Connection

A Story

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.

Connection

Outside the Door

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.
Connection

Seeds

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.

Connection

The Spring Crocus

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.

Connection

The Imagination

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.
Connection

Student

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.
Connection

“There is Nothing Wrong with You.”

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.
Connection

I open the window of my heart

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
Connection

I walk gently

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.

Connection · shared stories

They say

Who understands me but me 
when I say this is beautiful.
When the path looks crooked and torn
with rocks, stumps, roots and uneven ground.
I take the first step.

They say I should be afraid 
and not wander out too far,
not go out of my comfort zone:
the safety net that has become a leash
tethering me to this spot
training me to be okay with this small plot.

They say I am reckless, foolish
and asking for trouble.
I lace on my sneakers and head out the door.
The sunlight streams through the tree branches
A lighted beam pointed toward freedom:
Freedom from thinking small
Lighting the path to discovering my own voice
and inner strength.

They say the path is dangerous.
Its twists and turns unknown
to an untrained eye.
I do not need a compass in my pocket
to show me the way.
I have always known this journey.

I may return to it again and again
Reminding myself of my true worth.
My true north is an innate part of me.
It cannot be scared, beaten or numbed away.

I will always resurface
and be a companion and a guide
to my own suffering 
and fears of being lost,
Filled with doubt or shame,
Guilty for taking the first step.
I am in my corner.

They say it is for my own good.
It is uncomfortable to go against the grain.
I show up again and again
Not only to prove them wrong
But to show up for me.
I am on my own side
and free to be me.