Alpine Lady

Honoring the natural world through prose, poetry, music, sounds, photographs and musings.

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Naturally Observing the Simple Things

November’s Grace

November strips bare the grace of leaves,
exposing limbs hardened for winter’s chill;
then blankets these same with felting snows
to protect the innocence of life.

A fresh snowfall on the snow berries of the hedgerow.

A fresh snowfall on the snow berries of the hedgerow.

Whereas November’s skeletons rattle in anticipation of burial, December lies dormant, gathering potential. Like a seed hidden in the recesses of time, the natural rhythms of winter are of rest and renewal. Culturally, though,  we have grown to largely ignore the natural cycles that create rhythm in our lives.

In the United States, of all the months, December is perhaps the one most crammed with holiday celebrations, office parties, and stress. One can’t help but think of Solstice, St. Nicholas, Rudolph, Santa Claus, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas presents bought in crowded stores,  plus a plethora of other events and obligations. It would be healthier for all of us and for the planet, too, if we just forgot about all the holidays as reasons to travel, shop and spend money.

So how come December has gotten to be such a month-long Hallmark Celebration? Well, that’s due to a successful marketing campaign. We all know that and around the world, most of us have bought in. Before you think me a spoilsport, throughout the month, let’s examine other perspectives often lost in holiday shuffling and perhaps create for ourselves a simpler, yet satisfying observance of the wintery holiday season without the cost, guilt or frustration and yet can be a sustainable source of fun and sharing.

Native Americans in the not-too-distant past were concerned with simply surviving the cold month of December. Winter Maker Moon, Moon When the Wolves Run Together, Time of Cold Moon, Moon When All Is Gathered In, Heavy Snow Moon, and Ice Lasts All Day Moon were descriptive names for the month among Natives of the northern latitudes. Can you imagine what it was like to spend the winter holed up in a smokey, hide-covered tipi in the midst of the Plains with wolves lurking outside and snow drifting in through the cracks? Woman’s work such as sewing and repairing leather garments, cooking and keeping the children from underfoot was done in dimly lit conditions. Let’s get real. What would it be like having to take a pee during the middle of a stormy night? Life for our original inhabitants was a struggle no matter how much romanticizing we do about it. No one was thinking about a jolly man dressed in a red suit arriving on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. No way!  Hungry tribes would have immediately slaughtered the reindeer. I’m not sure what would have happened to Santa or his presents. Okay, I said I wouldn’t be a sourpuss. Think of it as  I’m just setting the record straight.

What they did look forward to was the recognition that the longest night would soon give way to longer days. Longer days allowed hunters to spend more time securing meat for their families. Longer days meant that the season of new shoots was in the not-too-distant future. It would be a few months before spring actually broke winter’s hold. Severe blizzards could still ravage the land, people could starve to death or run out of firewood and freeze but everyone knew once the longest night was past, that winter would not last forever. There’s a hopefulness in that.

By making simple observations of the natural cycles, we can begin to open up to appreciating the complexity rather than mundaneness of living. When we give credit to forces beyond mortal man’s ability to manipulate, such as the return of longer days, then we can celebrate wonder and rapture. Simple pleasures become more satisfying.

December is a good time to set the intention and make a shift to observe the simple things which we’ll be doing more of as we journey through the month. See you soon!.


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Help out a special child this summer!

My recently published Kindle edition e-Book, “A Rare Purple Bear,” will make a thoughtful gift to give to that special young child who recently lost a close relative or loved one. Clancy and his cast of colorful holiday characters can also make a thoughtful gift to present to a caregiver of a child who has a terminal illness, or to a hospice summer camp. To a summer hospice program, consider gifting a Kindle eBook portable reader downloaded with “A Rare Purple Bear” available through Amazon.

Thank you and many blessings on your day.

Cover for eBook: A Rare Purple Bear

Cover for eBook: A Rare Purple Bear

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A Rare Purple Bear

ARPBcopy_2A Rare Purple Bear, my just-published second ebook through Kindle Direct Publishing, did not start out as a tale for children going through the grieving process; although it was started around the time of my mother’s death in the early 90’s, so perhaps the seed had been planted in some manner. Rather it was a story written for a young friend about a stuffed white teddy bear who had been hand-crafted around Christmastime to be sold as a gift. Clancy came alive as the last stitch was sewn in place. His insatiable curiosity started getting him into mischief almost immediately. It didn’t take him long before he got all sticky from a candy cane hanging on a Christmas tree which once smelled, he  couldn’t resist eating. Of course, Clancy was spotted by Santa Claus during his visit and …

A Rare Purple Bear’s evolution into a story of grieving came about just a few years ago. Instead of starting at Christmastime, it began in the spring of the year and involved a bear cub venturing away from his family’s winter den. Ironically, the draft was finished just hours before the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, which left twenty children dead. The synchronicity of the moment did not go unnoticed but it took longer than I anticipated to put my revised version in its final form; however, it has now been published as an ebook in time for Easter by Amazon Kindle eBooks. 

I decided that since holiday times can be quite stressful for children and their families and especially for those who have lost close family members or friends, for those suffering with extended illnesses, and/or quite lonely for those away from their homes that I would base my book in recognition of these stressful times. 

A Rare Purple Bear  is a read aloud fiction book for four to eight-year olds although it can be read and enjoyed by all ages. It is the tale of Clancy, a curious, cream-colored black bear cub. By accident, the young bear is swept to his death and over a waterfall on his first adventure out of the family’s winter den in the spring of the year. He tumbles into the colorful Land of Enchantment, a parallel world of celebratory holidays and magic, just in time for Easter. Throughout the new revision, familiar holiday personalities befriend him and thoughtfully encourage his curiosity and offer support as Clancy weaves through his personal grieving process. The cub joins in the camaraderie, festivities, and the hope-filled magic of seasonal celebrations from Easter, into the summer and fall months, and up until Christmas Eve guided by the Easter Bunny (EB) and Ellie, a young deer. A Rare Purple Bear resolves in a joyful ending that will endear everyone.

A Rare Purple Bear is available from for $3.99. Reading it on a Kindle or similar device allows for ease of reading under variable light and room conditions while making management easy for family and/or caregivers. Please pass the word along to anyone you know interested in bringing adventures rich in color, imagery, understanding, and comfort to young children and their families.

Thank you.

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Raven’s Journey Home: A Kindle ebook

Book Cover for Raven's Journey Home

Book Cover for Raven’s Journey Home

Writing this novella for young adults is a significant achievement for me as it took navigating realms of technology that have changed substantially since the book’s conception over forty years ago. My works always start with pencil on paper and then progress to typewritten. Well now, I can chuckle looking back through the drafts of my early work typed out on paper with a portable typewriter, never dreaming that one day, I’d have a state of the art computer upon which I can write, edit and publish with ease and release it into the ethers to be captured and read by others around the world. I still start out with pencil on paper, however.

Raven’s Journey Home has been substantially changed since I wrote excerpts for Alpine Lady, enough so I feel the reader might like to purchase a copy of the new one launched as an ebook and now available through Amazon Kindle Books.

Book Description

Who hasn’t heard of Raven, a corvid with legendary status? Tales abound of Raven’s trickster spirit helping shape the destiny of mankind. However, in Raven’s Journey Home, having been seduced by his own ego and the materialist greed of humanity, he has fallen from grace and blames himself for the partial demise of First Earth and the ensuing Time of Great Sorrow. To regain the trust of the spirit forces who are reclaiming the land, Raven must confront his own shadow and release its grip on his psyche before he can, once again, act as archetype and creator for the Mystery.

Like stepping onto the Holodeck of the Federation Starfleet vessel USS Enterprise, in Raven’s Journey Home, the reader begins a voyage of environmental fantasy to sensually  experience and practice the transformation of life’s boundaries. A thought-provoking novella for young adults, written to enliven the reader’s curiosity about the magic of living systems found in the natural realms of a northern rainforest, it’s an expressive journey rich in imagery, filled with transformational magic, and flowing with the rhythms of nature. Patricia DeMarco has created Raven’s Journey Home complete with engaging possibilities that challenge the reader to become personally involved in the co-creative re-evolution of a more compassionate humankind.

FOR a very long time, thick mists and unrelenting rains veiled both the forest and seashore. Even the distinctive hissing sound of Raven’s rhythmical wing beat and his guttural croaks were subdued by the sounds of drenching rains assaulting the environment.” And so the scene is set for Raven and the reader to explore the mysteries, navigating between the Forever Worlds of past, present and future with a hummingbird, a river otter, the Peoples of Gaia, Grandfather Whale, and the Elders of the Thirteen Moons as guides.

Please follow the link to Amazon which I’m providing and open to view some of the inside pages. You’ll get a hint of what’s to come.

Please don’t hesitate to share this post with your friends, family, and social networks around the world. Thank you!