July 12, 2019
Getting ready for a walk is tedious, especially when I haven’t done it for a while! I’m really glad this isn’t my first time going out backpacking, though! Looking back to my first walks on the Appalachian Trail, reminds me of the constant learning, trying new gear, and becoming familiar with the trail lifestyle! Some of it takes time and practice! Some aspects of hiking, however, can be taught and used on one’s first hike! Not everything has to be learned by trial and error!
July 13, 2019
Today I turn 65 and I’m going for a walk! I realized that I’ve been anticipating this birthday for a couple of years now, and most acutely since January when I marked April 1 on my calendar. That was the day I could apply for Medicare, the right of passage for 65! That happened. I got my Medicare card. Now, the actual birthday seems humdrum. Driving to the Great Smoky Mountains to set up a five-day walk seems perfect!
I did receive a message yesterday, though, that reminded me of the kind of person I want to be – maybe for this next phase of my life! I reached out to a woman I had gifted my Walk For a Singing Heart in January. I had not heard from her, so I just sent a message to check in. She answered right away:
July 9, 2019
Today, I was honored to play the boardgame, Satori, with two courageous women. We had a fantastic time discovering Old Stories and letting go of our attachment to having them. As always, the cards we picked and the game’s pathway provided each of us a unique and custom-made experience! We laughed, cried, felt our feelings, and ended at Satori feeling lighter, more valuable, and freed from our past!
One of us got sent three times to the square Spiritual Bypass! We groaned and supported our new friend in following the instructions for that square:
July 4, 2019
I occasionally dedicate time to read the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July! Going to the original text arouses reverence for this day and why we celebrate it! This time I perused the list of readings as performances on YouTube. A worthy occupation for part of an hour! Have fun making your own choice. Here’s one I liked:
I also reflect on what freedom means to me, personally. I realize that at one level, I have been freed from the emotional tyranny of my misperceptions – of others’ thoughts, of my own abilities, of the powers of beliefs.
June 30, 2019
Since writing to you last, I have experienced something new for my life that I’ll never forget! It will also inform me for how I might choose my own Life’s path! For two nights, on June 25th and 26th, I held vigil for Colin Tipping, my teacher of Radical Forgiveness, as he lay in transition from his physical to spiritual life. Reading Colin’s account of embracing his journey with cancer during the past couple of years, invites me to integrate the idea that death is truly a transition, not an end! For someone who has touched me and thousands of others so deeply with his life-changing tools, how could this possibly be an end?
June 25th, 2019
Another leg of my Summer Journey 2019 is complete. I stayed with my middle son, his wife and 3-yr old in Charleston, SC. This morning, I remembered that I had picked up some of my household stuff that my friend Cynthia had been care taking for me in Covington, GA. Turns out that Adam was happy to receive the huge bread bowl that had graced our family kitchen and turned out regular batches of homemade bread. He’s a dough maker too. What a heartwarmer to bequeath family heirlooms in person! The bowl had been made for me as a gift from my mom by Joan Weber, ceramic artist from Dayton, OH. Her work was her spiritual ministry and I always felt that making bread in that bowl was a sacred ceremony. It was inscribed with the words “Oh taste and see the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ” May its blessings and sacred purpose continue to permeate and nourish all those who eat of its gifts.
♥♥June 22, 2019
Our first sojourn of Journey 2019 was in Decatur, GA to play with grandson Felix! Everything I was told about grandparenting being “the best thing” is true. Every visit is precious and being one who gets to lavish attention and love without the trouble is indeed the best! Our sojourn features other endearing connections…
John and I were hosted by my most generous and enduring supporters in Avondale Estates! They shared their luxurious Airbnb suite with us! If you have family visiting and don’t have guest rooms, Angie and Tom’s place would be a fine place to lavish attention on them!
June 17, 2019
Birthdays always help me review the blessings of being a mom. That’s a perfect time for reflection on what my vision for my son was. While pregnant, I created daily meditations with a music track called “Magical Journey” or some similar title. I can instantly recall the melody if not the correct name. I filled my belly with light and imagined my baby as a peacemaker. I knew my child would be my guide in becoming a generous, compassionate, and courageous person. I was certainly right about that! Here’s a quick list of the ways that showed up:
June 15, 2019
1,650 miles east of our starting point, our third sunrise greets us with trees! What a contrast to the pink and purple sunrise innour departure from Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. What a difference in vegetation rain makes! Our Outer Journey has been a marathon of driving on interstate, mostly I-20. We veered off in Dallas, TX for a warm-hearted gathering with one of my nieces just north of Dallas. Seeing her new baby for my first time was worth the two-hour sidetrip! An extra bonus was that her sister with her two “middle-aged” kids and their mom, whom I haven’t seen in 14 years, were also meeting her at a restaurant! I made up a new name for her husband, but quickly realized my mistake and quipped, “Anyone else want a new name? I’m good at making them up!”
In everything I do, I strive for deepening my sensory and spiritual experience. I’m pretty sure you do too!
I’ve picked up on some techniques from John Muir Laws (his real name!) through his Laws Guide to Nature Journaling. Two years ago, I launched a program at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center to provide a platform to practice what I’m learning.
Notice and Wonder is now a frequent listing in the Park’s Interpretive Schedule. In it, I offer five simple techniques to