Fallen branches rise from the creek bed
like the sloughed off antlers of some deer,
bedded down now, hiding from the hunters.
I wish him good cover and safety for the season.
The color of the fallen leaves that blanket
the woods will match his pelt; nature provides.
I imagine him standing by these waters
at dawn, drinking his fill, then disappearing.
Let the hunters go home empty-handed.
It is a great gift just to roam these banks.
May the creek’s peace be the prize for the day.
The breathing earth sighs in contentment.
This is the season of rest. The ten thousand
leaves have fallen; soon the snow will come.
Beneath the waters, fish find the warm depths.
The creatures snuggle in their burrows.
Everything waits. What comes next is grandeur.
And this is the great pause.
What if, without even striving to remember,
the perfection of the moment was self-evident
to you? What if, without even asking, you knew
that you, being in the moment, shared in its
perfection? That there was no distinction between
the seeming parts, some being ‘more,’ some ‘less’
perfect somehow? That every fragment
was a perfect note in the moment’s perfect song?
Would you not feel your heart singing?
Blessed are we when we have a companion
who lingers by our sides as we travel our days,
someone whose heart holds our own gently,
who flows with our moods without judgment,
who understands our thoughts and ways,
someone who makes the days of peace
more lovely, and the days of darkness
easier to bear, who lends strength
when we are weak, and who applauds
us when we’re strong, someone whose
smile is warmer than sunshine, and whose
love lets us know that our life is worthwhile.
By spring, I will, I know,
be longing for a broader pallet,
one drenched in greens and pastels.
But today, November is painted
in her range of neutrals beneath
this blue and lavender sky, and I
find that my eye is pleased
at the soft, stark subtlety
of it all, the colors looking
like the pelt of some wild animal
stretched across the rolling hills.
On this gift of a day
may the flowing hours
with their cloud-sparkled colors,
and rippling ribbons of sound,
with their air kissing your face,
and their tastes making you smile,
with their perfumes of earth
and of water, on this day,
may this very hour
bring your heart gladness and peace.
Getting there is one thing.
The destination’s the main reason
for the journey, after all.
But it’s not everything, and maybe
not even the most important.
When you reach it, another
will soon take its place. Always
there is more to see and do.
Maybe it’s the journey itself
that matters most, the times
you paused simply to look around,
to feel yourself being, alive,
savoring the company and the view.
Even though the storm clouds
are heavy and dark, light streams down.
Even though we are frightened
and confused, grace surrounds us.
Look up; look within. Let illusion
dissolve. Beyond and beneath you,
truth broadcasts its word.
Even though there is darkness,
Love rains down.
Winter dreams matter. They write
all that we’ve been and done
in the passing year into the story
of our lives, close the chapter,
and carry us into a spell of rest,
where, deep inside, new dreams
swirl, waiting for our waking.
So while we sleep, the Yes
covers us with a golden quilt
of love, keeping us securely
in its care and whispering
to us its endless song
of infinite possibilities.
Suddenly, the bodies of the trees
are bare and I’m seeing them again
as if I’ve never seen them
before, their wondrous limbs
etching poems against the sky.
I stop and stare, all at once
aware that these towering beings
are as alive as I, cycling through
the same seasons, knowing
the same ebb and flow
of darkness and light,
of productivity and rest.
I reach out to touch the smooth
cool bark of a sycamore,
and although its consciousness
is far beyond my knowing,
I feel a connection and something
deep within me breathes, “Alive.