Thursday, December 26, 2013


It all began with Sam cat – that’s short for Samantha.  Oh, I had had many animal companions before her, beginning with a husky puppy who ran circles around me to protect me from other dogs when I was six months old.  However, Sam was the first one to talk to me – at least that I was aware of!

When Sam came to me I was newly separated and working on a divorce.  It was a painful time.  My roommates and I discovered we had mice, and I said I would really like to have a cat live with us.  They agreed that would be okay.  It seemed much preferable to traps (we’d have to empty them and we also didn’t want the mice to have a painful death), poisons (they’d poison us too!), or worse, the exterminator. 

A friend told me about someone who had two litters of kittens at her house.  I went to visit and saw this kitten eating.  She didn’t want to stop even long enough for me to pet her.  I wondered if she would be lonely.  The woman, who had to dispose of two litters of kittens, encouraged me to take two kittens.  I said I would try it.

It didn’t work.  They both cried all night long.  After two sleepless nights, I took the other kitten back.  Sam then settled in nicely.  She slept on my feet and played with my them every time they moved under the blanket.

To the end of her days, Sam always was hungry.  Perhaps it came from being one of two litters.  The mothers had stolen each others kittens back and forth.  It must have been confusing for the kittens, and I’d guess that not all of them got fed every meal.  Plus, I think they were weaned too early.

I always fed her.  She always loved me. 

We had a narrow balcony, and we put her litter box outside under the roof overhang.  The roof itself was her playground.

So we got on for the first year of her life.

One of my early memories of Sam is her circumnavigation of the bathtub when I was in it.  It was an old claw foot tub, so the rim wasn’t wide.  She nearly fell in a number of times.  Once she was playing with the water in the toilet and actually did fall in.  She couldn’t get back out over the rim of the seat. I was laughing so loudly that one of my roommates came to investigate.  She berated me for not getting Sam out and sent me after a towel.  Sam slinked away, studiously ignoring my laughter.  She ignored me for three days afterward.

Sam did not digest her food well in the beginning – she farted frequently.  She also used her claws a lot.  She would be sitting on someone’s lap and then fart and dig in her claws.  I was always surprised.  You might think I would get used to this behavior, but no, I did not.  I always yelped, and Sam always leaped down from my lap.  Finally, she’d had enough of this and stopped using her claws.  Gradually, as she matured, she stopped farting as well.

When she was about a year and a half old, I moved.  For the first time in her life she lived on the first floor and had access to the outside.  She thought it was heaven.  I lived, with roommates again, in a suburban condo with acres of green belt around it.  Sam would disappear for hours at a time.  She always came home for meals though.

Then she had a bladder infection.  I didn’t notice it at first, probably because she went outside instead of in a litter box.  One day I came home to find she had peed in the middle of the bed.  We found a vet, and he diagnosed a bladder infection.  I gave her the little pills faithfully, with some resistance on her part.  But the infection didn’t seem to get better.  Back to the vet.

He gave me stronger pills, and warned me they tasted bad and she’d not take them easily.  I was supposed to give them twice a day.  However, Sam would disappear for 24 hours at a time.  She came back to eat, and I gave her a pill and she disappeared again.  Finally, I read a book about a human who rescued a cat.  The author said that her gift to the cat was the rescue, while the cat’s gift was helping her to see her patterns with her mother.   Aha! 
My mother was arriving soon.  Could this be it?  I sat down with Sam and explained that I would deal with my feelings about Mom, and she could focus on being a cat and getting well.  Immediately she went to the bathroom sink and started drinking water.  And the bladder infection disappeared.

The next time we moved, I had to choose between two group houses.  I didn’t know how to choose, so I took Sam with me to each place.  In the first one, she sat down in the middle of the living room and howled.  I had never seen her exhibit such behavior, though the potential housemates did not believe me when I said so.  I could see it in their eyes.

I was apprehensive heading toward the second house.  Sam and I came in, and there was a group of six people seated in a circle in the living room.  I put Sam down.  She calmly began an investigation of the entire first floor (which would become her new home).  She stood in front of the closet door and one of my new housemates opened it for her to explore.  Sam even checked out the wheat grass growing in the dining room.  When she finished, she crawled up on a lap and purred.

We moved in the next day.

The owner was Starfire, my first teacher on a conscious spiritual path.  She lured me into doing kundalini yoga by bringing me ginger lemon tea and singing me awake.  I began to open and unravel the chains that bound me to the past.  As I did so, I went through periods when my whole body pulsed and pounded with the energy, and the roar inside my head was deafening.  Whenever I was most overwhelmed, Sam would come and curl up on my heart and purr.  She was always nearby when I needed her, loving me.

It was also in that house that we had a discussion about her hunting.  She had a cat “window,” created by the household handyman, Charles.  One day I heard a funny scratching sound behind my desk.  Since my desk was a six foot solid oak door, it was not easy to move.  With Charles’ help, I investigated and found a scared little mouse, whom I promptly released outdoors.  After a couple more times of this, I decided I must talk to her.  “Sam,” I said “You cannot bring mice inside.” 

There were no more mice.  The next thing was birds.  They were dead, and deposited on my grandmother’s hand-braided rug.  After a time or two of this, I knew it was time for another conversation with Sam.  “Sam,” I said “I know you are bringing me a gift.  I know this is in your nature.  I appreciate the sentiment, and I love you too.  However, I cannot eat these dead birds.  And you have not been eating them.  You don’t need to eat them since I feed you well.  Please stop killing birds.  I will love you just as much.  Thank you.”

There were no more birds – at least until the next house.

When we moved, I knew it was time.  What I had learned and opened up was enormous.  Yet I needed to become my own self, out of the shadow of my teacher.  We moved this time to a well-groomed brick house owned by a single mom.  Her daughter and a young man also lived there.  Just once did Sam bring in a bird.  It was still alive.  Sam and I had another talk.  This time I specified no other beings in the house.  And please don’t kill or torture any living thing.  So far as I am aware, she never did kill or torture another animal or bird.

As I grew and learned, so did Sam.  We were living in a ground level apartment, and she had access to the outside through the "cat window" that Charles had made for her years before. 

We moved a number of times after that.  Sam began to show signs of flea allergies.  There were no easy solutions.  When I found her bleeding from sore spots I decided I had to keep her indoors.  I used one of the new integrated pest management flea bombs to clean the fleas out of the apartment.  Sam sat in the window and looked out longingly.  Finally I saw her leap from the window of the first floor apartment – down about twelve feet.  She was fine, of course.  Yet I felt her need to be able to go outside.

We finally moved out of the city to an 18 acre parcel.  Sam spent most of the first months outdoors in the tall grass.  I let her out first thing in the morning, and had to find her to bring her in when it was dark again.  There were other cats in the household.  When the one cat that was older than Sam finally died in her sleep, Sam became the Queen of the house.  She relished the role. 

I was adopted by another kitten, Misty.  Misty tried very hard to make friends with Sam.  Sam would have none of it, and made clear that she was in charge.  They co-existed quite peacefully though, and almost became friends. Still, Sam no longer slept on my bed.  A year later I was given a very large dog, Shama.  I talked to Sam about it first, and she said it would be alright.  Sam had been my spirit companion, teaching and loving me, guiding me and pushing me toward my destiny.  With Shama, Sam felt replaced.  She had agreed to this, yet had not realized it would be so painful to let go.

Sam started sleeping in the spare bedroom. 

When my housemate moved, there was a big shuffle.  I moved to a temporary trailer, and a month later moved a mobile home onto the property for myself and my companions.  Sam, now eighteen years old with joints deformed with arthritis, did not like it at all.  There were stairs to negotiate and she didn't have her own room anymore.  Even the bedroom was up a few steps.  I looked at her and knew she was thinking about dying and was scared.  For six months I did my best for her, knowing that she was unhappy, and that I really could not give her what she wanted.

One day, my friend and landlord mentioned that Sam had been coming back into the big house through the cat door and they had been pampering her. Since Fran didn't mind, I didn't think much more about it.  Then Sam spent the night there – in "her" bedroom.  The next night, Sam was back in my home, and actually curled up in her old favorite spot near my head. 

I woke up crying, having had a very unusual dream.  In the dream I was left behind, while my beloved person moved with her dog and the other cat.  I caught up with her, and then she moved again and I could not find her.  I felt despair, terror, loneliness and anger.  I realized that Sam had "sent" me a dream, crying out all her feelings.  I felt guilty and anguished.  I told her how sorry I was to have caused her so much pain.  And that day I pampered her.

The following night, Sam went out the cat door.  This was amazing, since it was about a foot off the ground, and Sam found it a challenge even to walk on level ground.  The first time, I brought her back inside.  The second time I moved the stool from in front of the cat door so she couldn't (I thought) get out.  Finally, the third time, I went outside to talk to her and realized she would not stop.  I said goodbye and went back inside to cry myself to sleep.  The next afternoon, I felt her leave her body behind. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nine Eleven

Don Manuel had said he would not come back to the U.S. again.  Then 9/11 happened.  Don Manuel brought healing to the site of 9/11.  He had planned to work with people in NewYork, Chicago and Washington State.  In New York and Chicago no one signed up for his teaching.  In Washington State, though, there was a full house.  Everyone I spoke to in this special session was absolutely certain they were meant to be there.

It actually started with an open forum with Don Manuel in Skagit County.  One of my friends brought Auntie Vi Hilbert, who was revered in all of the tribes of Washington.  I don't no what she saw in me, but she counted me as a grandaughter.  After the presentation, My friend brought Auntie Vi to the the edge of the stage.  Immediately Don Manuel beckoned to her to come up on the platform.  Three of us took the post of guardians.  Auntie Vi was speaking in her native language and Don Manuel in his native language.  The most interesting thing to me was that they absolutely knew what the other was saying.

Finally the day had come for us to go to Orcas Island, where we would be for several days.  Jose Luis translated for Don Manuel.  It was apparent to all of us that Don Manuel had something big in mind, but we didn't know until the last day.  We had a full room: about forty people.

The Incan way is to have a "Mesa" with sacred stones.  It is energetic, and very personal.  When I was in Peru, I gave a stone to Jose Luis.  He gave me one of his.  The Mesa shows who one is.  Don Manuel looked at every single mesa.  This was a major process because he had to look and understand what the stones in each mesa were about.  I can't say what anyone else's mesa was about, but Don Manuel knew what I was about.  I am certain that he knew everyone of us, especially the inner being.

Once he had checked out our mesa, something much more important happened.  Don Manuel gave all of his knowledge, and even more, his energy, to every single person in the room.  Once it was done, we made a collective into a whole body of light coming through all of us.  We literally became one.  I will never forget!  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I have never been even a little bit rich.  However, I had a very good education, and I helped people for quite a long time.  Education is one of the best ways to get out of real poverty.   But I suspect that in many places in the world, there is no free education.

Do you remember the school  in Africa that Oprah created?  There is a reason for that, and a purpose. Africa is still struggling for food, medicine and education.  Often there is no way to get anywhere except by walking.  I walked to school when I was young, but my school wasn't but three streets away.  There was one period of my young life that I couldn't walk to school.  But we had a free bus ride.

How do the impoverished countries of the world become part of a real Global Community?  Only if we make sure that education, good food, and necessary medicine.  It is up to those of us who can contribute, even in small ways.

Monday, October 14, 2013

After Machu Pichu

After Machu Pichu, we rode in the mountains on beasts that looked like ponies.  They were very sturdy and they knew how to stay on the trail.  Don Manuel took us to a high mountain plateau, where he checked each of us before we had a special ceremony.  Some of his friends were with us.  When he went past me, he said that I was a strong Shaman.  We heard some of what Don Manuel wanted us to learn.

Later we took the train back to Urubamba.  I was weary and got sick.  Fortunately it wasn't serious.  After a night and a day, I was fine to go.  There was a body of water, part of the Pacific Ocean and we were told that there is a feud over the water rights.  We went to a fancy hotel just a few yards away from the water - the first and only since that first day in Cusco.  I went down to the pier, sat for a while, and took some of the water in a small bottle.

The next day we set out on a boat. We landed on a small community that was built of reeds.  The people lived on fish, and more from the tourists.  After a while we got back on the boat and went to an island.  We were guests in different homes on the island, and we were tired and went to our beds as soon as we had dinner.

The Peruvians on the island were agricultural, and they also made clothing, pottery and just about all they needed.  We got to know our hosts.  They were very sweet and wonderful.

We had more experience of the Peruvian Spiritual way.  Some of our group went up to the top of the mountain.  Sadly, my lungs  -- and my entire body was not up to it.  We did go to an unusual store.  Each family had a table of their handiwork for sale.

I had given a stone to Jose Luis. I had done that because the still small voice pushed me to it   As we were getting ready to go back to the mainland, Jose Luis, and Mary's husband each gave me a stone.  It was without words, but I knew indeed what this was.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Machu Pichu

I was excited: we were on the way to Machu Pichu on the train.  When we arrived we went to a hostel at the base of Machu Pichu.  It was clear that all of us were excited to go to Machu Pichu. We had dinner and went to our beds.

The next morning we gathered to get on a bus going up to the mountain.  The bus ride was up a narrow road.  The driver seemed quite serene, and I suspect he had gone up and down many times.  We did get to the top safely.

The Incas have what they call mesas.  They might have taken it from the Catholic Mass, or it might be about the Rocks.  The Mesa is mostly rocks.  The rocks have power.   There were guides.  One of the interesting I realized is that those guides knew exactly what we were doing.  At one point we were told to work with our mesas.  There were "rooms" without a ceiling.   A guide was with some visitors, and as soon as he saw what we were doing, he directed his tourist away from where we were.  Another time I put my mesa on a huge and very special stone altar with a rope around to block so tourists wouldn't touch it.  But when I put my mesa at the bottom of the altar, the guide who was explaining to tourists, he nodded.  This happened a lot. Our group was special because we had been learning the ancient traditions of the Peruvians.

We also had an unusual night at another pleace: the Death Stone.  This ceremony was led by Don Manuel.  It wasn't about physical death, but a way to let go what each of us needed to.  Our soul was sent out of our bodies and came back clear and pure.

Another day we went into a caves farther up the mountain.  There were more ceremonies, and we each were were given all that our guide had of power and blessing.  These words cannot convey what all of us felt, and what we received.

All of this took a couple of days.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Don Manuel


Urubamba was a small place, and yet it was adequate.  We had dinner, and then went to bed. 

After breakfast the next morning, we sat in a room in a circle.  Not long after, Don Manuel and a few others of the Inca arrived.  What was most astonishing for me was that Don Manuel looked right into my eyes.  It felt like eternity, but I suspect it was less than a minute.  He made a connection that I could not yet fathom.  I don't remember much of what he had to say, even though his words were translated.  It was his presence that was so wonderful.  It was the beginning of Don Manuel gently poking me, calling me to be all I could be.

But I had a bad case of flu.  We all spent some down time, and the next day we climbed on a six feet high rock Serpent, which we were told it was sacred.  Snake is my ally, and I felt the connection. Next we went to a kind of Pyramid, except the layers made steps to climb.  I decided to stay at ground level.  Between the flu and the high mountain air skimpy on oxogen, I decided to stay with Mary and Don Manuel.  I opened my "mesa".  It is a kind of altar, but much more than that.  I started to work with it, and Don Manuel said it wasn't quite right. He made some motions to show me what he wanted me to do.  Immediately it felt so much better.  With the next breath he said "We go".  And go we did!

Next was a time in the market plaza. The people were mostly quiet, and didn't look to me to be very prosperous. I bought something just to give something to the people. We then went into an actual building and I looked at one piece. I looked at Don Manuel.  He was looking at me and shaking his head. Not the real deal is what I understood.

Don Manuel laughed alot!  I have a picture from a friend who was on the same journey.  She caught him laughing.


Thursday, September 19, 2013


A good friend set out to Machu Pichu yesterday morning.  We had a conversation about Machu Pichu and his life before he left to Peru with his wife.  He was adopted as a baby, and had recently found his birth family.  He had also quit his job.  He is in search of his highest self.  All this brings up my journey.

I went in a group to Peru some years ago.  We did indeed go to Machu Pichu.

I had found a teacher, who had so much impact on my life and my beingness.  Mary was and still is a major teacher.  I learned ways to heal: not just for myself, but for others.

There was a piece of the teaching that we each had to go through.  It opened so many doors I had shut in my inner being.  In the process, I saw the Peruvian Master teacher, Don Manuel.  He was a simple man in some ways, while on the shamanic level, he was incredible.  He was also in my dreams, teaching!

From then on it was amazing.  I had very little money, but I put my down payment.  Surely my guides would help me! Mary asked me if I wanted to get my down payment back.  I said no. As we got closer to the time of departure, I began to wonder whether I was just being foolish.  But no - there was a woman who had a scholarship fully paid.  She was pregnant and there were complications, and her doctor said there was no way she could go.  Mary called and told me I had a full scholarship!  I got a passport, just barely on time.

I packed my bags and went.

The journey to get to Peru was long and I was tired and hungry.  We arrived in Cusco, the major city of Peru.  Our guide, Jose Luis, met us at the airport.  We went by bus to a hotel, where we ate and rested.

We were in Cusco for a few days, getting acclimated to the high altitude.  Then we went to Urubamba or Urupampa (Quechua "flat land of spiders"), a small town in Peru, located near the Urubamba River under the snow-capped mountain Ch'iqun. Located one hour fromCusco, Urubamba is the largest town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is also located near a number of significant ruins of the Inca Empire, including Machu Picchu. Tourists often come through the town on their way to visit these sites.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rare Encounters

When I left my busy life in Olympia, the Capitol of Washington State, I moved to Whatcom County.  My time was my own, and did read quite a lot.  I had no idea it would be so satisfying.  Even more, I learned a great deal about birds.

One of the things I did was feed the birds. There was a Vine Maple right outside my window, and I put seeds out for the birds. I hadn't any previous experience, but I had a couple of books and watched what they did.  There were lots of small birds:  Chickadees, Robins, Swallows, Finches, Bluebirds, Starlings, Sparrow, and more.  I enjoyed watching them.

There were larger birds: Flicker, Cardinal, Crow and even Raven.  But the most interesting was a large bird, looking straight at me.  It was longer than a yard long, more than the width of the Vine Maple.  I had no idea what to do.  But I looked at my bird books, and talked to an expert.

Cormorant!  Usually Cormorants stay close to the sea.  Where I was living was about five miles from the sea.  That's not a difficult flight for this bird, but this young one was confused.  There wasn't really anything I could do: I couldn't even give food and water.  Eventually the bird flew.

Later, in a different and bigger house, I continued to feed  the birds through the winter.  I saw many different species.  I have two bird feeders through the winter.  One is for the smaller birds, and another somewhat bigger, and easier for the larger birds.  I also put out suet. The most interesting was a Northern Harrier, sitting on our roof.  I went to my bird book, and found this is a rare bird.  It didn't come close to the bird feeders.  This one couldn't have easily gotten food out of the feeders anyway, and it flew fairly quickly.

There is a dead tree in the front of the house, which I covered with Hollyhock, a leafy vine and two different Clematis.  It also has a hole into the center of the tree, just big enough for two Flickers.  And so our tree became a Flicker nursery.

One of my favorite bird siting was when I was driving South and saw a huge Snowy Owl going the other way.  Snowy owls sometimes come South in the winter, but this was nearly summer. It was about five feet away, and the bird wasn't higher than where I was in my car.  I can see it still!  It was beautiful.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Computer Wizardry

I remember my first awareness of computers.  It was 1967.  I was 18 years old, and at school at the University of Iowa.  The computer took up the space of a whole two story building. 

Now, 46 years later, everywhere there are smart phones. And today, I read a prediction that tablets will be the computer of choice.  And even my humble cell phone is a kind of computer able to send messages and browse the web.

I also remember the first time I saw a car phone in 1980.  A friend was a doctor and needed to be available even when driving.  His phone was huge compared to my cell that fits in my relatively small hands.  The doctor's wife had a Macintosh, but I didn't have the money to buy one. 

It turned out that my first computer was a MAC, and I loved it.  I had it for quite a long time - about 15 years. 

I searched for a place to take it, and found a group who would take computers for people who really needed them but had no money to buy one.  I remember that they had posted what they would or wouldn't take and I figured they wouldn't take mine.  But no . . . they were excited to get it even though it needed a lot of attention to spiff it up. 

In 2000 I went to work in Olympia, the Capitol of Washington State.  We had much faster computers, and people who could fix them.

Most recently I bought an HP all in one -- there is no tower.  I'd love to have a MAC, but I don't have that budget.  I'd also like to have a tablet.  Maybe soon.

I wonder what will come next!


Monday, June 24, 2013

The Way Home


          My Cousin Darlene and my Mom took me to Milwaukee to catch my flight home.  We all got on the plane.  But ...  there were some problems.  The plane needed some help - a LOT of help.  The plane was also going right through Houston shortly after the tornados went ripping through near enough to be another caution for me. They made all of us get off the plane.  I had noticed the woman seated across the isle from me was crying. 

          We waited, and waited, and waited.  The woman who had been crying told us that her father was dying and she wanted to see him before he died.  Still crying she asked to find the fastest way to get to Southern California.   That took a while.  There was a woman next to me that said we needed to pray.  There was another woman on the other side of me.  We all prayed softly.  My sense of it was that we were enveloped with angels.  We stayed with her while the airline people searched for the fastest and best way for this woman.  She did get a plane to Southern California.

          Then the plane was finally ready.  I had to make a choice.  I really didn't want to go to Houston.  Beside the tornados, my Dad would have to meet me at SeaTac at midnight, and probably longer because of the two hours of repairs.  So I decided to get a different plane.  I found a man from the airline, and asked him if I could go straight across the country.

           This wonderful man gave me a first class seat going from O'Hare directly to SeaTac.  And since I would have stay overnight, he gave me vouchers for free for a place to stay, and for dinner and breakfast, and the Coach to take me to O'Hare.  My Dad didn't have to travel late at night. 

           The very best was that I had my first time in first class: wonderful food and wine, and it was really comfortable.  The man sitting next to me told me how to open up the table when our food was served.

           When I got to SeaTac, I found my luggage very easily.  And my Dad's car was just outside the door. 

           The last miracle was that we drove home the before the bridge on I-5 collapsed! 


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cousins, Aunts and Uncles

My Mother lives in Wisconsin, while I live in Washington State with my Dad. So I go to Wisconsin most years.  Both Mom and Dad came from large families.  Eighty some years ago there was no birth control and children worked on the farms.  Thus, although I am an only child, I have lots of aunts, uncles and many cousins.

My most recent visit was in May of this year.  I went with a purpose -- to visit as many family members as I could.  I got my wish.  Of course I spent a lot of time with my Mom, but spent time with family I hadn't seen for a long time. 

My Mother's eldest sister Lorraine is still alive at 94 and clear as a bell.  She uses a walker, but otherwise she seems more like 84.  While I was talking with her she said "I have only six years to get to 100"!

Lorraine has a daughter, Darlene, and four sons.  The boys used to tease me and my cousin Margaret.  For example, they told her she had to pump the cows tail to get milk.  She almost got kicked.  One of the boys died in a car crash a few years back.  While I was visiting with Lorraine, her youngest son, Gene arrived.  I hadn't known that I would get to see him.  It had been decades since I had any contact.  Later that day we had dinner with two of Darlene's brothers and their wives.

We spent most of a day with another of her brothers, Lyle, the eldest, and slept at their house.  That was interesting because as a child, I rarely even saw him because he was was so much older.  His wife, Ella Mae is a really wonderful woman.  She has hearing problems, and yet she communicates very well.

One thing I really liked as we travelled around, was the beauty of green rolling hills and valleys.  Ina way it reminded me of Whatcom County, in Washington State, where I live.  Both are green, and both have hills and valleys.  Yet Wisconsin doesn't have actual mountains as we have in Washington. 

Another of the places we went to was Madison Wisconsin.  My Aunt Yvonne lives there.  When we arrived at her door, she scolded me for not having visited for too long.  She said, "I haven't seen you since 1986!"  Then she smiled.

Then there was church, and another cousin from a different family.  He was leading a session on money issues for the church.  He was as surprised as I was!  A couple of days later he came to Mom's apartment and spent some time with Mom, another aunt, and me. 

Every thing comes to an end, and Darlene and my Mom took me to the airport in Milwaukee.  I checked my bag and then the fun and challenges began. 

See you in the next chapter!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Beauty of Whatcom County

          I have lived in a variety of places: born in Anchorage, grew up in Chicago and Iowa, law school in St. Louis, and then to Seattle.  More recently I moved to Whatcom County.  It is my favorite place to love.
           Eastern Whatcom County has wonderful mountains around three sides: South, East, and North.  One of those mountains is Mount Baker.  It is majestic and beautiful.  The native people of this area, the Lummis, call it Komo Kulshan.  There is a wonderful story about Komo Kulshan, of love and envy:

            A long journey south of them stands their mother, Clear Sky.
You know her as Mount Rainier, (seen in the 'Paramount' pictures at the end of movies, in the cinema!)

            There was a woman named Fair Maiden, who planted seeds and roots.  The seeds she planted there grew and spread, and that's why the lower slopes bloom with flowers of every color. Often on a clear day or night, the mountain dresses in sparkling white and looks with longing at Komo Kulshan and the mountain children near him.

             What I love most about Whatcom County is the abundance of green: trees, farms, blooming flowers and tall cedar.  It always stirs my heart.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Whatcom County and Komo Kulshan

              I love the place where I live:  in Whatcom County.  The mountains divide
the western county from the east.  And in the west is the bay.  There is lush green almost everywhere in Whatcom County.  When I drive through the county, I cannot help soaking up the beauty of the trees on the rolling hills. 

              One of the most prominent part of the scenery is Mount Baker.  It is the tallest of the mountains in our area.  There is always some snow on Mount Baker, although in the summer there isn't much. The volume of snow and ice on Mount Baker is greater than that of all the other Cascades volcanoes (except Rainier) combined. 

              Mount Baker, along with Shuksan, have a special place in the lore of the native people of this area.  also known as Koma Kulshan or simply Kulshan, is an active volcano.

              Komo Kulshan, a very tall and handsome young man, had two wives, as was the custom of his tribe. One was named Clear Sky; the other, Fair Maiden.  As you might guess, there was quarreling.  Eventually Clear Sky packed her bags and left.

               Fair Maiden became an island, and Kulshan, left with his children in the mountains of the Northwest coastal range, kept stretching upward, trying to see his wives. So did his children.

                The Three of them grew taller and taller and became high mountains. One is Shuksan, a little east of Kulshan and almost as tall. Some people say the others are Twin Sisters, a little west and south of Kulshan.

                 A long journey south of them stands their mother, Clear Sky.
You know her as Mount Rainier, (seen in the 'Paramount' pictures at the end of movies, in the cinema! )

                 The seeds and roots she planted there grew and spread, and that's why the lower slopes bloom with flowers of every color. Often on a clear day or night, the mountain dresses in sparkling white and looks with longing at Komo Kulshan and the mountain children near him.