Feel the Shift

Like feeling your way along in the dark, or letting your nose lead you to the little shop in a town that is baking fresh bread, or looking just to the side of the Pleiades so you can get a clearer sense of the seven stars, or following the call of the indigo bunting along the edge of the woods until you finally spot that drop of impossible blue–that’s how we feel the shift into midsummer. Feel the directness of the light, and look sideways, between the sunrays. Feel how the sun hits your shoulders, sense the shift in birdy activity from the establishment of territories and nesting spaces to the gentler rhythm of housekeeping and childrearing, intuit the planet’s pause in apogee–at the end of its long cycle outward, as we begin the slow roll inward. Here we are in the season of fire, of long days and short nights, of full green and hazy blue, of harvest and abundance. Summer can feel like a sleepy time, a dreamy place, but it doesn’t have to be a time of dullness, just a time of taking in the signals of the world through your skin, through every sense you can name, and more that you can’t. Deepen your roots. Unfurl your leaves and petals. Feel the seeds of the new thing forming within you.


Sometimes everything
has to be
enscribed across
the heavens

so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.
—David Whyte


“Whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market.” —Pope Francis


“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” —Annie Dillard


“This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath.” —Margaret Atwood


“Now, on the longest day, light triumphs, and yet begins the decline into dark. We turn the Wheel… for we have planted the seeds of our own changes, and to grow we must accept even the passing of the sun… Set Sail…See with clear eyes…See how we shine!” —Starhawk


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” —Albert Einstein


“Ceremonies large and small have the power to focus attention to a way of living awake in the world. The visible became invisible, merging with the soil.” —Robin Wall Kimmerer


“The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.” —Isak Dinesen

Making Sense

Today’s prompt is to write a poem about the senses. One day when Ellis was about five years old, we had a conversation, and we came up with twenty or more senses, beyond the five they teach in kindergarten. Here are some of them.

Praise for the senses
that anchor the soul to the body,
that cushion the spirit in flesh,
that stitch us together.

For the sight and sound and hearing,
yes, and taste and touch,
and also for the sense of warmth,
and balance, and gravity,
for the sense of what impends,
and the sense of presence,
of self-knowledge, of an inner world.

For the sense of direction,
the sense of time that passes,
of knowledge of what has gone before,
and the sense of duty to others,
the sense of truth, of justice,
the sense of humor,
and the sense of belonging.

Praise for the threads of sense,
the bridges from these islands
of individual humanity
to the world that surrounds us,
and the small universes
of each other.


Gratitude List:
1. The faint rings on the end of Sachs’ charcoal grey tail.
2. The bottoms of his paws, how trim white fur surrounds the black pads of his toes.
3. Advil, when the sinus pressure gets too intense.
4. Four classes are mostly graded for quarter three.
5. How change makes us reflective.

May we walk in Beauty!

The Wayfinder


Today’s prompt is a What I Learned poem.

What I Learned
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

How much a heart can hold, of fire and of earth,
how wild a soul can feel, how feral, how untamed,
how deep attention causes the spirit to rise,
to break free of its earth-bound chains,
how solid the earth upon which we walk,
and how free it feels to rest upon air,
how fire consumes but does not burn,
how water is its own pathway for journeying.


“Oh to meet, however briefly, the greatness that lives under our surface. To summon enough bravery to be without armour and strategy, for the chance at meeting that irreducible power. Oh to make of our terrified hearts a prayer of surrender to the God of Love; that we remain safe in our quivering ache to be near that Otherness, even for a moment. To touch that ancient life who will never relinquish its wilderness, who lets instinct make its choices, whose knowing lives in bones and whose song is a wayfinder.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa
***
“The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring: these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings. If we refuse to hold them in the hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain, we also find ourselves living without faith, hope, and love.”
―Parker J. Palmer
***
“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”
―Emily Dickinson
***
“One of my favourite teachings by Martín Prechtel is that ‘violence is an inability with grief.’ In other words, it takes skillfulness to grieve well, to grieve wholeheartedly. It requires us to bravely, nakedly come to face all that is lost, keeping our hearts open to loving just as fully again.

“When we make war, lashing out in rage and revenge, it is because we are unwilling to make this full encounter with grief. It is easy to enact the same violence which has taken so much from us―including towards ourselves―but the greater work is to let that which is missing enlarge your life; to make beauty from your brokenness.

“Whatever you hold in the cauldron of your intention is your offering to the divine. The quality of assistance you can generate and receive from the Holy is governed by the quality of your inner offering. When you indulge in fear and doubt, you are flooding the arena where love is attempting to work.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa
***
“Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth
in the present moment.”
―Thich Nhat Hanh
***
“An Awake Heart
is like a Sky that Pours Light.” ―Hafiz
***
“Gather the dawn and wind.
Breathe in sun and frost and song.
Hold for a moment.
Breathe out birds and words and joy.
Breathe out moss and stones and hope.”
―Beth Weaver-Kreider


Gratitude List:
1. (What was beautiful?) Three geese winging low over golden fields with sky turning to sunset behind them.
2. (What sounds brought you awake?) Students hitting the chimes in my doorway. I have a little chime magnet that hangs from my doorway, and several students hit it on the way in and the way out each day.
3. (What smells enlivened the day?) I can’t smell much through this cold, but the essential oils I wear in the mornings–patchouli and sandalwood, sweet orange, palmarosa, and lavender–got through. Essential oils help to break through the sinusitis.
4. (What was good to the touch?) I brought out my large black and white scarf, so soft and warm. The cats like it, too. They knead it like little kittens.
5. (What is the flavor of the day?) Turkey Hill’s Homemade Vanilla ice cream. It tastes like my childhood.

May we walk in Beauty!

Only Love Will Guide You

DSCN8162

There is no other answer.
Not purity.
Not righteousness.
Not power.
Not rules.

No book or map.
No speaker.
No leader.
No thing you can buy.
No magic elixir.

Only love will guide you in the end.

Gratitude List:
1. (What do you hear?) Wren calling, coffee bubbling, cat purring, child playing with gnomes
2. (What do you see?) Green, rain, orange fur, deep shadow, reflections
3. (What do you smell?) Clean clear air, earth after rain, coffee
4. (What do you feel?) Chill on my skin, dampness of air, morning aches, tickle in my nose
5. (What do you remember?) Birds in the rain, nap with a warm cat, laughing children, chocolate bar

For all these I am grateful.  May we walk in Beauty!