Atmospheric River and Bodywork

The weather report calls what is happening with rain and storms in our area as an atmospheric river. Each day I go out between breaks and try to set some dry seed out and clean up any debris. There are close to a hundred Lesser Goldfinch and Pine Siskin along with the regular tribe gathering at our fence and feeders and the old apple tree is filled with teaming life and chatter. An ornithologist, when I express my concern about feeding them, lets me know that I am supplementing their diet and not to worry but these tiny beings that are happy the diner is open. Her comment made me laugh since it is like fast food for them and for me.

In the evening we drive across town to an appointment for me for bodywork on my healing shoulder injury. We arrive on the edge of the ocean when we reach that part of town by the lighthouse on West Cliff Drive and the sky is wild and gray with gale winds. The forecast exclaimed that the winds could be up to 60mph. The gulls slide and turn in and out of the wind to get close to the ocean to fish, the pelicans form their sturdy line and move through their element as the waves rise up thirty feet as the foam flies off and bounces against our car window. Wave after wave is cruising in thick heavy masses of ocean sea. It is truly dramatic. People get out of their cars and howl as they try and take pictures with hair flying and clothes flapping. Everyone is relishing this storm and amazing to see people standing in the strong wind running in and out of their cars to snap a photo. One woman has long red hair that whips straight up in the wind as if she is being pulled up to join the birds.

At my appointment my friend and teacher checks in with me then she has me sit to help me organize my moves in a conscious way to help break the patterns of carry and lift, sit and contract with my body. After this she work on chair and floor has me go to the table and layers me with gauze and warm blankets as I  drift into the atmospheric river of her touch. Immediately I feel how my body is meeting her intuitive touch and intelligence in unison with body: I am as they say, “in good hands.”

For several years her hands have guided my body and me into myself and into the ease of fluidity. She travels her own path and met her challenges in her life with the intelligence of this work in movement classes with many people throughout the years along with this intimate and strong practice with her clients. I hear the storm quiet outside as I absorb the healing action moving like a wave in my whole being.

Like this husky I see at the beach.


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Flocks and Flotsam

This morning  as soon as I put out some seed there are larger then usual flocks of Lesser Goldfinch, Mourning Doves along with flyovers of Crows, White Crown Sparrows, and tiny Bush tits. In the distance the hawk cries out as groups of birds move faster and tighter together in the startling bright morning light.

Last night the storm raged and settled and left a quiet clean breath moving through the trees. I hear from people I love about sorrow and change, about change and needed strength to find the next step. It seems the wind carries all the voices inside of us and outside of us to a tremulous peak in the middle of the night.

During the night I woke up and read in the bathroom some of Michelle Obama’s life in her new book “Becoming”. I read about her life which is many lives given the turns down roads that were unexpected, often remarkable and challenging. As she wrote in her book the last eight years in the White House can seem like a dream but the presence of them remain in all she does. At their home she now relishes the time to walk quietly alone and to settle into herself in another phase of her life.

As I walk today the wind and weather at the beach has brought in pieces of the world that have been washed up on the shore along with delicate combinations of foam and seaweed in a tangled mass of loveliness. I pick up the plastic and torn bags as I walk along and take in the wind swept waves..

Today is a break in the rain with shimmering silver light scaling the surface of the ocean as fishermen and a  fisher woman caste their lines into the waves.

Each days is like this a becoming and for a little while I glimpse spring in the yellow acacia, purple rosemary flowers and hummingbird plant that attracts the green then red chested little sprite half hidden under the long stalk like orange blossoms. The Yellow Crown Sparrow hops eagerly to the next fence post for his next meal.screen shot 2019-01-10 at 8.49.43 am.




This evening we drive by the shelter on the way home. I once again know there is a husky there and so we stop.

Driving up to the shelter is always a mixed bag. I want to see the dogs and I want them to not be there. When we look across the parking lot the husky is there. She is compact, white with the black detailing of her breed and she stands eager as we come closer. Artemis puts her paw up and greets us at the fence.

Suddenly this husky being pots a pup that is out playing with one of the volunteers walking the dog with a tug toy.

Artemis is a keen eyed beauty and a bit over three years old. She moves her body with some irritation and we find out she has just been spayed. Three years old seems a bit old to do the deed, and spaying is a troublesome subject to embark on given the health hazards for the animal along with this kind of odd natural selection eliminating the gene pool of husky dogs and many other breeds at the shelter but it is policy.

This evening I heard from my friend who is flying out to be with her mother who has been in a home declining over the last several months.Today my friend receives a call her mothers time is near. For my friend it has been years of care and visits across two states to be with her, and to slowly heal their relationship with one another but this is the final act together.

When we lose a parent the time is a turning for our lives. The experience itself is filled with so much quiet in the middle of the large sound of life retreating from a body, and  palpable presence disappearing from our world. No matter what the story may have been good or bad with them the pieces of it do not matter because somehow it is a totality.

So as I watch Artemis dog take in the other dog, ourselves, and the grassy field at dusk. I of the goddess associated with this husky and want my friend to feel the wild place that is always inside of her like Artemis offering her the strength thatscreen shot 2019-01-10 at 8.19.43 pm she carries striding through the woods to her next destination as she slings her bow and arrow over her shoulder.

I Admit It..

I used to dress my dog up when she was sleeping. I came across these silly pictures of my dog who died four years ago. I love seeing her deep sleep and the funny monkey puppet I put by her.

Tonight I listened to a webinar about how we can protect wolves being sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity. A long chat list appears with people introducing themselves and their involvement with wolves, and oddly enough many of them are people who have had a wolfdog in their life and as a result began to learn more about wolves. It made me feel that the wolfdogs are like messengers for their progenitors.

The group sponsoring the webinar has a site that is “Save Our Wolves” and is planning an action on March 5th for wolf protection. In my own efforts I made a small film about wolves that introduce science as well as the family life of wolves so the content moves the viewer past myths and legends into good information about wolves and their importance in our ecosystem. I like the groups efforts and work because they confront the way the wolf has wrongly been made a poster child for evil and offers us a chance to exam our views.

I try to not be prejudice about cows but the grazing of land and the amount of emphasis we have on hamburgers is about as bad as cementing every bit earth for cars and leaving no green or open space.

Finding the shots of this funny hat on Lupine that night in the trailer where I shot pictures when she was asleep in her exhausted puppy like state made me laugh at how I was taking advantage of her vulnerability. I am sure she would have chewed up the hat and the monkey puppet if she had a chance when she was awake!

I do hope we can help wolves thrive again. Wolves certainly deserve the space they need which could easily be shared with a willing heart given the vast numbers of cows and burgers we seem to make room for in our society.

Rain Birds

Today has been rainy. The stalwart birds dodge in and out between the rains and even during the downpour. I pop out to put some fresh seed after having dumped the soggy wet seed so that they do not get sick. In the news the government is on hold but the birds are not.

Money is an odd thing and the power it can wield and watching how much it weighs in and for a bird it is downright non-existent. I am feeding them and it cost money to buy seed but probably they would find a way to eat in the world all around them but it is good to feel I could feed that many beings at once and see them rollick and enjoy their meal together.

Everything I have read about species wisdom I find there is a natural balance that has existed that we seem to rapidly be destroying with how we live in the midst of nature. I am not good at debating much about the argument for or against progress but it has often seemed more then possible to consider a better way to balance that equation since we do understand so much more about the necessity. from out past mistakes but it is not playing out in this political climate.

Care seems at the heart of things. Maybe more clearly it is about the desire to care then just the desire without care being at the center. There is much to say about wanting, desire, need and greed but certainly we are witnessing one of the least conscious times in history on the stage in front of us. My husband says democracy is about drama and so seeing it as a stage might be an appropriate description. I tend to consider what I see about the birds less as a drama and more as a story but certainly there ways it is played out.

One of the dogs we took care of off an on had to be put down. He had more then likely a brain tumor but the collapses became more frequent and harder for the owner and for the dog to live comfortably. It is such a hard thing to put an animal down and decide about his or her time. I think of the three major times I had to do that in my life and each time it seemed the animal let me know it was time and we said our good-byes and I was there with them. I think of friends and my mother dying and being with them at that time and how it mattered to all of us to be together.

Watching Kashi put her paws together and set her head down and letting the vet give her a final shot and the quiet way she went to sleep stays with me and the sweetness in the young  vet cutting off some fur to take with me.

When I was with Lupine she was thrashing one more time when she had that first shot until I began putting my hand on her neck and gently bringing her against me, and she let herself slide down against my lap until the second shot took her away.

Both dogs went with me to the vet when I asked them if it was time to go with no resistance and both dogs looked out the window of the car taking in the world just a bit longer and both of them are in every dog I meet in this way dogs are so much themselves.

My horse Rocky walked with me out to a pasture when he had to be put down. He was limping but was out of pain. We went out to the field where he was able to lie down gently as the rest of the medication was administered and he had one big last horse sigh. The nurse cut some mane off of him.

I took the fur of the dogs and the mane of my horse and took them to the trees by rivers and eventually storms took them away. None of these companions are ever gone and in a way the time with them at the end gave me a chance to be in that transition so something lingers longer in our time together..

I watch the world around me pulsing with new life, the birds, more dogs, more horses and see the ongoing potential in existence. I do hope we can savor what we have in our world, and not lose it in ten years. I do not know anymore what it takes on the outside to change the lack of consideration and respect for nature but I do know it takes care to see life through as long as it lasts around me and a good heart to inhabit all the seasons.screen shot 2019-01-06 at 1.13.23 pm

Boxed In

The new feeder box made by my newly acquired brother-in-law is great. The little birds feel boxed into a safe zone except by the doves and quail that now try and venture into  or upon it. One wonders about the weight factor but it is fun watching them scale the fence and fit as many people into the phone booth idea at once.

Today the sun is bright and the air is crisp and it does feel like a new year. I am grateful that my sore neck eased and that I can move more freely again.

The birds have been great to watch during all of this and today I could hold my camera.

I am happy to once again shoot a photo of this lovely little guy who now has two more friends like him and the four other warblers, the wren and nuthatch all hanging out at the “Box.”screen shot 2019-01-03 at 12.58.58 pm

Signs; Wolf Ears and Young Hawk

When I wander and I see a hawk like I did today and the funny wolf totem I feel the universe speaks to me in sign.

The light is gleaming as we walk along the cliff. In the distance a hawk is approaching the eucalyptus trees. The hawk’s torso looms larger as he glides onto a thick branch and fluffs out the downy feathers revealing a bright white chest with the brown belt of a red-tail hawk. For quite a while we watch the hawk and the hawk watches us. The scene fills the visual screen of our life. I am fascinated.

I begin tossing up a glove and moving about as we make contact and those strong eyes taking me into account. I have seen this hawk hunt, it is a young hawk, and learning the ropes.

Eventually the walk continues down the path following a rusty railroad track. As I go along the track until I turn a corner to go up the loop taking me back to the car. On the grass I see a pair of fuzzy costume looking ears on a headband. I turn the band over and it says “Great Wolf Lodge.” I don the ears to catch up with my husband who has taken the other passage back to the car, to show him I have found something special on my travels that represent my love of wolves. Wolf and hawk take me home for the evening to roast root vegetables and share a piece of Olallieberry pie we bought at the bakery.

My body is still aching from the injury but the spasms have slowed so it is wonderful to walk outside and see the ocean like a blue lake, meet up with hawk catching the remaining rays of light to hunt and go back to his roost and of course to find Great Wolf Lodge ears on the ground.


In my haste to put on some seat covers in my car I wrench my neck and activate an older injury in shoulder. Also my enthusiasm to carry around my camera in the cold, a heavy shoulder bag all add to the demise of my neck and shoulder in nerve pain and spasms that last a night and a day. I take Turmeric and one aspirin to deal with some of the pain and use my little light therapy machine, ice and Continuum work during the night with gentle moves to release and encourage fluidity to a locked up arm.

I continue to feed the birds but it is hard to look up where I place some of the food but give it a good shot and they can eat during the cold days. I make some lasagna one handed and there is something for our Christmas dinner. When I talk to my brother he has had a good day with his wife doing little outings and feeling her company near. He was able to get a card for her with the help of a caregiver and do something that feels like husband with his wife. I can hear in his voice a sense of accomplishment and an effort to let me know the good days not just the hard ones. It is very sweet to listen to him, to hear him talk of the beauty of his day.

I develop a decent Eskimo roll to be able to get on and off the bed, create a sling with a wool neck scarf so I can lift my head up to not cause a spasm. I am enormously grateful this morning that most of the issue has subsided and also feel the experience let’s me know ahead of the new year some of my resolutions to not jam and do stuff in the same fashion and take more care with my body. Loving kindness to the body not the grand assumption it is some tool I can slam around without putting more thought into it if right in my face and of course I think of what it must be like night after night for my brother to deal with the infirmities of his condition.

Just now a wonderful little chickadee flew up by the window and stared inside and then went on his way. The warblers are out both Townsend and Yellow-Rump with mates in tow and like the small hunk of suet I put on the fence.

One of my presents for Christmas is a feeder tray made by my husband’s brother that is perfect for the fence. It will be a cool item to show to the bird store in its unique design. As I look out I see the considered more ordinary birds are extraordinary as is this Junco in the filtered light.