Category Archives: Place of Spirit

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Together

Holey Stone - Empty and Full

Holey Stone – Empty and Full

Together – Light and Dark, Water and Waves, Sun and Moon, Pebbles and Stones, Empty and Full –

Saturday, May 5th, my plan was to be at the beach in time to catch the sun setting and the full moon rising – together. Two events happening within minutes of each other, an unusual event and one I love to see and share, especially from a particular beach on Lake Superior.

When I left home, the sun was bright and all looked promising. A ten-minute drive to this beach and everything changed. Clouds rolled in, uh-oh! the moon would not be visible tonight, and yet clouds often make for beautiful sunset colors. Arriving at the beach, the clouds had thickened even more. Undaunted, I walked to the water’s edge and instantly saw one of the shots I have been seeking… a Holy Stone, aka Holey Stone, being washed and filled by water.

It always amazes me how the Universe conspires to support me with miracles. I have been wanting this natural shot for some time, unwilling to fake it by placing one of these stones at the water’s edge to get the shot. Even when I do that, I am the one who knows I did it… and it feels like a little white lie.

Light and Dark ~ Water and Waves ~ Sun and Moon

Light and Dark ~ Water and Waves ~ Sun and Moon

The heavy cloud cover was creating darkness quickly, yet the chance to get the stone shot worked… and a little golden color glinted in the sky. Quiet and calm, nature and I, together, whispered Thank You. Life is good when I notice these small things, and go with the flow. Perfection happens when I accept the constancy of change. The full moon rose within minutes, anyway. There are some things we just know, even when we can’t “see” the evidence.

Namaste ~ Star Bear
Copyright 2012 Betsy Lewis

Related Posts: Little Mountains ~ More about Holey Stones

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Sun + Earth Day Miracles

Earth Day Sun Crystals

Earth Day 2012 dawned bright, sunny cold – 24 F and frosty. As I got in the car, dressed in winter garb, the sun hit the windshield and I couldn’t resist marvelling at the beauty of the sun co-creating with water crystals. Once the sun hit the window fully, they vanished almost instantly, and not before I was able to catch them with 6 quick shots… Pine trees and ice crystals, lit by the sun at dawn took my breath away.
My plan was to go into the woods and to the beach, to celebrate Earth Day, to capture the beauty of the little piece of earth I dwell in – my “material” world. That goal became immaterial… and was still realized.

Later in the day, as I was returning from the beach, (where of course agates appeared at my feet, as they seem to miraculously and often) a doe and yearling approached me… from the shadows of the trees. I spoke with them awhile, coaxing them closer… The older doe stayed in the shadows, cautious, yet the yearling came out into the sun, curious, interested, long enough for one full body shot… deer on the move. I crossed paths with seven deer this day, they have returned to the north woods after wintering south. The yearlings will soon be run off by the does, when they are ready to birth new fawns.

Yearling in the Sun

Yearling in the Sun

Yes, I talk to the animals in the woods. Yes, miracles happen frequently. Deer – I saw many deer on Earth Day. They are a symbol of gentleness and fit my current life theme… being gentle, with myself, others and planet earth.
Kindness, gentleness go a long way. Part of that kindness to myself has been to live life offline less and in the material world more. Less pushing to blog, more being quiet, learning, teaching, loving. Spending time with people, new friends and old.

For me right now, less of some things is more and all is well. It is pleasing me greatly to only open e-mail every few days… to be creating, building, choosing gently, and mostly, allowing… allowing miracles, allowing clarity and joy.
Namaste ~ Star Bear

Happy Easter – New Old Eggs…

Lake Superior's Easter Eggs on Ice


In 2011, Easter and Earth Day dates fell close together. This year is different, and the snow is gone early. This is another one of my favorite photos – from the beach and the gifts it brings. If you are new to my blog, you may have missed this gem… 🙂
Happy Easter, Passover, Spring or ??? to all the Good Eggs who read this.

This is a re-post from 24 April 2011
Earth Day was Friday, so was Good Friday. I spent the afternoon hours from 12-3:00 at the Church of the Beach, following my Christian upbringing. As I walked the beach and picked up trash, Jesus’ words from the cross ran through my mind… “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do…”
Everyone makes a difference – the balloons of someone’s celebration, ribbons still attached, litter the beach, along with indestructible Frito Lay Tortilla chip bags, assorted beer and pop cans, disposable diapers, toilet paper and even the cardboard tp rolls. This is a spring fling thing – as snow melts, mysteries are revealed. It is a mystery that people these days are still not responsible for their own junk. Earth is not a garbage can, it is a home we all share.

So I celebrated Earth Day by embracing the Earth and Thanking Mother Earth for the beauty I live in and cleaning up a little bit. Every day is Earth Day – for me anyway.
Luce County, where I live has no recycling available except for paper, which is collected by the girl scouts. To recycle, we have to drive our plastic, metal, cardboard, 100 miles to Sault Saint Marie, in Chippewa County. Not very Earth friendly, or pocket friendly these days. It’s kinda like living in a third world nation here, with snow.
Some of us have been trying to get recycling here for 5 years… everybody says they want it, nobody wants to pay the millage.

At the Library, where I am now working, one co-worker takes all the recycling home, then eventually gets it to the Soo. I have been saving my recycling all winter. Did you know that you could crunch up 6 one-gallon plastic milk jugs, roll them up and fit them into one plastic coffee can? Glass jars take up a lot of space, so I break them, carefully. Then put them into a plastic coffee can, put some rocks in with them, and shake the daylights out of them ~ My free version of that new exercise device. I can get a lot of glass into a coffee can that way. The newer round bottom cans are a pain. Can’t cut the bottoms off anymore. When will packagers wake up? There is room for improvement – attention to Earth friendly packaging has not been noticed by Campbell’s Soup and other big businesses yet…

Most commercial eggs come in styrofoam containers – non-recyclable. Brown eggs come in cardboard – YAY!

So, Happy Earth Day! Rest assured, this is not a complaint about where I live. Merely an observation and a call to action…
Lake Superior’s ancient Easter Bunny always gives new eggs, well chilled, stored on and under ice and snow. These eggs are billions of years old and solid evidence life goes on, recycling. My beach studio is intact and spring cleaning is underway. …and on the third day, a resurrection, peace and joy. Today I get to go for a sunrise service at the Church of Peace at the Beach and the Lake will sing it’s songs of Joy with a Hallelujah Chorus over rolling waves… It’s my version of a Holy Roller Easter… LOL!
May your Easter, Earth Day celebration be wonderful, however you clelebrate. Just hang on to your balloons and your beer cans, please. 🙂
Namaste – Star Bear

Sunshine, Sunsets, Awards and… Cell Towers?

Perry's Landing March 26, 2012


Sunset at Perry’s Landing. Again. This place always brings me back to where I belong. The other night, a friend called and said “Let’s go catch the sunset…” and off we went, hastily, to catch the end of the day’s light.
It was cloudy, dark and we caught the very last of the color. He waxed rhapsodic about the hues, the brilliance, the array of color and how we live in such a special place, filled with beauty, peace, and love. I did not take my camera and as usual, he scolded me soundly then gently said something like “I guess sometimes it’s okay to keep the memory and not share it with the world.” That’s why I did not take my camera. As much as I love sharing the beauty here with the world, there are times not to share. There are sacred moments, spent alone or with another that simply cannot be fully shared in words and pictures.

This photo was taken the next evening, after a day of sunshine, same place, same hour of the day, and yet in a totally different time frame. It is similar and not the same. The Lake was calmer, it was warmer with less wind and the light was more accommodating.

Each time I go to Perry’s Landing I wonder who Perry was.

I have been out of my comfort zone a lot lately, not blogging, spending more time off the computer, being in the world with people and then being quiet, at the beach, in the woods, not even taking many photographs.

Even during this time off, I have somehow made new online friends, received awards for which I am grateful and have yet to acknowledge.
My friend, Angi, A Kiss of Bliss nominated this blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you, Dr. Angi! I also was nominated for a Sunshine Award by Laurie at New Thought Families. Thank you Laurie Story!

Accepting these awards seems to require revealing 10 things ( or 7?) about yourself that my readers may not know.
That can be fun, so here goes:
1. My mouse is not working very well so posting, editing photos is very slow. Nominating other sites will have to wait for a new mouse. 🙂
2. On photography ~ I believe that developing a good eye is more important than having a top of the line camera.
3. My favorite color… if I have to choose – cobalt blue, or purple? Maybe orange? Red? Magenta? Green? hmmmm.. which green? White? Yellow? – I refuse to choose on this one.
4. My favorite number – 8 – lying on it’s side it represents infinity. After that 9 – infinity +1.
5. My name, Star Bear, was gifted to me by a Native American Medicine Woman. It is not the full name I was given, just a part.
6. I am a Leo, with a Libra rising…. always looking at both sides.
7. I know all of my personal animal totems, and communicate with them frequently.
8. I prefer to be outdoors, rather than in.
9. I prefer communicating in person, or by phone, over e-mail, so I can hear the tone in another’s voice.
10. I prefer to hear poetry read aloud.

And the bonus # 11 – I ask a lot of questions. This month’s local question is: Will AT&T be permitted to build a 400 foot tower on the Tahquamenon River? It is planned to be built adjacent to a 45,000 acre wilderness area and possibly in view of one of the most beautiful waterfalls, Tahquamenon Falls, second in size only to Niagara east of the Mississsipi, or will they bow to common sense and local consensus and find an alternate location? (Cell towers bring along with them blinking lights – 24/7/365) This place that I live sometimes chooses to act as if it is financially challenged, and Tahquamenon Falls brings 500,000 tourist visitors each year. A large part of the reason people visit here is to briefly escape – technology, urbanity, busy-ness, business.

And so it goes ~ progress in the wilderness or saving a few wild places ~ more questions, how to best serve? How to protect? How to be kind, compassionate, loving and take a stand, draw a line. So this is where I have been offline – researching, asking questions, writing letters, surveying friends, neighbors, my community.

How can my work as a writer and photographer make a difference? I am trying to imagine what Tahquamenon Falls will look like with a 400 foot tower in the background. Thoughts?

May your thoughts be peaceful, thoughtful and loving today.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Launch ~ NoCZ 2012 ~ Baby Steps

Baby Steps

Launch. Sometimes a launch is tiny. A Baby Step. Baby Steps… putting one foot in front of another, moving forward. Is a launch always upward or can it be simply movement? Sometimes it’s a leap of faith and one foot just shoves off and we leap. How fun to be leaping with others again this year!

About this photo: On a sunrise beach walk, I found two sets of footprints heading toward the water, unclear in dry sand. One set of large footprints, one set of tiny, side by side. I imagined a small child, walking hand in hand with a parent or grand parent, then frolicking on the beach in the early morning light. There was a single tiny footprint, clear, near the edge of the water, untouched as yet by the washing waves. The child allowed to explore, then called back, perhaps, away from the water, kept safe.
The image and words were a gift to my friend Usha, in California, as we launched our dreams together and laid out our plans for the year 2012 – back in 2010. We spoke on the phone and in class, and she had the most beautiful, kind, joyous voice and laugh. We are both creating our dreams, grounded, one step at a time.

The Gift: If you are doing the NoCZ Challenge or not ~ Print it out if you wish. Carry it with you, put it on the fridge. Remember to be patient with and kind to yourself and others as we take Baby Steps or leap into new territory…. and remember to laugh at the water’s edge! Jumping in – the water feels great!

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Postcard from My Dream – Farewell Post-a-day 2011

Building ~ one stone at a time. Living my life, one step at a time...

Stepping into a New Year...Building ~ one beautiful stone at a time. Living my life, one joyous step at a time...

Some days there is not much to say… I love, I am here, I am loved, I love being me. As the year comes to a close, all is well. It’s snowing, it’s morning, a new day. I am awake, alive and deeply happy. I always have been, and sometimes I forget that. Today, I remember what happiness feels like, deeply joyously deliciously happy. Too many words… and still they cannot truly say it for me. Ahhhh… Hoping your year closes with love and joy – and that 2012 is as joyous for you as you wish. Mine is going to be fabulously wonderFULL! Namaste ~ B

Celebrating Life ~ Sharing Joy

The day was September 18th, a Sunday evening, after time making new friends, re-meeting neighbors and friends, attending a 2-day event, sharing a meal with friends, simple pleasures in life. All of that on the heels of a visit from my favorite (and only) son, and numerous other wonderful house guests over recent weeks, working at  a job I love… and visitors to my studios…

Joy stick... in the studio

Sometimes there is more Joy in my life than I can contain and sometimes I just cannot contain myself. Sometimes it just bursts out in song, or dance or making something.
This day, and after the past 3 weeks, it was just too much to contain… so I gave it to the Lake, the Wind, the Sky. The Wind, the Sky, the Lake, the Light, and the camera all conspired to support sharing my Joy.

Joy~filled Light

Sometimes words don’t work for me. Making things works for me ~ so I offer you Joy and Gratitude for the simple joys in life.

Joyful Breeze

Namaste ~ Starbear

Happy Trails

Heading home...

With back to the sunset
Today’s path in light
Shimmering glimpses
While heading for night

Trees splashed golden
Gazing upward to see
Path clear ahead
Open through trees

Blazed by others
Coyote, wolf, deer
Packed solid by paws
Made wider by bear

Easy adventure
Finding way back
Fast-food lane pause
For a blueberry snack

Evening chir-rup-pers
Call goodnight in ease
Breathing pine air
On whisper of breeze

Happy Trails! May your day be filled with easy journeys, clear, soft paths and light and joy! Thank you for walking this smile[sic] in my boots with me. 🙂

Namaste ~ Star Bear

From the Tao ~ Energy

Ancient Wisdom

“Be still. Follow your inner wisdom. In order to know your inner wisdom, one has to be still.” ~ From the “Tao of Leadership” by John Heider – 1986

My classes are going well. My life is incredible! I am teacher and student. The stillness in my life is producing so much movement and energy. Old bodies of work, new bodies of work, old friends dancing with new friends. I am deeply grateful for every new challenge. As doors close, new ones open.
Thank you to everythingisenergy.com for everything.
That would be David and Kristin Morelli, who offered a wonderful series of speakers, and for David’s amazing ability to create rock solid exercises, on the spot, from the speakers shared wisdom. Kristin’s insights from her own life were open, vulnerable and so insightful.
Yes ~ I have been being still. The computer monitor glitch from last week still exists and my horizons have broadened as a result. LOL! There are no coincidences in life!
The yin and yang of life is a balance of change, dark and light, night and day, and today is a new day, a new month… and I honor my feelings of newness and clarity. Today I dance with yin and yang… being still and listening to ancient songs and the energy of quiet stones.
May your day be filled with light and energy and much love.
Nmaste ~ Star Bear

Lake Superior 3 ~ Energy

Sometimes almost literally sweeping me off my feet... and I love the storms...

Sometimes Raging...


Sometimes words are inadequate to describe energy.
Lake Superior is pure energy, given in so many ways.

Sometimes raging
Sometimes quiet
Sometimes resting
Always creating beauty.

Sometimes taking lives
Sometimes moaning
Sometimes laughing
Always joyfully giving an abundance of beauty.

Perry's Landing

Sometimes quietly starting my days...

Lake Superior Sand Drawing with Stones

Always giving ~ Simple Beauty

May your day be filled with beautiful energy!
Namaste ~ Star Bear, who is off to start another beautiful day of gratitude for this place and time.
Copyright 2011 Betsy Lewis