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.

Poem – At the End of the Day

Cast from expectations of treeless horizons
and concrete enforced cities,

we landed here within the forest
which quickly enveloped us.

Towering pines scatter the August afternoon
and we run through fallen needles and shadows.

At the end of the day we rest in the native grases
and watch butterfly wings open and close.

Poem – Searching for Myself

Stopping at the green gate and the snow covered driveway, the pine trees embrace the winter sky and the morning light, shadows reach across the space between tree trunks.

Too much Time has passed since the last visit and the space feels foreign. While I remember the name of each tree, I hope the ravens remember me as they circle nearly out of sight, their call still echoes through the forest, the only other voice heard above the winds’ song.

Packed snow crunches with each step. Brown pine needles blanket the white surface, untouched except the many deer tails weaving through the trees, reaching beyond what I can see.

The sun’s intensity warms tired bones and muscles. The wind directs eyes up as the treetops sway against the cloud-free winter blue.

Each breath tastes of nature. Each breath brings me back. Each breath brings me closer to a chance meeting with god.

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Poem – Ready for the Truth

(1)

Return to the pine forest
thinly snow coated.

In this silence broken only
by raven calls we have

to be comfortable with ourselves
in the midst of nature.

I wander the hard trails lined
with dried needles and

attempt to let go of all
thoughts and concerns,

even the direction I am heading.

(2)

Stripped of daily responsibilities
am I comfortable enough with myself

to let go and allow the forest
to let me in?

Am I ready?

What if the forest
does not desire me here?

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Trees and the True Home

The solitude and calm of a northern MN forest is an inviting and welcome break from the city. Pine trees gently sway in the autumn wind and the sun casts tall shadows beneath the crystal blue. This place is a refuge for animals and people and a delicate balance plays out each day.

We are but guests here and with time we are consumed by the trees and the earth to become one and the same.

We are but caretakers here tasked with preserving what is natural, what is instinctual, and lessen our impact.

We are blessed to be here and the reward is absolute silence, snow covered pine needles, whippoorwills, evening visits from coyotes, elusive bears, soaring ravens, and the ritual of becoming ash and returning to the sky, returning to home.

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