Tag: Magnolia River

All is Well…at the Center

All is Well…at the Center

No news reports are broadcast in my home or on the computer or any electronic device and yet it trickles in through word of mouth and social media. If I search out news, it’s from sources I trust…proven journalists that research their stories and refuse to report what has commonly become known as fake news.

Even with these protocols in place, it is impossible not to notice that the poop is hitting the proverbial fan in our country. Assaults on the environment, the middle class, wildlife, domesticated animals, children, women, those with different sexual orientations, people of any color other than white, those who fall in the 99% of wealth, rivers, oceans, sacred places….there is not one dimension of life in our country that isn’t being assaulted or threatened.

The struggles we have already been through over hundreds of years are happening again and they are compressed into one place in time. It gets overwhelming on a daily basis. I cannot imagine how it must feel for those actually watching news broadcasts and having those fights and negative voices echo through the sacred walls of their homes.

It is challenging to stay informed and stay sane.

I refuse to be uninformed and uninvolved although the temptation is certainly there. It’s much easier to numb-out, be in the world asleep. But I can’t do that. Yet….there has to be balance. Too many angry emoticons on FaceBook makes Simone a withered shell of a person.

Recently we experienced several days of rain and cold weather so cycling was not an option. I continued being outside in nature doing three mile walks even when it was pouring rain and cold. It was my grasp at sanity. I wasn’t able to pound on the pedals and whirl away 20 miles of crazy for a week, so I had to adapt.

Never before have I felt the hollowness of living alone so acutely and painfully. Missing the companionship, friendship and love of an understanding man has prompted me to spend more time outdoors seeking the stillness and quiet of the forests, beaches and open spaces.

Standing in a small forest of trees with soft, pine needles underfoot and rain drops bouncing off my rain parka, I found balance. Walking by the headwaters of the Magnolia River with fog rising from its slow-moving water, I found peace. Walking my canine friend in the snow…his first ever….and watching his reaction, I found laughter. Walking bundled in winter clothes on the beach with a friend, I found companionship. It took work, but I found balance amidst the chaos….or as close as I can get given the circumstances.

I’ve always loved nature, but if you’re reading this you probably know this about me. My life is dedicated to sharing the beauty of the planet. However, lately I have found it absolutely necessary to step away from screens and be outside. Even if it’s sitting on my porch and watching it rain or walking in the neighborhood….nature gifts me with healing and balance in an ever-challenging world.

Nature responds to our reaching out. Be still, listen. Open your mind and heart. In the deepest place of silence, all is well.

Drumming Under Stars

Drumming Under Stars

Once a month, those so inclined join together along the shore of the narrow headwaters of the Magnolia River to drum. We have a unifying intention of unity and peace.

Last night there were only four of us but the evening was powerful. Stars overhead called us to connect with each other, our ancestors and nature…to reach out with open hearts and minds to the Cosmic Mind, God, Source, Greater Good…whatever you might label the Creative Source.

As we shared before the drumming began, each felt a sense of powerlessness over the situation of our planet, our country and the many global ills. For those of us less likely to be outwardly active and vocal along the front lines of change, we discussed the idea of devoting 30 minutes a day doing the energy work of our choice directing positive energy to the cause that tugs at our heart strings. Interestingly, this was a theme that had surfaced for us individually and as we came together, the idea took on larger proportions.

Meditation, prayer, dance, singing, drumming, creating music, practicing yoga with intention….whatever a person’s method for generating positive juju. For me, it’s using crystal singing bowls, flutes and later this week, a large gong will find its way into the healing space. By setting aside time and space and creating an intention of sending good vibes to the recipient of choice, we are doing something to make a difference.

Everyone can do thirty minutes a day. This is our planet, our country. It’s worth the time and effort. And the most incredible thing is this:  in the process we open our hearts and minds and therefore, heal our own lives as we send love and light to others. Amazing how that works!

I am considering adding a page to my website with a map. Every time someone lets me know they are participating I’ll add a pin. The idea is still forming.

Today I dedicated thirty minutes of sound healing to whales. Who might you devote thirty minutes of your day to?

For the women who gathered last night and stood beneath the stars drumming, thank you! May we dance in starlight always!

 

Honoring Magnolia & Manatees

Honoring Magnolia & Manatees


Volunteering for the love of manatees is amazing and life-changing experience. Thank you community of Magnolia Springs, Alabama! You are awesome neighbors and friends to manatees. Thank you Sea World Rescue Team, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and US Fish & Wildlife Service. Working together we really can make a positive difference!

To update all the supporters and fans of Magnolia, the manatee rescued on January 4th recovering at Sea World Orlando’s rehabilitation center…she is doing WONDERFUL!! All the prop scars have completely healed and she is eating and gaining weight. There is a rumor that she is showing the staff that Alabama gals know how to eat! For everyone who has sent healing thoughts, prayers, love, happy thoughts and general good wishes to Magnolia…THANK YOU! If she continues to do well there is a good possibility she will be released once the water is warmer.

Goodbye to a Friend

Goodbye to a Friend

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Spirit, a few days before crossing over the Rainbow Bridge.

The bubbles switched direction as our group of twelve individuals sent our love and gratitude with each breath directed into our small wands. A chilly swirl of wind directed the bubbles down to the river where Spirit was removed and out over the river where she had spent many days in the Cold Hole. Suddenly they moved up and kept climbing into the clear, blue sky.

Spirit the Manatee crossed the Rainbow Bridge here on our river, January 1st, 2015. She was 8 feet, 3 inches long and weighed 617 pounds. She was between four and six years old.

We know that in her last weeks Spirit suffered greatly. She was 200 to 400 pounds underweight. She had severe pneumonia and skin lesions covering her belly. She had lost her way to warmer water and found the warmest place she could to survive.

While she appeared very weak and fragile, it is her strength of spirit that brought our community together and united us in an effort to save not only her but others of her kind.

Because Spirit made her presence known for weeks before a rescue was attempted, we became aware of two others that were in the river. One, her friend Magnolia, was rescued and is healing in the safety of warm water and loving care at Sea World Orlando. Nobody had seen Magnolia until New Year’s Eve. Four days later she was rescued.

So Spirit brought our attention to Magnolia and also brought our attention to the incredible heart that resides in our community. Someone called Magnolia Springs the Heart of the Universe. Clearly this was confirmed by the outpouring of support and love given to our manatee friends…and each other.

Often we yearn for a brighter outcome and want a happy ending for animals, especially those classified as ‘endangered.’ That’s understandable. But we take comfort in the absolute fact that Spirit united within our community fierce love and support that made a ripple that will continue to flow out into the world.

Let us keep the intention of love for all creatures great and small within our hearts and remember this beautiful, sweet being who graced our waterway with her presence. And let us practice love with each other.

Spirit being examined by a veterinarian from Audubon Zoology Park beside the river.
Spirit being examined by a veterinarian from Audubon Zoology Park beside the river.

Wendell Berry wrote:

“If we have no compassion,

we will suffer alone, we will suffer

alone the destruction of ourselves.”

Showing compassion, living compassion, saves not only life around us…it saves us.

With gratitude we say so long…but never goodbye. You will remain in our hearts forever sweet Spirit.

*******

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Some of our community gathered to say goodbye to Spirit. Photo by Cheryl Towler Cowles.

Jada, a teenager from Magnolia Springs who witnessed the rescue and passing of Spirit, added this to the memorial gathering for our manatee friend:

Even though Spirit passed away, our community came together because of her. Every person made a difference in her rescue. From helping with the net to spotting to just praying, each small act came together to make something big. We the town of Magnolia Springs will always treasure this once in a live time experience. I would like to share a poem from the National Wildlife Federation entitled “Advice from a Manatee.”

“Advice from a Manatee”

Breathe deep

Glide through your day

Have a gentle Spirit

Enjoy time alone

Eat plenty of greens

Keep your whiskers clean

Live large!

I think if we can take this advice from a manatee and continue working together as a community, we will be better and stronger for it.

*******

Remember Wendell Berry’s words….“If we have no compassion, we will suffer alone, we will suffer alone the destruction of ourselves.”

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