A Wildness in the Garden


A Wildness in the Garden © 2014 Bo Mackison

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe. ~ John Muir

Connection – A Prairie Wisdom Card

Connection - Prairie Wisdom Card

Monarch on Milkweed © 2011 Bo Mackison

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

The monarch butterfly, a bit of bright color in the summer prairie, has a unique story. Monarchs migrate from North America to Mexico every fall, and then return in spring, in an amazing test of inter-generational resiliency – the monarchs that begin the migration do not return. The next generation returns. It is a story of connection – generations of monarchs are required for the annual round trip.

And the monarchs are a visible example of the interconnectedness of nature. The Monarch larvae eat from the milkweed plant, and only from the milkweed. As the milkweed population lessens from loss of habitat and use of pesticides, the monarch populations decrease. All of nature is connected, often in unknown or poorly understood ways. And we are a part of nature. Our lives are ultimately affected by the decline of the many species of plant, insect, and animal whose numbers are slowly being diminished, often the result of human actions.

Not only are we connected – each in our own spectacular way – to all of humanity, not only does what happens to one of us ultimately affects all of us in limitless ways, but that which affects the smallest creatures on earth also plays an important part in our destiny – and that of our earth.

“Our ancient experience confirms at every point that everything is linked together, everything is inseparable.”
~ Dalai Lama XIV

The CONNECTION card offers inspiration for contemplation, journal writing, perhaps an art activity or a daily practice. How does it inspire you?


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  Bo is creating the set of Prairie Wisdom Cards, second in a series of cards based on natural habitats, and used as inspiration for exploration and self-discovery.


The Bridge – Photo Heart Connection

Savanna-Sabula Bridge III

Savanna-Sabula Bridge © 2012 Bo Mackison

 There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning. ~ Thornton Wilder

When I decide upon my photograph for my monthly Photo-Heart Connection entry, it is often because there is a story connected with it. This month’s photograph follows the pattern.

The Savanna-Sabula Bridge crosses the Mississippi River and connects the island city of Sabula, Iowa to the river hugging town of Savanna, Illinois. I’ve lived in the Midwest all of my life, and have spent many a day traveling the roads that border the Mississippi, but until I crossed this lovely bridge, I never knew there was an “island city” in Iowa. I think of farmland and cornfields when I think of Iowa, not island cities. And certainly not island cities with the character of Sabula.

First, the bridge spans the Mississippi River, then crosses Sheepshead Bay, and manages to find enough land for the bridge supports as it crosses Israel Day Lake, Town Lake, and Dog Wood Lake. Finally we reached the small island-city of Sabula – we were on solid land, for a while.

Sabula has the BEST ice cream sundae I have ever had – and I come from the Dairy State and have had more than my share of ice cream sundaes. The Korner Ice Cream Shop, a tiny walk up, is easy to find. It comes into view just as you enter town from the bridge.

Then we drove the river-side streets of Sabula – old mansions with sit-down-and-rest-awhile-porches, widow’s walks, views of the river life. I imagine in earlier years,, these were quite the places to visit during the warm summer months.

And there’s more. Driving out-of-town toward mainland Iowa, we crossed one more lake, Sabula Lake. And we saw a flock of Great American Pelicans – probably 200 birds, all floating closely together as they churned the waters with their webbed feet, stirring up their dinner. I’m certain I have never seen a single pelican near the Mississippi River, so this was a big treat indeed. (Lots of photo, too!)

But best of all, I shared all these experiences with Sherpa, my hubby, who is always willing to accompany me on a Sunday camera shoot, always happy to check out a new ice cream shop or cross a new bridge. Even after 36 years!

A road trip, the discovery of new wonderful places, and great company. Ingredients for a perfect photo heart connection.

This is a year-long practice with a community of photographers.  As Kat Sloma explains on her blog, Kat Eye View, “Deepen the connection between your photos and your heart and soul by participating in this monthly review of your images, to find the one that best connects to your heart.” All are welcome.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.