being

Returning from Alaska

Returning from an Alaskan retreat, I am different.

Nothing earth shattering and most likely not noticeable to most people I come into contact with.

Back home, the sky has not changed, the trees stand tall against the summer blue, and the grass is coarse from overdue rain.

Obligations, bills, demands, job – waited at the front door for the week to pass and my return.

Emails arrive in the overflowing inbox and the phone still rings.

Lines form at registers waiting for morning coffee.

But something is different.

I left here in a chaotic state, doubts of the pathway I built and have stayed on, despite the uncertainty. I was clinging to the next day or week, hoping that it will be different from today, that if I just hold-out, the answers and next direction will reveal themselves.  I had become complacent and stagnant.

How many years was I going to relinquish control of my path to outside forces with unknown names and unfamiliar faces?

Something is different now that my feet are on the ground here. What happened up there in the Alaskan wilderness?

I walk to the backyard and stand on the cement patio with coffee.  The morning sun rays begin to touch treetops and the golden glow is stark against the deep blue sky.  But I do not see this and I do not hear the ravens playing in the fields beyond the hill.

Lost in some thought I cannot place, my eyes close and I am back in Alaska with a river stretching to the base of distant mountains.  I am flying above glaciers and standing so close I can taste the cold.  I am riding an ATV through forest and open fields until I stand overlooking the river valley and and lose myself to the silence, the beauty, and the immense landscape.

That is what I see now that I am back home.  Now that I have returned from an Alaskan retreat, the burdens I left here with have been replaced with nature, tangible things I can see, touch, smell, taste.  Things that will my mind and push everything else out.  In return for this gift, I am more silent, thinking before I speak, and keeping more calm and control of myself as I attempt to cope with the present and push for a different future that I create.

 

Poem – Pathway

I see a life in the distance
away from here and this moment of loss.

I see a change on the horizon
away from the struggle and terror.

I see above a way forward
through the pathway to the heavens.

Poem – This Planet

Beyond the fields of flowers
reaching the horizon,
another field exists
reaching beyond the stars.

This home, this planet
floats in the endless
expanse of space though
fields of time and gravity.

We harvest the land
and pull sustenance from the earth,
while we gaze upon the heavens
and the possibility of other life.

https://iso.500px.com/usa-night-sky-photos/ Farming the Rift III by Aaron Groen on 500px.com

Poem – The Ancients

Scattered across the window
Overlooking the rocky outline
Of the lake shore.

Cast from the memories of thousand years
Together we embrace as the fire
Fills the black sky with our own universe
And the reflection of the time we have endured
And the souls we have emerged as on the other side.

Standing side by side with flow stretching across endless stars and planets
we emerge each awakening flanked by the white and black wolf.

Together we will enter Valhalla and live among the giants
who have guided and taught us ways of the ancients.

Late evening summer sun

Poem – What is Left

I see shadows drifting
behind the trees.

Across the wetlands dogs bark,
a warning of coyotes stirring about.

Jets crisscross the empty sky
bathing in evening light.

As this day closes
and the night takes over

I am left here in the darkness
with the exposed version of myself.

Poem – Beneath the Surface, On the Edge

A follow-up to a previous post – Beneath the Surface

What lies beneath the surface,
the playground of ancient times,
lands ruled by survival,
raw and primal,
we forever live on some edge
with a defensive posture
ready to protect at all costs.

That slippery edge of snow and ice
straddling deep valleys,
like the string holding a life together,
a tether anchoring to some reality.

Poem – A Childhood in Retrospect

Shifting through photos
I feel no connection, no recognition
to the person with time and years
ahead of them, looking to the future.

Pausing at one in particular in the midst of summer,
oak leaves burning with white light,
the sun slowly fading into the horizon
behind the hill at the street’s end.

What was etched into the mind
when the image became a permanent
moment tossed into a shoe box?
What was the last thought defining that moment?

Years will pass and that young face
will undergo an outward expression
of the strife, agony, depression, and final transformation
built upon the experiences, cast from the struggle.

In time what we are in this life
circles back to the foundation,
the hands pushing up from the earth,
the roots feeding a child’s growth and imagination.

Poem – Silent Awakening

Summer. Days of long hot sun,
the wind scorching exposed skin
and throwing sand and twigs everywhere.

Summer. Early mornings when the sun
first reaches above the pine tree tops
and the light squirms its way through
openings in the pole barn roof, tapping
on closed eyes. Slowly the whippoorwill
across the seasonal creek is heard and
the acorns hitting roof every time
the wind arrives.

Summer. Afternoon storms that build
and tower above the flight paths
of airplanes, the silent clouds
with layers of colors, various shapes,
and ever-changing patterns.

Before the storms arrive as the sky darkens,
I am serenaded by the whispering pine
and the silent awakening of not being alone,
of having a connection with the earth
and to each tree providing shelter.

Poem – Beneath the Surface

I keep it within reach
just beneath the surface.

It is always awake with eyes
open watching me and ready

to arise at the simplest command
always there beneath the surface.

Time has not soften the beast.
Time has not taken away the power.

Over and through the years
I have learned to control

when the beast arises
the appropriate moments to step aside.