In Honour Of….


April 28, 2016, Prescott- I took today off from work, as we Baha’is are so advised, on Holy Days such as this- the Ninth Day of the Ridvan Festival; the Day when, 163 years ago, Baha’u’llah revealed His Station to family and closest associates, while preparing to follow lawful orders and proceed overland, from Baghdad to Constantinople (Istanbul).  Their departure would begin in earnest, three days later.

We will gather as a community and celebrate the Anniversary, 1 1/2 hours from now, with sacred readings, contemplation and a fine meal.  Baha’u’llah and His entourage, by contrast, frequently had scant food and drink- especially when on the dusty path, northward from Iraq and across Anatolia.  The Messengers of God always take on suffering, if only to show us that it can be overcome, in the end.

Ours is not a Faith of asceticism, nor is it favourable towards  over-indulgence.  We do well, He says, to share good fortune, and not lose heart, in times of scarcity.  The former is largely the result of dispassionate hard work. The latter is a reminder that this is a life meant for character building, which can best be achieved in the face of trials.  So, at least, is my understanding of it all.

He came to bring unity to mankind- and gave us a blueprint, slowly being understood, and accepted, by more people.  It must, however, be done willingly by each individual.  The days of forced conversion are being seen for what they were, and will not be repeated.




April 27, 2016, Prescott-

One of my students wrote a mini-movie script, this morning.

The depth of his thoughts spewed forth, without warning.

As with many of his generation, the focus was on geologic change.

Earthquakes, of late, have seemed to increase in range.

He wrote of the Big One, and how it would affect Hoover Dam,

sending cascading water, down the Colorado, and into the Bill Williams.

Our town would bear a bit of overflow, perhaps,

but his first thought was that his sanity might snap.

His rescuers appeared, though, in the personages of all the girls,

who, his adolescent mind has determined, rock his world.

Change is timeless, and so is sameness.



April 25, 2016, Chino Valley

Heading out, for unexpected work,

I determine I’ll not shirk.

The types of math that are on the agenda,

Used to be headaches, never ending.

Time and tide have made them comprehensible,

So my explanations to the people are more dependable.

Self-confidence is thus transferable,

and knowledge, in turn, becomes more durable.

(My long-term post at Prescott High School was closed today,

therefore I went up to Chino Valley, to help there, for the day.)


Prescott Circle Trail, Segment 2: Thumb Butte Road to Iron Springs


April 24, 2016, Prescott- Today was another picture perfect day, with less wind than yesterday.  Thus, it was the right time to hike the 8-mile round trip, from one iconic landmark (Thumb Butte) to the near approaches of another(Granite Mountain).

Actually, I reversed the order, as Iron Springs’ parking lot is spacious and well off-road.  I was met by a couple who were on a short bicycle ride.  They went as far as the Fireplace Ruin, a distance of 1.8 miles.  That segment of trail follows an abandoned rail bed, the route of which once connected the mining camps of Iron Springs with downtown Prescott.  With those camps long closed, the route evolved into a Rails-to-Trails path.  There are several fine views, to the east, from the trail.

The left photo shows the Bradshaw Mountains, while the right-hand view is of two adjoining subdivisions, to the east. Below left, is a view of Badger Peak, five miles to the southeast.

The above right scene shows some of the rock that was cut away, to push the rail bed through.  Below it, new growth has helped in recovery from the Indian Fire, of 2002, but the area was hit again, in 2013, by the Doce Fire.

The dryness of our region concerns me, and we are doing all possible to avoid another serious fire season. This section of trail seemed drier than the last two, with sandy soil along much of the route.


This pump house is situated to help, in the event of another fire.

Another 1/4 mile ahead, the ruins of an old mining cabin attest to the ravages of fire.  The only thing left standing is the fireplace!


Fireplace Ruin, Javelina Trail, Prescott

Granite boulders signal the turn-off from the abandoned rail bed, and Javelina Trail heads around a couple of small foothills of the Sierra Prieta.


Granite boulder field, Javelina Trail

Willow Creek’s South Fork is the only running water along the trail, and it was not running today.


South Fork, Willow Creek


Looking vaguely like a moai head.

This boulder reminded me,obliquely, of a moai, from Easter Island.

Once I hiked over and above the drainage area of Willow Creek, Thumb Butte could be seen to the southeast.


Northwestern view of Thumb Butte.

Arizona woodpeckers are active here, as elsewhere along Prescott Circle Trail. As I learned last summer, in the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, these birds share nests with a variety of other creatures.


Arizona Woodpecker nests, Javelina Trail

So I have explored another segment of our area’s comprehensive trail system.  One segment remains- the area between Iron Springs and Williamson Valley Road, a distance of 5 miles each way.  I will see whether the effects of the 2013 Doce Fire are as telling there, as they are, in patches, here.

Contradictions, and Such


April 23, 2016, Prescott-   I didn’t write about Earth Day, yesterday, because I was exhausted, and besides, every day is Earth Day.   Yes, I know, focus days are important; but still…..

We did an environmental activity today, at Bellemont Baha’i School, west of Flagstaff.  I raked up about 75 pounds of pine needles, to create a safety zone around the campus’s buildings.  On the way back, I came across an anti-environmental activity:  A traffic jam, on a state highway, caused by a water truck driver who was “prepping for a construction project”- at 4 PM on Saturday.

Many people are concerned about fake “transgender” pedophiles, sneaking in women’s restrooms, behind real transgenders, so they can have at little girls.  I remember the creeper in Primm, NV, who just walked right in, behind a 9-year-old girl- and killed her, with no pretense as to what he was.  There is no substitute for a parent going into the rest room, with a child.

I have my fair share of contradictions, over these past 65 years.  Safe to say, none of them has included injuring another human being.  I am working on those contradictions, though, as most of the people in my life are working on theirs.  Those who knew me when could tell you a few stories, and that’s okay.  It is what we learn from our mistakesand what we do differently, going forward, that matter most.

I was pleased to meet the new husband of one of my woman friends, who told me, time and again, of her simple dream to be a good man’s wife.  Things clicked for them, at Christmas time, and the match is an excellent one. I wish the same for my other single friends- both male and female.  I know, firsthand, that there is nothing like having a good mate.

So, here it is, a month into Spring, and let’s just see how long it takes, before Phoenix and Palm Springs hit 100, and before Colorado goes a week without snow.

Finally, from one budding antique, here is the real deal.





April 21, 2016, Prescott-  I have been thinking, a lot, about the recent flurry of earthquakes that have caused so much destruction in places like Manta, Ecuador and Kumamoto, Japan.  on our turbulent planet, quakes seem to come and go in series, but the truth is, Earth is never still.

Some react to these events by issuing stern warnings about the “Big One”.  Others, and I include myself in this category, have been rather “business as usual”, in that regard.  I don’t feel like anything humongous, other than at a relatively local level, is going to happen, any time soon.  I have an emergency bag at the ready, but that has as much to do with living at the edge of a dry forest, as it is about getting ready to flee a broken coastline.

Nonetheless, there is only so much turbulence that our resilient planet can handle, so the question begs:  How seriously do we take the prophecies of doom?

Irons and Fire


April 20, 2016, Flagstaff- En route to this superb university town, in northern Arizona’s Sky Islands, known otherwise as the San Francisco Peaks, I thought of the various “irons” in my collective fire.  Interestingly, each time I consider letting one of these go by the wayside, something occurs to put it back, front and center, again.

My Baha’i beliefs are the core of my being, so they are only becoming more important, as the bedrock for everything else. Working with children and youth is the next level, and as it gives me a livelihood, also is unquestionably important.

I am not the world’s greatest businessman, but sharing and educating on the use of Certified Pure, Therapeutic Grade essential oils is crucial to my commitment to promoting health and wellness.  There are many people and companies claiming to have the “finest” such products.  I can only testify to what works for me.

I am not available as often as the Red Cross might like, but being ready to step in, on the occasion of a local emergency, during the school year, and anytime when I am off work, even when on the road, is also not something I will relinquish.

Then, there are my itchy feet, the icing on the cake.

It’s a good life,  of many pieces.  Have you ever felt like you needed to give up one of your activities?

Twelve Days


April 19, 2016, Prescott-

This evening, we Baha’is began the twelve days of the Ridvan Festival, a time commemorating Baha’u’llah’s announcement of His station and mission, to His family and closest companions.

An honourarium:

Twelve days in the most bountiful garden,

exuding the most divine of fragrances

even as all inhaled the beautiful scents of nature.

Ridvan, in the midst of the Tigris,


an island that sent the Lord of the Age

forth to western Asia’s greatest city.

Yet, during these twelve days,

all was about summoning a new race of men.


Love, By The Numbers


April 18, 2016, Prescott-

My youngest niece turns twenty-five today.  This, alone, makes it a good day, and I hope her nearest and dearest ones honour her in the best manner possible.  Twenty-five is not the marker of a “crisis” (as in “quarter-life crisis”), but is the affirmation of a good running start to full adulthood.

I think of all those I love, in various senses of the word. It has sometimes been a matter of bloodline; other times, it is from sheer association and observation, as with my students and counselees, many of my colleagues and most of my fellows-in-faith.  Then, there is Love 101, the seeing of “a stranger as a loving friend”, as ‘Abdu’l-Baha admonished us to see others.

By age 30, having long since let go of adolescent irritability, I had given up the concept of enmity, at least insofar as it pertained to a flesh-and-blood human being.  Some behaviours, I will always find inimical, but that is a topic for other venues.  People’s hearts can always change, and while we can, and should, be wary of those who have harmed us, or our loved ones, in the past, it is not ours to deny them the right to a change of heart.

At 65, I can hold no grudge, yet, nonetheless, expect those who have hurt others, to make serious amends.  With no apologies to Erich Segal, love DOES mean having to say you’re sorry.  Following that apology, though, love does exact some changes in behaviour, both great and small.  Yes, I hold myself to that same standard, whether forgiven by those I may have hurt, or not.

Love, one step at a time, is the secret to growth.

As It Happened


April 17, 2016, Prescott- I was in an intense frame of mind, and in a hectic schedule, this weekend.  The needs of my Faith led me down to Phoenix, and a semi-cloistered 1 1/2 days’ consult with my fellows.

I look back on all my experiences of this past forty-eight hours, and see:

A tall, intelligent, comely woman walking past,

Offering a slight smile,

The briefest of acknowledgements.

Come to find out,

There was an early morning spat.

A young woman,

friend since the age of nine,

walking about with upturned nose,

selectively greeting the chosen few.

Come to find out,

father’s taken off,

for parts unknown.

Sullen man glares at passers-by,

not asking for anything,

but huddled tightly with himself,

on a corner bench.

Come to find out,

he’s been drifting,

since President Bush the Younger

said “Mission accomplished”,

when sullen man’s mission had just started.

There is pain, even on a bright day like today.

There is joy, even on a hard day, like a couple of Thursdays ago.