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June 24, 2005



I really appreciate the fact that you've made your own website and have in fact posted your thoughts. I admire your work and feel I can refer to what you've done. Most folks can't even imagine having such talent. I hope that you know how lucky you are. :) Good luck to you in all your aims. :)

Catrien Ross

For Twig, who wrote to Catrien Ross on February 14, 2008. Twig, where are you now? I cried and cried when I read your post - more than 30 years have passed! How wonderful that we are able to make a connection again through writing about nature. Please try to get in touch with me again - I do not know how to find you. I remember our long hike in the rain from Arrochar to Inverary so well. You can try to reach me through Dr. Michael J. Cohen/ Ecopsychology-Natural Systems Thinking Process. Email to [email protected]


this is for Catrien Ross who wrote this poem for me back in 1975 : 'That music is a song we sang on the road from Arrochar to Inverary . And this lamp, this table and this chair are nothing in the memory of wind and rain, the road that would be twisting round again before we reached the end. My friend, my lovely singing friend, we have thrown time into the wind like music we may never catch it again. '

Catrien Ross

The Rain and After

We had two days of strong thunderstorms here. The walls of the house moved with the thunderclaps. Lightning cracked open the dark sky. But I went outside and sheltered for a short time under the wide overhang of the roof. I was attracted to being a part of the strength of the storm, if only for a moment. Rain poured from the roof and made rivers in the soil. The tops of the trees to the west seemed to greet the thunder and lightning. There was a sense of incredible rhythm and coordination. I felt connected to a source of tremendous power.


In the early evening I go out to the garden. The thunderstorms are over for now. I go to the small, level area where I practice my energy medicine exercises and ask permission to sit for awhile. Four of the dogs are with me.

Sitting on the little, old wooden chair (given to me by an adult student who no longer needed it), I look to the west and up at the sky. Billowing white clouds are slowly drifting. There is a stillness in the air. The day feels done with being the day. I am also done with my busyness. I have worked hard physically today, and I realize how tired my feet are. It feels good to sit here like this. I am aware of my gratitude for this moment of rest. I close my eyes and breathe deeply. Around me I can hear cicadas. Birds are still singing in the trees. I listen to the rush of water beyond the hinoki forest.

I open my eyes and continue watching the clouds shift across the sky. They are moving westward, into the setting sun. Where the sun sets there is a well of light, luminous and inviting. The light seems to lift and define the clouds, edging them in its glow. It illuminates a pathway that the clouds seem to want to follow. One by one they enter this shining space. I sense that I, too, can drift into the space in me where everything can come to rest in light - the still center of me. My authentic core.

When I turn my head to look over my left shoulder I see that the sky is still blue. But when I look north towards the tallest mountain the sky is already overcast, darkening into night. Kiki nestles down by my feet. Maeve and Bel and Donnie Dhu wander around, sniffing the soaked soil. Another good day together.

From this experience in nature I learn that I am a person who gets good feelings from simply sitting under the sky's expanse. I get good feelings, too, from the generosity I sense in the sweep of blue, in the shifting clouds backlit by the last rays of daylight.

Catrien Ross


It has been raining a lot (the rainy season has begun in Japan's southernmost islands), so in a lull in the downpour I took a walk. Everything smelled and looked so fresh, so relieved, so relaxed. Many plants were bowed low to the soil and tree branches hung weighted with rain. The air felt cleansed, the mood of the landscape, washed and slow. As I stood looking out over the hills, I silently thanked this world which brings rain when it is needed, which gives everything a bath and soaks the soil and satisfies the natural world's thirst. I, too, felt refreshed, but slow, not wanting to walk too far or too fast, just enjoying the new feeling after rain.

I felt like walking up to one of the big paulownia trees, and did so. I asked it if it was all right for me to stand up against it. Yes, it seemed to say, yes, you can even touch me. I put my hand on its trunk. The trunk was cracked and bumpy, like a hard skin with many crevices. In many places patches of moss and lichens softened the surface. I felt it was just fine if I pressed my fingers into a circle of moss. It was green and springy, soaked. In the moss silver grey lichens shimmered. What looked like tiny sprouting seeds stood up from the moss. They, too, did not seem to mind when I gently touched them. I stood under the tree, leaning my hand against the bark, sensing the rain, the new heaviness of the trunk. There we stood, the tree and I, both grateful for the cycle of the rain. I looked up into the upper branches - the leaves were just emerging. There were patches of moss and lichens all the way up the trunk. The trunk looked mottled. A tiny brown insect moved suddenly. I looked closer. Another little grasshopper.

I breathed deeply and thanked the tree for its existence on the mountain, in my so-called garden. I felt very peaceful, grateful, more aware. I sensed trust - trust in myself and also the trust in being trusted by the tree. I stroked the bark once more, enjoying its rough surface against the palm of my hand. Then I took my hand away, bowed to the tree, and turned and walked back up the path.

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