Drink the Special Tea

I’m going through everything I own, preparing to fit back into Elereen—my Honda Element—asking if I want to bring each item forward into my next life season. I used to experience this more often, the going through things and packing, about once every six months or year.

Since 2006, this has been my longest amount of time (2.5 years) living in the same place.

“The place” since April 2021 has been shared government housing for seasonal employees, so the house is furnished. After so much time with short-term housing or tent-ing, I reveled in having a house and got items I couldn’t have before: a typewriter, a keyboard, a toaster oven.

Those were the first items in my donate pile as I began going through everything a last week.

The act of going through all my material possessions always illuminates helpful information, like I had that book when I moved into this house, and I still haven’t read it. Donate.

Another phenomenon that comes to light while packing—whether I’ve been living out of two suitcases, a backpack, or an SUV—is that I discover I’ve held on to something consumable, but haven’t used it because it seemed too precious.

I’ve become more aware of this over the years, consciously choosing to light the candles, burn the incense, send the stationary. Take pleasure now. Trust the abundance.

And still I’m finding precious unused things as I pack this time around:

Moroccan loose leaf tea that a friend mailed me in 2020. She said it was one of her favorite teas, very special and rare in her family’s traditions. So I wasn’t going to just drink it. I was going to save it for a ceremony, some special occasion. And here it still is.

Big sheets of handmade paper from Tibet. The manager of a Buddhist retreat center had gifted them to me during my six-month stay there, before moving here. I made a six-envelope folder early on, and use it often since that’s where I keep stamps. Yet as I sit here, three weeks before going back to that same retreat center, I still have a full black sheet, half blue, and a quarter beige of this Special Paper.

It happens, dear one. No sweat.

Now that I’ve noticed, I get to choose what to do with this information.

And so, this morning, I’m brewing pots of that Special Tea I received over three years ago and drinking it with presence, noticing the subtle changes in color and taste.

I’m folding a different type of folder with the Special Paper, because making things with paper lights up my soul.

To you, reading these words wherever you are, I encourage you: Drink the Special Tea, use your Special Paper, read the book or pass it along.

Bask in the joys — because today we are breathing, today we are feeling, today we are.

And isn’t life worth the most delightful celebrations?

2023: March — Breathing Pause

Reflecting Back on March

I finished a long-term remodel work project from the fall. The bathrooms are open!

Watched the McGee interior design show throughout the month, got my hair cut, found myself completely rearranging the furniture in my room one weekend–impromptu. Love it.

An office at work has new floors and we’re in the middle of a deep-clean. I’m looking forward to fresh energy in that space; spring is here.

We had a few more snow removal days sprinkled throughout the month; perhaps the last was this past week? I heard my Backyard Bird’s song a week ago at lunch; what a joyful sound.

I signed up for Starhawk’s Ritual Skills class. I probably wouldn’t have if I’d sat on it any amount of time before registering, but it’s nice to be in her presence again.

My Grandpa was in the hospital the week of his 90th birthday, and now is trying out a nursing home for 20 days of rehab.

I’ve been receiving clarity to transition a relationship and to try staying at my place of work. Learned of Devilin’s latest and struggled to hold my tongue. May all relationships be for the good of all beings; may we learn what we need to learn, and be transformed in necessary ways.

I’ve been feeling inspired by memoirs being released from people I know. There’s fuel for a long, slow-burning fire to write my empath journey.

Sent mail this month. Read some great memoirs; finished one from my “pass along” pile, and am partway into another.

Grateful for…

  • Loam connections and conversations
  • Ted Lasso
  • More sunlight
  • Starting at Walnut during school
  • Caroline’s presence and teaching
  • Snail mail from zine reader
  • My housemate
  • Friends at work
  • Good books to read
  • My teachers at school; their skills and abilities to teach
  • Pens and paper; writing


  • Making it through the Sharp Loneliness
  • The two days I left class early when I didn’t have capacity
  • Asked Heather to pick up chocolate chips from TJ
  • The times I practice TRE and the moments I ground
  • The Tuesday morning when two bold energies were low, yet mine stayed strong.
  • Shared my zines in a café downtown, and with a vegan restaurant I admire
  • Started browsing around for places to print my zines; sent one request for a quote and received a no. (Yay, first no!)
  • All the days I have been able to, and haven’t been able to, write in my New Project
  • Wrote a spoken poem “A Letter a Week” to process
  • All the clearing out: finally going through Pile of Pens, plastic bags under the sink are gone
  • Second month without any stops at Goodwill


How I feel at work; anxieties about Future Leader and Work Truck.

How strongly Anita’s “Dying to Be Me” Near Death Experience is staying with me, and how all we’re meant to do is be ourselves and shine that light/love.

Looking Ahead to April’s New Moon

Calling in

I call in the powers of

Being With, such that I may have the strength to be with whatever feelings arise during the transitions to come,

We Love Rebecca, such that my thoughts, body, and spirit can bathe in the magnificent light of self-Love, and

Accept This Moment’s Capacity Without Arrows, such that I can learn to accept capacities as they arise, without second arrows of guilt, shame, story, etc.

Naming intentions

I intend to befriend and love the G.W. amor/fear when I notice it.

I intend to do what feels right in the moment, and to joyfully be myself.

I intend to trust my intuition, Timing, the power of grounding, and the Great Spirit.

A Woman Working in the Trades: An Interview

For the International Day of Women in February, I did a written interview at my place of work, to be featured on their social media. The post went up in March for Women’s History Month. Although I chose my words carefully, the actual post was a brief summary written in third person (“she/her”) by someone else, which didn’t represent my true lens. So, I’m publishing the full Q&A here:

Title: Maintenance Worker

Duties: We have a wide range of duties within the maintenance division, from snow removal and remodeling a historic bathroom to crack sealing the roads and fixing things that break in visitor centers and park housing. I really enjoy the variety!

What inspired you to choose a career in STEM?
I don’t resonate with the word “career,” but rather view it as though I’ve simply followed my interests and curiosities over time, and this is where they’ve led me currently. I say “simply,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean “easily.” Often I’ve had to leave something familiar and comfortable to step into the unknown, to honor/listen to that inner knowing—which for the last couple of years has wanted to learn as much as she can in all of the trades.

Woman in green tightens screw on electrical outlet on the ceiling.

The deeper into this area I go, the more clearly I see the necessity of women in maintenance/construction fields. We need to make changes to “how things have been” in construction, and make decisions which value the Earth & all beings over money. This is a primary motivation for me right now: if I can learn these skills, teach them to other women, and question the way things have been done, we can leave our Earth in better hands for generations to come.

What do you love most about your job?
I love being outside, using my hands, the creativity involved, and the variety each day.

NPS worker pulls electrical wire outside near table with tools.

Something I’m struggling with often these days is that I work and live on stolen lands of Indigenous peoples, who have made their home here since time immemorial. Change is constant, and I can see conversations happening between our Monuments and local tribes which point towards a better direction. Much more could be said, but I’d be remiss not to say anything. I know we can elevate Indigenous voices, listen to them, and together imagine and create something beautiful.

What advice would you give to those who inspire to work in the field of STEM?
Surround yourself with people doing the thing you want to be doing. I have immersed myself into many new worlds over the years: ie playing on a competitive ultimate frisbee team in Madrid (when I was the kid throughout school who dreaded gym class), learning French to fluency, working with the highest trail crew in the country on a mountain in Colorado (when a year prior I hadn’t known what a “conservation corps” was and that they existed), and now the maintenance world. It has always been easier to learn/do something once I met someone face-to-face who was already doing it. Spend time with the people who encourage your pursuits.

Also, remember that not everything can be measured. Experiences are meaningful and important, even when they cannot be captured in words or numbers.

Our society, STEM in particular, tend to favor metrics and capturing data, but there are other ways of knowing, and those ways are extremely valuable.

Woman in green with eye protection and ear protection smiles in front of shelves she's breaking down with a Sawz-all and hammer.