Ray’s Reflections

Following are curated reflections many of my clients found to be helpful in their journey called life.  I have assembled passages from books, poems, quotes, and photography with creator credit.



Passages from the book
“Beauty” by John O’Donohue

The Gifts The Imagination Brings

 The imagination is like a lantern.

The imagination has retained the grace of innocence.

The imagination retains a passion for freedom.

The imagination keeps the heart young.

The imagination awakens the wildness of the heart.

The imagination has no patience with repetition.

The imagination offers wholesomeness: heart and head, feeling and thought come into balance.

The imagination offers revelation.

The imagination works through suggestion, not description.

The imagination has a deep sense of irony.

The imagination creates a pathway of reverence for the visitations of beauty.




The shortest distance in the world is the one between you and yourself.




No person is a finished thing, regardless of how frozen or paralyzed their self-image might be. 

Each one of us is in a state of perennial formation.  Carried within the flow of time, you are coming to be who you are in every new emerging moment. 




The passion of the imagination is nourished from a deeper source, namely, Eros.  The force of Eros keeps the threshold of our lives vital, dangerous and inviting. 


Following are book and article reviews that I selected for your perusal.  The following notes are taken in parts from a newsletter that I subscribe to that has a monthly theme. The Newsletter is called The Power Path, and the following notes are taken from a recent month’s theme entitled, “Restructure and Recalibrate.” The author is Lena Stevens.


 ~Pull out the last pieces of old wounds & patterns, the last threads that are keeping things put together in an old & outdated way.

  • We are leaving the old comfort of known territory and moving into the unknown.
  • We may even feel like there is something wrong with us that we are not functioning like we are used to.

~ The good news: There is tremendous support for restructuring and recalibrating your life in all areas.

  • The bad news is that you will go through growing pains to get there. It will take courage, be uncomfortable to your identity, and you will have doubts along the way.
  • There is some comfort in knowing that there really is no option at this point to move forward.


  • During the remodeling, you need to be flexible & resourceful to survive.
  • Once it is complete you have a new form, structure and space.

~ One of the themes continues to be letting go & clearing out and cutting loose of what no longer serves

  • There are many things in life that could use a change.

~ Think about all the structures that you use every day.

  • The most important one being your body as the main vehicle that supports your life.
  • There is also: your career work & service
  • Your family and main partnership
  • Your home, location, community
  • The various extensions of yourself, such as your vehicles, tools, & accessories
  • Lastly, your schedule and organization of how you use your energy on a daily basis.

These are all the physical structures that give your life the foundation to operate.

~ Let’s not forget about the mental psychological structures that your belief systems inform everything.

–We are complex beings and when you take apart a complex structure with the intention of eliminating the outdated pieces and inserting new information, restructuring and recalibrating the changes may require some adjustments and a lot of patience.

~There are ways you can support the process by being willing to let go, change things up and trust your own evolution.

–A proactive participation is always recommended.

— Evaluate all the structures that have formed your foundation and restructure what is needed.

— Start with your daily schedule. What works, what doesn’t, how can you do it differently

— Be creative and try something new. If it doesn’t work, do it a different way.

This will set the tone for looking at all the other structures in your life.

~ Stay out of judgment. The opportunity here is the possibility of true, deep healing, letting go and permanent change.

~ Your personal environment may also be subject to restructuring and recalibration.

~Pay attention to your relationship with yourself and what you let yourself get away with that doesn’t serve you.




Initial insights from the newly published book, “Wisdom @ Work, The Making of a Modern Elder,” by Chip Conley

I have not completed reading, but I wanted to recommend because of the rich new ideas it introduces early on in just the first chapter.

For those of you in the ‘second half of life’, it has a wonderful approach to introducing this concept of being a ‘Modern Elder’.

The first chapter: “ Your Vintage is Growing Your Value” introduces the comparison of what traditional elders stand for in certain cultures vs. how they can see themselves in our current culture during these times we live in today.

The opening passage from Cicero[106-43 BC]: “It is not by muscle, speed or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment; in these qualities old age is usually not only poorer, but it is even richer.”

The overall approach of the book is to leverage your skills and practices to stay not just relevant, but indispensable in the modern workplace. “The world needs your wisdom, now more than ever.”

The examples used are such things as in the world of machine intelligence, emotional intelligence and empathy [ something older people have in spades] are more valuable than ever.

Here are some of the other highlights early on in the book:

~Elder refers to what one has done in your years lived on the planet[ it is time to liberate the elder from the word elderly].

~Elders reflect on what they’ve learned and incorporate it into the legacy they offer younger generations

~”Modern Elders can move from being the wisdom keepers of the past to the wisdom seekers of the future. Aging exists when you create the perfect alchemy of wisdom and innocence.”

Most Modern Elders are over the age of fifty and exhibit wisdom in the following ways:

~ Good Judgment. The more they have seen and experienced, the better they can handle problems as they come along in stride.

~ Unvarnished Insight. One of the chief assets gained by experience is a clearness of view, and intuitive insight.

~ Emotional Intelligence. “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Modern Elders are self—aware, patient empaths.

~ Holistic Thinking.“Moving into all-wheel drive”, helping to see the whole as opposed to just the varied parts.

~ Stewardship. Modern Elders also want to put their lifetime of experience and perspective to work to positively impact future generations


Below is a collection of poems I have written over the years. I hope you find a quiet moment and reflect on the ones that speak to you. 

They are my gift to you. 


The Depth of Morning

Brightness through the shadows
Sounds through the quiet
Silhouettes through the darkness
The morning depth begins

Sun against shade contrasts
Moon against hillside graphics
Mountains against sky backdrops
The morning depth moves

Trees frame nature’s stage
Birds sing nature’s sound
The river moves nature’s rhythm
The morning depth is framed

Shadows turn into picture frames
Cold air turns into morning’s warmth
Quiet turns into day’s sound
The morning depth is around

The garden awakens from its sleep
The sky awakens from its rest
The forest awakens from its wilderness
The morning depth is alive



The River’s Morning Welcome

Its sound brings welcome to the day
Its reflections brings thoughts to mind
Its movement brings energy to awaken
The River welcomes you to the day

Its pebbles and rocks reflect your thoughts
Its mirroring waters reflect the early sky
Its cascading flow reflect morning’s life
The River welcomes you to be present

Its path brings thoughts of a day ahead
Its pulsating energy brings a body to rhythm
Its multi-colors brings multitudes of inspirations
The River welcomes a gift to yourself

Its turns and twists are endless in sight
Its ups and downs are graceful and strong
Its multitude of colors and textures are a canvas set apart
The River welcomes your day to start

Its cliffs and meadows frame it around
Its trees and brush bring it to depth
Its cold waters bring it to awaken you
The River welcomes you to begin anew



The Morning Shadows

Sunlight dark and sunlight bright, its contrasts arrive
Sunlight frames and sunlight breaks, its colors alive
Sunlight strong and sunlight soft, its textures renew
The morning shadows call you

Sunlight quiet and sunlight loud, its presence is heard
Sunlight reflect and sunlight effects, its light is bright
Sunlight moves and sunlight stills, its strength is felt
The morning shadows surround you

Sunlight here and sunlight there, its surprises abound
Sunlight warm and sunlight cold, its temptations around
Sunlight close and sunlight afar, its depths sound
The morning shadows form you

Sunlight on trees and sunlight on hills, its magic is here
Sunlight on rocks and sunlight on water, its color is strong
Sunlight on clouds and sunlight on paths, its welcome is here
The morning shadows inspire you

Sunlight winter and sunlight spring, it has endless time
Sunlight summer and sunlight fall, it brings seasons to call
Sunlight early and sunlight late, it creates the day
The morning shadows beckon you




Sunlight’s Morning Grace

From darkness it grows with slowness
From background it moves with depth
From dullness it begins with brightness
The Sunlight’s grace shows its face

Its light shows us its depth
Its color shows us its strength
Its movement shows us its day
The Sunlight’s grace shows its pace

Begin again a new day
Begin again the warmth it brings
Begin again its date with this place
The Sunlight’s grace shows its way

Its magic frames the place
Its strength frames surrounding’s glow
Its arrival confirms that all is well
The Sunlight’s grace shows its day

From behind a mountain its movement shows
From behind a sycamore its light brightens
From behind a planet’s sleep its awakening arrives
The Sunlight’s grace shows its morning



Ode to Emile

Your life was full and endless
Your energy and spirit, pure magic
You touched us with an open-ended outlook
We have you forever in our memories

Your art was larger than your full life
Your inspirations of nature’s beauty lives on
You shared a vision: creative, timeless and unique
We loved you, as our life’s art director

Your hospitality was endless, gracious
Your love of Bach was infectious, moving
You welcomed many with your remarkable presence
We had your open friendship to be grateful for

Your artful life was ever-present
Your authentic living style surrounds us
You made Big Sur come to life endlessly
We have been changed forever for knowing you

In memory of Emile Norman



Remembering a Retail Time Gone By

Work hard and achieve the best, was the motto
Respect others, welcome customers as the guests
Do whatever it takes, make the impressions lasting
These were unwritten factors to inspire

A business culture respected as family
A leading edge with world-wide pride
A passion and dedication unknown in its time
These were principles to shine and guide

Early mentors abounded within and around
Gertrude and Harvey, plus Barbara and Dorothy
“Ours Alone” was the cry that drove this memorable team
These were times of learning and earning

Having the ultimate, both products and people, its quest
Making it memorable, for every individual, the test
Working to make it a successful recipe, its best
These were the days to never forget

Were has it gone? To rest in my memory
When will it be back? Not in my lifetime
Could I repeat it? I have in other avenues
These are the rememberings: Gone by, never to return



Ode to Barbara

You were a gift to me yet unknown
Your infectious energy set my focus straight
Your belief in me gave me new insights
You were always there as a tireless guide

Times of growth and expansion gave us new momentum
Opportunities and learning became our cornerstones
Graciousness and quality were our values unmatched
You were a teacher endlessly present

New ways of operating were always shared
Inspired creating was in the path we rode
Setting standards at their highest were our goals
You were the timeless mentor at my early days

Laughter and enjoyment were required tools
Growth and achievement were the endless rules
Acknowledgment and encouragement were engraved in depth
You were there to send me on my next wave

I will miss you in the present
I will never the gift you left me in the past

In Memory of Barbara Rossi



The Sunrise Strength

Quietly its colors call forth
Boldly its reflections come into focus
Magically it moves forward
The sunrise shows its efforts

Brilliantly the clouds welcome it
Brightly the horizon frames it
Strongly it pushes around it
The sunrise shows its force

Magnificently its radiance arrives
Powerfully it moves to captivate attention
Rhythmically it comes forth in strength
The sunrise shows its face



The Distant Morning Calls

Its lighting frames the day around
Far off views come into focus
Colors brighten your attention to see
The distant morning presents itself

Views of ranches and pastures afar
Horses and cattle dot the horizon’s frame around
Birds sing to the sky’s movements abound
The distant morning becomes clear

Shadows evolve into pictures bright with light
Depths show forth that once had night
Sun’s lighting brings mountains alive into sight
The distant morning is here


Fall Morning’s Sunrise

A contrast to morning’s cold, the sun presents itself
Meadows and mountains shine in its strength
Colors dark become colors bright with light
The morning sun takes shape

Distant clouds create the backdrop
Surrounding pine forests set the stage
Depths of fields and trees complete the picture
The morning sun is present

A misty horizon begins to shift into daylight
Golden ranch lands come into view
Sounds abound with morning’s birds around
The morning sun brightens the day

Sunlight paths welcome walks to take
Distant mountains bring thoughts to dream
Far away views take sights inward to review
The morning sun has created a day



A Fall Morning Silhouette

The orchard’s dark trees await the sunrise
The Sierra’s distant mountains frame the horizon
The contrast of cold and warm bring a patch of fog
The fall morning begins

The ranch land stands still with quiet
The frost fields frame pines and oaks
The wild sage sets a golden trim around
The fall morning progresses

The morning brightens the mountains behind
The dark pines begin to stand tall with light
The forest frames the fall orchard’s last remains
The fall morning is alive

The birds sing welcome after night’s snow
The quiet hears sounds of fire’s burning glow
The empty paths welcome thoughts of walks and talks
The fall morning has arrived.



October’s Sierra Morning

Dark Mountains frame the horizon
Dusty clouds reflect the colors to arrive
Distant lake waters accent with hues of blue
The sunrise is set to arrive

Quiet meadows give depth to the setting
Silhouetted trees stand poised for the day
Blue skies backdrop the bright eastern light
The sunrise brightens its way

Dark green forests emerge with colors
Pine tops reach to welcome the light approaching
Sagebrush trims nature’s morning canvas
The sunrise calls to its stage

Faint bird songs begin their emergence
Hues of rose, pink and such reflect the clouds
Abundant shades of gold, greens and blues abound around
The sunrise stillness presents its day


A Different Season

The road to Tassajara was dark from the recent fire
The expectations were high with anxiety
Yet green was sprouting from trees and shrubs
A different season was evident

The arrival to the valley brought surprise
The welcome gate was still standing
The groves of Sycamore were green among darkened mountains
A different season was ahead

The quiet of a saved community was obvious
Mostly untouched was the magical valley
The sacred space had been protected
A different season was upon us

The concerns for the winter ahead were voiced
The specialness of this place apart enveloped us
The Tassajara we knew was alive and well
A different season gave us gratitude


A View of Thanksgiving’s Morning

Feel the sounds of birds arriving
Relax under the branches of trees resting
Feel the view of Thanksgiving’s morn

See the vista of the forest’s face
Surround yourself with Birch, Hemlocks and Pines
See the view of Thanksgiving’s morn

Abound with the wind’s nurturing movements
Nestle in with a rain that comes and goes
Abound with view of Thanksgiving’s morn

Walk among the forest, fields and meadows
Allow your body, mind and spirit to refresh itself
Walk and celebrate Thanksgiving’s morn


A Feeling Pier

Feel the wood planks that creek and crack
Feel the moving sways that massage
Feel the pounding waves that awaken
These are the feeling memories that welcome you

Feel the wind that cools
Feel the sun that warms
Feel the vistas that inspire
These are the feeling memories that await you

Feel the crystal blue sky by day
Feel the clarity of the rippling water visuals
Feel the heaven’s multiple shades at evening’s door
These are the feeling memories that surround you

Feel the sand as you approach it
Feel the pebbles and the rocks as you depart it
Feel the breath as nature’s beauty frames it
These and more are the feeling memories that reward you


A Sky Blue Morning

A single cloud hovers over blue peaks
Pine needles glowing in the morning sun
Horizon’s waters sparkle around
A sky blue morning begins

Mountain air smells awaken the senses
Forest’s trees send fragrant scents
Pine cones line the walks to take
A sky blue morning evolves

Singing birds silence the wind sounds
Waves around the rocky points bid you welcome
The cold morning air gives way to the warmth to come
A sky blue morning has arrived


Beyond The Lake’s Horizon

A clear as clear can be
For it is an autumn alpine day
The purple mountains frame the lake waters
And look beyond the lake’s horizon

In each direction the water’s edge is crisp
From east to west and north to south vistas abound
The many shades of blue and greens form the spectrum
And look beyond the lake’s horizon

A single cloud arrives ahead
Beyond the mountains appears a bank of clouds
For these clouds create the new horizon
Now look beyond the lake’s horizon




Ode To A Mile High Birthday Morning

To the north clouds of cool
To the south sun of warmth
To the east peaks of grace
Welcome to the birthday morn

Quiet waves to the left
Rippling waves to the right
A walk on the sunny sand offers peace
Welcome to the birthday morn

Patterns of pine needles form the texture
Random pinecones accent the walk
The blue horizon completes the backdrop
Welcome to the birthday morn


Ode To A Mile High Birthday Morning

To the north clouds of cool
To the south sun of warmth
To the east peaks of grace
Welcome to the birthday morn

Quiet waves to the left
Rippling waves to the right
A walk on the sunny sand offers peace
Welcome to the birthday morn

Patterns of pine needles form the texture
Random pinecones accent the walk
The blue horizon completes the backdrop
Welcome to the birthday morn


The Lake’s Pink Full Moon

Quietest of nights is here
Like a jewel larger than the lake its light shines
The lake’s water radiating pink waves
Autumn’s full moon arrives with surprise

The purple mountains hold in place
The blue shadow over the peaks lift up
The towering pines frame this picture perfect place
Autumn’s full moon arrives with drama

The moonlight glistens to the shore
The wind stops with respect and more
No clouds to be found to take away its impact
Autumn’s full moon arrives with a moving mood

Full moons come and go
Harvest moons and winter moons and more
But never before has a lake’s pink full moon made its debut
Autumn’s full moon arrives with grace


The Quiet Rhythm of the Lake

The morning quiet of blue skies
The rocky point glistening forward
The restful rhythm begins its day

The afternoon quiet with autumn warmth
The pinecones nested on sunny sand
The restful rhythm moves forward

The evening sunsets reflects the day
The water waves welcome the eve
The restful rhythm surrounds to the end.



A Lakeside Autumn Sunset Sky

A spectrum of clouds
A reflecting lake
A half moon light
Pines, geese and purple mountains set makes the autumn sunset stage

A quiet wave arrives
A sandy beach empty
A scattering of pinecones fallen
Painted textures on the horizon sit brings the autumn sunset closer

A distant light beyond
A boat arriving to dock
A darkening sky takes hold
Glowing moon strikes its pose
Abounds the autumn sunset around

A many layered sky
A depth beyond the eye
A briskness that says it’s night
Reflection and renewal feels inside
This completes autumn’s sunset on high



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