Sunday, October 31, 2010


Would it not be grand, if when we looked to the heavens for direction, a map would appear showing you the directions with exits, turns, construction, detours and points of interest?

A map does appear. It always appears. It is conveniently small so you can carry it in your heart. The directions are simple
"You are here."

Beyond that, it is choice. And if you're looking up, the sky is limitless. I just have to move from 'here' to ... 

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Path

Where I walk will be my path. What I can no longer see I can still remember. It is only the season that hides the way from my eyes. I will walk with my heart, precious keeper of my heart and breath, it knows the way.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Heads or Tails

Sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts up to 60 mph made walking from building to building quite difficult. I felt like a mime doing an impression of being inside a glass box as the walls of wind brought my walk to a halt and pushed me backwards. And yet I walked from building to building.

I walked through the wind because I've always walked through the wind. It's just something you do. Something you can do. I suppose if I had never walked in the wind then there would be nothing that could tell me I could not, and so, I would still walk through the wind. The result is the same- heads I win, tails the wind loses.

So why this image? Why the image of a tree broken, possibly by the wind? To remind me there are many kinds of winds. Some, are just more obvious than others. The image is not, will not be me. Care to go for a walk in the wind, precious keeper of my heart and breath? 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


There is a rhythm and symmetry in nature. We speak of an "early winter" or a "late summer" like there was a computer monitor displaying arrival and departure times. Nature does not flee one season running madly into the arms of the next. Nature does not hang on or cling to this season begging the next to tarry. She simply walks and arrives when she arrives.

Through time some seasons are longer than others while others are shorter. Fall, however, does not come immediately after spring nor does summer follow winter. All in due time. Each following its own course across time never touching those outside the before and after. A rhythm, a symmetry a simple beauty with no complaint or sense of loss or gain.

Would that I could always maintain her patience and mirror her stride. And so I listen harder and softer. I look and I see. I am trying. I am learning to simply walk knowing the seasons of my soul will fold one into the other and I will arrive, quite simply, when I arrive.

Monday, October 25, 2010


A gloomy Sunday morning with misting rain. No chance of getting outside. No chance of walking with nature and clearing my head, to breathe. I heard you whisper "Go and see." 

This is what I saw. This is what I would have missed. I heard your whisper, precious keeper of my heart and breath. If I had not listened and believed I would have missed your touch.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Simple Truth

How long to create this home? How long to peck and bore, within this living tree, to create a place of shelter and safety, warmth and shield from all the elements and unsoft in the world? Imagine the patience. Like a sculptor who sees a work of art in a block of marble the creator of this home worked removing bit by bit, piece by piece all that should not be. 

I doubt there was any fanfare. Nature simply entered the door, snuggled in and instinctively knew it was home. Simple truth. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Could it be a portal? Could it be a gateway or threshold that would take me into a world of magic, timelessness and dreams unrealized?

I ponder what awaits on the other side. I chuckle to myself that I can clearly see the other side. Perhaps it is not the 'seeing' that is the object. Perhaps it is the crossing under and believing that creates the magic. And that is the 'other side.'

Friday, October 22, 2010

Almost Unseen

Soft. Playful. Held ever so delicately but not even the wind could dislodge it from the arms of a blade of grass.
A reminder. A gift. So small, almost unseen. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sea Horses

They looked like prairie dogs standing upright surveying the landscape for danger. Then I thought they looked like sea horses. I giggled to think of my childish wonder when I ordered sea horses from a coupon on the back of a comic book. Then I thought they looked like the heads of wild horses standing among the mountains or prairie, perhaps they were looking at the prairie dogs. They could be caterpillars doing yoga, maybe the sun salutation pose. They looked like fingers of a pianist, raised just above the keys poised for the final climatic chord. 

I stood and pondered their images. And then, with gratitude that my camera had a stabilizing function for shaking hands (mine from laughter) I snapped "their" picture, whatever they were. In the end, they were, what they were. What I made them to be, saw them to be, would make no difference... to them. What I made them to be, saw them to be in my eyes and heart....ah yes, that is where the difference is made. I cannot change them. I change myself by what I choose to see.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I've set in silence with my comatose mother in hospice. I've set set in silence waiting for "the" call. I've set in the silence of a house with no power after the storm. I've set in the silence of a house once with two now with one. I've set in the silence of an empty church on a weekday morning. I've set in the silence of meditation. I've set in the silence of nature at sunset. I've set in the silence of a star filled sky on top of a mountain at midnight. I've set with a good friend and spoken volumes in silence. 

Today a stark realization. The turning of a healthy ear deaf to someone's need drowns out silence's silence. The absence of listening turns silence silent.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Ride

A simple statement was made, "We can always cling to hope." I understood the context and yet something in me recoiled. In rejecting the statement I was transported back to the first time I rode a horse. Of all the instructions I was given, the most important was not to hold the reins tightly. I was told more than once to hold the reins loosely in my hands. If you have ever had a rope, a leash or the reins of a horse's bridle ripped out of your tightly clutched hands you will understand how painful this lesson can be. 

No, I will not cling to hope, I will hold her reins loosely in the palms of my hand. I will hold them loosely not because I fear the pain of hope, love, life or faith unexpectedly jerked out of my clutched hands. No, I will hold them loosely so Hope's Windhorse feels my trust. I will hold them loosely because relaxed hands are more sensitive to movement and changes than clutched hands.

In a world with so much anger, despair, hopelessness do I ever feel like the only hope is to cling? Yes, oh yes but it is a different kind of clinging. It is at those moments, when I trust my heart, that I lay my body down upon the bareback of Hope's Windhorse and clutch her mane, no longer a bridle needed. I press my legs against her muscles, her mane flying in my face, her head thrust forward in energy against the wind, and I whisper in the ear of Hope's Windhorse.... 'I believe! Let's ride!' 

The way I ride is up to me. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I went to a park for the first time in the eight years I have lived here. I followed the trail marked "waterfall." Sitting on the bench I confess at first a tinge of disappointment. 'Waterfall' to me conjured a different image than this. Letting go of my preconceived image I sat in the silence of its sound and movement.

The silence was broken when a mother and her two young daughters came running down the path. The smallest one squealed back to the others "There's water now!" I watched the three scurry down the path, the kids playing tag with the water and the mother quickly taking pictures. The waterfall seemed to grow larger as the girls darted in and out and the mother laughed and snapped picture after picture.

She climbed up the path, joined me on the bench and we watched the girls play. I heard a heavy sigh and then she spoke, "It's good to see water again. The rains were hard but the waterfall is back." A voice in the distance called them away.

With only one kiss of the seat of my pants to the earth, I made it down to the waterfall. The splashing of the water was no longer simply background noise. My hand reached out to touch the water. My voice whispered 'welcome back.' Looking up to the gentle flow spilling over, I pondered that even waterfalls, like hope, life, dreams, love and laughter, must be fed. Bowing, I left the breadcrumbs of my heart alongside the children's laughter, like cookies and milk for Santa, a small thank you for the gifts and nourishment to grow.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


  How my eyes saw the tiny one I do not know. They have struggled all week to see numbers and words not three feet from my face. Yet, while house cleaning, looking out the window, I saw him. I went outside with my camera and he did not fly away. He turned after the picture, looked at me and took flight. 

A single migratory sentinel keeping watch while the others scampered along the ground. I do not think he knows how small he is compared to the hawk that hunts in my yard. I do not think he realizes how small he is compared to even the tiny red squirrels that do not like to share. No, he stands his post, unafraid, watching. It is, you see, his instinct to believe. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sleep Walking

    In a world where the immediacy of the moment is almost more important than the moment, sleep can be relegated to a dream. A 'good night' can be translated into 'I hope you wake up on time," "I hope you can stop worrying about...," "I hope you can wake up without pain," or "I hope you have a night without fear.' Sleep becomes not the object, the goal but the obstacle or perhaps the means to the goal or desired outcome.

And so a moment of pause tonight. A moment to simply say "sweet dreams" and nothing more. A moment to say to yourself, your loved ones dance, sing, love, and enjoy life for the next few hours. For the next few hours live without restrictions, labels, fears, deadlines, cannots, should nots or what ifs. May need some help here, precious keeper of my heart and breath. It can be hard to turn everything off. Maybe, if I could get used to these hours and their freedom and softness where I see myself so differently, who knows, maybe I'll learn to sleep walk and live my days the same way. I think it is time for bed precious keeper of my heart and breath.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hands Down

Today I helped serve hamburgers to our plant employees. I was "bun girl." My job was to split open the hamburger buns on the plastic plate so that "burger girl" could put the hamburger patties on the buns. Next "cheese girl" put the cheese on the burgers. Unfortunately, we had two minor glitches. One, the provider of the buns did not pre-cut the buns. You had to rip them open with your fingers and hopefully not totally mutilate the bun. Second, the plastic gloves we wore were X-Large size. I could literally bend the excess "fingers" down to the base of the palm of my hand.... and they were bright purple. Okay, the latter is not so much a glitch as it just highlighted, in brilliant purple, my struggles to open the uncut buns in over sized gloves. And no, much to the delight of everyone, "burger girl" and "cheese girl" were not willing to switch positions. 

It was a fast paced assembly line with plant workers on their half hour lunch lined up ... With a laugh, smile and my eyes locked dead center in theirs I asked each one how they were doing followed by "white or wheat?" Odd, most just pointed. They were too busy laughing to even care. One kind soul found a plastic knife and brought it to me. A plant worker, patiently waiting for his bun stole it and said 'she don't need it.' 

This morning the battery in my wireless mouse died. Tonight I went to change the battery and my hands, which have a tremor at times and arthritis could not open the little flap for the battery. I struggled and struggled and could not get a grip or enough pressure to open the flap. Suddenly I remembered my cat's fascination with my little mouse. I recalled them swatting it to the floor and...yes, you are correct, the flap would open and the battery would inevitably fall out. I pondered this. And with a stern warning to the cats that this was NOT to be taken as permission for them to attack my mouse, I dropped it on the floor. The cats sat there and looked at me as if to say, "boy are you going to be in trouble!" Me? I slipped the new battery in and am a happy little camper with my wireless mouse.

I've often said my hands are me. Sometimes, I just don't feel like I "fit." Sometimes, I mourn the things I cannot do or can no longer do. I think today was a gentle reminder of the simple joy of looking someone dead in the eye, acknowledging their presence and making them laugh. A gentle reminder that even nature can take "should not's" and turn them into little victories. 

In the end, it is not so much about what they can and cannot do as it is what they hold on to and what they release ... just like my heart. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mile Marker

The sun has now set three hundred and sixty five times since I first hit "publish post" and exhaled Hope's Breath. Much in my life has changed this year. And yet I am still a child looking at the world, the sun and my precious moon with so much wonder each time I leave my simple musings. I can think of no better words than those written earlier. And so, keeper of my heart and breath, for you who keep drawing me back here, we light one candle with the sun's rays setting upon the horizon and leave for all, for us, for you and for me a simple birthday card to be opened each day. And we leave a wish that none will wait three hundred and sixty five days to read.

I am here. I cannot promise that I will be here tomorrow. If I am not, it will not be because I chose to leave. Sometimes the path we travel can take an unexpected turn. But for today, as you awake, know that I am here. Unlike your coffee, you do not have to wait for me to brew. My gifts, my smile, my laughter and touch are waiting for your eyes to open.
    Awaken my love and let the day begin. Awaken and grab hold of me as you did those Christmas mornings long ago. Squeal and grab hold of me with the same abandon you tore open the paper wrapping. Worry not, I have not bought you socks, and if I did, I promise they would be festive. Awaken my beloved and play with me for hours. Let me see your eyes grow big and sparkle with delight. No single day to say ‘I love you’ or present a bouquet of flowers. Look around my love the earth is your vase. I am here my beloved and I am yours.”

    If nothing else is remembered, if all reflections leave me, if my musing spirit grows quiet may be this be the one that remains with me. May I always call to mind the love letter each day leaves for me. May I greet each day with the anticipation of unopened opportunity, gifts and love. May each day be the best gift ever because I was brave enough to ask, to open. May my eyes be open, and bold to read the letter, Life’s Valentine, and in reading, to write my own and then give away.

To each of you I bow from the waist, bend my neck and whisper Namastè, I truly honor you. And may I ask, if you are inclined to leave a comment, may it please be a candle of gratitude for something or someone in your life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Changing Drivers

"Are we there yet?" was cute when I was five. 
Now, I am the one driving. 
And when i hear that voice inside my spirit.......

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Heard Your "Yes"

I have seen the yellow ribbons tied around trees to celebrate a homecoming. I have seen the parades and confetti fly to celebrate coming home. I have seen the native son and daughter return home and realize they never left. I have seen the widow and widower laid beside their partner and felt their kiss of joy for being home together again. 

And though in comparison, it may appear small, to witness the homecoming of the creative spirit is a sacred sunrise. The return of the muse, the artist, the writer, the poet to their art, craft and heart is the fabric and texture of life itself. It is the mirror of life-the calling home to be who and what we are. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010


In my mind, I have an image. I am standing at the water's edge with three rocks. One, technically, is a pebble. The second is a rock and is much bigger than my hand. The third is pretty much a boulder, it is really big. 

If the rocks represent my ability to "believe" or "dreams" and the water represents Life's response to my ability to "believe" or "dreams" I wonder which one I would toss into the water? How faithful would I be to continuously throw the rock into the water?

In my heart the image carries a warning: "CAUTION: Not Responsible for any Shrinkage Occurring to Dry Clean Only Clothes."

Friday, October 8, 2010


When the imagination in our mind is bold enough to take the heart's hand possibilities are unleashed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Canteen Water

  A man or woman too long in the desert, their body dehydrated and longing for just a drop of water stares at their canteen. Its purpose is to hold water, why does it not have water? He can dip the canteen into the desert sands as often as he wishes, as often as the illusions in his mind tell him to, but he will still drink sand. To hold water, to offer drink, to serve its purpose, the canteen must be filled. The canteen cannot hold nor can it offer what was not poured into it.

Is it winter's frost gathered upon the branches? Is it fall's fiery colors, the prelude of winter? In truth, it will be what my mind tells my eyes they see. I can see beyond seasons, space and time and see winter's frost glistening in the dawn. I can see ashes of fall's fire resplendent in their white coat. I can see the moon's reflection mid-day.It really matters not the season, I need but tell my eyes that what they see is beauty. Simple truth. Simple belief.

And, maybe, just maybe, keeper of my heart and breath, with a bit of training and gentle coaxing, if I train my eyes to see the beauty, I will not forget to fill my canteen. Smile, and remember to bring extra.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Not Picture

I sat watching the tiny dancer twirling in the breeze. Its pirouettes flowing and free with the wind its only choreographer. I watched it leap into the air and become a cloud racing across the blue cloudless sky. I watched its descent soft and unhurried. Its wind dance would rival the most skilled human dancer with both a brain to see a dance and an orchestra providing the texture and mood.

I watched it skip across the concrete. I watched it stop. A tiny twig interrupted its dance. I laughed and asked what it would do now. Its arms reached into the air and took hold of the breath of simple joy. I saw not the end of its wind dance which carried it beyond my vision.

You must know that this is not its picture. No. It is but a moment in time. The picture, keeper of my heart and breath, the picture, its essence is in the dance. And the only camera I know of that can catch that is the heart.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lesson Plan

I am not old. I have walked enough seasons to have shed my youthful innocence when looking at the world. For the most part, not much shocks me anymore. If I have not experienced the “shock” myself, someone I know has, I have heard or seen it or, in some cases, life’s text has prepared me. And then, and then, I say with a giggle, there are days like today that start at 2 a.m when you pour over your notes from Life’s classroom thinking you must’ve missed class that day.

So I do not forget, I shall leave Life’s lesson here.

Even in the jungle I can still find a forest in which to dance.

Sweet keeper of my heart and breath....may I have this dance?

Monday, October 4, 2010

No Reply

    It is not the water of the mountain lake, crystal blue, reflecting the mountains that make you feel alive. It is not the swelling and cresting waves of the Gulf that turn you into a squealing child. It is not my Dad's swimming pool upon which you float and bask in the sun. It is not even a clear puddle of rain begging the child in me to "accidentally" walk through with a big splash. It is muddy stream water from the recent floods, leaves freshly fallen and organic remains from seasons past. 

And yet it whispered 'come swim.' I admit quite the hearty laugh and replied "Why would I want to come swim in you?" To which the reply left the philosopher with no reply, "Because you can."

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” ~Rumi

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Do You See?

  Seasons and growth may dictate that the sap be drawn down deeper into my roots. In the drawing down, I must surrender and let go. Fall.

Even then, in the color of spring, the color of hope, your hand, precious keeper of my heart and breath, reaches out. Nothing is lost.

I will not dread the dormancy of winter. I will not live for spring. I will not get distracted by summer. I will not feel cheated by fall. It is simply a dance, a dervish without a beginning and without an end. Timeless. Growth. Deepening roots and your hand upheld asking through each stage, each dance, "Do you see? Do you understand? I am here. I will catch you. Just dance."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Picture's Focus

   In the midst of the brilliance of fall, the starkness of winter when fall has fallen, the glory of spring's newness and summer's growth the green fir tree stands. It stands through all the seasons unchanged and unnoticed. It is not exactly a sight that would make one get out of their car and take a picture. You might notice it during a Minnesota winter when it would be the only non gray or white color you see for several months. Other than that, just a simple fir tree that is quietly, simply, without fanfare, there.

I think I shall name her Hope.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Simple Courage

The work day started at 3:30 this morning with my work phone exploding.  By the time I got off the phone and dressed, and made my way into the hallway of offices at 6 a.m. the defeat had already settled. It is a unique relationship, being the only woman in a hallway of men who have only known the manufacturing world, grease, machines and manual labor.  Defeat had leveled the playing field. Those gentle men who towered over my short body now appeared to be my height. 

As I started my computer one of the guys came in and literally fell into a chair.  I turned and one look at his face told me all I needed to know. I walked over to him and held out my hand. He stood up and I hooked my arm in his and made him do the Dosey Doe dance with me in a tight circle. When we stopped our dance, in my most authoritative voice, I gathered the others and my faithful beach ball. I tossed it in the air and used my head to send it flying to one of the guys who immediately turned red when he jumped, “like a girl”. Game on. Opening my desk drawer I brought out a toy that played the Star Wars Darth Vader Theme Song. For the next fifteen minutes we played soccer and beach ball hackey sack in my office and in the hallway to the blaring of the Evil Empire’s Anthem. With each bounce, each slam dunk, each rebound against the wall and each bellowed “do over” I watched mighty oaks break forth from acorns and reach for the sun.

When all slowly dispersed, I sat at my desk, sipping my coffee and staring at rows and rows of Excel lines, rows, columns and squiggly things called numbers. No, I wasn’t seeing the data, I was listening to laughter, to men talking about “manly stuff” and, I was listening to the sound of courage. No, nothing about the reason for defeat had changed. No the phones and emails did not stop, in fact their intense fury increased. The only difference was they had the courage to face it and figure it out. If they could not succeed, well, at least they didn’t surrender.

Yes, the butterfly has to flap her wings; we have to act to make the “magic” happen. Sometimes though, we need to stop flapping and notice our surroundings. We need to see those who maybe are a bit timid, dare not believe, are not allowed to believe, or theirs is the only voice trying to believe and is overshadowed by the fear of those around them.  It takes courage to flap our wings. It takes courage to believe. And, like love, courage reserved or held within does nothing but atrophy. Sometimes, instead of flapping, maybe we need to make sure we are also lifting, reaching, touching and aware of others.  To pause in our busy lives and our own excitement of flapping to do a wing count and notice those who cannot. That is the real courage, the real magic. And the beauty of the magic is that it can be as easy as a simple hello. Now that’s a butterfly effect. That is Hope’s Breath.