How Energy Flows

A marvelous day today, beginning with a lovely hour in the grove. Then my Reiki 2 class with Sarah at Radiance. It was a lovely deepening, meditative day.

And the evening has been about getting reports finished for school. They’re due tomorrow afternoon, so I want to get some more done tonight before I go to bed. I’m just not going to shame myself for being a procrastinator. I wish I hadn’t cut this one so close to the wire. I always do. But feeling shame about it doesn’t help.

I think perhaps I’ll use some of what I learned in my Reiki 2 class today to try to shift some of that energy for next time. Break some unhealthy patterns by shifting energy instead of trying to shame myself out of them. I’m so done with shame.

Gratitude List:
1. Shifting energy
2. Sharing energy
3. Golden mornings
4. Wise teachers
5. Compassionate hearts
May we walk in Beauty!

Happy Shakespeare’s Birthday:
“‪Good morning. There is a small, but meaningful thing you could do today in the service of your long term goal. Do that thing and then celebrate your progress with wild abandon. This is how we cultivate our dreams with a gardener’s gentle diligence.‬” —Jarod K. Anderson, The Cryptonaturalist

“Most lives are not distinguished by great achievements. They are measured by an infinite number of small ones. Each time you do a kindness for someone or bring a smile to his face, it gives your life meaning. Never doubt your value, little friend. The world would be a dismal place without you in it.” —Lisa Kleypas

“Decide to rise.
Lean in. Listen up. Closely.
It’s your soul speaking and she says,
Get UP! I need you. I want you. I am you. Choose me.
Lean in. Listen up. Closely.
Decide to rise.” —Danielle LaPorte

“What you are comes to you.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Poetry, indeed, has always been one of humanity’s sharpest tools for puncturing the shrink-wrap of silence and oppression, and although it may appear to be galaxies apart from science, these two channels of truth have something essential in common: nature, the raw material for both. To impoverish the world of the birds and the bees is to impoverish it of the bards and the biologists.” —Jane Hirschfield

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” —Helen Keller

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
―Jalaluddin Rumi (Barks, trans.)

“We Are…
our grandmothers’ prayers,
we are our grandfathers’ dreamings,
we are the breath of the ancestors,
we are the spirit of God.”
―Ysaye M. Barnwell

The Questions You Came For

Today’s Prompt is to write either a traditional sonnet or other structured poem, or an anti-form poem. I was going to try a sonnet, but I don’t think I have it in me tonight. Instead, an inelegant little haiku:

This doctor checks my
heartbeat, then prescribes purring:
It’s cat medicine.

“I touch God in my song
as the hill touches the far-away sea
with its waterfall.
The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.”
—Rabindranath Tagore
Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
“We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds beacons, causes proper matters to catch fire.To display the lantern of of soul in shadowy times like these -to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.”
“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become.” —Brooke Hampton
“Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God.
Every creature is a word of God.
If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature—even a caterpillar—
I would never have to prepare a sermon.
So full of God is every creature.”
—Meister Eckhart
“We live in a world of theophanies. Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb. Life wants to lead you from crumbs to angels, but this can only happen if you are willing to unwrap the ordinary by staying with it long enough to harvest its treasure.”
—Macrina Wiederkehr
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” ―J.R.R. Tolkien
You have been walking through desert for centuries,
walking for hundreds of miles toward mountains.
Suddenly there in your path stands the guardian.

Every quest, every dream, every task has its challenger–
She who will stand at the gate of your destiny,
waiting to ask you the questions you came for:

What is the thing that you fear? Can you face it?
What is the name of the monster that haunts you?
Can you look death in the eye and say, “Feed Me”?

If She reveals Herself at your parting,
you must be ready to hold what She offers you:
a small golden aster and three white-hot stones.
―Beth Weaver-Kreider

It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could you know. That’s why we wake
and look out–no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.
―William Stafford

Gratitude List:
(I am achy and chilled tonight–hoping to get a substitute for classes tomorrow so I can kick this cold.)
1. The bright souls who populate my classes.
2. A warm bathrobe
3. This warm cat. Sachs seems to sense that I am under the weather, and he’s been clinging to me like velcro tonight. Cats are the original Reiki practitioners.
4. Warm socks
5. Sleep

May we walk in Beauty!

Bridge Week

DSCN8665 bridge2bridge Bridge3
Bridges. One across the Susquehanna (EWK photo); below it, a bridge in the Scottish highlands, a photo found on the internet, which some friends and I have used for a meeting of hearts; and on the right, two bridges across the Mill Stream at my school: on top, a photo from the school website of the footbridge, and below it the road bridge on Mennonite School Road, taken from

This is the beginning of my final week of summer. It’s a bridge week, from the open rhythms of the summer to the formal rhythms of the school year, from a slow and contemplative pace to a quick and formulated pace. These are not value-judgement statements–I need the macro-rhythm of shift from one to the other, and I am looking forward to daily structure which someone else has created–I only have to fill in the outlines. While I will miss the freedom of the summer schedule, I long for the more formal rhythms and rituals of the school day.

I love that my school uses the bridge as its symbol. It offers a rich metaphor for reflction. As I contemplate the coming season during this last week before school, I wonder how I can make my work at school into a bridge, safe and sturdy, that helps to lead young people from their childhood into their adulthood, toward independent critical thinking, toward compassionate responses to the pain of those they meet, toward trust in their own instincts and ideas.

Gratitude List:
1. I am taking a Reiki class today. I’m very excited.
2. Bridges
3. Family time
4. Harvesting up in the fields just before sunset, when the clouds are big and towering. In the fields, we’re up out the hollow and can see the full sky, how the light from the nearly setting sun in the west hits the clouds to the south, shining golden and white, glowing magenta and tangerine.
5. Morning yoga–waking up the spine, feeling the stretch.

May we walk in Beauty!

Because a crow

because there was a crow
there was a crow that morning
that morning in the snow
in the snow where the crocus were blooming
where the crocus had cupped their violet bowls
just yesterday around the pollen-padded bees


Gratitude List:
1.  Reiki
2.  Reading
3.  Rest
4.  Flow
5.  Belonging

May we walk in Beauty!

Bowl Full of Winter

Here in the space between what it means
and what is brightly shining,
in the moment between breathe out
and breathe in again,
in the doorway to May

I have found the key to the door
of my grandmother’s old house.

Here in the thin space
between sun rays,
in the verdant corner
between the wren and the bluebird,
on the threshold between worlds

I place the key,
along with a small white stone
and the small arm bone of a squirrel
into my bowl of winter.

I have been pulling poison ivy
from among the honeysuckle vines,
plotting kindness to my neighbor,
watching how the wisteria twines
around the iron railing,
how it cascades into sunshine
like a purple waterfall.

Gratitude List:
1.  Reiki.  I saw so many colors during my session.  Such colors.
2.  People who support their local farmers.  I am humbled and honored by it every year.  Grateful, so grateful.
3.  The Gnomes of Goldfinch Farm.  They offered Jon the gift of a stunning clear quartz crystal today.  A twin, with double terminations.  Jon would say he found it.
4.  The way the wheel turns so lucidly into May.
5.  Fried Rice.


Breezes and Footprints


It was such a fine powder
that the shovel seemed like overkill
so I pulled out the leaf blower
and tethered myself to the garage
with the long orange extension cord.

In places it blew the fine particles away
from the tiny dimpled pads on a cat’s paw print
like an archaeologist’s brush,
leaving the faint foot print stubbornly intact
beside a stretch of black surface
where the heavily crushed tracks of the car
had flown away in my wind like flocks of white birds.


I can see clear pictures in my head
of things that happened long ago,
like catching crawcrabs in the creek
with my brother and his friends
the year I turned eight.

I can still smell the bullfrogs
that had grown from tadpoles
in my friend Jenelle’s aquarium
the summer I turned nine.

I can still taste the custard apples
we picked from the wild space
behind our house in Shirati when I was six.

I can still hear the hoot of a hyena
way off in the distance
on cool Tanzanian nights when I was five.

I cannot recall what I ate for supper last week,
nor what I told you about my journey
when I saw you at Christmas,
and I cannot remember why
I stood up just now and walked
into the other room.

What forces determine which pieces
will remain frozen to the surface,
and which will be blown away?

Why do some delicate paw prints
of the long-ago past continue
to tiptoe through my memories
while whole chunks
of yesterday’s heavy tire prints
whoosh away on the wind of time?

Yet others encounter opposing breezes
and drift back over time’s winds
to settle back in lacy veils
over the present moment.


What is the substance of memory?
I remember that I first met my grandmother
when I was three years old
just off the plane from Africa.
Is the image in my mind
my memory of that moment?
Or has it been blown there
by the breezes of story
told and retold in my family
of a child who ran into the arms
of a grandmother she had never met?
Perhaps it doesn’t matter.

And where now will it reside in my memory,
now that I have called it up into the present,
I who miss her so, who have a tender three-year-old
of my own, and tears in my eyes?


These stories of memory are gifts
that we give to our children, saying,

You are who you are in this moment,
like this fresh landscape of new-fallen snow.
But also here in this moment you are who you were,
like the grass that stretches up through the powder.
And you are who you will be,
as the winds blow across,
constantly shifting the surface of things.


Prompt for Sunday

Thanks to Jodi Reinhart for the prompt today: Write a poem about the middle, about the anti-polarity.  Oooh!  You know you want to join me on this one.


Gratitude List:

1.  Reiki
2.  Angels everywhere
3.  The delight and focus of a 6-year-old who obsesses on a craft project
4.  Sun to melt the drive and roads to blackness
5. This:   2013 January

May we walk in beauty.

Take Heart

Take heart.
Take mine, yours, any heart.
Take heart
and hold it tenderly
in the bowl of your hands,
in the warm breathing space
where your open palms
have held damp soil,
small creatures,
warm eggs fresh from the nest,
where you have cradled
the heads of tiny babies,
cupped water,
offered prayers.
Take heart.


Gratitude List:
1.  Gentle reiki from Nicki
2.  Charoite with yellow-green calcite inclusions
3.  Learning to say No
4.  (The other) Beth Weaver’s seductive chocolates
5.  The Way Things Work book