Blog Posts by Ann Linnea

Superheroes

“Grandma, I want to be a superhero with super powers,” said our 9-year-old grandson as we headed outdoors to play baseball. The previous night we had watched “How to Train Your Dragon”, a DreamWorks animation film which features a young Viking boy (Hiccup) who defies convention by training, rather than killing dragons. “It would be so cool to have a super power,” Jaden said. “What kind of super power would you like?” I asked ...
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Daffodils and Garlic—the perfect send off

It is mid-March— that time in the northern hemisphere where the sun is once again beginning to have some warming power and the southern hemisphere is moving into shorter, cooler days. Two plants have been lifelong harbingers of spring for me: daffodils and garlic. The daffodils shown here were planted in my neighbors yard decades ago before she arrived. Every year they come up faithfully in spring—early bursts of color and life in the midst ...
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Tracking

We rarely get snow at sea level, but this morning we awoke to an inch of new snow. I realize this is almost laughable for my Minnesota, east coast, and Canadian friends. But it brought out a huge sense of wonder for me. On my morning dog walk I made quite a discovery—a raccoon walked down the middle of our road sometime during the night! Maybe we have had a raccoon around for quite a ...
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Who Won?

Nature teaches us many lessons. We tend to like the nice ones with inspiring scenery or cute animals. We don’t talk much about the more disturbing scenes that leave us unsettled. This is the story about a hybrid seagull and a female bufflehead duck. It is a story about a predator that is 7 or 8 times the size of its prey. And I am still not sure “who won”. Watching birds on a winter, ...
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Companionship

She ran circles in the house upon our return from the state park. At our house we call it frapping—frantically running around playing. She was so happy! She had had such a good time on the hike. And I did, too. It was a dreary Northwest December day. Gray, light rain, temperatures not much above freezing. The high tide of despair was rolling in fast. Often the only container large enough for my grief is ...
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Medicine Walk with my Son

On Nov. 23 my 33-year-old son died unexpectedly in Denver after what was to have been his final surgery on the road to recovery from a terrible accident as a paramedic fourteen months earlier. I am still in shock. To prepare myself to speak at his huge “line of duty” funeral, I sought spiritual readiness in the solace of nature. Brian was young and adventuresome. I knew I had to go to a wild place ...
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Medicine Walk Number One

When I really need guidance, I take a medicine walk. Far more than a walk in the woods or a ski on the snow, a medicine walk is deeply intentional time in nature. Two recent deaths in my family reminded me of the power of this ancient form. My father died on Veteran’s Day (November 11). Several days later I spent the day alone in a nearby state park. Drawing a tarot card for guidance, ...
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Orcas!

We were taking a lunch break from office details when I shouted, “Orcas swimming by!” Immediately we headed out the door and toward the beach stairs. We could see a group of orcas loblolling and circling as they actively fished for salmon about four miles off shore in a surprisingly calm Puget Sound. These extraordinary animals, sometimes called “the wolves of the sea”, were clearly working together to corral salmon. Puget Sound resident orcas ...
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Winter Soils

If you love the earth, gardening is a marvelous way to watch and participate in the changing of the seasons. Here in the north us winter gardeners are busily cutting back dying vegetation and preparing the soil for winter rains or snows. My Australian gardening friends, Linette and Marie, are all excited about new lettuce, basil, and tomato plants—the often more exciting end of the gardening spectrum. But I love putting my garden to bed ...
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The Change of Seasons

I am especially thinking of my dad this fall. He was an avid gardener and once cooler weather began to arrive he taught me to be meticulous about getting plants cut back and prepared for winter. Yesterday I worked with friends in our community garden to cut back plants, move manure from a local horse farm to compost our garden waste, and generally admire the changing colors. When I called Dad in the memory care ...
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