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 News and Notes

Leaf Lessons

14 September, 2009

Today, part way through my morning walk, I sat down on the stump of a white pine. Gazing into the woods, amazed at all the color, I noticed leaves floating to the forest floor. There was not a great rush of leaves, but rather a leaf or two every few seconds; so I could watch each one float down. It got me wondering if leaf just decided to go to ground, or if it was tree that decided to let go of leaf? Does it make a difference? Sometimes I see myself like that with life. Who's in charge here? To quote a song: "If I was a green oak leaf, growning on a tree, I would help to clean the air and be proud as I could be. But in the fall, I surely would, as my color changed to brown. And tree would finally set me free, to find my way to ground."

I'm getting ready for another great round. Leaving the North woods for the SW desert. Joining with countless other creatures who travel from place to place each year. A lucky creature I am! So does tree hang on to leaf or leaf hang to tree? Perhaps there is an agreement between both. When the time is right. When they both realize!!! Perhaps I am like that as well! "Nothing dies the circle says!"

And so I rise from the stump and give thanks for the lessons, if not totally learned, at least taught.

A wise dog's death

9 August, 2009

Our dog, Charcoal, just shy of her 17th bithday, went on her morning walk on August 6 and never returned. Quite old for a dog, she was mostly deaf and mostly blind; but she still seemed to enjoy her morning walks through the wet grass holding her tail high and using her nose, which still worked well!

My wife and I have looked for her. We've traced the paths she love to walk. Hunted in the thick woods all around our cabin. Stood quiet, as we listened for any sounds she might make. She is gone.

Perhaps she ran off in search of people who'd give her more treats! Maybe she was picked up by someone who felt sorry for her, lost and alone. She may have fallen in the lake, and not being much of a swimmer, drowned. Perhaps she was eaten by coyote. Or bear. Or.... Or.... Or maybe, just maybe, she went out into the woods to die on her own. Her own choice. Perhaps she knew she was to die soon and simply wanted the dignity of doing it her own way.

That's what I choose to believe! Of the many possibilities, that's a choice I can make! Rather than being taken to the vet, as our family was close to doing, she went off on her own and did it her way. It causes me to wonder if I'll have a chance to do that? If I'll have the aility? Strength? Courage? The common sense? I wonder!

The dignity of dying the way one chooses; I'll remember Charcoal for that. I'll keep that memory in my bag of memories and pull it out when I need it. Dying is something that must be done. Dying with dignity can be done.

I thank a wise dog for that!

A Death?

3 June, 2009

It's foggy today. Can't even see across the lake; but I can tell you it's green. Spring green! Even the hardwoods, although not yet fully formed, blessed us, again, with their leaves. All the hardwoods, except one!

An oak tree. She has stood not more than 8 feet from our deck since before we bought this cabin. This spring, like the others in the woods, she pushed out buds; but after they grew a quarter inch long they just stopped. Now she stands bare, as if she thinks it is still winter. She still stands bare within this spring green woods.

I still have hope! I still give her encouragement each day. Perhaps she's waiting for warm weather! Perhaps she decided it just wasn't worth it this year; saving her strength for next!

Perhaps she died.

It's foggy here today!

The Great Round

13 May, 2009

I've just completed another round. A great round! Like some winged ones and fin folk, who, year after year complete their great round; so have I.

After leaving behind warm desert, driving through snow covered mountains and across flat plains; we arrive in the country of woods and lakes. Lake is not frozen! Birch and poplar just beginning their bud. Earth starting to shoot out green. Spring will be seen a second time this year!

What a lucky man I am!


20 January, 2009
I can feel the hope today! I can feel the hope!

Another full Moon

12 January, 2009

Full Moon again!

I've been reading essays by Thomas Berry. They make my head hurt at times, but fill my heart with hope. As humans, just another species of the earth, we have reached the point where we are determing whether the basic life systems of the earth will live or die. As we become more aware of where we came from, the Universe, the Earth; we are acknowledging our role in the human-earth relationship. There is hope, but we must come together as a species. Please take time to listen to Thomas Berry. "Evening Reflections" "The Dream of the Earth".

Please listen to the Earth.

Full moon in October in AZ

14 October, 2008
If there are thousand lovers looking up at moon, then there are a thousand moons! What a wonderful sight.

I've been in Arizona for a couple of weeks now and have been busy listening to and performing music in the Valley of the Sun as well as Prescott, AZ. What a treat it has been to visit with some friends who also believe in acoustic music.

I travled with my wife from Minnesoat to Arizona by National Parks it seems. We were in Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Brice, Zion and the North rim of the Grand Canyon before finally arriving in Apache Junction. I was struck by the variety of the land. Even with all the struggles we are going through at this time, we live in a wonderful country. We live in a wonderful world!

As I see moon rise someone else is waching her set only to be seen as rising as I see it set! Isn't the universe good?

Hummingbirds have left the lake!

16 September, 2008

Well the hummingbirds have gone! I'm not far behind! Loon and Eagle are still here at the lake, but the leaves are turning and falling. I guees it is time to head south. To exchange the peace and quiet of the lake for the noise and excitement of the city! I love them both. What a lucky man I am. Living near the desert in the winter and spending summer at the lake! I will follow the hummingbirds. Hopefully to return in the spring to see them again. Fly!


25 July, 2008

We had summer a week or so ago! It lasted 2 days I think. Perhaps a return engagement will come later this month or next, but who knows. It's very comfortable today with a nice shower of rain last night.

We are remodeling our cabin on Big Elbow Lake in Minnesota. Started last year and the project goes on. I'm telling people that I hope to be done by 2010! If you have ever remodeled you know what I mean. One thing leads to another it seems.

Only 2 months until we head back to Arizona. I am finding that I miss the mountains and desert more than I miss the lakes and trees! For someone who grew up in the North Country, that is a big find! Life changes. It leads me from one thing to another. Change is the only thing that's constant. Hey, that could be a line in a song-think I'll go play guitar.


Minnesota Spring Thoughts

9 May, 2008

Ice is gone! Lake has become liquid once again. The last few days I've watched and listened to its transformation.

First to leave is ice near shore; leaving room for all sorts of creatures. (Duck, beaver, loon, osprey, muskrat, blue heron, eagle and more!) Then, as wind blows, ice floats from side to side; sometimes creating great piles of itself, as it creeps upon the shore. But, for me, the most amazing part is the sounds! As soft as rustling of leaves, as sharp as constant cracking of glass; it seems ice is giving voice to change. It is no longer "top dog"! It's mass slowly breaking apart and falling to the depths, where it slowly dissolves to become one with itself. Was it ever separate? I heard it singing about itself. Was it a song of pain? Frustration? Happiness? Joy? I guess it's up to me to decide.

Perhaps that is the way of life. It is my choice to decide. As I age, I see less "right" and "wrong" in life. Just experience! I am becoming less judgemental! A quote from a song that came to me: "Now that I am middle-aged; things convex appear concave".Liquid lake? Frozen lake? Which is better? Both the same.

It's spring in Minnesota. I see fish tracks on the lake. Ten months ago today my brother died. I guess that will be for later writing!

Catch a bunch!

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