There is a prayer the community sings together before meals at the ashram where I used to live. It begins, “OM, beloved Mother Nature, you are here on our table as our food…” Through the years, this practice has stayed with me (though now I make a silent prayer of my own) and the connection I experience in this way has deepened. Often tears come for the beauty and abundance of the gift — whole food simply prepared, herbs and spices, salt(!) and clean water to drink ...
There is a prayer the community sings together before meals at the ashram where I used to live. It begins, “OM, beloved Mother Nature, you are here on our table as our food…” Through the years, this practice has stayed with me (though now I make a silent prayer of my own) and the connection I experience in this way has deepened. Often tears come for the beauty and abundance of the gift — whole food simply prepared, herbs and spices, salt(!) and clean water to drink — and also tears for the many on this planet who do not have enough. Non-human animals included. This vast, intricate web of life, may it come into balance. I honor the gift by supporting small, local farmers who respect the soil, the water, the workers, the wildlife. I honor the gift by not wasting food, by composting. I honor the gift by growing what I can even just on a windowsill, by sharing. Warm greetings to all who visit here.
Black Skimmers! Today I choose these magnificent seabirds to be grateful for. Their long wings, buoyant flight, how they skim over the water, their long lower beak slicing the surface. Here is a haiku I wrote about a “peak experience” during the beautiful offering (Exploring Haiku as a Gratefulness Practice) on this site last April.
Two Black Skimmers
just above the waves.
I was 19 years old and sailing a little rented Laser...
I was 19 years old and sailing a little rented Laser out of the marina at Norfolk Naval Air Station at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and I’ll never forget skimming along, speeding downwind with these two birds. We were so close, we could almost have touched finger-tip to wing-tip. But we didn’t need to touch. We were flowing as one being. Free.
Why am I remembering this today? Because today I learned that the Virginia Department of Transportation has recently PAVED OVER the largest seabird nesting site in the state — a small island where 20,000 Black Skimmers, Royal Terns, and other seabirds breed. Right. There. Where I had my peak experience 33 years ago.
These are migratory birds that spend the winter further south, so when they return to the island as they do every April (they nest in colonies on the ground in shallow sand scrapes), they will find nowhere to settle. No sand to make a nest scrape in. Only asphalt and construction machinery for the traffic tunnel expansion. And no suitable replacement habitat anywhere nearby due to the inexorable march of coastal development and the apathy of state officials who were fully aware of the effect of the project but declined to commit to a solution proposed by wildlife researchers. Where will they go, these 20,000 birds? This breaks my heart.
A big hug to you and your daughter
💚 Kristy’s grateful breathing practice helped me remember
Dear Dee, I remember you, welcome back. Blessings from my heart to you and your family.
Thank you dear Palm. Blessings to you and your family. Blessings to Anna, her Dad and family. Blessings to Diane, her sister, and family. I wanted to write this yesterday, but felt it was not enough. Today, I trust that because it is from my heart, it is enough. Blessings to Dee and her family. Blessings to all who visit here, seen and unseen. Blessings to all.
Dear Anna, with my heart I am sending much love to you, your father, your whole family in these tumultuous days. From grateful sea ⚓️ (no need to reply, just wanting you to know)
Dearest Ose, I feel the deep warmth of your greeting and send back the same. Thank you for your well wishes. My father is receiving home hospice (end of life) care now. I wish peace to you this night, my friend, and a beautiful morning.
Dear Carla, my heart is touched by your reflection on the calls of the migrating geese. Thank you.
Thank you for being “you,” Butterfly.
Dear Anneclaire, your beautiful reflection has really touched my heart today, thank you. I send you heart-felt well wishes for your healing and return to strength.
Thank you for sharing this, dear Ose.
Thank you, Zoe, for sharing this poem. I am deeply moved by it.
Elaine, thank you for bringing this photo & their meeting to my attention. For me too, it is “an icon of hope.”
Dear Carla, it is a powerful question. I am moved by what you share and just wanting to send you blessings. I am also not as active on gun control as I would like to be and I was reminded of the importance of this on Monday as armed demonstrators massed at my state capitol in Virginia.
You are so welcome.
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