Honoring Akwasi Evans, remembering old Austin

Akwasi Evans was an East Austin activist, publisher, warrior of the beloved community and an original voice for KAZI’s Breakfast Club. He launched a community newspaper, NOKOA, in 1987 to shine a light on progressive political action in Central Texas. Known for speaking truth to power, he advocated for people of color in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of East Austin. I attended his tribute yesterday and found a heartwarming vestige of Austin’s Beloved Community at Kenny Dorham’s Back Yard, a venue for DiverseArts productions. While the condos are creeping, music is flowing and food trucks are circling this small fortress of cool on East 11th.

For those of us who remember Austin in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, seeing an alley or a field that hasn’t been destroyed or a venue that has stood the test of time brings a rush of nostalgia. Yearning for the freedom of youth, good old days of cheap rents and eats is a way of life. Those were the daze my friends, we thought they’d never end. Glad to see a little left.

Blossoms, Bunnies and Butterflies

Very nice to be welcomed back to the Wildflower Center by this chill cottontail, who also said goodbye when I left.

June in Texas brings waves of yellow and purple wildflowers, a followup to the blues and reds of April and May. Pink is always in season.

Sauntering into resilience


Sauntering integrates resonance, rhythm and rejuvenation – a walking meditation connecting us to our environment. As Lady Bird Johnson said, “My heart found its home long ago in the beauty, mystery, order and disorder of the flowering earth.”

When we flow in rhythm with the trail, awakening our senses to the life around us, we are rejuvenating. In gratitude, we share healing energy with the earth. Spring flowers become dewberries in the fall, reflecting the organic process of unfolding and ripening that also applies to projects and resolving problems.

wild onion

This wild onion springs forth from a hole in the rock – undaunted, zesty, pink, flourishing – resilient.

I felt resilient, resonating with the color and fragrance of so many, gorgeous wildflowers.

These tough cacti pushing bright green shoots from their dry, winter skin speak to the power of regeneration. Resonating with the vibrant energy of Spring brings joy in the transformation of browns and grays into rainbows of red, green, blue, pink, white, yellow, purple and orange flowers.

As temperatures rise, our dormant friends come out to play. Athena the owl returns to her nest at the Wildflower Center to raise her owlets. To everything, there is a season.

Luminations at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

If it’s holiday enchantment you’re seeking, look no further than Luminations. Beginning with an ethereal performance by the Blue Lapis Dancers, thousands of luminarias and colorful mood lights illuminate the garden paths at the Wildflower Center. Dancers performing¬†Oneness of Being.

Festive food and drinks are available for children of all ages at stations sprinkled throughout the gardens, including build your own s’mores. It was misty when I went, but that only added to the magic, evoking memories of snowy street scenes and hearth fires to warm the cockles of anyone’s heart.

One more chance to see this Winter Wonderland tonight and to support the good work of the Wildflower Center.

Art for the People lights up SoFi

The People have Spoken
As the season of giving draws near, a lunch stop and shop at SOCO’s quirky cousin, South First Street offers a refreshing alternative to the swarms of scooters on Congress and the usual suspects at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.  Next to Fresa’s and a block down from Sway, Art for the People offers something for everyone. Gallery owner, Deanna Serra has succeeded in her mission to create a welcoming space for artists to thrive in the heart of South Austin. Lynnie Goodman,  gallery director and artisan market mavin, magically weaves a vibrant array of art and designer crafts. Hats off to the fine flow of the exhibit and celebration of local talent. Do yourself a favor and saunter over to SOFI for a shop and stop during the holidays. The welcome pugs highly recommend it and saunteringarts photo cards are available for a very modest sum. All the more reason to support this woman run, locally sourced enterprise!