A Sacred Circle of Creativity workshop was a three-day journey into the mystery and manifestation of our own creativity. I am so thankful to the creative souls who joined me…
Can We Speak in English Flowers – Old (1760s) and New (2017)
London to Missouri and Back. Coloring Book and Garden Visits
Some of the deepest sharing of souls takes place when a very special book group gets together. We call it the Crystal Book Group, named for a location but also for the clarity and power of our sharing. Our sharing includes an art activity that deepens what we have read. We recently created sweetgrass braids and painted stones.
I am working on a new practice, like the practice of yoga, meditation or prayer. It is the practice of becoming bilingual in the language of animacy.
Today I finished planting my garden. It’s the last on the list of the many gardens I work in. Before digging in the dirt I took some mandala photos of the garden and flowers that touch my heart and share my time.
It was a charm* of hummingbirds that called to my son and me as we heard the hum of wings. Although the tulips and daffodils were lovely, the hedge full of humming wings most captured our attention and awe.
Flower Freeze. Tonight winter comes back with 20 degrees F. Spring was here all winter and the flowers grew.
“My love is like a red, red rose”
A red rose is the symbol of eternal love. We give red roses on February’s Valentine’s Day to honor the lover that cupid’s arrow have chosen for us. The red rose and cupid are not the symbols of St. Valentine. They are […]
There are many song nature sings that we cannot hear. Each plant, insect, animal and all of creation has its own vibrations.
Monarchs butterflies have their own song. I can’t hear the songs monarchs sing to the plant that it is married to, milkweed.
The first “hard frost” was a few days ago. I picked the last flowers blooming in my garden a few hours before.
The joy of leading and teaching spiritual art workshops is mainly seeing the opening up and blossoming of each participant’s creative expression. This was especially true in August at Kanuga during the Faith, Art & Creative Expression Conference workshop.
It was some times hard to explain what the workshop was about. It was titled Creating Sacred Space In The Garden – Planting Prayers offered at Kanuga during the Faith, Art and Creative Expression conference in late August.
Although it’s a few days past, I want to rename the Harvest Moon, the Persimmon moon. On Sept. 23rd, the day of the full Harvest Moon, I created a persimmon mandala to honor the time of year and the time of sweet harvest.
Creating Sacred Space in Garden -Planting Prayers was the title of the class I taught at Kanuga near Asheville, North Carolina … Sometimes described as a “thin” place, this Episcopal Retreat Center is a space where deep connection and community promotes and nurtures the weaving of faith, art and creativity.
I love my garden and the beauty of flowers. I love growing flowers and bringing some inside to be near their beauty and energy. These are some of the flowers from my garden from this year, in vases I love, many that I made out of clay.
I am getting ready to leave in a few weeks for North Carolina to teach my course “Creating Sacred Space in the Garden” at Kanuga, a spiritual retreat center outside of Asheville.
Is this a dream? A farmers market where 20,000 show up every Saturday morning. Where the goods are only locally grown and produced. No, it’s my hometown Madison, WI farmers market.
Teaching at Kanuga F.A.C.E conference. Little did I know it would be a life-changing journey to my own and other’s deep creative heARTs.
A Month for Mandalas, session two, is about connection to nature’s elements. Here are the mandalas honoring and becoming one with air and earth.
The beauty of roses in late fall have their own power. For me they are a healing balm and light. A light much needed in these darkening days.
There are Wild Things going on in my garden and in the downtown Saint Louis Library. There are celebrations and exhibits of the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak . Wild Things have invaded my garden too.
Here is a book made of round mandala pages and a special mandala box. I made these as examples of what I will be teaching next summer at the 2016 F.A.C.E. (faith, art and creative expression) Conference.
The last mandala circle get together was about an hour away at the home and prairie of Christine and Gary. The ten acres of restored and loved prairie and woods are called “Earth Mirrors”. It’s a mirror into the soul and long history of the land and those who care and cared for it.
I’m back home after an incredible journey that was deep and wide. A journey that opened new doors of creativity, community and connection. Sometimes it is hard to get grounded after such an experience. For me, it is spending time in the garden that gives me grounding and welcomes me home.
I leave in less than a week for Kanuga near Asheville, North Carolina to teach a week-long course titled “Entering the Sacred Through Images, Words, Nature & Gardens”. Kanuga is a 1400 acre Episcopal retreat center. I can’t wait.
I finished the crazy garden planting time a few weeks ago. Somehow in all the busyness surrounded by flowers, I didn’t make time to take photos. A few weeks ago, I took photos of what was blooming in my garden.
In years past I’ve received emails from the Missouri Botanical Gardens saying “the sacred lotus are blooming”. I haven’t seen the email yet this year. I hope it isn’t too late. Lotus is one of my favorite plants. Not only for its beauty, but for its spiritual meanings.
“The authentic self is the soul made visible” Sarah Ban Breathnach. One way I feel that connection is by looking and seeing nature…I now have a new way of looking with a smartphone, tablet camera app that lets me create mandalas with the camera.
Oh how I miss flowers and living colors this time of year. A few days ago with new snow on the ground I visited the wholesale flower district in St. Louis. I headed for the coolers full of flowers first.
Today is a snow day for me. I often work in gardens in the winter with my helpers. Today it is too cold with a thin cover of snow. So I have the gift of unscheduled time, a day to be slow, in the moment and dream about blooming gardens that I’m missing
The hardest part about winter isn’t the cold, or the snow, or the long darkness. For me, it is the loss of flowers from late fall until spring. I buy flowers at the grocery store, I go to the wholesale flower district and spend time standing in the coolers with bucket after bucket of flowers, just so I can be around flowers.
Sunflowers. They bring beauty, joy, nourishment and healing. And their sacred geometry shows the infinity of life.
We had our first hard frost in St. Louis a few nights ago. It is always a bittersweet time, with the last sweetness of flower blooms and the bitter bite of cold the morning after.
I haven’t been taking time this year to photograph flowers from my garden as the flower mandalas they are. These are flower portraits that show the amazing details of their mandalas shapes …. When I do this my heart hurts from the intensity of beauty I see. I am reminded that at every moment this beauty is there and yet I am seldom aware of it and wonder why I am not in a perpetual state of amazement.
Recently I pulled into a parking spot in Maplewood, Missouri. I parked behind a blue pickup truck. I saw flowers and vegetables in the back. I thought they were in pots ready to be planted in a garden. Boy was I surprised when I looked closer.
A few days ago I walked out the front door and saw one of my butterfly milkweed plants – asclepias curassavica – full of monarch butterfly caterpillars. I was happy to see them, and sad that a few days before I found out exactly how desperately they need our help.
My dog Sarah was a super dog. I say my dog because even though she was supposed to be the family dog, she was mine. She was the sweetest dog and even had fans who used to go out of their way to walk by our house to pet her as she sat on the front lawn.
My nectarine tree looks beautiful in a garden bed in the front of house. It is lovely simply as a good looking tree, but it also shares its sweet fruit for a week or so in July. Getting the fruit from tree to kitchen isn’t always easy. It’s a race between the bird, squirrels, bugs and me to see who gets to eat the prized fruit. This year I got the prize.
Last year I got the best compliment about my garden ever. A dog walker who came by daily told me my garden looked like an Alice in Wonderland garden. Although it is mainly organized chaos and a Midwestern version of English Cottage style, I like to think of it as a wonderland with its own quite tame adventures compared to Alice’s, but adventures none-the-less.
When I got to visit the original Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley for the first time last summer, it was like going to Mecca. And now looking at these photos lets me dream of upcoming spring, my vegetable garden and all the school gardens that will soon be growing.
The blossoms of cherry trees are lovely on the tree and off, especially as they float to the ground. Seeing the petals covering the sidewalk and blown into the edges of the street
I am sending this blog to all who visit my site. It is such a joy to share my passions for the beauty of nature and the beauty of people’s creativity.
Today I am blue for flowers. Not just because it is in the midst of a very cold and long winter, but because I am feeling a grieving for the flowers that may be lost to this winter’s cold.
In the winter I look at my flower photographs, not only to remember the beauty that isn’t here now, but to bath in the light of the computer and find hope for the next growing season.
This time of quiet reflection is a balance to the busyness of the end of the year and the now gone growing season. I need to find pockets of serenity now.
It’s been a full week – full of sweetness with my two day Mandala Workshop and full of bitter with the first killing frost in my gardens. The sweetness of shared hearts and creativity during the workshop still lingers in my heart, home and home art studio.
RECEIVE – this is the second, and last, week for the word receive as an inspiration for 100 Days for Mandalas.
If you live in St. Louis and you say you are “going to the garden”, it only means one thing. You are going to the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The sculptural beauty of desert plants – succulents and cactus – can be seen in a most amazing garden where these plants have been growing for over forty years.
Each year I plant more hydrangeas in my gardens. I love the flowers with their many colors and shapes. In the last few weeks the hydrangea bushes have been blooming in a symphony of colors from white, to pink to amazing blue
Springtime has arrived and for me that means long days and crazy busyness of transforming gardens from sometimes bare earth into glorious wonders
I love the plants that grow from seed in my garden. I raised them infancy to maturity. I know them better than those I buy already growing.
A few months ago I discovered that I could save the native persimmons from my backyard for puddings and bread. A few weeks ago I discovered another type of persimmon while walking my son’s and his fiance’s dog when I visited them in California.
The leaves are turning and the weather is chilly. Nature provides the perfect inspiration to create and see mandalas.
These fall inspirations were created by Christine Torlina at her country home.
The old native persimmon tree (diospyros virginiana) in my back yard was large and full of thousands of one-inch diameter persimmons the first year we moved in twenty years ago. Every year since then the tree has faithfully shared its apricot flavored peach colored fruits, only to leave me bewildered about what to […]
The 137 foot long entrance dragon welcomes visitors to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Lantern Festival. It is called Art by Day and Magic by Night. And it certainly is. I first […]
My dog and I go for walks in a nearby park. There are tens of thousands of trees in Forest Park, but there is only one that is my favorite. It calls to me from across the water as we cross the bridge to get nearer. […]
It is winter and I need to find Flower Love somewhere. Flower Love is when your heart opens and you feel faint simply from seeing something so beautiful that you surrender into a state of awe. During all but four months of the year, I simply step into my garden for this experience. But […]
The white garden at Sissinghurst Castle is in the most visited garden in England.Created by writer, gardener and lover of Virginia Wolff, Vita Sackville-West and her husband designed garden “rooms” in the ruins […]
I visited Monet’s garden at Giverny in the fall. I also visited the large waterlily pond paintings in the Paris museum designed by Monet to display them. Seeing both was the most powerful art and garden experience I ever had.
Art Hill in St. Louis holds many memories for most of the region’s citizens. The sloping six acres of graceful lawn ends at the bottom of the hill where it meets the formal fountains of the grand basin at the foot of the St. Louis Art Museum. It is the perfect spot for a picnic […]
As usual, I experienced plant lust when I visited the Missouri Botanical Garden last weekend. It was a new flower I had only seen in catalogs. A zinnia with the most beautiful dusty rose petals, bright pink purple center and a light lime green edge on the new emerging petals. It is called Queen Lime […]
Usually chain saws and Buddha are not words you find together. At the home of a St. Louis yoga teacher and lawyer the 15 feet tall Buddha sculpture in the front yard is the work of a chain saw artist
“When I touch a flower… I am touching infinity”, is the George Washington Carver quote in my garden. Seeing and touching the infinite in the mandala shape of a flower is what draws me to the garden.
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