Monday Evening Meditation
Swirling in an everchanging complex organism we hook ourselves to the matrix and hang on for dear life
Hairstyles are important. Here we have some historical examples, clockwise from the upper left.
The sleek bob. In the mid-'20s, the head-hugging, sometimes shingled bob was popular -- a perfect match for the cloche.
The sculptured roll. Longer hair, rolled close to the head in assorted formations, like this forward roll, was well groomed but chic for the more serious '30s.
The poodle. This casual curlyhead style of the '50s was set with 125 curlers and required frequent permanents.
The bouffant. The thick pageboy, the bouffant, was set on large rollers, teased to create fullness, and sprayed heavily. Regular salon visits were a must.
I used to grow perfect peppers. No matter where I was, what kind of soil, acid and what-not, they grew with enthusiasm. Big, green , and shiny. I think one year in Colorado Springs something got on the leaves, but other than that, it was clear sailing until harvest. They're my favs.
I'm an Aries with an Aries rising, as you know, and I'm always up for a new adventure. My Venus in Taurus likes comfort, but I'll have a cozy nest in no time. I can't wait to see what kind of eggs Zelda will be laying. She's high-strung and unpredictable.
The terror of the terrorists, the government, Big Brother, the New World Order, and all assorted conspiracies is rising once again. The ever out-of-control victim is doomed as usual. All predictable. I just read an article about the infiltration of criminals into our very own government and the scare tactics, but who's foolin' who? Ths author was expressing nothing but terror.
The first and foremost response to threat is, "do not be afraid". An Aries knows this is the only way. So as Mars fiddles with the collective paranoid mind, the NN in Aries is here to remind us. We will survive and triumph.The human race is clipping right along.
This terror is a natural part of everyday life, and no more than it ever was. All people in history have thought the same thing .... that they are in the worst, most dangerous time yet. This is a complete fallacy. The fear of the New World Order and global demise is exactly what the creators want. They are nowhere near as powerful as some insist. These poor victims are projecting their personal fears, and for some reason, want others to tremble too.
While it's true that the leaders committed such acts as the destruction of the World Trade Towers and the perpetuation of worldwide conflict for their establishment of dominance, there is too much infighting and lack of cohesive leadership in these ranks to ensure success. The Aries warrior gets this. Clear as a crystal bell.
And, of course, there are too many cosmic factors.
As most of you know, within this frightening expulsion, came the discovery of potential life on another planet in space. I expected this but not so soon. This is part of Pluto leaving Sagittarius, and our belief in something out there. So far, the people of this planet have felt alone in the universe and this has been a large part of this terror. Aries also knows this, since he is well acquainted with aloneness.
I think a lot of human behavior until now has been motivated by a fear of the emptiness and darkness beyond the earth with no protection, no familiarity. I also thought that the new physicists and astronomers would find life, thus diminishing our feelings of alienation and fear.
The time has come. As the years ahead unfold, and we become more familiar with outer space, I believe we will be less inclined to make deities of our rulers, as history has always done. We can begin now to put their power in perspective. We are probably not alone, and the voyage of discovery is just beginning. We can put some of our fears aside and revel in the glory of the universe, possibly devine protection, at least for these last moments of Pluto in Sagittarius. Before we start battling those guys out there.
Illustration by Peter Sis from Starry Messenger.
The North Node in Aries is seeking encounter with himself. After years of looking for his reflection in others' faces, he finally has come to the clear and still mirror in which his own face appears. The separation that existed for so long brings ecstasy to this meeting. The person he recognizes as the one he's always wanted.
While the SN in Aries has grown weary of looking at his familiar visage, the NN doesn't yet know this person, and only wants to look longer and further to make his aquaintance. Every NN in Aries knows exactly why Narcissus fell in love with himself so rapturously, innocently, and completely.
Survival. The NN Aries is here to live. He often comes from some weakness in the family line and a renewed vigor is found in his protoplasm, as survival is paramount, and he surpasses those before him. The challenges of living do not daunt him as he grasps life and gets ready to ride. His senses are keen, his mind is alert, his reactions are quick, he's excited to be alive.
Dominance. This NN is unafraid to charge fully into his environment and take control of his immediate surroundings. The turf is his, and while other people can easily deal out abuse as they establish dominance, the NN Aries has the skill to be the top dog with elan, sincerity, and rightness. He knows he is the best in many ways and is motivated to prove it. The world respects his position and falls in line behind him knowing they will be expertly led. The more the Aries accepts and uses this urge, the better off everybody is. Shrinking and following is a dead end, only shortchanging the group, which always needs leadership in this fundamental in-the-field way. He is the scout, ahead of the pack, looking out for its safety. Vital to its survival, as well as his own.
Aggression. The immediate uninhibited thrust into experience is the right of an Aries, and the way he performs best. Timidity is not in his interests. Many abuses of aggressive behavior have been noted by the experts, but not with this NN. He was designed to butt his way through, leaning into the environment with no holds. If people get hurt, it's their doing. They should not get in the way. He's on his own path, not intentionally targeting anyone else, so the best place for others to be, is beside or behind him. When this nodeholder triumphs over the fear of bothering these others, he's on his way.
Search for identity and the fire within. Early on when the NN Aries is defining himself through people, he knows it's only a matter of time before circumstance pushes him out in search of his own perspective. After the initial encounter with his reflection, he progresses to the study and testing of the things he can become. His identity is so undeveloped that he can actually create himself to his specifications. Once he extricates himself from what he thought he was in people's eyes, and possibly after fear and confusion, feeling so naked, he starts to perceive himself from his pure responses, exclusive of others' input. This is one of his greatest joys; knowing his singularity no matter how much it conflicts with popular opinion. And it often does. No one sees through everything more precisely than the Aries NN, forming his own opinions, making his own judgements. Knowing he is right.
Coming from the loving and cooperative air element, he is embracing the instinctive fire of personal actualization. The fire burns at its hottest, brightest, and most intense in Aries. He is inspired by himself.
Strength, vitality, potential energy, and power. The Aries NN is discovering his strength and feeling his muscle. Like a newborn animal that must stand immediately to survive, the Aries NN has this much determination. Having given a great deal of power to others, he now is ready to use it for himself. The fear of denying them can sap his strength until he realizes how much there will be left over to help people anyway. The internalizing of this power in order to manifest his unlimited potential is the option. Aries is the metal in the life-giving blood that flows unimpeded in his veins, creating vigor that flows from himself into the world. He is primed and capable of great feats, surprising when unleashed, and highly creative when unrestrained. Ambition is at its highest point in Aries.
Courage, confidence, and will. The fearlessness that defines Aries is at its best in the NN. Intimidation by others or feeling beholden to them has grown useless, since these demands and desires are out of synchronization with the Aries NN's destiny. Once he establishes his solo path, a newfound belief in his abilities emerges with great impact. He knows he can do anything if he decides to do it. The world bends to his demands as people recognize the force they are encountering. When he takes charge, things work out not only for himself, but everyone in his realm.
Leadership. At first it can be terrifying for these nodeholders to lead individuals, not wanting to be responsible for any misfortune that comes their way. But after years of seeing them constantly misled, some feel the urge to step in and take over, rather than watch the group sink under faulty guidance. There is frequently a purity to the Aries fire that people trust. He maintains dominance not by punishing or belittling the people he's leading, but by clear directed action, arousing them to follow. He might not be a great administrator or a cooperative part of a complex system, but the job of leading others out of danger, or to an improved situation, is his. He has the confidence if he doesn't slip and get misled himself. The world moves ahead in his care, although he might choose to remain solo and leave the group entirely behind.
Independence and pursuit of his own aims. Going off alone is vital to the NN Aries, whether he's leading or not. After lifetimes of supporting the creative ventures of other people, this native is bursting with potential, talent, and goals of his own. Many things interest him and now he has the time and space to follow his desires. He can finally develop his skills apart from social pressure. It scares him to leave the heat and noise of the crowd, feeling like the people will disappear and leave him lonely, but the only way he can pursue his vision is to separate at least temporarily. The crowd goes nowhere in reality. He can rejoin at any time. But he often discovers that the more he entertains himself, the less he needs the rest of them. And when he does go in for connection, it's with less dependency and more pleasure, especially as he shows off his new and improved persona, that gets better with each journey out. Participation without drainage. Often when the NN Aries gives too much, he feels drained and loses the joy of participating. He goes off resenting people and feeling ignored. As his independence grows, however, he finds genuine enthusiasm for socialization returning, and the empty drained feeling turns to energy and robust enjoyment. He finds out how much he, as an individual, has to contribute and wants to go back and do it again, better than ever. Real respect and approval. In the beginning when people admire this NN person, he often changes the subject being so used to flattering others for his survival. As he develops his identity and confidence, a new kind of approval comes, much more substantial than he knew before. This makes the effort all worth it.
Honesty. One of the finest traits of this nodeholder is his honesty. He sees the pretense all around him and remembers well the need to compromise the truth in order to gain approval. He is now ready to abandon this practice and fully express his likes and dislikes no matter what the consequences. The freedom to be his genuine self is one of his greatest joys, and other people are often entranced by the clear light that emanates from his eyes and his refreshing ability to tell it exactly like it is. Autonomy. This person's life is his own. He has carte blanche to do what he wants to do, when, where, how and with whom he wants to do it ...... go where he wants to go, and be who he wants to be. No one else gets this ticket but the NN in Aries. He's payed in full.
Saturn points one along the path of destiny and duty. The planet delineates the boundaries of the known world, but it is also the place where the individual is required get beyond these boundaries in order to evolve.
Blockages encountered under Saturn build strength and ability.
An individual who has mastered the curriculum laid out by Saturn knows the difference between right and wrong. If he suffers, he should have at least some idea why. This moral and ethical seasoning confers the power to function as an authority in the social system. Presumably, he is fit to govern others because he has proven the ability to govern himself.And here we stand. Nearing the end of the Saturn transit of Leo as the last direct motion has begun and this dense planet will be leaving for Virgo on September 2nd. Two and a half years of intense ego development, lessons of power, dominance and leadership, realization of creative talent, and the search for significance, personally and collectively.
Saturn signifies the completion of the building of a distinctive ego structure. The individual now acts in his own right and imposes on his surroundings the order he has labored to internalize. He is capable of shaping society as society originally shaped him. Through the upholding of accepted laws, he ensures the continuity of the community so that, although he eventually dies, civilization endures as a monument to his endeavors.
Marcia Moore and Mark Douglas
Saturn often erects a wall while the work is going on, and once construction is complete, and the system can function successfully, the wall comes down. The effective governing begins. Every individual is at a slightly different stage of evolution, and for some, now is the time to recognize the needs, and start to prepare to take the lead in whatever realm is indicated. Leo and the Sun are at the center of a system in some way, somewhere. Everyone has a Leo sector in the chart, where Saturn has been training us. When he goes into Virgo, it will be time to get to work.
These last sweet moments can be fruitful and in this case, the stuff of dreams, since Neptune will be involved until the end. Evaluation of abilities and establishment of genuine confidence can proceed. Many people fail at good leadership because of a lack of true self confidence. Love of self translates into love of others, and into love of the world. And even if the spotlight is small in radius, each individual has a part to play, and will likely take the lead at times.
In terms of our own government it has been astonishing to observe the collapse unfolding. The incompetence, corruption, and deceit revealed in full light of day. Faulty leadership. Unsalvageable. Many of them are of the Pluto in Leo generation, and have been particularly influenced by this Saturn transit of Leo. The Pluto in Leos are interesting. The infinity of desire in its sometimes ruthless pursuit of attention and domination, masking feelings of unlovability, is common with this placement. The magnitude of need is really impossible to describe. Saturn has put the clamp on this, at the same time, has been developing potential elsewhere. It's happening especially with the new environmentalists who are starting to emerge with dignity, style, and even power. They will grow and join their immature, greedy, and grasping compatriots, as Pluto in Capricorn orders. It will all be interesting to witness. Even though the common denominator remains at a less than magnificent level and will continue to do so, enjoying the grade B crime and horror show, the best of humanity will also play a part, perhaps with some added recognition.
So as Saturn chooses ones who have learned, some people will feel the responsibility to contribute as Pluto goes into Capricorn to specifically evolutionize society and government. They will be needed, and in time ..... appreciated.
I'm going to make the most of these last Saturn in Leo days. And maybe watch some walls being disassembled. Even get in the act.
I purchased a comfortable pair of little black walking shoes and spent the first year next to the canal, pondering, remembering, breathing, and moving in a steady rhythm, until I found myself slowly establishing balance and evolving. I especially liked the ducks who make the sweetest funniest sounds I know of. They enjoy themselves, and I see them swimming together and apart. Some ducks mate for life, I think, some travel solo, at least some of the time. They were good company.
Decay is essential to the continuation of life. It provides the fertile ground for new growth. Scorpio is associated with stagnant water, poison rivers, and matter which must be eliminated to maintain healthy systems; the birth and death cycle that continues eternally in natural rhythm.
This new moon in Aries with the coming full moon in Scorpio is worth paying attention to, since within the last year, the Aries-Scorpio theme has been repeated several times. Something is getting through. Aries with Scorpio is the sword that cuts away the decayed matter cleanly, swiftly, and completely, although it might have taken a long time to get ready for this decisive moment.
When Jupiter was about to leave Scorpio last October-November you may recall the great stellium that occurred with the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. During that time there was also an Aries Full Moon. I remember it well. With this came the dramatic Democratic victory, heralding political change and an end to the decayed phase being endured. We are now experiencing more of this release as the lunation is digging deep into the pockets of our society to rid the collective of the waste. It's time to cut it loose and there is no better way than with an Aries New Moon.
The same course of action applies to people's personal lives. I'm deleting three specific things from my life and getting ready to forge ahead.
When I think of Aries, I think of the source.
3rd house. Misunderstandings, breakdowns in communication, and out and out lies are potentials with Mars through this fun house. Being the home of siblings, there is always the chance of discord occurring there, but the reverse could happen, and new lines of exchange can open up.
Sometimes connections are unable to be completed, or fade in and out, as you seem to be trying to communicate with a ghost. Or you have to explain things a thousand times. And the car, or the minivan, or whatever it is that carts you to your destinations ..... these creatures occasionally go on the fritz. It's also happened that the dream car appears. However it works out, getting from here to there can have complications. On the other hand, poetry and inspired ideas are anxious to bounce out from a Pisces third house.
4th house. Make sure you have a backup supply of Kleenex, preferably purchased on sale. Sadness is common with Mars in Pisces through the 4th. Accumulated hurts and sorrows can be aroused, along with the usual 4th house fears, now really revved up. Retreat is often desired, but this can lead to beautiful moments in withdrawal away from the commotion and frenzy of the outside world. With this desire, sometimes comes an urge to make the home more spiritual and add gorgeous touches to the environment to soothe and remind you that not all grace is lost in this brutal world. There are pockets of gentleness somewhere. 5th house. A ticket to melodrama is often included with Mars in Pisces through the 5th. Then again, the most inspired performance ever seen is a possibility, either by you or the favored actors. Dissipation in partying can happen if you are that type, and if you gamble, you could hit the jackpot or lose it all. The children can present huge problems or they could entertain at the family reunion, keeping them jumping and clapping. You could get the lead in the play you've been dreaming about for ages. A good thing, too, when the love affair dissolves and the broken heart needs a new infatuation. Or you and the new love will have an unforgettable night of theater. In any case, the show must definitely go on. 6th house. So the routine goes to pot, or doesn't seem so satisfying. So what? And things can easily start going haywire on the job, if someone doesn't pick up on the fact that you just figured out the best way to get the task done. Or they could criticize you for being sloppy, not seeing their own inability to keep it all in tight order. If you lose a job, you could just as easily find a temporary ideal one. If things fall apart, they could just as easily magically realign. Can't tell. One of the best things to do in all of it, is to remember the purifying spiritual moments always necessary for Neptune-6th house types. Routine as religion, work as worship. 7th house. Don't marry him. Give it a few weeks. But a spiritual retreat might work out well. At any rate, try to keep your wits about you, not completely unattainable... really...with a Pisces 7th house. If the intact partner is troublesome now, it will probably correct itself soon. Briefly. And if she wants to bring out her old guitar and sing love songs to you at midnight under the moonlight, by all means encourage her. If you can't win any arguments now, rest assured, that probably no one will. And if you want to find love on an ocean cruise, you just might. 8th house. Do not go crazy. Drown in paranoia. Get weak from hypercrisis. Feel like murdering the ex. It's not as bad as you think. Even if you lose a fortune. You could just as easily inherit one. The minideaths of everyday living, along with the big ones, can be understood in the whole picture of existence. The eternal transitions. Even though Mars can whip up psychological discomfort in this sector, he can also bring truth in illumination with Neptune. The pain can be managed, as usual. So can the joy. 9th house. I highly recommend not going to India to see the guru just now. In fact, the pundits at home should be taken with a grain of salt from the Neptunian sea. In and around the professed guidelines to enlightenment, though, are some real glimpses into other dimensions. The words might just penetrate now with a longed-for meaning that previously eluded you. On the other hand, one of those sea cruises with a saint on board might work. And if that fails, then you can always talk to the dolphins. They'll tell you the truth. 10th house. If the top of the ladder just disappeared, do not worry. It will come back. You don't have to transcend the earth plane entirely to achieve your goals. You might feel like chasing the illusive rung especially fast now, but I would imagine, the destination will keep moving one step ahead. In the meantime, the feats you've already performed are worth admiring. Maybe someone above you will recognize your distinction, if they're not occupied with dissipation and failure themselves. Confusing power struggles are nothing to be alarmed at. The authorities are just as lost as you are. Reaching for heaven is a stretch, so it will take time. 11th house. Do not despair about the human condition entirely. It will seem better in a moment. I know you wish you could do more, but just feeling the struggle is really enough. Of course, any amount of volunteer work, or help extended toward the unlucky and downtrodden is more than most do. At the same time, it's easy to go overboard with your own visions and then dip into disillusionment, but it all evens out. Some of it can actually come into being, sometimes when you least expect it to. Keep wishing, and in the meantime, inspired gatherings with your enlightened companions can do wonders as we all search for progressive, good-hearted connections with our fellows. Somebody's got to do it. 12th house. Don't ask. Just grab your life preserver.
The worst can happen with Mars in Pisces, or the miraculous. Hard to predict. And don't forget Uranus and the North Node, now in Pisces, along with the Saturn-Neptune opposition. Good luck all you deep sea divers. And best of fortune to you surface snorkelers, too.
illustration by Jane Kay.
Conflict. There are many variations on this theme. Sometimes these natives fight frequently, sometimes they put it off until a major explosion occurs. There is an underlying discomfort with the disruption of peace and harmony, but the inability to refuse to compromise eats away at them, creating ongoing resentments. They often feel an initial impulse to stand their ground, but find themselves weakening as they fear the inevitable disagreement. They have a difficult time establishing boundaries, yet feel the urge to defend themselves as the lines drawn get more and more vague. The Libra SNs know all there is to know about maintaining successful relationships, and quarreling is a necessary part. The problem now is that they are drained by this effort, yet fear what they really want to do .... walk away. And best of all, keep the conflict from happening in the first place, unless self-initiated for good reason. Continual bickering keeps them trapped in burdensome explanations and justifications. They would rather act than explain. Apologies have lost their effectiveness.
Getting one's way, making demands, and winning. Speaking up and demanding decisions be made in their favor can be very difficult, especially when someone else seems to lose in the process. To be accused of being selfish is ghastly, but this is exactly what works best. Me first. It's not selfish in the way others think, it's smart and necessary. The competetive urge is as powerful as it gets, yet when push comes to shove, they back away from coming out on top. Always putting other people's needs before their own has become archaic. Doing what they want is paramount.
Andre Citroen, the greatest of European car-makers, was known for his commercial flair and inventive genius. Who would have thought that the creative imagination of modern homo sapiens would get us into so much trouble? Just tinkering at the table with with his toys.
This is a 1902 Oldsmobile Curved Dish, the first mass produced car in the world. And so it began. I remember just recently how joyously we sped along the roads burning fuel to our hearts' content without a worry. The cars got bigger and grander, the speed faster and faster, the trips more extensive, and the gas more expensive until man's genius led to the dilemma in which we find ourselves today. Not uncommon really. Many inventions are notorious for this.
What amazes me is that it only took a little over one hundred years to get to the thick and sticky wicket we're presently in. This makes me think we could get out of it just as fast, using the same imaginative genius. That would be a good dill for everyone. Alternative barrels.
If you see me comin' better step asideThis particular bird was perched on the side of a fruit crate carrying grapes from California early last century. Those crates were wild.A lotta men didn't, and a lotta men died.
Aries on an orange crate
Hopes have been especially elevated with Pluto in the Galactic Center and the great Mayan prediction of major sudden transformation in 2012. Unlikely. Natural selection determines our gradual transmogrification, as traits best suited to the environment develop little by little. Everything mutates and changes according to habitat, beyond our control, fortunately. Exactly like this pine tree pictured above. It chose the characteristics that would encourage it to survive the conditions, incorporated them, and reproduced them over a long period of time. The surroundings influenced its growth. I just came across a fascinating article about apes, hominids, religion, and natural selection. It theorizes that humans evolved the way they did partly due to a spritual perception that favored survival. It's common to everyone on the planet. As the Moon in Sagittarius now crosses Jupiter and stationing Pluto, I'm once again reminded of these great cycles and what to expect. Pluto is given the job of evolutionary change in mass consciousness, according to astrology. I would personally love to see the end of religious hypocrisy, murder in the name of god, the political vulgarity, and the emergence of good leadership along with an anthropological understanding and acceptance of human differences and cultural diversity, but I'm realistic. It will take many revolutions and cycles until the current patterns no longer fit the needs of the time.
These plain metal buckets, made in the early 20th century, originally had none of the appeal of color, surface, and wear that they have acquired over years of use and which lends them such character and charm.
The human face, in particular, fascinates me as time etches the personality on the surface, and replaces the false images the young labor to project. The character creates a visable map, the emotions are no longer hidden, and the real self emerges, as Saturn works his wonders on the human form, both good and bad. The knee might be creaky, but the skin of some old ladies is glowing and magnificent with pink and aquamarine jewels dangling from their ears, rhinestones encircling the muti-faceted necks. I've grown to trust Saturn, by natal placement, by transit, by horrifying square to Mars, and by instinct as I approach old age. Time removes the sting of each pain, adds breadth of experience, and brings knowledge of life and death.
Things came to a standstill for me today, and with the Scorpio Moon, I know another ending has arrived. Perfectly timed, holding the opportunity for new directions.
Bridges, gates, and arrows, are what I associate with Sagittarius. Portals to a larger dimension. Higher aims. I pause. Take a moment to reflect and prepare for the continuation of my spiritual journey, leading me where? ..... I know not.
I'm on the bridge, I discover, drinking in the quiet of the woods. So much ahead.
George Meredith makes a good point about day and night. Even by day, the place is dark, yet at night, it deepens even more and fears are magnified. What realm is this? Does the blackness take one closer to the hidden destination? Odd that getting "out of the woods" as they say, is safety, yet going into the woods is usually pure delight. Why would mundane trouble be associated with this magical place?
Forests always beckon, both in reality and in stories. I think they must represent people's subconscious worlds, with the darkness and the plethora of hidden creatures. Sounds and smells are amplified by the moisture and the conductivity of the solid wood. The canopy of leaves offers protection and imagination takes flight. Fairies, elves, witches, wizards, leprechauns, and assorted sprites are known to reside there. Children find escape from tedious chores and tormenting parents, since they usually can wander freely, climbing trees, swimming streams, chasing wild animals, and bringing their fantasies to life. Great alliances have been made and broken in these hallowed green halls. The interior journey is promised, taking us further and further, seeking something specific, I think, although I can't imagine exactly what it is.
According to my astrological rulership book; wood, woods, and woodsmen, are ruled by Saturn and Capricorn. This does make sense, although I think the Moon and Cancer are also involved, with the womblike entrance and enclosure. Maybe the protective parental axis is symbolized. The Moon is imagination. Saturn the structure of cellulose. And he's also behind some of those funny forest beings. You know. The wily ones.
Is this Bigfoot or yet another sequoia? These trees certainly are well-loved. Something protective, it seems. When I'm traveling in America, people pick up on my accent and tell me they would love to come to Australia, but they believe we have too many dangerous animals. It's true we do have a few, but they rarely bother you unless you do something silly.
It's amazing how fear can creep in and try to stop you from fulfilling your destiny. I have learned that preparation helps to avoid desperation, but in the end the journey must go on, and it doesn't make sense to let fear put fences around our dreams.
In Denali National Park in Alaska, we had been warned about bears. I told our informant that we would have faith, but in the end we settled for bear bells, and decided we'd make as much noise as possible, so as not to surprise a dozing grizzly.
Although we had no problems with bears, we did meet up with another one of Denali's infamous residents. We had just finished shooting a full moon at sunrise. We were back at our bikes, and I was just strapping my tripod onto the rack, when I saw my friend - eyes big as saucepans- looking toward another small lake and mumbling something. He was making weird hand signals, sticking his thumbs in his ears and wiggling his fingers. In exasperation he pointed to the lake. "Moose!" I yelled. "Yes, he said, and it's huge!" He jumped on his bike as the moose came thundering toward us. Thanks to a healthy fear, I pedaled like I never did before - my legs were like pistons - and I didn't look back until I reached the top of the hill. Fortunately the moose stopped halfway.
We can spend an enormous amount of time worrying about the bears that might come and trying to anticipate every twist of fate. But often, in the end, it's not the bear that comes at all. It's the giant moose!
Top: Cumberland Falls Kentucky.
Bottom: General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park.