Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake, WA: Farewell Summer’s Eclipse

~ Please enjoy my column for the Loon Lake Times – September/October 2017 Edition ~
Copyright ©2017, ElizaBeth Coira

Summer’s sweet ease is slowly creeping, drifting away on gusty, dusty winds. The growth on the lower stories have advanced their shift to crinkly reds, bristly oranges, rusty browns, and yellowing greens. They are preparing to close up shop for the year, store away their sugars, and drop their amazing little solar panels. It won’t be long, Fall will soon be upon us. Luckily most of the evergreens stick around all year. They cheer our hearts as our constant green companions, their presence always the sign post for good green earth and clean air. The trees, bushes, and grasses seem to sense the seasonal shift, well before I’m willing to acknowledge Summer’s passing. And on the occasion of the August 21st solar eclipse, I wondered how all we living beings would respond, here around Loon Lake.

The solar eclipse was much-hyped in the media—no one could have possibly escaped notice. So I couldn’t help but join in on all the fervor, making my way down to the lakeside that morning. As I wandered across my community’s beach, the cheerful call of neighbors drifted on the breeze; my friends Jim, Pam, and Donna had already setup on their boat, eclipse glasses in hand, ready for the big event. I, however, was not quite so prepared, and very thankful to be invited! To my friends with the glasses, the eclipse had already begun; as for me, I could only speculate that it felt a bit dimmer, just a bit different. I wondered if I was really sensing anything at all, or had the headlines I read simply skewed my view.

All aboard! I jumped on ship, caught a glimpse through the glasses, and a great taste of simple, sweet amazement. Then slowly but surely more neighbors made their way out; and Jim shouted, inviting all to join us. Before we knew it, we had quite an impromptu party, all gathered and passing the eclipse glasses around. Some neighbors had never actually met, for others it was a great chance to catch up. The eclipse brought us together in curiosity, wonder, joy, friendship, and child-like awe. We all chatted happily about summer adventures, experiences and memories, life’s journeys and twists on the trail. We each noted a perceivable drop in the temperature, and enthusiastically encouraged the sharing and comparing of observations, through those funny little paper contraptions. We all found it slightly disappointing that despite “97% coverage,” in never went very dark. I jokingly told so many neighbors that if this was to be the end of times, it had been great sharing in life with them, here at Loon Lake.

Perhaps the beauty of the landscape has worked its way into the beautiful, kind people living around here. Perhaps we’ve all given over, allowed the gift of this landscape to transfigure our humble, lovely lives. Either way, and in between, I am thankful that the eclipse and Mother Nature has brought us together, to share in the seasons of life at Loon Lake. Though for some it may be hard to understand; my move to this nature-centered, kinder, simpler existence, has been the best decision I’ve ever made.

ElizaBeth Coira is a writer, poet, consultant, and Loon Lake neighbor. You can enjoy more of her poetry and photography at ElizaBethCoira.com or HomeGrownSojourner.com.

Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake: Summer’s Light

~ Please enjoy my column for the Loon Lake Times – July/August 2017 Edition ~
Copyright ©2017, ElizaBeth Coira

Summer has come at last to Loon Lake! The sunshine is here to warm our hearts, cheer up our spirits, invite us out; to wander this beautiful, wide, green world. What a wonderful time for personal renewal, and reconnection with family and friends; a blooming and blossoming in so many ways. All feels at ease, even at peace, at least for a moment in summer’s embrace.

Around the lake swallows dance, robins gobble, butterflies float, my neighbors call. Friends come to visit this gorgeous little corner of the planet…our very own piece of peace in paradise. The ducks take a rest in late afternoon’s lull. The turtles sun themselves lazily, clustered on logs. The osprey soar, swoop for a fish; followed by a bald eagle hunting, perhaps for her babes. The heron gazes silently into the watery depths, still as a statue, hungry yet patient.

And I…I am thankful to witness it all, sheltered in the friendship of ever-green trees. They’ve shed old needles and pollen for the most part; I can keep my windows open, without too much cleanup. Meanwhile red-winged blackbirds discover a neighbor’s new feeder, then hurry back to their watchtowers–swaying cattails protruding from high wetland grasses. As I kayak near, shrill calls sound the alert to nesting kin resting, hidden below. There are so many wonders to behold at the lake; an abundance of life bustling in this more loving climate. Luckily none of us are too busy to pause and be beckoned, for a bit of a rest in summer’s sweet sun.

I’m wishing you a season of joy, peace, renewal, reconnection, and so much more! Cheers to the sights and sounds of summer that we’re all lucky to share in here at Loon Lake.

~ Summer’s Light ~

May the light of friendship
Smile on my face
May the glow of kindness
Lighten the load

May the song of possibility
Open our hearts
May Love
Interconnection
Bloom in us all

May the waters of Life
Source and sustainer
Flow forth a reminder
Of all gifts of Life

Creepers, crawlers
Swimmers, stingers
Climbers, howlers
Silent green reachers

Walkers, runners
Resters, givers
Takers, sharers
Survivors, thrivers

All of us here
Could it be for a purpose
Why judge
Take a Life
Do you yet know your own

Love thyself
To know thyself

ElizaBeth Coira is a writer, poet, life skills consultant, and Loon Lake neighbor. Learn more about her creativity, visioning, and goal-planning workshops ~Loving You, Loving Life – Tapping the Well Within~ at HomeGrownSojourner.com/the-Well-Within-Workshop today!

Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake, WA – My Mother, My Earth

Mother’s Day was just yesterday…and the world is finally bursting into spring here in eastern Washington! The grasses are greening, the swallows have returned. Robins are fattening up on wiggly little earthworms. The frogs are singing, the wild turkeys are strutting, and deer are finally back in our neighborhoods.

As I wander the woods and shores around Loon Lake, I am awed and amazed by the intelligent interconnection and design of all of us living beings. It seems we’ve all been waiting anxiously for the lake to melt, for temperatures to climb, and for the fish to be awakened. I feel privileged to have glimpsed a loon on Loon Lake this spring, a rare sighting in recent years. She swam and dove, preened her feathers, then let out a series of her haunting calls. I am guessing her mate was nearby, and she was calling to say perhaps that it’s dinner time.  She dove way down deep, in search of a fishy bite to eat. I wondered what it’s like to see what she sees. I read loons can dive up to 100 feet; and I’ve heard Loon Lake is 103 feet at it deepest.

Would you share your fish with a loon? Most children I ask enthusiastically say yes. And so many adults I meet around the lake, are curious and captivated by the mystical loon. So many feel the love of Mother Nature pulsing through our veins; we see it too in the loon, and the towering Ponderosa Pine.

Why then do I see others, deliberately aiming their boats to run through a flock of waterfowl? Why then do I see trees “harvested” for no apparent reason—their carcasses and limbs left in heaps? Why then do I see piles of trash lining local roads, and even parts of the lake shoreline? What we do to others, we do to ourselves. Our planet deserves better, and so do you.

With Mother Earth and Mother’s Day on my mind; I reflect on my own incredible, loving, kind, caring, fearless Mother and Mother-In-Law. I can understand the love from my Mothers much like the love I witness all around us, courtesy of Mother Earth. I’m wishing you all a very happy spring… and summer too, right around the corner. As the lake population swells this season, as families gather together to enjoy each other’s company; please remember to consider all the beautiful life that lives and thrives around Loon Lake, and that our actions impact one another. We are lucky indeed to have heron and osprey, eagles, loons, turtles, and kokanee in our very own backyards. But the delicate balance that allows all of us to thrive, needs your attention…your care…your consideration. As a neighbor I thank you for helping to keep our lake ecosystem clean, healthy, and vibrant; together as a community we can ensure Loon Lake remains the special place that it is…not only for present, but also future generations.

In the spirit of Love, Mother’s Day, and Mother Earth; please enjoy the above poem I wrote for my own Mothers, accompanied by a photo of the sun’s reflection in the ever-inspiring waters of Loon Lake, Washington.

 ElizaBeth Coira is a Writer, Poet, Workshop Facilitator, Communications & Strategy Consultant, & Loon Lake Neighbor. You can enjoy more of her poetry and photography at ElizaBethCoira.com or HomeGrownSojourner.com.

Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake, WA – By ElizaBeth Coira – March/April 2017 Edition

~ Please enjoy my column for the Mar/Apr 2017 edition of the Loon Lake Times newspaper ~

The snows followed us late into February. Who knows what March and April will hold. Will Spring come to visit Loon Lake once more? I gaze out at the wild turkey and wonder what they know. I confess that while many I’ve met around the lake aren’t quite as enthused by their presence, the wild turkey to me are the true embodiment of the spirit of wild survival. I’ve watched a flock all winter long, wander the streets of my neighborhood; seeking out even the smallest morsel of nourishment, even seemingly where there is none. I say a prayer for all, but especially the smallest. I hope they will live to see a new day, to wander the path I’ve dug from street to door. It makes slightly easier going for their sweet, strong feet; and slightly easier foraging, to the fledgling grass below. I don’t mind that my path is littered with their “mines.” I’d much rather see that than no traces at all of their existence…their lovely little lives. It makes no difference to me whether they are “good eating” or not.

Why should I care so much for the turkey? Just as I treasure the towering trees? Why am I thankful for the later, longer snows this year? Perhaps I simply love what is. Perhaps my faith rests in all forms of life. Perhaps I trust that Nature knows more. Perhaps I have chosen to be thankful for all the experiences that define Loon Lake life.

Whatever it is, I still yearn for Spring; though I know she will come in her own time. As we enjoy these waning chilly days, and anxiously await sunnier, warmer ones; I’ll leave you with a poem of the sights, sounds, and season we all long for. May we all indeed bloom, once again, with Spring.

Lake Melt

Click
      Click
            Clack

Shiver
      Ripple
            Fizzle

The fish are waking
To swim once again

The water preparing
To make amends with sun
And run so far
From the icy grip of Winter

The pebbles are yearning
To sparkle and shine

The birds hungry
To dip their feet in time

The deer so thirsty
For their own reflection

And I am longing
To bloom again with Spring

ElizaBeth Coira is a writer, poet, consultant, facilitator, and Loon Lake neighbor. You can enjoy more of her poetry and photography at ElizaBethCoira.com or HomeGrownSojourner.com.

International Women’s Day

Wishing you all a happy and inspiring International Women’s Day!

We the common people–women, men, and children– must unite, rise up against this ugly tide…this shadow of a tyranny that has endured too long. We know it, we hear it, we sense it, we feel it…we cannot go back to the mistakes of old.

I’ll be sharing various pieces throughout the day that I hope you’ll enjoy–just click on the blue linked text to explore further:

Walk A While With Me Friend ~ The Women’s March Comes to Eastern Washington

 

Thoughts of Wednesday on Sunday

 

Stand Up Strong Girl

 

Enough

 

Duty

 

Woman You’re Amazing

 

Love’s Guidance

 

May the Sun Set on Hate, Greed, and Fear

 

F-BOMB — FEMINISM Isn’t 4 Letters

 

Sending Feminist Aid To France

 

Shall I

 

I Cry & Hope For Humanity

 

 

Food For Thought

 

Ring

 

Some Day

 

Strength

 

Poverty

 

 

One

 

Wild Woman

 

My Mother, My Earth

 

Light of Love

 

 

Recover

 

Where Do We Fit

 

Listen Child

 

Fingerprints

 

You’re Better Than That

 

Don’t Be Afraid

 

A Call to Civic Engagement

(A Patriot’s Love Song)

 

#SheMeansBusiness #BeBoldForChange #InternationalWomensDay#WomensDay #IWD2017

Walk A While With Me Friend – The Women’s March Comes to Eastern Washington

Please enjoy my article & photos for the March/April 2017 edition of the
Loon Lake Times newspaper 

Walk A While With Me Friend
The Women’s March Comes to Eastern Washington
Copyright ©2017, ElizaBeth Coira

In the brisk, early afternoon sunshine of Saturday, January 21, 2017 we gathered. We brought out our courage and homemade signs, we pinned on our hopes, and walked side-by-side. Some of us already knew one another as neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends. Some of us complete and utter strangers, were happy to share a moment in each other’s kind company. So many different, beautiful faces: women, men, children of all ages. It looked like America, the country I love, the country I’ve wandered… the country I’m proud to call my home.

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We gathered in Chewelah, numbering 125 strong. We gathered in Spokane, 8-11,000 strong. We gathered across the United States. We gathered across planet Earth. We common people came together, for so many reasons, yet united… against the shadow of a tyranny, not fully revealed. But we know it, we hear it, we sense it, we feel it…the worrisome presence of a most unwelcome guest. So many of our ancestors have known it, have fought it; been used and abused, too as pawns. It is the game of the unscrupulous greedy lords, slithering charismatics, self-anointed kings. Can you feel the scraps being tossed at us…while the coffers of elite egos grow ever over-flowing?

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Does that really feel like goodness? Does it make you feel at ease? Even at peace with a greater sense of order, justice, or higher being? Does the blame game found on early playgrounds, the bullying, belittling hold appeal in your heart? So many came out to march, to unite, because searching within, their answer is No.

Their answer is No to rule by fear. Their answer is No to control through chaos. Their answer is No to hateful rhetoric, designed to separate and subjugate us. Their answer is No to limiting our freedoms, based on the opinions of only a few. Their answer is No, we won’t forfeit our country, our great democracy of “we the people.”

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Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake, WA – By ElizaBeth Coira – Jan/Feb 2017

~ Please enjoy my column for the Jan/Feb 2017 edition of the Loon Lake Times newspaper ~

loon-lake_winter-2017_elizabeth-coira_homegrownsojourner

As the great wintery blanket of white and gray envelopes existence here at Loon Lake, I find my days brightened by the parades of wild turkey, quail, and deer roaming the snowy streets. I am cheered by the bald eagles circling the lake, on the lookout for a critical meal and sturdy nesting materials. I am thrilled to celebrate with neighbors, sharing in the joy of the season. And I am awed at the sight of snow-covered pines, stretching as far as the eye can see.

I am thankful for the gifts life has issued in my first year residing at Loon Lake… Continue reading

Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake, WA – By ElizaBeth Coira – Nov/Dec2016

~ Please enjoy my column for the Nov/Dec 2016 edition of the Loon Lake Times newspaper ~

loon-lake_fall-2016_elizabeth-coira_homegrownsojourner

Wonder Fall
Beauty beams
Through the trees
To signal Earth’s great changes

Reminds us to
Walk in wonder
Fall in Love
With Life again

I reflect on this poem penned a few years ago; as I wandered through the fiery reds, shimmering yellows, wilting greens, and burning browns of fall in southern Germany. As I scan the horizon, these words waft back to me; like the gleaming, heart-shaped leaf floating on the breeze before me, here on the misty shores of our beloved Loon Lake. It’s my first fall in eastern Washington, and I can’t help but stare in awe of the matchless, illuminating, golden glow; painting its way across our landscape, nestling between evergreens on the mountainside, tracing the waterline with every whispering gust of wind. Though our days grow darker, grayed by rain; and nights grow longer, as the Earth rotates; I still find myself walking out and wondering:

How did we get so lucky?

…Thanks in no small part to the trees. Their being simply allows us to breathe. Their corpses build our homes and firelight. Their changing leaves brighten our existence. Their ever-green needles remind us that these days shall pass on to greener ones; and that perhaps we too may stand strong in the face of storms. I am thankful for the trees; pillars of life, inspiration, love, strength, and beauty all around. Indeed they are among many of Mother Nature’s nurturing gifts…gifts that cost us absolutely nothing.

Kind of like the best sort of camaraderie enjoyed with family, friends, and neighbors. The holiday season is upon us, ushering forth opportunities to share a smile, meal, or moment in welcoming, warm environs. The Danes have a word for this, hygge, pronounced “hooga.” They’ve built an entire culture dedicated to cultivating a sort of “coziness of the soul,” not just in the dark and cold of fall and winter, but all year through. Hygge, which to me also sounds a bit like “hug,” can involve anything from candlelight to good food and drink; fuzzy socks to a lovely conversation. I think the Danes could be on to something, given the United Nations frequently ranks them among the happiest people in the world.

Here in the US, the holidays and days of cold can each be stressful in their own right; but the Danes certainly aren’t basking in sunshine at this time of year either. As you gather together with family and friends, perhaps by candle or firelight; some of you may dance around a tree; some of you may gobble a pumpkin pie or two. Let’s give thanks for the gifts all around…and I’m not necessarily talking about the ones found in a shopping mall; but rather the incredible existence we’ve been born into, here on Earth. Just look to the trees, should you forget; and give yourself a hug. Take a moment to marvel at the golden glow sweeping our Loon Lake landscape…and I hope you’ll join me too in wondering:

How did we get so lucky?

ElizaBeth Coira is a writer, poet, consultant, facilitator, and new Loon Lake neighbor. The poem “Wonder Fall” is featured in her gift book, Sending You My Love~ Little Thoughts on Life and Love. It’s available for purchase on Amazon.com, or to checkout at our very own Loon Lake Library! Part of the profits from book sales support women, children, and neglected animals through international aid organization, Project COLORS. To learn more, visit ElizaBethCoira.com or HomeGrownSojourner.com today!

Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake, WA — An Otter Story

Friends ~ I’m excited to announce a collaboration with the Loon Lake Times,  the local newspaper of my new hometown, here in Eastern Washington! My letter to the editor just appeared in the May/June 2016 edition,  to launch my upcoming column, Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake.

Loon Lake Times_Letter to Editor_May 2016

I am SO enraptured with this beautiful piece of paradise that we’ve stumbled upon, that I just have to share a longer version of my letter here with you! I hope you’ll enjoy the story of my first otter sighting on the lake this spring; as well as my reflections on embracing this new sense of a wild childhood, that I hardly knew I needed. I truly hope you’ll delight in the stories of my adventures here around Loon Lake…and perhaps they’ll even inspire you to head out, roll around in, and marvel at the great, wild, beautiful gifts of Mother Nature in your neck of the woods! I’m wishing you great love, light, joy, and peace always!

CELEBRATING LIFE AT LOON LAKE!
A Newcomer’s Perspective 
By ElizaBeth Coira – ©2016

Dear Neighbors,

The Common Loon

The Common Loon

I write to you today; not with a concern, frustration, protest, or fight. No…

Instead I write to you today with joy…admiration…and wonder.

Indeed, I write to you today in celebration… of the unfathomable, natural beauty that is Loon Lake… this incredible piece of the planet that we are lucky enough to call our home.

I write to you today in sheer awe… of the open, kind hearts; warm, welcoming neighbors; and committed, caring community that make life at Loon Lake a truly unique, special sort of treasured existence.

I write to you today to say thank you…  Continue reading

Are You Ready to Spread Some Love?

LOVE-By ElizaBeth Coira-HomeGrownSojourner.com

As we all know here in the US, Valentine’s Day is coming! And while our focus for this holiday is typically on the celebration of romantic Love; I’m reminded that Love nourishes our lives in so many different, other ways too…and thank goodness for that!

Just think about all the ways we experience Love. Isn’t it great to give and receive unconditional Love from parents, family and friends? There’s also nothing better than a loving snuggle from a sweet dog or cat to set the world a-right…Am I right?! Do you remember when you helped that random person, how great that felt? And what about when you took yourself out for a date, just because…

For me, there’s nothing like a walk in the woods, beside a stream, or into a vast untamed space to remind me that Love is in and all around me. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever given yourself permission to acknowledge that amazing energy flow that animates Life, in all its glorious forms? Have you ever felt that beautiful sense of interconnection streaming through your veins, roots, stems and systems? Have you ever had a chance to stretch out in the grass, suspended in the lovely smell of green all around; while feeling positively energized, embraced and serene alongside a joyous sunny sky?

As you can tell, I Love a good walk around Mother Earth…especially because it is in her presence that I feel a greater Love; a spiritual sense of Love and interconnection that has nothing to do with social institutions, belief systems, or governance structures…All it has to do with is simply being, existing, in the present moment.

My Simple Being Is Simply Love_ElizaBeth Coira

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