Midsummer and Gratitude

Here we are at Midsummer. The shadows are deep and green. The fields are bursting with the brilliant colors of wildflowers. The intense heat of recent weeks has subsided for a time as a cooler air mass has settled in. Although we are just a few days into July,  the cool air has brought in the season’s first autumnal light.

Along with hints of Autumn, this week has produced the season’s first ripe tomatoes and green beans. The spinach has gone to seed, but the lettuce continues to grace our table with luscious salads. Green beans and tomatoes have made their way to the altar, as we give Gratitude to the Creator for the abundance of our garden and lives. Rather than wait for one day of Thanksgiving for the harvest, we try to acknowledge the arrival of each new food, beginning with maple syrup in the early Spring. Continue reading


The Moral Dilemmas of Being

The following thoughts build on the previous post and the thoughtful comments left by kind readers.

I’ve been reminded recently that psychotherapy and shamanism share an essential concern with the patient as an inhabitant of, and participant in, a moral universe. Often, we humans struggle to negotiate that universe, finding ourselves wrestling with any number of  ethical quandaries. All to frequently, all options available to us bear troublesome implications. This is a problem T.S. Eliot noted, probably following Freud. Eliot wrote, “man cannot bear very much realty.” Continue reading

Gratitude, Mental Health, and Climate Change

Stormy Sunset

Today I listened to part of a broadcast discussion of new research from Stanford University regarding accelerating climate change. The study found a strong likelihood that heat waves, such as we endured last week, will become increasingly common over the next thirty years. Indeed, one finding was that extreme heatwaves, events that now occur about once every fifty years, could be expected to occurred several times per decade in any given local in North America, by the year 2039. Continue reading