Spring Forward

A single gull wends eastward against pink clouds underlit by the rising sun.

Perhaps it is Jonathon, dropping in for a visit to try a few new moves.

Baby Steps

I watch my hands finger the small bootie once worn by my children. The tag inside reads “6/12 months.” This was a first shoe for two toddlers just learning to walk.

I see my fingers move, thinning loose skin on the back of my hands piling up and relaxing. These are ‘doing’ hands.  I have thoughtlessly relied upon them forever.

My children are decades into their lives now. One grew into shoes he used to walk completely out of my life.  The other wears shoes that keep him in motion, learning, building, and exploring.

And here remains the small bootie and the hands that helped those tiny feet touch down on the earth so very long ago.

The Silver tree

It is older than me, taller too.  The silver tree, aluminum fronds, plain pink and silver ball ornaments.  Just the right kind of ornament to reflect the changing colors cast by the slowly rotating color wheel a few feet away.

I have not put the tree up in years.  Not since I became afraid my youngest would damage it when he became angry, as he often did.

2020 has broken lives, families, and created a historical scar on this planet.  People die that should not.  Souls flee failing flesh. I cry by the numbers.

The holiday spirit is in short supply for me this year.  My neighborhood, and this small town, has more holiday lights up this season than I ever remember.  The three-mile treed boulevard through town is festooned with lights strung on every tree. It is a sight. Light a candle against the darkness.

A week ago, I clambered high up in my garage to find the boxes holding the tree pieces. The light hardware and ornaments are stored in a Norbest turkey box. 

The silver tree and the Norbest turkey box are characters from a bygone era.  When companies handed out turkeys to employees as a seasonal boon and aluminum trees standing amid cotton clouds were the latest thing—well over 50 years ago.

Tonight, watching the tree, green to blue, to yellow to red, I remember the first year I was allowed to hang a ball ornament using both small hands, on a shiny limb. I recall the family parties by its light, then the teen parties I had.  One day, years in the future, I coincidentally stopped by my parent’s house on the day they dropped it at the curb for the garbage. 

Those people, that place, are gone.  The years of work, marriage, children, divorce, and youth long gone. Decades flash by.

Tonight, the scratchy sound of the color wheel is familiar.  Maybe working a bit harder given its age, but I understand. The tree and aluminum fronds stand straight, shiny, and untarnished. It is as it was when I was five.

I was not sure why I put the tree up this year, although the angry child in question is grown and gone.  Given the ignorance and infectious zeal that has taken and transformed our lives, I had thought to sideline the winter holidays in deference to the darkness. At this moment, I quietly understand the tree came back to open a window to the past, and perhaps the present, as it is all any of us really have.

I see the tree now as I did then.  My life is lived and the colors still change.  I remember.

A Win

I heard the news.

I unveiled my American flag. It has not seen the out-of-doors since this nightmare began. It rolls and waves on a light breeze on this beautiful autumnal day.

Here is hoping we are again, someday, the United States of America.


Deliver us from ignorance.

Happy Halloween

Samhain Greetings – May the coming season have mercy on our planet.

Owl Moon

Just past full, a moon so bright only major constellations are visible.

Early morning, autumn in the air, just me and the night critters.  An opossum and I startled each other mid-street.

Rounding a corner, an unmistakable call.  Somewhere in the trees to my left was a Great Horned Owl, I stopped. Soon, I realized I was  listening in the wrong direction.  The call was coming from my right, a greenbelt behind a string of low-slung ranch-style homes.

Then I caught on.  It was a duet, the conversation of two Great Horned Owls, with me in the middle.  I listened in for some time before the call to my left threaded off as it flew quietly through the dark.  My cue to leave.

There is magic in the language of owls.  And a kind of hope, at least so says author Jane Yolen.  “The kind of hope that flies on silent wings under a shining Owl Moon.”




Nineteen years.

Bless all those lost that day and those who tried to help, who themselves became sick from the toxic dust.

Not forgotten.

On Gardening

When you pull weeds, it is a lot easier to see.


Even on a quiet day, it is rare when music is not running through my mind. No need to stream music or the radio, it is always there.  Maybe it is that way for you, too. New tunes sometimes come by, but they never stay long. Most often it is something I heard long ago, or just yesterday.

This morning it was the music and lyric, “it starts when you’re always afraid, step out of line, the man come and take you away.”

In the minute it took me to find the song on YouTube, I was crushed by the realization that the lyrics apply today as well as they did in 1966.  Racism, misogyny, poverty, ignorance, and greed are as rampant now as then.  Did anything really change? Does it ever change? Or do generations just wear different clothes, hairstyles, grow old and die feeling satisfied that they made a difference when they didn’t?

The current times expose the fetid underside of the American Dream, of human nature. While it needs to be seen and hopefully engaged, the collective grief is breathtaking.

Political commentary is beyond me. But this has got to stop.


For What It’s Worth

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down