Welcome to “Life in the Real World”. The world of humans is such a weird and sometimes confusing place but right outside my door I find the world of nature has a realness to it, an ordinary magic with everyday miracles.

This newsletter will be full of photos and reflections on what nature teaches me every day about beauty, wonder and living in the world. I hope you will find it grounding, meditative, sometimes illuminating and full of genuine curiosity about this strange thing we call Life.

Here are some of my favorite posts:

Life in the Real World
Many Ways to Pray
The spiritual traditions tell us there are many ways to pray. I resonate with Mary Oliver in her poem, “The Summer Day”: I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all …
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Life in the Real World
Soft as a Feather
It’s 7:30 AM, the morning after Christmas and most of the world around me is still asleep. The sun is about to peek over the horizon, the temperature is just above freezing and there’s a very light breeze from the east/southeast. The only birds nearby are the crows behind me and some ring-billed gulls diving and chasing each other across the cove. In th…
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Life in the Real World
The Cootie Portal
It’s a cold morning, just below freezing. Most of the lake has melted but the edges and the coves, where the water is shallow, have a thin layer of ice. I’ve taken my seat on the ground in a cove with a small hill behind me that graciously blocks the north wind. A layer of ice covers about 20 feet of ice between me and the open water. The sun will rise …
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Life in the Real World
Leaves
(I haven’t used audio in a long while but this poem just felt like it needed to be read.)She watched as one leaf fell floating swirling dropping leveling twisting falling again until it landed softly on the ground. She described it as an ending, the result of reaching the end of its life. But. What if that story was wrong? What if…
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Life in the Real World
This is Why
“This is why", she thought to herself, breathing in the closeness. "This is why I have been longing to sit on the ground." Listening to his tiny squeaks, noticing the faint remains of his baby stripes. Watching as he dove and rose and dove again without moving further away. He jumped towards her as if something had goosed him from beneath the water and …
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I’ve been walking in a county park near my home in Kansas City, Missouri for nearly a decade. I’ve heard the term “becoming native to place” and perhaps that’s what I’m doing. I want to know “all my relations” as the native people so beautifully say and I’ve come to know many of their ways, their habits, their attitudes and their beauty. I hope my newsletter offers moments to pause and encourages others to notice all the beings in their own world.

Why subscribe?

I hope my newsletter conveys a sense of connection, groundedness and that there’s more going on than often meets the eye of media and social media. My intent is to share the beauty and wisdom of nature with all, especially knowing so many do not have access on a regular basis.

My weekly photo essays are free to all users and I offer a paid subscription for those that want to support what I’m doing and receive regular “drops of beauty” in their email. I am genuinely grateful for all readers and supporters!

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People

Karen Davis
Nature photographer, artist, writer, systems analyst, person who just wants the world to be a kinder place. "Find something you love and let it teach you how you want to live." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer