Equilibrium for a planet of paradox

Picture of pothole in Arizona desert

I’m a Weather Channel junkie, and this week I’ve been glued to the screen watching rivers overflow, highways flood, people rescued from rooftops and attics. Water at its most destructive.

Yet I am reminded that it isn’t always this way. In the Arizona desert, water is precious, every single drop. On the trail around Courthouse Butte near Sedona, this little pothole has always been a favorite of mine. It’s not big–maybe a foot long and less than that deep.

But long after the monsoon rains have departed, it will hold water which sustains the desert animals: deer, javelina, coatimundi, rabbits, and pack rats. Reaching for the last drop, they will travel for miles to visit it. Water as precious as diamonds, life-sustaining.

We live on a planet of paradox!

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.
As time remains free of all that it frames
May your mind stay clear of all it names.
~John O’Donohue, For Equilibrium~

The kittens and the sunflowers

Picture of kittens in the sunshine

It was a western facing window in the afternoon. You can tell that by the sunflowers turning their faces toward the sun just as little Ellf was. Mac, on the other hand, was staring drowsily at the photographer, me. The two found comfort in the warm sun and in the closeness of each other. That was all they needed.

Perhaps we look too hard for happiness. Content lies often in those things the closest to our heart. Warmth, companionship, flowers, and…kittens!

It’s good to be just plain happy; it’s a little better to know that you’re happy; but to understand that you’re happy and to know why and how…to be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss.
~Henry Miller~

Look behind you

It was a cold, sunlit morning in November when I took this photograph of the crystal water at Red Rock Crossing. Behind me were the magnificent totems of Cathedral Rock, but I chose to look down, instead.

The soft sandstone had been worn smooth by the creek that ebbs and flows according to the season, and the rock glowed red under the edge of water.

I’ve found in photography that what is behind me may more interesting as the obvious subject in front, as it was this morning.

That happens in life. Focused on what we expect to see, we ignore everything else around us. We lose the beauty gained using “soft eyes.”

I searched through rebellion, drugs, diet, mysticism, religion, intellectualism and much more, only to find that truth is basically simple and feels good, clear and right.
~Chick Corea~

Falling into presence

The spire at Castle Rock

There once was a flock of white doves that lived in the ledges at the top of the Spire of Castle Rock, near the Village of Oak Creek.

Each morning I would watch them circle the spire once, twice, and then disappear into the sunlit clouds. I waited for them. Their gentle flight set my world in order and welcomed me into the day.

Sometimes moments of beauty can be anticipated, and that makes them even more rich and unforgettable.

When you do fall into presence, you know it instantly, feel at home instantly. And being home, you can let loose, let go, rest in your being,
rest in awareness, in presence itself,
in your own good company.

~Jon Kabat-Zinn~

The tracks we leave in the sand

tracks in the sand

One of the amazing attributes of the dry washes in Red Rock country is that they are used as major thoroughfares when water isn’t flooding down them. Rabbits, coyotes, deer, even a mountain lion or two, travel at night through what becomes a hikers’ highway in the sunlight!

There are so many worlds that we don’t see, alternate realities that co-exist right under our noses and go undetected. This is one.

Words cannot, and probably will never, replace the richness of life–no matter how
articulately or artfully they are conveyed.

~Jon Kabat-Zinn~

Where I need to be

Buddha Beach

There is a quiet spot, just up Oak Creek from the more famous Red Rock Crossing, which has the informal name of Buddha Beach.

Sedona is a spiritual community, filled with vortexes and medicine wheels. And hoodoos of rocks arranged in balance points. This was one.

The morning was still with no one else around when I took this picture. The serenity of this quiet place fills me with awe.

Sometimes peace doesn’t come to you; you have to go hunting for it.

I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I think I have ended up where I need to be.

~Douglas Adams~