After the frigid night
with its howling winds
and stinging pellets of ice,
the sun rose. It’s good
to remember that the sun
always rises. While walking
to the garden to see how
it fared, a glitter of light
caught my eye. In the hollow
of a leaf, crystals bright
as diamonds gleamed,
a legacy from the storm.
It’s good to remember
that the darkest storms
often leave behind
Yesterday, flowers; now, snow,
proving once again that the future
is open and independent
of the past. Celebrate
that openness. Welcome
the cold fronts even as you welcomed
the flowers. Every bit of it is
a miracle and a wonder. Change
is the only constant, and the only
reasonable response is to dance.
The surprise of your purple shoots into my eyes
as I open my morning door. I am riveted
by the sight of you, part of me wanting to leap
with joy, part wanting to fall to my knees and cup
your sweetness in my hands. Oh, tiny one!
No bigger than a nickel, yet so brave!
You sing springtime to my heart. And I shout
Yes! Yes! Yes!
If it’s all a dream, I’ll take this one
with its cushion of pine needles
beneath my feet and sunlight
pouring through the trees.
This one, with baby pines
everywhere, looking as if
I just caught them playing
a game of hide and seek.
This one, with the lake shining
at the base of the slope
and hints of spring
in the warm air. Yes,
this one. Wrap it up.
Hear the open waters sing. See the reeds,
offering shelter for your nests and the trees,
whose bare branches reach up like beacons,
advertising prime real estate for building
your homes. Sense the safety of this place,
the welcoming ambience of the neighborhood.
Come early; stay late. We invite you.
Oh, Sky, who drenched us in sunlight
for nearly a week of days, whose stars
glittered at night in your velvet deep,
we thank you. And we watch in thanks
as you pull in your soft clouds now
to let your nectar fall on all the hidden flowers
who grow beneath Earth’s soil, dreaming,
as do we, of the coming spring.
I almost didn’t see the rustic, leaf-strewn footbridge
crossing the little ravine at the wood’s edge.
But it was so inviting, leading as it did, into the sunlight
that I couldn’t resist walking across it and into the pines.
It reminded me of that moment between breaths
that links this Now to the next, and how there’s always
sunlight up ahead, even when you’ve been walking
through dark and tangled woods.
Here, in this sanctuary of peace and sunlight,
I pray for all those in flooding lands
beneath dark and stormy skies.
May they be protected from danger and fear.
May their inner light lead them, and the love
of the Yes uphold them, giving them comfort
and courage, and bringing them at last
to sunlight and dry land.
Amen, and Amen, and Amen.
I walked the trail around the wetlands
hoping, on this spring-like day, to see
if migrating ducks had come, or perhaps
an early songbird or two. Even the sound
of a peeper would have pleased me.
But the pond held no feathered swimmers
and not even the call of crows sketched
the warm air. It is, I reminded myself,
still February, and was content to find
not ice, but puddles, dotting my path.
Then, as I made the round through
the woods, a patch of black and white
caught my eye and two golden eyes
stared back at me. A cat! Here,
in the wildness! I stopped and stooped
and spoke to her. She was, she said,
quite fine and not frightened or lost
at all. “People live,” I told her, pointing,
“up there on the hill, about a third
of a mile away, if you need them.”
She nodded, ever so slightly, then
returned to relishing her fine perch
and the gift of warm air. And I
walked on, golden eyes following me
until I disappeared.
It is enough just to be,
to be awareness, noticing,
to feel the temperature and flow
of the air, to note the rustling of the leaves
and the colors of the sky, to feel your body
balancing, to hear the sounds, to note
the scents, to be still and in motion
all at once, riding the endless song.