Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It's another stupendous morning in the north woods of Wisconsin! Frances left before 7:00 to pick strawberries. She met another strawberry picker at the end of the drive ... a huge black bear occupied a small clearing filled with tiny wild strawberries.

When I rose, I found Frances's note explaining that she'd turned around and put the goose and chicken back into their barn before she departed for a second time. I re-released the birds from their pen and stayed outside with the family (birds plus cat and dog) to ensure that I'd be ready if the bear ventured further up the drive. (Ready for what, I wasn't quite sure.)

Although Namaste's nose tipped up into the air a number of times as he sniffed deeply of its contents, no huge black furry creature showed its face. Instead, I practiced T'ai Chi Chih in the driveway while Namaste ate grass and Lucy dug roots.

My practice was pleasant. The cool air refreshed and invigorated me. And sometime during the middle of my moving meditation I realized that there was a distinct difference between the times when I hurried myself through the movements and when I allowed myself to flow softly. (Perhaps being aware of the bear's presence had put me on guard more than I thought.)

After I experienced those few moments of slow softness, though, I reminded myself to relax into the moment and not anticipate what might happen next. I sunk myself into an abundance of green, breathed in the freshness of tree-oxygenated air, and graciously thanked the family of creatures all around me. Yes, I am blessed.

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