Of Lichen, Moss, and Mindfullness ~ 2/5/13

Today was very grey and overcast with a heavy inversion.  The phenomenon of air pollution and inversion was described well in this article in the Deseret News.  Here you can see one of the views at the beginning of my walk of the Wasatch Mountains where the inversion is apparent.

Wasatch Mountains with heavy inversion/air pollution

Wasatch Mountains with heavy inversion/air pollution

As I walked I saw these chairs with cushions of snow.  They brought to mind the concept of sitting with one’s feelings.  I like how still and welcoming they look and I thought about how this is a good way to be with one’s emotional self.

welcoming chairs with cushions of snow

welcoming chairs with cushions of snow

A tree caught my eye with a blanket of lichen and I really enjoyed how the colour of some of the darkest lichen reminded me of the chairs.

lichen on a tree

lichen on a tree

I really find lichen quite fascinating and I’m not sure why.  Looking up, the sun seemed to try and come out.

tree with sun trying to break through

tree with sun trying to break through

When I’m walking I try and stay present and see things great and small.  I took the same walk and path that I did yesterday.  Today I was really noticing the trunks of the trees.  This tree trunk caught my eye.  You can see the snow up where the branches come off the main trunk and in the foreground a veritable garden of moss.

tree trunk moss garden

tree trunk moss garden complete with lichen

With the low light conditions it was challenging getting photos and many came out pretty blurry.  I’m sharing the best out of what I took and look forward to when I can return and get pictures when the light conditions are better!

inhabitants of the moss garden

inhabitants of the moss garden

lichen inhabitants

lichen inhabitants

moss friends close up

moss friends up close

So cute!  While I was taking these moss and lichen portraits a lady with a car full of children drove up to find out what I was doing.  It turns out that she had seen me around my home taking pictures at different times and so I told her about my project and how I got started.  It turns out that she also does a picture project on facebook where she challenges herself to put 6 words to her pictures.  She shared that Hemingway had a saying that a story could be told in 6 words and that she was challenging herself to do that along with her photos.   I think this is brilliant!  We are going to hook up on facebook and I look forward to seeing what she is doing.  This project has really been an adventure and I’m constantly surprised where it takes me 🙂

After the lady shared her contact information and drove away with her beautiful children I looked up and saw this mourning dove.

mourning dove

mourning dove

Yesterday’s walk up this street featured lots of birds and I was happy to see that today’s walk brought some, too.

Here's a little closer look at the mourning dove.

Here’s a little closer look at the mourning dove.

This dove wasn’t the only birds I saw.  People on this part of my street (I live about a block and a half down) have feeders and this brings birds.  On my way home I was delighted to see a number of chickadees and house finches going to some front yard feeders in a tree.  I waited quite awhile to get these two pictures.

house finch partaking at the feeder

house finch partaking at the feeder

chickadee at the feeder

chickadee at the feeder

I did take some other photos and I’ll return to those subjects on another day.  I’ve decided to close with something I shared on my personal facebook page from Thick Nhat Hanh (as shared on this page):

“Many years ago when I visited Italy, I met a Catholic priest who organized a public talk for me. We had time to talk with each other, and I asked him this question: “My friend, what is the Holy Spirit to you?” And he said that the Holy Spirit is the energy of God, sent by God to us. I thought that expression is beautiful, and as a Buddhist practitioner I can accept it very easily.

The Holy Spirit is the kind of energy that helps you to be compassionate, to be healed of your ill being. I think Catholics and Protestants would agree about that: the Holy Spirit is the agent of healing, of transformation, of joy, of being there.

In Buddhist circles, we say very much the same thing to describe mindfulness. To us, mindfulness is the energy that can help us to be there, in the here and the now. Mindfulness helps us to be alive, and since we are there, we are capable of touching life deeply, of understanding, of accepting, of loving. If we continue to develop that energy of understanding and loving, then we will get the healing and transformation that we need.
That is why the Holy Spirit is exactly what we call the energy of mindfulness.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

neighbor's Buddha in the snow

neighbor’s Buddha in the snow

Our hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!

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2 thoughts on “Of Lichen, Moss, and Mindfullness ~ 2/5/13

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