Monday, October 31, 2022

In gratitude for forethought

Having moved from New England
To a region where deciduous trees are rare,
 I am grateful every autumn 
 For the thoughtful folks who planted these
 For the delight of generations yet unborn.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Rest in the Divine

Sunday is like the lap of the week: 
A place where we, like cats, curl up 
And safely rest in the arms of the Divine…

Saturday, October 29, 2022

On boundaries

I am thinking this morning about boundaries, 
And how important they can be — 
Not (as we often assume) 
To shut people out or protect us, 
But as a way to guide and foster growth; 
To reduce distracting elements in our lives, 
And focus our attention 
 On the path to which we’re called.

Friday, October 28, 2022

When the weather shifts

Listening to the pounding wind 
And the rain on the roof, 
Is it any wonder that the images I’m drawn to 
Speak of summer and still waters? 
However late the winter weather arrives — 
And it was at least a month delayed this year — 
It’s still an adjustment. 
We put away our summer clothes 
And move the hoses to the shed, 
Knowing it’ll be many months 
Until we drag them out again, 
Then learn again to bundle up and settle in, 
Grateful to be warm and dry 
When so many, less fortunate, are not…

Thursday, October 27, 2022

As the day begins

As the day begins, breathe deep, 
 And listen for the words in your heart: 
 How might you best serve the world today?

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Enjoy the ride

By now we know 
What lies at the end of the road,
 If not how it befalls us — 
All the more reason 
To slow things down a bit;
 Make time to appreciate 
 The scenery along the way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Summer memories

As the skies begin to fade to winter gray 
And my grass turns brown, 
I rejoice in the memory of summer’s flowers: 
The bright joy with which they greeted the world 
 Makes my heart sing with gladness.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Appreciate simplicity

Having once lived through tumultuous times, 
We learn to appreciate boring: 
The simple pleasure of a gray-blue sky, 
Littered with fluffy clouds, 
Sharp verticals of tall grass, 
Not needing to be cut, 
Waves splashing on the rocks and beach, 
A seagull’s salt-scented cry 
 And the reassuring promise of a distant shore — 
All balm to the troubled soul.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

A day to rest and breathe

Sunday is a perfect day 
To step away from your to-do list 
And take some time to appreciate 
 The simple things: the patterns and the colors 
Of the leaves that will soon fall, 
The play of light among the branches, 
The lichen; the texture of the bark… 
Let your heart rest 
 In the shedding of what’s done; 
Breathe in the passing beauty 
 Of what’s now and what’s to come, 
And know peace.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Childhood memories

I confess: I’ve an addiction 
 To the rural countryside: 
Having grown up next to a farm 
(On the edge of suburbia) 
The sights, scents, and sounds 
Of cows or horses in a field 
Remind me of the happy place we called home. 
But what about the children 
 Who grow up in a battle zone? 
Will they find comfort 
 In the sights, scents, and sounds 
 Of violence?

Friday, October 21, 2022


Like love, from that single stem, 
Her speckled skirts spread far and wide 
And glittered with reminders, 
Not just of tears and rain, but a life well-lived; 
Of hearts broken open and scarred; 
Of darkness, and the warmth of flames and sun; 
Of the mix of sorrow and rejoicing 
That accompanies each one of us until 
We fall back to the ground 
From which we’ve sprung.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Fresh air

Smoke levels in the valley 
I drove through yesterday 
 Are at record highs: 
 Amazing, when you consider 
 How far away the fires are. 
It’s yet another reminder 
Of how closely we’re all connected, 
And how a single choice or action 
Can have such huge repercussions. 
Be careful out there, keep breathing, 
And take a moment to appreciate 
 What fresh air you may have.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

As the storm clouds gather

Looking out as the winter storm clouds gather 
Over all you have so carefully been tending, 
It’s hard not to wonder what will survive. 
But you have done your work, my friend, 
And now’s the time to stop, and rest, 
And breathe in the confidence 
Of knowing what will be, will be; 
Your work, at least for now, is done.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The appeal of solitude

There’s a mystical appeal to this lonely cabin: 
A reminder of childhood vacations, perhaps, 
Or stories I have read about or by 
The lonely ones who live such isolated lives — 
Hermits, whose simple solitude led 
To philosophical revelations — 
Or perhaps I just feel echoes 
 Of life as an only child, 
Finding solace in nature, the sea and the sky, 
And dreaming of finding a friend.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Smoke gets in our eyes

The smoke from Washington’s wildfires 
Drifted our way yesterday, 
Leaching our world of color and definition 
And making it hard to breathe.
 I ache for all whose lives and homes 
 And lungs are affected, 
And pray that those who are sailing away 
May find their way to clear skies and fresher air.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Unchanging presence

Think of your troubles — 
 Your joys and your sorrows — 
As clouds, ever rising and moving across 
The cerulean blue of your life: 
Let them go now: 
 Breathe deeply and center yourself 
 In the unchanging presence of sea and sky; 
 The infinite love that wells up and forms 
The background and root of existence.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Investing in an unknown future

I bought these plants last year 
 At our local nursery, 
Because the label said they were deer proof, 
And (added benefit) purple. 
The labels didn’t happen to mention 
(Or perhaps I didn’t notice) 
That they might not bloom the first year, 
But that next year the stalks 
 Would be six feet tall, 
 Which came as a huge surprise! 
And now I’m glad I took a chance 
On the promise of an unknown plant: 
It’s the only thing still blooming in my garden, 
And so huge you can see them from the street. 
Sometimes you just have to trust…

Friday, October 14, 2022

Unexpected benefits

As you can see from our lawn,
It’s been a dry fall; 
No rain to speak of since June, 
So we’re doing our best 
 To keep the birdbaths full, 
As they’re not just for the birds. 
If you keep the kindness flowing, 
You never know who might unexpectedly benefit.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

On gray days

Sometimes, on gray days, 
It’s just nice to snuggle up to a friend…

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Already longing for spring

Of course there will be days 
When, like the apples on my trees in this dry fall, 
I don’t seem to be ripening,
 Or even bearing fruit — and then I wonder 
If I should have been a birch; perhaps a pine? 
No, nothing evergreen, because I’m not: 
These inevitable winters, 
 When I feel I’ve shed my leaves, 
I’m bare and brown; exposed, and chilled 
By the absence of a purpose or a calling 
Til spring returns, and I’m young and green again, 
And eager to produce: it’s just a cycle, 
One we’ve seen before, but still — 
When this cold dark rises in our souls 
It’s hard to trust the sap will flow again…

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Prayers for recovery

This beautiful flicker 
Collided with one of our windows yesterday 
And fell to the deck, stunned. 
Her eyes at first were open, 
But as they slowly closed, I feared the worst, 
And the sadness over the loss 
 Was coloring my thoughts until 
I saw her slowly flex her wings, 
Then fly, ever so gracefully, away. 
Recovery, I thought, thinking of friends 
Who struggle with great challenges, 
Takes time: I pray this flicker’s ease of flight 
Will echo in the lives of all who deal with loss.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Breathe into the day

Such joy, to sit and watch the moon 
 As she glides, slowly into the sea. 
Together we breathe our way 
Into the new day…

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Where the heart leads

Sometimes, when there is no path, 
It falls to us to create our own 
And then to follow it 
 To where we’ve been, unknowing, led 
By the instincts of our hearts.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Turning things around

In this orientation, though it wasn’t intended, 
This painting faintly suggests a dollar sign. 
But look what happens 
 When you turn it clockwise: 

Spirit emerges! 
Sometimes when we’re caught up 
In worldly concerns, it helps 
To try turning things around 
And looking at them differently…

Friday, October 7, 2022

The appeal of the subtle

Had I not been drawn 
To the colors in the sky, 
I might have missed 
 The beauty of the scene below: 
The way the fog caressed the field, 
The way the light illuminates 
 The graceful curve of the roof… 
Yes, bold beauty draws our attention,
 But it’s fleeting: our task is to see past it; 
To appreciate the subtle appeal 
 Of that which will endure.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Wait patiently

And then there are are those days 
When we’re so eager for what’s happening next 
We leap ahead, forgetting 
That we were not designed — 
And don’t have everything it takes — 
To make this trip alone. 
In such cases, patience may well be 
Our only option…

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Elegance in the wings

How often are we so distracted by the drama 
That we miss the quiet beauty 
That stands patiently on the sidelines? 
Make time today to really look; 
To see beyond the obvious 
To the truth that waits, elegant, in the wings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Time to rest and reflect

There’s a stillness in the air, a quiet hush 
When that first red tree appears: 
All nature knows that summer’s end 
Is on its way: cool air, a hunkering down, 
And a return, a settling in, 
A narrowing of horizons and daylight hours. 
Time to rest, to breathe, take stock;
 Reflect on where we’ve been 
 And where we’ve yet to go.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Sharing concerns

Gathering together near the water cooler, 
We share both the water and our observations 
 About our fellow travelers. 
When is it gossip, 
And when do our shared thoughts reflect 
Shared concerns for the health of the group? Communication is a vital component 
Of a community’s well-being.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

The siren song of destiny

Fig leaves, burnished by the evening sun: 
Their abstract patterns draw me to the window 
As surely as a baby’s cry 
Calls a mother to her crib. 
Each of us has a particular music 
That acts as a siren’s call to lure us, 
Not to devastation but to destiny; 
Into that space that we were born to fill.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

A witness to perfection

A volunteer crocosmia decided to appear
 Amidst my bed of euphorbia, 
Choosing for herself 
A perfect backdrop for her charms. 
The early morning light simply adds 
To her perfection:
 I am grateful to have served as a witness.