October 27, 2021. Today began with intense thunder as a front arrived right as we were letting the dogs out for their morning release. Our young one, Ramble, is afraid of the dark (really!) but will (usually) go out with just a hint of dawn (having not been out since dusk the night before). This morning she balked. Enticed onto the back porch (porch light on) for breakfast alongside elderly companion Buttercup, I closed the back door and settled into the porch rocker to wait awhile.
Quite a scene ensued – our cat Brie had slipped out also. Brie and Ramble each enjoy teasing the other, and the whole back porch was rocking with their ruckus. Buttercup and I observed. And waited.
And I thought of Lilie (Tea and Toast with Kindness) who often posts Zen bits of wisdom and observation from early hours. I tried closing my eyes to “let it be” but Brie would not let it be! Thus, this poem emerged. Lilie, this one’s for you.
Image is from a prior somewhat-calmer togetherness. Clockwise from top: Brie, Buttercup, Ramble
March 20, 2021. For Spring Equinox, I received the prompt “I remember” and immediately connected to the honeysuckle out back, remembering how to re-leaf after our rare (and disastrous) Arctic blast three weeks ago. The storm arrived after the honeysuckle had put out abundant blooms. We feared more than those blooms were wasted – that we might have to prune the honeysuckle down to the ground, that branches too could well be dead. The sight of honeysuckle covered in lifeless blah-brown leaves was very disheartening. But within a week, tiny green leaves began to push the brown ones off branches. Hoorah! Now only a few brown leaves remain, with green ones out to the tips of each branch. Plus new blossoms!
The image is a collage of a single 2nd-round blossom over backdrop of ice-over leaves and 1st-round blossoms. (I took no photos of the blah-brown mass.)
April 16, 2020. I saw the alert of an unusual alignment of the moon with respect to Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter. Wee hours of the morning, as moon is waning thus rising later, later each night. Clouds precluded photos the first two tries, but this morning at 3:00am the skies were clear. Whoopee! Then ooops … come back in an hour after the moon is above the trees. Still, I took one cluttered shot. (I did go back an hour later for uncluttered pics. None nearly as interesting, though.)
August 6, 2019. After a long trip comes an indefinite period of prowling through camera images and phrases noted in journals, piecing together highlights of experiences to be savored (likely not repeated). In June we camped several days in the National Forest up above Cloudcroft NM, where we frequent in August for the annual Gathering Of Circles. This year our mountain time had to be earlier, as Gary’s school year shifted earlier. Tonight the Gathering begins; but yesterday teachers were already back at Stony Point High School. Since I cannot be at the Gathering, I am instead immersed in photos and memories of June’s mountain bliss. Wild irises were in bloom – something I’d never seen before, as they finish their cycle well before August. I found this haiku in my journal.
May 6, 2019. Rains have summoned the spade-foot toads, up from their burrows into misty night air … calling (could this be deemed crooning?) with a knowing confidence and persevering vigor. They like the pond just off the back porch (very near the bedroom window). Mating lasts throughout the night. Unable to sleep, I go out to enjoy the party.
February 12, 2019. Now and then a poem emerges in response to something I’ve read. This is one of those – from puzzling over what Robert Okaji might’ve been thinking when he wrote Window Open, Closed. Realities include Robert’s poem, listening to Alan Watts, and the imagery. Our bay tree suffered heavily in 2018’s freeze, and though now only a fraction of its former size, the image reflects its determination to keep flavoring our suppers. The photo collage includes a prior moon and prior clouds.
Read Robert’s poem here: https://robertokaji.com – click HOME and scroll down to Window Open, Closed.
Listen to Alan Watts “Let Go Of Attachment” on http://www.youtube.com.
February 3, 2019. Our yard is a designated wildlife habitat, and for several weeks the sparrows have been our poster advocates. They take cover in the thick ever-green (in Central Texas) honeysuckle. I’ve combined images of the honeysuckle on rainy days, and included a short video for sound effects: sparrow voices join percussion of rain tapping metal porch roof. Enjoy!
January 8, 2019. One of those stop-in-your-tracks encounters showed up in the sky late yesterday. In a rush to get away from the day’s frenzies … forgot all about those energies … standing transfixed in the driveway. Colors and textures overhead gave the appearance of winter-bare tree limbs ablaze. Just our imaginations, our luck to walk out when we did.
December 22, 2018. Winter Solstice caught my attention this year. Long dark nights suit me just fine – not so for all of us. Hence a number of reflections in groups I mingle with. Yesterday @ 4:21 pm Solstice arrived, between two memorable experiences with our Tundra. First, getting stuck in the mud out at my daughter’s tiny house; then, the battery just quit flat at the car wash.
Standing around outside the Battery store, the moon (almost full) beamed … in a trickster joking kind of way … telling me it’s daylight hours that bring problems … night hours would bring relief!
Home finally, new battery dismissing angst, I took camera and tripod outside to see what I might capture. Luck was with me: Several clear shots and a big smile noticing how this incredibly bright moon was totally undoing “long dark night” … trickster indeed!
This morning I woke early and found the moon peeking at me through trees and clouds. Not 100% full until 11:50 today … but plenty full of light and mischief.
August 11, 2018. Yesterday’s post from Robert Okaji set me to wondering what Hokusai would think of the modern prevalence of companion animals, and if he would have noted such an animal’s response to natural wonders. Reading about being above the storm, looking down, likely in solitude, stirred up an urge to contrast an experience last week near Cloudcroft NM. Different mountain. Different positioning of viewer to storm. Group of humans plus one exuberant Labrador. Admittedly, I was not thinking of Hokusai at the time – preoccupied with concern the hail might get bigger, become destructive. (Wish I had caught Buttercup’s romp with camera – this collage reflects both hail and happy dog.)
Hindsight? CONstructive: moistened dry earth, entertained dog, seeded poem.
Okaji’s “Thunderstorm Below The Mountain”: https://robertokaji.com/2018/08/11/thunderstorm-below-the-mountain-3/