May 17, 2022. While going through recent photos, choosing keepers, I was drawn back into a surprise earlier this month, reliving the energies inner and outer of my first labyrinth walk since February’s hip replacement. This is one of my two most-frequented labyrinths, yet I’d not walked it for over a year … had not planned to quite yet. Some of the best experiences arrive unplanned – serendipity!
April 30, 2022. This is a mix of reflective and forward views. I’ve chosen the plum blossom as hope’s portrait based on the annual cycle of blossoms to fruit but also for personal associations.
As a child growing up in arid West Texas our backyard was blessed with Daddy’s fruit trees. The largest were a pair of Texas Plum trees planted a couple of yards apart but grown together with outer limbs drooped to the ground surrounding – a tent beneath those branches – tall enough for adults to stand upright, with trunks sufficiently sturdy to climb up for a sit between foliage above and sand below. A fantastic hide-away! Spring blooms brought hope: soon leaves would return, my refuge re-established.
Last summer we planted a small Texas Plum in our Central Texas back yard – photo taken earlier this month conveys my hope this little tree will grow, grow, grow as I age, age, age – my companion.
April 17, 2022. We’ve had Ramble with us a little over a year now – half her young life. She has some unexplainable behaviors! Some we have mediated via training, some (like aversion to being outdoors after dark) we are coming to accept. And some are puzzles, not so much to solve as to engage and explore. Like her morning barks: clearly a ritual for her.
The image below is pulled from a backyard snapshot – blue sky replacing a lot of additional greenery – this better represents my sense that she is gazing off into the “wild blue yonder” during her ritual.
March 27, 2022. Multiple influences overlap in this poem. I created a collage to portray my vision – using found bridge image with one of my own full-moon photographs. The poem stemmed from reading Ram Dass (Walking Each Other Home) and a zooming of poets focused on aging. I am awed to have lived longer than either of my parents – whenever my departure comes, I will not feel short-changed. In the interim, each day is an opportunity to reflect (and wax poetic!)
March 06, 2022. As for so many (in many geographies) – my prayers are currently focused on the people of Ukraine – those enduring the assaults, those who have fled their homes, those in other parts of the world looking on in horror at what’s happening in their homeland. I bow to their anguish. I bow to their endurance, though nothing can put Ukraine back together as it was before these attacks. I bow also to synchronicity, triggering my response to a familiar scene with new awareness of sunflower as symbol for Ukraine.
A rather amazing sunflower sprouted in our front yard from birdseed last summer. I took multiple photos of its enduring bloom, noting the gradual tilting downward of the head. Around YE2021 I considered removing it from our landscape, but was frankly captivated by its durability – I am still waiting to see what Nature has in mind – confident the greedy squirrels did not eat all the seeds – new sprouts expected. Earlier this week I went for a walk, returning as sun was lowering, and I literally stopped in my tracks, stunned by the light, the bow, the association with St. Francis, the “what next” curiosity embodied in cat sculpture poised between them. Also embodied in me, somberly following the news.
February 25, 2022. I’m happy to no longer be as tied to “place” as when I wrote this poem during the first week after my February 2 hip replacement surgery – I am now “me” again mentally and my eyes again focus sufficiently for digital collage. Oh, what surgical meds and pain meds do to one’s psyche and vision and energy! Good to have all that flushed away! I now walk around the block daily (with my rollator of course!) but I am still sitting in my grand dad’s rocker a good bit – often with Labrador companions – each of us “placed”.
January 16, 2022. A single leaf brought me to a stand-still. I’d been out the night before observing the getting-full moon peeking through shifting clouds, all attention upward. Next morning I took the dogs out into bright sunlight – lighting up the sole leaf still clinging to the native Texas redbud tree I’d stood next to staring at the moon. The leaf swayed in a slight breeze. Would I see it separate, fall? No. Still dangling, modeling persistence.
January 6, 2022. The historic significance of January 6 is pervasive in the media and most of our minds today. In between resurgences of anger and angst, I find myself returning to a mindful session yesterday with a group of poets zoomed together to focus on pause and intention. That hour and a half was a pause – opportunity to focus on the temporariness of many things: my self, the Dracaena blooms on the back porch, the moth drawn to those blooms. I feel I was gifted my moment with the moth as a touchstone, to align my intentions with matters I can influence though many other matters vie for my attention. I share this poem from yesterday in hopes it might stir in others recall of a similar touchstone moment of pause. May pausing nurture growth of both acceptance and change.
The blooming of a plant is a progression through moments … as is the passage of time in any way one chooses to measure it … as is the life of a moth or a woman observing moth and plant. Impossible to pause the flow of such, but we can bring focus to specific points and hold those “paused” in our hearts. In a sense any point in time is both an end and a beginning – I’m tagging my moment with the moth as my YE2021.
Background image is today’s remains of December’s Dracaena blooms – moth inset was taken Christmas night, above blooms still not fully open.
December 19, 2021. Winter Solstice approaches – Moon was just full – I am feeling the energies. And writing. And learning to hold all plans as “tentative” … December hip replacement has been canceled while my aging heart steals focus. What next? Meanwhile, I hobble forward … happy to see my Dracaena put forth blooms a fourth time. We did not think this plant bloomed … until it did two years ago; twice since; and now again. (A night bloomer, best views after midnight – lights off, aim camera and hope flash and focus cooperate!)
December 6, 2021. Year end/beginning is near enough to see well enough to expect 2022 delivery of still more uncertainty on multiple levels (political, social, personal). I’m back from Thanksgiving travels which stressed me on the final half day of driving: hard rains, slick roadways, stalled traffic, detours, tension … But I was also graced with driving through Waco Tx under a sky thick with clouds reflecting both the green lights of Baylor’s stadium and the myriad red taillights. Like a trance at the time. In hindsight, the perfect image for a poem I wrote in 2017 about entering misty times. I’ve tweaked the lines just a little and collaged one of my favorite bridges (John Dunn Bridge near Taos NM spanning the Rio Grande River) onto a snapshot of that weird Waco sky. Likw a dreamscape. Indeed, 2020, 2021, and anticipating 2022 resemble dreams of moving forward without clues, fueled by curiosity.
Headed into green “go” and red “stop” encounters 2022 has up its sleeve, to toss into my path!