Scenic World

I drove up to Shasta County by myself on Friday, following a trail blazed by Jeff and Fern who had left an hour earlier. Fern and I would be staying into the week, while Jeff had to leave on Sunday, so we took separate cars.

Saturday morning at Vulture Flats. New butterfly net, for catching pretend butterflies only. She wants to be like the Hemulen.

Rarely do I have such a stretch of uninterrupted head space. My mind felt too full and my heart felt fiery, and I let it all unravel, streaming out the windows behind me, bumping down the highway in the rearview mirror.



This is what I saw during Sun Salutations.


I fall into a lot of traps in the city. I fall prey to comparison, especially professionally. I doubt what I know. There’s a pressure to dress it up more, maybe with some crystals and beads, sprinkling the word Shaman around a lot, to get some kind of cred. Los Angeles is about who you know. The Bay Area is about who you know, in other realms. Or, my spirit guide is bigger than your spirit guide.

Lassen. Kohm Yah-mah-nee.

Goldfields. No, really. The flowers are called Goldfields.

I always remember this story, I think from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, about a meditator and his instructor. The instructor advised his student to not be thrown off by phenomena, to always come back to the breath, to what is. The practitioner, after months of intense meditating, began levitating one day. Thinking he had reached some kind of spiritual prowess, he excitedly told his instructor about his accomplishment. His teacher responded. That’s nice. Now go back to your breath.


I sought baptism, jumping into Dry Creek, with singing waters that had been snow only a day before. As Mt. Shasta was washed clean, her bathwaters flowed downstream to me. I let her grace open my eyes and untie the binds.


I was accompanied by beings great in their humbleness. Everywhere we went, they spread glad tidings, and whispered wisdom in quiet voices.



Harvest Brodiaea, or Indian Potato. The corms are edible, but it’s not a good idea to dig them up. Dug up corms = no more flowers.


Crimson Clover

Tidy Tips.

Forktooth Ookow

The realm of the mind is fascinating, truly an upper playground. It is also a place of illusion, and easy to get lost in without an anchor of humility. Humility can be sexy too, you know. So can truth and vulnerability. I find it easiest to abide in these things when I can hear the Earth, when the din of humanity is far enough away, when I feel safe enough to feel my heart beat.

I don’t know, but aren’t you cute?

This is one of my favorites. And do forgive me, but I’ve forgotten.

Purple Sanicle.

At the local Salvation Army, the woman who rung me up looked care worn, and had traits I often see on people in Redding. Someone whose childhood was rough, who probably did not get proper nutrition or dental care, who may have struggled in school. Definitely no beads or crystals. She noticed my hair ties, ones that used to belong to my mother. She said I like those. My cat actually brought me something like that once. Your cat? I ask. Yes, my cat often brings me objects. Other animals do too…animals always bringing me things.

Animals respond to the heart.

Blue Dick.


Cream Cups.

Balloon Clover.

And then the mind empties out. I am lost in the scent of Locust blossoms, their flowers tasting of sweet bliss and nuttiness. I marvel in astonishment at the Wild Carnation.


Wild Carnation.

Mimulus. Seep Monkeyflower.

Little yellow poppies.

I could stumble around all day, sunstruck and wordless.






Just being.


What gives you faith in your own heart?


11 thoughts on “Scenic World

  1. Those California flowers are so mystical and exotic to me, even having grown up there, it makes my heart glad to see them. Have you read that book, um, that book called, uh…can’t remember the name but it’s so wonderful. It’s written by a woman who has a native seed business and native seed nursery in Marin County. It’s about the power of native California plants and why Californians should honor them and plant them in their gardens. I think you would love it…if I could just remember the name. Also, salve going out in the mail today!

  2. Of all the things the colonists did bring into New Zealand, I wish there could of been more flowers. We have so few when I compare to your beautiful photos. What you said about pressure to be more…I don’t know what the term is…otherworldly? obviously spiritual? in your practice. This is going to be a sucky analogy but the other night feeling particularly guilty about something (can’t remember what) I asked Oscar if I could be a better parent…he asked me what I meant and I explained, is there anything about me he would change as a mum. He paused then and was obviously thinking. And said. “No mum, I like you the way you are. You’re good enough.” I’m going to carry that with me forever i think.
    And Mary, You are good enough.
    “such a stretch of uninterrupted head space” – girl, I actually felt some envy reading that line. Am happy for you though.

  3. “Los Angeles is about who you know. The Bay Area is about who you know, in other realms. ” That is so hilarious and clever. I love you!

  4. i love how this is all flowers flowers flowers ( so gorgeous, so precious, each one…) and then BAM! FERN!!! in all her perfect wild glory, flowing along in her mama’s footsteps, outside, free, quiet, intense, connected, beautiful. this sent me on the perfect daydream and i thank you. i love when you go home.

  5. yes yes yes!! so lovely, wonderful and alive! All those flowers (my motherland, childhood playgrounds)! I feel so close and at home in the arms of mother earth, fairies whispering secrets in my ears. It’s always trees, flowers, green growth and water. In the pacific Northwest it’s a rainforest that surrounds and pulls you inside, almost hiding you in another dimension, it’s so strong here… or just a different magic than the warmth and openness of california fields. Love this post and thank you for the pics of flowers I am missing! There’s use to be a weird/cool store in redding called “cal’s books n things” I used to go there when I was 17. used books and herbs and apothecary supplies, I might’ve told u about it before? Hope you all have lovely spring adventures! xo m

  6. Wow, what a trip. I love your bioregion, it’s sweet smelling spring, it’s abundance of blooms. People for whom animals speak to. I feel so moved by your telling of that woman. How I wish I could be there with you, but yet feel like I already am. Thank you for the journeys.

  7. beautiful! beautiful! i love all the flowers and especially that you know them all by name. i could go for some uninterrupted quiet time too 😀

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