Tag Archives: Place of Spirit

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. ūüôā
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

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

Remembering 9/11 and Happy Brains

2,987 (?) lives lost, families devastated, rescuers injured – “collateral damage”.
10 years later, how many more lives lost in wars and global conflict, in revenge? Over what? Water, oil, money, who has the bigger stick? The links below are what I wrote then. I still believe there are better solutions, more creative and life supporting solutions. In honor of the lives lost on 9/11, I ask this question – Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results?
“When will they ever learn?” from “Where have all the flowers gone?” sung here by Pete Seeger.
The good news – 400 trees planted at ground zero and a peaceful park plaza on many acres in NYC.

In the face of adversity, I choose joy. This weekend I am attending a Tele-conference called Choosing Joy , hosted by Cathleen Harvey Spacil, and created for people with brain injuries and mental illness. Brain Be Happy  is about finding joy in every situation and the choices we make. In my humble opinion, those judged mentally ill, brain damaged, may have better, more creative, healthier solutions than politicians. There is even helpful information for veterans and soldiers who have suffered brain trauma available on her site.

Where have all the flowers gone? – Cathleen is a flower blooming brilliantly in her life, my life and on the internet.
Yes, my brain is happy – and it makes these energy connections, leaps between the concept that if we are each at peace in our lives and hearts, there would be less global conflict. There would be more time and money and happy people available for finding creative solutions to caring for the earth and the wonderful people on it. More freedom to express kindness, compassion, love, with simple, elegant solutions.

These are the links from my “blog” 10 years ago.
Mourning Poem
Deepak Chopra¬† –¬†Thoughts on Peace
My Personal Experience  Р A Quiet Voice
There are other links on these pages , as well.

Things are changing, some minds are changing. There are quiet, joyful voices singing in harmony. Peace to you this day, may your heart be filled with peace – and joy.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Lake Superior

On a typical day... waves

Different day, Different mood, always changing, never the same, consistently.

Sunday, July 17th was Lake Superior Day and the Big Lake was quiet with fog rolling in… This week my blog posts are dedicated to Lake Superior. (A lot of it is about Lake Superior anyway, Spirit of Place ~Place of Spirit)
Maybe you‚Äôve never heard of Lake Superior, maybe you have never been there. Have you heard the song ‚ÄúThe Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald‚ÄĚ?¬†The video will show you another of Superior’s ever changing moods.

Gitcheegama, as the Ojibwe call it, is the largest fresh water lake on the planet. It contains 10% of ALL of the world’s fresh water – in this one place! Its coastline is 1,826 miles long and is shared by the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan and the Canadian Province of Ontario. It is old, very old, and the rocks and stones that line its fabulous beaches, even older.¬† Lake Superior is breathtakingly beautiful and because of its depth, the lake is also breathtakingly cold!
The first time I waded into Lake Superior, it literally took my breath away. Late one August, when the lake was at its warmest, following a whole summer of heating, I naively stepped into its crystal clear water,  just up to my knees. After about 1 minute, every bone in my legs ached, my teeth hurt, my body tightened, and I quickly retreated to the warmth of the sand. That was in the late 1960’s.

Today, the Lake becomes so warm in mid-summer, near the edges, at least, that one can wade fairly comfortably. In 2007, the Lake level dropped 18 inches. Shipping was greatly affected. Ships using the Great Lakes had to reduce their loads in order to make passage through much shallower channels. The cost of running the ships with smaller loads remained constant, affecting the prices paid for things you may use, wherever you are in the world.

What happens on, in and around Lake Superior affects everyone. We are all connected… water knows no boundaries. It is the rain, the rivers, the streams, in the clouds and it is always moving, even when it seems frozen.

In 2010, some friends walked the entire circumference of Lake Superior. Retired naturalists Mike Link and Kate Crowley hiked 1500+ miles around the shore. They spent four and a half months walking, camping and through the miraculous wonders of technology, documenting their adventure. You can see more of the moods and wonders of Lake Superior through their lenses here: Full Circle Superior. I was honored to walk a few miles with them on this adventure.

Sometime today, or this week, when you take that sip of refreshing water, bottled or from your tap, please make a toast to celebrate Lake Superior. You are probably drinking a drop or at least a molecule of Lake Superior water.

Namaste ~ Star Bear, who lives near the Big Lake and loves it!

To see more:
Lake Superior ~ Winter
Lake Superior Day Info
Lake Superior Stewardship
Lake Superior Wikipedia

Late Bloomers


Everything blooms in it’s own time. The north shore of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is beautifully bloomin’ at last. Some of us are “late” bloomers… what’s “late”? Can beauty be late? Is Mother Nature ever late?
May you burst into bountiful blooms when it’s your time.

Namaste ~ Starbear

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Postcard from the Woods

Driving back and forth to work is taking longer these days, with camera handy. This sharp shinned hawk is hanging out in the same place, must be good hunting.

Sharp Shinned Hawk

Sharp Shinned Hawk

It took some time to decide if it was a Sharp Shinned or Cooper’s Hawk, and after getting some shots it was a bit easier. What do you think? You can compare Sharp Shinned Hawk with a Cooper’s Hawk by clicking on the names…

The Sandhills are nesting too! This pair has been returning to this location for about three years now, and announce their presence quite vocally.

Sandhill gathering nesting materials...

Sandhill Crane

I’ve been seeing him/her everyday on the way home. Their call is a loud and distinct squwak with a loud trill. Unmistakable! You can hear it here.

The flickers are back as well ~ good medicine.
May your day be filled with hawk-eye vision and squawking if you please!

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Bird ID
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Coopers Hawk
Sandhill Crane

Post-A-Day 2011 – Postcard from Spring

2011 April 2

While others share their signs of Spring
Snow here still hides most everything…
Yet, Spring brings light, not dull and gray
Clear Light begins to end the day

Crisp Clear Light

Light seen through woods, ‘tween trees
Brings contrast to the world we sees!
Colors in both bark and trunk
Lifting winter’s tired funk

Coyote Jokester

Coyote jokesters jump and play
Hide and seek in woods today
Across the frozen snow they trot
North then south, they slink and plot

Superior’s blocks of ice and snow
In sunlight cast their crystal glow
With each and every tiny drip
Spring loosens Winter’s chilly grip.

Winter dripping away...

While Water laughs a music score
Walls of ice still line the shore
Sparkling in a slow retreat
Giving way to patient heat

Crystal Walls

Sunshine! clear and crisp ‚Äėtil night
Then washing snow in sleepy light
Water droplets, ripples, flow
Signs of Spring beneath snow glow

Beneath the sheets of ice and snow...

2011 3 April ~ and today it snows once more! Spring comes slowly here. May your days be filled with sparkling light!
Namaste ~ Star Bear
Words and photographs copyright 2011 Betsy Lewis

When the Universe Aligns…

Aligned in the Heavens...

Sun, Earth, Moon

December 21, 2010
Such beauty and power in the alignment of Sun, Earth, Moon, with the Winter Solstice on a Full Moon morning. Blessed with the clearest skies, this is a tiny capsule of views and energy of the night.

Phone calls in the middle of the night, friends sharing their view. Clear here, Cloudy there.

I had given up on getting photos, feeling like equipment, my skills, were inadequate for the spectular. (That old “not enough” not good enough” troll) At 2:37 am, as I finally snuggled into bed, the phone rang. A really good friend called and offered a tripod, saying
“Betsy! You have to do this!”
“I have to get up and go to work!” I protested.
“It’s a once in a lifetime event, you CAN’T miss it!” he shouted…and a few more choice words… 15 minutes later, I was in a new location, with camera mounted on a gun tripod resting on my truck, in freshly plowed crunchy snow shooting this miraculous moon.

Alignment. Alignment with the Universe. Alignment with loving friends and supporters. The Universe aligns and we can’t miss it. I am grateful for all.

Are the photos spectacular? Not in my book, I see the flaws, the imperfections, all of those that didn’t work out, and yet, this night’s sky was spectacular and I’m glad I was awake and alive and not willing to miss it. I am glad to be able to share it with those who had clouds, or rain, or needed to sleep. I am glad to be able to share this with those who support, love, and believe in me and my dreams. (And I am glad to share this with me.)

I missed a day of work. It was worth it. Called in, told the truth. Choice, go to a job and miss this opportunity, or share what is special to me. The photos are not perfect. This post will not be perfect. I have to get to my job and this is my work as I celebrate light and color and life.

Above the photo, the words read:
“Winter Solstice 12/21/2010 Night Watch~Once in a Lifetime…Witnessing This Miracle…THIS Event…Night Light Show in the Heavens. Did you hear the applause, feel the energy circles… Bouncing Love to the Moon and around the Globe.
Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward everyone. We, on this planet, in this Universe are truly beautifully, bountifully blessed. Namaste.”

My wish for 2011. As we share one moon, one planet, one Universe, peace. Peace and Love for each other. Kindness. Kindness to self and others. Appreciation and gratitude for our differences.

Will have to add and edit later… Now it is time to get to the other job. For now, it pays a bill. Alignment… alignment with love.

Betsy ~ Starbear
copyright 2010

Light Growing ~ Part 4

24 September 2010

Golden arches, pale yellows, blues

Grasses paint a wall of light...

Forest floor of shifting hues
Golden arches, pale yellows, blues
Grasses paint a wall of light
Dancing sparkles do delight…

Crystals twinkling in the air

Lead to jewels, gems galore
In nature’s gallery treasure store…
Necklace here, bracelet there,
Crystals twinkle in the air

At journey’s end, some breakfast fare
To break the fast, food to share
A single berry, wet with dew
To end this forest feast with you.

A single berry, wet with dew

The Last Blueberry - of course I ate it!

May your day be filled with dancing light and delight!

(To enjoy this walk in the woods from the beginning click here .)
copyright 2010 Betsy Lewis

Light Growing ~ part 3

23 September 2010

Gems at my feet...

Glistening ferns at my feet,
Droplets flow, in veins they meet.
This forest path, does often seem
A life of living in a dream…

More crystal gems await in pines,
Dangling now in groups and lines,
On single needles, evergreen
Background chorus, not unseen…

May your day be filled with delight, joy, and the beauty of living your dream with wild abandon and a chorus of friends singing in harmony with you!

(To enjoy this walk in the woods from the beginning click here. To continue your walk in the woods, see upper right, above picture and click on Light Growing ‚Äď part 4 or click here .)
copyright 2010 Betsy Lewis