Author Archives: Daniel

About Daniel

Father, husband, but most of all lover of life, nature, and the divine feminine

Snake in the Garden

While outdoors early this morning, admiring the beauty next to the levee, I was startled to see this guy looking at me. He was grey, quite thick, and had faint stripes. After researching Kansas snakes we’re still not sure what it is. Possibly a young Eastern Water Snake.

Posted by: Daniel

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Filed under River Living, Urban Farmsteading

Daniel speaks: The cottonwood seed and my first coaching call…

Did the giant cottonwood tree intend to get that big, or was it just open and willing?

Outside our home, up against the levy, next to the Kaw River, is a huge population of giant cottonwood trees. And now is the time of the year that it is literally snowing cottonwood seeds.

It is a meditation all by itself to sit and just watch them float, and drift, and lazily meander to the ground. There is literally no effort in their journey. They could travel for miles before they come to their final resting place in the warm embrace of the Earth. They don’t care. They are just happy to BE.

Yet, just like the great Buddha said, inside that seed is the giant cottonwood. It is already a reality. So what makes the difference?  What determines whether one particular seed will fall at just the right spot on the earth, be covered by the exact right amount of soil, be exposed to the right amount of water and light to germinate, sprout, grow, and become that giant cottonwood?

I think the very first ingredient for the future manifestation of the cottonwood tree is the carefree nature of the  seed. It first has to let go, and just float. Let the wind and the pull of the Mother carry it where it needs to go. Without that innate, total freedom, it would never land where it needs to.

I just did the very first coaching call of my new life coaching career, and it went extremely well. Thinking back on that session,  my mind goes to the mighty cottonwood tree.

Those seeds are like our many dreams, visions, intentions, aspirations – that which we are called upon to BE. Our beingness is within the seeds of all we dream to become. We have many potential outcomes and realities, all happening under the magnificent sky of our souls.

That which we allow to unfold is far more magnificent than anything we could ever plan to achieve. Yes, we have our visions, our clearly stated intentions, our aspirations, our goals… and we release them… and…

and….

and….

then what?

The journey between releasing the seed and witnessing the cottonwood is the subject of many thousands of books and seminars, classes, courses, teaching, techniques…

and most of it is a mystery.

A mystery of letting-go, action without strain, witnessing, meditating, flowing, acting on hunches, synchronicity, miracles, people coming together at the right place and the right time.

In closing, I would say that one ingredient in allowing the seeds of our intentions to become the cottonwoods of our reality — better than air — more nourishing than sunlight — more refreshing that water — more magical than luck…

is love.

After we envision them, release them, watch them dance and float to the ground with a smile on our faces, we need to find where they land…

sit…

smile…

and pour our greatest love into them.

Posted by: Daniel (originally from his blog Behind the Greenhouse)

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Filed under Order & Balance, Peace, River Living, Simplicity, Thoughts & Insights

Daniel speaks: The awesome power of soil

planting late strawberries today

The other day, my son Prasad and I were preparing the garden bed to plant strawberries, and this thought came to me and I spoke it aloud to Prasad:

“As long as I keep my hands in the soil I will never get depressed.”

Prasad looked at me with a confused look on his face and I repeated it. I explained: as long as our hands are in the earth, as long as we are working with the soil, as long as we are connecting to this earth, we will never be sad. Our mother will always keep us happy if we root our beings in her.

Since that time, this truth has born itself out. On the days I am able to get my hands dirty, planting, digging, etc… I am extremely happy, enthusiastic about my life, clear headed, etc. And… on the days I am not able to dig and plant, I don’t feel so good.

Today, I planted strawberries until the balls of my feet ached and I could only hobble into the house. I noticed that it was like a “hit” of endorphins that smacked me in the brain. It felt amazing. I never knew that gardening could bring so much pleasure to my brain, heart, and mind.

(I wondered how it would feel to actually be those soft, tender roots. How wonderful they must feel: nurtured, hugged, loved, enveloped by the moist, dark, beautiful earth. They have found their home again.)

My dad (although he had a lot of problems of his own) was a voracious gardener. The garden was the one place I think he connected to a power greater than himself. He always got up at five in the morning and put on his rubber boots and dingy green robe and worked his many gardens. He always wanted me to go out with him, planting, weeding, etc. But I hated every minute of it as a kid. It was boring.

Now, many years later, I am amazed that gardening would bring so much pleasure. Maybe my pops is standing beside me, smiling, as I work the earth.

Just as he did.

posted by: Daniel

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A Brilliant Coop Idea

I could not resist sharing this ingenious Covert Chicken Coop photo published in the most recent Mother Earth News magazine. What a perfect idea– it serves the exact same purpose as a separate chicken tractor (about $159.00 at our local feed store), and offers the same type of grazing potential, protection from flying predators, but with far more square footage. We have a similar trampoline on the South end of our shed where they’d get a lot of sun, shade, and yummy bugs & worms, so we’d like to try this by mid-Spring. These types of set-ups are not meant as a full time residence. Due to predators, they’re recommended for daytime grazing only, unless you offer an actual secure wooden coop or Eglu under the trampoline for them to sleep in at night. It’s also helpful if the chicken wire is staked to the ground. Our hens are going to love this, and just imagine all the greening it will do for the lawn!

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Filed under Chickens, Do-It-Yourself