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Celebrating Spiritual Transformation

I lost my dearly loved uncle last week to lung cancer. After the long battle, he quietly slipped up into the ethers, trailing love and peace in his departure. Though, I expected to hear the news of his death at any point, there is little on earth that can prepare a surviving loved one for the moment of passing. The nanosecond I heard the news, my breath was swiped away and my hands instinctively cupped my face as I watered them in tears.

Why did I weep? Yes, he will be deeply missed. Yes, he played a significant role in the lives of many. But, what was the true source of my tears? Isn’t it a blessing that his suffering finally ended? Isn’t he now in a happier more blissful place?

Society molds us into the people we are, influencing us to think and behave the way we do. Society teaches us that death is bad, scary, unknown and final, but is it any of those things? Since I was raised to believe this, of course I would immediately be shocked into tears of loss and pain. I question- is this necessary? And, I ask a more provoking question- is this even the truth or reality?

The moment my uncle died, I learned that others felt ecstatic energy in the room with him. Visiting family interpreted that his spirit was filled with this very energy; or rather that he WAS this very energy after dying. I italicize the word dying here, because this process doesn’t feel to me like a death at all. It feels more like a birth but on the other end of life. The body dies but our essence, our soul, our Being (whatever you feel comfortable naming it) continues, shifting into another state of consciousness and energetic form. That evening after he shifted, I was told, “He is ecstatic!” It is now clear to me that he has done anything but die. Instead, he has spiritually transformed.

The night I heard the news Stephen sat down and did with me what he does best. He lovingly coached and nurtured me through the process of death, the emotional attachment to life, the bigger picture of it all, and together we explored the spiritual possibilities of my uncle’s transformation. (I should mention that Stephen is a deeply spiritual and compassionate Being with lots of coaching experience and natural psychic gifts.) He is such a blessing to me.

I learned that I needed to cry it all out and grieve. I should not hold on to any of it. I should allow my emotions to flow through, and allow them to do just that- flow THROUGH. Don’t hang on to any of it. Death should be celebrated. (In some cultures it actually is celebrated.) After all, my uncle himself is now totally ecstatic and free of pain and limits. How could I not celebrate this? I must cry for my and the family’s loss, but then I should celebrate his spiritual progression.

I also wanted to connect with my uncle one last time after his death. I wanted to see him, feel his presence or dream about him. A selfish desire maybe, but I wanted this all the same.  I learned that this would be difficult to experience until I released some of my grief. I am not saying that one cannot experience a visitation while still in the throes of grief, because I know this has happened for many, but for me it was far easier after my intense emotions had dissolved.

The next day after he died, I felt much lighter. I was still in a faint daze of loss, but my thinking had shifted. (Much thanks to Stephen) I knew that my uncle was in an ecstatic state. I knew that this alone sincerely and lovingly deserved celebrating. This knowing guided me through my grief. I also intuitively knew that with my spiritual-emotional shift, I would connect with him. Or rather, I would make a portal, a spiritual window in divine multidimensional space, available for him to connect with me. And, that is exactly what happened.

I did not see his vision, dream of an encounter nor did I hear his voice in my head. It was nothing quite as grand or obvious. I simply felt different, VERY different. I was straightening up the house that afternoon, a routine activity, when he entered my thoughts. I suddenly felt intense celebratory energy emanating from my heart. At that moment, I truly undoubtedly knew exactly what it meant to CELEBRATE his death, his spiritual evolution. This felt like pure divine love streaming through my heart and into my entire Being. It seemed to fill the whole room I was in. I felt deeply happy, pure bliss and a peaceful joy. I felt my uncle’s ecstatic energy. He was there with me then. These feelings lasted for some time. Any remaining grief I had was completely dissolved and replaced by this experience.

I no longer agree that death is bad, scary, or final. Nothing about his transformation feels negative in any way or final in the least. If anything, he is now divine, ever expansive and continuous.

♥   ♥   ♥

I share this story not to broadcast my family’s personal loss, but to shed some light on my own experience. I lovingly intend that this may offer a shift in thinking, solace, hope, insight and ecstatic peace and joy to anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one.  Peace and Love to ALL.

♥   ♥   ♥

I wrote the following poem for my uncle the evening I heard he passed away from lung cancer.  Each word flowed from me alongside tears mixed with loss and joy. Surprisingly, I created this short piece in a matter of seconds. I am either deeply inspired by intense emotion or I simply cracked opened during my emotional release and streamed his divine energy. Perhaps a little of both are the truth.

♥ I dedicate this to you, Bruce. You are dearly loved and I celebrate you…

As the sun spills across the horizon, you shed your physical form. You run along the sun kissed oceans, laughing in delight.

Expand deeply and lovingly into ecstatic peace. You are now the very breath of life.

Fly free, my spirit brother. Fill your light body with divine energy and ecstatic joy. Fill your lungs deeply with BLISS, my spirit brother. Dance. Play. Rejoice. Love with divine freedom and joyful abandon.

You are now purely LOVE itself.

Body of Divine Light

Body of Divine Light

♥ I dedicate this poem from The Prophet to all Beings who are transitioning into spiritual, ethereal bodies of light, peace and pure love…

“If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then you shall truly dance.”
~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

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Being the Light of Winter

Winter Solstice Blessings

Winter Solstice Blessings

Winter has kissed us crisply on our cheeks. December 21st  marked the winter solstice. As the sun sunk into the sky that brisk day, daylight reached its minimum. For three days, the sun lingered along the horizon, coddling us with the longest nights of the year. Now, the sun begins its ascent into the northern sky. The days grow incrementally longer, slowly tempting us with the promise of sweet spring as each day passes. This time of year invites emotional comfort, new beginnings and cleansing traditions.

Consider transitioning from holiday feasts to that of a gentle cleanse. I am a proponent of cleansing by way of nutrient dense juicing. Vegetable juice offers a high concentration of nutrients that your body can readily assimilate. Incorporating daily juices will help fend off illness during the cold months ahead. Juicing is also an affective platform to launch better eating habits. Often, a short three-day juice feast will encourage your body to crave healthier foods. Many times a cleanse of this nature is exactly what your body needs to purify from the rich holiday menus, gently guiding your diet towards fresher, lighter meals and wholesome raw foods. You may drink four to six quarts of juices during a proper juice feast. Hunger should not be an issue, for your body is flooded with pure nutrition. If you choose to undergo a juice feast, please click HERE to learn more. Whether you are inspired by a full juice cleanse or simply want to add a juice or two to your current daily diet, the following green juice recipe will be a wonderful staple in your regimen.

Green Juice

2 apples

1 bunch celery

½ inch fresh ginger

1 lemon

1 cucumber

1 bunch greens of choice (try kale, spinach, chard, parsley, etc.)

Wash then cut all the ingredients into a size and shape that will fit through your juicer. Push the vegetables through the juicer. Collect all the juice in a bowl, cup or jar and drink immediately. Refrigerate any remaining juice in an airtight container, and be sure to drink it within the day.

Yields approximately one quart of juice.

The Green Star GS1000 is the juicer I personally and professionally use. It is a twin gear juicer designed to press the juice out of vegetables. In doing so, the nutritional integrity of juice stays intact. Juice pressed from this machine oxidizes at a slow rate. Because of this, you can make your juices in the morning, store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator, and they will stay fresh and nutritious throughout the day. The Green Star is ideal for juicing green leafy vegetables like kale, herbs and spinach. It produces the highest yield of juice from fruits and vegetables, giving you the most out of your produce in both quantity and quality. I love my Green Star! It is, by far, the best juicer I have used. It is the juicer of choice for many raw food restaurants, schools and chefs.

Winter Shana

Winter Shana

You are all wrapped up, cloaked from head to toe, snuggled warmly from Winter’s chill. Realize your body lives, it breathes, under all those threads and layers. Don’t neglect what you can’t see. There are many things you can do to keep your body vibrant during these cold months. Juicing is clearly one of the best habits to embrace, keeping you healthy and beautiful from the inside out. However, you should also nurture yourself topically, because caring for your skin will keep you looking and feeling young. Staying hydrated with supple skin in the winter can be easy.

For a silky, soft body, lavish yourself in moisture. Your skin is the body’s largest organ. It has the ability to absorb nutrients, filtering it directly into your bloodstream. Be aware of how you choose to moisturize yourself. Are you buttering yourself up with seductively scented toxins (from name-brand lotions) or nature’s purest ingredients? Where your skin is concerned, it makes a difference. Though you are not slathering your favorite lotions on your morning toast, if you apply it to your skin or lips, you are indeed consuming it. Try using edible oils on your body. Coconut oil is a simple and deliciously refreshing alternative to manufactured moisturizers. Coconut oil is one of the most moisturizing oils while not leaving a greasy feeling. It is pure and smells like sweet dreamy summers. Avocado oil is another luxurious oil. It’s said to be excellent for problem skin such as extreme dryness and eczema. It softens, increases elasticity and leaves no greasy residue while moisturizing the skin. Experiment with various oils of your liking, gifting your body a healthy, NATURAL luster.

Be Light & Play

Be Light & Play

As you settle into this darkened season, it is important to kindle the LIGHT within yourself. Learn to see the magic and beauty in everything around you. As merry as the holiday season was, don’t rely on it solely for positivism and joy. Reach within for true solace and enchantment. By doing so, you will begin to see your world through sparkling fresh eyes. Embrace the gifts of the winter. Allow yourself to love what you may have resisted in the past. Shed preconceived thought patterns. Begin anew. Renew and awaken right this very moment.

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking, and learn to live in the world like a lighthearted child. The next time it rains, get wet. Few things are more memorable then hiking in the rain, smelling the pine filtered air, sensing the dense quite of the landscape, knowing you are alone but amidst everything at once. Play. Jump in a puddle to see how big of a splash you can make. Laugh. Forget your umbrella. Or, on a thick foggy morning, walk along the ocean, listening to the unseen waves, feeling the sting of mist on your cheeks. Or, simply stay home, safe and cozy. Build a fire and light candles. Be grateful for weather that promotes snuggles, rest and quiet moments. If you are bright within, you will create a brilliant world around you. Practice seeing, feeling and expressing joyous light in every moment.

Raw Vegan Mango Torte

Raw Vegan Mango Torte

Season’s greetings, or rather, season’s eatings. As those around you invest in their favorite weight gain strategies, take a moment to consider the bigger picture. Is it health and vitality that will greet you on the other side of 2010 or will you face the promise of a renewed gym membership and dietary angst? If weight management and health often grace the top of your resolution list, take heed of your deepest wishes. Do this now and every day. Live in the moment. Desire better for yourself, and provide yourself the same attention, nurturing and support you would give a dear friend or loved one. You are important. Treat yourself like it, and honor yourself with compassionate LOVE and deep RESPECT.

Blessings in radiant health, renewal and peace!

The Death of My Life

Carve Your Own Path

Carve Your Own Path

Do you want to change your life? I mean really change your life? Do you long to tear it down to the last thread of its current existence and weave a new lifestyle, livelihood, a new identity? If your answer is yes, you are among the millions who are searching for something bigger, something more fulfilling. You yearn for a lifestyle change. You expect more from yourself; you are seeking a greater return on life.

Life is full of movement. Change is the ebb and flow, the breath, of our existence. We learn to move with the winds of desire, opportunity and inspiration. However, what if those winds whip us against a corner, whisking away opportunity, forcing us to take action, make rash changes or settle for less? The current economy has done just that to millions. Real estate and jobs have been lost, families struggle, the individual questions the system.  Many sulk in the corner after that whipping, immobilized by fear and constraint.

I have highlighted a grim picture of our current plight. Is it really this bad? To many, the answer is an emphatic yes. It is difficult to focus on anything more than restriction and lack when treading through the muck of these hardships. But, is it? Can a refocus on new positive changes be possible? I believe anything is possible.

What would happen if you used upheaval and failure to create the life you have always wanted? Could you imagine doing such a courageous feat in the face of defeat? It is time to move towards your true life path. This is something that needs attention whether you have suffered a loss or not.

The time is now.

I am addressing those who have been forced into unsavory life situations, because that is the most challenging position to move out of due to the debilitating wounds of a fall. However, anyone can restructure and redefine lifestyle. It does not take a tragedy to desire more out of life. The yearning for personal evolution and truth exists within us all.

Do you want more out of your life? Of course you do! It is time to CREATE the life you have always deep down felt you were meant to live.

Allow me to share my personal story of loss, growth, courage, fear and transformation.  I was raised with high financial morals. At age 14, my mother made it clear that if I wanted a car at age 16, I would have to buy it myself. I got my first job waiting tables at a small, local café and slowly earned, diligently depositing every cent of my income into my new savings account. Two years later, on my 16th birthday, I bought my first car with all my saved earnings. This was the beginning of my perfect life. Or, so I thought.

I lived the standard life. You know, the life that parents, peers, scholars and society pushes, the one that trucks you along from school to college, from job to career, from renting to home ownership in hopes of delivering the great American dream of material happiness and eternal gluttony. I reached the pinnacle of this dream in my early thirties. I made it. I had the college degree, the career, the home. I paid all my bills in full and on time. My credit was so shinny clean; I could see my own reflection in it. And, believe me, it reflected perfection. I was a success by society’s standards. However, never once did I ask what my standards were, nor did I wonder what it was I considered to be true perfection.

I was so devoted to the principles by which I thought I should live my life that I failed to look at what it was I truly wanted. I thought I wanted everything I had. I thought I loved consumerism. Ironically, I was the one being consumed. Something was wrong.

By the time I realized that my life was incongruent with my greater wellbeing, I was firmly set within it. My house, which had lost value due to the economic downturn, was a giant cement block attached to chains that coiled around and imbedded into my legs. My career paid the bills, yes, but lacked the luster it once did, painting my daily routine in the dullest of colors. I was fading behind obligation. My inner light flickered in desperate attempts to ignite some former passion and enthusiasm for a creative, fanciful, courageous and bountiful future that no longer seemed to exist.

I was so consumed by the life I thought I should live and the things I thought I should own and the person I thought I should be that I was not cognizant of any of this. I clung to society’s ideals. Oddly, I was still considered a success.

Then it happened.

I was a commissioned corporate employee, and as the economy slid down the muddy hills of defeat, my income dropped like a sack of rocks. It crushed everything in its path. I watched in horror as my house and flawless record shattered around me in tiny shards of imperfection reflecting back at me. I curled up in a ball of failure, embarrassment, lack, fear, disbelief and shock. The wounds caused by those jagged little mirrored shards, bled the life right out of me.

This was an absolute blessing in disguise.

The life that bled from my devastated body was no real life at all. As I slowly uncurled myself from that agonizing ball, something greater within me began to unravel. I awakened. A fire started to smolder, and I began to fan the flames of new possibilities. I questioned everything. My values, career, lifestyle and self-image were suddenly splayed across the butcher block to be trimmed or discarded. I knew there was something more within me, something I earnestly wanted to uncover and celebrate. I began to see a clear ray of my true essence where there were once only clouds of obligatory accomplishment shrouding my reality.

This is what I discovered.

I am a precious being with a compassionate heart full of love and wonderment. I am connected ever so delicately with all other life forms and natural elements. I am ONE with the earth, oceans and the skies. My spirit vibrates to the pulse of the universe. I am raw and awake. I am that wild animal with keen senses, untamed, alert and excited. I am the wind, the sun and the rain. I am the lightening that streaks across the darkened night, fierce and poignant. My body has its own intelligence, aligned to my soul’s path. I flow with the synchronicities of life. I am life. I inhale wisps of tranquility and exhale healing harmony. I am everything I have ever imagined. I am every dream that has bounced off my pillowcase. I am that wish upon a falling star from the milky heavens. I am adventure and exploration. Bliss twinkles from my eyes. Curiosity rolls over my lips. I am pure. My life energy is gentle yet powerful, capable and captivating. I radiate like polished crystals.  I am boundless, timeless, and priceless.

So, I quit my day job.

With this single choice, I stepped out of an insignificant life of limits, monotony, lack, fear, disharmony, worry, structure, and confinement, and I stepped into SIGNIFICANCE. As I tepidly stretched my foot over that threshold, I was tempted to maintain my familiar mediocrity by a lifetime of social conformity. It took every trembling ounce of courage and faith I had, but I did it. I took that step. I broke free. With my intuition ablaze and trust in my soul’s greater purpose, I changed my life.

I connected to my passion, my spirit and my higher ideals. I now have my own practice, and I work at what I love. I offer Reiki healings. I teach. I write. I create raw cuisine. I use my intuition in my spiritual readings. I coach others to connect with personal truth and to live significantly. My heart now beats to the tempo of my life work and my whims. Now that I flow with my life instead of force it, my work feels more fanciful and creative. It is my whim, for it is my muse; it is whimsical. As I allow myself to transform and grow, as a result, so does my effort. My passion and my labor have become synonymous. I invite change instead of confront it. I now sway to my own rhythms. I breathe in freedom. It is fresh, invigorating and inspiring. I can now see a fulfilling and abundant future.

I formerly believed that society wanted me to be that other thing, that unimaginative employee with the hefty mortgage and spotless accounting record. I thought perfection was owning that car, having the highest credit rating, making the safest choices, living within structure, and, ultimately, being an insipid enculturated debutante.

The irony is I followed my soul’s true path, and I now have more respect and more personal and spiritual abundance than I ever did before not because I am somehow now better, but because I am living a congruent, passionate, grateful, loving, positive, compassionate and free flowing life. I am living the life that used to occupy my heart in daydreams.

I faced my greatest fears. I took that step. Where there was once defeat, loss and a sense of failure now exists innate knowing, soulful endeavors, spiritual awareness and natural living.

I am exactly like YOU. We share the same inner brilliance. We are no different. We each have higher ideals and a heart opening, nurturing, healing, awakening purpose.

I know many of you reading this ache to embrace that greater calling. Whether it is leaving a dead-end job, selling a home, recreating a relationship, starting your own business or embarking on a dream you have always thought was just out of your reach, you, too, can live your highest Truth. It is more than possible. I now realize perfection is not defined by society. Perfection is simply and only divine. It is within us all. Can you feel it smoldering deep within you?

How will you create your divine life, the life of your unlimited imagination, the life you were BORN to live?

Leave Your Own Beautiful Trail

Leave Your Own Beautiful Trail

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Communing with Water

Flowing water over Galena Creek, Reno, Nevada

I love water.  Water is movement, action, vibrancy and life.  I love water in all forms.  I enjoy watching water run over slick rocks in creeks, carrying with it many life forms, providing a self-sustaining ecosystem.  I enjoy sitting in the damp sand, watching the ferocity and energy of ocean waves as they slap shorelines, intimidating me, exciting me.  The power dwarfs me, humbling me.   I also relish in simple pleasures like long showers.  I cherish my time under the hot flowing water as it cleanses and awakens me.

Water is musical.  Some of my favorite sounds are of rumbling creeks and of trickling water fountains.  I can think of countless times I have snuggled up in my home, listening to the symphony of raindrops as they pound on my rooftop like a team of thundering pianos.

When the skies open, I cannot contain myself.  I want to be in the rain, in the flurry and liveliness of nature as it washes the earth.  My fondest childhood memories are of my long walks in the rain with my father in the wooded Oakland hills.  The dark, wet daylight would amplify the green trees and vegetation.  Life stood still, and all that could be heard was the pitter-patter of wet drops on exposed leaves.  The sounds of water can be calming as well as dramatic.

I have always loved being in water.  Swimming is a source of pleasure for me.  As a child, I would turn into a wrinkled prune before I ever considered leaving the pool.  As an adult, I swim to relax and energize.  I love the way it makes me feel physically, emotional and spiritually.  Exercise improves the body and mind, but swimming, for me, takes the experience an extra step.  I can meditate in and around water.  When I swim laps, I get into a grove, a meditation so to speak.  I can truly turn off my mind, allowing my body to flow.  It is rhythmic.

This rhythm and the clear presence I have when I commune with water is the common theme behind my love for water.  Water is power, it flows, and I feel my body and my spirit flows with it.  I can float into a restful yet powerful place when I am by a creek, an ocean, or even as I stand with my arms open to a storming sky.  I simply love the way water sounds, feels and gives life.

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”

Quote by Loran Eiseley, The Immense Journey, 1957

Birthday Blessings

Birthday Blessings!

Birthday Blessings!

Life is beautiful, and I am in love with it. Today is my birthday. As I wake up and settle into this new day, I look back and realize, with deep gratitude, that I have been living every day like it’s my birthday. And why not?! You should do this as well, living life completely with a receptive heart, open and clear. Nurture yourself. Love yourself. Did you know that the simple words, thank you, will raise your vibration, for it is one of the purest prayers you could utter? Say, “thank you,” feeling the words reverberate within you. Thank you. I love you.

What are you grateful for? This is an inspiring question and the mantra of Café Gratitude. Last night, on the eve of my birthday, Laura and I went to the Café Gratitude in Healdsburg to listen to raw chef Melissa Mango speak for the Monday Night Live series. Melissa, I might add, is a wonderful spirit. She is absolutely vibrant.  Laura and I had a fantastic time, and I love the photo above of us- two friends mingled with deliciousness. Thank you.

I am grateful for the growing raw community in my area. It is such a blessing to walk into an establishment, as I did last night, and know so many sweet souls. We shared smiles, conversation and delicious foods. I sipped on an ‘I Am Succulent,’ a grapefruit apple celery mint juice, which was divine, sweet and refreshing. I dined on my favorite entree, ‘I Am Sensational,’ the pesto pizza with hemp seed basil pesto & olive tapenade- oh so good! And for dessert, the entire staff of Café Gratitude crowed around my table hopping around, dancing, and clapping while joyously singing, They Say it’s Your Birthday, by the Beatles. My cheeks blushed through big grins. The cake that was delivered, garnished with a single red lit candle, was amazing. It was a layered strawberry shortcake made of nut flour called ‘I Am Rapture.’ How appropriate; need I say more?! Thank you.

As memorable as this evening was, the true blessing was gifted to me much earlier in the day. Laura hosted a Reiki class, and I joined her for it. I love Reiki. The energy flow is soothing and enlightening. Though I have been healing and attuning others with Reiki for many moons now, I am still caught in the wonderment of it. There is so much that cannot be seen that exists. Reiki energy is powerful, no doubt. It heals the body and sharpens the ethereal body and intuition. Every time I work with this energy, I feel spiritually empowered. I received a healing attunement for my birthday. Though my birthday presents have yet to roll in, I am certain that the attunement will dwarf all other tangible gifts.  I felt intense energy all around me, hitting me in waves, rolling over and around me like a gentle warm ocean. I sank into a deep meditation, my ankle twitched, my third eye ignited. Thank you.

The third eye, often referred to as the inner eye, is the portal that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. Lately, during my meditations, I feel intense pressure in my forehead at my third eye. Yesterday, my forehead was on fire, intensely pulsating with the Reiki. I felt an energy shift as “something” left me. Reiki attunements amplify healing energies, clearing blocks and aligning the Self to higher purpose. Since the healing works energetically, it deeply nurtures the body as well as the soul. This treatment enveloped me, and I glowed for hours afterwards, basking in my heightened lightness. I am curious to see how I unfold as the days drift by. I wonder what blocks left me during this session, what energetic resistances were whisked away by the Reiki healing. I am blessed. I see this. I truly know this. Thank you.

You, too, are deeply blessed. I want you to see and know this for yourself. Take the time to count your gifts, your blessings. What are you grateful for today? What treasures lie within your life that need to be picked up and polished, acknowledged and showcased? Smile for no reason. Enjoy the people around you with fresh eyes. Appreciate and earnestly love your Self. Give and receive without expectation. Open your heart. Live in abundance. Honor your truth and cherish your precious life.

Thank you. I love you.

Crow Spirit

Two Crows

Two Crows

Nature is my religion. My soul communes with the outdoors, gifting me great spiritual inspiration.  I love the northern California beaches. Oceanic power induces deep meditations, harmonizing my center with life, rhythmically soothing and empowering me.  I also love the soft hills of Sonoma County, my current residence, with its rich carpet of grape vines and dried summer grass. I cast my gaze, wanting to reach out and run my fingers through it, feeling the prolific sweet fibers of the wine country. But what I really love is a densely wooded forest, dark green canopies, cushy earth, thick quiet, the magic and mystery of the energies that entice me, invoking earnest delight and wonderment. What spirits reside there? I am not sure, but they croon to me silently, plucking my heart, tuning it like an instrument. I play for them. I dance like an innocent child.

In my youth, my father would bring my sister and I to the redwoods of Oakland hills where we lived.  We would hike and search for faeries, gnomes, trolls and anything else our imaginations could lure into our visions. “They love to hide in the moss that cloak the trees,” my father would whisper, instilling excitement in my coasting eyes. Everything was vibrant and green. We hiked in the rain often with little more than an umbrella, lunch and a candle in tow. We would huddle around the single flame while nibbling on afternoon treats. The lone lizard would scurry by. Raindrops plopped on wet leaves, mud, stones, muffled by their journey. I had never heard such quiet or experienced such complete beauty. These memories never fade. Rich in luster, they flourish within me. I scintillate in nostalgia.

The closest forest to me now is Armstrong Woods. A mere 23 mile drive, and I can be coddled by tremendous redwoods. Last weekend, Laura and I explored these woods. Immediately upon our arrival, as we entered the density of this small wooded park, I opened- eyes wide, heart juicy and full. I hadn’t walked among the trees, ferns, dirt and moss in a long while. My senses heightened, enlightened, lifting my spirit, reminding me of my innate Self.

We journeyed within, walking deep into the park on a narrow paved road. We were alone. The silence was overwhelming; it folded around me. In the distance, I spotted two crows, walking the same road as Laura and I. They were far enough away to maintain privacy but close enough for us to clearly watch their movements. We were enchanted by the ambling pair. These two crows walked side by side like two old friends, soul mates, lost in one another and the simple pleasure of leisure. They strolled down the center of this narrow street, waddling, swaying, occasionally turning their heads toward one another as if in idle conversation. They looked like little people to me, small feathered people, enjoying the afternoon. Never before had I felt this way about wildlife. I am not sure if I was anthropomorphizing this interaction or, if on a deeper more intrinsic level, I was sensing their Truth. We watched the crows walk in front of us along our same path. They seemed to mirror us without knowing it. We smiled. It didn’t take long for the crows to sense our existence. Once catching on to our company, they leapt off the ground, swinging wings, calling to the trees, gently lifting into the sky. They were gone, leaving magic in their wake.

What really happens among the redwoods when humans are not around? Does the forest awaken to play and delight? There is an undercurrent of power, an unseen presence, that uplifts this wooded grove. I have always known nature holds precious secrets from modern man/woman or, rather, modernity has dulled man/woman from translating secret into truth. Whatever the case, I am unfolding, unwrapping my own gifts to bestow. I coil around and melt into the natural world. This, I profoundly sense, and watching these two old friends, the crows, solidified this sacred recognition, my connection to my Self and the landscape of spirit.

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir

*The artwork above, Two Crows, is by Mark Seabrook.

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