Friday, December 31, 2010

Two Small Feet

Two feet to remind us that we can change our path mid stride.We can adapt, change and choose a different path. Two feet to remind us that we leave footprints wherever we walk. Two feet melting the snow beneath to remind us that time is fleeting and what we see now we may not see tomorrow. Two feet, whose impressions are larger than life, to remind us that appearances can be deceiving, and perhaps the challenges we face aren't as big as they seem.

Two small feet, pausing for a moment, to offer a simple hello to the new year, and recall the pages of those past.

Monday, December 27, 2010


 There must be something in a child’s chemical make-up that with perfect harmony joins their facial muscles to the muscles of their body and vocal chords.  I think we lose this as we get older. I’m not talking about the pout of a teenager. Oh no. A teenage pout is something we never lose. The exaggerated arm movements, the strained voice, that exhale that would power a fleet of tall ships with their sails straining to contain the breath’s power. Oh no, we never lose that as an adult, the struggle for freedom thwarted.

I also don’t mean the tantrum a child flows in and out of like a professional basketball or soccer player who is suddenly on death’s door with an injury. When the penalty is awarded they leap up and score the winning goal. An amazing power of recovery. No we don’t lose this ability as adults either. Well, some of us have learned to lower our voices, tone down the red face but the tantrum is still there. Someone will not let us have our way and by gosh, they’re going to pay….until we get our way, greed.

No, only a child’s body and soul can create this look, sound and movement. Their eyes grow wide and big and they pierce through your own eyes.  Their shoulders drop, their bodies somehow become both rigid and totally placid as they look up at you. There is no resistance, just a quiet look and a whispered “no” or “why?” or, the piece de resistance, “o-Kay.”  There are variations of this theme, but I think you’ll know the look, the dance and the song. You wish they would go into a tantrum or slam their door like a teenager with the requisite exhale. You could respond then. You would have been provoked. But this, no this is perfect resistance that you cannot defend. In fact, more often than not, it will cause your heart to melt or at least question whether you are the one being unreasonable. It is pure innocence, honest emotion and an unshielded tender heart.

As my shoulders sank into my rib cage, I reminded myself it was a good idea. It was necessary. You’ve put it off too long.  If I could have, I would have knelt down, placed her hands in mine, met her gaze and winked. “C’mon sweetheart, I promise, if not fun, you’ll at least learn stuff and get to see new things, O-kay?” Alas, one cannot kneel down and take your hands as a child into your now adult hands. You can only sit, be quiet and listen, especially if it has been a long time since the two of you talked. Sort of like the Little Prince and the fox, you may have to engage in some ‘taming’ first.

Like a blind date, we sat in silence wondering if we could find something in common. At last I heard the soft voice whisper “I’m sorry you thought me so strong.”  With those seven words the wax of soon fifty seven years melted downward upon the wick, almost extinguishing the flame.  Two hundred twenty four seasons of have to’s, must do’s, responsibilities, need to’s, learn this, do this, take care of, insert whatever label you wish,  lay before me in the silence that fell after those seven words. The calculator crunched and the total printed – the don’ts outnumbered the do’s.  I had set my face towards the world and neglected the face within.  I was "strong" and would plow through all before me and help others to see, never realizing the eyes once walking with me were drifting further and further back, until out of sight.

I felt my eyes grow soft, wide, piercing through to the dawn’s blush, as my body became both rigid and placid. A whisper kissed my lips, ‘o-Kay’ and the heart giggled.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seasoned Sand

There are times when I think the seasons are winning. They are moving so fast. I miss the pause. Where is the snooze?

It is then the flame flickers within, knowing no, no I do not, will not, cannot go back to sleep. I reach for the rake and my heart sifts through the tiny grains of seasoned sand. The texture changes. The shadows change. I can move the rocks. Every movement of my heart, however, small, creates a change, a path.

No snooze. With a whispered thank you to the flame, I pick up the rake within my heart. A simple, quiet, slow dance to tend the flame, to create a path, to believe.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Thousand Words

A simple truth staring up at me.

The remaining nine hundred ninety three words are yours.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Card

"We know you always thought our houses small. We thought the same thing when we were your age and someone was always stepping on our toes. We know you always thought so much food a waste. We thought the same thing too when we were your age. Yes, in a world where so many are hungry it could seem that way. But when family is brought together and not for a funeral, I think perhaps our exuberance might be excused. Everyone is so busy with their lives, except for funerals, Christmas was the only time everyone would gather in one place, in our house, that seemed small. Yes, we know you didn't want clothes, but it was a way to hug you, long after the toys were put away. And yes, we remember your confused look when three different "Santas" gave you the same toy truck with horses. We blamed the elves. Thank you for never questioning even though we think that is when you grew up and learned a different kind of Christmas magic. Remember the magic, and the houses that seemed so small."

Like the rings of life marking the march of seasons, the memories of Christmas Past ripple through my house that seems too big. One does not have to cut down a tree to see how old it is. You don't have to look to see if one season was better than another or how healthy the tree may be. Look to the roots. One does not have to make a big house seem small to know the roots of love. Look to the roots. There you will find the magic. It took a while, but I did grow up. Mama, Sister, Banks, Hoppie, Baba, Daddy Sam, Jansen, Willie Lee, John, Erin, Mike, Judge, Cobb, Annie Mae and others no longer here, I miss you all but you were right about the clothes. You were right about the magic. And your Christmas card tonight has made a big house seem small.

And as I share the Christmas card written by my roots, upon my heart, may I wish you a pause, a moment, to look to the roots this Christmas. Let the tree stand and grow old and weathered with memories and rings. Savor the moment, the roots, whatever they may be for you. And may this Christmas, or whatever holiday you may gather to celebrate, may your roots make a big house seem small. 


To all of Christmas Past
To all of Christmas Present
To the precious keeper of my heart and breath who gifted such a wonderful Christmas card tonight.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Unfrozen Heart

Beneath the snow, and upon the green
Beneath the cold, and upon the hope
Warmed by the sun, the unfrozen heart.
Fear not the cloud, hiding the sun
Fear not the warmth, melting the snow
Once you have seen, you know its there.
Beneath the snow, upon the green
Beneath the cold, upon the hope
Love once seen, is forever etched.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fingers of Truth

An Evergreen's fingers against a blue sky. Simple. Does not shout at you or scream notice me. 

An Evergreen's fingers, with tiny droplets of sunlight against the first blue sky after the blizzard. A blizzard that hid both the sky and trees in a wall of white. A blizzard that for two days turned the soft laced hush of winter's snow into howling winds that seemed to move the house itself. Winds and snow that left the other limbs bowed and weighted with snow. Not these. Somehow they shook off the fury of the blizzard. In standing tall, standing true, not bending, they shed the weight.

A rhythm to every season. The seeds of hope borne within the storm itself. They will not scream notice me nor will they shout their message. Simple. innocent. Gentle. There. Sometimes they only whisper once and are gone. The physical image lasted only a minute or so. The message, if grasped, will forever be touched by the sun. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Truth Parsed

Do I dare to hope to be so free?
Do I dare to hope?
Do I dare?
Do I?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Collision of Warmth

The swirling howling wind was creating a dervish with the pellets of ice raining down from the sky. The temperature was plummeting as fast as the pellets. I arm wrestled the wind to open the plant door so I could get outside to breathe. When you need to go outside into these conditions to breathe, you need to breathe.

The door slammed behind me and I faced a wall of white created by drifts of old snow and ice pellets. My eyes closed. My lungs drew in every drop of air they could hold, never mind the cold. A thump and scratch upon my face retrieved my thoughts from the cold world. A leaf, from I do not know where, caught up in the wind, had collided against my face and fell to my feet.There are no leaves on the trees. Fall's shawl of leaves lay beneath the snow and ice. I smiled and inquired from whence the traveler had journeyed and laughed.

Even that which is seemingly lifeless, frozen, long separated from the source of life, the seasons having drained it of its color and vibrancy can carry and receive the touch of awakening. May it be so. Bowing my neck, I whispered Namaste and left the warmth.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snow Eyes

The dust, storms, and the smokescreens of life can cloud our vision and blind us to what we need or would like to see. There are times these same storms, dust clouds and smokescreens open our eyes to see what matters, what we lack, or what we want to be. Perhaps it's nature's way of getting our attention and asking "Now can you believe?"

Sometimes you have to look through the eyes of snow to see the eclipse. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I cannot fret or dream about what tomorrow may bring.

It will be a reflection of what I am, I do and what I choose today.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


 Neither the caterpillar nor the butterfly, I am both.

 A destined congruence of time and light.

A quiet emergence. 

Dancing with the hands of life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Now What?

Robert Frost had the luxury of a fork in the road. Now what? You can wait for summer and swim. You can wait for winter and walk across. You can find another path. You may even decide you didn't want to go there anyway. It is your choice. 

There is never a path that leads to nowhere.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It is a heart encased in ice. Winter's fingers, it seems, pushing all away. The heart, though, remains. The ice does not diminish it nor do the fingers crush it. 

Do not mistake what you may see for what is. For if you had paused and sat with the heart, you would have seen the sun's hand melt the prison. The branch, once bowed, sprung back and lifted itself in thanks. And in the lifting, the melting, the heart soared and danced.

To see what is, sometimes you have to sit. You have to sit knowing the melt is part of the ice.