Friday, July 14, 2017


The annual symphony of flowering is upon us!  Here in the northwest, it starts with a single flash of life jumping out of the dark earth in late January, early February. It is the first snowdrop, or crocus,  emerging like a butterfly from a cocoon. Our souls, slowed by the subdued palette and chill of winter, are instantaneously energized and delighted by that tiny shock of brand new-ness and color. And so it begins.

This spring, a friend told me a beautiful story about a tradition in his family. He grew up in eastern Canada where winters are extra long.  Each year,  sometime around March,  his dad piled the family into the car and said "We're going to drive until we see a daffodil".  And they did. They headed south until they spotted one.

That's pretty much what I did this spring too. Leaving the first week of March, in snow and ice, I set out on a long road trip.  Arriving in California felt like going through the wardrobe door into Narnia. I pulled in just in time to catch the peach orchards in spectacular full bloom around Marysville.

Over the course of the next several weeks, on my way to see family and friends, I chased flowers around like a deliriously happy honeybee, collecting photographs as my pollen. I find the act of photographing flowers  is a very beautiful way to spend time with them, like having a good conversation.

Now, in the peak of summer, the roadsides and fields here are completely alive and buzzing, like impressionist paintings, splashed with  daisies, foxglove, wild roses, dandelions, tiny wildflowers, morning glory, and endlessly more. Words fail me when it comes to describing what it feels like to bask in the graciousness of even a single one of those blossoms.

With summer greetings, may you be enjoying the company of flowers in your world as well.
For now -Amy

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Fire Within

It's been an especially cold and long winter where i live.
It feels like several winters in a row. In fact, it's snowing again as i write this.

If you read a poem many times over, you know it can take on a certain added beauty and depth. This winter, - it's been something like that. 
This post is for any or all of you in the midst of outer or inner winters of your own... 

It helps to remember that Winter is an old, old  friend of Earth. 
Winter is the silent partner of apples, and tulips, and many other wonders that can only come to being after a rendezvous with the cold. I love that.

In wintertime, when things appear colorless, look again and look softly- because they're not. And, what looks like destruction at the hands of the season, is likely Natures way of preparing for new growth. Not always pretty, but still necessary.

Like all of Nature,  Winter is a superb, if strict, teacher offering very solid, no nonsense counsel. All we have to do is pay attention. 
When there’s a freezing chill in the air, for example, the dominate lesson is “Just don’t let the fire go out”. I don’t think that’s meant as a suggestion either – more of a do or die kind of thing. Got it. That one feels like the billboard of the day.

There are many signs going up these days. Signs that can distill big complex situations into a few words to help clarify our thinking, and affect our behaviors and then greater outcomes. That's a good thing, - something Nature thought of a long time ago.

So here are a few signs, inspired by our old friend Winter:
Don’t let the fire go out.
Keep a warm heart.
Stoke curiosity about what we don’t understand.
Fuel optimism.
Kindle the flame of hope.

Radiate your truth.
Change is Natures way.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Keep on keeping on in 2017

Heading into this new year,
may we be creative in our wayfinding,
stay light on our feet,  and carry a song in our hearts.