After a summer of travel, I’m back home in the Bay Area. My visit to Italy involved working remotely with clients while exploring new locations and reconnecting with old ones. I was grateful for the benefits of mindfulness practice, which increased my capacity to remain present for many joys (swimming in the Adriatic and Mediterranean and visiting favorite works of art) and sorrows (extreme heat and stands of dead trees, casualties of global warming, in the beautiful mountains of the Dolomites).
Since returning, I’ve resumed walking in the coastal hills with my dog, Lilo. Our walks provide a time to reflect, observe, and just spend time in the natural world to which we all belong. The California wild rose, Rosa Californica, was ending its bloom when I returned: a modest-sized plant only noticeable when a few quarter-sized, single-petalled pink flowers appear in summer. If conditions have been too adverse, it will not bloom at all. This summer, after abundant winter rains, it flowered. Now the blooms are gone and the days growing shorter with fall on the way. Before summer’s conclusive end, sharing this poem by Wendell Berry about how evanescent flashes of beauty and wonder all around can fill us with joy.
The Wild Rose
Sometimes hidden from me
In daily custom and in trust,
So that I live by you unaware
As by the beating of my heart,
Suddenly you flare in my sight,
A wild rose blooming at the edge
Of thicket, grace and light
Where yesterday was only shade
And once more am blessed, choosing
Again what I chose before.