Remembered Treasures

Beaver Creek State Park

Once upon a time, on a sunlit day in June,
I walked beside a stream that flowed
past a green island that separated it
from a wide and peaceful river.
The day was warm with just the slightest breeze,
fragrant with the scent of moist sand and freshly cut grass.
I remember how the sycamore branches leaned
over the water, and how the laughter of children
floated on the air from a family picnic farther down
the way.   In a little cove, ducks paddled, their young
in tow, and butterflies flitted through the wild flowers.
It was a gem of a day, the kind you tuck into
your memory box, for times like this, when
the rain has been falling for days and you want
nothing more than to remember the touch
and the light of the sun.

The Forsythia

Forsythia Blossoms

Right at the edge of the pine woods
a wild forsythia grows, and today
it’s in full bloom,  its yellow blossoms
tumbling giddily down its branches,
its new leaves saluting the sun.

It is, I suppose an ordinary sight,
given that it’s spring and flowers
are erupting everywhere, even
in dark corners such as these.

Still, it takes me by surprise—
not so much the  fact that it’s there,
but that it has such power to lift
the gloom, to proclaim vibrant joy,
despite all the sorrows drenching
the world.  It gives a balance
and sings promise and hope,
and I breathe in its song, buoyed
and remembering.

Returning Home

Geese at Brady's Run

You can never go home, they say.  What they mean
is that the place you remember isn’t the same
as what’s there now.  Everything changes, you know.
Things put on new faces or disappear.   New things
tower from places where there was nothing before.

So when you cruise in, it takes time to get your bearings,
even though this is the place where you were born.
You have to scout around a bit, act the part of a tourist
until the familiar emerges from behind the new mask,
until the memories float up from the fragments time
let stand.  They’ll be enough to anchor you.

Home is home, the place where your heart
Began beating, where you took your first breath.
You hold what was.  It shows you what is.
Together you can make your tomorrows.

Finding Happiness

Wild Sunflower

It’s not the fact that the sun is shining, or that chocolate is at hand, or that she loves you.   You can have all of that and more, and it won’t mean a thing if you’re not happy in the first place.

The best they can do for you is to let you relax into the happiness that’s already there, and always has been.

Find that, and the sun will always be shining, she will love you more deeply than even she knows, and you won’t care at all whether the world is made of chocolate or missing it altogether.

Remember?  Remember, and let it glow.

What Trees Know

Spring Trees at the Lake

Unlike the human beings, the trees have no need to remember.

Regardless of the season, whether they are dormant or swelling with new growth, every fiber of their being holds its awareness of why it is here and what it has come to do.  Every leaf, every twig, every limb, every tendril and root knows that it is a part of the whole and that it makes its contribution.

And the tree knows that it is connected to the earth and to the earth’s waters and to her creatures, great and small, and to the sky above and to its clouds and stars, its sun and rain, wind and snow.

Except for human beings, all living things remember.  Their souls are whole and one with the greater whole from which they emerge and which they serve in joy.

And that is why they live in ecstasy and die in rapture and endlessly sing the Yes in praise.

The Lake in Green

Lake in GreenThe lake is a study in green.  I feel the peace of its hues floating in through my eyes, washing its calm through my being.

For several minutes I just stand there, breathing it in, letting it sink into my memory.  This is one of those summer dreams that I will remember when the green has gone, when the landscape is white with snow and ice.

Swathed in my thick sweaters, I’ll remember the fragrance of this day, and the chorus of frogs and insects, and the way the sunlight and shadows played in the warm breeze.  And for a few moments, I will be standing again on this slope, glad in the late summer sun.

Every Note in the Song


Tucked away in a corner of the garden, the shy forget-me-nots blossom, singing their little notes of blue.

The legends that attend them are many and pull at the strings of the heart, for their song is one that all hearts sing:  “Remember me; tell me that I mattered.”

Oh, little flower, spring would not have been the same without you.  Every note in life’s song contributes to its sweetness and is needed, and precious, and dear.

Spring Snow

Woods with Spring Snow

The morning woods glistened with a fresh sifting of powdered snow.   Spring doesn’t do green overnight.

Still, the robins are returning, and just look how blue that sky!

Enjoy the bright sparkle of snow while you may.  Tuck the sight of it away to pull out some morning in July when heat rises faster than the sun and you long for a cool breeze.   Remember this sifting of snow and how you listened for the song or robins.

Morning Reflections: A Happiness Tale

Reflections on a Woodland Pond

The sun was already well up into the sky when the little pine woke.  As he peered out across the still waters of the pond, something felt different to him.  He listened deeply, but he couldn’t quite tell what had changed.

His mother set a bowl of porridge before him and sat down by his side.  “Little Pine,” she said softly, “The great oak released Red Leaf and his mother last night.  They’ve gone back Home.”

“Oh, then that’s what’s different.  I could tell that something had changed,” Little Pine said.  Then, remembering the previous day’s adventures, he chuckled and said, “Red Leaf sure had a great last day!”

Mother Pine smiled.  “I’m glad you got to spend it with him,” she said.

“Me, too,” Little Pine said.  “Haha!  Wait until the other leaves get to hear his report!  They’re going to love it.”

The mother and son sat in silence for a while, remembering with joy all the wonderful times that they had spent with their friends.   Forest creatures don’t mourn when their friends’ earth adventures come to an end.  They know that the love they share connects them always, across all the dimensions and beyond all time.  Only the human creatures believed in the myth of death.

“What shall we do to celebrate them, Mother?” Little Pine asked as last.

Mother thought for a few moments, then grinned.  “I know!  I’ll make a ground acorn cake for dinner.  And you can find something special in the forest today to remind you of Red Leaf always.”

“What a great idea, Mother!” Little Pine laughed.  Then he finished his porridge and ran out the door, eager to see what special token he could find.

A Visit from Silver Leaf: A Happiness Tale

Silvered Maple Leaf

The little leaf’s mother tucked him into bed right after supper, and as she always did, she kissed him tenderly on the forehead and wished him the sweetest of dreams.

He fell asleep immediately, drifting easily away.  Fragments of his day danced through his dreams.  His visit to the Elves’ house, the images of troupes of fairies dancing on the ornamental drums, and the wondrous songs of the golden grasses all wove themselves together.  He saw his feet racing across a forest floor dappled with sunlight and striped with the shadows of the great trees.  He felt the softness of moss and the crunch of fallen leaves beneath his feet as he ran.

Then the music of the grass choir returned and lifted him gently above the ground.  It carried him high into the treetops and  upward into a vastness where glittering stars hung in a velvet sky.   He floated there for quite some time, borne on the flow of the choir’s soft music.

As he gazed at the stars, a cloud of light drifted toward him, shining with silver and gold.  And when it was right before his eyes, the image of a shimmering silver maple leaf appeared and it spoke to him.

“I heard the question in your heart, my child,” it said, “as you ran across the layers of fallen leaves.  I heard you ask, ‘Where do they go?’ and I knew that you had forgotten the place where your essence dwells.   That happens when your spirit inhabits its earthly form.

“Because your love is so strong for those with whom you danced in the summer winds, I wanted to remind you of your heart’s true home.

“It was your request to have this earth adventure, to experience being an oak leaf.  Do you recall?  You and all your leaf friends had to practice a long time to be slow and steady enough to hold molecules of matter in your energy patterns.  You had to study all the kinds of magic that a leaf performs and to master them.  And when you finally passed all the tests, we sent you to curl inside a tight bud, right here, on this tree, in this forest.  Remember?”

“Yes! Yes! I do remember, Silver Leaf!” the little oak leaf exclaimed.

“Then you remember, too, that when your tree releases your leaf-form, you float to the ground below.  And the instant you touch it, your spirit is released, and your adventure complete, and you wake to find yourself back home, with all your beloved friends.”

“Yes, Silver Leaf,” the little leaf sighed, his heart filled with gladness.  “And in the meantime, I get to be here, right now, as the Festival of Light unfolds!  This is even better than I ever could have dreamed.”

And as he spoke, the Silver Leaf faded away.  And the little one floated through the velvet, star-sparkled sky on the music of grasses until he was fast asleep.