“No Bad Things”


March 12, 2023- “There are no bad things that happen, only things that you like and things that you don’t like-but from which you have not drawn the lessons they offer.” Such was the position taken by a member of the Kaballah denomination of Judaism, in a Zoom session, this morning.

I tend to take a sunny view of many things that happen, and to soldier on through much of the rough stuff. It wasn’t always that way, and I have to own that a fair share of whining has come out of my mouth, over the years. I do draw the line at the slaughter of children, genocide and the greed of the powerful, yet Kaballah sees the Will of the Divine in those events as well.

The silver linings playbook offered by these mystics is arguably worth considering, and I have no idea about how the individual lives of Kaballists have played out-save one, who spent much of my brief encounter with her attacking my character and level of intelligence. I do not regard that individual as having been typical of the mystics.

The organizer of the discussion tends to regard my comments as rather banal, so I limit any responses to the highbrow commenters. Intellectual discourses, at a stellar level, are indeed above my own intellect, but the Kaballist grabbed my interest, with his provocative stances. Suffice it to say, that in the aftermath of a catastrophe, I tend to regard my own role as one of being full on in the cleanup crew. So, in the broader scheme, “soldiering on”, tends to be wont.

In the afternoon, after spending an hour or so with a pre-teen who showed how to do finger knitting (similar to Cat’s Cradle, for the uninitiated) and who tried his hand at origami (I’m no good at that, either), I went to Watson Woods Riparian Area, and hiked along the east bank of Granite Creek. The goal was to ascertain the water level of this creek that feeds into Watson Lake. The area walked was the southeast corner of the preserve, a segment in which I have spent little time in the past. It revealed that the creek is in good shape right now.

Across the creek lies Cottonwood Peninsula, about which more tomorrow. The trail does not distinguish between the intellectual and the raconteur.

The Cleansing


August 31, 2019-

The day began with my usual Saturday ritual:  Get up, sans alarm, devotions, coffee& paper and a visit to Farmer’s Market.  What is different today was the call to clean up.  A local business owner found an abandoned homeless camp near and around his property, in a wooded area by Granite Creek, one of Prescott’s many streams.  The creek flows into Watson Lake, a reservoir that is also a prime boating and fishing venue.  Thus, it’s a good idea to keep the watershed clean of trash and debris, a notion that has not been front and center for those who regard themselves as desperate for a place to live, or for those who rousted the squatters out of their encampment, nearly a month ago.

One longtime friend of the owner has been steadfast in helping him clean the place, over the past three days.  I joined them today, and will do so again on Monday morning and any morning that I am not working, Wednesday-Friday of the coming week.  Much of the large items, like  tents, blankets, coats, and sleeping bags were bagged and set for disposal on Tuesday.  Disclosure:  NONE of the items are salvageable, as water and mud have rendered them useless.  This is the cost of “sweeps”, and of random, ungoverned squatter camps.

That brings up a broader issue:  The matter of personal responsibility for self and for community.  The lay minister who was my partner on this endeavour, this morning, raised a valid point as to the tendency of people to leave solutions to issues to government- or to some other group.  Many people in Prescott, and in other places across the globe, tell themselves that it’s the government’s job to tend to social issues.  This attitude can be shown either vocally(including online posts, telling the police, Parks & Recreation, etc. to “Do their job”) or by attrition (i.e. volunteering for an activity, then just not showing up).

I was, thankfully, raised to take responsibility for the neighbourhood and/or the community, and trust me, I was not always the kind of child who wanted to get out and volunteer for such projects.  My parents kept after us anyway, and instilled that sense of community involvement.

There are as many ways to “cleanse” a community and build its strength, as there are people.  The Red Cross effort to make sure smoke alarms are working, in modular homes and more conventional dwellings, is also an effort that is gaining steam here.

Lastly, the cultural strength of a community matters greatly, in building a civil society.  The Folk Sessions and Concerts at the the Court House are a major piece of this effort, as are the art fairs, soccer matches and the Farmer’s Market itself.  Last night, an intrepid young woman,who I am proud to regard as a friend, made Prescott a stop on her way from Portland to Boston, just for the sake of supporting the musical scene in a town that welcomed her, three years ago.

There are many ways to build a community-and I know of shut-ins who make quilts or stuff backpacks for needy kids, in the new school year, or the disabled man who fashioned an “adventure train” for stray dogs, whom he takes out of the shelter, two or three days a week. I am fortunate to still be able to be of more ambulatory service, and thank my spirit guides and the Creator for this.

Just, let’s not pass the buck back to the next one, or to the Government.

Dribs and Drabs


August 29, 2019-

It’s been a fine week, so far.  I just feel like making a few random observations, today.

The National Weather Service has one forecast for Prescott, from now til October:  Sunny and warm.  The skies, though, have their own ideas.  One area, or another, of Yavapai County has had a fairly good soaking, the past few days.  This is what is most likely to continue.

A few shout-outs to local residents:

My Red Cross volunteer partner, Jenn Winters-Ashcraft, has largely been the force behind our finally canvassing homes in western Yavapai, for working smoke alarms. This endeavour will compete with substituting, on my own schedule.  Money aside, it’s academic (no pun intended) as to which is more important for our community.

Mr. Matt Williams is spearheading the clean-up of an abandoned homeless encampment along Prescott’s main waterway, Granite Creek.  Yours truly is part of that, as well.

The Boars Head girl, at Sprouts, offered us kids a fine deal on cold cuts & cheese, so I have had four days’ lunches all covered, for a reasonable price.

A variety of workers, across business fields, are holding down the fort in this season of high heat, for their less heat-tolerant colleagues.  I have seen this in at least a dozen places, this week.

When someone is uncomfortable in another person’s presence, it falls to that other person to give the uneasy one some space.

The Epstein Horror Project is finished, kaput-but the victims will long need the support of every decent human being.

The Amazon Basin Horror Project, it seems, is just getting started.  Sorry, but there is no comparison between the willful decimation of a global resource and the accidental spark that set Notre Dame Cathedral alight.  The very farmers being sent to do this dirty work are bound to be among its first victims.

I look forward to a weekend of celebration. God bless the workers whose efforts are tantamount to acts of worship.

Summer is almost, “officially”, over.  Friends, don’t worry about wearing white after Monday.  We have at least three weeks of heat left.



The Road to 65, Mile 330: Prescott Circle Trail, Segment 8


October 24, 2015, Prescott- I spent a few hours walking the shortest segment of PC, from Willow Lake to Peavine Trail Head, alongside the north and west shores of Watson Lake.  This older and smaller of the twin reservoirs is bounded by  Granite Dells, to the north, Glassford Hill, to the east, and Granite Creek, to the south and west.

The first part of the segment follows Willow Lake Road, away from Willow Dells, to Highway 89, which I crossed, just north of a roundabout, when the near constant flow of traffic was abated, courtesy of traffic signals, some distance away, in either direction.  Highway 89 is a four-laner, and has crosswalks, so no overpass is needed.

I then came to Watson Lake Park, one of my favourites here.  The Dells make it an especially otherworldly place.



The trail took me away from the Dells, for a bit, along the west shore, where waterfowl were abundant.  Two Greater Sandhill Cranes were among the crowd.




As you can see above, at first, the female was being rather coy.The riparian trail then went off into the marshy terrain near Granite Creek, which is rather paltry at present.



Upon coming to the rather mundane Peavine Trail Head, I resolved to return there and resume my hike, with segment 7.  Ambling back to Watson Lake, I spotted a lone kayaker.

The surreality of the Dells never gets old, so here we are again.


Next up:  The Peavine Trail Head to Highway 69. (First half of Segment 7).

The Road to 65, Mile 94: The Flow


March 2, 2015, Prescott- Granite Creek was flowing, fast and furious, as I looked out the window, at my CPA’s office, this afternoon.  I thought of how things flow, very freely.  My funds will flow, in a couple of weeks, to tend to my remaining tax bills, and will flow just as quickly back into my account, with hard work on my part and those of the enterprises in which I invest.  Energy will flow, a bit more slowly, as I engage in the Fast, of which 18 days remain, then more steadily as Spring comes into play.  Time always flows, and rarely at a slow pace.  Love flows, in several ways, as the Bellamy Brothers once sang.

I’ve been one to go with the flow, especially since I’ve been living alone, in the physical sense.  The past three years, I have traveled extensively, always going where I felt the energy calling.  I’ve lived, happily, in Prescott, when the energy called me home.  Sometimes, it’s the Baha’i community that calls, other times the needs of family and other friends, still others, when a civic emergency arises.  Mostly, though, it’s the thought-voice of my beloved, on the other side, letting me know what is in store for the day, the week, the month and year, and towards what end I should direct my energies.

I feel something pulling me now, possibly away from the state I’ve called home, off and on, for nearly 40 years.  I’ve felt that pull before, and have always ended up staying put, home-wise, even when going off on one of my tangents, as happened a few weeks ago.  I think the flow may change course a few times, before it’s set right.  There is only one thing to do right now, go with it and see where things lead. Sounds like a plan.