Waking Up

Like the remnants of fog burning away in the morning sun
the last rags of dream whisper through the valleys
of my waking brain, gnats caught in the cobwebs of consciousness.

In the beginning of the year, the drops of mist form words
and a sentence emerges like a sapling from the fog:
All that I have been is compounded in the present moment.

One morning I wake and the spiders whisper the name
of an impossibly green stone, like poison, like miracles:
Dioptase, a viridian eye that sends forth the tentacles of the heart.

Or a song will be ringing in my ears as I tiptoe downstairs
in the dawn: Give yourself to love, if love is what you’re after.
Open up your heart to the tears and the laughter.

I gather the strands of silk and wool and hope that have caught
on the fences between the world of waking and sleeping,
and weave them into the story of the day, the week, the year.

There was this one: I am walking down a sunny city street
and am filled suddenly with foreboding, knowledge of a Terrible Presence.
I know that it will destroy me, and the world, if it senses my recognition.

The key, I learned without learning,
is to keep that knowledge hidden in the back of my brain
and cover it up with gratitude and joy and hope.

(Already I know that I will be revising this poem, to make it less self-referential, less plodding.  But I wanted to get it down today, and this is the place where I do this work.  Welcome to my process.)

Gratitude List:
1.  Towhee is back.  Ellis misidentified him as the orchard oriole.  If you know the two birds or have a bird book handy, you’ll understand why that makes me proud.  He’s getting his birder’s eyes on.
2.  Weighing cheese for the farm store with Ellis.  Impromptu math lesson on rounding up and down to the nickel.
3.  Chocolate cake/brownie goodness.  We have discovered the Grand Unifying Theory.  This is the basis of everything.  I love the Saturday crew.
4.  Phoebe babies in the barn.  It reminded me of the lovely book which my Great Aunt Lizzie gave to us when we were children.  I will read it to my own children again this coming week as we wait for the little ones to fledge.
5.  Ellis making the point that one of the things that is important to him is taking care of the very smallest ones.
(Hmmm.  A lot of Ellis in this list.  He’s a special kid, and so is his brother.)

May we walk in Beauty!

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