Tag Archives: nature

A Walk – No. 1

Two days ago I got a hair cut. I really like it. Gal pal Kristine is a rock star! But that’s not what I’m writing about. I took a picture of my hair to share with my far-away sister (cause we like to do that sort of thing) and I noticed an un-ignorable pudge above my waist band. I was embarrassed to send the picture, but did anyway because, hey, it’s my sister, but went to bed feeling sad about my wintery weight that is always inevitable but never quite welcome.

This morning I woke to the sounds of birds chirping (actually it was my BBT thermometer) and sunshine pouring through my window. After briefly thinking that perhaps today would be the day I get back into my workout routine, I swiped alive my phone and loaded up Facebook instead. To my glee horror, there on my Facebook wall sat the loaded coincidence that I needed to get my lazy butt going.

john muir

Seeing as I live a mere block from the beautiful Iron Horse trail, I felt that I had no excuse to sit at home on another gorgeous morning, so away I went on a quick four mile power walk stroll.

I took some pictures which I thought I’d share. It appears that spring is on its way!

Iron Horse Trailwild flowersflowering treeflowering treewild flowersiron horse trail

When I got home, I decided to write this post and upon downloading the Facebook photo I noticed the quote was by John Muir. Seeing as I just moments ago walked past a hospital named after the Scottish born author, I’m thinking I did exactly what the universe was suggesting I do.

I guess good ‘ol John Muir was right! We often do find more than we seek, or perhaps, in my case, exactly what we’re looking for!

Laura

Lemons to Lemonade

Today is a much needed quiet and rainy day, but it didn’t start out that way. It was raining, but it wasn’t intended to be quiet.

I woke up this morning feeling tired. I’ve felt this way for the past week or so. Work has been exceptionally stressful and I think my body has finally had enough. The rain doesn’t help, although we most definitely need it here in the Bay Area.

As I dragged myself to work this morning, I noticed Nature stirring around me. While I was wishing I was back in bed, the birds were chirping gleefully, the creek was running rapidly and there was a smell of freshness in the air. There was also the smell of a fire burning, most likely the stove of a nearby cafe, and it reminded me of raining days camping and the smell of damp wood campfire. This smell brought me to a place of joy and I felt a charge with which to begin my day!

When I arrived at my office, there were messages from patients cancelling their morning appointments. At first I was annoyed about the change in my schedule. I got up early, trudged to work, weathered the rain, and now I’m stuck with several free hours to myself. Oh the horror.

I made a few phone calls, sent a few emails, and then decided to meditate. I so often recommend the practice of meditation to my patients and so often deny myself the experience. Being a healer is like this sometimes. My mind is constantly at work thinking of ways to help others, but I can easily forget to take the time to care for myself. So I went into our larger treatment room and closed the door. (I brought the phone with me – I’ve still got to work). I took off my watch and my rain-dampened shoes, closed my eyes, and began to breathe. As always it took me a few moments to calm the breath and my mind. I worried that I shouldn’t have the music playing or should have turned the lights out but then I remembered that life always has distractions and the point of my practice is to find peace within the chaos, so I remained in my meditation and continued to become calm. My mind wandered as it always does, but the breath softened and became smooth. I remembered the smell of fire during my walk, and why it is so attractive to my senses. It brings me back to my love of the outdoors and Nature that gently forces me to abandon the daily routine and technological connections that I hold on to neurotically. When I’m on a camp site, there are no phones, no computers, I rarely even wear a watch. It’s just me and the wilderness. The breeze, the birds, the sounds of a nearby stream. I don’t think about the next episode of my favorite show, or my unanswered emails, or my facebook status. I am able to enter freely into the oneness that exists between myself and my world and let go of the shackles that bind me to my ego. I returned to my meditation. The same feeling had been accomplished. My breath softened further. I felt energy in my hands. My heart was free. Then the phone rang. It was a solicitor. It’s a work day after all. No worries. I gained what I needed.

I set back to work and began writing this blog entry, and then a patient who was supposed to be at 10:30 walked in a 11:40. How fortunate that another patient cancelled and my time became available to him. Also how fortunate that I was given the time to renew my senses and nourish my heart. I was now clear and renewed.

Sometimes it all works out!

Laura

Palm Trees and Snow Caps

Aaaa.  Finally another chance to sit in front of the computer and share.  I thought preparing for the move was going to be the part that kept me away from blogging, but now that I’m in the new apartment and trying to settle in, I’m finding little time to do much of anything besides “nest.”  So now is my chance, and here’s a little post.

One of my most favorite things about living in California is the weather.  It’s not blue skies and sunshine every day.  But it is most days.  Whenever it does rain, which isn’t that often, I see it as a great treat.   We were given this treat on Monday when we had a whole half day of heavy rain.  And not the drizzle that we’re used to, but real “buckets of rain.”  So refreshing and cleansing…it didn’t last long.  In the winter, when a storm brings rain down by the ocean, you know that it snowed up in the mountains.  And one of the coolest things about living in Southern California, and especially in my new town of Long Beach, is that you can sit on the beach with the waves and palm trees and see the snow caps of the Los Angeles mountain range.  I can’t help but smile every time I look at them.  And after a good rain, when the air is crisp and fresh, the view is as clear as the blue skies that canvas them.  I wish I could post a picture but no camera I own would give the scene any justice.  Besides, some things are kept safer in my mind.

Seeing these mountains reminds me fortunate I am to have the opportunity to live where I do.  Being so close to the two things I love most about nature, the mountains and the ocean, feels my heart with joy.

What do you love most about where you live??

Laura

My Magic Garden

When I woke up this morning, I was a bit distressed.  All my things are in LB and The All-Star is in the Bay Area.  I didn’t know what I would do with my day.  My limbs are too achy to move more boxes and I’m not in the mood to nest alone.  Suddenly I realized that my babies were not prepared properly for this move.  Who are my babies you ask?  Well they’d be my garden of potted plants.

group shot

Gardening has slowly become a new passion of mine.  But my relationship with greenery has not always been an easy one.  My thumb was no where near green when I started.  In fact, for a while, it was a depressing shade of black.  Very frustrating but I forged forward.  After several failed attempts and a few shed tears (yes, I cried over dead plants), I have finally attained a mildly green thumb, or at least one that can keep them alive and even, for some, flourishing!

Green Thumb

So in the absence of my partner and all of my “stuff”, I took the opportunity to transfer some of my little buddies into better pots in hopes that they will continue to thrive at the new apartment.  Some will be brought from outside to inside which I think will be okay since it’s starting to get cold at night.  I’m excited to show them their new home.  There’s lots of windows for them to enjoy the light through.

These are the little ones I’m trying to raise.  The one of the left is a Bromeliad pup and the other is a cutting from a Spider Plant.  Fingers crossed for both, I don’t think I propagated them correctly.

pups

This guy in the middle is a Miniature Rose.  The All-Star gave him to me last Valentine’s Day.  He was barely hanging on for a while, but is doing much better now.  I even got a bloom this summer.  We’ll see how he holds up through the winter.

rose bush

This is the mama Peace Lily.  She’s the very first plant I got when I moved to California and she’s the only one from then still standing.  What a tough girl.  I gave her this new pretty pot today.

peace lily

These plants really do enrich my life.  Caring for them to makes me feel peaceful and part of nature.  I love watching them change shape and grow.  Their finicky characters have taught me to have patience and a gentle hand.  Their glowing green calms my mind.  Their release of oxygen freshens my air.  Their dirt reminds me that I can grow from the “yuck” that life sometimes likes to throw my way.

Gardening is an important aspect of my path towards wellness.  Not only is it a hobby that makes me happy but it brings beauty and serenity to my surroundings.  I’m glad I didn’t give up on them.  They’ve made a difference in my life, for sure.

What hobbies do you have that enrich your life??

I can’t end this post without first thanking my Dad and Aunt Chris for introducing to me the wonderfulness of plants. I hope one day my thumb can be as green as theirs are.

aunt chris and dad

Laura