2017-02-07 07.40.30

Tonight I drove home in blizzard conditions turning into complete whiteout. I had to stop right in the road because I couldn't see where I was going. Moving meant going into a ditch on the right or possible oncoming traffic on the left. There is nothing you can do if you can't see. When there was a moment's let up I found myself on the wrong side of the road. It is easy to believe the incidents you hear of someone becoming disoriented even walking a few feet away from the car and getting lost.  Crawling a few feet at a time as I caught a glimpse of the road I made it to my 1/8 mile long driveway with its hills and curves. The wind was whipping across an open meadow causing sizable...

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All around us are tiny micro-environments that seem like nothing to us, but are life and death to other life. This is "just" a sagebrush, but it is Home, Safety, Life to some other creature. Nothing in nature is "just" anything. It all has importance, and needs to be treated with respect. These micro-environments exist everywhere on earth. Discovering them wherever we live gives us a rich sense of wonder and expands our larger picture of the life in which we are embedded.  It increases our respect for and delight in Life. Share with us ones you discover, where you live. -- Susan Eirich,...

Jackson Highway Pass

Yesterday I drove over Teton Pass back home to Earthfire in a bit of a snowstorm. Up up up you go the the top of the pass in driving wind and snow, sensing rather than seeing the bulk of the mountain on the right; the drop into space on the left. You are in wilderness where the elements are in charge, in a metal box on wheels with heat, a fragile protection. Fifteen minutes later, driving down the other side, you enter calm weather, clear roads and the lights and warmth of civilization. Such a dramatic transition, from mountain weather and wilderness, to the settled valleys. The dramatic juxtaposition gives us an appreciation for the power of nature that we don't grasp living in a city...

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Walking my malamute in the cold of a January morning, the sun rising behind the Grand Teton mountains, once again the word “the guardians” enters my mind. They overlook the valley, these three grand mountains, an ever-looming presence. Many people spontaneously say they feel them as protectors. True or not, people through the ages felt they had protectors in one form or another – plants, animals, spirits. Despite the advent of science, if we scratch beneath the surface that ancient sensation is still with us. True or not it gives comfort. And if it gives comfort, then it makes things better and thus can have real effects, easing stress; giving us the feeling something larger than us...

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-- by Susan Eirich, PhD (First published in Teton Valley Top to Bottom's 1999 Winter Edition) -- It’s snowing today, a thick, gentle snow. I had just returned from a visit to my very old mother, her life force still strong despite her aged body. At first light the moon was a pale luminescent orb in a pale white sky—harbinger of a coming storm. For now there is only the still soft falling of white flakes drifting down from the heavens. It started slowly, tentatively, filling the air with exquisite crystals, covering protecting. I read an article years ago that stayed in my mind—I cut it out to save it but never could find it again. It talked about how peoples of the Far North...