Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mountains of Light: Seasons of Reflection in Yosemite

Mountains of Light: Seasons of Reflection in Yosemite
by Mark Liebenow, University of Nebraska Press, March 2012

You can pre-order my book now at your local bookstore or online. The publication date is March 1, but copies will be shipped to bookstores 4-6 weeks before then.

I’ve attached the cover of the book so that you can see what it looks like.

And if you’re in the Peoria area this spring, I will be doing a couple of book readings and would love to see you.

You can find more information on my website –

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Early December's Quiet - Sigurd Olson

The evenings in early December are quiet, the earth held by the pastel colors in the sky and the broadening shoulders of night. Nature is clothing itself in winter.

I stand on my backyard deck and gaze into the woods. Thoughts drift among the trees. Dusk fills the snow-covered woods with shadows and presence enough that no discernment on my part is needed, only openness to what this is. If feelings should rise inside me, that would be alright. And if this quietness should bring back a dear, forgotten memory, or spark an insight into something that seemed impenetrable, that would be okay, too. But nothing is needed tonight. The presence is enough.

The silence of the woods, and the journey of the earth through the dark, silent cosmos, remind me of Sigurd Olson’s words, written from his listening point on the shore of Lake Superior:

The movement of a canoe is like a reed in the wind. Silence is part of it, and the sounds of lapping water, bird songs, and wind in the trees. It is part of the medium through which it floats, the sky, the water, the shores.

December is a time of taking stock of the year, of listening to our dreams again and believing that if we take risks and step forward, some of them will come true. It’s a time of looking at our lives and seeing if we’re headed where we want to go. It’s a time of feeling the presence of community, of renewal, and believing again that the dispirited can be comforted, the wounded can be healed, and relationships be made stronger.

Soon people will walk the streets of my neighborhood, caroling of hope and joy. Houses will fill with people and lights will glow from every decorated window. Holiday parties will overheat, people will open the back door to come out onto the deck to cool down, and find themselves listening to the quiet celebration of the woods.

(This blog is shifting its focus to nature. For entries that focus more on spirituality, please see the new blog that I am constructing called Cabin Monk – It should be finished in a couple of days.)