Yes, I Will Be Your Valentine 2/14/17

small-valentine-2017-jpg-sigValentine’s morning is frosty and clear
So clear I  see my breath,
Hear frozen cracklings underfoot,
While watching you scrape the icy veil,
Clearing the windows for a clean view,
Allowing you to make it safely to work.

I return to warmth and furry friends
Already missing you.
I see the handmade gift you made me,
A cardboard heart with a question and words of love.

The sun shines on deep red roses
In an elegant vase bought years ago.
I imagine the vase rejoicing
As it has long sat empty and now
It is serving beauty once again.
roses-2017-jpg-sig
With your gifts and question
You spoke of loving feelings, tender intentions,
And a wish that we might put our feet on a spiritual path
That deepens loving connection.

This evening we will celebrate
With other couples dedicated
To each other and their coupleships.

We will share with each other,
Working on healthy communication, true intimacy,
And ways to deepen our bonds together,
A wonder filled opportunity.

I spoke my answer to your question
And will now write it here, Beloved Husband.
Yes, I will be your valentine.

With gratitude in my heart
I can say I have loved you from the beginning
And continue to love you in the present.

My prayers are that we take
A spiritual journey together,
Deepening our compassion, kindness, love,
And feelings of gratitude for all we have,
Including each other.

Happy Valentine’s Day
From your beloved wife, Raven!

rose-close-2017-jpg-sig
May your Valentine’s Day be filled with gratitude, compassion, love, and kindness.

Our hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!

Technical Difficulties Continue 12-7-16

butterfly

Hi Friends,
I’m working on remaining positive as my technical gremlins keep me mostly off-line.  My apologies to those of you who have written and I wasn’t able to  respond until today.  I do ask for your prayers in overcoming the problems that have kept me away from the various volunteer pollinator and earth activism activities that I have been involved with, including this blog. I have not been using Facebook for some time and saving what life is left in my system for living essentials, like checking the weather for my bees.

My work needs my photos, a viable computer, and access to these years of daily photos in order to to be of service.  Currently I am working on a dying Mac (though it served me well for a long time) and a drive where  my photos lived that is now corrupt.  The photos should have lived elsewhere (and I thought they did), but mistakes were made, as happens in life.

If you are so inclined, whatever your faith or personal spirituality, prayers to Spirit/Grace (whatever you call Creator) that the means become available for the system replacement and data retrieval (and that this be possible).  I do believe in miracles and Angels as fact, not just faith, because I’ve witnessed them for myself.

Thank you all for  your spiritual support, kindness, compassion, and caring.  I hope to be viable once more and be able to get back to my daily posting and visual documentation of the changing world around where I live.

Bright Bee Blessings, Butterfly Kisses, Hugs and Love,
Raven

Our Hearts Give Thanks For the Grace in the Universe!

Moss Roses and Honeybees (10/7/15)

10:7:15 mossrose4 sig“Even if, at the moment, you can’t sit down and do the gruntwork of stringing verbs and nouns together, you are writing. It is a way of seeing, a way of being. The world is not only the world, but your personal filing cabinet. You lodge details of the world in your sparkling nerve-library that spirals through your brain and coils down your arms and legs, collects in your belly and your sex. You write, even if you can’t always “write.”
However, writers write. Active, not passive.”
Luis Alberto Urrea, Six Kinds of Sky: A Collection of Short Fiction  via Goodreads
10:7:15 mossrose3 sig
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – Today was sunny and I am happy to share these photos of moss roses and a couple of honeybees taking a drink at the little feature I have to share water with the wildlife (and some of the neighbors’ wandering pets) that visit my place.  Day 7 of OcPoWriMo’s prompt is here and it asks us to consider a decision that we have made that we are happy with as we travel this road of life and come to a fork in the road.  One of my happy decisions was to extend the daily photo project that I began in January of 2012 longer than a year.  This has lead me to writing more words and exploring poetry when I found October Poetry Writing Month last year.  Yay!
10:7:15 mossrose1 sig 10:7:15 hb sig “pollen paths for bees
beauty and color in fall
for all to enjoy”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:7:15 mossrose sig “One of the curanderas in Cuernavaca told me, “If you do not want to join us in Teresita’s work, then you must heal in the power of your own medicine.  You must heal them with words.  Literature is medicine too.”
~ Luis Alberto Urrea from a reading group guide about writing (in the book) “A Hummingbird’s Daughter”
10:7:15 mossrose2 sig“honeybees drinking
moss roses soaking up sun
a bright autumn day”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:7:15 hb1 sigNamaste, Bright Blessings, Namu Amida Butsu ~ Raven

This, Too, Shall Pass (10/6/15)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
~ Margaret Mead
10:6:15 L hazel10 sigTuesday, October 6, 2015 – “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi – October is such a fascinating month for change where I live and today’s prompt for OcPoWriMo is life changes. Changing leaves, temperatures, weather, daylight hours, and moods demonstrate that it is obviously autumn. The higher elevations have been colorful with leaves for a while now and the leaves are transforming and even falling in my neighborhood/micro-climate.  Change is apparent in my household, since everyone is adjusting to the death of one of the cats.  Cats don’t like change.  I ran across this quote that I found to be filled with synchronicity because of yesterday’s loss and my photos today are of hazel leaves beginning to change, “Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars  on Goodreads
10:6:15 L hazel7 sigI chose today’s photos because, not only do they demonstrate the change of seasons, they look mysterious at the same time.  Change brings mystery, because we can only know it as we experience it or it wouldn’t be “change” it would be “same”.  Though really, if you are fully present in the “now” is anything ever exactly the same?  The nature of life is change, transformation, and impermanence.  Just like no two snowflakes are exactly alike, no two autumns are the same, and no two hazel leaves are identical.  Life is a mystery of change and impermanence and each moment is unique.  The mystery unfolds each minute in time as you experience it.  The important thing is to be present in the moment. This way you can fully experience the gift of your life, though this can be challenging when you are experiencing loss, grief, sadness, anger, or other uncomfortable feelings.  A good saying when times are rough is “that this, too, shall pass”.  During difficult moments, I also try and keep alive the hope that painful experiences might help guide my personal transformation towards being a more kind and compassionate person.
10:6:15 L hazel12 sig 10:6:15 L hazel6 sig“dear hazels growing
rooted deeply in the ground
your leaves are changing”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:6:15 L hazel13 sig 10:6:15 L hazel5 sig“moment to moment
our very cells transforming
and this too shall pass”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:6:15 L hazel3 sigNamaste, Bright Blessings, Namu Amida Butsu ~ Raven

Love – Geese, Flowers, and Hard Decisions We Sometimes Have To Make to Be Compassionate (10/5/15)

“Some years ago, I read an article about two people in the arts (alas, I can’t remember who they were) who’d been married for many, many years. Asked for the secret of their long partnership, they said: “We fell straight into conversation when we met, and we haven’t come to the end of that conversation yet.”

I can’t think of a better model for marriage than that. Or of a narrative more romantic . . . .”
~ Terri Windling
10:5:15 L geese 1 sigMonday, October 5, 2015 – On day 5 of OcPoWriMo and funny enough one of the harder aspects of loving was up on my plate today, choosing to say goodbye.  While romantic love between humans is often thought of when we are asked about “LOVE”, there is also the love between family members, friends (including pets), and some of us have love affairs with certain creatures not usually considered sentient (though science is beginning to prove otherwise).  Someone I know truly loves a grove of aspen trees.  Today I had a super difficult day when I had to choose to have a long-time family member and friend, our Sokoke cat, Zomo, helped over the Rainbow Bridge by our vet.  This was traumatic because Zomo didn’t like people, was bonded to me, and freaked out when put in the cat carrier for his final journey as a living soul in this incarnation.  Though my act was one of love and compassion, in his eyes it was a betrayal.  Even though he was suffering, he didn’t want this to happen to him.  The vet assured us that we made the correct choice to end his suffering, though it was one of the hardest compassionate types of choice to make.  She couldn’t tell us exactly what was wrong, but assured us that even if we spent thousands of dollars he was unlikely to make it as he was having fluid come up from his deep in his throat with a good chance that it was cancer.  He was drowning.  I haven’t included a most current photo of Zomo, because the pictures I took today showed him looking rough and not like his beautiful self, though here are a few photos of Zomo and Asad as kittens and adults (Zomo is in back in the cat tree, and that is him in the single kitten photo).  Asad was Zomo’s litter-mate and passed from cancer a few years ago.  Zomo would have been 10 years old in the spring.  Rest in peace my dear friend!  Is the Rainbow Bridge made of flowers?
Zomo and Asad kittens sig Zomo and Asad adults sig “hard to say goodbye
to my faithful furry friends
rest in peace dear ones”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

Zomo kitten sigMy photos taken for today include geese and flowers and I chose these because geese mate for life and flowers are often given as tokens of love.  Flowers and pollinators make love that allow a great diversity of life to flourish so beautifully on earth.
10:5:15 L agustache 1 sig 10:5:15 L geese sig “high in the sky geese
migration is happening
goose pairs mate for life”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:5:15 L flower sig 10:5:15 L agustache sig“bees share flower love
people love to share flowers
are flowers Earth’s love?”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

10:5:15 L rose sigNamaste, Namu Amida Butsu, Bright Blessings ~ Raven

The Magic of Change (10/4/15)

“If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.”
author unknown ~ From Butterfly Quotes
10:4:2015 L. M sigSunday, October 4, 2015 – Today is day four of OcPoWriMo and our prompt for today is Do you believe in magic? When I look around at all the beauty that shares our planet with us I have to admit that this totally inspires the belief of magic in my heart.  Sometimes even the hard parts of natural cycles, like death, can be  beautiful.  Artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, painted many bones in the desert that demonstrate this beauty and feel very magical.  Today I had a monarch and other creatures in the garden. During the photographing of the butterfly I witnessed and documented its end.  At first I thought it was caught on something in the buddleia and when I went to try and free it found that I could not and that it was being changed into another form of life.  A very pregnant praying mantis had caught the monarch and there was no escape, even with my help.  So I bore witness and felt sad. Though I know that the mantis has to eat to live, there have been few monarch sightings this year in my yard.  When I went to visit the asters I found another praying mantis which was magical because I haven’t seen two in my yard at the same time (though I know it happens when I find their egg cases) and I wondered if this was the male that impregnated the female without loosing his head .  Mantis has beauty and magic, as does the Monarch.  There were also many other creatures out and about.  I will share only one photo of the mantis and the monarch, as I did find it sad and had to search my soul for the magic because I was looking forward to writing with today’s prompt.  I deeply considered only sharing the photos I took of living creatures and omitting the story of how the monarch’s life ended, but I felt that this would take away from the true magic that is part of the magic of the transformation in the circle of life and also something that was a rare sight to see.
10:4:2015 L. M 4JPG sig 10:4:2015 L. M 2 sig“an icon for change,
mystery, and beauty
the magic monarch”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

10:4:2015 L. M 1 sig 10:4:2015 L. M 3 sig“magic taking flight
on sun burnished wings so bright
you will be transformed”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:4:15 L mantis m sig“sadly I witness
the circle of life and change
the fall of Monarch”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:4:2015 hb sig 10:4:2015 native bee sig“pretty little bees
in aster blossoms so white
beware of mantis”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

10:4:15 L mantis asters sigNamaste, Bright Blessings, Namu Amida Butsu ~ Raven

At Home With Hummingbirds and Milkweed Friends 10/3/15

10:3:15 L hum 1 sig“It just may be that the most radical act we can commit is to stay home,” says Terry Tempest Williams. ~ From Terri Windling’s October 1st blog post
10:3:15 mb 1 sigSaturday, October 3, 2015 – Mostly overcast with some rain today for the 3rd day of OcPoWriMo.  While I rarely follow the prompts, in part because my poetry follows my picture project and it seems haiku (as I play with it) a nice fit, I will say that lately my biggest blocks to my creativity and writing have been more physical than emotional (though there are emotional components that arise out of the physical).  They have ranged from dsl connection issues (as most of my writing is here on this blog and on pollinator/earth activism pages I manage on fb), old equipment and failed software, and health issues.  It is kind of ironic because this blog originally arose from a daily photo project I started on Facebook on January 4, 2012 to help get me up and about after an extended period of illness and being abed.  I do have some chronic health issues, like too many people I know, that stem from what I believe to be the way humans live in and treat the earth and all of its creatures (including the plant people).  One of the types I have takes down my immune system and it can take quite some time to get better (I’m still in an activation phase of this one).  When we live in a world where humans spray poisons to get rid of the plants and animals that they don’t want, we tend to forget that we are poisoning ourselves as well as the creatures we love.  All of life is necessary and I believe we need to find our way back to a sacred re-connection to our world and all in it.  This includes a connection to where we live and to all of our neighbors (including the plant and other beings).  Terri Windling’s blog, Myth and Moor, has been examining the connection to the places we live, our communities, and how we relate to the sacred in these places over the last couple of weeks (September and October).  I encourage you to go check it out 🙂
10:3:15 L hum 5 sig“my friends are still here
while the milkweed is turning
it’s migration time”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:3:15 lb best sig 10:3:15 mb 2 sig“This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek.”
~ Terri Tempest Williams
10:3:15 L hum sig 10:3:15 mb sig“connecting with home
I am tender to spider
and my other friends”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:3:15 js sigNamaste, Bright Blessings, Namu Amida Butsu ~ Raven