I watch an airplane across the evening sky,
diminishing light as the sun is leaving.

Still trees reach toward the heavens,
as blackness envelops the landscape.

Layers transform across the spectrum
scattering particles reaching these human eyes.

What is out there beyond the layers,
beyond the limitations of distance and speed?

Further I sink into the night
as the moon and stars take over.

Deep breath releases a hazy fog
and when cleared, the origin stretches out before me.

Submerged in the depths of winter,
the land beneath layers of ice,
and the pond a giant glass oval,
I dream of childhood…

As the snow blanketed the sky and trees
we listened intently to the radio
waiting, hoping that our school
would close for the day.

After snowstorm stopped,
outside in the front-yard,
the snow piled high along the street,
we built snow-forts and prepared for battle.

Now, so many years later,
dreams and outlooks have shifted
and what was more external,
has become an internal quest
for silence and peace,
watching the setting sun.

Hide and seek with the morning sun as we emerge form a deep freeze in MN.

Through our normal daily lives, time consistently pushes us forward toward goals and moments we may or may not be aware of. We are on this train, sometimes without a conductor, but most times with no way to pause or exit that train. While in some regards, the choosing of what defines our view of time is arbitrary, it is rooted in science, astronomy, and universal constants, motions, and laws of gravity.

Imagine what our lives would look like, how much more hurried we would be, if the earth spun around the sun in half the time?

As the sun sets on the last day of our definition of a year, it does give a mental pause, a time for reflection, and a chance to look ahead at another 1-year block of time. The transition grants a reasonable chunk of time to work with, to plan, and set individual goals as I strive to wake up tomorrow better than I was today.

As the sun falls behind the forest and its last rays scatter through bare branches, I begin to accept this as an opportunity to start again, being with a clean slate so to speak, and visit the fields.

Wind-swept and holding tree shadows, the fields are silent and calm and with no judgment they accept my presence as I prepare to transition to the new year.



For now I am the winter
beneath the mask
revealed beneath the
cold water of the sea.

Eyes open to the sky
above the surface
breath held as snow begins.

For now I am the winter
overtaking the autumn
slowing rivers and lakes
the graying sky swallows the sun.

For now I am the winter
beneath tall trees
releasing snow and ice
as they bow toward the earth.

Emerging from the trees shadow
I stopped moving,
looked up at the winter sky
and finally breathed, inhaling
this world, this scene, and exhaled
what has been holding me back,
what has become the burdens I carry.

Today I became the winter.

When I see the evening sun
gracefully fall into the forest

and the last rays sweep across the sky
I hear the slow progression of cello and violin

as the music makes room in me for these rare
moments and feelings of peace.

I have been down that road
many times in this life

hoping that what is unknown and unseen
would change, a different result would be waiting

but after years of chasing shadows
and fleeing from truths steeped in stars

I found you waiting beneath the setting sun.

The black morning hides tall pine trees
rising against the star filled sky.

The silence broken only by the canines response
to the pack of coyotes and their screams.

A heavy mist hugs the wet ground
and stones glistened with the slightest light.

Through the drifting smoke
the scattered sun brings to life the forest

illuminated in halos captured in photos
that will help remember the peace and quiet.


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.

 

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

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