Category Archives: nature

February afternoon hike

Live blogging from Lake Vermillion…


Autumn’s brush long dry
Warm Winter’s canvas still brown
Spring don’t miss your cue

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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in hiking, nature, poetry



Dragonflies on a Flooded Dirt Road

A fortunate wrong turn on my way home from Madison last week brought me to this. I didn’t try crossing it, but did sit a while on this thin strip of gravel that seemed like a firm raft in the center of two sloughs becoming one.

Really enjoyed the thousands of busy soul-blue dragonflies. Always been fascinated by them, and can watch them for long stretches. They just seem to amaze me by defying gravity. Like they’re from the Cosmos Mystery Area.

It reminded me of a verse I wrote a couple years ago while sitting in a field watching a few of those magic little guys with wonder.

Here’s a short video I shot on the flooded dirt road. I found it a nice little meditation. Plug in some earbuds, turn the sound up, and watch the video as big as you can with good resolution. Put everything out of your mind, let it rest. Relax your whole body, then feel all of your body with your mind… Give it a go. Become the peace in the soft summer breeze. It’ll only take half a minute.

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Posted by on July 11, 2010 in nature, video



Toward more of what matters

Bring on Two Thousand Ten.

I started writing this more than a week ago, before it actually was 2010. Just didn’t finish it ’til now, but it means the same now or then.

I’m not making any resolutions this year. No big list of goals. Not even my usual “Not Do” list of things I need to quit. 2010 is the year of the Ingalls. That’s all we need, the things Laura and Pa and the crew had a bunch of:

  1. Lots of time being with family,
  2. Quiet time for reflection, and
  3. Major connection with nature.

This list is really what matters. At the heart, it’s about rethinking our concept of happiness–giving ourselves permission to be together in different ways. Centering our time together around love and conversation; with each other, with ourselves, and with the rest of it. This is my hopeful intention for the new decade upon us.

(Thanks to Bill McKibben’s book Deep Economy for the re-inspiration–just paging through again.)

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Posted by on January 10, 2010 in nature, presencing


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Who Does God Love More?

I could have titled this post “Why Humans Keep on Destroying the Earth,” or “How to Dangerously Inflate a Child’s Ego.” My first grade daughter came home from catechism class a few weeks ago with a freshly done quiz. We always sit down and go through the girls’ worksheets and other hand outs and talk a bit about them–so I know what they’re being taught, and can understand what they are understanding. I often let them know there is more than one way to look at most teachings in the church, and offer more perspective. This time, I cried inside.

If you take a look at Quiz 3 , you’ll see that the lesson must have been all about how much God loves us. This is cool. But when we try to illustrate that point by comparing God’s love between people and the rest of nature, we reinforce a false sense of superiority and separateness. If we are a beautiful part of a whole creation, how can we be sure God loves us more than the flowers or birds or monkeys? After all, we’re the only species needing a savior, right?

What if we weren’t taught from such a young age that we are better, more loved, and more like God, than the rest of creation? How might our view, and our stewardship, of the rest of this Earth be different then? The constant, and I think unfortunate, reminders that we are superior to the rest of it all is a big reason it’s so hard for us to take things like climate change, pollution and destruction of ecosystems seriously. If  we are more important, more worthy of God, then why does the rest really matter? If we are here only temporarily, in a wasteland of sin, just preparing to go to some other place when we die, then who cares about this planet?

And so the story goes…

I wonder if this “place” we call heaven isn’t a place at all. Not some location, somewhere else. I wonder if it is a state of being, a paradise of peace and no more wanting, here in this life, and after. And I wonder how differently we might view and understand our interconnectedness with the rest of creation. What if we aren’t more important? What if we can’t love and praise God more than a flower?

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Posted by on December 6, 2009 in God, nature, universe


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