Another Winter

Spring fell into an early winter.

We scramble to remember how cold was last year? How much snow? Where is that puffy jacket?

With little warning, no fanfare, the sky settles into the land, wrapping grey arms around each tree.

The road home follows that reddish path mixed with wet snow into a hazy transition where the sky and land meet.

They become one.

Winter is where peace emerges from the landscape, free of chatter and chaos. Sound and images become more clear and sharp. Music playing since time began surfaces.

In the process of turning within to find warmth and strength we essentially expose ourselves outward to others and the universe, extending a part of our true nature, showing our roots anchoring to this earth, as we reach beyond these limitations.

Another winter.

Another year of growth and another chance at mending fences and crossing divides.

Stepping Into New Light

Three-months have passed since I stepped into a new day, awash in Minnesota morning light. This would be the first day free of layered obligations and responsibilities. Stepping into that light, I became acutely aware that the road ahead was not straight and well-lit; was no longer paved, marked with signage, and known so well that I could navigate with eyes closed.

No, that road no longer existed, that chapter has been closed. Now, I look out from the patio and an empty field begins to emerge from the light. Well, the field is free of obstacles, burdens, emotional baggage – there are no walls, no pitfalls. The field is strewn with fragments of glowing cubes shards of various sizes. And there is no sound, they emit no sounds I can hear.

These fragments are however familiar.

I left the previous life with a glimpse of an idea, a plan. Something out there reassured me that the time is right, the time is now. Everything in the past of this life, leading to now, has been in preparation of the next step, the words, sentences, and paragraphs, preparing the next chapter.

Each day arrives with less uncertainty. Fragments vibrate closer to others and become more familiar as the person I will be going forward reassembles with only what is needed. Over time I will become whole and ready to devour the next chapter.

For now I will turn the first page.

Copyright american artist Phillip K. Smith III, Indio, California,

Across Sand

Across vast red sands
I see your face high in untouched mountains.

Passing for years through dust storms
blanketing the planet I lose you.

Across unmapped sands
following quiet voices.

I forget your face
but remember your name.

Filled with sand I have only memories
of our last spoken words.

Comfort Taken from What is Given

I imagine this scene, a snapshot of any ordinary point in time, perhaps not meaningful to anyone else, is everything I need.

Wandering the path in no hurry, with no end goal, I listen.

For years I have walked this land, but there was always a burden being carried. Aware of this, my attention to where I was, where I was allowed to be, was skewed and incomplete.

The changing sky with rotating blue pockets and clouds twisting into new shapes.

This early May was the first of the year without snow, where we could walk directly touching the earth, between the trees, listening to ravens, knowing that coyotes and bears are near.

The dogs run unimpeded chasing each other down the trails we are building, and into the forest, through raspberry bushes, pine needles, and over fallen logs.

Time slows here.

Intellectually I know that is not true, but within myself, the free being, bends and controls time, and my senses take comfort in living as long as possible in this moment. Even the trees sway more slowly and the sound of wind passing through pine tunnels is music.

With each passing year that puts more distance from the beginning, and closer to another complete chapter, the more I must write of this place, setting the foundation and stages to move completely into the space and continue the journey into the empty fields.

The Next Chapter

Passing through the pages of life,
some chapters are thin and we quickly move,
some consume years and decades.

After decades in one chapter,
it is natural to wonder, is it really over?
Is it time to move on?

Moments of doubt creep in,
pulling with strength – an attempt
to drag you back into the previous chapter.

In these struggles mired in cold wind and rain
outer layers and no longer needed fragments are washed away,
leaving the raw self free of burden with clear vision.

Only then do the fields open.
Only then can we move forward.
Only then can we truly start the next chapter.

Taking Comfort

Standing on the cement patio
hours after the sun fell away
I let go of the city and noise
and stare at the sky.

Stars and patterns slowly come into focus
forming images from college textbooks,
a class I took that one winter when
I needed an escape and comfort.

And the sky provided just that,
structure and basic answers to
questions I did not know I was pondering,
and the heavens brought them out.

Over time I learned about particles and origins
and began to realize life is an entanglement of
ancient energy and physical atoms becoming us
and I take comfort in knowing I am stardust.

Photo by Dakota Monk from Burst

From the Another Place

Descending from the material world, the physical objects and possessions,
distractions taking focus away from the core, the mind, the essence – I struggle to let go.

Do I purposely keep these close at hand, purposely keep distracted? What am I avoiding? What am I afraid of? What do I not want to see?

Fear protects our being from the surrounding world, ourselves, and threats
visible and not visible.

I walk away from projected code, from the broadcasted noise. This is too much, there is too much here, too many voices, pushing and pulling away from what I am inside, even when that is not clear, when the path is obscured and unknown.

I know it is there somewhere, I still have distant connections passing through time and space granting me a lifeline, a way to emerge from the void.

If only I had the courage to reach out and take hold.

Giants

I walked in the empty fields
and fell before the giants.

Holding up the winter sky
their gaze met with fear.

Laying in the snow and staring at the sky
I wonder what being or energy keeps

the balance and the motion, the system
and the path moving despite the tremendous

odds, changes everywhere, and the chaos
as humans continue consumption at any cost.

I wonder what force lives here,
a language we do not understand.

The wind blew strong in that moment, from the west
through old pine, branches releasing silent snow.

I am at the mercy of the giants.
I am here only after they accepted me.

And in the end I hope to fall back into the fields
to be consumed and become one of them.

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