i have a small heart

わたしのチイサナココロ [i have a small heart] is a short documentary accompanying one woman's journey along the Kumano Kodo through the Kii mountains of Japan. This ancient pilgrimage route, one of only two Unesco World Heritage pilgrimage sites in the world, is considered the spiritual heart of Japan.

Bajir Cannon/ Maki Itami Cannon/ Megumi Ueno

What to Remember When Waking by David Whyte

What to Remember When Waking

by David Whyte

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,

coming back to this life from the other

more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world

where everything began,

there is a small opening into the new day

which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.

What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough

for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible

while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.

To remember the other world in this world

is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth,

you are not an accident amidst other accidents

you were invited from another and greater night

than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window

toward the mountain presence of everything that can be

what urgency calls you to your one love?

What shape waits in the seed of you

to grow and spread its branches

against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?

In the trees beyond the house?

In the life you can imagine for yourself?

In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?

from The House of Belonging, Many Rivers Press

The Nature Pyramid: Are You Getting Your Recommended Doses?

The Pyramid, called The SHIFT Rx Challenge Pyramid was informed by Florence Williams’ research in her book The Nature Fix, as well as Tanya Denkla-Cobb/the Biophilic Cities Project’s “Nature Pyramid.” The SHIFT Rx Challenge Pyramid indicates optimal “doses” of nature. From daily micro-doses that can range from exposure to daylight and plant life multiple times per day to annual multi-day excursions into wilderness areas where people can disconnect from technology, the Pyramid offers recommendations for duration as well as location of nature contact.

“Time spent outside in nature is good for us,” said Christian Beckwith, Executive Director of The Center for Jackson Hole, SHIFT’s parent organization. “In an age when the average American child spends seven hours per day in front of screens and seven minutes in unstructured play outside; rising obesity rates add billions of dollars to health care costs; opioid addictions outpace car accidents as the leading cause of death; and the growing disconnect from nature, particularly in our urban areas, leads to stress, depression and increased levels of mental anxiety in our citizens, time outside has never been more important.”

(To learn more about SHIFT Rx and the 2019 SHIFT Rx :Nature as Medicine Festival in Jackson Hole in October, visit http://shiftjh.org.)

Do you need help getting your recommended doses? I have two offerings:

I hope to see you on one of those. Anne-Marie

Crossing a Creek by Martha Courtot

crossing a creek

requires 3 things:

a certain serenity of mind

bare feet,

and a sure trust

that the snake we know

slides silently


just beyond our vision

will choose to ignore

the flesh

that cuts through

its territory

and we will pass through

some people think crossing a creek

is easy,

but I say this—

all crossings are hard,

whether creeks, mountains,

or into other lives

and we must always believe

in the snakes at our feet

just out of our vision

and we must practice believing

we will come through.