A single candle illuminates the window. The darkened pane dazzles in the light. What is behind the darkness? Ever mysterious and profound. I imagine what lies out of sight. Whose lives dream and weep Behind the darkened window? The truth does not matter. I am inspired for having dreamed a little. The imagined lives outside myself have lit an internal spark. An inspiration of what it means To live. And I reflect on my own full life.
The succulent fruit hangs from the peach tree just waiting to be plucked. With just a small amount of force the branch gives way its bounty. A tight snag Then a snap with release. The shape is like a little sun A glowing orb cupped in my hand. The orchard is full of these golden jewels. A bounty of sweet joy. A little green leaf left its mark on the flesh with a little shade from the rays. The rays gave it nourishment And now I jubilantly hold It close to me. I smell its fuzzy soft skin and take a bite. Oh, succulent ripe peach! Its juices no longer contained and they release out with the scent of summer and promise. And the creative potential to alchemize into something more than a mere glowing orb on a tree just waiting for the right passerby to bring its gifts into fruition. What seemed impossible to the little blossom when the sun whispered, “You are more than what you seem. You just wait and have faith.” And I’m at awe to see It bloomed into joy.
I cannot see what lies Outside the door When I am safe behind it. I hear voices Loud and bold. Are they broad and jubilant? Are they escalating to laughter or to an argument? A voice raises an octave. The speed of speech quickens. I am nervous and unsure. Do I look and see who is Outside the door? I work in a courthouse. It’s filled with lawyers, defendants and civilians. It’s a rotating door of comings and goings. The clicking of high heels Echo down the hall Until they disappear Around the corner. The walls in my office Are not as thick as One would think. Concrete is not a great insulator Against the reverberant noise. When all is quiet, I hear the tick-tock of the clock High up on the wall. It looks down A bird’s eye view. In the beginning, I had the best office with two huge windows overlooking College Hill. Always the sound of cars, of construction, of landscapers, Even voices of those below Peppered my days. Now I’ve been moved to a more active part of the courthouse. With a small window Overlooking the quad. It is grey no matter the season. The rays of sun Hardly get to seep down Into the square space. Noise permeates outside my door. It is a good thing. Quiet days tend to extend into A very long work day And I am counting the hours Until I can get outside. I crave solitude. At times, I crave The silence. The world is not A quiet place.
The doorway opens. Heartbeat to heartbeat Seeds clutched in my hand Waiting to be sowed Not knowing what lies ahead. Seeds are like ideas and words. Some have a way of Flowing into the heart and mind. Germinating into core beliefs, A shared memory or story. Where it originated Sometimes a mystery. Seeds can root into an entire story whose words and thoughts can empower and create growth. Some stories have to be Pruned back to allow in more light And space for new growth to take shape, To embody and take root. It all starts with a little seed. A seed in my heart that germinates into thought, Speech and the written word. Those fruits can then be passed From me to you. An offering from the heart.
The wild darling on the cusp of spring The crocus has found its way to the surface Having traveled over and over In the same track as its predecessors. The cold earth has found a softness, An opening. And the lush green breathes into me. The fragileness of new life. The sun breathes out energy. The seedlings desperately alchemize And rapidly transforms. Their ripe green petals mimicking grass Kiss and pepper the earth. I marvel at the emerald blades That try to camouflage into the lawn. They are hardy and make the perennial trip. They wake me from my winter slumber And remind me, even in the bitter harshness of cold and darkness, This too shall pass. And my heart leaps to join the beauty, To wear green and lie in the grass Warm to the touch from the golden sun. I touch the delicate petals And thank them for this yearly gentle reminder. A smile forms on my face. The mourning doves have returned this year. I wonder if the young couple will find a more hardier, sturdier nesting place. Nature is the greatest teacher.
The Imagination knows no limits. Sometimes it has a mind of its own. It takes me to unseen places and brings to life fantasies that have never seen the light of day. The Imagination is soft and wild. It comes from a place deep inside and longs to be expressed. It is unconcerned about money, chores, Earning a living or maintaining a home. It is desire even unknown to me Until it leaps out onto the page. My hands moving swiftly Making marks on the pristine paper. It is in my child’s mind As she creates stories, conflict, and magic Recreating a story or a movie to her understanding. The Imagination is not looking to adhere to standards of what is good or acceptable. There is no grade-point average to attain. The Imagination thrives on space to express and room to grow. To explore its edges unending and terrain always an adventure awaiting to be expressed.
I am a student of the Earth. I am in awe of her glory and ever-changing nature. The Earth provides Sustenance, life, beauty. There’s always an opportunity to tune in and learn. I watch the outside world from my window Warm and cozy indoors. Protected from the bitter cold Freezing rain and icy terrain. I know intuitively That the snow will eventually melt Like the ice caps on the mountains. This too shall pass. I am in tune to her nature. I live and breathe the lessons. I study her patterns and accept what is out of my control. My hands cup my warm mug of tea. I take a sip. The Earth is now in my cup. In the water, the plants, and herbs. I internalize her spirit and continue to be The ever-faithful pupil.
Maybe it was the title of the book that caught my eye on that fateful day in the College Hill bookstore. Or maybe it was all that pent up teenage angst. The contradictory belief that I was The quiet and good girl. I was helpful and nice But a mental punching bag for bad boys And my big brother blaming My very existence for Ruining his life. I was an innocent But carried so much blame and shame. Too much for my 17-year old self to handle. That book opened a doorway And I felt the words jump off the page Viscerally into my ears, mind, and heart. And I could finally breathe. Uninhibited, unrestricted I was accustomed to hiding the cries And sharp sips of air from sobbing. I was trying to intuitively calm myself But not finding the support or space to calm down. I was made to feel weird and awkward For my self-soothing efforts. I felt at peace for the very first time. Comfortable with my steadiness of breath and mind. This was my very first time practicing meditation with just this book by Cheri Huber as my guide. Oh, how I craved that feeling. It was an incredible high, I was filled with love and acceptance of who I was on that very day. Looking back, the framework of a Mindful practice had come into focus. I was empowered, Elated that inner peace was truly possible. My meditation practice has evolved since then. I typically listen to guided meditations these days. I have new teachers that I follow: Sharon Salzberg, Hunter Clarke-Fields, Kris Carr to name a few. But it all started with that one book that has brought me to new heights. Clarity, insight, calm and peace are always within my grasp And I am forever grateful.
I accept the ever changing season. The pendulum swings From extreme heat to bitter cold. I accept that among the cosmos The entire planet is smaller than The dot in the letter i I matter. I belong here. I walk the earth gently. I smile upon those I greet On this shared path. I accept that this moment is fleeting. It always is. And then the next. I allow myself to fully accept that which is out of my control. I cannot make the icy wind chill go away Nor stop the tide from crashing onto the shore. And since the earth is but a dot, My comings and goings hardly go noticed And I accept that too. My very existence means the world To my family and friends And that I do not take for granted. When I feel surrounded by love For myself and others I open the window of my heart And let love in. Inspired by: “Close your eyes and open the window of your heart. Only when you have no more need for acceptance will everything you do be accepted.” RUMI
The white snowflakes Gently fall to the earth. They are big, fat and wet Sticking to the ground. They stick to each other. They cover and blanket the earth. I am unable to decipher their individual shape among the many crowded underfoot. I walk gently. The freshly fallen snow Pristine, untouched by another. I do not want to disturb the perfect symmetry of smooth white hugging the earth Masking and taking shape of whatever object they land on. I decide my path of travel to make an imprint A mark of life that is there Inhabiting this space Disturbing the untouched earth. I must walk on.