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    The Sky River Paid Member

    October wind crosses the world. The last tattered Monarch butterflies of the season sip nectar from ragged vermilion Tithonia flowers at the base of the farm. Practice period began a few weeks ago, the harvest gathered, the fields almost empty. At nightfall, exhausted Monarchs ride the updraft to shelter at the crown of the dark cypress windbreak nearest to the ocean, in trees that mark the edge of raw and cultivated ground. More »
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    The Call of the Abyss Paid Member

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    Alone & Full Paid Member

    On New Year’s Eve this winter I walked the coastal headlands with my husband to greet 2010 in the pale storm light of a rare blue moon— the second full moon of the month. While more than one hundred dedicated meditators sat zazen in the Green Gulch meditation hall, we climbed Coyote Ridge alone, not saying a word. The moon rode high in the saddle of the night. The ocean boomed in the dark-fingered sea-canyons below, pulled by the perigean high tides of the year. More »
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    Groundwork Paid Member

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    Maha Magnolia Mind Paid Member

    I am not prey to the swoon of spring. As a seasoned gardener of thirty years, I have learned to mute its siren call, not from fear of seduction as much as dread of another ten-month-long growing season, full of malevolent surprise, unending work, and rampant change. When April comes, “breeding lilacs out of the dead land,” I take perverse delight in telephoning my friends in northern Vermont to be soothed by their reports of bone chilling cold, naked branches, and three inches of fresh snow. In our West Coast garden, spring pounces in early February, coaxing groundhogs out of their winter burrows. Caught in the thick tide of vernal upwelling, I yearn for an anchor in the present moment, to prevent my being swept away by the flood of the seasons. The primeval magnolia is such a mooring plant for me. More »
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    The Three Sisters Paid Member

    I dreamed that dream again, the scary one that comes down like a silent raptor in the late watches of the summer night, around the August full moon. I wake up in a cold sweat, pinned down by the talons of my summer nightmare. Alone and cut off, I am lost in a weed-free, vast modern cornfield, with no beginning or end. Dead Monarch butterflies litter the ground. Gigantic corn plants creak and sway high above me, heavy with their burden of flawless genetically-engineered corn. In this nightmare, I am a severed being, shrunken to a wizened mouse, sure that I will never escape this field of dreams. More »