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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

A half sunflower seed shell appears as a carved-out canoe.

A platform of fallen bark shards accompanied by curling and broken twigs as sturdy as old fallen logs.

The soil, so solid from above, is strewn with composite pieces, glittering jewels, colored, clear, dark, and stacked deep.

Stray autumn milkweed fluff tucks in under the creamy yellow petal of a spring crocus.

The lilliputian delights of the soil become visible when a photograph is repurposed as a computer background.

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Long before dawn, walking in a sleeping neighborhood.

Heavy thoughts match heavy cloud cover.

On the last circuit, a single twinkle overhead, then two.  Above, the cloud’s part, creating a long, cloud-lined corridor. Passage to a starlit sky, infinite with possibility.  Ease to the troubled mind.

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A jet climbs the vault of the sky, streaming a hot pink contrail just above bright Venus at sunrise.

Bare trees silhouetted against deep pink clouds. The earth gracefully turns toward its guiding star.

Birds cleave the sky far below the air traffic—a cacophony of song not present even two days ago.

The airplane passes overhead and beyond, disappearing in the western sky leaving a pink track parallel to an aircraft that passed not long before.

The day has begun.

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Glistening clouds of snow blanket the ground, the roof, the roads.

You may know these mornings.  Quiet, a dog barking in the distance, conifers silhouette a deep blue sky brightening before an orange-stroked sunrise.

Winter storms pass, leaving moments of unsullied stillness. Beneath the blanket and cold, some things sleep, some perish, some wait – much like memory. Other than the energy of our blood and bones we are only memory. Some memories finally pass, others will only pass when we do.

The sun will soon dazzle the landscape with its untrammeled brilliance, blinding thought to anything but glory. Then the blankets will fray to fluid and reveal again what lies there. 

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Wintry Mix

It started as pelting sleet, cold thoughts melting on arrival.

Gaining fortitude, graupel fell, bouncing with more intention.  Then snow, thick, real, and complex, making a statement.

But not for long. Unfavorable conditions, the parties withdrew.  Nobody noticed.

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The shadows of bush branches outside the window fall on the sunlit wall by my table. 

The wind waves and they dance on the wall and along the tabletop.

Life is in those shadows.  Seasons pass, decades, and the shadows send a signal of what is present somewhere, but not within my reach.

Their impression, more fluid than their being, is energy just passing through of the solid object upon which we are more inclined to focus.

Shadows can traverse time, forward and backward, infinite. While the object that opens that door is even now withering to autumn.

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Have you noticed?  You are getting older.  So am I.

At my annual physical recently – a systems check of moving parts. cardiac, respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculature, neurological, and dermatological.  Blood pressure — the force at which blood courses through veins to keep major organs fit.  Blood pressure is a Goldilocks statistic — neither high nor low is just right.

In concert, these systems create the song that is you. Regardless of age, the collaboration of those systems, and that song, is changing, even now. The breath and thought of today cannot be the same tomorrow.

The pithy slogan “Change Happens,” reminds those with concretized views that change comes to each life.  The deeper truth is we are change, conditioned upon those beautiful physiologic systems and the environments in which we find ourselves.

Sudden or chronic illness, or accident, drives home the message. If lucky, we are allowed to live within the one body granted us until it ages out of the game. Generation after generation until humans are no more.

Life is anguish for some, joy for others, maybe most of the time somewhere in between. Bridging the space between sky and earth, our bodies are the gift that allow us to feel, express, reflect, participate. They ferry us where we want to go on the planet, in its waters, and above.

Experience is the natural and sometimes hard-won aim of biological life.  When systems fail and the body slumps, the kernel that is us trills on, star stuff once again. The drama, accomplishments, losses, and possessions mean naught but as the memories of others that will fade in time.

At dawn, noon, or dusk, mind the blood, mind the body, and enjoy your glorious time while it lasts.

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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.

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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.”

 

 

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Five to Eleven

The clock stopped.

At approximately 10:55 AM or PM, on some day in the last five months, the three AA batteries powering the old alarm clock gave up.  In about the same span, time stopped for more than 600,000 people globally who have, so far, perished at the receptors of an invisible viral invader.

I can replace the batteries. No one can replace the souls or salve the sorrow. Divine dictate does not drive pandemics. Germs do. That they outnumber us is a condition of residency on this planet.

Yet something stirs.  Though stilled, there remains enough power in the clock for its light when touched in the dark.  Something to that.

 

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