Tag: nature



imagesSearch for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence. We might be most familiar with this organization through the movie Contact starring Jody Foster. Looking for intelligent life on other planets, in other galaxies is SETI’s mission.

I heard an NPR interview with Jill Tarter on the program Science Friday/Talk of the Nation. She is the chair of SETI. In the interview she made a statement that made me guffaw. “Technology is our proxy for intelligence. Technological civilizations survive for a very long time. It may take 100,000 years for a signal to reach Earth but if they were there to send the signal, they’re probably still there.”

Since I was driving I had to carefully control my reaction but I did laugh, hysterically perhaps. While I understand the basis of her statement I question the logic of it.

Oiled beach from 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Oiled beach from 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

In the short time humans have been on this planet we have managed to destroy life forms, land masses, pollute waterways, over-populate and exploit resources to the point where future life is questionable. Was she suggesting that other life forms might be more intelligent and survived with their technology without destroying their planet? If that’s the case, I want to meet them…as long as they are friendly and helpful. Mean aliens need to stay away.

images-1Maybe her ET’s could teach us how to care for our planet and use our technologies wisely instead of the highly destructive ways we use them now….drilling for oil miles below the surface of the ocean, injecting toxic chemicals into the Earth to eek out natural gas and pollute the water-table, strip mining, mountain-top removal mining….and on and on.

Does technology equal intelligence? I haven’t seen evidence of that on this planet.

(Please note: I did not take the photos of the ET’s).



july23 (1)Last summer I spent nights sitting under a blanket of black sky twinkling with white stars. The sound of waves lapping on the sand and humid air hugging my skin brought me into the present where I experienced the wonder of nature. Sitting quietly awaiting the birth of sea turtle hatchlings, I was gently guided to recognize and harmonize with the magnificent natural world.

A few miles east, tourists wandered through souvenir shops looking for trinkets with which to remember their vacation. Perhaps few ever understood the biggest treasures could be found sitting on a quiet beach absorbing the peace and magic of the place. While the Gulf of Mexico and beaches affected them, maybe many left never seeing the beauty….the deep beauty…or feeling their connection to it, as part of it.

laughing gull
laughing gull

I wonder if that’s why humans can so easily ignore the plight of our planet. Collectively we see through eyes blinded with superficiality: Nice ocean, nice beach…oh, look a sea gull…wow there’s another tee shirt shop….let’s buy a $20 tee shirt to remember….nice flower….nice tree…too bad they are clearing them…gotta go to work…can’t save everything….oh that’s sad about the dolphins, let’s get a tee shirt with a dolphin on it….could I have extra plastic bags for shells….just put your cigarette butts in the sand they’ll dissolve….recycling takes too much effort….

There are probably many reasons humans ignore their connection to nature. I think we’ve specialized our roles in society and have forgotten that we are entirely connected and dependent on nature for our life.

simonelipscomb (1)Disconnect One: A farm half way across the planet grows food for us. A fisherman catches our dinner. We show up at the grocery store and connect to our food sources by perusing the air conditioned aisles. Most of us have no idea what it takes to grow enough food to sustain our own lives.

shelloil2Disconnect Two: Collectively we have bought into the mindset that more is better. We consume at alarming rates. We feed the corporate mindset that more profit is vital and so resources dwindle at any cost.

Disconnect Three: We are too busy. Our collective pace is out of sync with the timing of the seasons and movement of the Earth. This is strongly connected to the ‘more is better’ mindset. We sacrifice ourselves to feed the ‘profit at any cost’ motto.

This reminds me of The Matrix movies where humans are only used for the energy they produce for machines. They are put into a dream-world of their choosing and exist in their minds in this place while their bodies are used only for what they produce. Sound familiar?

At some point individuals break out of their bondage and begin to see life as it really is in The Matrix. It’s not easy and they struggle but the reward is awareness, consciousness…awakening.

em2Our fate is determined by our choices…every day choices…by what we choose to notice, to give our attention to as that is what will multiply and blossom in our lives.

The birds are singing. My garden is growing…slowly, ever so slowly. The river is flowing. I breathe in slowly…I exhale slowly. My bare feet feel the warm soil. The leaves of the trees softly rustle in the breeze. Nature embraces me as its own. This, to me, is peace. This is a small beginning in learning to see beyond….

simonelipscomb (4)

Sunrise on the Shore

Sunrise on the Shore

I awakened just before 5am and hurriedly dressed for 46 degree, windy weather. I couldn’t imagine a sea turtle mama crawling ashore in this cold May weather to dig a nest and lay eggs but regardless, the dedicated sea-turtle-loving members of Share the Beach excitedly began nesting season patrol this week. No complaints about the early hour, wind or cold.

simonelipscomb (2)I arrived to pick up a team member twenty minutes early so walked over to a marshy area, set up my tripod and enjoyed a few minutes of creative flow as the canvas spread out before me. Ahhhh…..my favorite time of day.

Just before the sun peeked out from the eastern horizon, when the essence of life felt so full, so pregnant with possibilities, I listened as bird song urged the birth of another day. Wind whipped around me and the marsh grass whoosed and shusssshed in answer.

simonelipscomb (9)Then on to the Gulf and my walk began after I was dropped at the section I walk. Alone except for a few sanderlings and willets wandering the foam-whipped shoreline for tidbits of breakfast. Blowing sand made a hazy layer of air and earth as the tiny quartz bits blasted my protected legs. Good morning Mother Ocean, I whispered.

simonelipscomb (6)I walked in a graveyard of shells, the host animals were killed when dredges pumped sand back on the beachfront. It isn’t often such whole shells wash ashore here and the thought of such loss of life, even for such small creatures, hung heavy in the wild air.

simonelipscomb (8)While I celebrated the beauty around me, I grieved the multitude of ways humans have negatively impacted our beautiful planet. Walk softly, dear friends. Walk gently upon this place.

Morning Courtyard Dance

Morning Courtyard Dance

simone (4)Warm air, heavy with the scent of jasmine, wrapped around me as I entered the courtyard. It had only been four days but during that short time so much had changed.

The wall of jasmine was the most obvious change as its delicious smell mixed with gardenia created a mood-altering experience through scent. And as much as I wanted to explore, communion with the river came first.

RIVER2 (3)Layers of humid air hung heavy over the water as my board sliced through the mirror-slick surface. My body longed for movement after traveling and sitting so much over the long weekend. I amped up the pace and had a great workout, during which I discovered the osprey babies I have been monitoring had hatched. Mama Osprey was feeding them as I paddled under their nest atop the high pole. This morning my river prayers were of thanksgiving for these new lives.

Upon returning home, I walked out to my garden and saw baby jalapeño peppers, baby tomatoes, and baby satsumas hanging green and full of potential. Growth was the theme of return to my beloved home.

After communing with my plant friends I turned on my favorite classical music in the speakers outside and glided around the courtyard greeting the beauty exploding everywhere. Such life!

simonelipscomb (2)The grandmother oak tree in the center stood watching and when I finished, she called to me. I laid my hands on her rough bark and felt her strength as I offered up a prayer of gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate the day with a morning courtyard dance.

Ocean of Love

Ocean of Love

simonelipscomb (6)From a place of deep relaxation a vision emerged. I was in a vast Ocean, deep indigo in color and filled with beautiful creatures. A huge humpback whale echo-located me and swam very close. Harpoons with explosives sought him and massive nets and I urged him to swim away and escape. The ship came closer and closer and as his mate I urged him to dive deep. He constantly put himself in harm’s way to help others. In a frenzy, I swam trying to push his massive body down, deep into the blue depths. He sang to me and in pictures I saw his body taken into the ship that hunted him and watched as it took him apart, piece by piece. The thought came….people will pick his bones clean until there is nothing left.

And with one last surge of energy, I rammed him as the ship hit me. He was free but I was broken.

My whale body sank into the Void yet my consciousness remained. In that moment I knew that the essence of who I am lived on. It was love that drew me to him and love that kept me there. It was love that blocked the ship and kept it from breaking him.

I heard whale song and ocean sounds and felt total peace. Complete peace. As I opened myself to love, all fear disappeared.

And I knew that love is everything, in everything and available in endless supply. And because of this, I have everything I need. This is an abundant world of love.

simonelipscombMy gigantic whale heart could hold love in unimaginable quantities and be a channel for it….for life force that is, in essence,  love. What keeps us from swimming in this endless supply of love with conscious awareness? Are we so afraid of losing our ‘self’ or ego that we hold back and refuse to let the fires of love consume us, transform us?

I drifted back from this place of surrender, this place of unlimited abundant love, into my human form. With much to ponder I spent time in silence, listening and writing.

simonelipscomb (4)Love is like an ocean of vast immensity and we are like fish swimming in this limitless ocean begging for water. We forget we already have love and therefore, everything we will ever need.

As I breathe in, I breathe in love. It is the fabric of this physical world. The life force that holds it all together.

simonelipscomb (8)Nobody can withhold love from me because to receive love is as simple as inhaling. Nobody is gatekeeper for love coming to me except me.

Our minds create separation from Source…God…Great Spirit. Our thoughts create this feeling of aloneness. How could we ever be alone or separate from the Universe, from God, when we are surrounded by It? Are a part of It?

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” I Corinthians 7.

My daughter Emily in the Caribbean waters of Bonaire
My daughter Emily in the Caribbean waters of Bonaire

“Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls….when love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep…For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you….Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast. All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart……Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love….But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.” Kahlil Gibran

This passage from The Prophet narrates the journey the soul takes in an effort to find love…looking for it in others, in things, in titles, letting ego define it. Ultimately, finding love requires sacrifice of the ego, a laying down of  limits and limitations. And the realization that it is what created us, sustains us and breathes through us.

Photo by Ed Jackson
Photo by Ed Jackson of me and my buddy in a cave, Akumal, Mexico

Love is as close as the air we breathe, as we open to receive. We live in an ocean of love.