Enrolling Now: The Wonder Compass Daily Creative Practice with Nature
Outcomes of the Tree Roots Course
Establish a Daily Creative Photography Practice with Nature
Train Your Eyes To See, Find & Create Beautiful Images Anytime, Anywhere
Learn Which Software Apps & Desktop Systems Can Transform Your Photos From "Meh" to Marvelous
Learn the Art of Crafting Your One Unique Photographic Perspective
Learn about the Scientific Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature
Connect to and Support Nature Each Day
Create Organized Libraries of Photography Books to Record Your Adventures
Tree Roots Course Content
Wonder On & Out Just for Fun Activities
Facts about the Health Benefits of a Daily Practice of Wondering in Nature
Trail Signs & Anchors
Mindful Walking with Mantras
Music to Get Your Shoes On & Out the Door (Norwegian Artist Alexander Nakaranda’s Adventuring music)
And More !
What Pre-Requisites are Needed to Take This Course
A Basic Working Ability to use your Camera Phone or DSLR. A Passion for Photography & the Outdoors.
Who Is This Course For ?
Any Level Photographers looking to Start a Daily Creative Practice with Nature
Anyone who wants to train their sight to see beauty everywhere, anytime
Anyone who wants to learn easy to access techniques to transform mundane images into magical.
Janice (Artist & Wine Sommelier):
"I love the way course makes it easy to slow down and look for the magic in everyday life. I live in a big city and I don’t get the chance to go the woods very often. Taking the time to see the beauty that is literally in my backyard is so powerful. Love the format of the course and the content is simply priceless!"
Laura Braun; Critical Care Nurse at OHSU Hospital
The Wonder Compass practice is more than an education vessel of how to redefine the brilliance, creativity, and spark of photography. What stands out about this course is Molly's visceral appreciation of nature and life experiences. Her lessons expand far beyond the camera lens, and help learners to explore the world from a place of mindfulness, appreciation, and opportunity.
Xochitl Ramirez; Academic Advisor Higher Ed
Now days purposely connecting to nature is a must a way to care of our body and souls. Capturing nature pictures not only we get to see beautifully places we get to capture them using a phone or a camera to save those memories. I think this course will bring joy to many people’s lives.
As the world reflects our inner self and soul; we set out to wonder. To discover the best of what is and what might be. To transform the mundane into the magical. If we set ourselves out to see from a space of awe and joy, we just might find our own artistic craft hidden among the pitch pines and emerald moss.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
“Wondering” – Adjective. Openly curious, with the intent to connect with nature. To experience magic through our sight and heart; each and every day. To transform our creative photography and journaling, from the mundane into the wonderful.
The only requirement of this method is a desire to craft images -"Of Found Wonder," and if not found initially on the trail, to spend a bit of time transforming them into such a state of wonder afterwards.
All that is needed is:
A Walk, a Camera, and a Journal.
Welcome, to this infinite journey outward, and back again.
Excerpt from Audio Story
Planet Earth is a busy place, kind listeners. From the blowing reeds of the humid southwest, to the misty smoky & damp rainforest of the northwest. There is an outstanding amount of life rising and falling each day into galaxies of emerald night.
This story is about an awkward, but determined Blue Heron on her way to discovering who she is, and who she wants to be.
As is the grace of life on Earth, this story will illustrate how - If truly needed, the right help comes along, at just the right time, if only we have the courage to ask for it.
Willow is our protagonist. She is a middle aged, Blue Heron, living in the circular coastal inlet of the quiet and often hidden village, of Gearhart Oregon.
At present, the coastal tides and oceans are coming ashore across many continents & island chains on Earth.
Why you ask ? 3 reasons mainly:
First, the melting of large bodies of ice on land. Second, the thermal expansion of ocean water as it warms, and finally a decrease in how much water is held and stored on inland dry land.
If you watch Blue Herons, they are often quite regal, and quite still, standing sometimes on one leg, watching the water below them for a meal. They can consume on average a pound of fish a day which is the size of a large Koi fish.
Thanks for the listen friends. Courses to come soon in 2022. - Molly
In Portland the Audubon Society offers a Native Plant Backyard Habitat Certification Program. Bosky Dell Natives in West Linn is a magical place to fill your beds and property with natives and get Certified.
“In the woods we return to reason and faith,” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The forest fires on the west coast in the Summer & Fall of 2020, changed many lives on the West Coast of America. They also stirred up old debates about protecting wood lands & the maintenance of old growth forests & trees. When it came to old ancient woods & rainforests, in this place and at this time, trees were becoming the enemies as new homes and communities expanded across the countryside. This also came at a time when humans heavily relied on trees - to breathe, to filter and clean their water and stabilize the land & ground soil. Despite this, trees were being cut down, trimmed back and chipped up, at a rapidly accelerating pace.
“I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.” – Ann Hood
You may have heard the term, “Tree Hugger,” in passing, but it turns out there some valid science and healing behind hugging a tree.
In the book Blinded by Science, Matthew Silverstone writes that there is evidence that trees provide health benefits for ADHD & depression.
It is written that, “Hugging a tree increases levels of hormone oxytocin. This hormone is responsible for feeling calm and emotional bonding. When hugging a tree, the hormones serotonin and dopamine make you feel happier. We can use this “free” space in the forest to holistically heal ourselves.
As you seek to connect, here is some advice from the tree whisperer & author; Holly Worton,
“Seek out places that have a “special” sort of energy or go to a place in Nature where you feel drawn to. Sit still, and bathe in the energy of the place. Meditate if you like. Focus on how you feel in this place, so you can recognize this feeling in other places.”
Next is a poem on centering ourselves as the world rolls in and out below our feet:
Much of spirituality
tips its cap at
of a human life
Reading the tides;
our internal compass
So the outer world
Aligning with the cycles
While howling at the moon
Witnessing the earth
trying to be
Letting our own leaves
So Spring can bloom again
The mantra to play with this week is a powerful one. Breathing in; GROW and out ROOT.
This time of year you may feel a natural shift toward growth, and adding a grounding root to the mantra will encourage success where ever you choose to plant seeds.
Photo Prompt for the week: You might want to try shooting the close-up portions of trees, or the canopy above. The blooms from trees this time of year are another fantastic option.
For the Journalers and Writers, here is a writing prompt for the week: If you were a tree, what advice might you offer to humans on earth right now? What blooming trees are in your city and which are your favorites?
If you love trees, and want to further connect, learn and read more about their living perspective; check out the book, “If Trees could talk: Life Lessons from the Wisdom of the Woods,” by Holly Worton.
Have fun exploring, stay Curious, and Enjoy your mindful time walking and taking photographs outside in nature. Thank you for joining me.
Akbaraly, A. (2017, December 19). Hugging Trees is Good For You. PeacockPlume.Fr.
Flowering Trees. (n.d.). Fastgrowingtrees.Com. Retrieved February 13, 2021
Hood, A. (n.d.). Hug a Tree Ann Hood. Www.Brainyquote.Com. Retrieved February 13, 2021
Silverstone, M. (2021). Blinded by Science. Lloyd’s World Publishing.
Worton, H. (2019), Pg 260. If Trees Could Talk: Life Lessons from the Wisdom of the Woods. Tribal Publishing.
Spring Forest Bird Sounds: License: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). You are allowed to use sound effects free of charge and royalty free in your multimedia projects for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
“We Invoke the Sea, The Ocean and the Element of Water. Dolphins arrive to teach the great breath of life. Dolphins are masters in the power of the breath. They inspire us to meditate with deep, slow and controlled breathing. If we can learn how to breathe like the dolphins, we can enter new dimensions of ourselves, & new frontiers of consciousness. “
- Jody Bergsma
“There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.”
– Vicki Baum
A Fun Fact About Dolphin Communication:
Dolphins communicate with one another through echolocation. They have special hearing that allows them to utilize sounds to determine the size, movement, and position of objects. Dolphins will slap the surface of water to communicate with other dolphins that there is food, danger, or that the school is moving somewhere new.
A Fun Fact about their first movement, the Ballet:
The first ballet score of music was created by Tchaikovsky in 1875, and was called Swan Lake. Further famous works by this composer for specifically ballet include the music to Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker.
For the human species; training to become a professional ballet dancer takes ten years; starting at age 7 until about age 17. Their career lasts about as long as any professional athlete; and depends on how well their body stays healthy and fit. After retiring from performances; professional dancers usually move on into a career of choreography or teaching.
A Fun Fact about the Waltz:
The Waltz has become one of the most recognized and widely used dance movements across Earth. It appeared in Germany and Austria between the 13th and 18th Centuries. It moved across time, making its way into modern ballrooms; where it persisted in upending and changing dance fashion, while becoming one of the most popularly used dance forms. Originally it was used as a peasant’s folk dance; in the 13th century, but changed for use inside royal courts. Prior to the waltz, dancing was rigid and tightly controlled with metered timings. The Waltz introduced a new free form of dance, breaking from traditional ballroom dance styles. It caused quite a backlash from ballroom traditionalists of the time.
A Fun Fact about the History of Freestyle Dance:
Jax and Sophie’s favorite type of dancing is not that old in fact. It started in the 1970s out on street corners. It was used to feature improvisational dance moves that had no prior classification. It looked a bit like our modern day break dancing. It began to flourish in the 1980s as disco fell away, and the music used to dance this form was on the rise. Some freestyle is choreographed but it is meant to mainly feature improvisational style and show of the dancer’s skills and personality in a very open and free way. Today freestyle has morphed into different styles such as hip hop, popping, locking, krumping, and street jazz to name a few.
If you find you are seeing dolphins around more; on signs, in books or just popping up in conversations, they might remind you to go with the flow, find your fun and your bliss inside life and breathe in deep. Love, laughter and family; as well as joy are always good reminders as we persist through our days.
Great Mystery, teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my Sacred Space and love beyond my fear, and thus Walk in Balance with the passing of each glorious Sun.
Photo Assignment for the week: On a trip to the beach, can you photograph the Sea placing the horizon very high in the frame, and then very very low ? Does this effect reveal the vastitude of your gaze in a dramatic way ? If you live only near a lake or a stream, try to play around with the placement of the edges and lines of the water, high and low inside your frames, for dramatic effect.
For the Journalers and Writers, Here is a writing prompt for the week:
As the dolphins remind us to play and find our joy, take a moment to ponder your breath. Do you breathe deeply and slowly normally, or do you need reminders sometimes ? Are there times with certain people or activities that you notice you hold your breath ? I certainly find I’m doing that sometimes. Write freely about this..and see what surfaces.
A second prompt may be: As a human we all face failures. Some dreams continue to allude us as we fail over and over attempting to change the outcome. What successes have come to you after many failures, and which dreams are you still working to succeed at despite falling down many times ?
Story Themes: Sometimes, pretending and acting as IF you have confidence and faith, end up granting the success we desire, if we continue to persist, further.
Atlanta Ballet. (n.d.). Ballet Career. Www.Atlantaballet.Com. Retrieved June 11, 2021
Beats, W. [Ward Beats]. (2019, December 5). Aloha Hawaiian Freestyle Beats [Video]. YouTube.
Bergsma, J. (2018). Pgs 34-35The Spirit Animals Oracle. US Game Systems Inc.
La Cumparsita. (n.d.). Wickipedia. Retrieved June 13, 2021
Lumen Music Appreciation. (n.d.). Swan Lake. Www.Lumenlearning.Org. Retrieved June 11, 2021
Matos, G. [ Ercaliffo1]. (2010, November 26). Sensual Tango La Cumparsita [Video]. YouTube.
medici.tv. (2016, March 18). Swan Lake Tchaikovsky [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved June 13 2021
Miller, S.-J. (n.d.). Freestyle Dance History. Www.Goneoutdoors.Com. Retrieved June 11, 2021
Natl Wildlife Federation. (n.d.). Spinner Dolphins. Www.Nwf.Org. Retrieved May 18, 2021
Oceana. (n.d.). Dolphin Facts. Www.Oceana.Org. Retrieved June 11, 2021
Strauss, J. [Fledermaus1990]. (2011, June 29). Voice of Spring [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved June 13 2021
Voluntario Global. (n.d.). Tango Facts. Www.Voluntarioglobal.Org. Retrieved June 11, 2021
Waltz Facts. (n.d.). Www.Dancefacts.Net. Retrieved June 11, 2021
Wickipedia. (n.d.). Ballet Facts. Www.Wikipedia.Org. Retrieved June 11, 2021
“It always seems impossible, until it is not,” – Nelson Mandela
Midsummer's eve is a time to gather and celebrate light. It's a magical time of faeries and folklore.
“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” – Sarah Williams
Story Themes: The Ways of old often call out, to be changed and refreshed. For the Good of All.
Book Recommendation: The Hidden Life of Trees
“When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you "help" individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft. They send messages out to their neighbors in vain, because nothing remains but stumps. Every tree now muddles along on its own, giving rise to great differences in productivity. Some individuals photosynthesize like mad until sugar positively bubbles along their trunk. As a result, they are fit and grow better, but they aren't particularly long-lived. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. And there are now a lot of losers in the forest. Weaker members, who would once have been supported by the stronger ones, suddenly fall behind. Whether the reason for their decline is their location and lack of nutrients, a passing malaise, or genetic makeup, they now fall prey to insects and fungi.”
Photo Assignment: Create Images of nature sharing resources. Plants that grow & lean toward the sun. The roots that rise up above ground that are beautiful in their abstractness.
Journaling Assignment: Is there a wish deferred you harbor love for? One you share with others, or one you secretly work on but few know about? One of mine is a constant striving to learn all of the 108 Tai Chi long forms. I have about ten to go, but I’m constantly going back to the beginning. As I learn the tail of this dragon, the head is forgotten. As all things that hunger, it requires feeding, but it is a hidden aspiration of mine few know about.
"May you soar on eagle wings, high above the madness of the world." ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie
A mantra for this week might be; breathing in: EARTH to ground yourself & breathing out: LIMITLESS SKY to look beyond.
*Throughout the story, you will hear a bell sound, and you might like to take that opportunity to breathe in deeply, sending your air to a place in your body that might like some oxygen
If you would like to breathe mindfully & deeply throughout this tale, you might imagine you are an eagle. Each time you hear the chime of the bell throughout the story, simply use the audible prompt to pull your breath in deeply, before letting it go. You might use the chime as an opportunity to check in with yourself.
*This story offers six total, audible prompts, to breathe deep, checking in with yourself, sending oxygen, from head to toe as we progress.
“You can’t be everything you want to be, but you can be everything you are” – Jay Shetty
In the United States, the bald eagle as a species, began to fight back from near extinction in the 1960’s. At that time, there were only around 500 nesting pairs of bald eagles.
Bald Eagle Conservation Wins:
In the world we live in, sad tales of loss and depletion in regard to planet earth are prevalent. However, this tale ends on a hopeful note when it comes to Bald Eagles. Today the numbers of total bald eagles
soar comfortably around 317k in the United States. In 2007, Bald Eagles were removed from the Endangered Species List. The bald eagle is proof, that the Endangered Species Act can save populations close to extinction.
A Photo Assignment for the week: Set your camera phone or digital camera on nature walks to the skies. Clouds, tree branches, or birds if you can get close enough!
Taking a deep breath in, hold it as you snap the shudder. In that moment you come into the magic of your presence. Use that space as a sanctuary to come back to through the day by using your breath, and your mind to center yourself.
For Journalers and Writers, here is a writing prompt for the week:
If you had a gap year between High School & College, where would you go? What would you wish
to learn about yourself? Who would you take with you?
Sometimes, to discover parts of ourselves, it helps to leave our nests and have an adventure.
A STORY THEMES:
“Sometimes you need to leave the nest to find yourself.”
How High Can Eagles Fly. (n.d.). Www.Americanexpedition.Us. Retrieved April 11, 2021
Iron wood Trees. (n.d.). Www.Houzz.Com. Retrieved April 11, 2021
The New York Times. (2021, March 24). A Conservation Success Story.
Vermont Highest Trees. (n.d.). Www.Newenglandhistoricalsociety.Com. Retrieved April 11, 2021
What Do Eagles Eat. (n.d.). Www.Rspb.Org.Uk. Retrieved April 11, 2021
“You have to write a lot of bad poetry, before the good,” Rumi the Troll
As gardeners, cave dwellers, and hobbits crack open their windows and doors, we observe the final weeks of spring, as it continues to bloom itself to life.
In the realization of the aliveness of all that is nature, we might soften our gaits, our trod-dings and rapid strides, in order to respect and benefit from a gentler hike.
“Speak Softly, and Carry a Big Stick, You Will Go Far,” West African Proverb
*Throughout the story, you will hear musical prompts, and you might like to take that opportunity to breathe in deeply, sending your air to a place in your body that might like some oxygen
If you would like to breathe mindfully & deeply throughout this tale, you might imagine you are a Friendly Troll. Each time you hear the music throughout the story, simply use the audible prompt to pull your breath in deeply, before letting it go. You might use the drums as an opportunity to check in with yourself.
*This story offers 9 total prompts, to breathe deep, checking in with yourself, sending oxygen, from head to toe as we progress.
A Humble Green
It’s not hard to find a poem about a flower in spring
or a star radiating glittering on high,
It’s easy to find poetry about the curling shapes of clouds,
& the longing wail of a chatty dove;
But below our feet
grass lives a quiet & humble life,
underneath us, by and by
and, it is not often the first subject
to catch a poet’s eye.
So maybe for today,
lets offer cheers and many thanks to you; grasses,
our often-forgotten friends,
for all you endure,
under oblivious strides & gaits
thank you for
rolling out your minty carpets
delicate to the face,
kindly hosting babies’ knees
at play &
for hosting picnics,
spread out wide,
as you hold us all
celebrating each given day.
Thank You - Rumi The Troll
Rumi reminds us of our mantra for this week:
Breathing in soft steps, breathing out, light steps drawing attention to how you place your feet with each breath in and out
A Story Theme:
Leave not your dreams, no matter how far afield they seem. Hold them
against your chest and allow others to help you reach them. They were sent
as a blessing on your path.
Photo Assignment for the Week: Can you document grass or green landscapes,
blowing side to side inside a spring wind? Getting up close you can! Let the grass know you love it with your eyeful attentions. Try to make a water droplet the star if you can macro in super close.
A Journaling Prompt for the Week:
It is a mindful practice to consider; how would it be to leave your house and wonder if huge feet were going to squash you as you drove to the store, or walked the dog to the park? Nature views us this way, but with awareness we can be lighter, and gentler. Noticing if birds and animals come closer, as we travel on our hikes.
A Few Nature Walking, Barefoot Questions:
Has anyone noticed on walks in nature that you are mindful when you step off the trails? Like myself, does anyone silently say sorry sorry ! As you inevitably step on a plant, or flower or two?
Has anyone tried Earthing, which is new science around the benefits of walking with bare feet on the earth? Most likely you have all walked bare foot on a beach in sand, but has anyone taken the next brave step and tried it in the forest, or desert, or along a lake bed ?
*Book Recommendations: The Green Cure by Alice Peck
Swedish Folk & Fairy Tales by John Bauer
The Echoing Green, Poems of Fields, Meadows & Grasses
*Shoe Company: Show my Soft Star Shoes out of Eugene & the Website
“Sky Above, Earth Below, Peace Within,” – Anonymous
Today’s walk we might choose to go barefoot, taking mindful steps outdoors in warm weather. Connecting and feeling the earth beneath us, while slowing down our pace.
“Get yourself grounded, and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.”
– Steve Goodier
In the reference section you might note two films on grounding and earthing which have come out in the recent years past. If you are so inclined you may want to buy some earthing shoes and try them or barefoot walks yourself. The health benefits are vast and easy to access. Also note the reference section in order to point you toward Soft Star Shoes out of Eugene, Oregon.
A nice and simple mantra as you walk this week might be, breathing in “Love” breathing out” “Supported.” You may just feel a boost from the inside out.
Photo Prompt for the week: What is the ground like where you live? The director of “The Earthing film” walks across a hot desert. I live in a place where it is very damp, and muddy half the year. How might you photograph the terrain you walk across every day? Have you ever give it any thought? Do you walk on concrete paths, or step to the sides to try to walk on dirt and earth as much as possible?
For Journalers and Writers, here is a writing prompt for the week: Mindfully check in before you head out. Check in with your emotions, and your physical body.
Try all week to note if you see any neutralization, energy shifts or improvements when it comes to earthing and walking barefoot or with earthing shoes such as moccasins that you may already own.
Have fun exploring, stay Curious, and Enjoy your mindful time walking and taking photographs outside in nature. Thank you for joining me.
Movies on Grounding & Earthing
Grounded “An Epic Journey of Earthly Proportions”
The Earthing Movie “The Remarkable Science of Grounding”
Barefoot Walking in Sand Royalty Free:
"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave,” – Native American Dakota
Taking a deep breath in, imagine filling your cozy foxes’ den with sweet & smoky, fiery air before letting it float out of the large cave opening into the night.
Gather your blankets, your furry friends, and pillows around you.
*If you would like to breathe mindfully & deeply throughout this tale, you might imagine you are a fox. Each time you hear the chime of the singing bowl, throughout the story, simply use it as an audible prompt to pull your breath in deeply before letting it go. You might Take the chime as an opportunity to check in with yourself. There will be 12 total chiming opportunities to breathe deep and check in, enough to complete an entire scan of your body with your breath, if you so desire.
Joseph Campbell Said;
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, to accept the life that is waiting for us”
Ingrid Bergman said, “You must train your intuition – you must trust the small voice inside you that tells you exactly what to say, and then, what to decide.”
As of 2021:
The Red Fox on Planet Earth, is considered one of the largest in size of all true foxes.
There are between 9,840-19,200 remaining red foxe individuals worldwide as of the last count, though the population is currently decreasing. They live 2-5 years in the wild. They can be found in N America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Some Fun Facts I learned while researching this story:
The personality of the red fox is more akin to a cat than a dog.
Two types of foxes live in N Carolina: The Red & Grey Fox
You can observe foxes playing alone even with golf balls, or even with deer.
Most of the year, foxes live and sleep alone, aside from mating season. They are mainly solitary creatures.
As mentioned, foxes have amazing hearing. This helps them find food from underground.
They are very vocal with around 40 sounds, including a scream like howl that is spine chilling.
Photo Assignment for the week: There might be a group of you, who have access to photograph foxes, but most of us may not. As an alternative, maybe you have access to a coastal area, where you can photograph sand pipers, crabs and driftwood. If you were to use all your senses, what do they show you, as you adventure around with your camera at the ready?
A Journaler's prompt for the week:
This may surprise you as you write. Begin, pen in hand or keys under fingers and ask yourself; if you had the chance to find a Red Ruby that would gift you unlimited luck, clearing your life of all obstacles for 5 full years, would you want it? How much fun would life be, without achievement after struggle. How much joy might come if mountains need not be climbed,
or dreams no longer require effort to fulfill?
Adopt a Fox Conservation Notes: Help the Red Fox:
Beach Riddles. (2020, December 28). Www.Plumleegalbeachrealty.Com. https://www.plumleegulfbeachrealty.com/post/best-beach-riddles-for-kids/
Cheung, T. (2019). 21 Rituals to Ignite Your Intuition. Pg 150 & 177. Watkins Publishing.
Dragonflywoman. (2010, July 15). Sounds of the dragonfly.
Jockey Ridge. (n.d.). Www.Friendsofjockeysridge.Org. Retrieved April 13, 2021
Juniperfoxx. (2019, October 15). Instagram.
Killingsworth Environmental. (2020, August 31). Fox Facts. Www.Thebiggreenk.Com.
Native Trees N Carolina. (n.d.). Www.Gardenia.Net. Retrieved April 13, 2021
Riddle. (n.d.). Www.Athensscienceobserver.Com. Retrieved April 13, 2021
Riddles for Kids. (n.d.). Www.Rd.Com. Retrieved April 13, 2021
Wickipedia. (n.d.). The Red Fox. Www.Wickipedia.Org. Retrieved April 13, 2021
“Out with the Old, In with the New, Winds of Change I Welcome You!” Irish Blessing
Welcome to a mystical romp which occurs half way between the Spring Equinox, and the Summer Solstice. May Day is the first of the month; and in Ireland it has been celebrated for centuries – It is known as Beltane, or as the Festival and Celebration of the May Tree.
This special event in Ireland honors the mid spring season, with 7 weeks til summer.
Nature is always attuned and in balance.
As a participant in the cycles of the year, our own inner travels from winter are now blooming outward. The seeds below ground are sprouting through fertile soul; up, out and toward the sunlight.
In Ireland, on May 1st, Villages, Townslands and communities offer up a seasonal rite of passage by decorating Hawthorne trees, as well as the front gates of homes.
Our many months inside the dark inner caves of winter begin to fall away.
This meditation is a creative variation of the Irish celebration.
“If you believe in fairies, Beltane is a great time to leave treats out for them in your garden.” – Anonymous
Feel free to use this week’s mantra as you walk; Breathing in Sun Breathing out Light. The sun clears and renews you inside, and you send light out to the world, to bless your people, your home, the planet and the year ahead.
A Photo Assignment for the Week: You do not need to find a Hawthorne tree, to tie May ribbons on and decorations. Any tree will do. If you planted a potted holiday tree outside, you can bring it back to life with ribbons and flowers. Photos of your May trees could be fun images to share.
A Journal Writing Assignment for the Week: Simply ponder for a bit, what are your wishes right now for the year to come.
Have fun exploring, stay Curious, and Enjoy your mindful time walking and taking photographs outside in nature. Thank you so much for joining me.
Live Storytelling Sessions on Insight Timer each week: Wed, Th & Fri @thewondercompass
“Hollows are proof that something bad can become something good with enough time and care and hope" -Red
Disclosure: Mindful walks are taken at the discretion of the user. If you have any physical, mental or emotional health limitations, consult your physician before engaging in this activity.
“A solution will always float like a feather onto our floorboards, if we don’t forget to leave a window open.”
Do magical forces prod and nudge us to take care of the land and the Earth? Maybe so...
Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm wrote:
“Nothing is as it appears to be, and life is more fun than you first imagined. There is a hidden beauty and a hidden power in all of nature, as you open yourself to it, you will feel close to the earth....and the water.”
I’d add, in the practice of Wondering each day, look for the magic behind what you see. Nature has a way of showing itself in quiet waves and layers, like an onion. - MJ
For any Journaler’s and Writers, here is a Writing Prompt for the Week:
A Photo Prompt for the week: What on a hike might you see more deeply into if you stop, walk around it, sit with it and spend more time ? This could be anything in nature. From trees to bushes, rocks to creek-beds. Everything has layers. See if you can peel some back, and capture images that reveal a new perspective.
A reminder if you want to use this week’s mantra for breath work it is IN EARTH,
While you ground yourself, and breathing OUT SKY.
Have fun exploring, stay Curious, and Enjoy your mindful time walking and taking photographs in nature.
Goodnight where you are.....Goodnight Humans and Furry Animals....Goodnight to Half the Earth. Goodnight Planets and Stars. Goodnight Dreams.
Carr-Gomm, P., Carr-Gomm, S., & Worthington, B. (1995). Druid Animal Oracle - Trade Paperback. Atria Books.
Kvideland, Reimund and Henning K Sehmsdorf, eds. Scandinavian Folk Belief and Legend. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988.Mogensen, F. (2016).
Ancient Stories for Modern Times: 50 Short Wisdom Tales for All Ages (Spied.). Skinner House Books.
“Necessity is the Mother of Invention” - Old English Proverb
Let us make our way, my Elvish friends, across the emerald landscapes of the Shire. The term "Shire," was first attributed to the counties in central and southern England, which were housed under the authority of the “Shire Reeve,” or Sheriff.
Let us take a rolling jaunt over the hills and through the winding creeks and pine, chestnut, oak, ash and beech trees.
"Spring has begun!
“Blow the horn and Sound out the Tin whistles brightly,
beat the Bodhran drums
For, Darkness is receding,
As we pull the curtains of light in greeting!” – Molly
Weekly Photography Assignment:
As an inventor of sight, can you photograph nature from a unique perspective, aside from the normal human eye’s view? Get down low, Look up High. Get utterly TOO close, and possibly cast a wide gaze at the landscape around u.
--A Journaling Prompt For the Week:
Write for a while without editing about something you would like to create and invent; or how can you aid others who are inventing their own creations.
(As with the tradition of all Irish and Scottish Storyteller’s, each
story has a few themes to ponder) :
The Love & Importance of the Simple charms of life, such as baking, daily chores, sharing gifts and walking through your neighborhood, spending time with your crew or tribe.
Value in the changing of the seasons, and celebrating new beginnings.
Mindfully becoming aware that we can always find “problems” and “challenges,” but if we cast our attentions on HOW the world might Be. What would that look like?
Have fun exploring, stay Curious, and Enjoy your mindful time walking and taking photographs outside in nature.
Music Licensing © Alexander Nakaranda (Oslo, Norway)
Disclosure: Mindful walks are taken at the discretion of the user. If you have any physical, mental or emotional health limitations, consult your physician before engaging in this activity.
Day, D. (2019). An Encyclopedia of Tolkien: The History and Mythology That Inspired Tolkien’s World (Leather-bound Classics) (Illustrated ed.). Canterbury Classics.
Tolkien, J. R. R. (2012). The Hobbit. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
"Thanks for this day, for all birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life."