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Living and Writing in the Natural World

The rhythm of the autumn equinox

This past week saw one of the High Holy Days of a Taoist year or, indeed, the year of anyone attuned to the rhythms of the planet upon which we are privileged to reside. I celebrated the Autumnal Equinox by spending most of the mornings of September 21 and 22 bicycling along the Arkansas River which runs through my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was visiting to celebrate Read More 
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What the Grass Revealed

A helpful label in the grass

I had just returned from my "short spin" around the park on my mountain bike today, and it was time to do some yardwork. I cut back the summer's growth of mint in the back yard and put water on it, to encourage sweet new growth. (You have a mint patch also, don't you? How else can one have mojitos at home throughout the summer? It's one of the basic necessities of life, just like having a mountain bike for spins and a large family tent for camping. Basic.) Then mowed the backyard (with my electric mower, probably the last one in Chico, maybe on the continent). As I was gathering up the cord and admiring the elegant way it snaked through the grass, I saw something else in the grass, something Read More 

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Staying connected to what matters

John Muir would escape from his writing (which he hated) in his winters in San Francisco by taking a ferry east or west to the Oakland/Berkeley hills or Mt. Tamalpais and spend the day "rambling". Upon his return he would have an armful of flowers which he distributed to eager street urchins as he took the hill to his Taylor Street room with long strides and a lightened heart.
Like Muir, we all need to take time to stay connected to the natural world, hopefully as a daily or near-daily jaunt. Four or five times a week I get on my bicycle and head for Bidwell Park in my hometown of Chico. My route depends on how much time I have. Yesterday I only had 30 or 40 minutes, so I took  Read More 
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Guardian spirits in a Sequoia grove, High Sierra

Leaning against a giant sequoia much wider than my tent

Watching the recent full moon, I was reminded of the previous one, which I spent camped under a 22-foot wide Sequoia tree thinking of the last scene of the second act of Humperdinck's 1893 Opera "Hansel and Gretel," where the guardian angels are flowing down the ramp and protecting the forest-dwelling kids.

I had parted company the day before from the other nine members of our annual Father/Son backpacking trip into the High Sierras.  Read More 

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