Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Trees, Tears, Bees and Berries - Messages from a Walk

Near the end of this morning's walk, I glanced down the street to see what I feared was a shrub being uprooted by two landscapers. (This was my first walk in nearly a month. I was so happy I had drug myself out of the house until this.) I copped an attitude toward the homeowner and said something like "It drives me crazy when people do that" as I neared the men.

Here was a willowy blue-ish evergreen on its side with another or two to be taken down as well. Hijacked by fury, I lost count of how many shrubs were coming down. The house had been built only in the last 3-4  years.

The landscaper (or possibly homeowner) aware of my distress walked over and shared unfortunately  builders don't often plant trees and shrubs far enough away from the foundations of the homes they build.

I commented that my yard was like a jungle. That I've trees everywhere then I continued walking. My anger shifted to builders as 'fuck builders' went through my mind but not past my lips.

I walked a bit further as tears welled within me and I got the message I needed.

Trees, like my dear Mother Earth, are forgiving.

I smiled grateful I could be angry temporarily because my anger in this instance got me to forgiveness.

Trees teach me everything I need to know.

Be rooted and grow. Reach out. Open. Let go. And yes, forgive. When others cut you down, which they will, forgive.

One of the landscapers then called out, "Have you had strawberries?"

I forgot I held a green mesh basket like berries often come in.

I called back, "No, I'm just picking up trash, but I have had strawberries this year and they're good."

He agreed.

I had retrieved the basket up from atop a water drain near the beginning of my walk. It held a dead bee I picked up mid-way through walking which I was transporting to the angel in my yard.

Earth to me is like the basket filled with sweetness and sadness.

All we need do is Be. And if it feels right for you.....

 Forgive and be grateful you have this opportunity to Live.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse,  23 May 2018 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A (Big)Piece to My Peace

If I'm not outside daily, I begin to feel unplugged. Being in Nature is how I thrive, feeling sun permeate my insides as Earth's energy soaks into my soles, hearing chickadees, cardinals and blue jays, even the squirrel just now to whom I throw an acorn fills my soul's tank as I fill her physical tank.

These small, precious goings-on are vital to me yet I have allowed politics since the election to take a piece of my presence. When I'm outside, there's some peace in my presence.

(Here's where I share my despair about political events. If you're not open to me in that way, venture down to SO.) I am profoundly troubled by what I hear as the immense hypocrisy in this administration and even more troubled by those who don't hear so much of what's occurring as hypocritical.

For example most recently (and this has possibly changed already given the cavalcade of instances) it's been revealed that HSS Sec. Tom Price has spent nearly a half million dollars on private planes for trips thus far. One of those trips was to Nashville to see his son and speak to a medical conference for 20 minutes. Over $400,000 of tax payer dollars went toward these trips. He could have made this Music City trip for $150 to $300 on a commercial plane easily.

Of course, years prior then Sen. Price railed at Hillary Clinton for using private planes for travels.

I don't understand why Republicans aren't equally outraged over this yet I know I am naive. I still think in relation to things like this "wrong is wrong."

Then there's her emails for which she was harangued in a modern day inquistion and the mobs still chant, "lock her up." Yet it doesn't seem to matter that six Trump officials (including Jared and Ivanka) have used private email accounts for White House correspondence. Excuse me. This is what you find under the definition of "hypocrisy" in the dictionary.

The Trump administration thus far seems to be above the law and his followers seem to be okay with this. Many of them feared for eight years that Pres. Obama was coming for their guns and probably still fear this. It's sad and unbelievable.

SO I return to Nature, to refill, to reflect, to mourn what is being revealed about my fellow Americans, and to listen to Nature's messages and as a means of surviving these times that stir despair in me.

No, I've not forgotten the big picture. I appreciate that the president and his administration are revealing our shadow through a huge clearing of what's beneath our collective rug for centuries.

I can hold appreciation and despair simultaneously yet when I feel depleted as these past few months have been for me its harder but I can still do so. I cannot not tune in. For me, that's ignoring which is partially how we arrived at Now.

As a sensitive, I truly can't fathom someone especially in a position of such importance using the language he's using. SOB!? Going to hell?! But after "grab them by the pussy" was acceptable to many why am I surprised.

(I think I just made a Freudian highlight. I highlighted the wrong SO because I wish those who disagreed with me could be open and also help me understand how so many things that to me seem not okay to them seem okay.)

So if I'm going to practice what I write, I drag myself outside to complete this piece and as usual find an epiphany and peace. (I drag myself because I'm recovering from a temporary knock-out punch from a spider and bed bug bites.)

The double-blooming azaleas overflow with blossoms, more than they've ever had in the last dozen years of calling our temporary spot of earth home.

I immediately know I'm being shown more of the big picture. I am being shown Souls waking up, here to blossom in this time rooted in Earth and fed by Sun's light.

I feel deep satisfaction and joy seeing this and being open to seeing these Sights.

Being plugged into Nature, allows me to more peacefully navigate being plugged into world events.

What helps you navigate the present without denying or ignoring the events of the Times?
-Dawn, The Good News Muse,  Imagine the Shift
28 Sept. 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Nature Speaks - Are You Listening?

Nature is continually speaking. Are you listening? Do you see?

While polishing my toenails yesterday, I noticed a speck of lint on my finger. It wouldn't leave as I attempted to brush it aside.  Upon closer look I was grateful for its persistence because the fuzzy speck was a yellow-tipped goldfinch feather.

I was captivated and elated. Immediately I knew I needed to acknowledge the Nature spirits and Nature and ask for assistance in this time of lifting Earth in love. This came to mind but was quickly followed by 'I wish I had another sign.'

That's when I recalled the thank you card I had just gotten from a neighbor at the front door. I opened it. What was on the card? Gold finches.

Excuse me. If I typed this as I felt it, gold finches would be more like GOLDFINCHES.

Still I wanted yet another confirmation, a third sign from gold finch. What?! Why was it not enough to find a wisp of a feather stuck to my finger?

So the Universe, ever patient with me, concurred. I went to get my camera and there was the plaque from years ago from a friend, a plaque I had set aside because it needed a new nail for hanging.  The plaque read: "May the Sun's embrace fall upon this place" and yes there were the requested goldfinches.

After this, I reached for "Nature Speaks" by Ted Andrews. The message of gold finch was perfect.

Goldfinch represents awakening to the Nature spirits. The black cap of the gold finch represents awakening to that which is normally hidden from view. They rarely are silent so they teach us that Nature's always speaking to us. Their undulating flight pattern reflects the ability to lead us between the inner and outer realms, the physical and spiritual realms and from the human to the fairy realms.

Their yellow and black coloring reminded me of tomorrow's solar eclipse as the Moon and Sun embrace. The shadow of that embrace will literally "fall upon this place" as the plaque intimates.

Nature and her Spirits are at our fingertips here to assist in this time....if only we stay awake, listen, see, and open to feeling the messages as they arrive.

Look closely to see the wisp of a feather on my finger tip. 
If this Good News resonates with you, acknowledge the Nature Spirits, acknowledge the Trees, the plant world, the rocks, the birds and all Creation. Ask forgiveness for our negligence. Rejoice in Creation's presence and ask that each assist us in this Time.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse at Imagine the Shift
20 August 2017

Of Bullets, Butts, Beauty, and Brevity - A Story for Today's Shadow Inspired by Blossoms and a Bag

Early last summer, these blossoms and I began an ongoing relationship. I first noticed them at the street’s edge during a morning walk in late June. Their pastel purple and hot pink got my attention. 

I picked one up to study its beauty. 

Unfurled, a few steps away a cluster of blossoms caught my eye. I bent down to get them only to realize the pink that I thought was part of the flower was actually pink bone shapes on a bag of dog poop someone had left among the blossoms. 

How perfect. We are all one.’ was my first thought. This was quickly followed by ‘Huh? This bag is unnatural. How can plastic be part of the one?’ 

I picked up a blossom and the bag and walked home pondering how it is we’ve unconsciously turned Earth into a dump for inventions, like plastic, whose long-term consequences haven’t been fully considered. 

Ironically our physical bodies will decompose long before the remains of our unconscious behavior. At times I fear we are creating an earth that’s artificial and unreal. 

I walked and experienced the beauty of this blossom that had entered a new phase, a phase many would label dead. Maybe it held a clue to some of the challenges presented here in Earth School.

I wanted to listen further to my finds so upon arriving home, I left them outside and got ready for work. 

The next morning, I mindfully held the blossom. Overnight it had changed ever so slightly, still it was beautiful fading and withering into a new texture, color, and shape. It was departing to eventually live as memory.

To make peace with departure - change, loss, declines, good-byes, and ultimately death - is one of the most necessary (and for me challenging) lessons in this journey. 

Suddenly I wondered if on an unconscious level plastics were made as a means to create beauty that would not depart. A plastic blossom or bouquet outlasts the nature-made yet doesn’t hold the energy this parting one did. Cupped in my palm, I felt the blossoms subtle energy as it shared its presence with me. 

My momentary meditation concluded but I could not relinquish the blossom. I continued to be drawn to it even in this parting phase. 

The next day enroute to a meeting, I intentionally drove past the site where the blossoms lay. To my surprise, more had fallen overnight. Their cylindrical bodies scattered about reminded me of cigarette butts and bullets. 

What might happen if someone had to hold a blossom before taking a drag or taking a life? 

I’m serious. 

What might shift in a person’s experience, their heart, body, soul, and mind, if they first had to hold a blossom in their palm? What space might open up inside if before taking another’s life or numbing one’s own experience, a person studied the lines, colors,and textures of a blossom or considered its wisdom?  

Could a blossom’s beauty be an antidote for violence and its brevity a wake-up call from numbing behaviors and sleepwalking through life?

I took another blossom as a reminder of this encounter. 

Several days passed. I had not walked or held the blossoms nor had I revisited the plastic bag in the mulch where I initially placed it. 

I set off on my morning walk but this time went in the opposite direction. At the turning point, the blossom crossed my mind. I circled a pile of roadside brush awaiting the quarterly Metro pick-up crew and looked down to see, yes, another blossom. Its petals, not yet curled inward, held moisture from the overnight rain. Its veins resembled a miniature lilac forest. 

I walked with this damp open blossom while pondering the importance of not becoming dry. I can easily slip into conditions leading to dryness when I experience life as a burden instead of a gift or when I live from “have to” rather than “get to,” when I tire of tears and close my heart or allow fear from current events to give rise to despair. 

Upon arriving home, this blossom joined the other two reminiscent of papery, Monet scrolls now residing on a bookshelf. 

Still I ignored the plastic bag. Thinking of it created an inner tension. It reminded me of my concerns for Earth. It stirred my frustration toward people who seem oblivious to increasing the plastic quotient on the planet. And it touched my personal despair related to the plastic I see flowing through my own life in the recycling bin each week.      

Weeks passed, before I finally retrieved the bag. In that time, our collective shadow was in the spotlight as black men were killed by police officers in Minnesota, Texas and Louisiana followed by the republican and democratic conventions.

When I finally went to get the bag, I discovered the beauty in it as well as the profoundness of where I previously placed it.

Nearly twenty years ago, we laid sod in our back yard. That sod never flourished. At the time, I didn’t realize each square was held together by green mesh (plastic of course) which over time began to reveal itself.

I’ve associated this mesh with a grid of Love as green is the color of the heart center. This time I realize I’m being shown the grid of Love and compassion rising in this time.

It is perfect that the bag of neglected dog waste (a symbol of our material trash and the stuff of our unconscious which drives our unexamined behaviors and attitudes) lay on the green grid rising from the underworld of my yard. The green mesh is a symbol of Mother Earth rising to love each of us despite our trash and our shadow. 

It is also perfect the bag is covered in pink bones for in this I see the pink bones of the Divine Feminine rising on the grid of Love holding us and all our shit and shadow just like the bag holds the dog waste. These pink bones rise to say, “Give me your weary ways. Let me have your have-to’s, your burdens, all the experiences that have led to your dryness, your heavy heart, your fears, your personal and your ancestral traumas, America’s sufferings and the world’s sufferings. My pink bones know suffering. My pink bones have been used, abused, violated, and raped. And my pink bones are rising in this time.”

Remember how that first blossom prompted me to consider how at death we physically decompose? 

Love is the great decomposer. 

Love is rising to lay to rest our disconnects internally and externally. If we choose, we each have the ability to hold the blossom of our body and feel its energy, hear its truths and reflect before pulling the trigger of reactivity, judgement, and condemnation.

This love is not the love of stuff and material goods or love that is temperamental and based in momentary positive feeling.This is Big LOVE, the Love embodied and lived out by Jesus, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc and millions of unnamed souls throughout time who have held the vibration of compassion in the face of profound judgment, torture and hate. 

This Love dismantles the old forms societally and within us. This Love is needed now more than ever as we witness the breaking down of systems that for eons have used power improperly to abuse and control. Yes, it’s messy, chaotic and violent at times as fear prompts reactivity rather than reflection and as the patriarchy clings to diminishing power. 

Yet Love is rising like the green grid in my yard to lay the dying patriarchy to rest as a healthy masculine emerges to dance with a healthy feminine in us all.

Love is the great composer orchestrating this new dance and love is the great decomposer breaking down our disconnects within and without. 

Months passed since that first encounter with the blossoms. In that time, I allowed my awareness and focus to be hijacked by my own shadow. My reaction to more shootings of black men by police officers as well as officers being shot, the presidential election and the neglect of Mother Earth stirred my fear and created profound inner tension for me. At times I’ve been paralyzed by rage and have wanted to beg Earth to destroy us all. 

I temporarily lost heart. 

Then I finally revisited the bag of dog waste. 

A critter had moved the bag from beside the chair that is my morning sitting place to beneath the Japanese maple surrounded by ferns not far away. The bag had been placed in what I consider the sacred resting place of my yard where I lay dead animals that I find or that find me. 

To my surprise, when I retrieved the bag the waste inside was gone, not emptied, but decomposed, gone. 

A squirrel or a Nature Spirit had done for my shadow what I usually do for the animals. It had  laid to rest my need to control out of fear and mistrust. It had laid to rest my self-negligence, my ignoring, my anger, my grief.  

This is the beauty of grace to me. 

Love is the great decomposer. Love is the great composer. And life on earth is a never ending love story of joy, pleasure, heartbreak, and pain. 

We are each departing, just as the old ways are departing, like the blossoms. If we can only realize Earth is this amazing home offering herself to us for this oh-so brief time maybe just maybe Earth wouldn’t be a dump for plastic or for the unconscious violence we cause to ourselves and others. 


Since last November, I have kept the parts of this story on a nearby table. I’ve avoided completing the story though I have literally from time to time held the parts -dried blossoms,green netting, and a pink bone covered bag. 

This week I shared with someone how my cats have different ways of sharing their messages with me. Redbud for example within one month of being in my home found a Grand Canyon National Park newspaper which he left in the middle of the floor. He had pulled it from a file folder I forgot I even had just as I was debating whether to cancel an Autumn Equinox trip to the Grand Canyon. Four years ago, I heeded Redbud’s message. 

I told my client that at times when I allowed Redbud into my office he left things in the middle of the rug as well. I was mindful as I spoke these words that he hadn’t done so in a long time. 

That evening, I found in the center of the office rug the green netting that is integral to this story. In the netting was a dried green leaf from one of the blossoms.  I was being reminded Love was rising to embrace me and my heart’s dryness so I could ultimately “leave” this self-inflicted dry period. Redbud was also telling me it is time to share this message of Love’s Rising. 

Remember how I've held the blossoms? 

To those of us who carry this Great Love, please hold these Times and our fellow travelers in your loving hands for you and I are the embodiment of those pink bones of the Divine Feminine. 

To ponder: 

1) I have literally held the parts of this story yet avoided this story?  In the quiet before pressing “publish” I realize I likewise have held the parts of this story internally and have avoided My Story out of weariness, fear of judgement, and feeling powerless. 

What parts do you hold related to your story and Earth’s Story in this time? Do you reflect and consider responsible action or avoid, distract, react, and ignore? 

2) What if realizing the brevity and beauty of life holds a key to violence diminishing between individuals and also the self-inflicted violence of judgement and self-hate? Really let Life's brevity sink in. You do not get another NOW. What keeps you from embracing now? What keeps you from seeing the beauty all around you?

3) We are, like the blossoms, each departing. What do you want the memory of YOU to be? How do you want to be remembered by those you encounter each day and by those who will hear of you in future time?

-Dawn, The Good News Muse  at Imagine the Shift 
20 August 2017 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

"Emerge and See" in Times of Emergency

(This simple epiphany came to me initially when Nashville flooded in 2010.  It comes to mind during times of flooding such as happened in Nepal last year and has occurred along the Eastern Coast recently especially in towns like Lumberton, NC and in the country of Haiti.) 

At lunch, I glimpsed news coverage titled "Flood Emergency Update." The word 'Emergency' caught my eye because I immediately saw tucked within another word - "emerge." Then I heard myself saying, "Emerge N C" followed by "Emerge and see."

I love words. They are simple yet powerful keys available for us to see the possibilities in times like these.

Imagine what is being held in this crisis if we can hold and use this as an opportunity to Emerge, to come out, to bring forth new ways of being, living and relating to one another and to Mother Earth.

Every emergency offers an opportunity for us to emerge and see the patterns, people and things that really matter.

Emerge and See with Me !
-Dawn! The Good News Muse 5/7/10, 5/01/15, 10/16/16

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Of Patterns, Papaw & the Patriarchy

(I originally wrote this in 2011, ten years after my grandfathers death. Yesterday it popped up in social media as a "memory" ..... moments after I realized today would be my grandfather's b'day. I reread this story and found it possibly more appropriate for what's occurring in our country today than it was in 2011. I hope you'll take a moment to read, share and consider how you are in relation to the patriarchy, control, or however you consider the challenges written of and evidenced in the world today. Then pause to meditate, pray or send good vibes to all.  - Dawn

This week at dinner I heard myself tell the cliff notes version of a story related to my father’s parents. I had not spoken details of this story aloud since summer when my 2ndcousin shared it.  

This cousin with whom I had never really talked at length and I had a random encounter in March at a high school basketball game. Now I know our meeting wasn’t so random.  I asked if he knew who the Native American man was in our family.  He told me a bit, but it wasn’t until August as I prepared to go to Cherokee that I called to talk further.  

Thirty years ago this year, I had seen a Native man in an old family photo.  My cousin was unable to fill in specific details about this mysterious man but I did learn Albert Crow was my grandmother’s grandfather, the unwed father of her father.  To those on prior branches of my family tree, to have a Native in the family and in an unmarried couple at that was something of deep shame.  Details are few because people refused to speak. 

Our speaking of the un-spoken loosed the bonds on other family un-spokens. My cousin asked if my father ever spoke of how my grandfather treated my grandmother.  This was the man we called Papaw, my father’s father who was so very controlling.  
My paternal grandparents prior to their marriage.
Today I see their photo and feel such sadness and compassion for them both. 
I shared how as a child I stood between him and my grandmother as he yelled at her.  I had also heard stories filtered through others after my grandmother’s death as to the abuse she had endured, abuse my father never spoke of but I suspect haunted him through life. 

At dinner this week while telling my friend of our family’s native kin and a bit of the above, I suddenly remembered this was December 23, the anniversary of Papaw’s death.  

Ten years ago he lay dying just down Natchez Trace in a nearby hospital.  My parents made the trip to sit in the ICU waiting room all day as I sat for periods of time with them. 

Each night after they returned home, I would check on him.  One night just prior to his death, he kept repeating two words.  “Lord’s prayer” over and over was all he said.  In my grandfather’s dying I glimpsed his terror.  I asked if he wanted me to say the “Lord’s prayer” with him or for him. He bluntly said, “No.”  I said it aloud anyway.  

My cousin shared how his own father did not speak to Papaw for decades because he could not bear how meanly his sister was treated.  He quit speaking to him until her death in 1981.

At the time of her death my grandfather, I learned, began to call his brother-in-law and ask forgiveness.  My cousin shared how his father listened at times quite regularly to my grandfather cry and share his sorrow.   

This morning I realize my grandfather, the frightened man who lay dying just down the street ten years ago represents the dying patriarchy and the frightened, vulnerable part of us all that tries to control situations out of discomfort or fear of loosing control.

Although I don't think of myself as controlling as Papaw, I too am part of the patriarchy.  That night at his bedside my intentions may have been good, but I exerted control, assumed I knew what was best as I said the Lord's prayer rather than honor his request. I said the Lord's prayer as a means to allay my discomfort as much as his.  I took control rather than risk vulnerability and share my heart's words, "I'm sad you're scared."

This holiday ten years after his December 23rddeath, I’m grateful to know Papaw found his confessor in my cousin’s father.  Ten years later in my own journey, I'm grateful to remember that speaking from my heart may make me feel vulnerable, yet it is in vulnerability that power lies.

In this time of changing patterns, as competition and control give way to compassion and community, I find myself wondering, "If greedy CEO's and lobbyists suddenly made themselves vulnerable and said 'We're sorry. Forgive us' could I hear them as my cousin’s father heard my grandfather?  Can I hear the fears of those who in their anger don’t even know they’re afraid or vulnerable, the many politicians and white men especially rallying behind cries for fewer restrictions on guns and the EPA?  Can I hold their fear as they unconsciously sense their numbers are diminishing as America becomes more diverse?  Can I offer the dying patriarchy compassion?

With awareness, loose threads from over the decades seem to find their place in life’s tapestry.  Broken connections are healed between the generations and in the greater connected web as we offer compassion through openness, vulnerability and a desire to understand.  
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 1
3 October 2016 first posted 2011 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Message from a Morning Walk - Creativity and Will

From a couple of houses away, the cup's bright yellow caught my eye as I walked Monday morning. My irritation stirred upon realizing the cup lay wedged in the storm grate headed down the drain into Nashville's water system.

As I picked it up, I noticed a tree-shaped car freshener and half of a plastic egg in a clump of leaves and twigs over the drain as well.

The different shades of yellow reminiscent of summer's sun and flowers seemed perfect for the season. Yet my first thought was of the solar plexus, the energy center below the breast bone. Yellow is the color of the third chakra, the seat of will, creativity, energy, and passion whose element is the fire of the inner sun.

On this particular walk, I had just listened to a recording made while backpacking in the Grand Canyon. I had forgotten it but in the recording I heard myself say:

"In the beginning there was a fire longing to be listened to, gathered around, and explored. All souls that come to Earth agree to take a piece of that fire's energy and passion. We've free will to choose what we will do with that spark while we are here." 

Curiosity trumped irritation as I collected the trio of humankind's creation and turned to walk home only to see more yellow.

Scattered on the sidewalk were yellow leaves having fallen prematurely from lack of rain. The leaves  were the perfect reminder of Nature's creation resulting from Tree's inner fire.

I picked up the nearest leaf and stood holding the artificial and the authentic, the nature made and human made.
I walked home mindful of the stunning amount of plastic flowing through our lives and collecting in the oceans and landfills. I walked pondering how creative will invented plastics and how creative will with connected consciousness now has the opportunity to do something about the stunning presence of plastic on Earth.

The objects on the drain grate reminded me of the phrase "down the drain." Some say humankind as a whole is "down the drain" or certainly headed that way as artificiality trends more than the authentic and genuine.

Personally I'm often like the objects clinging to the grate, resisting going with the flow. If you were a fly on the wall in my home, observing my actions would tell you to what I'm committed. You would find me trying to get everything done on the never ending list (ordering and controlling my external world) and only episodically committed to my creative endeavors (birthed from my inner world).

Consciously using my energy or the spark of fire I carry is one of my greatest challenges. To really be clear and conscious of how I use my fire, requires turning off my devices and tuning into my greatest device, my body, heart, spirit and mind.

In the big picture, the objects I found or that found me, suggest we are already in Time's great drain. The cosmic egg has opened, energy pours forth and we now travel along in the flow of Time.

Over 7 billion of us each carrying fire's spark are here together on this amazing, creative, energetic planet Earth.

We only have moments and each moment, we choose how we use our will, energy, creativity and passion.

Each moment, we choose whether to invest energy and presence into creating more of the artificial, manmade or the authentic., Nature made.

Each moment, we choose whether to honor or ignore the spark we agreed to carry here on Earth.

Imagine that.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 27 June 2016

Link to "Plastic Whale" a company fishing plastic from the ocean and turning that plastic into boats. 
Click HERE for a "Messages in the Mess" another walk related musing.
Click HERE for a link to another Musing on Naming.
And HERE for a Grand Canyon musing on FIRE.