Category Archives: 1 minute meditation

1 Minute Meditation: Water Art

Okay, so maybe not everyone loves rainy days and maybe you’ve never looked in the water for art–in which case, this video’s for you!

Stop what you’re doing. Set the To-do list aside. Clear your mind of clutter. Then take time for this one minute video–a bit of peace in your day.

Imagine you’re sitting beside this body of water, watching as the patterns on the water dance back and forth. Then later, a gentle rains falls on the surface of a creek, the drops making circles on the water’s surface beneath a flowering dogwood, bursting with white flowers. Watching them is mesmerizing!

Let me know what you think of this one minute meditation.

One Minute Meditation: Spring Rains Fill Stream

Have you been too busy to get outside and see what’s going on? Do you need a minute just to relax and do nothing? I thought I would do some one minute meditations, starting today, with this video I made recently in my backyard here in western North Carolina. Come join me for a short walk!

As you watch, imagine yourself walking along a small stream in the forest. It is early spring, with just a few ephemerals poking out of the ground. The sky is cloud-filled, the temperature cool. All you can hear as you move along is the sound of falling water. It relaxes you, makes you feel calm and unhurried.





Quote of the Week #79

Happy Thanksgiving! On this special day I want to say THANK YOU my dear readers for joining me on this journey, for reading my blog posts and caring about our beautiful planet. Thank you for your interest in our fascinating outdoor neighbors and in the things that make our earth special. Thanks for helping me dispel myths about the plants and animals we love and for encouraging respect and appreciation for all living things. I appreciate you! May your holiday be filled with the love and laughter of family and friends, good food, good health and lots of reasons to be thankful.

There are troubling things happening in our world everyday, but there are also amazing blessings and examples of lives changed by kindness.  Of course, these inspiring stories don’t get the press of the negative ones, but if we look hard enough we can find them. (Check out this site for some feel-good stories that will make your heart smile, like the video of the dog racing down the dock and jumping in the water to swim with the dolphin or the cops who gave out this instead of tickets)

Think of your own life. Everyday there are things we can be grateful for, things we may overlook because we are focused on what is wrong with our lives, what is lacking, what challenges we are dealing with.

What are you thankful for today?

Here are a few of my favorite quotes picked for today, as well as a collection of some of my favorite pictures–all of which show the beauty of our world –beauty that is right outside of our doors–if we have the eyes to see.


and here’s another one that I think is fitting, especially in thinking about last week’s post, or in considering some of the difficulties getting together with family members sometimes presents:


and lastly:

Life is full of give and take. Give thanks and take NOTHING for granted.

Here is a collection of some of my favorite images. Enjoy! And Enjoy this special time of year.


Quote of the Week #72

What are your thoughts on spending time alone? Do you like it? Do you do it often? Or do you avoid it altogether, preferring to always be with someone else? Does being alone make you uncomfortable? Scared? Sad?

For some people, I think solitude equals loneliness. I think there are many people who have never learned how to be alone or are even aware that there IS value in spending time by themselves. I think sometimes our society paints such a negative picture of alone-time.

I came across a quote recently that I thought was fabulous—and now I will share it with you here.


What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?

Quote of the Week #58

cherry--3Do you have an intimate relationship with the natural world? Do you visit a piece of land regularly, noticing the changes that happen over time–the tiny stem bursting out of the ground in the spring or the last leaf falling from a limb in the fall? Do you sit in this place and just listen and look, paying attention to the details that make it unique?

cherry-8099This morning as I sat at my office window before daylight I watched with delight as the eastern sky turned gold and then pink, the wispy clouds painted with color as light filled the wooded hillside. Then later, when the breeze blew, the air was filled with delicate white petals from the cherry tree, floating by in curtains of white, like snowflakes, landing silently on the ground amid the decaying leaves. I considered running downstairs to fetch my camera and try to capture it, but then decided against it. Instead I just watched, mesmerized by the moment of beauty that was as fleeting as the golden light at sunrise. It seemed doubtful I could ever capture it accurately–for so much of its appeal comes from the feelings it evokes, the way it makes me feel in the given moment.

cherry-8143I cherish and nurture my intimacy with the natural world, especially the land surrounding our house in the woods. The changes are often subtle and almost always silent, but for me, it is rewarding to notice them.

Here’s the quote of the week–a long one but one that is very meaningful:


“To look at anything, if you wanted to know that thing, you must look at it long; To look at this green and say, ” I have seen the spring in these woods,” will not do–you must BE the thing you see. You must BE the dark snakes of stems and ferny plumes of leaves, you must enter into the small silences between the leaves, you must take your time and touch the very peace they issue from.”

–John Moffitt

cherry-If you’ve not spent any time outside recently, maybe you can schedule some soon. And one word of advice: do so with no agenda and a clear mind–it doesn’t work to bring your worries with you. Just relax in the moment and do nothing but BE.

cherry-0310Have fun, and do let me know your thoughts on intimacy with the natural world. How do YOU define intimacy with nature? What changes have you noted lately?


Soul Food

ablo--7There is always a lot in the media about the value of putting the right kind of foods in our body and doing the right kind of activity for our body and our minds, but what about our souls? That place within us that has no concrete location but in many ways defines who we are, giving us our sense of identity and our emotional or intellectual energy. What kinds of activities do you do to feed your soul?

aheart-1000575There has been so much in the way of disturbing news this week that it’s sometimes hard to not succumb to sticking my head in the sand and saying, “The heck with world news!” The news is often filled with depressing stories. At the top of the list for me is the story about the man from Minnesota who paid a lot of money to shoot an endangered lion in Africa. It saddens me beyond words and as Jane Godall said, “I have no words to express my repugnance.”

To escape from all of this–if only for a little while– I try and schedule several sessions a week where I can get outside with my camera and just BE in the moment.

For me, nature is the greatest therapy. I go to reconnect with simpler things, to be inspired, to be soothed, to be renewed and rejuvenated.

This free therapy only works if we leave our heavy thoughts behind and allow ourselves time to do nothing.


Sigurd Olson said it best:

“Simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valued lessons. It is what we leave behind that is important. I think the matter of simplicity goes further than just food, equipment and unnecessary gadgets; it goes into the matter of thoughts and objectives as well. When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.”

On many mornings recently, as the fog hovered in the valleys and drops of dew glistened on every surface, I moved through the meadow with no plan or goals, simply searching for beauty. Something not difficult to find once I leave the troubles of the “other” world behind.

Here are some of the things I captured in my recent photo sessions:

A fly in the grass A damselflyInsect eggs on goldenrodguess who?Silken treasureFog in the valleyWater dropsWater artThe drops line upDamselfly loveA Calico Pennant dragonflyGrassSuspended on silkA damselflyWhat beautiful eyes you have!My favorite kind of spider! A jumping spider.A red maple borer mothWhat iridescence! Bugs hatching from their eggs.A cicada DragonflyA mockingbird finds a berryMorning TreasureA robin finds a berry too! Web artA spider in her webWater drops!An immature wood duckWhat beautiful wings!Wow, he's lovely!

Have you scheduled some Soul Time lately? If not, perhaps you should!

Check out these posts about the same subject: What inspires you  to skip? , Quote of the week #22, Magic in the night, Magic comes to a backyard near you.

New Meaning for the word Redneck

I have had a suction-cup hummingbird feeder on my office window for some time now but two weeks ago, the ants discovered it, even though it is on the second floor. The hummingbirds are not so fond of floating ants in their nectar so I bought this FABULOUS new feeder (which I highly recommend,) that includes an ant moat. Thus, my ant problem is solved! Check out this hummingbird moment, caught on film. What a spectacular gorget!! (That’s the red neck. When the sun hits it just right, look out!)

Special thanks to Bill for this video suggestion!

Did you know that hummingbirds have the fastest metabolism of any animal on Earth? Or that they are the smallest bird, with the smallest eggs? To read more about hummingbirds, click HERE.