Blog Posts by Ann Linnea

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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Inspiration in Many Forms

This is not a stock photo. It was taken with an iPhone by my partner, Christina, on a recent September day. Mt. Shucksan as mirrored in Picture Lake is one of the iconic photographs in Washington state. And we were lucky enough to visit when photographic conditions were perfect. Many, many things about that day were inspirational. We drove past Picture Lake up to Artist’s Point where Mt. Shucksan rises in one direction and ...
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August harvester

August is not the best sleeping month at our house. My earlier blog was about loud, early morning fog horns. This blog is about a little busybody harvester whose work often wakes us with a loud BAM beginning about 5:30 a.m. We have a huge Douglas fir tree towering over our house. Each year in late August a little red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), or maybe it is an army of red squirrels, begin harvesting the ...
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Fog-ust

Early this morning I awoke to the deep-throated booming of a ship's foghorn. In the dawn light I could read the alarm "4:35 a.m." In two minutes the "bee-ohhh" penetrated the morning silence again. This time it had moved closer to our house. In another two minutes it sounded like it was going to come in through the front door. Living adjacent to the shipping lane in Puget Sound, I have come to love these ...
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A mother’s wisdom

On a recent family trip our two-year-old granddaughter managed to hike up Easter Bluff on Cortes Island, BC. It was a challenging hike up and over big boulders. "I do it myself," she stated many times. Her mom and dad were always close at hand. It is no small thing that this little one was able to climb several hundred feet over a mile long trail. But what I will always remember is the ...
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Ancient Tree in an Ancient Town

On a recent European teaching trip we stopped to visit the town of Groznian on the Istria Peninsula in Croatia. Like so many things in this country, both the tree and the town have a long history. A vendor near the tree identified it as a Mediterranean hackberry or European nettle tree, (Celtis australis). It stood prominently near the edge of the walled city. We were enthralled by its warty bark and hollow center. Indeed, ...
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