Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

Pele Speaks

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Pele speaks

I’ve decided to renew my relationship with my art, and so I’m sharing this first piece in a new series called Messages from the Mother.

At various times I become aware that my photographs are pretty, but don’t speak to the whole of my awareness–especially in areas that don’t look as pretty! This has happened lately with my aerial photos. I love flying over the earth and always celebrate the beauty that is revealed from above, especially in areas otherwise inaccessible. It feels like such a privilege to be able to fly over uninhabited land, and to study Mother Earth’s contours and colors and patterns.

And…there is more to discuss.

We are all painfully aware of the mess we have found ourselves in regarding our relationship with the Mother. I heard the other day that some experts are saying we have already crossed that tipping point where we could have reversed the damage. Certain species, phenomena and levels of comfort may already be out of our reach. And we have no one else to blame.

And so lately when I fly with my husband over the body of the Mother, I wonder what messages she is sending. What do my own pretty photos of her suggest to me? If she were to speak, what would she say?

Wondering this, I wandered to the desk where I occasionally do art, and opened the drawer. There was a postcard I bought in Hawaii, with a picture of Pele. She is a force in the islands, particularly on the Big Island, where she resides in volcanic splendor, occasionally erupting in seeming fury, destroying everything within her reach.

Amazed at the serendipity, I took the postcard over to my framed photo of the Painted Desert in Arizona. The colors matched perfectly, and so did streaks of light on the postcard and the photo. Meant to be, I figured. I unframed the photo and began my new series.

The large white piece of paper with the black curved form is a scan I saved from my breast cancer treatment. Pele might be saying she needs treatment from the cancer she is suffering from–due to our incessant, unstoppable consumption of her resources.

The two orange circles are photographic records of the emissions of stars. Pele might be reminding me that we are part of a large system–a universe that is interdependent, and still largely mysterious to us. When we remember this, our hubris softens.

The graphs below the star images are records of temperatures in different areas of our country. We know weather is wild now, and we know as the climate changes, so must we.

Below Pele’s face are a weather map from the newspaper, a New York Times photo of the California drought and a report of storms that soaked the plains in a surprise flooding spring rain. “What do you expect?” I hear Pele wondering.

Now, with the re-framed piece on my wall, the beauty of the Painted Desert is more poignant, more bittersweet. Pele is reminding me to change my ways. To learn to live with less water, less possessions, less meat, less waste, less entitlement.

How do I feel about her messages? Of course they are sobering, but they are not new information. So I am grateful that she is working her way into me, into my heart, my thoughts, my body and my actions. I am only one person, but so are you. And how we respond to this gorgeous earth and her needs will determine everything about our future.


What does my wild heart desire, #3

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Those of you who live in AZ will understand why the snow storm we just had was a major miracle. If you live in Kansas City, you might not agree this week. But for desert dwellers in the middle of a long drought, water in any form is good news.

More importantly for my wild heart, the snow created a fairyland that made me feel about six. Sitting in my home office, I could feel my wild heart sitting up to take notice. “It’s turning white!” she said, anticipating an adventure.

Sure enough, after part one of the storm my husband came home and we put on our boots and went for a walk. Crunching along, halfway around our usual loop, it started to snow again. Slowly at first, then more and more intensely. We started to laugh. Slowly at first, then more and more intensely. Our dog began to prance. We were in the middle of a full-on snow storm.

By the time it all ended, our table on the hill was uninhabitable, but my wild heart loved the scene. And here are some of the reasons:

  1. My wild heart loves surprises.
  2. My wild heart loves wildness in nature.
  3. My wild heart loves beauty.
  4. My wild heart loves transformation.
  5. My wild heart loves joy.

I got all these in one walk. There’s something to treasure, to consider, to keep.

And you?  What does your wild heart love?

Your blooming

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
the poppy trail

the poppy trail

What is spring if it isn’t about new life? And why not new life with wild abandon, with an abundance that makes you laugh out loud? This time Spring has really done it in Tucson.

I couldn’t walk this path through Catalina State Park without wanting to sing, to howl, to do cartwheels!  We aren’t in Kansas any more. And how many times do we get experiences that are simply amazing, pure surprise and joy?

We are beings evolving as surely as this desert meadow. And so we contain the same life force that produced that riot of poppies, so close to each other that they are touching. We have the blooms within us.

And what is it that contributes to our blooming? Certainly timing and the right conditions. But unlike the poppies, we aren’t completely dependent on rain and sun. We can nourish ourselves. We are conscious. We can choose to align with the life force that pushes up through our bodies, erupting in a blaze of color and beauty.

What do you do to nourish the blooming within you? How do you give yourself the moisture, the flow of nourishment you need? How do you summon the sun, the light you need for life to be sustained?

Just as I felt high just from poppies without opium, you can have ecstatic experiences every day just by venturing into nature–outside and within your own being.

Bloom on.

Stormy Weather

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

stormy ocean

I am lucky enough right this minute to be sitting by a large window looking out to a very stormy sea. You may have read about the series of big storms hitting the Santa Barbara area of California, and that’s where I am, on my yearly retreat with a women’s group I’ve known for 30 years.

We’ve had to rush out of the house every time the rain clears for a quick walk before diving back into the warmth of the fire. Not what we had planned. But does this qualify as BAD weather?

This group of women ranges from mid-50’s to almost 70, and we’ve seen some stormy times. Eight lives, eight stories, eight sets of weather that could make the hardiest person shiver. Three bouts of cancer in the group. Four divorces. One death of a child. Traumas with all the children who lived. Many tests of faith. And yet, as we listen to each other, we wonder: were these storms in our lives BAD?

Not one of us relishes or courts drama, and not one would wish suffering on another. But each time a roaring wind has struck us it has dragged gifts along with it. The learning and growth in this group is stunning. Maybe stormy weather isn’t bad, but just stormy.

The wind sweeps long rooster tails from the crest of each grey and white wave. Mud swirls at the shoreline, where a creek is depositing debris from the mountains. Gulls venture out to scout for surprises, new life deposited on the shore, fuel for whatever weather comes next. And I sit in comfort, just watching the drama, the wonder, the life force.

Solstice images

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Desert Solstice

Golden grasses,
brittle branches breaking underfoot,
hidden water,
last leaves gripping black mesquites.
In this desert
things are dying.

Quail bedded down
burst forth as I pass.
Surprising red plants flow along the wash.
The thrill of my own breath moves faster,
echoing the rising wind.
In this desert
something new is coming.

Cells fall away in me,
brittle old ideas breaking apart.
Old juices lay hidden away, reserved for drought.
I change every day, now faster and
in the dry, arid places of me
things are dying.

An explosion of wings breaks through my soul.
Colors appear, flowing through my center.
My life force quickens
as a storm gathers within me, promising flow.
In this desert within,
dark with winter,
light is coming.
                          Pamela Hale, 2009

Desert solstice_opt

And you?  How do you experience winter and solstice time in your outer landscape?  How about your inner one?  Does nature act as a mirror for you?