Peaceful Flurries

from phone 053

Snow falls peacefully.

Wind blows fast and hard.

I hate missing you

throughout this chill.

Winter has taken over

inside of me,

numbing what I know,

freezing all reality

as I stare into the coldness.

Silence appears

laying in the whiteness…

I wish I was snow

and you

the shovel scooping,



me up towards you.

The beauty of moments

is that you never know

when you are making

a cherished memory.

Mine hold many of us

frozen somewhere in time.

Severity over Serenity

I woke up today to silence. I had only slept two hours the night before last. At around 9:30AM gunshots began on the mountain in front of our property. They lasted until about 8PM. I spent most of my day on edge, ducking past windows, and my nerves horribly tested with each sound of the pistol or whatever the many apparatuses were used. By evening, when friends stopped by, I was ready to have a nervous breakdown. My right eye was twitching, hands shaking and my heart was having all sorts of palpitations. I don’t like guns. As a matter of fact, I am being kind with that statement. I hate weapons.

Violence goes through me in a way that reminds me of oppression, control, blood, anger, hatred, and any sort of emotion attached to death. I don’t like being in a house with guns, or having a conversation about them. I respect everyone’s choices. I understand there are collectors, admirers, hunters, law enforcers, etc. I am also aware that guns don’t shoot themselves. People are responsible. The power in a gun enlarges the egos of those holding it. I don’t know what it is about having the knowledge that you can kill someone to bring out control and emotional distortion of dominion.

So, imagine spending a day when all you hear is gunshots as if you were in a third world country or a war zone. Imagine the energy in my peaceful retreat center when guests wonder what is happening in the mountain. The ordinance in this part of the “country” allows for shooting until 11PM. With each shot in the air, I tried to compose myself until I couldn’t any longer. I became a raging lunatic towards the end. I was cursing, yelling, and practically on the verge of tears. An entire day of those bang-bang-bang-bang broke me down. It came and went in intervals of 10 – 15 minutes of quietness. I was not my happy self. I was someone trying to control the fear of violence in my past: a rape and years of physical/emotional abuse.

I thought about the wars in the Gulf, Middle East, Germany, and all over the world. I thought about the fear and sadness that must be carried over the people and their land. My heart sinks in sadness to think of all our military men and women whose lives have been casualties of war. I couldn’t help but think this morning about how one can survive that type of violence. I am so proud of each one of those who stand for this country with bravery and admiration. I don’t know how they do it. In the end, I don’t know if it has repaired anything in any country. Severity over serenity seem to not cure anything in these times.

I can’t blame the Good Ole Boys for wanting to drink up and have target practice. It’s a free space up there in “them mountains.” I can’t blame the hunters for gaming season and wanting some fresh meat. I am not responsible for world peace. I am only responsible for my surroundings. Unfortunately, when their shooting affects my business then I have a problem. I have an issue with the disruption of serenity on my side of the mountain. I also have to say that I am appalled that no one else in the area seemed to mind those gunshots at all. Are we so used to carrying anxiety, anguish, stress, and anger that we don’t hear bullets flying out of a gun for an entire day? I am to assume that these are also the types of people who have the news channel all day long on the highest possible volume.

We live in delicate times. People are walking around overly stressed, mentally exhausted, and emotionally depleted. Time seems to be accelerating and everything is in sensory overload. We can blame it on the economy, political times, religious absurdities, sexual indiscretions, mental disorders, or whatever else can be conjured up as an excuse so we don’t have to take responsibility for our own thoughts and behavior. We are all responsible for our own lives. Violence in any way (whether mental or physical) doesn’t solve the problems of the world. They add to the creation of fascism, dictatorship and world oppression.

May you find a place in your life to meet peace and pass it on to others around you. I continue to send thoughts and prayers for world peace in my meditations. Tranquility, serenity, a peaceful mind starts with YOU.

**note: As I was finishing this blog I received a call from a grandfather to rent out the cottage for 7 days. He just lost his grandson in the Marines. Listening to his heartfelt words about renting the place for his daughter to have some peace for a few days sent me to a place of grief and compassion. My heart goes out to the Moore and Carl families. Our deepest thoughts and prayers for the loss of your 22-year old Hero. May you find the strength in God to carry you all through these difficult times.

The Natives are Here


As I write this I sit comfortably on a seat in a corner table inside of Starbucks near Downtown Asheville.  Jazz music is playing on the store speakers and the wonderful people of this town parade in and out with complacent self-esteem.  There is a peaceful quality to the natives here.  They aren’t in any rush to get anywhere.  The way they aspire through their fashion flair speaks volumes of their grounding energy.  This place exudes a sense of self and individuality I haven’t witness in many places.  Even the workers – “baristas” take their time with passing eloquence as they prepare each cup of java or tea. It seems it is all in the art of allowing the moment to take its course, rather than pushing and shoving it with resistance.  The people are just like the brewing of coffee or tea…they take their time in the “now” without truly rushing the process.  It’s all in the comfort of ease.  The rhythm seems to move to the jazz music  – a melody that dances throughout the streets of Asheville.

I can’t remember the exact moment I felt at home in this little gem of a town.  The first time we came was May 3, 2010.  Two months later we were living up here.  I think it was immediate.  We came into downtown to eat while staying at the motel we now own.  I never seem to fit anywhere other than the country side of Ireland.  Here I felt that sense of finding my ground again.  I now joke that I am a high-class hippie:  I like showers, perfume, heels and indoor comfort.  But a part of me has acquired that demeanor of “whatever ” (on most days).  It’s difficult for family and friends to understand since they knew me before I became a native to this magical land.  I have been countryfied.

Asheville is composed of people who have come to visit and found themselves being called to move here.  It’s magnetic.  There is a sense of belonging, loving, and nurturing in this earthly civilization.  These natives know that this is the real world.  Everything out there is not!  But then again Western North Carolina is mystical with all the natural elements of mountains and waterfalls.

I hope you come here, if you haven’t already, and witness firsthand the love from this deeply rooted community I get to call home.  It’s not just the arts or nature.  It is the people that draw you in with their welcoming smiles.   Asheville is definitely a happy place!