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By Sharon Courmousis



"Perhaps dreams are like seeds. Some take hold and produce fruit, some are barren, and some spurt and then die. What lessons are there for me? Do I know myself better now than a year ago? What could be possible for 2010?-- Purple Mountain Sage

Increase your enjoyment of living!

January 24, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- Savor these tantalizing offerings to nurture both your appetite and your spirits.  In this issue:  







• 4 navel oranges, large, halved
• 2 lbs yams
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup apricot preserves
• 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut oranges in half, and carefully scoop out the pulp, keeping the orange shells intact. Remove membrane from oranges, then chop/dice the pulp, & set it aside. In a large saucepan, cook unpeeled, washed yams 40-45 minutes or until tender. Drain & peel yams. Mash yams together with the butter & preserves. Fold in the orange pulp, and then season to taste with salt. Spoon yam mixture into the orange shells, & bake 15 minutes until heated through.




Just as much of nature enfolds itself for winter, at this time of year my mind enfolds itself into contemplation of 2009, and all that has happened to me and mine and to the world around this past year. Comparing what actually happened with my plans for the year, I notice that many dreams did bear fruit. Some dreams are still dreams. And a few fell by the wayside. Perhaps dreams are like seeds. Some take hold and produce fruit, some are barren, and some spurt and then die. What lessons are there for me? Do I know myself better now than a year ago? What could be possible for 2010?

Here at Sacred Rocks Reserve there is a labyrinth to walk for centering, meditation and prayer. It is an aid to clearer thinking and to connection with the Creator of all life. A struggle happens within me as I walk the eleven circuits. It is important to live today being fully present, and yes, my nature is to plan. I have always planned. For 27 years my career was financial planning, both business and personal for clients. Even now, as a life coach, I help people create plans for their lives in order to feel secure enough to rest well at night. Pondering the natural cycles of nature I begin to think that perhaps we, too, have natural cycles – times for thinking. Why else do we think of resolutions when we think of the New Year?

This IS the Thinking Time of Year. Winter is the hibernating season. Light fades early and the colder weather tends to keep people indoors, unfortunately. A brisk walk when well bundled is invigorating. Did I mention the clouds? When there is a storm or some wind the clouds race across the sky in seeming competition. As I walk, I realize that 2009 is nearly done. And 2010 awaits me. What do I dream of for the coming year? In this time of global and national turmoil, dare I dream big? Shall I lay plans only for what I know I can do, the safe bets, or do I really let myself go? Do I have the courage to voice what could be possible or do I wimp out and dwell in mediocrity?

Questions tumble in my head as I walk the ridgeline of the Reserve. I gaze out at the horizon, the world before me, the smell of the just rained upon chaparral surrounds me, birds twitter in the underbrush, clouds parade their shapes and colors before me and I decide. I will dream as big as I can. I will focus the dreams into a plan. I will make the dream and the plan as vivid as possible with pictures and with written words. And I will look at it often in the coming year. But when can I do this?

A day. That is all I need. A single day, carved out and set aside from my normal routine, and the space to unleash my imagination. If I can think it then it can happen. There, now I’ve put it in the calendar -- time for thinking.

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

The Purple Mountain Sage is Sharon Courmousis, co-owner of Sacred Rocks Reserve and RV Park, a 163-acre wilderness preserve and campground in Boulevard, CA, which is also home to the Sacred Rocks Artists’ Colony. Sharon can be reached by e-mail at or by calling: 619-766-4480. Visit the Sacred Rocks Reserve website at:

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