Thursday, September 30, 2010

Move Over Dorothy

  How often have I, perhaps even you, said, if only magic existed?  If only we could just click our ruby slippers we’d be home. If only we knew the magic words the right abracadabra. If only we had the magic wand, the perfect potion or even a Scotty watching over us who would beam us up when we were in danger, things would be so much better.  How often, the most painful of all, have I said, if I could I would make all the hurt and pain go away?

My background is in philosophical anthropology and literary criticism. One of the paradigms or concepts that grabbed me quickly was the butterfly effect which is rooted in the chaos theory. At its essence it says the smallest action could have a far reaching impact. The theory has its roots in a meteorologist’s work where he miskeyed the wind force into the computer. He failed to enter the full number of digits after the decimal. Basically, it means instead of entering .123456 he entered only .123. Doesn’t sound like much, it’s only a .000456 difference.  Jeeze, if only the rest of life were that precise! Anyway, apparently that small differential is the equivalent of the force created by a butterfly’s wing and the results, the weather pattern that resulted – drastically different. 

So drastic an entire scientific and philosophical debate rocked academia and became known as the ‘chaos theory.’ The common example given was if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil will Texas have a tornado? Yes and no.  No in the sense that other factors have to be present for the tornado to occur. But the flap of the wing would, in theory, change the air current, the potential direction that the tornado would take.  A small action, a tiny imperceptible action matters. Change, deny, magnify or nullify the smallest action and the results the outcome will be different; the chain of events will unfold into a different story. Movies and books have made lots of money on this paradigm.

So, what does an academic/philosophical/scientific debate have to do with magic? What does the butterfly in Brazil have to do with clicking my ruby slippers and whispering ‘there’s no place like home’ and when my eyes open I’m in Kansas? Whether we click our heels, wave the wand, speak the magic words or drink the potion …. we have to do something. The butterfly must flap its wings for the magic to occur. Maybe the magic hasn’t gone. Maybe the magic is still here….we just stopped clicking, waving, speaking and doing something.

My dear keeper of my heart and breath to believe is an act. To hold hope in our hearts is to act. To reach out to others both in my own need and in their need is to act. To speak out is to act. To just say thank you is to act. To let someone go ahead of me in the grocery line is to act. To answer Love’s calling and step forward upon the path of awakening and service is to act. Some actions may be as small as .000456 while others will blow off the Richter scale. It doesn’t matter, the butterfly just has to flap its wings, we just have to click our heels.

Am I saying my heart will never be broken, I will never again know sadness or pain? No.  The butterfly’s action is essential to the tornado occurring in Texas, it is not the origin or source. There are other events and “stuff” going on out there in this thing called ‘life’ that will shape the outcome. Bad things happen. But, maybe, just maybe, keeper of my heart and breath, if we both flap our wings….  As we flutter maybe others will join us. Who knows what could happen if we started with two and gathered a third, a fourth…..   Move over Dorothy, I’m putting my slippers on. There is no place like home.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Congruent and Cute

Farm Boy is a shop manager who is tall, lanky, well over six feet tall and always wears a hat with a tractor logo or gun maker. He and I (five foot one and a touch) were walking back to our building when I came to a complete halt. His long legs carried him a good distance before he realized he was talking to himself. When he came back, I was standing with hands in my pocket, my head tilted almost to my shoulder staring at a semi truck parked in our receiving truck bay. Farm Boy looked at the semi, looked at me, back at the truck and then back at me.

The second ping pong look I pointed to the side of the truck where a beautiful picture of a hill was painted. The hill, though, was stripped of all trees, it had been bulldozed and in the back ground were several big bulldozers which had probably cleared the land. To the side was a picture of trash, old tires that had been pushed into one large trash pile. At the bottom in brilliant coloring were the words "Chemicals Lubricants and Science for Life". Looking up at Farm Boy I asked him if he thought there was anything odd about the picture and words. He tried, he really did. Patting me on the top of my head he laughed and said I had the cutest way of looking at life then walked away laughing and shaking his head.

Finishing the walk by myself the picture continued to poke me. Congruence. That was it. It was not congruent. The picture was of an earth stripped and probably polluted by the very chemicals, lubricants and science they were delivering. And that is 'life'? The company's painting on their trucks could not have been cheap but did they not see the incongruity? The disconnect? As I am prone to do, I turned the question back to myself. Is my walk congruent with my heart? Are the images of me the world sees connected to what I truly believe? How much energy do I lose or invest in painting an image that is not what I really am?

A real shiver struck when it occurred to me that maybe there was not a disconnection. Maybe the picture was what the company did and they thought it was good seeing nothing wrong in stripping and polluting the earth.  Maybe they were so bold as to just come right out and paint a beautiful picture of the destruction they cause upon the earth. Could they possibly be that 'in your face' bold? What areas in my life do I dress up my own stubbornness and pride to look pretty?

Gathering my things for yet another meeting, I walked out of my office and noticed a group of guys down the drive. You couldn't miss Farm Boy. They were staring at the truck. Farm Boy grinned and waved. He shook his head back and forth, pointed to the guys as if to say "some people just don't see". I laughed out loud, waved and touched my heart. He tipped his hat and smiled. And my walk to the other building was a little slower, softer, and kind of cute. It matched my heart.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Downhill Ride

 Have you ever ridden a mountain bike down a mountain or even a steep rocky path on a hill? Instinct tells you that you need to grip the handle bars, squeeze your legs against the seat and body of the bike, just hang on and go for it. If you do, odds are you will find yourself hugging the dirt and rocks. You cannot trust your instinct. Your instinct will have to learn to trust you. You ride down a mountain standing on the pedals not sitting. You ride down a mountain standing on pedals that are not very big and they turn with the movement of your feet. You ride down a mountain standing on the pedals, knees bent acting like shock absorbers and your upper body leaning into the downward ride.

 Once your body feels this position and expels the fear, because it is absorbing the shocks and you are still upright, your instinct learns. Next time when you start careening down the mountain you do not have to think. Any time your ride takes you down the rocky downward slope of a mountain your body naturally, instinctually stands on the pedals, knees bend absorbing the shocks and you lean into the downward slope. Instinct tells you. And, since you do not have to think anymore, all you feel is the exhilaration, the wind, and yes, perhaps, sometimes, the insanity of what you are doing. But, it is ever so grand.

Some mountain bikers will actually ride their bikes up the mountain. Others will drive up to the mountain top and remove their bikes from their vehicles and make the journey. The goal, the purpose of the ride is to go downhill, to go down the mountain, to follow gravity and defy the obstacles placed in your way.  Defiance is often rewarded with bruises, cuts and broken bones. Each scar becomes a war story, a ‘hey remember when…?”  story when you gather with others who appreciate riding downhill.

I think it is time to go mountain bike riding.  It has been a while. I know the mountain, it is called Hope.  The path is Life. The rocks, trees, carved trenches and other obstacles are all the things that sent me to the mountain top in the beginning; safer up there, quieter, and the air is so much cleaner. It’s time to go downhill. To stand on the pedals of belief, bend the knees of my heart and lean into the gravity of love and service pulling me down.  Oh keeper of my heart and breath, band- aids packed? Time to ride.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

On Butterfly's Wings

"Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children."  Kahlil Gibran

 Today I screamed inside my head. Three days of work down the drain because IT failed to tell me about a problem with the database. And, as always, everyone was waiting and everyone was screaming.

In the midst of the screaming a butterfly told me of children in need. A story I recognized all to well in my own family, only, I fear the storyline for my family has a better chance for a happy ending than this one. As I listened to the story I pondered a most unusual status I posted on Facebook. I thought it odd that it struck me this morning, but went with the flow and left a quote I stumbled upon as my status. Now the words came back to me as loud as the screams of "urgent" in my email and the phone ringing off the hook.

The debacle overtaking my work will be forgotten in a few days. The lives and hearts of children, so young, so unattended will still be there for years to come. I can scream, corporate and anyone with email at work can scream and let their displeasure be heard. The children who know not love, have little to eat, fear the violence outside their doors and know only abuse, they cannot. If they should scream who would notice? My screams and those screaming at me will create some result. I will make my coffee, several pots, and get it all done tonight, with or without sleep. Their screams, if only the uncertain beating of their hearts and eyes that do not understand but know something is wrong, will see no result even if they stay awake all night alone in their child's mind and fear.

I know what it is like to scream so that no one hears. And as the screams that everyone could hear raged through the day, I remained with these children and the countless numbers we do not even know. I listened for their screams in the absence of laughter. I listened for their screams in the absence of food. I listened for their screams in the absence of arms to pick them up and hold them, just because. I listened for their screams in the absence of love and hope. As I listened the other screams faded. As I listened my own screams faded. As I listened I struggled for a different way to scream.

And so I leave this simple post tonight. It has no happy ending to report. Nor, have I resolved the voice I felt and feel within me. The voice that says 'listen' and in listening do not scream but your voice must be heard. Many voices must be heard, but I will start with mine. And so my heart found a swing to sit next to the empty one representing all those children that should be there but have no voice. We'll sit together until I figure it out.  That's a start, no one was sitting with many of them anyway. And for those who were, 

Namastè I would be honored to join my voice with yours.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fill in the Blank



Saturday, September 25, 2010

Where do the Waters Go?

And where does the water go?  Where does the water go that stands like a lake in a farmer’s field with no river nearby? The obvious answer is that it is pulled into the ground, saturates the soil and eventually finds its way to the water table running beneath the ground.  Nature’s earth absorbs the flooding from nature’s sky.  She stands ready to do what we cannot.  She draws into herself the torrents of life to protect the life around her.  She holds these same torrents safe for when there is no rain so life can continue to grow.  She is both a rock and a sponge.

But what of the earth weary and worn from the demands and stresses human life have placed upon her? What of the earth over worked, unreplenished and stripped of her ability to give and absorb without a single complaint or need to be noticed? When the natural rhythm of life occurs -and rains and rivers will flood- who takes care of the earth? Where does the water go then?

Dear keeper of my heart and breath may our hearts be cupped around this earth wherein our roots grow deep. May our eyes see with softness her needs.  May our heads bow in honor of the dignity she holds. May our hands slip quietly into her soil which has given us birth and feel the strength that is still there. May our hands feel her grit beneath our nails and embedded in our knees as we kneel. May our eyes listen to the voice of one who never asks to speak. And in our sitting, our simply being, may we both draw and dam the waters flooding her surface, holding them until she is ready to drink.  

Where does the water go and how long will it take? The flooding will flow along that timeless sacred river where we learn to say thank you and recognize her constant presence and giving. And as for the time, I’ve never met an acorn, a leaf, a tree, or a clod of dirt that wore a watch or had a calendar. Besides, one should never rush a thank you and she has waited a long time. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Without Pondering

The day is dimming and the evergreen trees remind me of paper doll spaces left cut out of a newspaper in their blackened silhouettes against the evening sky.

And if I may, a simple post without pondering. To the hands of life, to the keeper of my heart and breath, I hear your whisper
May the full and half moon's be your light when the way is dark.  
May the silhouettes and shadows of life only remind you that you are not alone. 
May the full and half moon's be the spotlight upon the stage of life beckoning you to dance fearing not who will see.
May you never wait for the sun's rising or sunset to live. Be alive in the daylight, be alive in the moon light for the sun and moon, the night and day are but two lover's faces inside a heart locket called 'today' resting upon the chain of infinity's links. The chain will never break and their faces will never fade. May you know the touch of the locket upon your heart and its rhythm in your breath.
May you put your socks on and slide across the floor. 
Dance. Dance with the daylight. Dance with the moon light. Dance with the day.
Dance with life.
Dance with belief. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hope's Thump and Roar

They are called sump pumps. When I moved to Minnesota from the south, the realtor, quite proudly, pointed them out.  I nodded as if I understood what he said. My focus was on the window view to the back yard, important stuff when buying a house.  Most of the homes in Minnesota have basements where all the piping, electrical and other freeze prone items are housed, well below the frost line. The purpose of the sump pumps are to function like water vacuum cleaners. They draw in the water from rain and melting snow that gather near the basement walls.  With a reverse action, they push it back out through drain pipes on the outside of the house that are quite long, displacing the water further from the basement. Without a sump pump, the water gathering will flood the basement. 

They are not exactly a hot topic for blogs, books, Oprah or the nightly news. They are really quite ugly, or at the least, uninteresting. No, not a hot topic nor pleasing to the eye but on a day when my town is flooded from overflowing rivers and almost ten plus inches of rain, they rival the Mona Lisa in their simplicity.  

In the wee hours of the morning, checking for water  in the basement, I listened and crossed my fingers that I would hear their roar. At work, even the grown men admitted that they too stayed down stairs until late in the night until they heard the sump pumps kick in and begin their work.  As the rain continues to pour, and homes are being evacuated from flooding rain and rivers, I sit here with the music a bit softer, still listening for the thump and roar. And until the next down pour I feel protected and safe.

I sit. I listen. A physical function of water level and force that removes all that should not be away from me and treasured possessions. I wonder, do you think, if I were to work on it, visualized it, walked with it, I could create a sump pump for my soul? With you, keeper of my heart and breath, maybe I could learn to sit, listen and activate the hope within me that would gather and draw all that should not be and displace it from me? I would have to learn to sit. I would have to learn to listen. I would have to learn to be sensitive to the gathering and know it is time to draw it in and then displace. I would have to learn to trust that in drawing it in I have the strength to also displace and disperse it.  Do you think?

My basement is dry. I just heard the thump and roar. All that should not be is being drawn in and displaced. No, a sump pump cannot abate the rivers overflowing their banks. I guess, that’s a topic for another pondering. But what it is designed to do, when used, works, and all is safe and dry.  And so, as the rains pour again, I shall sit, I shall listen and let my heart thump and roar for those who are not as dry as I am and have lost or fear losing their homes. Hope’s sump pump will reach out drawing away and displacing all that should not be in their homes and their hearts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Second Look

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I saw this and said to myself, "this was my day. Perfect." But, as I am prone to do, when I looked again, I had to ponder.

Tolstoy's War and Peace weighs in with 560,000 words . Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged took 645,000 words.

So, maybe if I really stop and think about it, the day was not as bad as I thought. And despite the weather, the keeper of my heart and breath always makes sure I eat.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture sums up my day, may I just say for the ability to multi task (shower and eat at the same time), a chance to experiment and try a new look, and the ever so kind hand that always watches over me, it was a grand day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Hurricanes are fascinating to me and yes, my respect for their force is quite healthy. There is a pattern or rhythm to hurricanes – silence, force, silence, destruction and life. It is a dance, It is a dance, however, in which nature is the DJ and the choice of music is all hers.

Right before landfall everything goes silent. I remember scanning the sky with squinted eyes looking for just one bird. I remember standing as still as I could trying to hear just one chirp, one song but there were none. Even at night I do not remember the earth so silent. And when the limbs, where the silence has hidden, begin to dance, you know it is time for you to also take shelter.

The hurricane’s initial force is clock wise. The path of winds moving on shore creates a line dance resembling show dancers kicking their legs in the same direction. Once the initial circle of winds have passed, the silence returns. They eye of the hurricane takes the initial pre land fall silence to an even deeper level. What hasn’t snapped, cracked, fallen or been crushed is now bent or leaning in the clockwise direction of the initial winds. Nothing moves.

When the eye of the hurricane moves beyond you, the back of the hurricane’s circle of power now comes full force but this time in a counter clockwise direction. The trees firmly rooted because they’ve learned to bend are now snapped back in the opposite direction. No time to stretch and find their center. No time to let the weight of the rain and wind dry in the summer sun. The fury of the hurricane hits them head on from the opposite direction. Destruction if they cannot steady their bend. Perhaps it is because the eye was so silent that the back side of the hurricane seems louder, more powerful, angrier.

And with the all clear, the force now gone, you see the birds and hear their songs. People, like kicking an ant hill, come scurrying out of their homes to survey the damage. The world is full of chatter, songs, prayers of thanksgiving and sorrow, stories are told and legends are made.

Almost a thousand miles from the threat of a hurricane, there are days when I feel like one is coming ashore. I board my windows and pick up any objects the wind can turn into weapons of destruction. I sit and wait. I sit in the silence. I feel the force of life coming at me in one direction. I catch my breath in silence and brace for the counter attack. But, when all has passed, the storm abated, I hear your song keeper of my heart and breath. I have become the tree offering refuge for you. You, with a firm hold upon my hands and using the strength of your wings but not taking flight, steadied my bend. In the silence I whisper to you “fear not, I am here”. During the force your embrace and grip whisper back “fear not I am here.” And with the last silence comes our song together, “fear not, we are here. Life.”

Monday, September 20, 2010

Holding Hands

 These are my hands. They are small, somewhat wrinkled and the fingers are slightly bent. I have not always taken care of my hands, the skin is dry and I forget to use lotion. They've known a few walls in their time when I would use them to lash out in anger. They've been stretched and bent trying to lift more than they should because I refused to ask for help.

These are my hands. They have reached out in love and hospitality taking  others' hands in their small grip. They've pushed away in fear, confusion, need and even love. Sometimes I think they have a mind of their own. There are times when I sit to write with no image in my mind or whisper within my heart. They just take off talking to the keyboard and words appear on the computer screen. They laugh, they clap in joy and they form a fist that jumps into the air when they've mastered something new. They are always the first part of my body to touch the Gulf waters, a stream or lake.

These are my hands. They become a fist when confronted with injustice, but never strike. They become the knot at the end of the rope for one losing their grip. They sing paragraphs of hope in a world that can leave my heart in despair. They hold my head when I'm in pain. They hold my face when I am confused. They leave my change in the vending machine so another's hands will feel the excitement of receiving more. They are soft in their compassion. They will close in prayer and when I bow to the sacred in life. They open when they see need and point to the sun and moon to remind myself and others of the day's gifts and life's constancy. They are not perfect but they will always start over again, and again and again.

These are my hands. To you, keeper of my heart and breath, my hand will always hold yours. You may have to hold on tight, I can get carried away. You may have to lead, sometimes I can get distracted. You may feel my hand tighten, sometimes I can get afraid. And the hand not holding yours will be reaching out in its softness, promising you that your work will not be done alone.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Yes, I think that is probably right. For me, you can see my soul in my eyes, but to see me, look at my hands.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Acorns Above Me

Do you think the acorn thinks itself part of the oak when it is held by the oak's slender fingers? Do you think the acorn, formed by the oak, held tightly by the oak, thinks that the mighty oak needs it to survive? And when the acorn falls to the hardened ground do you think it feels abandoned? When its hardened shell and acorn cap crack and break do you think it feels its life is over? And when it feels the pull of the earth drawing it deeper into its soil do you think it resigns itself that this is its grave?

When I used to walk the land I never returned without at least one acorn treasure in my pocket. A treasure my fingers rolled and turned over and over as I would walk. Now, when I walk I look up at the trees. Their arms have become homes where life begins, finds its wings and leaves to spread its song and color. Their roots hold the soil in place when storms and winds would strip the cover from the plants, the flowers and grass. Their height and breadth spread out and offer shade for the delicate lives that need the sun but not its intensity. And even in their death, they still provide life, shelter and sustenance.

It's a long way down from the oak's strong branches. There are no "do overs" you get but one fall. You might land protected by those whom the oak shelters and you can nestle into the soft soil and grow. You might land upon the beaten path where others, like myself, walk and yes, perhaps crush you beneath our unknowing feet.  I think I might just like to hang on a bit dearest oak, can we talk about this?

Life, love, our callings and our hearts know the pull of gravity. Eventually, we just have to let go and fall. When I used to walk the land I always looked down for acorns. Now I'm learning, slowly, to look up at acorns who've learned the thrill of flying.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Perfect Circle

And when it is all said and done
What is, now was
What then, now gone
One word links and renews each one

I think I shall need that long, keeper of my heart and soul, to find the words to say thank you.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Real Food

I cannot cook.  My food subsistence depends upon the kindness of ‘strangers’ – the makers of TV dinners. I classify TV dinners in one of three categories. The first is a “two-fer,” it’s good and I buy more than one. “Back up,” not bad and can fill out the week and I will buy one.  “Yuck,” I think that is pretty self explanatory.  They provide subsistence, are quick and offer a basic no fuss no muss kind of meal.

Tonight I stopped at a restaurant’s take out and brought home a ‘real’ meal. As soon as I took the lid off the take out container my dog and cats went berserk.  Apparently real food tastes different than TV dinners. And I confess, I could tell a difference as well.

There is nothing wrong with TV dinners. They provide nutrients and are more nutritious than devil’s food cookies and sugar coated cereal.  One might even consider them a better value than fast food hamburgers. But, as I am prone to do, I could not help but ponder how different the ‘real’ food felt compared to the TV dinners. I wondered how often in life because I may not know “how” to do something I settle for “two-fers” and “back ups”  and cringe with “yucks.” How often in life do I get the nutrients and value but not the texture of real?

And so, keeper of my heart and breath, as I put the left over real food in the fridge for tomorrow, may I pause and say ‘grace’ for teaching me to ‘cook’ with my heart.  Thank you for the taste of a real life an awakened life.  Thank you for the texture of life cooked with laughter, love and simple truths.  I will no longer settle for  “two-fers,” “back ups” and “yucks.” No, I have learned to cook. I have smelled the fragrance of real food. Thank you. And, we’ll work on the whole stove thing later.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

To Remember

Sometimes, during a day in one of those magical sacred, special moments you are gifted to see the smile of life, of love, of awakening and you remember the purpose of the heart.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Mark

There are no buttons on the shoulder of our shirts, that we can tap and Scottie will beam us up, no magic transporters. As happens so often in our rush, our pain, our desire to escape or simply find a moment to breathe, we overshoot the mark. It is not the shoulder we need to tap. It is the heart and with the tap, the gentle pressure of our hand, believe.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Do you think I might guess correctly if I were to ask which of these you would rather see? They are both the sun rising in the sky as she does every morning. They are about a thousand miles apart, almost a straight line heading north and south.

Is one more precious viewed maybe once a year for only five mornings? Is the other unnoticed because of the trees and familiarity of going out my back door?

They are both the blush of morning's kiss spilling pastel colors across the sky's canvas. Trees, miles, and frequency aside, may I never take such a touch of life and nature's love for granted and let it go unnoticed. One may be what I would like to see. The other is what I see. The touch, the love, the promise to be is what links them and makes them the same. Destiny.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Photo of What You Cannot See

A calling today from the heart to come out and play. When the heart calls if we’re attentive the path is cleared for the calling to become ours. What should have been an overworked day suddenly became a day where my boss said by all means leave early. I did.

Grabbing my camera I knew nature’s call was to be among the trees breathing her breath of seasons, rhythm and the cycle of life with the keeper of my soul and breath. While at the park I could see the approaching storm clouds. The wind woke up and made standing still to take a picture quite difficult. The thunder started and wisdom said it was time to get back to the car. Barely had wisdom spoken than the rain began to pour. Running, while trying to protect my camera and watch my steps, the trees sang with the storm’s wind and my laughter rolling with the thunder.

Ready to jump into the car my legs froze and I could not get in. There, in front of me, in the midst of dark gray skies and rain was an explosion of orange. It was there when I parked but I did not see. A parting gift perhaps,  a symbol of the sun in the midst of storms.  Perhaps, but the picture is more than that because of what you do not see. You do not see arms holding a small jacket over the camera so it would not get wet. You do not see the protection of the one who said ‘look,’ telling me to not worry, just look at the gift I have left for you. 

My clothes were soaked. My shoes made a squishing sound. My glasses were spotted and rain was still dripping down my face. The camera, my eyes and vision was dry.  A day in nature captured in one small photo freezing for infinity what you cannot see.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


The power of the Grand Canyon has left me speechless. The sun’s blush upon the sky has overwhelmed me with awe. The simple beauty of two flowers entangled or a blade of grass growing through the concrete has melted my heart with a single tear upon my face. And then there are those moments, when standing in the rain, you smell the fragrance of renewal and hear the footsteps of the keeper of your heart and soul walking inside you and holding your hand that leaves you breathless. And the only way you find that you can once again breathe is to open your lips and taste the droplets of infinity.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Enemy's Face

Today was a day of strong winds. The winds detoured migrating Canadian Geese and had me doing the two step as I walked between the buildings – one step forward and two steps back.  As I walked outside I kept waiting for that brief reprieve you get when the wind is blocked by a tree, a car or another building. There was no such reprieve. Driving home I watched the trees doing the limbo bending beneath the arms of the winds.  My yard is littered with sticks, old bird’s nests, green leaves prematurely fallen without the glory of fall’s colors.

Today was a day of strong winds that buffeted my body. The winds of work, mimicking nature, continued to lower the limbo bar until I surrendered, unable to play the game any longer. Feeling like the leaves thrashing about, I wanted to capture this force of nature. Perhaps if you can capture your opponent’s face, the face of that which defeats you, knocks you back, you can find a way to overcome. Here for me to remember this day of battering about is a picture of wind.  

It was not what I expected. I thought I would see the same blur of both nature and human force. Instead, in pausing to capture the face of an enemy I found the face of a friend, the color of hope, and the patch of blue sky unyielding to the clouds. Hmmm.  All I did was pause. All I did was take the time to look. All I did was recognize the weariness in me in another and offer to walk together. And this is what I now see. I think the winds of change may have whispered  to my weary soul. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Change of Latitude

The world doesn’t need any more martyrs. We need teachers, healers, poets, writers, leaders and visionaries. People who have cultivated their own souls and now reach out to others with what they’ve learned.  I’ve never learned to fish from a martyr. They gave up their meal so I could eat. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nature's Breath

Why does nature’s breath cleanse our lungs and makes us feel like we have inhaled our first breath and are reborn? Is it because we have to leave the day to day behind to know her touch? Is it because her carpet forces us to walk slower and pay attention? Is it because you can see the rhythm and cycle of life and not just the immediate demands that feel unending?

Maybe, just maybe, it is as simple as the truth she beckons us to look up. And when we stand tall, our heads and shoulders no longer weighed down, looking beyond the forest that seems impenetrable, we simply breathe better. We inhale both the breath and our vision and hope extends beyond the sky. A simple truth.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hope's Voice

And when the storms offer only the fury of unsoft, a colorless world, the fear of what lies ahead that you cannot see, I will offer to you my droplets of hope, love and the promise you are never alone. I am in the midst of, in front of and behind the storm. Look beyond what you can see. I am here. Never alone.