Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

Welcome, Spring!

We are two days in to the season of Awakening, of Hatching, of Breaking Open. Two days in, through wind and sunshowers, through gusting rain and rushing cloud. Last year, on the second day of spring, a foot of snow fell in the hollow. This year, a seemingly endless drench of rain.

In the season of Brigid, back in February, we felt the Earth stirring, noticed the sap rising, watched pull toward birth and sprouting. Now we feel the promise, watch the winter aconite drop seeds for next years golden cups, and Persephone’s footprints–all shades of crocus–springing up across the lawns, uncontainable by flower beds.

What, in you, is hatching now? What thing, which has lain long and silently within you like a seed in the darkness, now seeks the sun and breezes? Hold that thing within you, like a seed. See the rough, hard casing which has protected it in its dreamstate. Breathe in the sun of spring, the chill air biting as it enters, and feel your lungs, your belly, your capacity, expand. Watch the casing of your dreamseed break open, and feel the roots push downward within you. Feel the sprout nosing upwards to the light and warmth of spring. What is being born within you? What new capacity? What new heartspace? What plan and purpose? Blessed be your seeds. Crack open. Seek the sun. Feel the rains of spring caress your growing roots.

Gratitude List:
1. The groundhog who is nosing around on the hillside behind the house
2. A day off, to ponder and paint, and catch up on the work
3. The fog of winter is lifting
4. Watching the children grow and become so gallantly themselves
5. The seeds which are sprouting

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Poems, Poetry Prompts

Making Family

A year ago today, Jon and I went to the Walters Museum in Baltimore. It is now one of my favorite museums. This is a filter-altered photo of a marble lion in the Egyptian antiquities section.

Today’s Prompt is to write a poem about family.

Sometimes it all comes ready-made,
like seeds, like sunshine, like rain.
But sometimes you make it yourself.
Take a little clay, a palmful of water,
sculpt and carve, shift and caress,
with great care and concentration.

And sometimes it all just gets
tossed in your direction,
bits and pieces scattered on the wind,
and you take the threads into your hands
and begin to weave. And you chant,
and you dance, and then it happens.

There’s no single formula for family,
no direction manual, no guide.
Blood’s one sacred element, certainly,
but water will do it, or wind,
whatever hold the souls together,
like laughter, like tears.


Gratitude List:
1. Celebrating Chester’s 100th birthday. Harmonica, singing, family, trees, stories, and a picture of Sarah Jane. She was there, of course. I know she was there.
2. Grades are all done and marked ready to submit, and it isn’t even midnight!
3. Reading Susan Cooper’s books with the boys. I love when they get so into the reading of a book that they stand up and start to pace, and talk back to the book.
4. Little bits of tidiness.
5. The warm times are coming. The birds tell me so every morning. I can wait.

May we walk in Beauty!

Musings

Contemplating Dreams and Seeds


Photo from April 2007. May the seeds we plant today grow and flourish.

Random morning musings on the last morning of 2017:
The sun is rising on the last morning of 2017. I can’t say I am very sad to see it go, but it’s had its share of beautiful and shining moments. While 2018 stands golden on the horizon, just like that ball of the sun, we can know with absolute certainty that it will hold its own share of difficulties.

Here are some Re-Solutions I am carrying for the coming year:
–Less giving in to fits of unbridled fury. More using of rage to fuel transformative action.
–Less worrying what others think. More focus on what I think.
–Less frittering. More focusing.
–More and more and more noticing, and being in the moment, being present.
–Follow the images and stories that my dreams show me.

This is last night’s dream. It’s not deeply profound, perhaps, but it suggests a magical realism that I want to begin to incorporate more into my writing.

In the dream, I am reading something by Barry Lopez or Gary Snyder. It sounds something like this:
“Once there were bears, massive creatures of sinew and blood and bone, great beasts of tooth and fur and claw. A day came when they turned themselves into trees, and the trees turned into birds and flew away.”

Just a little fragment, a seed of possibility.

Speaking of seeds, have you seen the little cartoon of two little critters? One is looking anxious and belabored. The other is looking happy, and digging in the dirt. The anxious one says something like, “Why are you so optimistic about the coming year? Everything seems to messed up. What could the new year possibly bring?”

“I think,” says the other, “that it will bring flowers.”

“Why?” asks Anxious Critter.

“Because,” says Happy Critter, “I am planting flowers.”

Ah. There it is.

Gratitudes, Musings

Bless the Seeds

A Blessed Autumn Equinox to you.

“We have arrived at Autumn Equinox, one of those exquisite balance points of the year cycle, the moment of shift in the whirl around our star. The light has been shifting, coming in at a slant that sets everything atwinkle. Every dusk, hundreds of robins sail into the hollow and set up a clatter and cacophony in the bamboo grove. The geese are going, cormorants winging their way, thousands of feet above us, or angling down to the River for a rest. Seeds burst forth.

Say a blessing for the seeds, those packets of potential that burst from the ripened fruits of the flower buds and fall to earth, some to be trampled by passing feet, some to be eaten–fuel for the journeys of the little birds or stocked up by small animals as fat for the coming cold. And some to fall into the rich soil to wait through the winter until it is time to Become.

How has your own ripening been? What is the seed within you at this moment? What is the hopeful little bundle of potential that is waiting to fall, to be carried by the winds and the waves and the creatures that pass, to tumble into the soil of your future self? What has ripened within you, and what will you release, knowing it may grow and bear its own fruit, or may become food for others? What of yourself do you give to this season? Say a blessing for the seeds.” ―Beth Weaver-Kreider
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“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.” ―Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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“Stories,” he’d said, his voice low and almost husky, “we are made up of stories. And even the ones that seem the most like lies can be our deepest hidden truths.”
― Jane Yolen, Briar Rose
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“Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.”
― Patricia A. McKillip
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“Matter is spirit moving slowly enough to be seen.” ―Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.” ―Paramahansa Yogananda


Gratitude List:
1. The morning sky. Sundogs. Woven clouds. Golden pathways of the sun.
2. Those young hawks sitting everywhere, learning to make it on their own. Buffy bellies high in the trees.
3. Walnut leaves fluttering down through afternoon sun. Cherry blossoms of autumn.
4. A tidy house. Well, sort of tidy. Tidier, anyway.
5. Singing with people

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes

Where Such a River Runs

DSCN8974
What a wonder of a tree.  I am so grateful to live here in this place where such trees stand sentinel, where such a River runs.

Gratitude List:
1. The woman who reads bedtime stories to her little dog, and it settles him in to sleep.
2. Stories of people who stood up for what they knew was right, no matter the personal cost.  These days, Sophie Scholl and Wangari Maathai are on my mind.
3. The work of the Nobel Women’s Initiative.   Currently, laureates Rigoberto Menchu and Jody Williams are in Guatemala, witnessing the Sepur Zarco trial to bring justice for Mayan women survivors of sexual violence perpetrated by the Guatemalan military.
4. Blessings on the seeds!  Jon started planting in the greenhouse yesterday.  We will be selling some tomatoes and their friends throughout the mid-season, and doing a short late-season CSA.
5. Vocation

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Poems, Poetry Prompts

Back to the Basics

Today’s prompt is Back to Basics:

It’s the original kit:
everything included,
just add water.

And perhaps to make it right,
a little soil,
a little sunlight.

Nothing more basic,
more primal,
more holy in its simplicity
and its intricate complexity
than a seed.

Strew them wildly.
Blow dandelions,
break open milkweed pods
and send them wafting
wantonly over the fields.

Scatter the seeds of the plantain,
joe pye, and stinging nettle.
Broadcast your wild oats
like hope,
like joy,
like a revolution.

Gratitude List:
1. Seeds, especially the apple seeds that are sprouting, the ones the boys wanted to plant.  I started to tell them how it would be useless because apple trees do not grow up true to type, blah-di-blah, and then caught myself: It is never useless to plant a tree with a child.
2. The Affordable Health Care act keeps coming through for me.  I realize it will not necessarily be so for everyone, but we’re certainly in that majority of users predicted to benefit.
3. Magic.  We started reading Jennifer Murdley’s Toad tonight.  When Ellis realized that Mr. Elives and his Magic Shop, from Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher, appeared in this book, too, he jumped over and hugged me.
4. The gift of sincere apology, and my children reaching the age of reason when they can begin to make sense of the social language of apology.
5. Open hearts.  So many open, compassionate, winsome hearts.

So much love.  May we walk in Beauty!