Nature

Magic, Surprise, & Healing

Besides mullein’s unique look, soft leaves and medicinal value, in truth, what really attracts me to mullein is its history and hints of its ability to ward off evil. Blame it on my Catholic upbringing. If holy water could defer the wicked from my soul, why not a plant?

A Prayer for Healing

When I understood the challenge ahead in my personal battle with a cancer still to find a cure, and a projected two year longevity prediction, it was time to dig in for answers—all while avoiding the world of quackery and misinformation.

There’s often news of such patients overcoming the incurable and substantially extending projected survival times. Admittedly, those patients hold infinite amounts of discipline that I’ve yet to achieve.

A New Mexican Holy Week

On a Good Friday I drove to Albuquerque. Thousands of the faithful walked north along Interstate 25. They sought the healing miracles of the sacred sands within the Santuario de Chimayo in the village of Chimayo, nestled in a valley, lined in cottonwoods and pastures within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains 24 miles (38.4 km) north of Santa Fe. From Albuquerque, the distance nears 80 miles, but the distance is unimportant to those who make this annual trek.

More Awe, Less Uh

…researchers discovered that awe brought on “a reduced sense of self-importance relative to something larger and more powerful that they felt connected to,” and that “a naturalistic induction of awe in which participants stood in a grove of towering trees enhanced prosocial helping behavior and decreased entitlement compared to participants in a control condition.”

Our Interconnectedness Revealed

The first inkling I had on this interconnected business was in 2004 when I was in treated for breast cancer. I told my oncologist that I was slipping out from Santa Fe, NM for a bit, and going to go hang out at the beach.  The oncologist, who reminded me of a Norman Rockwell character of a doctor, said, “Excellent idea. The ocean is our primordial connection. But don’t get a sunburn!”

Planetary Reply to Virus Lockdown

So how is it that a wily novel coronavirus plays havoc with modern standards of living, further pushes impoverished people into a hell hole of hunger, sickness and premature death, all while showing us what it is like to see mountains without a cloud of particulate pollutants? 

Moments within a Rare Forest

Life seemed abundant in this rare forest — one of three Monterey pine forests in the world. But it dies a bit more with each blink of the eye. Pines once with green needles  are now tinged in burnt-sienna — the first sign of a tree’s fight for life.