The Sacred Path

Journeys through the mist

Category: Nature (page 1 of 2)

A Mauna Kea weekend

Mauna Kea from Ocean

Photograph by Vadim Kurland

I’ve been getting patient, but persistent messages that I need to go up and spend some time at Mauna Kea. Something to the effect, “you need to come up and see me.” To the Hawaiian’s, all the peaks on Hawai’i island are sacred, but Mauna Kea is the most sacred. I feel quite honored that she want me to come up and see her.

I got an email from a friend who will be here on the island and invited me to go… guess where? Mauna Kea. The spirits are very resourceful. My friend needed someone to accompany her, and the mountain wanted to see me. So, this weekend, we will be spending time up there with the giant. I’ll take my pocket digital camera and take some shots while there and post again soon about the trip.

I’ve been putting a trip up there off trying to get some web designs out the door, and I also need to make a trip back to Wyoming to finish “editing” that chapter of my life within the next month. I guess Mauna Kea has different plans, and I just got the memo.

Life in the tropics

Kona coffee cherries ripeningI had planned on getting a “meatier” post up this week, but I’ve been busy with other stuff. I hope to have something more substantive up in a few days.

How many of you have ever seen coffee “on the hoof?” This image is from right outside the house I’m living in on a sustainable, organic coffee farm. The owners are quite happy since the trees are heavy with coffee cherries this year. At the elevation, and in the area I’m living, June and July are the wet months, and although the first few months I was living here were very, very dry, June and July have turned out quite wet—at least wet as far as this ex-Wyoming boy is concerned. We’ve been getting at least an inch or two of rain each week, and this last couple weeks has seen an inch or more each day. I’ve got yard work to do (weeding and such) but haven’t been able to get out to do it. I might just have to put on my board shorts, a tee shirt and flip-flops and do it in the rain.

Looking out my front doorThe first couple months here, the front area of the house was virtually just bare ground except for a few tropical plants that were somehow managing to survive the drought. Where as before I could look up the hill in front of the house and see the car parked up there, now all I can see is lush tropical plants (and of course the inevitable weeds). Weeds are good though. This island is a rock and dirt and topsoil are scarce actually on most of the island, so you have to create your own soil, and those weeds, which can grow 4 or 6 inches in just a couple days, become soil once composted. The soils here are quite loose, so pulling most weeds is very easy. There is probably a couple days work to be done in trimming stuff and pulling weeds, but the weather report for the next several days or so calls for at least 30% chance of rain, and here in this area and at this elevation, 30% is more like 100% this time of year.

I still have to pinch myself every so often to make sure that living here isn’t a dream. I’m thankful for every day, and each morning and evening, I express my gratitude to the spirits of this incredibe island.

Oil slick around Mississippi barrier islands

NASA satellite image of oil around Miss. barrier islandsI just checked over at the NASA Earth Observatory web site, and they have a new image up for today showing the massive amount of oil that is collecting around the Mississippi barrier islands. All the silver-ish swirls you see on the water is oil from the spill. I’ve downsized it from its original size. You can, if you want, visit this page at NASA to see or download the original full-sized image.

I’ll let the image speak for itself.

Our addiction to oil: The cost in pictures

NASA image of oil spill June 19 2010I don’t post the following to make people feel sad. I post it because there are those out there that need to wake up and really see one of the many tragic consequences of our petroleum-fueled lifestyles, and what it is doing to the world we live in and depend on for our very existence. [Cropped satellite image from NASA Earth Observatory, image of the day.]

This tragedy is the direct result our our addiction to oil, pure and simple. BP was simply the instrument we used to produce it. The Ixtoc spill in the waters off Mexico in 1979 should have been a wake up call. The Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska should have been a wake up call. All the oil spills around the world should have been wake up calls. Sadly though we have gotten too good at ignoring and forgetting. That has to change.

Change is going to come from each of us, as individuals, making conscious choices to reduce our dependence on oil and our impact on mother earth. Real change always happens from the level of the individual and then moves up though higher and higher levels of society as a whole. If you are looking for real change to come from the top down be prepared for a very long wait. True change though cannot happen until we each realize who we really are, and that we are not only all connected to one another, but to all life everywhere; the whole continuum from the smallest one-celled organisms to the Source of all life itself.

The Christian Science Monitor ran a story today titled “Gulf oil spill’s wildlife toll: sharks near shore, turtles incinerated” that I humbly suggest you read. The Christian Science Monitor I find to be a news organization with integrity and a good source of truly “fair and balanced” reporting (unlike the news organization that touts being “fair and balanced”). At the end of that story is a link to a slideshow called “Sticky mess: The Gulf oil spill’s impact on nature” that I again suggest you view. Then spend a little time thinking about what you can do personally to reduce your burden on this wonderful world. If enough people choose to make even small changes, the combined impact of those small changes can be dramatic.

One such change we can all make (and Obama, unfortunately, got a lot of flack for this during his campaign for President) is to check our tire pressure regularly and keep our tires properly inflated. According to the US Department of Energy, underinflated tires cost the US 1.25 billion gallons of gas per year; about 1 percent of our total gas consumption. One bonus to keeping our tires properly inflated is our tires will last longer. Another is that we reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere. There is no downside.

Kealakekua Bay

kealakekua-bayI experienced a lot of magic on my recent trip to Hawai’i and one very magical place is Kealakekua Bay near Captain Cook south of Kona. If you click on the image at left to see a larger version you will see that there are a lot of black lava stones along the water’s edge. Those are actually pushed up onto the beach during storms. In this image, the tide is high so the black sand of the beach is under water.

My first trip to the bay was with friends and we were walking around and talking so I didn’t get to relax and let the bay talk to me.

On my second trip to the bay I was alone and did more exploring. As you walk down behind the berm of stones, you find that people have piled them up into small monuments, and about a third of the way down someone had fashioned a quite comfortable chaise lounge complete with back rest from the stones. I adjusted a few of the stones and layed down. As I relaxed and allowed myself to slip into a light trance state, I became aware that I was hearing an echo of the waves crashing on the beach shortly after the waves actually crashed. Being the recovering engineer that I am, I looked around and realized that the echos were coming from the sound of the waves crashing being reflected off of the cliffs you see in the background.

As I enjoyed the symphony, I became aware that when the echo returned to me, a portal, or window was opening to the spiritual side of the bay, and then as I continued listening, I became aware that every time the echo returned, the spiritual side of the bay was speaking to me. It wasn’t coming as words, but more like an emotion, and after a while, I started to realize that in a way that is difficult to explain, the echo that seemed to come after the physical wave crashed on the beach was actually coming to me before the physical wave. This was an interesting thing to experience since my physical mind did not want to accept this. To it, the echo could not preceed the physical event.

There was an incredible joy being sent to me with each wave and echo. It was so full of life that all I could do was smile and laugh and let it carry me away. I’m not sure how long I layed there that day, but I would not have missed the experience for anything. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I returned two more times to let it sweep me away.

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