High Coo – August 7 – National Lighthouse Day


I was born in the beautiful tourist town of Traverse City, Michigan. There are many nearby lighthouses that serve as beacons of light to point out the rocky shorelines of Lake Michigan. Mission Point is the lighthouse I have visited most often.

As stated on their website, “Built in 1870, this historic lighthouse is now a museum of local history and culture, and an interesting feature is its unique location. Situated at exactly the 45th parallel between the North Pole and the Equator, the lighthouse was an important warning system for the ships and boats about the treacherous shoals off the coast into the Grand Traverse Bay.https://cityseeker.com/traverse-city-mi/892742-mission-point-lighthouse

Here is today’s haiku:

A Lighthouse

May we find our light

and serve as a beacon of

hope to each other

Drone photo by jayedwardphotography.com

High Coo – August 6 – Tree Hugging

Me tree hugging in Forest Park Forever in St. Louis Missouri

In Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Happiness, he identifies Tree Hugging as a happiness practice. Along with describing his own practice with various tree types, he sums up with the statement, “When we touch a tree, we receive something beautiful and refreshing back. Trees are wonderful! They are also solid, even in a storm. We can learn a lot from trees.” (p.155)

Here’s today’s haiku: Tree Hugging

Oxygen sources

life-giving necessity

so grateful for trees

For more information on how much oxygen trees produce see: https://www.thoughtco.com/the-oxygen-trees-make-1343498

For more information on my favorite tree conservancy see: https://www.forestparkforever.org/


Life Matters – August 6 – Happiness

Photo by Lina Trochez | https://tricy.cl/3ylxv3V

Some of you may have noticed the subtitle for this blog, “We can find the joy – together.”

Coincidentally, I came across a great article from Tricycle magazine which then led to my latest version of The Dhammapada – A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic (c) 2005 by Egil Fronsdal (https://www.amazon.com/Dhammapada-Translation-Buddhist-Classic-Annotations/dp/1590303806.)

First, the Tricycle article, Where to Find Joy and How to Cultivate It, (August 27, 2021) is co-authored by Christina Feldman and Jaya Rudgard, both mindfulness teachers in the Insight Meditation community. One of their main points is: the best way to find joy is to create it. Their 1,500 wordcount article can be found in its entirety here: https://tricycle.org/article/cultivating-joyfulness/

Second, the authors make a reference to The Dhammapada; specifically, verses 197 – 198 on Happiness. My copy of this book, see translation mentioned above, says:

“Ah, so happily we live, without hate among those with hate. Among people who hate we live without hate.

Ah, so happily we live, without misery among those in misery. Among people in misery we live without misery.” p.53

The point of the article, the quote and this post is that we are very unlikely to find ourselves in a perfect place, with perfect people all enjoying perfect joy. More likely we will need to work with ourselves and with a small group of kindred spirits to cultivate joy for one another.

I welcome your thoughts and your translations on how you find joy …. individually and together with others.

With gratitude for you, dear reader.


High Coo – August 5 – Thank You Sir Alec

blue plaque commemorates his birthplace in Maida Vale, London

Today we remember the passing of Sir Alec Guinness, famous British actor most known for one of his final roles: Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars films. I certainly enjoyed him in that role, but my favorite of his performances was Colonel Nicholson in the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. He won both an Oscar and the BAFTA Best Actor Awards for that role.

Sir Alec received many awards and many more award nominations. See his Wikipedia biography here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alec_Guinness#Awards_and_honours

Here’s today’s haiku:

Thank You Sir Alec

Your acting career

lasted over sixty years –

your art continues

Drawing by Nicholas Volpe after Guinness won an Oscar in 1957 for his role in The Bridge on the River Kwai

High Coo – August 4 – National White Wine Day

Today is white wine day. I’m not a wine connoisseur or sommelier but I know someone who is. This is a gentle callout to Dr Brian Metters aka Dr B, the author of a very fine book It’s Not About the Wine! (c) 2020. I haven’t finished his book yet but he’s already mentioned many fine white wines. I wonder what his recommendation might be for today.

Today’s haiku is based on a quote from Dr B’s book and, more specifically, Olivier Magny, (p.10 and 305).

National White Wine Day

Many wines to taste

but the people, the moment,

make the difference.

Here’s to you Dr B.

For more information about this holiday see: https://nationaltoday.com/national-white-wine-day/

For more information about Dr B’s book see: https://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-About-Wine-philosophy/

Book cover shown on Amazon.com

High Coo – August 3 – Animal Chaplaincy

Ahwatukee Foothill News

As many of you know, I love to walk dogs, especially shelter dogs who are awaiting their “furever” homes. Unfortunately, some of the older, “less cute”, dogs may wait a long time before they’re adopted. These dogs are so sweet and so appreciative of whatever attention they receive. They do make wonderful companions.

All dogs, adopted or not, eventually die. They and their human companions may struggle in their final days of life. This struggle can be honored and supported by chaplains.

This month I am preparing to begin my interspecies/interspiritual animal chaplaincy training program. It begins in September and ends next June 2023. (For more information on the program see: https://www.compassionconsortium.org/)

Here’s today’s haiku: Animal Chaplaincy

Watching a loved one

suffer is never easy.

Help them if you can.

I will share more about this topic and training in the months to come but first, below is a picture of the most recent dog to inspire my participation.

Etta Pearl, a blind, deaf Min-Pin Doxie

High Coo – August 2 – Zip a dee doo dah Day

This is me, two days ago. Wheeeee

Sometimes, you just have to take a break, take a risk, and go on an adventure.

Visiting my daughter and her family, we were fortunate to get a last-minute reservation for ziplining in Redwood country. We went on the Tree Tops Tour: 250 feet above the forest floor and up to 40 mph. Seven zip lines, two sky bridges and a 45-foot final rappel. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!

Here’s today’s haiku: Zip a dee doo dah Day

Zip fear – unzip your

freedom – go soaring through the

Sonoma Redwoods

You can be sure; I was very mindful regarding every instruction offered and every takeoff and reentry.

For more pictures and information see: https://www.sonomacanopytours.com/

BTW: Here’s my certification of bravery 🙂

High Coo – August 1 – DOGust 1st


Today is the universal birthday for all shelter dogs. Unfortunately, some dogs find themselves placed in a rescue shelter with no information available about their past, their birthdate or even their name. And yet, these sentient beings still have hope that someday they will help create a new interspecies family with the very fortunate human who chooses them.

I am fortunate to be a weekly volunteer for a canine rescue shelter in St. Louis, Missouri. Our interspecies family currently includes two adopted rescued dogs. We don’t know their actual birthday so we will celebrate it today 🙂

Today’s haiku for DOGust 1st.


love is a very rare joy –

adopt shelter dogs

For more information about this holiday see https://nationaltoday.com/dogust-universal-birthday-for-shelter-dogs/

For more information about Stray Rescue of St. Louis see https://www.strayrescue.org/

High Coo – July 31 – Croagh Patrick



Today is Reek Sunday, aka Garland Sunday, the day for a pilgrimage climb in NW Ireland. This day honors the summit made by St. Patrick which led to his expelling of snakes from the island.

Expelling “snakes” from our geography and our mind sounds like a worthy activity. To learn more about this annual religious event see: https://nationaltoday.com/reek-sunday/

Accordingly, today’s haiku is Croagh Patrick

Rise above the snakes –

expel them from your life here

and now and again

Note: Ireland is a beautiful place to visit. I have visited three times to-date. However, we don’t have to make our snake-ridding-pilgrimage-climb on the Emerald Isle. We can make the symbolic climb every day, wherever we find ourselves.


High Coo – July 30 – National Father-in-Law Day


I was fortunate to have been accepted as a son-in-law by two men. Both attended the wedding ceremonies that conferred my legal status with their daughter. Both co-signed significant bank loans to support major investments that financial institutions would not approve without their signatures. Both were avid anglers who taught me how to fish in their favorite lakes. Both were golfers who smiled as I hacked my way on their favorite courses.

Both mean more to me than I can express today. I am grateful for their time in my life.

Today’s haiku: Father-in-Law Day

Here’s to the men that

show up and support their child

and their chosen spouse.

For more information on this national holiday see: https://nationaltoday.com/national-father-in-law-day/

Are they tears of joy, laughter or sorrow?