Spiritual Connection

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Spiritual Beech Trees of Catalonia, 2018

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” (Martin Buber)

Such it was for me. After the tram ride though long-dead, eroded volcanoes we had lunch then showed up again at Lava Parc for our next adventure – a carriage ride to see the beech forest. I kept asking Xavi “are we there yet?” “are we there yet?” and he patiently said “…..you’ll know when we’re there.”

And I did. The carriage lunged up a hill and slowed down in a sea of green – the beech forest. We all grew silent and the guide told us this grove of trees exists because of a particular soil mixture that occurred due to the volcanoes. And, these trees only grow here, in the heart of Catalonia, and in Iceland.

We slowly clambered out of the carriage, which left us to hide behind a curve in the road.  Our chance to experience this place without intrusion.  As we fanned out I left the group and went into the forest.  Touching a larger beech tree I began suddenly to weep.  Tears flowed from emotions deep, deep within me, and would not stop.  I wanted nothing more than to lay here in this forest and sob.  Most of my photos are blurred from emotion.  My reaction was not unnoticed by Xavi who, when it was time, came to help me out of the forest.  Tears blurred my vision.  My family, who know me well, gave me lots of hugs and we left the forest behind.  I am weeping while telling the tale.  This was an unexpected experience, a surprise reaction, a truly rare moment that I’ll never forget.

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ImageSkirts of Angels (C) 2005 by Debi Bradford


“Religion is for people who are afraid to go to hell. 

Spirituality is for people who have already been there.”

Bonnie Raitt


I love Bonnie Raitt; her music, her spirit, her Life wisdom, her strength.  Her words resonate with me this morning.  Everyone has something going on in their lives.  Cancer, mental anguish, physical challenges, family difficulties, terrible work environment, something.  One affliction may be more awful than another but unless you are RIGHT THERE IN THEIR SPACE, one cannot judge, one cannot pooh-pooh their condition. 

Enter empathy.  My goal in Life, daily, is to be empathetic.  Listen to the other person.  Open my heart.  LISTEN and actually hear them.  Imagine myself in their place.  Do not add to their angst but flow with them like water in a rocky brook. 

Not just people but also the animals, Earth’s creatures, and the Earth herself.  Be empathetic to the trees and water.  FEEL the Earth.  Literally lie down on her surface and caress her grasses, grab hands full of soil and smell it, cup water in your hands and let it spill back to its source.  Release creatures from your homes – do not automatically kill a snake or spider for they, too, have their purpose on this Earth.  Be empathetic.  Be more than yourself.  This is my goal. 

There are people here in the blogging world who have so much knowledge.  I am forever grateful for this place, this space, within which I learn so much.  Thank you all for sharing so much of yourselves here. 


About the photo:  2005 at Wheeler Lake, North Alabama.  A wide spot along the Tennessee River where I lived at that time.   I had just gotten my new Canon 20D and was busy exploring the world of digital photography.  My home office overlooked the river.  Always an early riser I was up well before dawn.  I couldn’t see anything for the fog but once the sun came out and began to burn it off I witnessed swirls of cotton candy lift up off the water and dance into the sky.  Naturally, I went out to try my hand at capturing what I was seeing but couldn’t imagine the images turning out like they did.  I believe something else guided my hand that day for this, my favorite image of the day, defines my Spirituality.  This is my  Column of Light.

Practice Resurrection

All text excerpted from Wendell Berry’s “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.”

Inspired by blog post How to Practice Resurrection and Earth Day Every Day, Through the Luminary Lens  by Bruce Thomas

Imitation is the truest form of flattery.  My friend Bo Mackison and I decided to honor Mr. Berry’s text and Mr. Thomas’s blog post with our personal interpretations of the same.  To see Bo’s blog post honoring the same go here.


Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.


ImageSnowcones Copyright 2014 by Debi Bradford


When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.



Momentum Copyright 2013 by Debi Bradford


So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.



Rosy Dawn Copyright 2007 by Debi Bradford


Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.



The Hidden Green Copyright 2007 by Debi Bradford


Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.



Ponderosa Pine Copyright 2012 by Debi Bradford


Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.



Sunset Buckeye Copyright 2008 by Debi Bradford


Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.



New Friend Copyright 2013 by Debi Bradford


Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.



Salt Marsh Copyright 2013 by Debi Bradford


Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.



Beach Tracks Copyright 2014 by Debi Bradford

Practice Resurrection


The Thickening



Personal growth, emotional growth, Spiritual growth.  These expansions can be detected through what I call a “thickening.”  Just like the physical growth of children where they stop growing upward and their bodies thicken in preparation for the next growth shoot so does our inner realm, our soul, as we prepare for the next emotional, personal, spiritual phase of Life growth.




This is where I am – a “thickening.”  Artists need quiet time of absorption and reflection in order to bound forward into their next phase of creativity.  Sit, ponder, observe, think, write, stillness, listen, absorb.  Two people introduced to me in the blogosphere have recently, one unwittingly, given me new tools for my personal thickening.

Bo Mackison, “Artist, Writer, Guide” and excellent Photographer, has been a source of inspiration for many years now.  Recently, we met in person for the first time and I discovered a Soul Sister.  Bo’s Desert Wisdom Cards have become a morning ritual for me since her visit last November.  Bo always surprises me, challenges me in quiet ways.  She gives me support, friendship and guidance.  Photography as a metaphor is something she does incredibly well.  She always makes me think.   If you would like to say “Hi” to Bo her website is http://bomackison.com/.

Cnawan Fahey will be surprised to see his name here since we’ve only very recently “met” in the blogosphere.  I have begun following his Sunrise Sadhana blog feature with intense curiosity.  His words are awakening something deep within me.  I’m not sure just what is awakening but I figure it’s part of the thickening process and look forward to following my heart and soul to see where this awakening leads.  If you are curious as well about Cnawan’s Sunrise Sadhana please visit his blog at http://etherealnature.com/.




Today’s Desert Wisdom Card is QUEST.

I look forward to seeing what the day brings, or rather what I bring to the day.



“You have to grow from the inside out.

None can teach you, none can make you spiritual.

There is no other teacher but your own soul.”

Swami Vivekananda


Today: Working on my Spirituality.


The ocean, its waves and winds and moods, have become a meditative labyrinth.

Here, I practice deep breathing and vanishing negative thoughts, focusing on positivity and good health.