Picturing a Car-Free, E-Bike Adventure

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. ~John F. Kennedy, U.S. president

pedaling-towards-eternity

How fortunate not routinely having
to travel any faster than I can pedal;
enjoying day after car-free days.
But I’ll share a little secret
about how I’ve compensated for aches,
fatigue & other blessings of another birthday:
an electric bike!

Wonderful still being able to cycle
without fear of hills or going away far
then not being able to come back easily.
Pollution-free, non-sweaty
commuting, shopping, errands
& super fun, heart pumping cardio.
Even in times like these it’s still OK
to be happy & have fun, is it not?

E-bicycles offer cost savings over a car (or second car);
as no licensing or insurance required.
There are cargo versions available, perfect
for hauling the kids or trips to the lumber yard.
Still feeling pedal-powered,
waving & ringing the bell as I go by,
connection with community.

Dear Friends, y’all are invited
to enjoy a car-free day at least once a week,
perhaps on a traditional bike, ready-made electric bike
or with a do-it-yourself bike motor kit on your old bike.
Did you know that every mile a car is driven
releases one pound of greenhouse gas
into the atmosphere increasing global warming?
Resilience is up to us, together, as a political
solution to arctic melting seems improbable.

A whole lot of info available at https://electricbikereview.com/

When you realize the Earth is so much more than simply your environment, you’ll be moved to protect her in the same way as you would yourself. This is the kind of awareness, the kind of awakening that we need, and the future of the planet depends on whether we’re able to cultivate this insight or not. The Earth and all species on Earth are in real danger. Yet if we can develop a deep relationship with the Earth, we’ll have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change our way of life. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Compassion’s Prescribed Burn

feeding inner fires ~d nelson

feeding inner fires ~d nelson

Total freedom awaits these energy’s
return to cosmos’ frozen vastness.
However, during the remainder of this heart’s
brief precious lifetime on earth,
fires of love, compassion and healing, blaze.

cozy fireplace

cozy fireplace

There’s a wounded child
constantly crying for help
inside of this fragile heart.
Self love warmly kindles
while hurtful words & actions
gust hazardous firestorms.

Breathe in difficulties, breathe out empathetic connection.
May I continue listening to the difficulties & pain of others.
I’ve just read that:
now only 550,000 individuals are homeless in the US, nightly.
Most Americans cannot afford adequate health care.
Displaced workers are not adequately helped
reintegrate into the labor market and acquire skills.
Such injustices stoke anger’s flames.

Incoming government officials speak of registering
members of certain faiths, if not internment or deportment.
This before, or perhaps after building a wall between neighbors.
Meanwhile California’s drought has killed more than 102 million trees
in a die-off of forests that increases risk of catastrophic wildfires.
Inadequate funds are being pledged to reverse climate change
& our leaders talk of walking away from the Paris international agreement.
These injustices really intensify raging fires.

Dear ones, I don’t want this fire getting out of control.

I’ll care for myself by skillfully using controlled or prescribed burns
so not to start the whole forest ablaze.
I wish to be peace & calm in efforts for justice,
not walking around like a bomb awaiting one wrong word or action.
I’ll do my best & ask that you do your best
so that we can help each other make a better future
for seven generations of descendants,
by our wise, beautiful actions, now, in this moment.
Inside a child thanks you for helping
me prevent forest fires.

controlling fires, together!

controlling fires, together!

If your house is on fire, the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put out the fire,not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist. If you run after the person you suspect
has burned your house, your house will burn down while you are chasing him or her. That is not wise. You must go back and put out the fire. So when you are angry, if you continue to interact with or argue with the other person, if you try to punish her, you are acting exactly like someone who runs after the arsonist while everything goes up in flames. Thich Nhat Hanh, from Anger

Peace Begins With Your Lovely Smile!

Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh

calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh

As a veteran I took a walk
in nature for Veteran’s Day.
There I heard the song
of wind through redwoods
and remaining Scrub Jays.

sun shines down on everything ~d nelson

sun shines down on everything ~d nelson

Contemplating words from children over the past few days
who have experienced racist vandalism and attacks at their schools.
I feel as if the “Land of the Free” may soon no longer be free, says one.
Why is it so OK now for adults & kids to act so uncivil, asks another.
A friend’s 13-year-old daughter said “Hate won.”
Children & adults wearing safety pins as a symbol of solidarity
with victims of racist, religious or homophobic abuse.

burned renewal

burned renewal

IMHO, besides ignorance & hate, another truth
is voters rejected big money in politics
& the entrenched power structure those monies buy.
I believe in time leaders will be elected that embody wisdom & compassion,
and allow all those who now feel powerless and disenfranchised,
and who have been left out of our politics and left behind in our economy.

contemplative redwood forest ~d nelson

contemplative redwood forest ~d nelson

Among ancient trees I hear calm whispers,
breath, it will be OK. Yes, dear one, we ask that you do it!
Feel yourself present for the fragile glory of this moment.
We’ve weathered a millennia of seasons, survived fire,
floods, droughts & clear cuts. With patience we endure.
How long shall you endure?

my lucky charm? ~d nelson

my lucky charm? ~d nelson

As luck would have it. Seeing the sun
shine down on the trees, warming,
life-giving, without discrimination
inspired me to cultivate an
inner smile that I could offer to others like rain,
or sunshine, without discrimination.

calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh

calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh

Sending a smile & a real hug
to all, as it seems all
including me,
are now in real need.

Will 2016 Be Remembered As Another Vintage Year?

Start by doing what’s necessary;
then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible. ~ St. Francis of Assisi

our vintage, now ~d nelson

our vintage, now ~d nelson

Many of us are rejoicing
at this harvest’s bounty.
Patiently following sun,
rain, soil ,toil & good fortune
the fruits of our labors
are being stomped in vats
to release their juices
& commence fermentation.

After aging, then bottling
and even more mysterious aging -a revealing decanting!
Some may find hints of apricot,
or perhaps chocolate and lilacs.
Those with sensitive palates
will find hints of manure,
sulfur & other toxins.

Loving words will glisten
against the shiny crystal,
while sediments of impure
thoughts & actions will float
below the surface, easily disturbed.
We know how long
these bitter tastes have remained.

Ingredients lists will surely include
aspirations of protecting all life,
recognizing that each are connected
to all else, including ourselves.
Generosity & kindness of loved ones
and complete strangers & their children,
welcoming to the table those in need
of safety & connection will beautifully embolden.

Uncork listening with the intent of healing
those in such pain that they
may become a terrorist to themselves
or to entire continents unless befriended.
This, of course, includes ourself.
Our glass may be half full of sorrow & pain
& also half empty of empathy & happiness
but as skillful winemakers
we know that an embrace of equanimity
makes a fragrant future possible.

our vintage, now 4

our vintage, now 4

Let us raise our glass to the possible.

Rivers Flow Below Our Feet

Go as a River ~Thich Nhat Hanh

frog woman rock rapid ~d nelson

frog woman rock rapid ~d nelson

Nearly forever this rushing river
has carved its winding route
from California mountains to the sea.

Freely offering her playfully fresh, life-sustaining water
to all living beings; animal, plant and human
who presented themselves before her current.

fish monitor floaters ~d nelson

fish monitor floaters ~d nelson

Up until these modern times
wild salmon swam upstream to spawn,
sustaining many beings which flourished in this ecosystem.

Over-fishing, dams & destruction of habitat
has rubbed out the once vast salmon population.
So-called Aggregate (mining) companies have claimed river rocks,
taking them for free, dredging & altering river’s course.

Even during drought, dam’s releases
are demanded by the vineyards, orchards & others
prospering along the river,
who pay nothing for this water.

Walking through my town or on
San Francisco bay area streets, sidewalks or bridges
I feel the rushing river below my feet
which was crushed into concrete.

calmly rushing river

calmly rushing river

In traffic’s roar I hear a drum beat
faintly expressing salmon’s vow
to again return when conditions allow
many, many years from now.

 

Fall Flowers’ Deep Listening

Listen, listen

Fall's freshness ~d nelson

Fall’s freshness ~d nelson

What does your blooming
inner flower hear
being softly whispered
by these dainty
Fall roses, dear one?

Homes Don’t Just Grow On Trees

You are part of the universe; you are made of stars. When you look at your loved one, you see that he is also made of stars and carries eternity inside. Looking in this way, we naturally feel reverence. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

a home's bloom ~d nelson

a home’s bloom ~d nelson

Sitting & breathing in quiet amazement
contemplating just a few
of the countless forces
of nature that came together
so that my safe refuge,
a house, can manifest!

home with a view

home with a view

From the known universe’s frozen vastness
this small planet orbits a star,
one of 300 billion in this galaxy, alone,
gets warmed & energized by our life-giving sun!
Our solar system has come so far
in its 5 billion year existence.
Just how incredibly amazing is that?

 

 

A fragile atmosphere protects earth,
held in place by gravity’s gentle pull,
making weather possible as we
rotate at 23.5 degrees, creating seasons
so that growth of vegetation & trees
can, from mere seeds, come together in beautiful ways.
Just how amazing are trees?

Breathing in I know that much
of the oxygen-rich air in my lungs
is produced by trees.
And then they offer the fruit
of their existence to become lumber
which provides me shelter!

Providing a most basic safety need
yet, my house is vulnerable & could burn.
Do I have the conditions of resilience necessary
to rebuild & renew again
like exampled by a tree?
It’s amazing just to have such a thought!

home where all r welcome ~d nelson

home where all r welcome ~d nelson

So all those conditions of universe,
sun, seeds, weather, trees, workers
and much more have created
a house, miraculously!
Offering my gratitude,
expressed as love,
to you, to all,
truly makes this home.