February 29th

Sahli Nature Park LakeOn this gift of a day,
rare in its appearance,
made from fragments of time
saved for four years,
the sun peeks through
a milky sky to paint the holly
that stands at the lake’s edge
and the lake and all that surrounds it
with light, so that the colors might sing
in gladness that time’s fragments
were never lost.


The Golden Time

Mallard Pair on Green-Gold Lake

There are moments now and then
that make all the others worth enduring–
worth the struggle, worth the climb,
worth the storms, the monotony,
the misunderstandings, the cold, the pain,
the fear that you may be hopelessly lost.
Now and then, moments appear filled
with such serenity and loveliness
that all you can do is float on their peace
and give thanks that somehow
you kept on keeping on.

The Sky is Here to Remind Us

Clouds over Stitt Farm

The sky is here to remind us
that we are neither accidental
nor alone, but subjects of an order
vaster than we can comprehend,
lawful, enduring, beneficent,
and more powerful than the farthest
reaches of our sciences or our dreams.
Its hugeness humbles us; it calls forth
our aspirations and our wonder.
It holds us in exactly the right place
to ensure our becoming and our growth.
Beneath its sparkling infinity,
we play our plays of striving and stife,
of foolishness and drama, of passion
and love and desire.  We dance
in its perfectly positioned sun and dream
beneath its countless stars.  And sometimes
we gaze at its face and realize that we
are a part of its Yes, embraced,
loved somehow, and infinitely.

February’s Colors

Ravine at Brady's RunThese are February’s colors,
these browns, and grays.
Only the pines break
the monotony, and snow,
although this year its visits
have been seldom and brief.
I stand at the top of the ravine
willing myself to remember
how these hillsides look
when they’re green with grasses,
when violets bloom here
and trillium.  My appetite
for color grows by the day.
Even so, I smile at the trees’
bare branches, dancing
with abandon in the wind.
And from the place below,
where the hills meet,
I hear the sound of the creek
roiling in joy.   Let it be,
I say to myself.  Let it be.

The Mother Sings Waking Songs

Big Beaver Wetlands

Even though winter still holds sway,
the preparations have begun.  The Mother
feels the tilt of the globe and is singing
gentle waking songs.  Awake, little ones;
the migration is already underway.
Let go of your winter dreams. Put on
your spring green.  Rise from the soil.
Rise from the depths.  Rise toward the light
and the warmth of the sun.  Your turn
on the stage quickly draws near.  Just look
how the spotlight is shining.

Waiting for Robins

 New Galilee Park

If you know how to listen to trees,
you can tell.  They might look
like they’re just standing there,
not a thought  passing between them,
but that’s not true.   They’re thinking
all right, one thought, every one of them.
“Are they here yet?  Have you seen one?
Have you heard one sing?”  The tension
of their anticipation fills the air.
Any day now, any moment,
it will happen.  From one direction
or another,  one of them will shout
“Yes!  Here’s one now!  They’re here!
They’re here!”  And even if it snows
again, no one will care.  When the robins
come, spring can’t be far behind.

Winter’s Passing

Ice Flows on Big Beaver Creek

Until you watch the ice sailing
along the creek’s edge,  the waters
look still, their smooth surface
wearing a poker face that masks
their hidden speed.  But the ice
gives them away, riding them
downstream like leaves riding
a great wind toward an inevitable
end, toward the final merging
with that from which they came.
Winter passes.  Spring whispers
in its wake.

Walking to the Creek

Big Beaver Creek

The snow that had transformed
the landscape into a dazzling wonderland
disappeared as quickly as it had come.
In its place, a sudden warmth brought
roadside puddles, an open, rushing creek.
I walked across a barren, muddy field
and worked my way through brambles,
noticing how silent the world was.
But soon, I told myself, it will be time
for peepers; start listening now,
even if spring is still a month away.
As I reached the creek’s edge, a pair
of geese, startled by my approach,
rose, honking at my appearance.
Good enough, I laughed.  I’ll settle
for that and the creek’s roar,
and this glorious, singing wind.