a journey from the heart

Happy Last Day of Summer!

I heard the call of Cackling Geese  this morning as I arrived at my office in the West Eugene Wetlands on this last day of summer. For the last four years I have lived here they have been my mindfulness bell from the autumn migration to the spring migration. They are returning from the Yukon-Kuskokwin Delta in Alaska where they breed, and will spend the winter in the West Eugene Wetlands and points further south.
Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
— Mary Oliver
What is your mindfulness bell in nature?

April Poem of the Month

I have the best view from my desk, into the West Eugene Wetlands. This month’s poem is an original, written this morning as I start my work day. Namaste.

Gentle breeze blowing                  Blades of grass bend on elbow          My thoughts imitate

February Poem of the Month

The weather this month has been anything but usual. Here in Oregon, we have been warm with little precipitation. Our mountains have maybe 15% of the snowpack they should have, our rivers are low, the rain comes in a misty drizzle. While I was in Pennsylvania the weather was odd; minus zero temps, little snow, lots of sunshine.

But on my yoga mat I find stability in my own weather patterns. The fluctuations remind me to return to my breath, to return to the only thing that seeks my attention, the present moment.

This month’s poem comes from my sunrise yoga practice, from within the storm.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A Piece of the Storm
By Mark Strand

From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,
A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room
And made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up
From your book, saw it the moment it landed.
That’s all There was to it. No more than a solemn waking
To brevity, to the lifting and falling away of attention, swiftly,
A time between times, a flowerless funeral. No more than that
Except for the feeling that this piece of the storm,
Which turned into nothing before your eyes, would come back,
That someone years hence, sitting as you are now, might say:
‘It’s time. The air is ready. The sky has an opening.’

January Poem of the Month

I am not a consistent blogger; this I know of myself and fully own. As such I have been contemplating how to best proceed within the blogging sphere.

I am, however, a consistent yogini, and attend a sunrise yoga class each week. Our teacher, Brie, is a poet and periodically reads poetry to us during final relaxation. The poems she has shared recently have moved me, sometimes to tears, as I rest and renew on my mat.

And so, the Poem of the Month. I hope you find them enriching, or perhaps offer you a space for contemplation.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Quiet World
by Jeffrey McDaniel

In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

It has been a lovely cool and rainy day. I started my day with a yummy green juice, using fruits and veggies I did not use during the fast. I had already started juicing when I eyed the lemon and ginger on the counter, so they got added at the last minute. Mason jars are excellent for taking juice on the go.



For supper this evening we made stuffed portabello mushrooms. I apologize for not taking pictures of the prep work, but the boyfriend and I were chatting and cooking together.

Portabello mushrooms
Red onion
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Sauté the garlic and onion in a little olive oil on low heat. Add carrot and chickpeas. Sauté for a few more minutes. Add spinach and herbs, then cover until wilted. Scoop the inside of the portabello out and add to the mix.

Heal the mixture into the mushroom. Place in original pan used to sauté the “stuffing”. Heat, covered, on low for 10-12 minutes, or until mushroom heated all the way through.

Serve and enjoy!


As for the juice fast, I totaled up all the ingredients used and it came to just about $140.00 for the five days. That’s using a organic veggies and fruits. Quite a few people were surprised at the amount of money, but at the end of the day, and even at the beginning, I am worth it! Besides , better in my body than the doctors wallet. 😉

I highly recommend buying all your ingredients in the beginning. Great motivation to keep going when it gets tough.

In the days after the fast be sure to keep drinking plenty of water. I have struggled with this because I have been back to my regular routine.

Salt is not as important an ingredient to my cooking at this point. I find that my tastes have change significantly, and I enjoy the natural flavors, even with potatoes. Don’t get me wrong, salt has its place. But for now, less is more.

Well, I will sign off for now. Until later…. Happy Juicing!

Breaking My Fast

This morning I sank my teeth into a gloriously juicy granny smith apple!


It has been a great day of fruits and veggies. Throughout the day I enjoyed a lovely, crunchy carrot, a smooth avocado, and a smoothie of blueberries, pear, watermelon, and kale. A word to the wise, spinach is so much better than kale in smoothies. Kale is just too bitter. (But I did drink it all!)

For supper I made a simple Potato Leek Soup. I will admit to using frozen, sliced leeks. But, after five days of chopping vegetable five times a day, I took a little of the work out of the kitchen.

Potato Leek Soup


Sauté the leeks in a little olive oil.


Add celery and garlic, sauté for five minutes.


Add carrots, sauté 5 more minutes.


Finally add the potatoes and simmer for 25 minutes. *Note: I put the potatoes in a bowl of water as I am dicing them. After rinsing a few times until the water is clear, I just cover the potatoes with water. Then I add the potatoes and water to the soup pot. I added about a half cup more water, but keeping the final soup creamy is key, so no more water than that. The veggies are not quite covered.


I added dried thyme, a pinch of dried rosemary, a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper (okay six or eight grinds on the grinder) , and a bay leaf to the simmering pot.


Let cool for for 20 minutes or so prior to pureeing. Add fresh parsley just before putting in blender.


After purée is complete, return to pot and warm slowly. Pour into bowls, serve, enjoy. (Salt and pepper to taste.)



Okay, so no, I did not juice today, but I did smoothie with kale. Tomorrow I will be back to juicing once a day.

My belly is content with the fruits and veggies I ate, and I had to be extra aware to not be “stuffed”. A full belly is a phenomenon not experienced in a few days. There’s lots of grumbly action going on in there. 🙂 I am still drinking between two and three liters, which was surprising, but quite good.

A few reflections on the reboot.

This particular one recommended a cup of herbal tea in the evenings, but I never got that far. With the morning hot water, the coconut water, and five juices taking about 30 minutes prep and cleanup each, I ran out of time. And I usually had already drank nearly four liters of water so I didn’t feel the need.

When it is recommended to stay near a bathroom, believe me, it’s great advice. I probably peed every 20-25 minutes during waking hours.

Daily exercise is key, even if modified to a lower intensity. On the days I wasn’t swimming or at Jazzercise (including today) I still did some gentle yoga, stretching, and walking. (Short walks, due to the rate of peeing.)

Tomorrow I will share the cost of the fruits and veggies, just for the reboot, and other reflections as they arise.

Till then…. Happy Juicing!

Juice Fast Day 5

This is it! The final day of my 5-day juice fast. I am so looking forward to sinking my teeth into a green apple tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, I enjoyed my favorite of all the juices tonight for my after-supper drink.

Without further ado, the final line-up….

Carrot Apple Ginger



Green Lemonade



Sporty Spice



Joe’s Mean Green



Peach Pie Delight (my favorite!!!)



By the way, the boyfriend liked the peach pie delight so much he was trying to lick the inside of the glass to get the last drags! And he doesn’t even like sweet potatoes or most of the other juices I make.


Follow up and reflections tomorrow. Happy Juicing!