St. Francis And The Live Oak

June 10, 2021. Today brought closure to stress related to our 500-year-old live oak – steadily declining the past ten years in spite of treatment for oak wilt disease. The crew came Tuesday, again Wednesday, again this morning to bring down the last of the five trunks growing from a common base. Agile men scrambled up, up into the branches with chain saws and ropes. Sections of limbs were lassoed, then cut free to swing downward at calculated angles that precluded damage to yaupons growing up and through live oak, as well as fence and crew members. An amazing display of skills and teamwork!

They arrived this morning just as I began a zoom session focused on becoming a peace agent, letting the St. Francis Prayer guide current life – my current thoughts dominated by chain saws. Just as the zoom concluded, the crew pulled away, leaving only the stump and my swirl of memories of the former tree: first glimpse in 1986 while shopping for a house in this area; my teenage son casually perched on one of the overhanging limbs calling down “Hey, Mom!”; prolific bird visitations (even one raven); cat chasing squirrel among the branches (squirrel retreating on underside of branch beneath confused cat); and many private conversations between me and tree.

Relieved that the inevitable is now behind us – tomorrow we begin restoring yard art and flowerpots moved out of the crew’s way – including statues of Buddha and St. Francis. A few flower pots will be placed on trunk pedestals – still huggable.

Spring Clean

March 28, 2019.  Spring has announced herself with an abundance of green coming up through dried leftovers of prior green frozen to the ground.  Lots to clean up in the yard!  I tackled the crinum bed alongside driveway a bit at a time to avoid arthritic reaction to the necessary bending, stooping at unusual angles.  This poem emerged from the meditative nature of putting face repeatedly near earth … plus it was Mother’s birthday.  The following day, my email brought me the poem Earth Song – including:

Those who are dead are never gone;
The dead are not down in the earth:
They are in the trembling of the trees

Indeed, Mother was right there with me in the crinums’ upward thrust.

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Crinums produce large lily-like blooms – mine are a vivid pink, prolific come June.

I’m unable to find a direct link to Earth Song, Traditional from Senegal.  I received it via Panhala – to subscribe, send a blank email to:

Panhala-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Ablaze

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.

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Beneath The Fan

September 27, 2018.  This poem emerged from a diverse spirituality group that meets every other month.  We each share something responding to the session’s focus – then we sit in silence.  Silence can be relative.  Certainly sounds normally unnoticed take on new significance when human clatter subsides.

Last week I took in red yucca seeds and a quote from Florida Scott-Maxwell in response to the challenge: What can you see when you are able to look past all your comfortable assumptions, judgments, prejudices, and fears?  There were several seed-related  responses, and the various seeds/interpretations were swirling in my head as we began what would’ve been silence … but for the old fan directly above me.

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Winter Spotlight

February 16, 2018.   My affinity for digital collage is two-fold — for the freedom to make a moon as dominant in the image as in my mind’s eye, and for the meditative process of detailing, removing distractions to emphasize desired geometry — directed by whim.

A nod to recent posts from Michael Fiveson (m5son.wordpress.com) and Stephanie Harper (slharperpoetry.com) – your words stirred mine.

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Pathway Choice

October 11, 2017.  On this clear October day, I went out to wander the backyard taking photos of fall-bloomers cultivated to attract butterflies.  One butterfly posed for me, and lots of bees.  But my eyes were primarily focused downward, trying not to trip over plants way beyond their beds.   The pathway (what I could see of it) began to fascinate more than the bright blooms.

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Mosaic Moment

October 2, 2017.  A few days ago, on a ranch out in the Texas hill country, a group of us  spread ourselves out for individual silent contemplative wanders.  Our intended focus: “Earth connection”.   I headed for the labyrinth, which consistently helps me focus … and is made of Nature’s materials.

Even on the labyrinth, focus is vulnerable to the unexpected.  But then, paying attention to Nature’s surrounding energies is, in fact, connecting with Earth.

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Near Rociada

July 23, 2017.  Traveling still, now in cooler temperatures and higher elevations.  This afternoon’s rain kept us campsite-bound – an agreeable pace!  I’ve encountered several times lately promotions for “forest bathing” – Japanese Shinrinyoku – preventive healthcare practice of getting oneself out among trees.  Research proves its value.  My experience here bears witness.

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Defiance At Campground

July 19, 2017.  Traveling, taking in (our first time!) the 20th annual Woody Fest in Okemah, Oklahoma; WONDERFUL music experience for anyone considering what to do in future Julys!

Research led us to Pine Trees RV about 2 miles out of town – w,here we were under pines, overlooking a beautiful pond, at the end of a gravel road.  Blissful!  Those trees were most welcome in Oklahoma July heat.

We discovered a female kildeer thought so too – her “nest” barely out of traffic’s path. Speaking gently, approaching slowly, it was easy to get close.  But the moment I crossed her perceived boundary, she tripled in size and fierceness.  And I apologized!  (Right after snapping this image …)

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