Spirit of Dragonflies

Kripalu Mindfulness Outdoor Experience Guide & Life Coach – Get Outside. Go Within.


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Nature, Trees and Grandchildren

“Hope is the tree that holds the world”

Pliny, the Elder

“Most people never listen.”

~ Earnest Hemmingway ~

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”

Hermann Hesse, Wandering ~

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Silly Tanner climbing a tree

“Childhood is, or has been, or ought to be, the great original adventure, a tale of privation, courage, constant vigilance, danger, and sometimes Calamity.”

~ Michael Chardon ~

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Baby Colt checking out the flower on the Magnolia tree

“If man is not to live by bread alone, what is better worth doing well than the planting of trees?”

~ Frederick Law Olmsted ~

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Checking out a very wise tree at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.”

~ John Muir ~

“A tree is beautiful, but what’s more, it has a right to life; like water, the sun and the stars, it is essential. Life on earth is inconceivable without trees.”

~ Anton Chekhov ~

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Hugging Trees at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.”

~ Buddhist Sutra ~

Teaching children to connect with nature at an early age has been a very important part of my life. First with my own children, nieces, nephews, and their friends taking them for hikes, sleeping in lean-tos in the forest, and playing outside daily. Now with my grandchildren – Taylor, my eldest granddaughter, Tanner (5), Colt (3), and soon the youngest, Lainey (10 months) and Abram (6 months). Sharing the love of nature with children gives them a lifelong love and knowledge of our interconnection with the nature and all the life it maintains.

Whenever I get the chance I am outside with others learning about our environment, forest bathing, enjoying the sounds, smells and sights. Living mindfully in nature allows time to reflect, to take in fresh air, exercise the body, feel the spirit, and relax the mind. I have been very fortunate over the years to have attended classes with other like minded people, belong to groups, and volunteer at locations that allow time outdoors.

If all goes well and I am accepted into the class I will be spending 9 days outside in October of this year learning more about forest bathing, mindful outdoor meditation, group facilitation skills, and more. This will be truly a dream come true. After the class I will be a certified instructor and will begin to share my knowledge and experiences with others. What a blessing it will be to bring a sense of wonder and share this knowledge with the next generation.

“The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased; and not impaired in value.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt ~

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

Do you take time to hug trees? Do you teach children about their connection to nature? If we each take on the responsibility to protect nature we will be blessing our children and their children with a life sustaining gift. More precious than all the money in the world. 

A few things that you can do to help our environment:

  • Use cloth bags when at the grocery store or any store
  • Pick up garbage from the ground and throw it in the trash
  • Carry your own reusable water bottle
  • Purchase reusable sandwich bags – wash and reuse
  • Bring your own reusable lunch bag
  • Make your own meals from real food – not boxed or canned
  • Try to have less trash
  • Donate any unwanted items
  • Compost
  • Grow your own food in a garden
  • Walk, ride a bicycle, take public transportation or drive a Hybrid
  • Ride share
  • Use your towels / wash clothes more than once before washing
  • Turn off the lights when not using, use energy saving light bulbs
  • Unplug your equipment when not using (laptops, computers . . .)
  • Have your furnace cleaned before cold weather
  • Carry all trash out of the woods when hiking or camping
  • Don’t write on trees or carve your initials in them
  • Plant trees every year
  • Call your representatives and senators to request more green space
  • Spend an hour or so outside daily connecting with nature
  • Hug a tree or two
  • Read books on nature – educate yourself
  • Take an outdoor class
  • Remove all chemicals from your home – inside and out  – find natural alternatives
  • Don’t purchase Round Up and don’t hire anyone who uses chemicals on your yard
  • Purchase only organic foods and grass-fed beef, free range chicken

Do you have something to add to this list? Please share.

Love and Light!

 


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Place in the World – WPC Challenge

For this week’s photo challenge, explore what it means to find your place in the world. Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up? Do you prefer to feel cozy and comforted in a smaller town or do you thrive on the buzz of a big city? If landscapes aren’t your thing, you can even explore portraits by playing with scale or fashion.

Nature is not a place to visit, it is home. ~ Gary Snyder ~

My place in the world is anywhere outside in nature. If I could find a way to live outside all year I would. Maybe one of those round glass houses where you can see nature all around you even during short winter days.

In the meantime I live as close as possible for now – trees standing tall outside the windows, birds play in the bird bath, listen to leaves rustling in the wind as the sheer curtins dance in the windows, wake to the birds’ morning songs and listen to the owl’s story in the evening hours. Whenever possible, I am outside and barefoot weather permitting.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your barefeet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil  Gibran ~

It is important that my grandchildren learn to love nature as my children have before them. All three are tree huggers, sun gazers, prefer walking in barefeet, and the newest additions will be as well.

Nature – Our Home

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“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” ~ Mahatma Ghandhi ~

Do you enjoy spending time outside in nature? If so, where is your favorite place?

Let’s all do something to preserve and protect Mother Earth. We will only ever have one and as Mother Day approaches let’s take some time to appreciate the Mother that gives life to all.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view other photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/place/


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WPC – Rise/Set

For this week’s photo challenge, share your favorite photos of a sunrise or a sunset. If you’re an early bird, try to capture what dawn means to you. Is it a symbol of hope? A reminder to get going? Do you have any special early morning rituals that you do as the sun rises in the sky?

For night owls, share a snapshot of the day coming to an end. Show off the vibrant colors of sunset and the peaceful calm as the moon rises or any twilight rituals you may have. Get creative and show us the sun in all of her fiery glory.

I am a night owl and love watching the sky fill with vibrant colors as the sun sets over the horizon. Sometimes the night sky looks as if it is on fire and other times it sets slowly filtering rays of light through clouds and trees. There are never two sunsets that are exactly the same so one never gets bored watching this amazing natural event. Every night when the sun sets it reminds me of the fragility of life and to always end the day in gratitude for all of our natural blessings.

 

The sky takes on shades of orange during sunrise and sunset, the colour that gives you hope that the sun will set only to rise again. ~ Ram Charan ~

Sunset off the coast of Skagway

Sunset off coast of Alaska

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Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps. ~ Sharon Draper ~

When in California a favorite activity to experience with my grandson is watching the sunset. It is a wonderful experience and one that he enjoys as well even at the age of 4.

 

When I lived in California, after work I would sit on a bench south of Laguna at a beautiful location called Treasure Island. Many people would visit the same location to witness the sunset. We would sit quietly waiting patiently for the sun slowly slip beyond the horizon. Once it made it’s decent, we would clap and enjoy the moment. Some would get up and leave as soon as the thin line along the horizon disappeared others, like myself, would sit and wait until darkness filled the night sky and then we would slowly make our way back to our cars.

Sitting with strangers enjoying the same natural event was quite moving. It cost nothing and actually gave more enjoyment than any expensive amusement park. No one had to say a word, when eyes met we communicated at a deeper level as we shared the same life experience. I can still feel the loving compassion and joy.

My grandson is naturally drawn to sunsets. When he was two sitting at dinner with his parents he said, “Look at the beautiful sunset.” My daughter and her husband looked out and had to agree – it was amazing. Sometimes in our busy lives we ignore the natural pleasures we are blessed with daily. Children can help us slow down and open our eyes to ‘see’ our world anew and become grateful for those daily blessings.

If you would like to view additional photos or would like to submit your own, please click on the link below:
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/rise-set/

Love and Light!


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Conversing with Trees – WPC – Story

Though a single image can tell a complete story, adding photos to a series can even further expand upon a narrative.

For this week’s challenge, do some visual storytelling with your photography.

Conversing With Trees

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I love that my daughter’s neighbor left the trunk of the tree standing and added a face. My little grandson loves conversing with this tree. When done he wanders off as if in deep thought. At the time of the photo he was unable to share his thoughts with us but as you will see in the photos below after his conversation he walked off slowing contemplating what they had discussed. At least that is what it looked like. He is like his Mimi, barefoot in the grass whenever possible.

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.” ~ Rachel Carson ~

“Children … are shut away in too many instances from a free contact with nature; their needs are so provided for and dangers guarded against, that they grow up with undeveloped capacities and in almost total ignorance of the world of nature.” ~ Harold Fairbanks ~

In his 2005 book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, journalist and child advocate Richard Louv introduced the term “nature-deficit disorder” to characterize the long-recognized suite of problems that could be attributed to childhood isolation from nature. (https://www.wisconsinacademy.org/magazine/rachel-carson-and-childhood-sense-wonder) This book is on my must read list.

Do you have photos that represent a story of children in nature? Do you enjoy exploring nature with children? Feel free to share some photos.

Do you have photos that represent a story of children in nature? Please share if you do.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view additional photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/story/

 


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Story – The Daily Post

For this week’s challenge, do some visual storytelling with your photography. As always, I’m excited to see what you all share.

Blueberry picking

Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events of their lives. ~ Thomas Berry ~

I love that quote and agree. Teaching our children and grandchildren of our connection with nature, showing them the connection between food and nature them to connect with the source. Being out in the field of blueberry bushes on a sunny summer day is a blessed experience. If you have the ability to experience this with children you will both remember this for life.

I still remember being in the fields with my mother and aunts picking blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and apples. Having a garden in my own yard is always a blessing and one I hope to repeat this year. My sister and I pick fruit when in season and freeze bags to enjoy in the cold winter months. I still have several bags of strawberries – the blueberries did not last all winter this year so I know to pick more this summer. What a treat to open a bag of frozen fruit in mid-winter knowing they were picked from the vine with my own hands.

Do you have a special fruit or vegetable that you love to grown and/or pick?

If you would like to view additional photos for this weeks challenge or would like to submit your own please click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/story/

Love and Light!


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In Honor of Trees

Today I am honoring trees. They are beautiful, provide oxygen, shade, energy and more. It seems that there is a war on trees near my home town. Today I took a ride to the Saratoga National Historical Park. Some of you might remember that I visit this park quite often. It is my refuge and I love walking amongst the trees, deer, greenery, and beautiful views. It was a trip to the Park that made me question the destruction. On the left and right – trees felled and piled high, other areas the trees were already removed and the land filled in. The only remnants of the trees are in my memory. There are swathes of land that have been cleared for new ticky-tacky houses standing in a row – all matching and lined in straight rows with very small yards because the McMansions cover the land. It saddens my heart so I am sharing a photo of a tree that I took last year. Love this photo because the tree looks like there are eyes and a nose. Just wanted to remind every one of the importance of trees and our need to maintain a world where humans and nature live and share out world.

Trees - Carl Sagan quote

When children come to visit we play under the trees, visit the parks and check out the little doors within the trees, leaving little presents for the critters that visit. We run through the woods and hide behind the trees, hug them, and sit under them sharing stories. Maybe the next generation can be educated and have a better understanding of sharing out earth with nature.

Are you teaching your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or children in the community about living lovingly in nature? We can inspire and transform our world!! I picture a world filled with trees, birds, bees, flowers, and beautiful loving energy where human beings cherish our earth.

Love and Light!