wash the spirit clean

Last week was full of emotional surprises for me, and my family. Sadness, anger, guilt. The pain of my father's death quickly returned to the surface of my mind as a result of these events, and all I wanted was to be back on the east coast with my family.  This is partly where the guilt came in.  It's a hard thing to be so far from Home, and not being able to give my Mom & sister a hug when it's most needed. I tend to lose myself in these moments, and feel the negative affects it has on my health, my mind & my work.  Thankfully, the past few days helped me return to a much healthier place.

It started with a Grateful Dead yoga class I had received as a gift, which took place Friday night in San Francisco. I thought I knew what to expect, at least as far as the class itself. The instructor, David Romanelli, played a selection of GD tunes, while sharing stories of fans, as well as his own random thoughts. It was a lighthearted, yet intense physical class. What I didn't quite know, was how my young yoga practice, and my spiritual connection with the music of the Grateful Dead, would intertwine. There was a culmination of all the emotions that built up over the past week, along with some feelings I had buried for the past year or so.  With the help of the music & my newly formed relationship with myself through yoga, the emotions poured through me.  It was a release I hadn't felt in a long time, and one that was greatly needed. 

The next morning, my honey, our pup, Kona, and I took a mini road trip up to Lake Tahoe. We spent a couple days exploring the pine forests surrounding the lake, hoping the trees would help protect us from the brutal winds.  We walked a few different trails, and had a fun time following those educational signs posted along the way. This was my favorite~

I've always wondered what the different markings of a tree trunk meant! Very cool.  Kona loved running through the woods freely.  In the summertime Tahoe is packed with people, and in the winter, it's usually packed with snow.  Our trip last winter we were walking through the woods on top of about 6 feet of snow, which Kona loved equally as much.  So far this year, the lake & surrounding mountains haven't gotten much of anything as far as snow, which may result in some serious drought & fire issues come spring.  Hopefully the snow & rains are on their way.  We enjoyed this rare occasion of the lonely woods.

“Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” 

~John Muir

We eventually ventured to the lake's shore, and watched the amazing sunset the area is blessed with.  Every second of the grand show is more breathtaking than the last. It is an experience I could never tire of.

"At last the lake burst upon us--a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft three thousand feet higher still! As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole world affords" 

~Mark Twain

"The soul of Indian summer is brooding this blue water, and it enters one's being as nothing else does. Tahoe is surely not one but many. As I curve around its heads and bays and look far out on its level sky fairly tinted and fading in pensive air, I am reminded of all the mountain lakes I ever knew, as if this were a kind of water heaven to which they all had come." 

~John Muir
 letter to a friend after visiting Lake Tahoe.


  1. Beautiful, Mary! You have a way with words and your photography is fantastic. Love you.