Blog Tales

Haiku My Heart ~ Kindness

Smoke filled Sonoma County skies seen through the long ago gift of a friend...

Smoke filled Sonoma County skies seen through the long ago gift of a friend...

Small acts of kindness
makes strangers into kin and
helps us find our way

*****
  Over 100 years ago, horticulturist Luther Burbank said that Sonoma County was,
"the chosen spot of all the earth as far as nature is concerned."

I awoke this past Sunday night to the thick smell of smoke and the sound of explosions.
My beautiful city and surrounding countryside was going up in a firestorm,
fueled by unprecedented gale winds.

Hundreds of people are missing.
Entire neighborhoods and communities are decimated.
Thousands are without homes, many of them friends and family.
Today as I write, it is most likely that I will not be evacuated
even though the fires continue to rage out of control
around me and with little to no containment.

And I am so aware of those right now
who are still fleeing for their very lives,
or coming to the reality that their lives are changed forever
by unspeakable loss.

Yet... everywhere I go, every note I receive, every person I interact with,
there are acts of kindness, compassion,
and people doing whatever they can to make a difference.

Shakespear said, "one touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

We are touched.

We are all kin.

*****
  For more Friday haiku my heart
please visit Rebecca and other poets
at recuerda mi corazon

Former Petaluma Argus Editor E.S. Lippitt said in the 1800s, "In all my wanderings upon this earth I had never before traversed so Eden-like a vale as that between Santa Rosa and Mark West. It was nature's own park. Wild oats, clover and other indegenous grasses intermingled with a profusion of widlflowers of every shade and hue bedecked the broad expanse of plains..."

This quote is dedicated to my dear friends who lost their home Sunday night,
where I had had dinner just two nights before...
looking out to the glory of the Mark West area into Santa Rosa.

Eastern skies over Santa Rosa, CA at my downtown home. Monday, October 9th, 2017

Eastern skies over Santa Rosa, CA at my downtown home. Monday, October 9th, 2017

Haiku My Heart ~ The Whispers

Whispers into Palo Santo incense

Whispers into Palo Santo incense

Whispers in the wind,
babkas, help us remember
how to heal our world

*****
  This recent article from Atlas Obscura
about the dying tradition of the Belarusian Whisper Healers

touched me to the core of my being.

For thousands of years,
both men and women have been initiated into this tradition.
Until now, they have survived religious persecution, pestilence,
and changing regimes of power and war.
With urbanization and the technological disconnect that we are all experiencing
these wise elders are now disappearing from this earth.
This article is about the few who are left.
The Babkas.
Which is Belarusian for grandmother.

Babka Maria says this at the end of the article:
“Older people who know the words [are] already dying and young people don’t want to learn, they don’t believe in it. But the evil in the world does not become less .... Old people and children come every day to me, but I don’t know who will whisper after my death.”

I will Grandmother.

Will you whisper with me?

*****
  For more Friday haiku my heart
please visit Rebecca and other poets
at recuerda mi corazon

Mystery Tree

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I was visiting dear friends who recently moved to Benicia, California.

On our walk to the downtown for a "Taco Tuesday" dinner,
we passed this tree.

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I have never seen anything like it.

A mystery.

Do you know what it is
and where its original homeland might be?

For this exotic tree looked like something
from another world...

Supporting Molli

When loss or tragedy happens,
our sadness is usually compounded by feeling helpless
and unable to make a difference in the situation.

As the days unroll from the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, NV
I am finding people who have been directly affected by the shootings.
Molli is the niece of a friend's friend and the employee of another dear friend of mine.

As well as sending your love and prayers to Molli,
a GoFundMe Page has been set up to help Molli heal.

It is going to be quite a while before Molli can return to school,
her work, her dance and to life.

CLICK HERE to Donate

Together...
we really can make a difference.

A New Santa Rosa Labyrinth

Photo: © Cynthia Greenberg

Photo: © Cynthia Greenberg

I love it when people send me photos of their new
Santa Rosa Labyrinths.

This one was just installed at
the Parktown Girls High School in Johannesburg, South Africa.

It was five years in the making.
Sometimes labyrinths are made in a day,
and sometimes they take years to be realized...

It is my hope that these girls,
and all that come to walk this path,
find joy, peace, beauty,
and their heart's desire.

Remembering

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Today marks seven years since Milt left.

Seven years.

It is a morning like today,
that I wish he was here so that we could curl up into each other and hunker down
and share our grief over the tragedies of our modern life,
and then...
wrap ourselves in the aroma
of one of his espressos
and plot our next adventure together...

But for now,
our adventures are solo
and I can only imagine what he is up to.

Rolling around in a star system somewhere,
or in a field of wildflowers...
or maybe he is already back here in another form.
He always swore
he would come back as the pet of a friend of ours....

Where ever you are Milton Harris
you shaped my soul in the most incredible ways,
the memory of your touch is in every cell of my being
as I see you in my mind's eye do a forward roll on the Cloverdale tarmac,
dig your car into a sandbank along the Russian River,
"City Slicker to Country Bumpkin,"
your sense of humor, oh god, your sense of humor,
and even your grumpy moments with a wit that could cut like a knife...
and then turn like an Aikido move
as you wrapped a gift from your generous heart,
dancing with the green man and
the way you thought about things,
the way things mattered to you,
the nine-pointed star pointing the way
as I held you in my arms as you slipped out and away
and into the West...

Carving

Our circle of smör knivars (butter knives)

Our circle of smör knivars (butter knives)

I spent this past Saturday
in a circle of redwoods with a circle of women
learning how to carve.

The class was titled:
Wood and Knife and Hands

It was truly a wonderful day, taught by Stargazer Li.

Carving is a meditative practice.
You have to be fully present, in your body and aware of your hands at all times.
For carving hard wood
with these special knives
requires all of your senses and being in the moment.

It was humbling to begin to learn this skill
that for thousands upon thousands of years was elemental for life and survival
as well as means for creating beautiful things
.

Stories were told. Memories were stirred.
And fundamental realizations of how these skills of honoring, giving thanks,
focusing awareness and working with our knives,
our wood and our hands could teach us everything you need to know
about living a connected life.

There was a deep sense of tapping into the lineage of people
who came before us who would spend a day just like we did,
in conversation and creation, soaking up the beauty of a Fall day.

I wondered about how the shift from carving
with stone and flint to this metal forged in flame,
must have radically changed the world.
And how, in a way, that paradigm shift was but a stepping stone
to where we find ourselves now
in this age of instantaneous gratification and mechanization
and loss of human skills.

For it is a whole new experience to slow down
and whittle away at a block of wood with a metal knife
to make a wooden knife, that is unique and unlike any other.

*****
Metal in my hand
slow movements, steady and sure
beauty emerges

 

My knife and shavings from the day in the heart-space of my labyrinth

My knife and shavings from the day in the heart-space of my labyrinth

Finding The Creative Muses

Week Four: Transform A Flat Piece Of Paper Into A 3-D Object

Week Four: Transform A Flat Piece Of Paper Into A 3-D Object

The creative muses are always with us.

We just have to listen.

Or, if you are anything like me...
we also need to make a little space for them.

And, sometimes, I need a prompt or nudge to get me going.
Truthfully? Not sometimes.
I really need a nudge or prompt to get me going.

So when one of my favorite authors, Pam Grout,
released her newest book~
Art & Soul, Reloaded: A Yearlong Apprenticeship For Summoning
The Muses and Reclaiming Your Bold, Audacious, Creative Side

I decided to see where Pam's creative nudges might take me.

I am in week six and the main prompt
was to start a blog and make a post a day for a week.

Well, lucky for me, I've got the blog!
And, as I wrote that line...
I just realized that I've been blogging now for eleven years!
So... I'm stretching myself out of my comfort zone this week
and making the commitment
to share something every day of this week in my blog space.

I hope you enjoy these extra posts and that maybe
they will be a source for you in making some space
to listen to your creative muses
just a little bit more!

Please let me know if you do!

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Haiku My Heart ~ Paper

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rocks paper scissors
memories take flight and land
at the heart center

leagoodeharrisrps3.jpg

*****
  What childhood games
do you remember?

I loved making paperdolls as a young girl,
these a chorus line,
dancing on the heart path,
that place of remembering the child in us all.

*****
  For more Friday haiku my heart
please visit Rebecca and other poets
at recuerda mi corazon

leagoodeharrisrps2.jpg

Apple Cider Vinegar & Pear Smoothie

Fall has arrived here in Northern California.
There is a crispness in the air and the colors are changing
to what I call a "Maxfield Parrish" day.

With the turning of the season I find that I'm craving apples and pears.
This delicious smoothie meets that need and more and was adapted from a recipe
from the book Microbiome Diet, by Raphael Kellman, MD p.247

Apple Cider & Pear Smoothie
by Lea Goode-Harris (adapted from the Microbiome Diet, by Raphael Kellman, MD)
Makes 1 Serving

Ingredients:
Please use organic!

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  • 1 sm apple, cored and chunked
  • 1 sm pear, cored and chunked
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup of nut milk of choice* (or kefir or yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbls protein powder or collagen powder
  • 2 Tbls ground flax seeds
  • 1 Tbls white chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 Fall Memory

Directions

  1. Blend all of the ingredients, including your memory of Fall, in a blender until smooth and creamy.

  2. Pour into a favorite glass and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.

  3. Soak up the beauty of Fall and enjoy your smoothie!

*I usually make my own nut milks. When I don't have any fresh on hand, I just use an additional 1/4 cup of water and a small handful of cashews. Voilá! Instant nut milk!

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Haiku My Heart ~ Take A Look Around...

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Take a look around,
see life a bit differently...
choose a different lens

*****
Recently, a group of four women in my neighborhood,
on my same street actually,
took the initiative to make a difference in our community
by making inspirational quotes available
as sign-art for our yards.

It is so meaningful to watch them popping up all over our city!

Make your own inspirational sign with a favorite quote!
Or... you can contact them to purchase one directly
or have it shipped to you.

Here is their Facebook Page.

And their Webpage.

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*****
  For more Friday haiku my heart
please visit Rebecca and other poets
at recuerda mi corazon

Lime Pie with Coconut-Cashew Crust

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This delicious and refreshing Lime Pie is very easy to make
and was adapted from a recipe from Texanerin Baking.

I am always looking for easy and delicious treats
to end a meal with, especially when I have company.
I also try to take into consideration that a lot of people
have intolerances to refined sugar, gluten, and dairy.

This one is a winner!

Lime Pie with Coconut-Cashew Crust
by Lea Goode-Harris (adapted from Texanerin Baking)
Makes 12-14 Servings

Ingredients:
Please use organic!

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup (43 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1 cup (145 grams) roasted cashews, toasted
  • 1 to 1.5 tablespoons pure, dark maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup (145 grams) cashews, soaked for 1 hour
  • 3/4 cup (168 grams) soft or melted unrefined coconut oil (do not use cold coconut oil!)
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) coconut cream (the top or solid part from a can of full-fat coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) freshly squeezed lime juice or Key lime juice
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons (89 milliliters) pure, dark maple syrup, or to your taste
  • 2 tablespoons (8 grams) lime zest. Plus 1 tsp of extra lime zest set aside to sprinkle on top
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt, or more to taste
  • 1 memory of summer

Directions

  1. The first step is to soak your cashews for the filling. Doing this important step makes your filling extra creamy. You can soak your cashews over night or pour hot water on them and let them soak for at least fifteen minutes to an hour. Rinse after pouring the water off. Note: Cashews do not have to be soaked or "sprouted" like other nuts, because they are already soaked to loosen them from their fruit when initially processed. This is another reason they are one of my main go-to nuts because of their ease of use. Remember to always discard your nut-soaking-water!

  2. Prepare the crust. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add the shredded coconut. Keep a close watch as you stir frequently, as the coconut can burn very quickly! I know this from experience! When toasty brown, pour into a separate bowl to cool for at least 5 minutes. Now do the same with your raw cashews (different than the filling amount. These do not have to be soaked). Remember to keep watch while they toast! When browned to your desire, add to the coconut to cool down before blending with the other crust ingredients. The toasting really adds a lot of flavor to this crust!

  3. Place the coconut and cashews along with the rest of the crust ingredients into a high-powered blender or food processor and process at low speed until the mixture starts to come together. Be sure to not over-process. When you can pinch some of the mixture between your fingers, it should easily stick together. If it doesn't, you might want to add about a teaspoon of water and process the mixture again until it does stick together.

  4. I used a nine-inch spring form pie pan for my pie. You could also divide the crust and batter into muffin tins for individual servings. Be sure to use either a silicone pan or muffin liners in a metal pan if you do. Use your fingers to press the mixture firmly in your desired container.

  5. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

  6. Place all of the filling ingredients, including the summer memory, into your blender (Be sure to wipe out your blender first if you used it for your crust). Blend at high speed for at least a minute until completely smooth.

  7. Pour the filling into your chilled pie pan or your individual muffin tins. Have fun licking the spatula and extra bits still in the blender when done!

  8. Sprinkle the extra lime zest on the top of the pie or individual servings in the muffin tins.

  9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until firm. Or you can place the pan in the freezer.

  10. The pie or pies will be good for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge, or longer in the freezer. If you do freeze them, you will need to set them out at room temperature for at least 1/2 an hour to defrost. I actually like mine frozen, especially when I make them in bite size pieces.

  11. Enjoy!

 

Haiku My Heart ~ Eclipse

The sun & moon in the heart-space of my Santa Rosa Labyrinth

The sun & moon in the heart-space of my Santa Rosa Labyrinth

The sun and the moon
spiral throughout the heavens,
dancing in our hearts

*****
  Many of you know that there will be
a total eclipse of the sun this Monday, August 21st.

Some other names for a total eclipse are:
"dragon swallows the sun," "snaring the sun,"
"black squirrel eats the sun, "
"sun got bit by a bear..."

If you are on the path of the eclipse and outside,
notice where there is shadow and light from trees and bushes.
When the eclipse begins you will see little half moons
in all those patches of light.
It is amazing.

(Here is a map of the Monday eclipse for the USA
and here is a map for the world for all eclipses from 2010-2024)

My dear friend and labyrinth colleague Marilyn Larson
wrote the song below for the Santa Rosa Labyrinth in 1999.
It was only last week that she realized that this song
that she and I have sung over the past eighteen years
is actually an eclipse song!

And even though it was written
for the Santa Rosa Labyrinth design and heart-space,
it can be sung in and for any labyrinth and at any time.
So if you are walking a labyrinth during the eclipse
on Monday the 21st you can sing this song if you like.
And, if you have others with you,
you can all sing together and then sing this song as a round,
which really makes it all the more meaningful and a lot of fun.
(Click HERE to find a labyrinth near you)

The Sun and The Moon ~ An Eclipse Song
by Marilyn Larson
for the Santa Rosa Labyrinth & Heart-Space

The sun and the moon
and the sun and the moon
shine on me as I walk
on my path to and fro...

Cheering my heart
as I change at each turn
with each step as I go
to and fro
to and fro...

The sun and the moon
side by side in my heart.

Here is a recording that I made of the song:

I am hoping that where ever you are
you can connect with this auspicious time
of the sun and the moon
being side by side in all of our hearts.

*****
  For more Friday haiku my heart
please visit Rebecca and other poets
at recuerda mi corazon

Haiku My Heart ~ Like Clockwork

Pink Ladies being chased by a metal garden snake by artist Tyson Barbera

Pink Ladies being chased by a metal garden snake by artist Tyson Barbera

Here they are once more
like clockwork, these pink ladies...
summer falling soon

*****
  For more Friday haiku my heart
please visit Rebecca and other poets
at recuerda mi corazon

Haiku My Heart ~ The Great Pacific North West

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington

The top of the world
whispers a quiet secret
listen with your heart...

*****
I spent a week traversing the great Pacific North West
with my dear friend Diane.

Lea & Diane

Lea & Diane

We hiked at glacier level
and at sea level, up and down
until the sky and sea became one...
We road the waves out into the Puget Sound
in search of whales and wildlife and islands waiting to greet us.
We hiked into blue-green forests in search of waterfalls and deep lakes
and shared many a delicious meal that ended with lavender ice-cream
and conversations about all things great and small,
reveling in the deep peace and quiet of this
majestic and beautiful part of our planet.

I hope that some of these photos and words
whisper just the right thing for your heart,
with whatever it is that you most need to hear...

Mom, this one is for you!

Mom, this one is for you!

*****
Friday haiku my heart
please visit Rebecca and other poets
at recuerda mi corazon

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge