PeerSpirit Blog

Preparing is Part of the Fun

This spring break we are taking our 10-year-old grandson on his first ever camping, road trip. On a recent trip to Los Angeles, where Jaden lives, we spent a Sunday afternoon shopping at REI to get the kind of gear an LA boy does not normally need—headlamp, hiking boots, long underwear, rain gear. It was a family outing: Dad took care of the four-year-old, ended up sitting on the camp chair demos having a pretend ...
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You Never Know

All of my outdoor life I have “been prepared”—carried my ten essentials, and then some. Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Essentials has an excellent article on the importance of bringing extra gear to handle the inevitable surprises that wilderness travel presents to the backcountry wayfarer. On a recent ski trip my years of traveling with the “ten essentials plus” saved one woman’s ski trip. Friends and I were staying in a backcountry hut—a 12 kilometer ski from the trailhead, ...
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We love our Tree

We live in a bioregion that grows conifer trees—lots and lots of them. Christmas tree farms are a big business here—a kind of agricultural product. So, it feels completely natural to make the acquisition of our annual Christmas tree an outing to a tree farm. Our local tree farm has been in the same family for three generations—a casual kind of operation that allows you to take a saw and chose your own. There has ...
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One Year Later

When a beloved dies, the veil between the worlds grows thin. We have all heard some version of this. My experience is that this is true. The year since my son died unexpectedly of complications from a line-of-duty accident has been blessed with some profound an inexplicable occurrences. Last week taking a solo moonlit walk through a northwest forest an owl flew out of a tree about 5 feet away, circled my head, and landed ...
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Seven Daily Cups–loving practice in busy lives

Imagine that every day you have seven cups laid out before you that are full in the morning and empty in the evening. Each of these cups contains a marvelous and amazing libation that is comprised of just the right combination of delicious ingredients: love, attention, focus, action, kindness, gesture, and forgiveness. These are not cups to chug it down, not something we can order as “a grande double-shot soy milk hazelnut latte´,” a libation ...
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Leaving a Legacy

On November 11, 2014 I honored the first anniversary of my father’s death by spending most of the day outdoors either hiking or gardening—great loves he passed on to me. He was a man who left his wife, 4 daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren a strong legacy of determination, loyalty, hard work, and tradition. In October Christina and I spent 3 weeks traveling and teaching in Europe to celebrate the release of The Circle Way ...
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Europe– a soft autumn & full circles

From 9 October to 1 November, Ann Linnea and I have been traveling in central Europe through weeks of soft weather and incredible people-time. Landing in Brussels, we were whisked into the Belgian farmlands to visit friends and spend a day in a small, informal, circle of women…a breath upon landing. Then we trained to Cologne, Germany, and spent the rest of the weekend in Bad Honnef, near Bonn—and our education began. This would be ...
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Home to the Garden

I have just arrived home from a 10,000+ mile journey to carry our circle work further into Europe. We were royally hosted by our Belgium, German, and Austrian friends as we worked together to offer numerous workshops and gatherings that ultimately were attended by circle carriers from 14 European countries. It was an extraordinary journey. I will write more about it later. Today I am simply happy to be home on this lovely piece of ...
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A View from Offshore

After some consulting work, Ann and I stayed in Los Angeles for a September weekend to visit daughter Sally, partner Joe, and our two adorable grandchildren, Sasha and Jaden. Hot sun and big city, we revel in the diversity of people, options, and activities going on all around us. And we two island grannies, who live among trees and along beaches, are also a bit overwhelmed by billboards, traffic, street lights, crowds and shopping malls ...
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A Forest Talking

Forests have a lot to say, if we listen, look, and shift our focus from human concerns to nature concerns. Recently friends and I were walking a remote trail in the valley of the Hamma Hamma River in the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. Even though it was late August and a sunny 75 degrees F., it was rain forest lush—mosses, ferns, and Devils Club near all the seeps. The canopy around us was an ...
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Gray hair, wrinkles, and name tags

I walked into the country club, at the west suburban edge of Minneapolis, on a muggy August evening. There were kids splashing in the pool, golfers at the bar, a wedding reception in the main lounge, and two rooms at the back hosting “The Wayzata High School Class of 1964, 50th Reunion.” First stop, the name tag table, to pick up a sticky patch that had my name and current location written on it and ...
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Deep Water Passage

“Grandma, I skipped the stone!” exclaimed our 9-year-old grandson, Jaden. He and I had been practicing in the calmer backwaters of the Gooseberry River and he was ready to try his hand at skipping flat, wave-worn rocks into the wind and waves of the world’s largest lake. Three-year-old granddaughter, Sasha, was having her own fun throwing fistfuls of pebbles into the waves. In the August sunshine, that Lake Superior combination of warm air and cold ...
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Summer sweet & sorrow

Picking raspberries on a Sunday, early evening. The sun is coming through the leaves of the plants, creating a golden green, the veins illuminated, infused. This is how it happens: the Earth doing her earth-thing, providing us with what we need, and more... It is a zenith moment, high summer... just before the first tip toward autumn. We have pulled the peas that our grandson planted last March, visiting us on his spring break. They ...
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Working Bicycles of the Netherlands

We are visiting the Netherlands and learning a lot about this small, densely populated country. One of the most obvious sites (besides the windmills) in both urban and rural areas is bicycles. The Dutch have the most bicycles per head of population in the world. (1.3 per citizen old enough to ride) Many Dutch own more than one—one for everyday use and a “best” one for cycle trips. According to Wikipedia, 27% of all ...
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What my father did in “the war”

My father (who will be 94 years old in July) came to dinner on the patio at our house on an early June evening. We were hosting several lovely colleagues, Holier (age 44) and Roswitha (age 55) from Germany. We had a long meandering conversation talking about different travels and experiences in our lives and then one of us asked him what he did in “the War…” Leo Baldwin was the only conscientious objector from ...
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All we are saying…Peace

Last Saturday, driving to a day of teaching for the Self as the Source of the Story seminar, I drove past the weekly Peace Vigil alongside the highway a few miles from our house. I was so touched I decided to write about this in my blog... and today, into my box came this anonymously penned "history and celebration" of the current peace activism on Whidbey. I have participated in both these events over the ...
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Wilderness Quest

For months the Olympic Mountains had been beckoning. Sometimes veiled by layers of gray clouds, sometimes towering in snowy glory, their many moods called to me across the waters of Puget Sound. Massive rainforest trees, thundering waterfalls, wandering bear and cougar, no highways or roads penetrating their wild interior—I knew it was a perfect place for a rite of passage to mark the transition into my 65th year, and to honor the death of ...
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Dirty Fingernails

Half an hour in the morning. Ann swimming at the club, I’m dressed for yoga when she returns with the vehicle. Dog still in bed. I put down her breakfast to entice her out. I have scrolled through emails, thank goodness stayed off Face Book. My mind is racing with ideas… shall I communicate with myself in the quiet of the journal, or communicate with “you”—whomever reads this blog: today, tomorrow, or in the mysterious ...
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Fist to the heart–Five Months Later

It has been five months since a midnight phone call pulled us into the emergency of our 33-year-old son’s dying. We were on our way to the airport by 3:00 AM, and by 6:00 AM I had sent an email to extended family and friends asking for prayers and articulating what was happening as it unfolded. We flew to Denver. His sister arrived. His father arrived. Friends surrounded him. He hung onto the thread of ...
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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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