Waking Up and Waking Up

My husband sells used books. Sometimes he finds fascinating treasures inside the donations. I don’t know about you, but somehow I am a little creeped out at the thought of a confidential consultation with the proprietor of the Gallery of Anatomy.

Gratitude List:
1. Moonrise
2. The sycamore tree at Landis Homes. I’m not sure whether there’s any documentation, but word is that it’s a couple hundred years old. It’s surrounded by glorious and lively wetlands. Josiah found the skeleton of a mouse among its root-tangle.
3. You’re never too old to begin living fully into the truth of who you are.
4. The misty grey dawn arriving as I write in the mornings.
5. Waking up. Then waking up again.

May we walk in Beauty!

Poplar and Sycamore

Today’s Poetic Asides Prompt is to write a lone poem.

Some trees develop friendships, they say,
filling out their branches on the outer edges,
criss-crossing the air between them
with a fine hatch of lighter branches,
creating two halves of a single crown.

When they took down the old poplar,
seventy years old and ninety feet tall,
and rot-wood spreading from its heart,
half the sky in the hollow was revealed,
its other half still obscured by sycamore,
now lone and lopsided, missing half a crown.

Beneath the drive, buckled now by poplar’s knees,
are their roots still entwined?

Gratitude List:
1. Green grass, blue sky, puffy white clouds, and pink trees.
2. The children playing outside together
3. Serendipity and synchronicity
4. Traffic was a breeze this afternoon. (I know this one seems petty, but it’s a really big deal to me. On a good day, I can get to school in 25-30 minutes. The ride home can top 45.)
5. The water is back on. We have not had water since Friday when the pump failed. The plumber is now my hero, and I told him so.

May we walk in Beauty!

The Dreams of Trees

Gratitude List:
1. The black arms of trees reaching up into a magenta sky
2. The white arms of the sycamores with the ginger ruff of autumn leaves against the deep grey of woods along the river
3. Al the many varieties of oak
4. The two triplet birch trees in front of my parents’ house
5. The rusty feathers of the larch and dawn redwoods

May we walk in Beauty!


Gratitude List:
1.  All my Facebook friends who write gratitude lists, which reminds me to do my own.
2.  The bolt of magenta that flowed upward from the morning’s tangerine sunrise onto an indigo belly of cloud.  Sounds a little over-done to read it like that, but that’s kind of how it is with these morning sunrises.  Show-offy.  I’m not complaining.
3.  The same tangerine and magenta in the sunset today.  My life feels a little closed in these days, driving into sunrise on my morning commute and into sunset on my evening commute, and indoors for the hours between.  But hail and welcome, Winter, anyway.  And thank you for the colors.
4.  There’s this thing about the crows.  I can’t quite figure out how to work it into a poem.  I want to say that I am a row of bare white sycamore trees with crows in my hair, crows like thoughts above me.  Perhaps it’s crows and sunset.  Crows and sunset and bare trees.  What is the riddle that keeps asking to be noticed when the crows fly?  I love them so.
5.  And sundogs.  Also in the crows and sunset train.  Still, their own thing.  They way they settle gently on top of a cloud.  How they brighten the sky directly outside their arc.  How they suggest a full circle spectrum around the sun.

May we walk in Beauty!

A New Mother’s Day Proclamation for 2013

Yesterday a group of us got to chatting.  I said I thought we needed–now, today–to follow Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation and set up this congress of women to work toward a better future for the world’s children.  Rochelle seconded the motion and suggested the group to begin it.  Mara responded immediately, said she’d love to see the Proclamation itself re-written for today, but she didn’t think she had time.  Within an hour, however, she had created the powerful document which follows, carrying the urgency and intensity of Ward Howe’s original, and weaving her own voice into the heart of it.


Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your home be city or country, forest or field!

Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our children shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of kindness, benevolence, compassion and patienceWe women of one country will be too tender toward those of another to allow injustice and destruction to continue.”

From the throat of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Make safe, make safe!”

The work of war is not the balance of justice. Blood will not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As we have forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let us meet first, as women, to lament and commemorate the dead. Let us take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing into our own time the sacred impress of love.

Say firmly: “We will not stifle our voices when the voices of so many go unheard. We will speak for the speechless, cultivate comfort for the desolate, foster hope for the fearful and give them room to trust.”

From the throat of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Seek healing, seek healing!”

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, we earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objectives, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Say firmly: “We will no longer turn away from violence in any form. We will challenge the dominant paradigm, offer exchange to dissonance, exemplify compassion and cultivate communication.”

From the throat of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Speak your truth! Tell your stories!”

We will not rest our heads on the pillow of oppression. We will not eat the food of tainted fields. We will not drink the elixir of fear. We will not stand by and watch each other’s children go hungry. We will not allow conflict within our homes, our countries or our world to go unnoticed, but instead will work together to find solutions that benefit all living creatures of this planet.

Say firmly: “We are the mothers of nature, the mothers of mountains. We are the mothers of the well and the mothers of the river. We are the mothers of the hearth and the mothers of the heart. We are the mothers of the wind and the mothers of the work.”

From the throat of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Celebrate the solutions! Create change!”

As women, we commit to mothering the world. We will nurture each part, offering comfort, healing and reconciliation. We will turn our attention towards the pieces that we can address and we will offer each other strength in the face of cynicism and humility in the face of arrogance. We will work together, finding our common ground and points of connection and celebrating our differences rather than allowing them to separate us. We will care for ourselves so that we may better care for others. We will make small changes day to day and build upon the larger ones with the outreach of our inspiration, honoring beauty, creativity and radical thinking.

Gratitude List:
1.  New Proclamations
2.  Seeing Lady Oriole several times in the last couple of days.  Her conversation and manner of dress are less ostentatious than those of her consort.  She appears like rays of sunlight in the dappled leaves of the sycamore, and her speech is whispery and even a little petulant compared to his piccolo.
3.  The way Jon’s music infects us all.  He’ll walk humming through a room, and suddenly I’ll notice that I or one of the boys is singing his song.  Today it was Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.”  Joss picked it up and started humming it.
4.  Julian of Norwich:  All will be well, and all will be well.  All manner of thing shall be well.  And it may not always feel like it, but there’s that glimmer, like a yellow-green bird high in the new-green leaves of spring.  You almost can’t see it, but it’s there.  All will be well.
5.  That viral video of the couple doing karaoke at the gas pump.  I smile every time I think of them.  I want to know those bright and delightful spirits.  Such utter, spontaneous joy and playfulness.

May we walk in Beauty.


What an interesting word, that.  One of those that loses some of its value in its overuse.  Over-spoken and Under-thought, perhaps.  Today, my gratitude list is about Breath-taking Views and Scenes.  Places that make me pause in wonder.  That take my breath away for a moment.  But the act of noticing beauty also gives me breath, sustains me for the often difficult practice of compassion.  Breath-giving.

Gratitude List–5 Breath-Taking and Breath-Giving Views that I Noticed Today:
1.  The early spring view off Mount Pisgah, down over the bubbles of hills toward the River.  Green is spreading, but the leaves have not yet hidden the view.
2.  Heading East on 30 across the Susquehanna, looking toward Chiques Rock, with trees along the River frosted white from the morning mist, the poles along the railroad tracks sticking up blackly among them, and the charcoal grey hill and rocks rising beyond.
3.  A small oak tree, with its leathery leaves still clinging on, in a stubbly corn field, surrounded by tall yellow grasses like wheat.
4.  The very old stone house near the mall–probably once a mill?–surrounded by bone-white sycamores and weeping willows just beginning to don their spring green petticoats.
5.  Great blue herons patiently winging through blue sky.  Primal.
May we walk in beauty.

I realize my list is treeful.  Trees people my consciousness and my heart.
Soon the green will come. . .