The Warming of the Waters

IMG_20180307_080056The edge of winter is beginning to soften ever so slightly here on the Modoc Plateau. There remains another 10 weeks of unpredictable cool weather up here, but I am able to observe the warming of waters. The ice is transforming into its aqueous phase. Small rivulets of water have appeared on the soil surface.

Spring is being introduced by the coming of Light, more sunlight. Wow. The wonder of sunlight. It is the catalyst which drives the alchemy of the emergence of green life of this season. Deep changes in the soil. The quickening of new life, new tissues being formed. A release from the dark, frozen state to one of release, change, renewal and growth. The soil lets go of its slumber and inertia driven by cold. It is a time of tremendous, miraculous alchemy.

The alchemy of Spring simply happens with our Mother. There is nothing humans need to do to drive this intricate process. It is organic, taking on its own form and juices as it unfolds. I realize that becoming fully human is also an organic process, a pathway laid out and constructed by Gaia Herself. My illusion lies in my monkey brain, the part of me that thinks…. the part of my brain that incessantly chatters and chitters and thinks that it is somehow in control. My monkey brain also tells me whether I am worthy, beautiful, whole or loved. Or the opposite: I am unworthy, ugly, fractured and unloved. The monkey brain is only about 2% of my brainpan. Only 2%. Yet I give it voice and authority as if it is all of me.

The secret to connection, love, trust, and hope live in the soil of my subconscious, the other 98% of my brain function. There lies the moist soil of wholeness and is hardwired to Our Mother. My monkey brain tirelessly throws up pictures on the wall of my third eye, mostly negative, like a movie projector gone rogue. To allow myself to experience and be tranformed by the seasonal pulse of Spring, I have to stop the incessant noise and “fake news” of my monkey brain. I say, “go for the plug” and unplug this projector as often as you can remember to do so. And let Mother transform you effortlessly into a new emergence as a tender new shoot. Namaste..

From silence and deep soil comes
release, change. New growth
sprouts unbidden, unencumbered.

Let go. Cast off your sleep
As your Mother awakens you
like a child in slumber,
and quickens new tissue, new life
into your Being.
Warmth rises freely, organic.

Great change is coming…


It is a sobering fact that our atmospheric chemical composition has been altered by industrial pollutants. This alteration has resulted in creating atmospheric instability that is highly unpredictable and destructive. I belong to a conservation group called TreeSisters. This organization, along with Rainforest Alliance, the Arbor Day Foundation, National Forest Foundation, Eden Reforestation Project, Trees for the Future, the Greenbelt Project, American Forests, Plant-for-the-Planet, Greening Australia and others are planting trees – millions of them on a yearly basis. Simply planting trees. A global climatic emergency is in the making, one we will see and experience unfold in most of our lifetimes. As an ecologist, I have no doubt cropped-selfie_millerlakeabout this. Over population coupled with voracious consumption of natural resources has already determined this path. Although planting trees will not stop this change from occurring, it is a mitigating effort to minimize the amplitude of this climatic shift on all living systems.

Our Mother is self regulating. She has layers of intricate processes that go into effect to balance and harmonize Her body. As a species, we are part of Her body and our activities have had a significant effect on other species who are our equals and brothers and sisters in this miraculous place. This is all about Gaia Herself. She will retain what is important for her own Life and evolution. We have been blessed to be part of that process, and are highly successful in progenating our numbers across the globe. Our appetite as a species is HUGE. We have consumed everything in our path, so to speak, and will continue to do so today, tomorrow and in the future. Most of humanity is “not awake” yet. Not conscious of how we continue to feed and gorge ourselves as a single species on Mother’s bounty. Like a child who goes into the pantry and stuffs themselves on the carefully prepared foodstuffs, I personally believe that She will simply “take away our plate” in a manner which says “You have eaten enough, it’s not good for you or your brothers and sisters”.

My word to you is this…. PLANT TREES. Put your money where your mouth is.

Inner Heat

As I described in earlier writing, as a girl I had an imaginative alter ego who I simply named Barbara Cowboy. Her existence in my imagination and play took place decades before the theory and language of current day Feminism and Spiritually were formed. And Her story continues….
She had the gift of making fire. I have never seen anything like it. I would gather whatever I could find, often hastily constructed into a loose mound. It did not matter what the fuel was made of, stones piled in mud topped with a handful of green leaves, dry sticks and grass, wet twigs, frozen pine cones, algae strands collected from a slow running creek. Barbara Cowboy carried a source of heat deep, deep inside Herself. Like a coal stored deep in the ashes of the world, kept bright, smoldering.

I noticed that She never seemed to get cold, even when the temperatures dropped, and sleet blew in horizontal streaks across a landscape. She did not own a coat, or heavy skin to drape over her back. Her only cover was a serape-like blanket in colors of ochre, with striations of green, blue and white interwoven in colorful rows. I would often watch her unfurl it from a pouch in her saddle bags, throw it around her shoulders like a market shawl and throw me a quick grin and a wink as She wandered ahead leading her horse. In the most inclement weather, her hands were warm, downright toasty. Raindrops and snowflakes would dissipate on her skin, and rise like clouds of vapor to the heavens. Internal heat, always present, always warming. Never too hot or too cool. She made fire-tending look as easy as taking a breath.

In some spiritual teachings, the hands are identified as having the gift to begin and end all sorts of manifestation in this world. With our left hand, we receive what the universe offers us, and with our right hand we release or send these gifts to others and the world. I often witnessed Barbara Cowboy extend her right hand to make fire. She did not seek to receive anything from the world to make fire. She used what was inside herself, her internal flame, and would merely reach out to gift it to whatever fuel lay before her hand. Be it dung, waste wrappings, improbable fuel choices….it didn’t matter. A heat would be released and ignition … the bright flames of transformation would rise. Without effort, simply and freely given. Simply by using INTENT to give to herself the warmth she needed.

Build your campfire and throw onto it your personal garbage, limited self perceptions, feelings of not being seen or heard. Throw your sense of unworthiness on top of it all and reach out your right hand. Release your heat, buried beneath the ashes of your world. It’s there, believe you me. Release your fire as a gift to the universe and watch the flames of your own transformation reach to the sky above. Then turn around and walk your path with your left hand held high. Let out a whoop!

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Self Reflections

I was born into this world 64 years ago today. It has been a long journey around the Medicine Wheel, and I now find myself in the North at this period of my life. Crone, now Wise Woman … a title I now wrap myself in like a skin laid upon my shoulders. This time of the Wheel is one of wisdom, introspection and freedom. My walk with Mother Earth has been with me since I was small. She was part of my environment, but more in my imagination and within my play dreams. I had an alter ego whom I named Barbara Cowboy. I was born in the 1950’s when choices for women were limited. One could grow up to be a housewife, secretary, waitress or an airline stewardess. Women did not have the language or words for Feminism or Enlightenment.

I had an alter ego which I named Barbara Cowboy. She was no little girl but a full grown woman and feral. She could wield a knife with precision, wore pants with leather chaps, could ride a horse bareback without reins and knew the names of the plants and critters in her world. She jingled as she walked, with silver conchos and bracelets on her wrists and her hair was braided in a thick tail down the middle of her back. She lived outdoors in all kinds of weather and whooped when the storms moved through. She walked through my dreams at night, and went before me in my play time. I wanted to be HER when I grew up. I have always considered Her my guide, an avatar, so to speak and She was/has been with me as I grew into my adulthood as a woman.

1519973667143I’ve made lots of poor choices in my living, but when it came to building a career direction I chose to follow Her guiding compass. I attended college late, as a single parent with two young daughters in tow. I voraciously gobbled up classes in botany, biology, ornithology, mammalogy, ichthyology, dendrology, forest ecology, soils, hydrology and anything else that piqued my understanding of the natural world we live in. I completed degrees in Wildlife Biology, Forestry, and graduate studies in Wetland Ecology. I have worked as a botanist, restoration ecologist, big game biologist, wetland specialist, plant biogeochemist and physiologist. I know the names of critters, plants, soils, herbs and understand a bit of how this miraculous world wags with its large nutrient, water and atmospheric cycles. My breath is Mother’s Breath. My Heart will forever be with Her…… And, I can wield a knife with great precision……