The road into the distant sky
seems untouchable, the journey seems impossible,
but this is the start, this is only the beginning,
if I choose to walk.

I return to that road whenever
direction is needed
whenever I need a reminder of the
path at my feet that I choose to forget.

How to bring ourselves to take the first step,
how to find the courage to follow the path?

Have I taken enough wrong turns,
followed enough roads to dead-ends,
spent enough time screaming into the fields,
that this is the path I am finally ready for?

Looking at the calendar, over a month has passed since my last post here. Where does the time go? I would like to say that I was in the midst of some grand adventure, but that would not be true! Life. Just life happening, and dealing with the daily grind, the obligations, and the 9-to-5. It can be a challenge to keep grounded and your head above the water. Venturing further into my 40s, I am becoming more aware of this struggle, and questions of what next.  What do I want the next chapter in life to look like, what story will it tell?

At the end of each day, what keeps me sane and going, are these 2 goofballs, and all their antics, barking, and playtime.

A few years ago I wrote a story inspired by John Haines titled “A Walk in the Woods With John Haines”.  As his words and thoughts continue to provide guidance over the years, I return to this piece and update the images and feelings to reflect the experiences that have defined me.

On our daily walk,
we follow the same worn trails,

make the same turns,
and pass the same trees.

That pond is empty,
covered with algae.

That one is home to
busy and noisy muskrats.

So many times we have
have come this way

that I follow the dogs
as they know where to go

which trail to take
which hill to climb.

Yet this is a new day
filled with nature

and there are infinite mysteries
in each leaf and grain of sand.

2015-10-17 10.15.06

Snowshoeing on 03/02/14

I follow the packed trail others before me have taken. Winding through pine, poplar, and birch, it hugs the rocky shoreline. Up and down over boulders and outcroppings, the trial heads deep into the woods before I stop. An abandoned building overlooks the lake. Trees tower over the skewed roof and poke through glassless windows. Floorboards long ago rotted and disappeared, leaving nothing to prevent the forest from overtaking the cabin on the woods.

I continue north along the same trail which dips into a small frozen valley. In warmer months, a creek would fill this space and empty into Lake Superior. Now it is ice beneath 3 feet of snow. Trees bow in half ellipticals from each side and I pass beneath, careful not to break tree limbs, catch my backpack, or otherwise disturb what is here, and continue up the other side.

With empty and open mind I hear the voiceless tree and gently place my hand on its trunk. Eyes closed. When opened I see the light drawn from before this projections and boundaries existed. I see the nothing that gave birth.


Cabin in the Woods
Cabin in the Woods

The Gate
The Gate

Passing the building made of stone
outlines of people in the windows.
Are they watching the patch-robed
monk passing by?

What experiences brought them here?
What truths do they have?

When the seasons change for the
last time of the present life,
experience, truth, non-truth – merge
a final push to reach further
down the path.

The road leads where the mind thinks
in not thinking the road disappears.

The snowy fields beyond the
closed gate neither sing nor cry.
They wait silently.

Even the falling snow makes no sound.

And the echo you hear is my heart racing
as I stand at the closed gate.