Autumn mornings are quiet and dark. There is no bird song, No early sun out my window. Just the hum of taxying planes at the airport. People start their workdays so early. But they showed up So we can all get to our destinations And on with our day. Another example of our interconnection. And the small prayers, the anxious breath, the trust and faith. All on the line. A prayer for safety, A prayer for the pilot and staff Happening right outside my window With each taxying plane. The roaring, powerful jet engines Remind me to breathe and meditate And to send good journey vibes To my fellow travelers in this life.
When life gets complicated, When there’s a distraction at every turn And I feel overwhelmed, Why add a further layer on top of an already full load? I am here. I am present. That’s the only moment that counts. I can embody that space. I can feel love, connection, and gratitude Only when I am in the present moment. Sometimes I forget what’s so profound and simple. But I am willing to learn and re-learn To live this one precious life In the present moment.
Do the leaves hold on to the tree’s branches or is it the tree’s own doing when it comes to ultimately letting go? The leaves have completed their cycle. They were the first buds and sign of spring Opening into colorful blossoms. The blossoms became the green or dark hues Expressing the type of deciduous tree. All shapes and shades of green expanding toward the sky. Next there were the seeds. The future generation of trees were expelled down. Pinwheels of seeds helicoptered below The descent to bring forth descendants. Now that the seeds had done their work, The tree could finally show its true colors. The green transformed to bright oranges, reds and yellows. My oldest calls them the color of the setting sun. The strong autumn breezes help the trees Shed their leaves. And then they are bare, Ready to brace the cold of winter. No fragile blossoms to accidentally freeze. Just the tree and its roots Starkly standing in the white of snow. Forever patient. The cycle can’t be rushed or passed through Because it is nature’s own timing And the tree plays its part. The deciduous tree reminds me That all stages are important. One is not more special than the other. It is a seasonal reminder That life’s moments are brief. And there is beauty and a lesson to behold If I just take nature’s cue.
It’s 9 A.M. on Sunday morning. The booming sound of shots Pierces the quiet atmosphere. Usually like clockwork The shots of gunfire ring like a Sunday sermon. In those moments at the range, You feel connected to a higher power. You may even feel that power in your hands. The handgun is a tool. There’s challenges, targets, and goals. You can set your eyes on the prize. Like all good things It can be loud, hot, and messy With occasional painful flying projectiles Of the shell casings. When the round is complete, We all work together to clean up the debris. Maybe that’s what I crave sometimes. Working together so we can enjoy A distraction and clutter-free space. It’s all in the expectation and communication of the group. We can protect ourselves with safety precautions. Be responsible Americans. The target is clear and tangible. We can see our growth and our setbacks. Each day is an opportunity to try and improve Again and again.
Out of the darkness the dead walk among the living. The veil is thin and ripe. So the line between the two worlds is easily crossed It’s a wonder to see If I open my mind and see what lies before me in the present moment. We dress the part so that the living may take part in the sacred dance to the edges of the horizon and to new shores. Palm in palm we walk in the dark exploring with a flashlight. Will we be surprised at who crosses our path? Will we recognize the familiar behind the mask and the costume? Will we run and tremble with fear? Can I hold the line and be a safe haven for the lonely and the scared? For one day we will have to take the one-way pilgrimage to the other side and follow the well-grooved path to see where it leads. Tonight we pretend that we are walking among what is unreal now made real and tangible. A valley that is easily crossed for those who open their minds and their hearts and accept what lies before them Even through a dark and scary night.
I awake each day and darkness greets me. The morning commuters drive by And then there are crickets. I reflect on the polarities of life. It can be a whirlwind of noise and activity. It can also be quiet and still. I welcome and embody the silence. Either polarity is not a permanent feature of life. The rollercoaster of ups and downs: The hard work and effort, And the gift of glorious ease. Duality often occurs in the same time and place. I know the sun will rise and light will peek through the curtains by the time my morning ritual is done. I’m ready to greet the day Not knowing what’s next to come.
There was a car on fire last week. A red Hyandai Sante Fe. The entire front engine was engulfed in flames. It was stopped on the highway In the lane I typically travel on my morning commute. The traffic was at a standstill. Slowly the lanes began to merge over. I passed the fiery carnage. The flames were so hot, I could feel them Licking and heating up my driver side window. I couldn’t look to see if there was a person trapped. It was peculiar and strange. As the cars started trickling back onto the empty highway, I felt a sense of belonging with the other cars and trucks. We all just witnessed that. Now we’re trying to get back to our commutes, Back to reality, But we all shared an experience. Though we may never meet and talk about it. As individuals in our culture and society, we feel immune to the real world. Our cars give us a sense of self-importance. This experience made me realize that even sharing the road Denotes a connection. We may keep distracted with work, devices, and busyness Claiming busy as a badge of honor. We’re all busy. But how do you live? What lights you up when the workload fades into the background For just a moment? No longer surrounded by grasping or striving, What else is there to discover? Do you have a buried treasure of your own Just waiting for you to be still enough To observe its shine and discover its potential?
As we head toward the Equinox, The sun greets me a little later each passing day. I imagine the sun trying to peek over the horizon. The earth spins and rotates And has its own cycles and rhythms. We try to make sense of it all And plan our lives around the earth. It takes a whole year for the earth to cycle the sun. So, on this day, the earth was exactly on this particular orbit. That’s how the planets and stars align At those rare times that astronomers keep track of. There’s always something going on in the sky, Even the minute. It’s all fascinating And often goes unnoticed. When we’re so self-absorbed in our own lives, Surviving, working, Our issues and problems feel so monumental. But when you look up at the sky, Those issues and problems somehow feel smaller In the whole scheme of the cosmos.
In the subtle quiet moments of solitude
There is time to pause and examine
The obscure thoughts that enter my mind.
My heart finds a steady rhythm,
A glowing jewel that is the ultimate dance of life.
I write and reflect on the obscure and profound,
What is deeply personal to me
On any particular day.
I reconnect to that child,
Who may have hidden parts of herself
That society deemed inappropriate
Only to emerge onto the page,
Uncensured, for my eyes only.
I understand there are risks
For living an examined life.
The appropriate societal norms
Are under the magnifying glass.
And I can truly see them for the first time.
I am encouraged, not disheartened.
Change and growth is always possible.
Even my own beliefs and values have changed
And evolved into a reflection of my adult life.
I am inspired, not recoiled
As I try my best to stay mindful.
I am seen and heard,
If only through my own eyes and ears.
It is enough.
It is what truly matters.
The soft earth awakens. Fresh dewdrops cling To the blades of grass, To my picnic table, To the windows of my car. Outside the Door The sun has begun Its ascent above the skyline. And its rays begin To splay upon the horizon. In the beginning, Where did man lie down his head each night? Did the morning dew greet him Each sunrise as he awoke? Did he sleep under the stars, In the open air, Or did he seek shelter most nights? The earth is soft and lush. Outside the Door The heat of the summer Has already begun to take ahold. The breeze is my reprieve. The birds are my companion. As we share a moment In the early dawn Before the sunrays get too bright And I, too, must take shelter From the blazing sun.