PeerSpirit Blog

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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Weather Reports

It is mid-February. A few days ago I was sitting on the deck of our house, in the sunshine—and it was 55 Farenheit/12 Celsius. I hesitate to mention what a lovely winter we are having when across the North American continent there is so much snow and ice and disastrously low temperatures—however you measure it. And England is awash in floods; heavy rains, and storms tearing at its coastal towns. And Australia is broiling hot ...
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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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Benediction for Brian

It has been a month now since Ann's son/our son, age 33 years, suffered cardiac arrest 48 hours after reparative surgery and a grueling 14 months of recovery from a serious accident in the line of paramedic duty. At his memorial on December 12, I read the following benediction... It is both personal to Brian, and universal to our longing to know and be known. I offer it into a quiet moment in your holiday/holy ...
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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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Enter the winter through e-space

I loved doing the e-course. There were nearly 600 people receiving the emailed essays on "Restorying Your Life." Most of these people received the emails and wrote in private, or tucked them away for a less busy time. I am reading on Facebook that folks are just now settling down by the winter fire and starting (or continuing) to follow the writing prompts. This is true for me too--looking forward to following my own advice ...
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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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Writing excuse: I’m too busy writing!

This blog is something I think about--either late at night waking to the moon and communing a while, but not moving from under the comforter (there's a reason it's called that... ahhh, downy delight!); or about 9:00 in the morning when I have an hour before Debbie comes to work and we all show up in the PeerSpirit office to check in and start a different kind of business day... And I won't let myself ...
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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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Still on the trail… and the trail is still here.

As I turn the calendar to September, I realize that Ann and I have celebrated summer in six countries this year.  Celebrated is the right word—for we love the long light and barefoot days, the sense that at the end of the “work day” there are still hours and hours of daylight to play in. This year that has meant, walking the Medicine Wheel with twilight prayers for the questers on the mountain during our ...
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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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A startling question

Story circle in Slovenia Life is rushing me on when I want to yell—“Hey, slow down, I’m still in Europe in my heart!” So many dear people, doing amazing work using circle. Ann and I were so happy to sit in the training councils in Germany and Slovenia, to participate in the development of widespread circle practice in consulting, community leadership, organizational development, European Commission agencies, coaching, and business ownership…  Let me share one story ...
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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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