  urinate + -a·kw  fox,foxlike animal
In case you were wondering this is origin of the word SKUNK.  And why do I bring this up?
Today my dog Shunka met his first skunk.  Not a happy camper my boy.  He stinks in spite of a bath and a day outside and he will not be joining us in the bedroom tonight.  

July 9, 2012

new cut

The year of extremes.  this year the bugs have been remarkable and in hopes of slowing down the hatches we mowed close to the house.  Has it worked?  Will a few thousand fewer be noticed?  the other fields are still full of nesting birds and lots of bugs and we continue to have showers and warm.  I suspect we will have bugs with us for awhile.


Aren't we blessed with a healthy ecology?  
Yet instead of being overjoyed at this, we the guests, the newcomers grump.

July 8, 2012

July 6, 2012


Years ago someone told me about The Four Agreements.  He said I had to read the book.  It took me well over 3 years to do that.  The Four Agreements are what I try to live by now.  Not so easy.  They give me direction at least.  Reading the book puts them into perspective and I used to reread it and reread it, making or at least trying to make it a part of me.  Hard to be us in the world and I am / we are a work in progress.  Time to reread again.

July 4, 2012

July 3, 2012