The Sound of Light

So fellow travelers, it’s been a strange couple of days.

My original plans for the holiday weekend were derailed by a random digestive rebellion. No extended time with the new rescue dogs who arrived early Saturday, no hikes, bird walks or picnics, no visiting with friends camping at local state parks. Yesterday, feeling somewhat better, I took our dog out early. We were greeted by a coll refreshing breeze and magical light which gave me this beautiful image. As I stood taking in the energies of this glorious moment I swear I heard those pretty purple bell flowers ringing.


Dawn comes darkness fades
Pain becomes mere memory
Light rings healing bells.

Maybe it was just post fever dehydration making my ears ring. Either way the music was beautifully healing.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

… on scheduling nothing

Sharing this wonderful piece from Lisa Dingle’s blog. So timely as we come through a month of very hectic family events, some planned, some unexpected. While my own plans for a do nothing day this weekend were sidelined by a random stomach bug, I am not feeling badly. I have actually been enjoying the sights and sounds of several birding areas, thanks to an intrepid birder who posts a video “tour” every weekend on line. The down time is also giving me a chance to process my thoughts about our own birding expedition last weekend. That post will be up soon.

just ponderin'


Years ago, when JoHn and I were both still working bazillion hour weeks and juggling our careers with two, then three kids, we would schedule days to do nothing.


We actually scheduled them, by leaving the days intentionally blank.

Because there were things all over the dang calendar, all the time and it felt impossible to get rid of them, or stop them from coming (sort of like lice, but less itchy).

“Mac. Gymnastics Meet. 2 – 6”.

“Sam/Evan Playdate. Here. 1:30 – ?”

“Gabe…” (He was third so I don’t remember what we did with him but it was something).

Even family oriented activities like “Try to Talk Kids into Digging to China so We Can Have Coffee in Quiet” looked stressful on the calendar.

So the days would be left intentionally blank and they became, like, beacons.

We loved them. Unplanned days to do or not…

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Sunrise at Potter Road Marsh

So fellow travelers, some thoughts and one photo to share for now from  this weekend’s 24 hour Birdathon (narrative post pending).


How to speak
when the hearts too full
when goodbye looms large
and fills the horizon
So silence lingers
like dawn cast mist
and sunrise paints a memory
which grateful eyes take in
holding fast
to anchor love
against the winds of change

Tomorrow morning Favorite Youngest Daughter wings her way to the west coast so for a while this moment will have to tide me over until we hit the trails on  a new adventure.


Walk gently upon the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Mother’s Day: Postscript

So fellow travelers, after a simple Mother’s Day post,  I signed off to enjoy my day with Favorite Youngest Daughter.

Later that evening, I scrolled through an abundance of posts on Instagram and Facebook from various friends and relations enjoying scrumptious brunches, festive dinners, day trips to other cities.

I smiled.

I smiled because I was able to celebrate my day in a different manner which filled my heart with joy.

After a round of phone calls to wish the Moms in my life a happy day, Favorite Youngest Daughter and I hit the road to scout for birds.


Birding on Mother’s Day became a new tradition a few years ago when a marching band event conflicted with our local Audubon Birdathon.

The OAS Birdathon is a twenty-four hour challenge held on the third Saturday of May, during which teams go afield in a designated geographic territory to identify by sight or sound as many different species as possible. It doesn’t matter how many bluebirds we find, once we’ve identified one bluebird, that species is checked off the list and we move on.

For my first birdathon adventure, over ten years ago,  I was graciously given a chance to tag along with an experienced birder. I had a four wheel drive vehicle and I was not afraid to use it, so I was an asset regardless of my lack of birding experience. I returned home with so many stories of crazy encounters my daughter said “Mom, that sounds like fun. Can I go next year?”

So in 2006, Team Loonatics made their Birdathon debut with a goal of finding fifty species, an ambitious total for novice birders. Inspite of windy, chilly weather, absolutely awful conditions for birding, we managed to make our goal with a few extra species for good measure.  When we returned home after fifteen hours, tired and chilled to the bone my then nine year old daughter said “That was great. Can we go again next year?”

So for eight consecutive years, on the third Saturday of May we headed out in search of birds to tally up, increasing our goal a bit each year. Each year, right around the first week in May, Favorite Youngest Daughter would ask if we were doing the Birdathon again.

Damn right we are, because I was not about to pass up something my kid was willing to do with me year after year, even through some difficult teenage growing pains. And when the band competition threw us off our schedule, we were both disappointed until we came up with the idea of going out on Mother’s Day. It’s been fun even though it had a different feeling without the competitive tallies.

With my daughter now home from her college adventure in Tokyo, Team Loonatics will be back afield again this season. Our species goal is up to one hundred and we have been out scouting locations and listening to bird call apps to get ready. Her gift of spending both Mother’s Day and Birdathon  with me makes me twice blessed this year.

It’s a blessing I will hold fast and safe in my heart. A few days after we complete this year’s Birdathon she spreads her own wings, heading for the West Coast to take on the next leg of her college journey.


Great Egret at Fair Haven State Park, May 2008  Photo by Emma Rahalski

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Mother’s Day

So fellow travelers,  just some simple words and a gift from the garden this morning.

The opportunity to nurture life is the best gift.
To be nurtured by others is the greatest blessing.
quince Edit

Whatever your reason may you celebrate this day with joy.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Thoughts: Tom the Berserker

A well written piece about a difficult topic from a writer ( and friend) who really knows what he’s speaking about.

Quarry House


I went into therapy about a decade ago because I felt like I was coming apart. A couple of months after I began, my life really did fall apart.

Regular readers already know my story. I fell into a black place. Depression on steroids. You know, the kind of depression you read about where you feel paralyzed, where you can’t get going, can’t make yourself do things, where you struggle to get going in the morning. Yeah, I was pretty much the poster child. Cue fetal position.

Some people ask me if I have “triggers” for depression, things that send me into a dark place. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that because sometimes you live with something so long that you don’t really think about it. It just is. As I have thought about it, and looked back, I’ve come to realize that it’s not that simple.

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What will I do today?

I have followed Mary Muncil’s blog for several years. I admire the honesty with which she writes about her spiritual journey. Often I feel as if I have come to a similar spot on my own path; this piece is one of those moments.

Mary Muncil ♡ Spiritual Counseling

P1250469 Eleanor snuggling with one of Luke’s toys

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” E. B. White

For much of my life, I’d felt a deep urge to help others…but it never seemed like I was doing enough. I believed that life was a long, narrow, uphill, climb toward some place of perfection where I would finally be in my right place, doing my right work, at the right time; a place where I’d finally know who I was and why I was here. I struggled for years to get to this place, yet it always seemed out of reach. Rest was not an option on this path.

During these years of struggle, I was incredibly self-concerned, but I didn’t realize it. I thought that my striving was noble…

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