Hi there, bloggalites.  Today, a little excerpt from my recent book that may remind you of an experience of your own. Have you ever felt, or even seen, subtle presences in the wilderness?  Here’s an account of a fairly dramatic experience of that.  Why do I share it?  To ’seed’ the notion that connecting with the subtle energies (or entities) of nature is not only possible, but can be cultivated (as I believe my friend Jim, who you’ll read about in a moment did) to nurture and strengthen harmony with our environments, both wild and more populous, for the sake of the well-being of this beautiful planet that we humans are treating so very badly. Such connections with subtle natural energies can be developed– as they have at Findhorn Community in Scotland, and in many gardens around the world, for example–as forms of “subtle activism” that can complement our political work on behalf of the environment. So…here it comes..this excerpt is titled:

Spirit on the Water (1978)


At the edge of Oregon wilderness, we’re about to hit the trail to our campsite. Our friend Jim’s been here before–he’s a native Oregonian. As we stand near the trailhead at the edge of the forest, a large butterfly lights directly on Jim’s hand. I sense a welcoming presence, one Jim may have met up with before on previous visits

to this remote place. We pause for a timeless span of time, then forge ahead on down the trail.At a broad, gushing creek….a place of two forks meeting. I remember rapids and little ‘water stumbles’ less steep than waterfalls. Wonderful sounds accompany the creek as it skeedaddles over boulders, chilly current glugging ‘round their contours. There are other underwater sounds as well, like the grating of big rocks jostled by fast-flashing water, and the submerged burps of current in contact with certain boulders below the creek’s turbulent surface.Late afternoon: fantastic cold immersions; long leanings into the cold, cold stream. Letting go of urban energy, we relax together as day dims. Shadows lengthen as light recedes down the winding creek valley.


“The Valley Spirit Never Dies“


(line from chapter 6, the Tao te Ching)


Listen to wave curls holding

in the clear current.

This canyon where sound becomes voices.

Rite of suns

disappearing down the steep

creek valley. Birds attend.

Now a light blue orb hovers over a burbling little water-stumble. Jim and I see it and share our perceptions, which as I recall the three women with us do not share. We watch the blue orb float about 20 feet away from where we sit. It stays there for some time, then as daylight dies away altogether, it’s finally no longer visible.

But Jim and I feel met yet again.