Sun Blessing

June 30, 2022. Another June closes, this one filled with flashbacks of my son’s illness in June 2020 followed this June by another family death, all that mixed with current angst about mass shootings and political maneuvers wreaking havoc. Last evening I took a long walk through the neighborhood, hoping physical exhaustion might relieve the mental churn. And did I ever get lucky! Turning the last corner toward home, I was greeted by a gorgeous sun setting “at the end of the block”. This poem wrote itself. Wishing all a similar experience of surprising calm in our hectic times, wherever you may stumble into beauty.

May Sway

May 28, 2022. I live in Texas, blessed with beautiful Spring weather and cursed with polarization on many fronts political. Among the blessings I count regularly are the extended bed of crinums alongside my driveway: thick luscious foliage (until a hard freeze sends their energies underground to wait for a warming trend) and some amazing lily blooms in shades of pink. Blooms are most prolific in May, following Spring resurgence of foliage. I’ve been out amongst the crinums often this month, camera in hand.

These last few days I’ve been in anguish over yet another indicator of growing polarization in this state, this country. Yet another school shooting not very far away, and I am again feeling inept at making any difference in the future of this state, this country, this human population of the planet. Today I turned to a meditative practice that helps me level out emotions and let-be what-is: this imperfect world. My practice is digital collaging, a time-consuming focus-demanding endeavor. I worked with recent crinum images, and this poem emerged bit by bit as blooms fit together bit by bit.

Hoping you enjoy the imagery. Hoping we find ways to encourage compromise for the good of all.

Return To Path

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!

Questioning Hope

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.

Toward The Inevitable

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!)

Bow To Endurance

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.

Golden Fold

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.

Year End Pause

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. ┬áMay 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.

Again

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!)

Autumn Astound

November 29, 2021. Some travels prove to be temporary escapes from habitual patterns and problems. I’ve just returned from a very different jaunt. My daughter as constant witness was a blessing. And I sensed the tug of Minnesota my son summed up with “I’m through with Texas!” His ashes are now up there, spread ‘neath a beautiful blue sky in one of the natural areas he frequently hiked.

Spreading ashes is meditative. Perhaps chilly air contributed to vibrations running through me. After the ashes, a few miles away we stood to watch the Mississippi River flow around Nicollet Island (smack in the middle of the river and the Minneapolis/St.Paul metropolis). I’d never experienced such togetherness with All – feeling like just one tiny fleck, yet absolutely essential. Definitely grateful.

An incredible Thanksgiving!