Behold!

Behold! The sun rises on a new season as creatures great and small look to the east. Under consideration: what can we leave behind and what will rise up from the debris? What must we tear down, and what — oh what — can we build straight up to heaven?

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne. American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) watches the sun rise from a lichen perch.

Hypocrite!

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How easily you

write of changing seasons,

life grown from death.

Circle of Life,

you pontificate

during Sunday service

in wooded cathedral

where summer genuflects,

jewel weed

and wild grapes

stand at the Crossing.

Everything is flowing,

God whispers.

How foolish are you to resist?

 


Words and Photo: ©2015, Jen Payne

At Season’s Slow Change

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. — Proverb

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Putting things in perspective.

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The trailhead to a 40+-acre preserve that includes a 19th century quarry, and old trolley railway, a tide gate, and boardwalk.

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Crossing a wide expanse of salt marsh.

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Human tracks and ski tracks criss cross those of unseen foraging spirits.

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Views of the Thimble Islands in Long Island Sound.

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Crossing Jarvis Creek with a view of an Osprey nest and islands.

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Nooks and crannies look like winter, sound like spring.

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As subtle signs of changing seasons appear on a 45˚ late winter day.

 


If you LIKE this post, then you’ll LOVE the book! LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness includes 75 essays and poems about nature, balance, spirit, connection…and 100 color photographs capturing the woods and shorelines of New England. Click here to BUY IT today!


Photos ©2015, Jen Payne

 

Hope Bears Fruit in Winter

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On the first snow
after we met,
we whispered:

a walk in the woods

listening to snow fall

quiet nights by the fire

Three sacred wishes
for a future “us”
now come true
again and again
this long, fertile winter.


Words ©2015, Jen Payne
Image: Jays on Berry Tree, Ohara Koson


This I Will Savor

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Malign these days as you will, but I know how fondly I will think on them when the thermometer turns upside down.

When we are 64 days into summer instead of winter, in those dogs days not fit for man or beast…I will think about yesterday.

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Yesterday at 8 a.m. as the snow fell through the quiet treetops, and the only sounds in the woods were two sets of footsteps and an occasional chickadee marking time.

Yesterday, as we followed deer tracks through the filigree of white lace branches…

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…and back along the main trail in such delicate disguise.

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Yesterday, when the pale gray sky offered little contrast, the woods no color, save for the loyal grasp of beech leaves.

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But in evidence everywhere, god’s architecture, her sacred comings and goings laid bare.

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So, soon the verdant skyline, I know…but I will savor this vista every moment until then, with no apology or second thought.


If you LIKE this post, then you’ll LOVE the book! LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness includes 75 essays and poems about nature, balance, spirit, connection…and 100 color photographs capturing the woods and shorelines of New England. Click here to BUY IT today!


Photos ©2015, Jen Payne

Holiday Yoga 101

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HOLIDAY YOGA POSE #1: Holding tongue, restraining ego, walking on eggshells. Breathe.

HOLIDAY YOGA POSE #2: Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Rinse. Repeat.

HOLIDAY YOGA POSE #3: Feet firmly planted on the ground, eyes closed, shoulders surrendered. Mantra: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

HOLIDAY YOGA POSE #4: Allow shoulders to drop weight of the world. Unfurrow and relax third-eye chakra. Convince hips to let gravity keep you grounded. Remind lungs that the body needs oxygen, most especially this time of year. Breathe.

HOLIDAY YOGA POSE #5: Find a comfortable seated position, close your eyes. Feel yourself firm against the ground and be grateful for gravity, the earth, the floor, the place you call home. Breathe deeply and be grateful for oxygen, your lungs, the ability to breath. Clear you mind of its week-before-Christmas busyness and fill it instead with all of the things for which you can be grateful this moment, this day, this week, this month, this season.

HOLIDAY YOGA POSE #6: Lie on the floor with your eyes closed, arms and legs relaxed. Get comfortable – maybe a pillow for your head, or a blanket to cover up. Let the ground hold you up, and breathe long, slow, deep breaths. Let your thoughts drift away, and enjoy this traditional Shavasana (Sanskrit) / Nap (common) pose to rejuvenate body, mind and Christmas spirit.

Namaste.

Many Signs of Spring

Perfect day for a walk!
Perfect day for a walk!

There was a while there where all of us were wondering if spring would ever get here. We can say with good certainty now that it is here, and here to stay! We need no more proof than the glorious life that has returned to our woods and fields, marshes and back yards. Take a look!

Trout lilies about to bloom in April.
Trout lilies about to bloom in April.
Egrets return to the marsh.
Egrets return to the marsh.
Wonderful blue sky and finally green.
Wonderful blue sky and finally green.
A loon plays with the tide.
A loon plays with the tide.
Bright yellow songs!
Bright yellow songs!
Eye spy a frog!
Eye spy a frog!
Egret reflecting
Egret reflecting
Baltimore oriole
Baltimore oriole
On hands and knees for this  pileated woodpecker
On hands and knees for this pileated woodpecker
Sweet violets
Sweet violets near a vernal pool
Wood anemone
Wood anemone
Rue anemone
Rue anemone

Photos ©2014, Jen Payne