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24/Summer10: Every Common Bush AND Niagara Falls!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.
-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from Aurora Leigh

I'm in my THIRD month of trippin' about in this huge, awe-inspiring country of ours (and a *touch* of Canada as well)!!! Today I rode my Trek to -- and about 20 miles around -- Niagara Falls. I'm so glad I have this unique opportunity to see more of it, since up to now, I've been generally more traveled internationally than domestically.

RECENT HUMAN INTERACTIONS: There was Laura in the St. Lawrence Seaway Region and Judy in Ontario, Canada...who both got in their cars and LED ME significant distances to my campground when I showed up at their front doors miserably lost! (Over the three months, two others have LED me to places, the latest of which was a young man who yesterday led me to smalltown Brookville, PA , library.)

Then there was Ellen from Buffalo, a pal I went bicycling with in Allegheny State Park (a retired [published!] law librarian), and Melissa (a world traveler, currently a teacher and summer employee at Alleghany State Park, NY) from Salamanca, two kindred spirits that I intersected with in a sweet and substantive manner (e.g., shared meals, wonderful conversation, bike rides, etc.).

I wish I had photos of these women!

RECENT NATURE INTERACTIONS: Here I will post a photo journal of just a token of the last two parks I've been in (wish I had a better camera, but you'll get the idea)...oh, and a few shots of Niagara Falls:


Here I am (can you see me?)!








Whirlpool


A beautiful garden adjacent to the falls


This wonderful "Sri Chinmoy International Peace Falls" plaque was in the garden


A breath-taking silvery lavendar hibiscus in the tropical greenhouse




Loved the tall grasses




I also made it to the Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens (at Azimat's recommendation), but my camera battery pooped out, dang it! It was amazing in every way!

ALLEGANY STATE PARK, NY (BTW, they spell it "Allegheny" in PA!) :


Osprey pair with their young in the nest right at the park entrance!


Loved that I got site 108!


Quaker Lake (the side of ASP I camped on). I got very few photos of ASP, a beautiful park that I would love to return to, both Quaker and Red House sides, to explore further.

COOK FOREST, PA (absolutely magical):


Can you see the amazing trunk *design* in a center background tree?


I loved the sun-dappled trees


Incredible mushrooms were scattered through the forest


Still life with coffee (can you see it?)




Lots of fern in the shaded, misty forest





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLAYINGDRAGONS 8/1/2013 3:22PM

    Oh man! I was living in that area from June to Dec. 2012!!! So glad you are having so much fun!!!

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MISS_VIV 8/1/2013 2:48PM

    Thank you for allowing us to relive this adventure. Love the pics and the detail. What an amazing trip.
Hugs

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ROBINSNEWNEST 8/11/2010 7:49PM

    You're on an amazing journey... Thank you for taking time to share it with us emoticon

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GBOOMER 8/9/2010 7:07AM

    What a lot of amazing beauty you are seeing and photographing! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/8/2010 6:55PM

    Wonderful pictures and sounds like a fabulous trip (glad you're feeling better)

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GINABUG 8/8/2010 6:27PM

    Maha! What great travels you have had. The woods pics are magical to me. Thanks so much for sharing. I am hoping to reconnect with you and Stephanie soon. The summer has had some very unexpected turns and I am ALMOST looking forward to a return to some semblance of normalcy when the Fall semester begins. Thinking of you often, my dear friend!

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SHANTISHANTI 8/8/2010 4:49PM

    Awesome. I have thoroughly enjoyed traveling with you this summer
(if only in spirit). Enjoy the remainder of your trip. emoticon

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LYNNANN43 8/8/2010 4:49PM

    Thanks for checking in with us and sharing your pics, MAHA!

I so would've met you at Fallingwater! I haven't been there in YEARS!

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STLRZGRRL 8/8/2010 4:42PM

    Ya, you got to see some prime PA woods this trip, you did...

I am so pleased... it's sometimes hard for me to remember the parts of this state that really ARE worth going out of your way to see...

YOU, OTOH, went out of your way to see Mooville and that is STILL a miracle to ME!!!

MWAH!
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FRANCESCANAZ 8/8/2010 3:49PM

    Great to hear from you again! You made it to Niagra Falls!!! The people from Salamanca are SOOO Simpatico! Glad you are still havein a good time and glad you are feeling better too. emoticon I'm still trying to get that picture of Zeus with his four hoofs up! emoticon

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SLASALLE 8/7/2010 11:24PM

    Oh Maha ... awesome everything - pictures, blog, check-in, you!!! I leave for San Francisco Thursday and will be seeing AT on Friday!! Isn't it just awesome connecting with those we have connected with so well in our wonderful ThanksGiving Community!!

With love,
Stephanie

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/7/2010 10:18PM

    emoticon

I hope you are feeling better. Your pictures are beautiful.

Cheers.
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Comment edited on: 8/7/2010 10:19:21 PM

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CMRAND54 8/7/2010 8:48PM

    Aren't the Falls just awesome. When I saw them I could totally understand why someone would want to go over them in a barrel. Your pictures are lovely. Thank you for sharing.

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STILLPOINT 8/7/2010 5:23PM

    Welcome to Canada....hope you enjoyed the falls lovely one! If you need a place to stay in Ottawa - my door's open!

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WALKINGANNIE 8/7/2010 2:53PM

    Hope you're feeling better Maha. The photos are great as ever. It felt strange to see some of the pictures and to think that I had once stood in the same spot by the Falls.

Thanks for sharing your summer with us.

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AZIMAT 8/7/2010 2:48PM

    Thanks so much for checking in. Beautiful photos, beautiful you!

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COSMIC_ENERGY 8/7/2010 11:25AM

    Absolutely gorgeous forest! I can see the rainbow in the mist of the falls. Hope you are regaining your whole sense of health. I'm having mango-banana-oatmeal with my coffee and these photos are perfect.

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MISS_VIV 8/7/2010 9:29AM

    Haven't had the coffee yet. When the eyes clear I will go back an relive this portion of your trip. Your trip and pictures are exhilirating but right now I need COFFEE... back soon.

I am so enjoying this trip with you.



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PENNYAN45 8/7/2010 9:27AM

    Beautiful photos! Your trip sounds like so much fun! I wish I were there!
Keep on enjoying nature here in the U.S. - and thanks for sharing it with us.

Hugs,

PennyAn

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THECITYMOUSE 8/7/2010 9:06AM

    Just love reading about your summer adventure...
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23/Summer10: Kaniatarowanenneh

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Saint Lawrence River (Mohawk: Kaniatarowanenneh, meaning "big waterway") is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage of the Great Lakes Basin. It traverses the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario and forms part of the international boundary between Ontario and other places in the United States:

St. Lawrence Seaway

I camped at Black Lake last night, about 25 miles from Alexandria Bay, the 1000 Islands region:

Black Lake


Alexandria Bay

This morning I head to Wellesley Island State Park in the St. Lawrence River for three nights
www.reserveamerica.com/camping/Welle
sley_Island_State_Park/r/campgroundDet
ails.do?contractCode=NY&parkId=240
:

Wellesley Island State Park

A friend who is from this area insisted that I MUST go on the boat tour of the islands. She said that albeit it's a "touristy thing" it is nonetheless a spectacular sightseeing experience: "The most popular cruise is the Two Nation Tour, a 2 1/4 hour cruise departing from its home port of Alexandria Bay. This features a narrated international tour offering enjoyment of historic and scenic wonders in both American and Canadian waters. At the end of each trip there is an optional stop at Boldt Castle on Heart Island for a self-guided tour." usboattours.com/1000islands/

Uncle Same Boat Tours

I also plan to do lots of bicycling during these days...and I even hope to perhaps rent a kayak (thanks Francesca)!

I sadly left Francesca's loving home yesterday -- and the company of Timothy the handsome freckled springer spaniel, her two beautiful rescue horses Onyx (who is sun-bleached to a dark brown now!) and Zeus, and her sweet DH. At her recommendation I drove west on NY-3 through exquisite scenery...green, green, green...with lakes, rivers, and all the myriad the joys of the Mother at her finest!









THE JOURNEY

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(Dream Work)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANTISHANTI 8/1/2010 4:48PM

    Gorgeous, breathtaking trip, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! And, thanks again to Mary Oliver.

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DRAGONFLY7149 8/1/2010 4:10PM

    Absolutely beautiful, Maha -- I do wish I knew the name of that freighter...just might be the one my son is on (hope you waved!)

/gem

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TEENY_BIKINI 7/30/2010 6:58PM

    Wow. That is gorgeous.

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FRAN-SOLEIL 7/30/2010 10:59AM

    Thanks for the pictures. Makes me miss home. Enjoy!!

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STLRZGRRL 7/30/2010 7:59AM

    Ohmigosh!

THANK YOU for saving your life, Maha!!!
MWAH! MWAH! MWAH!


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PUDLECRAZY 7/30/2010 7:50AM

    Lovely!

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GETDONE 7/28/2010 3:25AM

    Wonderful pictures--thank you. I am going back to read your older posts--I am planning a trip and need ideas.
Enjoy. Discover

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_VALEO_ 7/28/2010 2:18AM

    Kaniatarowanenneh: the name is already an invitation to travel.
The ducks reminds me so much of Ontario.

Thanks for sharing your travel, and for sharing another great poem from Mary Oliver.

Have a safe trip.

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SLASALLE 7/26/2010 4:56PM

    Living this trip vicariously through you, my dear. As always, appreciate your sharing - all of it - the visuals, the imagery, the words ... you're just something else, my friend.

With love,
Stephanie

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FRANCESCANAZ 7/26/2010 8:15AM

    We are so happy you are enjoying your adventure. Maybe you are at Niagra Falls by now. I finished putting up the other fence for Zeus & Onyx and today they will have a nice new field to graze on. God Bless you, Francesca, Papi, Timothy, Zeus & Onyx.., midnight ...Diego too emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 7/24/2010 2:54PM

    Glorious exalting views, Mahalakshmi!
Thank you!

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AZIMAT 7/24/2010 10:06AM

    My DH and I are sitting on the sofa, lookin' at your pics, remembering the fun we had, marveling at your courage and sense of adventure.

Thinking of you with love. emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/24/2010 10:07:19 AM

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BAGGYPANTS5 7/24/2010 3:20AM

    Wow, what a place!! Wonderful pics.
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CMRAND54 7/23/2010 9:24PM

    Lovely pictures and lovely poem. Thank you for sharing.

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WILLOW49 7/23/2010 7:51PM

    I used to go camping there every summer with my family. Thanks for the memories :)

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HEALTHY4ME 7/23/2010 7:01PM

    Memories as we lived in Kingston Ontario for 6 years and we were married there 33 years ago this sunday coming. Actually we went on the Cdn 1,000 Island tour way back then and yes it is well worth going on. Aweseome scenery.
Have a super time and enjoy!!!

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PENNYAN45 7/23/2010 6:55PM

    This new area you are in looks magnificent! For sure, take those tours and drink in all the sights you can.

The poem is poignant and tugs at the heart. "...determined to save the only life you could save." I have grown to really appreciate enjoy and Mary Oliver's poetry, thanks to you.

Have a marvelous time, my friend, spreading your love as you go.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/23/2010 5:25PM

    Thank you for introducing me to Mary Oliver through your blogs Maha. I have enjoyed reading other poems that she has written.

Fare well.

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DENI_ZEN 7/23/2010 4:50PM

    Mmmmm!!! Thank you for this glimpse of the area around Kaniatarowanenneh! I then felt compelled to look at more pictures of the St. Lawrence on Google Earth - ahhh, I love armchair traveling under my ceiling fan! The vividness of the blues in your pictures and those luscious greens remind me of how far north you are. Cool colors seem to grow deeper at that latitude! - Sandi emoticon

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COSMIC_ENERGY 7/23/2010 12:32PM

    I feel cooler looking at these pictures and knowing you are much further north than I.

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FRANCESCANAZ 7/23/2010 12:14PM

    Timothy misses his treats. Onyx & Zeus miss their clover eating on the lawn, DH was really glad you were here & was sorry to see you leave. And I am enjoying hearing about your continuing adventure mi amiga! HAVE FUN! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 7/23/2010 11:21AM

    What a fabulous place your travels have taken you to.
emoticon for sharing.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 7/23/2010 10:31AM

    Such beautiful photographs!

What a wonderful journey you are on!!

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22/Summer10: Francesca and Kathleen, and the Wonder Of It All!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I am making this blog more visual than textual. I'll begin with the lovely bike ride at Lake George which I took before arriving to Francesca's. I rode solidly one way and stopped for photo ops on the return ride.


Lake George is quite large...this is one small area.


The Lake George bike path


Ducks in the marsh with lily pads


Flora and fauna


A gurgling brook with ferns in the sun


Lots of historical markers



Yesterday Francesca and I took the ferry across Lake Champlain to Burlington, VT to meet Kathleen (DokeyOkey) and go for a bike ride and have lunch and girl-time.


Me'n Francesca on the ferry


Francesca got one of me


A Burlington original!


Francesca and Kathleen are rarin' to go!


One more of Kathleen

We rode about 12 miles after a DELICIOUS lunch at Bueno y Sano (Good and Healthy) and the trail is equally as beautiful as the Lake George bike trail, but I wasn't able to stop and take photos this time.

And finally...this morning we left around 7:15am to go kayaking on Lake Champlain...a FIRST for me...and I LOVED IT! Here are some photos Francesca got of me:








This was after almost two hours in the water

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOKEYOKEY 7/4/2013 11:22AM

    Makes me wanna take a trip back up to Burlington for another ride on the bike path! It was so lovely to meet both you and Francesca!

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DDOORN 11/19/2011 7:59AM

    Gotta love all the precious nooks & crannies of our upstate New York! :-)

Don

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MAEVE77 7/26/2010 7:00PM

    What a wonderful time you're having! Thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures and stories. I love kayaking and it's exciting for me to see you trying it out - isn't it a blast? I hope one day we can go biking and kayaking together!
Love and Blessings to you, Maha...... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DARKTHOR 7/23/2010 4:07AM

    Looks lovely! What a wonderful day surrounded by nature.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 7/22/2010 9:33PM

    Lovely day! You look so relaxed after the kayaking. And looking very fit, Mahalakshmi!
Hugs,
Usha.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/22/2010 6:02PM

    Looks like you had another great day, shared with friends.

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KALIGIRL 7/22/2010 8:27AM

    Great photos with great friends - can't beat that!

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BECOMINGONE 7/22/2010 6:19AM

    So the journey continues ... I hope you are feeling as renewed and enlivened as your pictures of the Lake George bike trail. You look so carefree in the pictures on the ferry. What a summer!

Shine,
Sandra

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MAZZYR 7/22/2010 5:30AM

    Great pictures!!
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_VALEO_ 7/22/2010 3:07AM

    Great company, beautiful scenery, new experiences.... and delicious ice cream. What else can a girl ask for?

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PEACEFULONE 7/21/2010 11:32PM

    Such beautiful scenery and how delightful to meet and engage in fun and physical activities with Spark friends. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SLASALLE 7/21/2010 11:24PM

    Thanks to you, my dear friend, I get to go to sleep with these photographs in my mind!!! THAT is a REALLY GOOD thing ...



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KAT573 7/21/2010 10:01PM

    Thank you for taking us on your journeys! enjoyed the pix and memories; we used to go to Lake George in the summertimes.
Hugs


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DENI_ZEN 7/21/2010 9:38PM

    Your pictures are always so mesmerizing! So glad you and Francesca had a terrific time. I felt, through all these pictures, as if I'd been there with you! - Sandi emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/21/2010 9:20PM

    The photos are great! It looks like the BEST time possible!! The bike riding - and the kayaking!! So much fun!!

Much love to you - and Francesca!!

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CMRAND54 7/21/2010 8:26PM

    I love your photos. The duck picture is my favorite. I'm so glad you are sharing. Your trip sounds wonderful.

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FRANCESCANAZ 7/21/2010 7:44PM

    Are we not BLESSED to have had this time together?? I love you both!!

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COSMIC_ENERGY 7/21/2010 7:42PM

    Riding warrior your are! Hope the heat wasn't as bad as it was here!

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21/Summer10: FRESH

Monday, July 19, 2010

I just spoke to dear lovely Francesca (FRANCESCANAZ); we'll meet about 5:00pm; I'm back at the state park after an 11-mile bike ride and decided to use some battery power to write a brief blog before I have lunch and begin the journey north.


Me'n Azimat, nighttime

Being with Azimat (another SparkFriend), and meeting her husband, at the retreat was wonderful beyond what I could have imagined. I am deeply indebted to her for telling me of this Teaching, to the universe for arranging my trip making it workable to attend, and to the Sufi Order for gifting me with a partial scholarship, which made it financially feasible. The two teachers, Pir Zia, head of the Sufi Order International, and Aziza Scott, Director of Esoteric Studies, were unbounded in their wisdom and the generous sharing of it.


The mountain top where the programs were held.

Pir Zia is a soul of high consciousness, a noble man who moves and acts with grace and beauty. Being in his presence (darshan) was a deep blessing. Though my notes are paltry, since I was mostly too taken by his words to write, here is just the smallest sampling of a few thoughts that touched me deeply (paraphrasing): "Every opening, every flickering of desire for Truth IS the goal of the whole creation...sentient beings and otherwise. When you look for God, God is in the look in your eyes. The One we seek is seeking us. Every movement toward the One is another hidden disclosure. In the span from eternal to mundane is the paradox of all that is magic and splendorous in life.

"The vertical dimension of the heart is the medium of communion with the Divine Source. Its horizontal dimension is the medium of communion with all other manifest beings. Do not close the heart from being wounded, from pain. It shouldn't be avoided in a dual universe.

"It is our sacred task to be present for it ALL, to bear witness to it all. Pain is not to be disowned. Pain denied or repressed morphs into suffering.

"When I hold another in my heart (prayer) the person is uplifted by the holiness of my thoughts toward the other. We are the channels through which Divine remembrance flows through creation...divine grace pouring out to the world.

"Interbeing is our state, from the smallest particle to the largest galaxy. We are all made from the same *stuff.* In showing compassion toward all other sentient beings we are acknowledging this interbeing."

I came upon a huge red-tailed hawk hopping along the ground at Beaver Pond in Harriman State Park the day before arriving to The Abode. It was no more that eight feet from me! I was shocked and delighted by this incident, a first in my life, and just stood there as it moved toward a puddle in the path where I was, drank from it and then just remained there in its elegant magnificent plumage looking at me. Pir Zia would say that this "was a moment of mutual seeing, each of us having been impacted by the presence of the other." Indeed, my life was changed by the communion with this creature. It eventually flew away, its enormous wingspan awing me, its red tail glimmering in the sunlight.

After the retreat at The Abode over the weekend and the night at Hearthstone Point State Park at Lake George in the Adirondacks, this piece by the incomparable poet Naomi Shihab Nye so very perfectly describes my state of heart and mind.

Fresh

To move
Cleanly.
Needing to be
Nowhere else.
Wanting nothing
From any store.
To lift something
You already had
And set it down in
A new place.
Awakened eye
Seeing freshly.
What does that do to
The old blood moving through
Its channels?

~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~
(You & Yours)
www.panhala.net/Archive /Index.html

With failing battery power I won't even attempt any photos at the moment. Perhaps there will be time at Francesca's.

Among other things Francesca and I will take our Treks on the ferry across Lake Champlain to meet DokeyOkey (Kathleen) in Burlington, VT for bicycling fun and dining together. Also ahead is 1000 Islands in the St. Lawrence Seaway region, Ithaca leading into the Finger Lakes region, Niagara Falls, including the Canadian side, Yellow Springs, including Antioch College and hopefully Spark friends! I need to be home for fall semester and birthday celebrations by mid-August.

BLESSED BE!
Maha

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLAYINGDRAGONS 1/4/2014 3:29PM

    Oh wow - quite the traveler you are! You are going to pass through where we stay when we furlough and I am not there! Oh well, perhaps one day we'll get a real hug from one another! My daughter was married at the atrium in the woodlands of Glen Helen at Yellow Springs, OH. Is that where you heading? A beautiful area. Traveling at this time of the year must be challenging. Take care!

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FLORIDASUN 8/12/2010 10:38AM

    I SO relate to your beautiful blog. Especially "pain is not to be disowned" to deny it leads to suffering. As you know I'm still processing and experiencing the pain of loss over our beautiful Josh...and I also loved the part about the Red Tailed Hawk within your same blog...every time I stumble across a feather from a bird...I KNOW that it is Josh's little message to me that all is well in his world and to hang tight...feel the pain, learn from it, share the lesson, and move forward. You my darling Maha always have lessons of wisdom that I learn from and I truly love you for being such a wonderful teacher! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 7/30/2010 7:52AM

    I love Harrriman State Park. We used to go swimming and canoeing there when I was growing up. My brother's back yard IS Harriman Park. I'll post a picture on my page.

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KALIGIRL 7/21/2010 12:49PM

    Blessed indeed.
"When you look for God, God is in the look in your eyes."
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DOKEYOKEY 7/21/2010 11:07AM

    Maha -- I am so grateful to you for taking the time to write! I have been thinking about the quest for happiness that we all seem to be on -- so many books these days on how to be happy! And yet, I am accumulating experiences and wisdom from insightful people (you among them!) who point out that presence, awareness and participation in "what is" is really our quest.

(Of course that doesn't tell me whether I should take this job or not, but at least I know what the big picture is. :) )

Blessings.
Kathleen


P.S. Okay -- here's something a little odd. I was going to write a P.S. telling you that I had also recently had birds "showing" themselves to me in ways that I took as symbolic. I won't go into it here, but I looked up the meaning of the "Red Tailed Hawk" for you and one of its functions is visionary who illuminates the big picture. I promise I wrote the words above in parentheses before looking at the website. Check it out: http://wolfs_moon.tripod.com/RedHaw
kTotem.html

Comment edited on: 7/21/2010 11:13:24 AM

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SLASALLE 7/21/2010 10:25AM

    You have done it again, dear Maha. Thanks so much for sharing your journeys ...

xoxoxo
Stephanie

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KRISKECK 7/20/2010 10:37PM

    Oh this was so beautiful! Wonderful to read what you are learning from your teachers and sharing with all of us! And wonderful also to read about your travels, thank you for sharing them... I am home after 9 days on the road, one of which was spent at Niagara Falls, such amazing power! Enjoy and happy travels! -- Kristin

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REBCCA 7/20/2010 9:20PM

    emoticonThis is so powerful, hopeful and encouraging. I am thrilled that Hawk came to you, the medicine of Hawk is bringing messages and reminders on being aware. Red Tailed Hawk Affirmation Card: I am healed and empowered through my visions. My life moves forward.

I loved every work you wrote and this part especially awakened a recollection, that I hadn't even noticed I had forgotten.
"To lift something
You already had
And set it down in
A new place."
So wonderful to have news so expansive as this!
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MAZZYR 7/20/2010 9:44AM

    Oh Maha, thank you for sharing your notes and experience from the retreat and your trip. I'm so happy you are enjoying your adventure.
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SUCHAHOOT 7/20/2010 8:07AM

    Can I just "ditto" Sandra??

I am so happy you are having such an uplifting journey this summer!!

ENJOY!!
ENJOY!!<
BR>ENJOY!!

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STLRZGRRL 7/20/2010 7:31AM

    emoticon

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COSMIC_ENERGY 7/19/2010 10:37PM

    emoticon No Red Tailed Hawk emoticon. They are beautiful creatures. One carried off a Siamese cat out of my friend's yard. Enjoy the next beautiful leg of the journey.

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CMRAND54 7/19/2010 8:44PM

    Lovely, lovely blog. I particularly enjoyed the poetry. Thank you for sharing.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 7/19/2010 8:39PM

    Red tailed hawks are among my favorite companions, here in Silicon Valley. Frequently see them but always with 'fresh' eyes, their nobility and wildness remind me of the wildness of my soul. So glad you had such a wonderful encounter with this presence.
Thank you for sharing Pir's words.
And the poem is a blessing, too.
xx
Usha.

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PENNYAN45 7/19/2010 7:26PM

    You are accumulating experiences with nature's beauty and mystery on this trip.

How thrilling to share that space and moment with the hawk!

May you continue on 'seeing freshly' with your 'awakened eye.'

And enjoy your Spark friends!


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PEACEFULONE 7/19/2010 6:00PM

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Many, many thank yous Dear Maha for sharing your awesome journey and especially for the notes of wisdom with so much food for meditation.

Peace and blessings and happy trails!



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BECOMINGONE 7/19/2010 5:47PM

    Pain unacknowledged leads to suffering. Ah yes! And mutual seeing ... so powerful, yet so rare. So much of what we see are our own projections onto others -- not the other. I look forward to your return ... in the meantime, enjoy the journey!

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EARTHSEAME 7/19/2010 3:23PM

    emoticon The lovely images and feelings created by the words you wrote and shared are more than enough beauty.

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SLASALLE 7/19/2010 2:41PM

    Aren't those moments of "mutual seeing" just simply astonishing ... ?

The stuff on pain ... WOW!! I'm going to have to give this some thought.

As always, your sharing is amazing, my friend!!!

Carry on ...

With love,
Stephanie

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KAT573 7/19/2010 2:02PM

    I especially agree with Pir's observations about pain, which too often we avoid in its full legitimacy, choosing, instead, to embrace something far less legitimate to cultivate and suffer over, in the misled attempt to avoid the original and clean source......this, to me, is the origin of sin and its spawn. Keep on keeping on! emoticon

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20/Summer10: I have become the best and worst

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain on the camper roof. It was raining when I went to bed early last night also. PennyAn and I couldn't seem to get to bed early (too much to do and talk about!), so last night I took advantage of my alone time to do that!

I drive on to the Berkshires, to Abode of the Message Mountain Conference Center for a silent retreat with Pir Zia:
www.findthedivine.com/retreatcenter/
adobe/home.html

which I've been looking forward to since Azimat sent me a link about it a few weeks ago. I'm SO excited that I'll meet her and DH today, both on the Sufi path for many years, a path that m heart deeply resonates with.

I did a retreat with Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan many moons ago in San Francisco. He was then head of the Sufi Order International:


Now that Pir Vilayat has left the body, his son, Pir Zia Inayat Khan, has taken on the mantle of leadership. I will have the auspicious opportunity of being in retreat with Pir Zia:


The poem below from Panhala spoke deeply to me in my meditative time this morning. I am increasingly aware of the briefness of this life and of the few years that I have left during this sojourn.

The trip has been the occasion of much time of inner reflection.
I am communing more deeply with nature. When my "heart stutters with pain and hope," I am learning to"bend forward over it like a (wo)man at a small campfire." This retreat is coming at an important time and I look forward to the inner journey it will encourage.

The journey continues....



OLD MAN, OLD MAN (aka OLD WOMAN, OLD WOMAN)

Young men, not knowing what to remember,
Come to this hiding place of the moons and years,
To this Old Man. Old Man, they say, where should we go?
Where did you find what you remember? Was it perched in a tree?
Did it hover deep in the white water? Was it covered over
With dead stalks in the grass? Will we taste it
If our mouths have long lain empty?
Will we feel it between our eyes if we face the wind
All night, and turn the color of earth?
If we lie down in the rain, can we remember sunlight?

He answers, I have become the best and worst I dreamed.
When I move my feet, the ground moves under them.
When I lie down, I fit the earth too well.
Stones long underwater will burst in the fire, but stones
Long in the sun and under the dry night
Will ring when you strike them. Or break in two.
There were always many places to beg for answers:
Now the places themselves have come in close to be told.
I have called even my voice in close to whisper with it:
Every secret is as near as your fingers.
If your heart stutters with pain and hope,
Bend forward over it like a man at a small campfire.

~ David Wagoner ~
(Traveling Light)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Old_Man_Old_
Man.html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 7/18/2010 2:52PM

    Everyone who reads your blogs has opportunities to be enriched by what you share so generously. The ripples of your experience are spreading far.

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SLASALLE 7/16/2010 11:30AM

    I am happy to hear that all things are going well ... and you are doing well. I actually thought about calling you last night, but now it appears it didn't happen for a reason ... you were using your alone time for better purposes!

xoxoxo
Stephani
e

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SHANTISHANTI 7/15/2010 9:30PM

    May you find what you need to find at the Abode, Maha. I am with you in spirit. What an amazing journey you are on this summer. I don't know how much time you will be spending in Lebanon, but there is a wonderful ashram where I did my yoga teacher training in Stockbridge, MA. It is called Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. A bit commercialized but lovely grounds, wonderful teachers, great vegetarian cuisine. If you have a chance, it's worth the trip, about 20 minutes from Lebanon, NY. emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/15/2010 9:43:20 PM

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EARTHSEAME 7/14/2010 3:15PM

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DENI_ZEN 7/14/2010 12:36PM

    Another real treat! Ahhhhhh...so much to enjoy there! - Sandi emoticon

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LYNNANN43 7/14/2010 10:27AM

    I feel like I'm with you when you write:-)

What an amazing, reflective time you're having!

Have fun with Azimat & DH today!!!

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Namaste

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MAZZYR 7/14/2010 10:06AM

    emoticon
I'm following your journey. How very interesting. I would love to hear about your experiences at the retreat. Travel safe, dear Maha.


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COSMIC_ENERGY 7/14/2010 9:46AM

    Know this will be a time of great reflection and renewal for you before the return trip and new school year. emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/14/2010 8:27AM

    May this retreat offer you all the time and space you want for bending forward and listening to your heart for its truths.

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FRANCESCANAZ 7/14/2010 7:51AM

    Disfrutes tu tiempo en New Lebanon mi amiga. Te vere pronto.


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Comment edited on: 7/14/2010 7:52:25 AM

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