Give Much, Much More Than We Take, says Hill

Kindness in words creates confidence
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness
Kindness in giving creates love. ~Lao Tzu

Who’s Confused? ~d nelson

Sitting quietly with a perfect
view of hilltop
I was looking for a sign
of confusion.
But no matter how hard
I looked there
was no sign
of Hill being confused.

sunset clouded hill

sunset clouded hill

Stable as a mountain
firm as the earth
Hill confidently
conveyed that
it’s not the one

bridge across the Eel

In hundreds of millions of years
I’ve witnesses many beings come & go.
While most  primates scurry
around digging things up,
hoarding to themselves,
disheveling the earth,
it’s refreshing to experience
expressions of a burgeoning wisdom
which conveys the oneness of all,
softly said ancient Hill.

biggest trees of the forest


See how tree’s do nothing
but give; beauty, oxygen,
shelter, food, and more.
Rivers & streams seem to rush
but look deeper and see
how they flow at poetic
natural rates in a dance
with sky, mountains, earth & sea,
sharing live-giving moisture
all along their paths.

south fork’s sunset


Patiently I’ll await a return
to hear of lessons you’ve learned
from putting those ideas of oneness
into fruition, everyday, in every way.
Let me know specifically of your generosity
and how much, much
more is given than taken.
This non-confused Hill then smiled
inviting us primates to return
for our update
in a millennia or two.

I’ll begin now by mindfully
allowing my out breath
to be several seconds longer
than my in breath.
You’re welcome to join me
my friends.

merging streams

When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Live Oak’s Word to the Wise

distressed_trees-5 ~d nelson

distressed_trees-5 ~d nelson

After climbing over & under
two fallen live oaks along the path
I got off my bike & sat
upon the 3rd’s trunk
to summon some understanding
how beings with 200 year or more
lifespans were coming down in modestly
wet & windy winter weather.


distressed_trees-5 ~d nelson

First, I sensed the oak tree saying
that after years of inadequate rains
especially in the winters
internal decay resulted in loss
of structural integrity.
Winds easily toppled over
the noble tree
with weakened roots
in rain-softened soil.



Listening deeper with closed eyes
live oak gave me a vision
straight from zen master’s diamond sūtra.
Nurture roots with yourself, family
& all ancestors
whether they be people,
animals, plants or earth.
Live humbly, gratefully
for each moment is
a gift from all ancestors
back to before the beginning.



Trees don’t live forever
nor does anything else.
But tree’s don’t die, either.
They continue, like everything else
by returning their energy
to the source, their essence.
Sun, soil, rain, seed, time
transform & re-manifest life
as long as our star shines
and even after that.
I smiled & thanked the tree
for the deep teaching offered &
for all the oxygen it made
for me to gently breathe
as I cycled away.


“What is the root of all these words?
One thing: Love.
But a love so deep and sweet it needed to express itself with scents, sounds, colors that never before existed.” ~ Hāfez, The Gift

Sacred Shasta Snows

cloud veiled shasta sunset ~d nelson

cloud veiled Shasta sunset ~d nelson

Resting fully now
still held in a vortex
of sacred energies
over 16 thousand feet high.
I’m too tired to think,
from where, or how;
it hasta be Shasta
who offers a vibrant
wintry playground
upon frozen

cruising on a groomed track

cruising on a groomed track

Thank you legs
for Nordic skiing
with mountain firmness
the slippery slopes,
icy crispness
and powdery freshness.

blustery stairway to heaven

blustery stairway to heaven

Thank you arms
for teamwork help
with legs
poling me forward
& keeping me upright
when the ground
was literally close at hand.

snow camp homestead

snow camp homestead

Thank you mind
for the idea to pilgrimage here,
but not thinking much
when unnecessary;
allowing for physical,
spiritual connections
to be fully experienced.

backcountry breaking trail

backcountry breaking trail

Thank you heart
for carrying the weight
with strength
of a friendship
that makes exertion
seem joyful & lighter
than a snowflake
falling from heaven
to mother earth.

Gratitude for these lungs
with each in-breath of chilled air
that all may enjoy a playful day,
and with each warm out-breath,
that all feel safe,
satisfied & connected
to what is real & sacred
in & surrounding them.

Wheels on the Bike Go Round & Round

Before starting the car,
I know where I am going.
The car and I are one.
If the car goes fast, I go fast.
~Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

joyful down the trail ~d nelson

joyful down the trail ~d nelson

Innocently Young One’s high voice,
sweet & song-like, queried;
“why so serious,
must you… will you,
always be adulting?
Olderself, c’mon out,
lets play!
And I don’t mean
the lottery or cards!”

After a few calm breaths
recognizing Youngerself’s wisdom,
I said “yes, lets play,
let’s go ride a bike
out in nature,
feel the breeze,
soar past trees
unafraid to mud up
my nose and knees.”

muddy bike-1

muddy bike-1 ~d nelson

When mindfully riding
on the bike,
awareness arises
that during a cycle
bike & I are one.
Joyfully we travel together,
arriving safely in each moment
even when bouncing through
pot-holed city streets,
passed by distracted drivers,
braking into deep
ruts, puddles & streams
on the way to loved ones
who are not surprised
to hold me,
wet & muddy.
Their smile indicating
it’s a-OK for me to continue
letting go of adulting,
at least for now.

Enjoy peddling as it reduces stress, keeps you feeling young,
increases muscle strength, improves cardiovascular health,
reduces transportation costs & lowers carbon footprints upon mother earth.
Also, remember to wear a helmet, dear young ones.
Please enjoy this cycling music video, Why Cycle, Go Ride A Bike!;
produced a few years ago, featuring the singing of my friend, Manon.

Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know What We Are


which way the wind blows ~d nelson

Year end firework’s smoke clears
displaying the sober truth
of standing firmly upon
this beautiful, motherly space-ball
soaring at 1000 miles per hour.
Humbled as she carries us along
on her annual pilgrimage
circumambulating around our warm
life-giving star continually, uninterrupted.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude
knowing how totally awesome
it is to be alive.
Understandably we
share our smiles
recognizing that joy & happiness
in this moment
will be a beautiful continuation
into the next moment,
of this so-called new year.


wind power

May we recognize the weather
going on outside & inside
and adjust accordingly,
standing stable & strong
when cold winds push;
relaxing completely when
when safe, fed & warm.

May we offer compassionate
words and efforts to help our human family,
helping them be in touch with
conditions of happiness that exist, now.
May we forgive and help others forgive
that they may live in freedom
from the prison of fear, anger & despair.
May we care for mother earth
as if our future depends upon it.

I’ll end this new year’s post with hopeful words for
taking right action;
a prophesy spoken
by elders while I lived on the Hopi Indian Reservation.

Hopi elders sing to young ~d nelson

Hopi elders sing to young ~d nelson


Hopi Elders’ Prophecy
Oraibi, Arizona, June 8, 2000

You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you
must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are
things to be considered. . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?

Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for your leader.

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a
good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and
swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in
history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For
the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.

The time of the one wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word ‘struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All
that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.


Before Solstice Re-Leaf

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” ~J Rumi

In print, on nearly the last page of our local paper
a short piece about upcoming Winter Solstice;
an astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day
and the longest night of the year.

vineyard's second harvest ~d nelson

vineyard’s second harvest ~d nelson

Nearby leaves lying in transition
seem to know contentedly
this state of things & their place in the universe’ wonder.
Do they require awareness of the paper’s other pages
of bad news, sad news, outrage & despair?
They express understanding about
where they are, here & now.
That days are getting shorter & shorter
& it’s time to ready for winter
here in the Northern Hemisphere.

while still at the surface ~d nelson

while still at the surface ~d nelson

Bright greens transform into yellow and orange colors.
Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along.
The bright reds and purples seen in leaves are manifest mostly in the fall.
In some trees & vines, like maples & grapes,
sugar is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops.
Sunlight & cool nights of autumn
cause the leaves to turn sugar into radiant reds.

Decaying leaves express a simple truth
that darkness is a natural phase, to be embraced.
And that actively letting go
of attachments
to future & past’s
fears, anger, despair & regrets,
offers a beautifully peaceful continuation
into all of our potential
for light & wisdom.

Calm breaths, gratitude for this gift of life,
peaceful actions of body, speech & mind
are like satiating foods
accentuating Vivaldi’s changing seasons.
As simple leaves, may we
be nourishing for descendants
in times of shorter nights.


The Happiest Season is Here & Now

Blue Sky playfully
dances with Tree’s decorative
firmly-rooted branches.
Heaven & Earth’s
instinctively sensual tango
intensified by
Wind’s mischievously
varied eternal gusts.

persimmon tree sky ~d nelson

persimmon tree sky ~d nelson

Can we hear & see them, Dear Ones; those
vividly orange & multi-colored leaflets & spheres
forever offered without discrimination?
Adding extra ornamentation is delightful,
but, what if the way they are,
as is,
the way we are,
is already most worthy?

Countless conditions of happiness
are hanging on,
actually cheering us on,
that in our next calm breath
Contentment will become
the overwhelming feeling
uniting mind, heart & spirit
with past, present & future.
Our beautiful happiness
has an eternal continuation.

The secret to happiness is happiness itself. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, the wonder of our breathing. We don’t have to travel anywhere else to do so. We can be in touch with these things right now. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh