Author Archive: Julia

Patience and faith

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient… Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh Few women of any generation could claim a life as full of adventure, triumph and tragedy as Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Yet her concerns were similar to …

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Travel the back roads

“To read the papers and to listen to the news… one would think the country is in terrible trouble. You do not get that impression when you travel the back roads and the small towns do care about their country and wish it well.” — Charles Kuralt Recently I’ve had to sharply curtail my exposure …

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There will be times

“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.” — Anton Chekhov Even when the trees appear to be bare, there is a lot happening underground.  A gardener once explained to me that fall is the best …

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How we remember

“How we remember, what we remember and why we remember form the most personal map of our individuality.” — Christina Baldwin Among the countless ways my sister has blessed my life, one comes to mind often: she read to me and taught me to read.  Over fifty years later, I have wonderful memories of the …

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Strength that will endure

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson The deep connection most of us feel to the earth’s grandeur is awe-inspiring yet reassuring, an interesting combination of emotions that cannot adequately be described.  However, poets and writers have attempted for …

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Firesides on winter evenings

“The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cozy parlor firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of …

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Open every door

“Not knowing when the Dawn may come I open every Door…”  — Emily Dickinson When our eight-week-old Schipperke came to live with us nearly 16 years ago, I read everything I could find on the breed.  More than one source remarked “this dog does not like closed doors.”  Apparently the Schipperke has insatiable curiosity, a …

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The fullness of peace

“Not for me is the love that knows no restraint…Send me the love that is cool and pure like Your rain, which blesses the thirsty earth and fills the homely earthen jars. Send me the love that would soak down into the center of being, and from there would spread like the unseen sap through …

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Simply unbelievable

“…if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy…Look at the flowers – for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.” — Osho I disagree sharply with many of the teachings attributed to Osho, but I have to agree with him …

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Added to the inner freedom

“No great work has ever been based on hatred and contempt. On the contrary, there is not a single true work of art that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known and loved it.” — Albert Camus Van Gogh’s swirling clouds, Rembrandt’s pensive faces, Pissarro’s evocative …

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Life of ceaseless variety

“A forest is like the ocean, monotonous only to the ignorant.  It is a life of ceaseless variety.” — Benjamin Disraeli The giant redwoods first come to mind when someone mentions Muir Woods, but the park is actually teeming with diverse life forms, flora and fauna.  Much of it is hidden from sight, or seen …

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Good thoughts

“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” — attributed to Confucius In honor of Chinese New Year, I thought it would be appropriate today to feature this quote from one of the most famous philosophers of all time.  This blog was started to help me …

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A book of holy teaching

“If thy heart were right, then every creature would be a mirror of life and a book of holy teaching. There is no creature so small and abject, but it reflects the goodness of God.” — Thomas à Kempis Our backyard borders on a wooded lot that is part of the property, protected wetlands that cannot …

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Pleasure eternally new

“There’s a joy without canker or cark,   There’s a pleasure eternally new,   ‘Tis to gloat on the glaze and the mark   Of china that’s ancient and blue…” — Andrew Lang Although a man wrote these words, most of the people I know who would really understand them are women.  I’ve found that I …

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An impression of beauty and delight

“There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight.” — Gertrude Jekyll Among the things I love best about San Francisco are the unique garden spots tucked away seemingly throughout the city.  Though they lack the appealing open landscapes of more …

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The one who thinks differently

“Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of one party – however numerous they may be – is no freedom at all. Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently. Not because of any fanatical concept of “justice” but because all that is instructive, wholesome and …

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Skillfully combined

“Small things grow mighty, if they are skillfully combined.  Blades of grass will make a rope to bind a raging elephant.” — Hitopadesha These words of wisdom echo a theme found repeatedly in various works, from Aesop’s fables to the Bible. Perhaps there is no greater physical symbol of the strength of unity than the breathtaking Golden …

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On these walks

“It is on these walks that my best ideas come to me.  It is while walking that difficult clarity emerges.  It is while walking that I experience a sense of well-being and connection, and it is in walking that I live most prayerfully.”  — Julia Cameron For several years now, I’ve been walking anywhere from …

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Intense love

“Creative work carries with it a form of intense love.” – Lin Yutang Lin Yutang’s description of creativity is parallel to the Bible verse that tells us “God is love.” If God’s love has been made manifest in the boundless beauty and diversity of creation, it stands to reason that people made in God’s image …

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On the losing side

“Man talks of a battle with Nature, forgetting that if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side.” — E. F. Schumacher No matter how much progress we make, our ability to control nature ultimately remains elusive.  Natural disasters leave trauma and suffering in their wake, so it’s understandable that we want …

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I still hear the sound

“The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.” — Basho At the beginning of February, it’s good to look forward to the coming of spring.  It has been awhile since I’ve seen this many flowers at one time, but thoughts of them linger and build anticipation that will have …

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A happy talent

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson Sometimes we confuse recreational activities with play, but the two are not always linked.  It’s possible to turn recreation– especially organized and scheduled pursuits– into just another task on our to-do list.  It’s also possible to play while engaged in duties that  most people …

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Observing the effects

“The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.” — Bertrand Russell What we see and experience changes us forever.  This is one reason it’s so important to feed our minds and senses with a healthy …

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God’s medicine

“Mirth is God’s medicine.  Everybody ought to bathe in it.”  — Henry Ward Beecher As Norman Cousins famously demonstrated, laughter really is the best medicine.  It can break through the gloom and lift the heart more quickly than any other remedy.  Years ago while we lived in Ohio, we were coping with the worrisome heart defects …

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Winter lives

The “dead” of winter — Or so they say. But winter lives In her own way. She leaves her tracks, She shows us signs: Not brilliant blooms, But webs of lines. — Douglas Florian As I write this, there is snow on the ground outside and I have my space heater running near my feet.  …

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