New Beginnings, the seasons and the flowers.

It is warm again up here. Many spring flowers are glorious in their blooming, showing off all the colors and shapes they can. Each Season seems like a new beginning – a chance to reinvent a part of yourself. You may do it with Fashion and the Public Persona you wear. Maybe your “hobby” changed? Your sports? Your arts? Your attitude? Your life can be what you choose (not easy but true.) Each season, and each birthday, feels like a new chance.

Seasons of 2012:
FALL EQUINOXSeptember 22, 10:49 A.M. EDT
WINTER SOLSTICEDecember 21, 6:12 A.M. EST

The obvious new beginnings are babies! We know that many new “wee ones” appear in the spring. Nature has naturally made it a good time for the young. The temps are better, food is more plentiful, and Moms and Dads come out of hibernation. The Botanical Beauties and Beasties are no exception. Meet our new baby! Speaking of family resemblance…. who do think her family is?


When you were born….

Happy Birthday
Yum brings out a Birthday Cake from Julia’s Bakery (Joyful Sparkles)

I knew I wanted to write about Birthdays today. To wish a few folks near and very dear to me a VERY Happy Birthday!!! If your birthday was Sunday August 7 or today, Monday August 8, and … this is the really important part, IF you are a wonderful person, then this blog post can be for you too.

Wondering what to say – or draw, and I sat down at my desk, and began to read my emails. It became clearer as I read a blog I follow called THE INDIGO BUNTING. ( – her post for Aug 6th was actually about a baby shower. Her sister “created the most special baby shower for me the other week. The inspiration for it came from this beautiful, little-known Portuguese children’s book about a boy’s first experiences discovering the world through the senses — his first time visiting the sea, his first time seeing colors and birds, his first time hearing the wind in the trees, smelling his grandmother, and tasting fruit.”

I would like to think that adults can still hear, taste, enjoy and appreciate these things too.   I was intrigued so I read on…

“But the most meaningful gift of all was this framed art my sister made. The tree and leaves were inspired by the end pages of the book. She asked our friends and family to write one thing they could not wait for our little boy to experience in life — his first ride on the D train, his first Mariners game, his first hiking trip, his first McDonald’s french fry. My husband and I pored over this gift, reading and rereading all the things our friends and family wished for our little boy, realizing how much he is loved already.” ( Erin Jang use to live in Seattle and is now living in NYC.)

I love the idea of the tree and the leaves. How about, as adults, we take the same idea and now those leaves had words about how much the person means to you and shared life experiences.  What would my leaves say to express these feelings? How would I sum up the emotions, experiences, memories, gratitudes, and love? What words would have the gusto I want to express on those tree leaves? One of these birthdays is my Dads, and it is more like paragraphs, not sentences, that come to mind,  In honesty I don’t know the answer, but I think it is a very lovely idea that I just may try to follow-up on! Below are 3 images from The Baby Shower post. One is of the actual end papers of the book, one is of the framed print the lucky mom to be received, and the third is a close up of a few leaves, that The Indigo Bunting shared as well. All 3 images are from her post – which truly touched a chord in me. Thanks to E R I N J A N G  in NYC.  blog

Naturally, Big Hugs and Birthday Wishes to those special people of Aug 7 and 8! (Especially the 8th!)  Tons of love – wish I could be there and have a birthday coffee, and share a little Birthday sweet with you! ♥♥♥♥♥♥
Happy Birthday Dad!
Happy Birthday Susan!

The endpapers of the book, the inspiration for the framed printThe End Papers of the book.

The framed print from her sister
The framed print from her sister
Close up the words/leaves
Close up the words/leaves.

Celebrate Independence Day

Here’s to Independence!


The History and Origin of Independence Day

By the middle of the 1700s, the 13 colonies that made up part of England’s empire in the New World were finding it difficult to be ruled by a king 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. They were tired of the taxes imposed upon them. But independence was a gradual and painful process. The colonists could not forget that they were British citizens and that they owed allegiance to King George III.

A “tea party” and a “Massacre” were two events that hurried destiny. Along with general unrest these events united the colonists. In 1767 a tea company in India, owned by England, was losing money. To save the company, England levied a tax on tea sold in the colonies in 1773. Partly as a joke, Samuel Adams and other Bostonians dressed up as Indians and dumped a cargo of the India Company Tea into the Massachusetts Bay. King George III did not think it was funny, nor did he lift the tax on tea. In the Boston harbor, British soldiers were jeered and stoned by colonists who thought the soldiers had been sent to watch them. The soldiers fired into the crowd and killed a few citizens. The colonists exaggerated the number killed and called it a massacre.

Virginia took the first step toward independence by voting to set up a committee to represent the colonies. This First Continental Congress met in September of 1774. They drew up a list of grievances against the crown which became the first draft of a document that would formally separate the colonies from England. George Washington took command of the Continental Army and began fighting the British in Massachusetts. For the next eight years, colonists fought fervently in the Revolutionary War.

In the meantime, a war of words was being waged in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress presented & debated a second draft of the list of grievances, and John Hancock, the president of the Second Continental Congress, was the first to sign. The document, called the Declaration of Independence, was treasonous against the crown and the fifty-six men who signed it were in danger of being executed.

Independence Day is celebrated on July 4 because that is the day when the Continental Congress adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. From July 8, 1776, until the next month, the document was read publicly and people celebrated whenever they heard it. The next year, in Philadelphia, bells rang and ships fired guns, candles and firecrackers were lighted. But the War of Independence dragged on until 1783, and in that year, Independence Day was made an official holiday. 1941 Congress declared 4th of July a federal holiday. ”

When this sun stands still!

The Summer Solstice: As Good as It Get

“The summer solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun has been inching its way back into our lives ever since the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Rising slightly earlier each morning and setting a minute or two later every night, it graces us with light gradually gained. The change, the shift, is at first imperceptibly slow. But it is steady, and soon the minute-by-minute accumulation of daylight asserts itself in measures of hours. More and more hours of sun warmed shine.

By the spring equinox, the halfway point in the annual solar swing, the length of day and night is equal everywhere on Earth. The constant accretion of light continues for three more months until the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. That’s about 15 hours of sunlight in New York City and 21 hours in Fairbanks, Alaska. In Sweden, it is indeed the land of the midnight sun. And at the North Pole, the sun doesn’t set at all.

The seasonal ascendance of light and temperature is not — despite popular belief — due to our distance from the sun, but to the degree of directness of its rays. It would be logical on the face of it to assume that in the smarmy summer the earth approaches closest to the sun, and that we are furthest away from it in the cold, dark of winter. Not so. The earth reaches its perihelion, the point on our orbit which brings us closest to the sun, in winter (this year it was on January 1); and conversely, during summer (July 6, 2011) we attain our aphelion, the furthest reach of our range from the sun.

Though the distance from the sun is greatest in the summer, it is around the summer solstice that the sun sits highest in the sky. The steep path of its rays is angled directly overhead. Vertical. Its energy aimed arrow-like straight down on us. The summer solstice is the lightest, brightest, most brilliant summit of solar power. The peak, the potent pinnacle. The absolute apex of radiant energy extended toward us from our own shining star.

The summer solstice is the height of the glory of the season of the sun. And it is all downhill from there. For once it is as light, as bright, as ripe as it can possibly get, it just can’t get any better. It is then that the dark must begin to creep back. Back and back in tiny daily increments, bringing cold and death in its wake. The eventual return of the dark completes the annual solar circuit, the swing shift of sunlight.

On the solstice and for several days surrounding it, the sun stands sentinel at dawn, hovering, as it were, before beginning its descent into dark. It seems to stand stark still in the sky, which is exactly what the word solstice means — “sun stands still.” It stands proud and tall for our total admiration and enthusiastic tribute. And like the sun, we stand still and tall, as well, basking in its full attention.

If we celebrate the birth of the brand new sun and the return of the light at the winter solstice, we salute its vibrant expansive maturity at the solstice in the summer. We exalt in the season’s vital strength — and our own — even as we acknowledge its impending and inevitable loss of virility, fertility and ultimate demise. With bittersweet recognition of the impermanence of the season, we glory in that golden gift of heat and bright light. While we can.”

Written by Urban shaman, eco-ceremonialist, ritual expert and consultant

and Happy Birthday to Emily!