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.

Autumn Thoughts

Speeding through November with December around the corner, a pause is warranted in the daily flow to reflect, to think, to breath.

The sun settles into the horizon earlier as darkness consumes more time and the cold encourages us to seek more warmth within ourselves.

The day emerges slowly with orange and purple streaks as the light first touches treetops and barren branches covered with frost.

Thankful to be part of this scene, I kneel before one of thousands of trees working together, place my hand gently on the bark and say thanks.

A moment of silence through the shadows crossing my face says more than words I can write or speak in a lifetime.

As I wander this maze of fields and trees I come upon a boundary of sorts, a transition of one landscape to another, from the empty fields to the mature forest, and I pause.  I close my eyes and I breathe deeply, the cool autumn air into these city-depleted lungs, filled with concrete and glass, from industry. 

Here I am in nature’s playground, surrounded by the animals I can only hear and not see, and she allows me to be in peace, allows me to be a small part of this living and breathing organism, interconnected in ways we struggle to understand, even as it becomes more vital for survival.  For this awareness and lesson, for this respite, I am eternally thankful.

Poem – More Questions Than Answers

That crossroad we come to
in moments of stress and blocks,
the struggle choking rational thoughts,
the behavior, the actions – this is not me.

How did this happen?
How did I get here?

Change is subtle and patient.
One day we vow to find balance,
to live and act a certain way,
to be, most importantly, better than
our-self yesterday.

Then time takes over,
and one winter morning, awake before the alarm,
thoughts are consumed with the upcoming day,
week, and months, items and events beyond
control, but consuming, pushing
away everything that is important, that matters.

Closing eyes tight, breathing, trying to push
this away and overcome the thoughts, but it has wrapped cold bony
fingers around the mind and wont let go.

I am losing sight of the path,
I am losing focus of the empty fields.

Each day folds into another as the weeks
and months pass with little notice
and soon another year rises beyond the horizon
and I am forced to confront where I am in this life
and if this is where I want to be, is this the path
I started down before?

How do I break from this cycle?
How do I wrestle back control and stake claim
to the life I am meant to live?

Poem – Tomorrow’s Lesson

As my years here have grown,
and the world around shrinks,
the uncertainty of time increases,
and if I only learn one thing in this life,
it is this:

Cherish today, the people, animals, trees, right here in your grasp, as tomorrow they may slip away.  Tomorrow may arrive, or it may not.

Poem – In This Life

I see the day slip into the night
and the trees I am surrounded by
reach into the darkness.

In another life after
I am the same essence
in a metallic shell.

In another life before
I am the farmer clearing
fields for wheat and corn.

In this life now
I am the culmination
of all experiences.


Poem – Time

Every day is a battle
to find more or slow down or move faster.

Yet time is not aware of our desires
and continues in one steady direction.

The very definition of time is based on
processes and natural events occurring

millions of miles beyond the grasp
of worn and tired hands.

Yet we continue to pin our decisions,
our careers, our relationships, and our lives on time.

We lose focus on now as we reminisce of the past
and wish for the future.

We forget how precious time can be
if we choose to accept our loss of control.

We can only control the present, the people,
and the moments we hold close.


Poem – Each Day

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As my years have passed
more slowly now that I stop
sometimes to catch a deep breath
and really inhale the rising scent of pine,

I see that each day is a gift
and the time in my past cannot be changed,
and the future is always shrouded in mystery,
and I can only live in and embrace the present.

Poem – Rebirth

At the top of the mountain
beyond the pass
I stopped and looked back
at the path I wandered
and there were no footsteps
in the powdered snow.

Further beyond the talus and scree
the empty field burns

and I watch with waning
fear as I let go of that

previous version of me
burning beneath the tree of life.

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Poem – Tomorrow

There is always tomorrow
to put off tasks and obligations.

There is always tomorrow
to pay the bills and do laundry.

There is always tomorrow
to worry and fret.

There may not be tomorrow
to say I love you and now is the time.

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