When I was eight years old and fresh from Illinois, a flatland state, and plunked down in Oregon where hills abound, and the Cascade mountain Range runs right smack dab down its middle, I was in an almost perpetual state of awe.
Mt. Hood was visible from almost everywhere in the little town where I grew up, and then if that wasn’t enough, one day we drove down the Columbia River Gorge and visited Multnomah Falls.
I had never seen anything that big, that tall, or that much water pouring over a cliff. The falls and I have had a love-affair going ever since.
Yes, I know I have blogged about the falls before, but I have to tell you I walked to the bridge yesterday. I felt the roar of the water coursing over the edge of a 620-foot cliff—louder than I had ever heard it, and more water than I had ever seen there before. Mist flew from the falls, and rain was drizzling as well, but it was not cold, so I took off my hood and let the water fall on my head and the mist spritz my face. And that was me, who is fussy about keeping my head warm. It was tremendous.
When I first exited my car in the parking lot at the Falls yesterday, people smiled at me. The excitement from the falls must have reached across the road, and through a pedestrian tunnel that ran under it. I figured all those positive ions from rushing water pumped people up.
(You know how you feel like singing in the shower?)
It was a trip to the mountain as I speak about in The Wisdom Seekers, a boon, from a trip. Joseph Campbell speaks of the heroes journey and at the completion, he takes home a boon, a treasure from the trip. It is something to benefit the village back home.
You know we are all heroes in our own journey. And while I’m not sure this can benefit my village, it is an experience I share. In coming home I felt a let-down as often happens with trips, but this morning in telling you, I feel uplifted. I know this is the stuff of life.
Abraham speaks of a Rampage of Appreciation, meaning to bombard your life and the Universe with how appreciative you are.
You know how easy it is to say what’s wrong with the world. It is easy to complain and rant and rave. We are geared to see what’s wrong and must be taught to notice what’s right. It’s that old negative bias again that gets us.
One of my readers wanted to know more about the mind-body connection, and I am no authority on that, but I can say this APPRECIATE. Be grateful. It will boost both your mind and your body. You might even have a better immune system because of it.
Do you think maybe I’m talking to myself?
Well, I am, but I hope you join me.
I know people search the web for answers. They tune into blogs that answer questions, and mainly it is about being successful, about blogging, how to sell, how to make money, and how to cure something.
If we all stood around smiling we wouldn’t have anything to talk about, complain about, or rail against. But we would be happy.
I have been watching a Netflix series called, “One Strange Rock” narrated by Will Smith, and contributed to by eight astronauts who have spent time on the Space Station. Talk about looking down and appreciating their home. What a view.
I believe the first episode impacted me the most. It was about Oxygen. You know that stuff that we must breathe to live. And here the earth manufactures it for us.
And that thin-film we call atmosphere is so delicate we can climb a mountain and be in the outer limits of it. Talk about feeling vulnerable.
We have heard that the rain forests are the lungs of the earth, well they are, but not in the way that we think. All the oxygen that is created by the trees in the rain forest stay there. Enough animals live in the rain forest to use it.
Water is drawn from the soil into the roots of the trees. The water travels up the trunks, limbs and into the leaves. Have you seen those little droplets of water that seep from a leaf? You might think it is water on the leaf, but its water from inside seeping out. That is the cell’s transpiration. Those droplets leap from the leaves into the air and are caught by with the wind. They called it a river in the sky.
That sky river carries that moisture over to the desert where it picks up dust. That dust is carried to the ocean and dropped where it fertilizes the diatoms that live there. The diatoms gobble it up, make more of themselves, and become photosynthetic, and give off oxygen—more oxygen than the rain forest produces.
When I was snorkeling in Hawaii I saw a big fish swim up to a rock and take an audible crunch. I called them Rock Crunchers. Well, I learned from another episode of One Strange Rock, that those so-called Rock Crunchers, are Parrotfish, and they chew up coral. Parrotfish eat coral and poop out sand, and they can produce a ton of it a year.
So, the next time you are lounging on an island possibly made up of sand, or Parrotfish poop, as you squish your toes into the sand and watch the kids make sand castles, you can thank the Parrotfishes.
Now look at that face.
I just held the palms of my hands over both eyes while thinking of a time when I walked through our cherry orchard to an open field to where my horse was tethered on a chain long enough for him to graze a fifty-foot circle.
He whinnied in greeting, I unclipped the chain and climbed aboard. Together we galloped back through the cherry orchard up to the house for water, and an evening together.
Sitting here now, I was following a suggestion offered by The Bates Method of vision training. That is to rub your palms together, cup them over your eyes and think of something pleasant.
The idea is to relax the eyes.
I mentioned The Bates method on my January 25, 2019, blog after I stumbled upon Aldous Huxley’s book The Art of Seeing, and read:
“Suppose crippled eyes could be transformed into crippled legs,” Huxley quoted Mathew Luckiesh, Director of General Electric’s Lighting Research laboratory. “What a heart-rendering parade we would witness on a busy street. Nearly every other person would go limping by. Many would be on crutches and some on wheelchairs.”
Huxley states that when legs are imperfect, the medical profession makes every effort to get the patient walking again, and without crutches if at all possible. “Why should it not be possible to do something analogous for defective eyes?”
Well, look who’s talking. I wear glasses, and I took the Bates method of vision training.
That was 30 years ago. (A time when that Phone Book print became minuscule and blurry.)
At the end of my training, my vision tested 20/20, and I could read the phone book.
A testament to the training was that during my training, while sitting in a dimly-lighted restaurant, I was the only one, of six people present, who could read the menu.
Many of the students who were taking the training the same time I did—although the training was one on one–used as a goal the passing the DMV’s Driver’s License eye test without glasses.
Now I wear glasses, a must to read and to view the computer screen.
Some could say it’s aging.
I say I’ve been negligent.
I wonder, too, since the eye is an extension of the brain—reaching right out there via the optic nerve, how that differs from let’s say our legs. Do the eyes have a more brain/eye influence?
My Naturopath told me that my brain doesn’t care if my legs fall off. It’s concerned about itself, the brain and the heart. I guess it has its priorities in order.
I googled the Bates method, and what did I find? Dr. Christiane Northrup right there on YouTube touting the Bates Method.
Northrup’s book is Women’s Minds, Woman’s Bodies. What a woman. An OBGYN of enormous grace, wit, and wisdom who isn’t afraid to talk of Intuition, angels, the loving God within, that aging is a matter of the mind, and that you can help your vision with exercises. She has worn contacts since the age of 16, still does, however, her vision has not deteriorated.
Northrup speaks of epigenetics, how the environment, thoughts, affect our genes.
Remember how we were taught that genes are compact little gems that gather together to make us. We considered them unalterable and unchangeable—not now.
“Remember, you are in the driver’s seat of your health and you can make a profound change.”–Dr. Christiane Northrup
Northrup told of a study on two groups ages 80 plus. After testing their vitals, hearing eyesight and such, they were told to go to a quiet place, like a monastery, and pretend they were living in the 1950s. They were to speak as though they were living then and to watch TV and films at that time. At the end of the study, all their vitals were better, and they looked 10 years younger, while the test group who went on, as usual, showed no change.
You know how easy it is to take a pill for some disorder, or go to the optometrist for a prescription for glasses, slap them on, and to go on our merry way?
I’m not saying don’t to go to the optometrist, indeed, go. Get a diagnosis, and don’t throw away your glasses until it is possible to see well without them. Maybe that will never happen but wouldn’t it be great if our eyesight never got worse?
A few things I remember from my Bates training which will not change the basic structure of the eye—unless it does with relaxations strengthening the muscles, those sorts of things. Oh, yes, and sunning the eyes—that may be controversial, for DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN. The idea is to close one eye, look down so that the pupil is below your eyelid, hold the eyelid up with your hand and allow the sun to shine on the white of your eye.
All those exercises seemed to have little change on my vision until she brought in some cards where she could slide the cards apart or together, as I focused on them. It seemed that I was crossing my eyes, but it taught me how it felt to have my eyes come into alignment. A bio-feedback sort of arrangement.
One of the most amazing experiences related to that training was that one day while looking at a magazine picture it looked three-dimensional. I knew it was a two dimensional, picture on a page, but I clearly saw depth between the images.
A friend’s little boy in Riverside California had some eye condition, I think his eyes weren’t converging properly. The treatment although not the Bates Method, was for him to jump on a trampoline behind a wall just high enough so that when he jumped he could see over the wall. Something on the wall behind the low wall gave him a focal point. That treatment must have worked to correct his vision, for he didn’t wear glasses and went on to become a professor so I would say he could read.
In the preface to the book, The Art of Seeing, Huxley describes how, at the age of sixteen, he had a violent attack of keratitis punctat which made him nearly blind for eighteen months and left him thereafter with severely impaired sight. He managed to live as a sighted person with the aid of strong spectacles, but reading, in particular, was a great strain. In 1939 his ability to read became increasingly worse, and he sought the help of Margaret Corbett, who was a teacher of the Bates method. He found this immensely helpful, and wrote: “At the present time, my vision, though very far from normal, is about twice as good as it used to be when I wore spectacles, and before I had learned the art of seeing.”
The book is rather spendy $21-$36 dollars, but you can find it for free online at:
The Frog's Song by Joyce Davis
For more information on The Frog's Song, I invite you to click on https://thefrogssong.com
Joyce's travels have taken her beyond the shores of her native continent, but she's back where she started, in Oregon.