I saw beauty and magnificence today, with a side of inspiration. As I walked through my neighborhood, I smelled grass, trees, and flowers. I felt peace, gratitude, and, most significantly, awe.  I got an energy infusion from the warm spring sun and air. I heard children laughing and windchimes playing harmonies across backyard fences. I felt God’s presence and my own. My mind slowed long enough for the rest of me to catch up.

During my walk, the usual static was replaced with the quiet certainty of knowing I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to do. I was happy without trying to be happy. I felt joy without praying to be joyful or undertaking a self-improvement checklist that promised joy upon completion.

We strive to be rational. We plan our futures. We plan to be happy tomorrow. But, happiness is only possible in what Richard Rohr calls The Naked Now. Buddhists call it the present moment and mindfulness.

We spend so much time trying to get God to love us! But, if we show up for ourselves just for this moment, we can forget trying to be perfect, productive, and accomplished long enough to let God love us and really feel it. That’s a game changer!




Writing spiritual books and other inspirational material needs a wild and brazen counterbalance to get the spiritual and creative juices flowing. I need to be where things are naked and untamed, so my angels, demons and muse of the day can run free. This is where I do it.

As you can see from the pictures, it is completely untamed, and looking at the trees of every variety run riot, helps generate ideas run riot. I need to be grounded in this place that’s sensual in its abundance and fertility to connect to the sacred. It keeps me in mindfulness, wonder, and gratitude, making me simply an observer asking questions and giving thanks. Yet, this primeval forest is in keeping with my lifestyle and can be accessed any time by walking out my back door.

I don’t know what’s buried under the soil, and I probably don’t want to know, but whatever finds its way there grows. I think that was a horror show of some kind. We have 50 trees of many varieties and counting. There are two Rose of Sharon trees that are blooming now and attract solid black and solid blue butterflies. It’s the land that time forgot without dinosaurs.

People can’t understand why we bought/ remain/ won’t dump/ our falling- down house, built in the 1960s. It looks like the house on the old television series, Green Acres, except for the talking pig. It looks like a flea market that someone moved into. The power went out when we had Christmas dinner at our house, because the oven collapses when two burners and the oven itself are used at the same time.

But, when people see the yard…. they change their tune. This is where I unleash and expose the writing beast.

And then there is the huge metaphor of the two paths encapsulated in my yard, put there by my higher power. There are literally two divergent paths. The one you see, on one side of the yard, and the other going in another direction on the opposite side of the yard. There is no way to avoid pondering life’s deep questions and the spiritual significance of what I am doing at any given time.

IMG_2241I take a big cup of coffee out there in the cool, breezy morning; sit on a cement bench left to me by my great- grandmother, and the words and the Spirit flows. I hear God whispering with the leaves, see him dancing as they sway and,before I know it, I have started to pray in writing- poems, songs, blogs and books. I feel close to God and all his infinite beauty as I hear the wind in the chimes, watch the butterflies flit from tree to tree, and feel oh so blessed and lucky. If only I didn’t have to go back in the house:)

If it’s raining or the mosquitos get as big as cows, or we run into some coral snakes that don’t know they shouldn’t live here, I go to Wahoo’s on South Congress, sit outside, eat fish tacos, people- watch and write. Last time I went, I met a pig in a baby carriage named Huxley, who was eating the remnants of a fish taco, while his owners drank beer. Austin is its own brand of wild.