Thursday, April 29, 2010

I miss my mountain home

I miss my village
High in the mountains
With voices raised in song
Joined by the enlivened creek
Melting snow
And the rush of spring wind through the valley
I miss the constant winter white
Giving way to green and brown
I miss the opening of doors
And the sharing of the wine and bread
I miss the way people would gather in the road
For a few moments of sunshine
Sunbathing on three feet of snow
I miss the rhythm of food and worship
I miss the helping hands
That are always so easy to find
And the joy that is given to
Even the most mundane of tasks
I keep looking for Holden
Out in the world
Of business and Cars
Of shopping, and daily work
It continues to teach me
As I carry it with me every day
One Day I will return once more
To my beloved mountain home
Until then,
I will hold it close in thought and prayer

Rebuilding the Ancient

Pine cones
Pop and crack
They loosen their grip
On the beloved branches
Of the ancient coastal pine
In my back yard
They fall down to the earth
With a thump
That makes me start
Time and again
The wind calls them
Down to the earth
To lay out seeds upon the ground
To rebuild the ancient
From scratch and time
In the rich brown soil

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Skunks

We smelled them
Before we saw them
Up on the hill
Black and white
Through the purple flowers
They rooted in the soft brown earth
And would pause
To nibble as they
With no particular place to go
I felt a stab of longing
For long summer days
For camping and walks with
No destination in mind
And only the decisions of now
My moment
Simple, straight forward,
Black and white
Meandering through purple flowers

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Carrying Stones

I have been watching her
Thin as a rail
As her dreams
Are starved out of her

She has become
wafer thin
This way and that
But trying to
As if
She is cemented to the ground
“Just like everybody else”

I remember the feeling of
The starving time
How it wracked my insides
Until I hardly knew what was

Up or down
Forward or backward

Then I

How heavy the stones were
As I carried them across the distance
To stack them
It was lonely work
Until I realized
The Friend had joined me
And was carrying
The load I was every day
I thought about asking the Friend to leave
Trying to preserve the sense
“I can do this on my own”
But I was so
Tired of the insurmountable task ahead
But the Friend kept on showing up
Carrying three stones
To my meager
I couldn’t send the Friend away now
I was,
After all,
Beginning to see

We lay the foundation,
Then base for the first wall
Soon the Friend surprised me
Bringing in others
Through my freshly mortared
Each picked up more stones
Even though
I still wanted
To resist their help

I practically have a fortress
I am no longer
Wafer thin
And blowing

I know
For my starving friend
Rebuilding time
Around the corner

The Friend
Is already
With her
Carrying stones

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fortune Cookie

I cracked open my fortune cookie
And in it, the paper read:
Be an ambassador for change
All day it lingered
Like the weight of bricks and flowers
On my chest
It might have been
The charge
That caused me to give
My freshly purchased string cheese
To the man
In the Trader Joes parking lot
With the cardboard sign
Or it might have been that thought
That helped my hands to get
A bag
So that I could gather trash
On my afternoon walk
It might have encouraged a pause
In a long winded lecture
I was about to give my daughter
About not listening
And led me
To stop and wrap my arms around her
What if all of our fortunes
Gave us this charge?
To simply be an ambassador for change

I Live in a Gray Blue Box

I live in a gray blue box
With kind neighbors on one side
Who don’t normally make noise
But tend to their flowers with diligence

In front there is a cement pathway
That leads nowhere in one direction
And is boundless in the other

There are often noises
Outside my bedroom window
At night
And during the day
Car doors shutting
Big wheels on the pavement
Twin two year olds chattering with the little birds
Who like to sit in the cherry tree

The roots of the cherry tree
Are embedded in the gray smooth cement
With only a small square hole
For its body to fit through to seek the light
And the rain

Rain has come often this year
With its pitter and patter and wind
Last night the wind visited
And covered with her dancing fingers
All of the sounds
The car doors shutting,
The neighbor’s radio,
The dogs barking
The wind lulled me to sleep
And brought me
In my dreams
To my dear mountains in the North
Where the wind charges through the valleys
Like a train

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Local

He came to the beach
Every day at sunset
A beer in hand
To watch the surf
And the sun
As it lay itself
Down in ocean blue
He was a regular
He was friendly
And at times

When I would come for my evening walks
With my dog
I would often take the long way around
To avoid the banter
Of he and his drinking comrades
Whose names and stories
I do not know

He died this week
Was stabbed by a knife
And bled out on the sidewalk
Long after sunset

There were flowers
That covered the stains on the sidewalk
And beer bottles
Left by other locals

One rock read
“It won’t be the same without you”

And I wondered what it meant
Who had loved and cherished his life
Who will miss him

Maybe from now on I will try
Every now and again
Not to walk the long way around,
Maybe to linger
And hear a story or two
That I would have missed otherwise

Stories of colorful characters
Human beings whose lives are intertwined,
From a distance,
With mine

Good Food and Friendship

Two friends came from a distance
Two weeks apart
To take me out
To two nights
Of dinner and conversation
For my birthday
I Love
Having good friends
Who know me
And love me anyway
Both nights we talked and dined
No subject left uncovered
As we explored our thoughts
Laughed at memories of past
And the trials of everyday life
And dared to speak
Our hopes and fears
Out loud

For my birthday,
I received the gift
Of being known
I have been seen
By loving eyes
As the person I have been,
The person I am in practice,

And the person I shall

Partially because I have friends
Who know me
And love me anyway

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Big People Furniture

We got real big people furniture.

Yesterday we took delivery of a whole new living room set and a table and stools for the dining area. (some assembly required... barely) It's kind of cool to have furniture that hasn't had at least two previous owners.
We got a cafe table because the living room set kind of ate a bit of the dining area. It feels like it fits us, and we're no longer trying to crowd a table into a space that doesn't really fit it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Song of Thanksgiving

We spent the morning
Walking through the tall grasses
The burrs clung to us
As we made our way to the tree fort
In the center of the field

Little feet made a mighty trail
With all of their tossing and tumbling
Purple flowers lay down on the ground
As we passed
Making way for the procession

We found a caterpillar
It climbed first one child’s belly than another
As they watched and laughed
I think the caterpillar got his exercise today
Climbing up
Then starting over
Again and again
Before we made him a cozy bed
In a grass house
Near our tree


We hung swings in branches
And used old logs to sit on
As we ate our snack in the grass

Although we were hidden from sight
I am sure our sound carried
Over the field
As we blessed the earth
With laughter
And our song of thanksgiving

The slugs

The slugs rejoiced in the night
They had a ruckus party in the garden
Way past midnight
At the expense of the lettuce and flowers
Who now have tatters in their gowns

The flowers prefer a full dress
To the modern holey look
That the slugs doled out in the night
I will have to have a talk with them
Or leave out glasses of beer
Where the slugs can drown the flower sorrows
In ale

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My prayer today

My prayer today
Let me expand out
Beyond my plans and ideas
To embrace light
In the world around me
To ignite kinship
To be connected
To be

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A quick, hopefully helpful, note to a friend.

Open your Eyes...
you could loose everything...

Chances are
That your ego
Is not telling
The truth

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thirty Seven and Counting

The celebration of my thirty-seventh year began yesterday
With a new hairdo
And my family gathered round me
Each telling me something that they value in me

This tradition used to make me uncomfortable
I somehow couldn’t believe
The good things
That are unfolding within me
With each passing year

God has had a lot of patience
With my rascally ways

I found this year
That I could listen
To the kindness
That poured from familiar lips
And I could even see
The outline of my own heart
Set out before me
Through the eyes of another

I am changing
I am deepening
I am still unfolding and becoming
I am thirty seven years wiser
With more thankfulness
To come


The beet grew up out of the ground
Its leafy fingers raised towards the sun
Its ripe red earth belly
Is growing rounder and juicier by the day
I watered and watched
As it ripened and expanded above the ground
Its belly resting on the brown soil
When it was two inches around the middle
I pulled it up out of the ground
Surprised by the length of the root
That had held it there
I took it into the kitchen,
Washed and cut it
It stained my fingers and the cutting board
Then I sauteed it in a pan
And mixed it into my salad
Everything it touched
Was left with a bit of its color
With some of its beautiful red earthy life
Including me

Remnants of time

Remnants of time
Deposited on surfaces
Each depicting a thought
Or a memory
I am a collector of natural things
Rocks and stones
Speak to me
And often find their way into
My pocket
And the laundry
Sometimes when I get home
from a particularly observant walk
My arms as well as my pockets
Are full of longings and ideas
That I set out on the table
Or arrange in a bowl
Or display in any number of ways
Out in the garden along the path
Each item holds a connection for me
Perhaps a link to the past
Or a question about the future,
but the best are the ones that come as an idea
that inspires me into creative action
I love to hold these treasures in my hand
To feel the weathered wood,
Or the smooth surface of a rock
Which has been tumbled in the surf
Each treasure has been transformed
Or has the potential to be

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Flight to Now

I walked a thousand steps
Each one held a memory
A scent or a picture
Re-enlivened within
There doesn’t seem to be a bridge
Between whom I was and who I am
That I can span with reason
There are just
That can only be filled
By continuing to step forward
One foot at a time
Into the present and into
New experiences
Which create and renew me
It is only in this present moment
That I can live
Feathers unfurled
Ready for the flight
To now