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State of Not-Wanting


This is a little out of order, but then, that is often how I seem to approach things.  Here is a vernal pool.  It is a depression in the woods that fills with clean cold water when the snows melt, and attracts frogs and salamanders, and so is one of my favorite places.  Also, I really liked the sculptural log lying there so artfully, as if placed there.

I am in the middle of reading “Horse Heaven” by Jane Smiley…. great read!  I was struck by one of the characters, who noticed that when her friends had a wish granted, it didn’t change them or make them happy for more than a fleeting moment.  The more she saw this, the less she found herself wishing for anything.  This intrigues me because, as a rule, I am a bundle of wants, many of them conflicting!  When I try to sort it all out and ask myself what I REALLY  want, I get all confused and find myself day dreaming instead.

So I’ve been trying it out.  I’m not saying there was cause and effect, here, but the other morning I heard voices and looked up to see horses standing in the road by my house.  In a subdivision in a town.  I mean, wow!  Of course I went out to investigate.  There were 3, ridden by a mom and her 2 daughters.  They were on their way to Tastee Freeze in town.  Simply amazing.  This was, for me, a magical thing.  When I was a child living in northern California, you might very well see a horse tied up at the local grocery store.  But in a Chicago suburb?  Not so much.  So I feel encouraged to stop wrestling with life and start saying “yes, ok” to it.


playing in the mud at a restoration workday.  We were planting native plants to help fight the invasives.

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Butterflies, Goldfinches, and Other Happy Things



Picture a warm summer afternoon in the nature preserve.  The sun is beginning to sink, sending its rays glancing off the flowers, creating highlights here and there like flitting memories.  And then your eye is caught~ a swallowtail!

That is the story behind this latest painting.

Today I’m blissing out : gentle rain is pattering down, keeping the air cool.  Penstemon is swaying outside my window, I have a cup of coffee close at hand.  Ah.  So good.  I just came up from the studio, where I have been working on a large painting of a prairie.  Goldfinches will be in the foreground~ I can’t wait to share it with you.  Anyway, when I came up the stairs I was startled by a flash of yellow.  Could it be?  Yes!  a pair of goldfinches in my garden!  How cool is that?

I hope these words and image can give a little lift to you.  I’ve been distressed to learn that some of my favorite people are facing scary health issues right now.  I want to send out healing thoughts to everyone who might be feeling scared or alone or hurting.  I know that sounds a bit vague and trite, but you know who you are and I want you to know I’m thinking of you.