Touches of Green and Gold


journal page – 3/22/08

Spring officially arrived in New England on Friday, and already Nature has begun to wallpaper the land with touches of green and gold. With the sun shining and the birds visiting the feeder outside my kitchen window,   it’s hard to think of having any peeves.  All I feel is a wonderful whisper of promise in the air.  I have learned over time how much better my experience of the world is when I let go of the things that annoy me… and concentrate on the things that delight me.  Today, I am delighted to just be… here, in the moment.  Tomorrow I will go back to pondering the unknown fields before me.  Happy Spring, my friends!

First Georgic

When spring begins and the ice-locked streams begin
To flow down from the snowy hills above
And the clods begin to crumble in the breeze,
The time has come for my groaning ox to drag
My heavy plow across the fields, so that
The plow blade shines as the furrow rubs against it.

Not till the earth has been twice plowed, so twice
Exposed to sun and twice to coolness will
It yield what the farmer prays for; then will the barn
Be full to bursting with the gathered grain.

And yet if the field’s unknown and new to us,
Before our plow breaks open the soil at all,
It’s necessary to study the ways of the winds
And the changing ways of the skies, and also to know
The history of the planting in that ground,
What crops will prosper there and what will not.

In one place grain grows best, in another, vines;
Another’s good for the cultivation of trees;
In still another the grain turns green unbidden.

Virgil, translated by David Ferry

P.S. –  Please accept my invitation to stop by Wings 4 You Coaching and participate in my Weekly Wings challenges.  There’s a new challenge posted each Sunday.  I’d love to have you along on the journey!


Lifting off into Flight


journal page – 3/16/08

I am deeply touched by the affirmation of possibility and rebirth this poem expresses through the imagery of the heavy-bodied heron lifting off into flight.

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

Mary Oliver (1935 – )

Lift off into your own flight! Please accept my invitation to stop by Wings 4 You Coaching and participate in my Weekly Wings challenges. I’d love to have you along on the journey!


Planting & Growing


Vernal Spirit
– 18″ x 24″ x 1″ – acrylic & ink on wood

This painting is not completely finished (It’s based on an earlier journal page, and I need to do more work on the hair detail), but I wanted to share it for both Inspire Me Thursday‘s “Kitchen” topic and Illustration Friday‘s “Garden” topic.

The background has at least eight layers, several of which are built with washes of paint that I sprinkled with salt. This is a great technique for creating pattern and texture. When the salt dries, I rub it off to find the small dots and stars that are left where the salt has lifted the paint. This method works really well if you build several very thin glaze layers – in person, the background of this painting has such beautiful depth and texture.

The garden connection is both visual and conceptual. For a long time, I have been focusing on making positive changes in my life that will give me space to express myself more genuinely. That means aligning my life with my most important values – individuality, creativity, family, learning, and sharing. I think of these values as the seeds I must plant to grow my own beautiful life-garden… and so, I am currently in the process of becoming a certified life coach.

I have always been a believer in big dreams, and I love working with people to help them find constructive and viable ways to create a vision and then turn it into reality. I’ve been doing this for almost 24 years as a teacher, and now I want to share my passion outside a school setting. I have recently launched a blog where I offer motivational articles and weekly challenges, and within the next few months, I will be offering personal, creativity, and career coaching, tele-seminars and live workshops.

Please accept my invitation to stop by Wings 4 You Coaching and participate in my Weekly Wings challenges. I’d love to have you along on the journey!


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