Category Archives: Nature

Road Trip- Carlsbad Caverns

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Carlsbad Caverns is one of my sacred places. On my first visit it felt familiar to me. On my second visit it was like coming home. I love the descent into the cavern. I love the rich, dank air. I love the space that surrounds me as I walk down into the depths of a womb in the earth.

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I am taken by the intricate detail found inside.

Popcorn ceilings

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Bacon strips clinging to the wall

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Draperies fit for a castle

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A single delicate bell cord dangling from the ceiling

The bell cord is just barely visible in the middle of the picture. A single strand hanging from the ceiling.

The bell cord is just barely visible in the middle of the picture. A single strand hanging from the ceiling.

Pull it and who knows who you will summon.

Lion’s tail

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Whale’s mouth

I love the history. A lone man in the desert seeing the bats in the distance and following them. Reaching a spot where he felt a rush of air coming from an opening in the land. Hanging down into the hole and reaching the end of his rope. Dropping into a black abyss and discovering a wonderland that his eyes could not behold. I could spend hours, days, months, years or moments in this space and feel right at home. Sitting, staring, listening.

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It is hard to grasp the scale. Features look gigantic and minute at the same time. A moment of complete darkness might last an eternity. Take the King’s Palace tour and experience this moment of pitch black that makes you ask, What if? What if I were trapped here with no light? Sooner or later one guest on the tour gets quite uncomfortable and asks for the lights to be turned back on.

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The first day that Mike and I spent in the cave, we acted like tourists with the hand held talky wand. We barely spoke and when we did it was in hushed whispers. Silence fills the immense space and this place is timeless.

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Air flows steady, temperature regulates, everything about this cavern is calm, serene, peace. The only noise is drip, drip, drip. Maybe the sound of shuffling feet and an occasional gasp, squeal or whisper from a visitor captivated by the life that still resides in this womb.

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Transformation

The snow has been plentiful this season. Myriad individual flakes piled up to create a fluffy blanket.

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Bitter cold created sparkling white glitter. While warmer temperatures brought snowcone slush. Gravity worked on the moisture, forming delicate daggers dripping so slowly that my camera could not catch them.

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Observing the snow changing made me aware of transformation. Transformation: a thorough or dramatic change in appearance or form. Water takes many forms and appearances. Vapor, Clouds, Flakes, Slush, Ice …

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Although it takes on many forms in many different places, over 95% of the water found on earth is found in the ocean. I have felt the fearful joy of being completely immersed by this seemingly infinite amount of water. It was an experience that reinforced my insignificant, significance on this planet. It was the place I felt most connected to the whole while realizing I am only a minute player in the grand scheme.

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The snow transforming made me think about my own transformation. From an innocent babe with soft skin; to a kiddo who’s skin had to toughen up; to a young lady who wore her heart on her sleeve and wondered why it got broken. Now I am at a new stage in my life. I see the laugh lines around my eyes which remind me of all the good times. There are more stray strands of silver streaking my hair. They are a vivid reminder that my time here is limited.

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I feel compassion creeping into my soul as I live through more experiences and relate to the struggles we all go through. Maybe the real reason I am focused on transformation is because I am staring a birthday in the face. I welcome the coming year knowing that just like water is transformed by forces greater than it, my next transformation is inevitable and will be driven by forces greater than me. It is this awareness that keeps me in the present moment able to appreciate the beauty of nature and the passion of life.

Aspen Gem

On a foggy fall walk I spotted this dew dropped aspen gem nestled among verdant life and decomposing leaves.
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I had to take a closer look at the perfection the moisture created on the leaf. Kneeling down for inspection I still had this sensation that my eyes were playing tricks on me. It appeared as though someone had taken the time to place each drop in its exact location. I captured the stillness of this moment to remind me how mesmerizing nature can be.