Notes from Puja: Reflections During Strawberry Moon

She just flew up to the window as if to say “Are you Awake now?” I am slowly getting there.

Attempting to summarize my thoughts, my woodpecker friend evokes the question by testing various surfaces on our log cabin home.

What to say? I’m in a reflective mood.

In this record heat, all I can think of is how the mountain air has changed.

We used to cool down more and I took it for granted. Here in Pagosa Springs, we live in a summer “escape” for tourists of Southern States, where our higher altitudes provide relief…usually.

This is the Centennial year for our National Park system.

I am warmed by the writing of Terry Tempest Williams in her new book about our national parks, called “The Hour of Land.” I share her formative experiences as a child who roamed there with my family and my life was “set” in reverence for the Natural World.

River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Camping in the Sierra Mountains.

Growing up in Burbank, California where the smog from L.A. hid the stars from us, I craved open sky and camping in the Sierras. I was lucky to have parents that took us snow skiing, hiking, and water skiing with all their cronies from WW II.

They all had last names beginning with W from their assigned bunks on an Aircraft Carrier. They built each other’s homes after the war and created a life for their children, around campfires, and boats and the natural wonders we all shared. Somehow the smell of pine needles became the most “settling” smell for me. The wonder of big trees became my quest. I went to college in Salt Lake City, just so I could access the Wasatch Mountains.

wasatch mountains during autumn
Wasatch Mountains.

My journey unfolded and took me to Norway at age 19 where I almost defected from the USA. I lived there for two years teaching dance and English while re-claiming my heritage. Not surprisingly, my sister and I have lived in mountain towns and ski resorts most of our adult lives.

Today, I want to remind us all of the natural sense of Sanctuary in the natural world.

I am taking a course on Adrenal Exhaustion, and have been discovering natural ways stress is reduced by pausing, slowing down and noticing the rhythms of natural light, etc. What Stress Does to Your Body

It makes me realize I am lucky to garden, now. I have been planting a lot of flowers in my Growing Dome® this year. My spirit needs the reminder of beauty and celebration.

Few may know our personal secret behind creating the Growing Dome as a home for plants comes out of a Reverence for Nature, and trust in natural order…as much as our concerns for healthy lifestyles.

This seems to be the summer to remind us all that there IS order in chaos, or under it, and as we look to observe it, we find it. Here’s a link to data showing forgiveness is a practice that balances.

A dear friend and wonderful practitioner, Krista Jerrard, wrote on Facebook yesterday:

“Summer Solstice sunrise; May we embrace compassionate collaboration and sacred activism, as we find the courage to stay awake and dive deep into the heart of this crucial time period.”

I share her sentiments, knowing this Strawberry Moon, a full moon on the Summer Solstice hasn’t happened since the “Summer of Love,” in 1967. It won’t happen again, until 2062.

Another friend, Stephanie Austin, writes “The Sabian symbols for this Full Moon advise us to focus on our inner beauty and spiritual values. Use the light of this Full Moon to see and align with what is true for your now.”

I feel it is important to have the time to reflect deeply now on what matters.

What is really essential and where does my love take me?

I find myself enjoying weeding and trimming and the solace of the smells of my garden, in the morning cool and evening fire of sunset. I want to write more about Trees and how valuable their shade is, inside the Growing Dome and out.

I recently read California’s 9.1 million urban trees provide $1 billion in benefits to the state’s city residents, according to a new report from the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station. The state’s average street tree returns $5.82 in benefits for every dollar spent planting and maintaining that tree.

Speaking of trees…

Marcella Eversolle, writes above a poem “Stand strong people,
stand strong…” And offers:

“People are like trees, and groups of people are like the forests.
While the forests are composed of many different kinds of trees,
these trees intertwine their roots so strongly that it is impossible for
the strongest winds which blow on our islands to uproot the forest,
for each tree strengthens its neighbor, and their roots are inextricably intertwined.

In the same way the people of our Islands, composed of members of nations and races from all over the world, are beginning to intertwine their roots so strongly
that no troubles will affect them.

Just as one tree standing alone would soon be destroyed by the first strong wind which came along,
so it is impossible for any person, any family or any community to stand alone against the troubles of this world.”
Chief Skidegate – Lewis Collinson, March 1966

I relish our community of gardeners…and the way our Growing Dome Enthusiasts Facebook page has created a warm welcome to those who are just beginning to learn. I see discovery there, like children celebrating small wins, asking questions, and gaining confidence in their new pursuits.

I feel the same sense of community at Growing Spaces. Sharing work ethic and vision with folks who want to do business a different way, and grow a rhythm which means service for one another as well as our customers.

I celebrate the community of our neighborhood, where several families share responsibility for maintaining our road and access to our homes.

I see community around our Farmer’s Market each Saturday morning, as tourists join us in quest for freshness and abundance. I see it in the campers coming over the mountain to enjoy Pagosa’s natural rivers and streams, and in dog and horse lovers, and churches and holistic health practitioners.

I see it in the threads of interest and learning, online, and in places where I am learning about others creating Conscious Companies.

I can feel the connectedness of all life.

I pause to breathe IN the lasting constancy of Nature’s support for us all in my Growing Dome sanctuary and the land surrounding it. In this time, I feel quiet, and called. I am learning to pace myself and receive, as well as work and as I grow in quietude, I am forever grateful to be involved in a world of plants, teaching about natural systems and the open sky of Colorado.

I am inspired by the words of Maria Montessori who developed her thoughts on cosmic education while interned in Kodaikanal, India, during World War II. It was there, in the context of the natural world and Eastern wisdom traditions, that she had time to reflect and form her recognitions about the essential unities of humanity, life and universe.

She reminds us…

“We shall all walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe, and we are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”

~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential            

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Puja Dhyan Parsons Former CEO of Growing Spaces, Co-Founder
Puja Dhyan Parsons was the CEO and Co-Founder of Growing Spaces LLC established in 1989. "Puja was the heart and soul of Growing Spaces and her spirit will always live on within the company and within each person whose life she touched. Her love for life and passion for nature was visible to all and she was a true light in the lives of everyone who knew her." Growing Spaces Staff


  • Udgar took temperatures in all four Growing Domes, yesterday. The trees act as evaporative coolers, and the temperatures inside the ones that have fig trees (our 22 ft. dome and our 26 were actually cooler than the outside.) This was interesting to me….so I thought I would add it here.

    • So looking forward to being there…can seriously relate to memories of pine trees, mountains, meadows, and lakes of the Sierras. Raised in the foothills myself.
      Curious as to the temperature differences in domes – more info would be appreciated.

      Thank you

      • Thanks for this. Nice that you remember too. What are you asking about temperatures in the Growing Domes?

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