Nature


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10 Things I Love about Mid-Coast Maine

1. Josephine’s – Lovely Fashion and Home Furnishings

2. The Market Basket – Gourmet Goodies

3. In Good Company – Fun with Friends

4. Monhegan Island – Classic Maine Art and Beauty

5. TJMaxx – Need I say more…?

6. Reny’s – Mainard Bargains

7. Mt. Battie – Camden Hills State Park- 360 degree views

8. Lake Meguniticook – Cool and Refreshing

9. Cellar Door Winery – Lincolnville Lovely

10. Beauchamp Point – Rockport – Evening Walks

View From Our Tent

When was the last time you went camping? I know its been awhile for me when I have a hard time remembering….

Maybe it was last July when I stayed at the cabin with Kerry and Brian on Caples Lake? Modified camping I know. I slept on a bed in a cabin, had an outhouse, a gas stove and even an outdoor refrigerator. But we WERE dirty, we bathed in icy lake water and we came home tired, sunburned and bug bitten. Before or since then? I can’t recollect…

With glorious weather this weekend, I decided to begin my birthday celebration in advance. I wanted to enjoy the amazing warm weather. I wanted to get away from my head. I wanted to travel less rather than more. And I wanted to be near the ocean. The result – a gourmet campground north of Santa Cruz with “comfort stations”, “tent platforms”, a camp store that resembled Whole Foods and a restaurant that one might find in my home town. Nice!

We had a campsite with a view of the ocean, amenities that included indoor and outdoor showers, fire places at the comfort stations with giant Adirondack chairs and hot saunas. OK – so this was a new form of camping I hadn’t tried before. I LIKE IT!!! ­čÖé

We introduced ourselves to our neighbors who were on their first ever camping trip. We explored Costanoa vacation land and the weekend activity itinerary. We set up our tent on the special and perfectly placed tent deck where we reveled in our “best tent site” with the ocean view. We laughed at the stinky horse stables immediately to our right. Later we raced across the street to a beach bathed by silver moonlight and then sauna -ed long after the campground was zzzz-ing away.

How do you like to get away? What do you do to nourish your soul? What inspires and energizes you?

I realize I feel gleeful having healthy adventures. I love to spend time in nature with friends. I love to feel the elements and gaze at natural wonders. I like quiet campgrounds with other respectful campers. I like to move my body, to see and do new things and meet new people. I like to step out of my daily routine and reconnect with myself. A few days away replenished my diminutive spirit. I feel clearer, more joyful and alive. I feel more enthused to create… I feel grateful.

Have you read any of these books?

1. The Ominivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

2. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barabara Kingsolver and her family.

I’m inspired!!!

Michael Pollan considers food politics and food choices without pretense or judgment. His books make me think. They make me consider more deeply how and why I eat what I do. His tales have made my eating behaviors more conscious. I have settled into new layers of inquiry. How can I make a difference in my community, my country and also my body through what I choose to buy at the market?

Barbara Kingsolver, author extraordinaire is uber special. I love her books! And even more I love when she reads her audio books. Her voice is a delight to listen to. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a family collaboration that makes me want to have a family and live in the country. It makes me want to feel more connected to the land, to create soulful sustenance, and to live in alignment with my values. It reminds me of how my first years were. My parents chose I similar path when we were young but then were swept away by the busyness of life and a growing family. My childhood included compost bins full of little red worms, pulling long orange carrots out of fresh dirt, sun warmed strawberries in deep shades of red, sweet snappy peas eaten from the vine. It included the yeasty scents of home-made bread and white globs of tofu, monthly trips to town to stock up on staples and car loads of seasonal fruits and vegetables from local farmer’s markets. I ate fresh, whole and nourishing foods and although I have deviated somewhat myself later on, I couldn’t imagine raising my children any other way.

Do you think about where your food comes from? Do you make conscious eating choices? Do you cultivate green space?

In addition to the books – particularly in audio form – I also suggest Kingsolver’s website www.animalvegetablemiracle.com

Asparagus Praying at Sunrise

Do you worship? Do you pray? When you think of God what is the image that comes to mind? Do you maintain a spiritual practice?

When I stand on the mountains tops mesmerized by the ocean and watch the sunrise, I know without a shadow of a doubt that there is more to life than I can ever begin to imagine. I feel small and insignificant. And I feel grateful. In the 4 billion years the earth is purported to have been alive, I am but a pinprick, a blip in history. And yet, my life to me is monumental. I live it everyday and I try to maintain this practice of gratitude. Some days however, I feel trapped by my stories, caught up in my ego and mired in an interpretation of my physical reality…

What helps you put your life into perspective? How do you take yourself out of the hustle-bustle to reassess your priorities? Are your values clear to you? Can you have reverence for and celebrate the magnificence of your unique existence?

How does the weather affect your mood? Last Sunday I enjoyed heaven on Earth. A breathtaking day! Warm, soft air. Brilliant, golden sunshine. I felt expansive. Loving. Inspired! It was rumored to be in the 90’s. This Sunday forecasts a high of 58 degrees. Today – cold, dark and gray and then later bright with a bracing wind. I was glad to be inside warm spa rooms and left work to immediately return home to the depths of my cozy bed. Neither expansive nor inspired.

Sunrise from Cooper Point


A Glorious Sunday

I long for rich, warm, luxurious days. Still, soft air. Long, golden rays. I am powered by blue skies and bright sun. I feel guilty complaining about the weather when I have loved ones still wrapped in ribbons of winter in Oregon and in Maine. I yearn for more – more warmth, more sun, strappy sandals, whispy sundresses, bare skin…

My friend Kerry drove down from Oakland on Wednesday to share good girl time. She was my nearest and dearest during our final quarters at JFK. Then our paths diverged. She began Life West Chiropractic and I returned to the Monterey Peninsula. Her friendship is angelic and I miss seeing and sharing with her regularly!

Wednesday was a GLORIOUS spring day. As soon as she got into town we packed up water and snacks and headed over to the coast. Soberanes Loop Trail.

Meandering through the canyon,

redwood sorrel blooms dance with cabbage moths


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A blush of wildflowers as we ascend upwards toward the infinite blue sky

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After a long, lazy chatter-filled hike, we glided off to Trader Joe’s for wine and cheese and snacks…

Asilomar Sunset

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… And then back to my cozy little cottage for hot showers, refreshments and more long talks.

How do you address feelings of discomfort in your life? What role does the practice of inquiry play in your daily existence? If you’ve popped out of your “groove” or feel separated from the “flow” of life, how do you reconnect with feelings of grace?

Thursday began overcast, and as Kerry is on springbreak, sleeping in was a no-brainer. We are both deep in places of discomfort, indecision, imminent change and conscious transformation. Therefore the day was a continued exploration of our “stuff”…

A quiet introspective morning.

An awesome hike up to Snively’s Ridge in Carmel Valley.

Lupines. Buttercups. Yellow violets. Gooseberries. Red Velvet Ants (a wasp actually, not an ant). 360 degree views. Heaven on Earth.

My souls feels fed. My life looks brighter. My blues washed away at least temporarily. Clarity not necessarily restored, however I feel relieved of my struggle. Why struggle? How would my experience be different if I stepped away from my ego? Maybe it’s not all about me! How would my experience be different if I truly let things unfold rather than trying so assertively to make things – something – anything – everything happen? Can I let go of my need to control – even for a moment – and surrender to the magic that I know is waiting just around the corner…?