Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A blessed reciprocity

Say what you will about the current admonitions 
To maintain an “attitude of gratitude,” 
The fact of the matter is 
That when you’re determined to stay open 
To the blessings in the here and now, 
Eventually they will thank you in return:
 A blessed reciprocity at the root of being.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Monday, November 28, 2022

Feeling thankful

The setting sun tosses a final splash of color 
To ignite the night-blackened branches 
Of my neighbor’s trees: 
A perfect end to a perfect weekend, 
And yet another reason — one of many — 
To feel thankful.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

A simpler life

There is, within, a part of us 
That hungers for a simpler life, 
Forgetting how much work goes in 
To maintaining fields and farms 
And how little recompense 
 There is for all that labor. 
With time, we learn to make space within 
The more complex lives we’ve chosen 
To appreciate what might have been 
And, driving by, to stop; drink in 
The beauty that we pass.

Saturday, November 26, 2022


We put hummingbird stickers on our windows 
 To keep the birds from flying into them. 
Yesterday this little guy perched on the fence 
Five feet from one of those windows 
And stared steadily at the sticker 
For some ten minutes.
 Perhaps because my mother would 
Have turned 100 this month
 (She died a quarter century ago)
 I wondered if he might be missing his mom…
 Projection: it’s not just for movies.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Outside in

Crossing the bridge, 
 On our way back home after Thanksgiving,
 I am reminded of a lesson learned 
A long long time ago that bears repeating: 
Structures, organizations — even relationships 
 That look stable, and inviting from the outside 
Can have a very different feel 
 When you’re inside, and can actually see 
 What’s holding them together…

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Giving Thanks

Perhaps today, unlike my cat, 
We can pause our endless search 
For what’s hidden, new, or different 
And make time to be not only grateful 
 But content with all the blessings of this life. 
Knowing that everything could change 
In a single moment, 
We appreciate what’s here; what’s now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A Maxfield Parrish sky

Yesterday, when watching for the sunset 
(Which comes so early now 
I sometimes forget to look, 
 And then it’s dark)
 I remembered to look east 
Instead of just focusing on the west 
And this amazing sky 
Loomed over our neighbor’s farm. 
A Maxfield Parrish painting, 
It left me breathless: 
So grateful something prompted me to look!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A hidden opportunity

In every moment, there’s an invitation: 
A hidden door, through which —
 If we were brave or wise — 
We might, upon adventuring within, 
Discover that deep- buried well 
Of love and creativity 
 Which joins and fuels us all. 
Open your eyes and heart and seek that door, 
And pray you’ll have the wisdom 
 And the courage it may take to step within 
And find that boundless source of all that is.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Maintaining focus

This being human seems to be a matter 
Of constantly shifting focus 
Between what’s here and now 
 And what lies ahead: 
Like a camera, we can find it challenging 
 To achieve a satisfactory balance 
Between next and now, light and dark, 
Frequently losing sight of one 
While fixating on the other.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The textures of the Now

Where we are will always have its imperfections — 
Relationships patched or broken, 
A future partially obscured 
By echoes and reflections 
Of a past we cannot seem to leave behind — 
And yet, there is still beauty in this moment,
 If only we could pause, be fully present,
And appreciate the textures of the Now.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Thankful and mindful

The leaves are down and crisp with frost 
That sparkles in the morning sun 
As winter’s chill moves in. 
Be thankful for what warmth you’ve found, 
And mindful of those who shiver in the cold.

Friday, November 18, 2022

You’re an original

Judging by appearances, 
You might think this is a pumpkin 
Only a mother could love. 
But arranged with a bunch of “normal” pumpkins, 
She turns ordinary into extraordinary.

Don’t be afraid to be different: 
 That which sets you apart 
Might be exactly what is needed in this world.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Sharing our needs

To be thoughtful and kind does not have to mean 
 We carry our unvoiced needs to the grave,
 Hoping someone will notice. 
Those of us who find joy in caring for others 
May need to remember, as the old song says, 
“No one can fill those of your needs 
That you won’t let show.” 
Listen to your heart, and don’t be afraid 
 To let others know how you feel: 
Allow them to feel the joy of caring for you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Inevitable imperfections

It’s important to remember 

That however perfect life may seem, 
There will always be imperfections. 
Yes, this town is fortunate 
To be blessed with views 
Of both water and mountains, 
But those beautiful plumes spewing forth 
Carry within them the distinctive scent
 Of a paper mill. 
Whatever you’re choosing — 
 A job, a mate, a home, a community— 
You’ll need to know what’s important to you 
And learn to accept and even appreciate 
The gifts contained in the inevitable imperfections.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Seek th blessings

There are the clouds that drift into our lives
 And the ones we make ourselves, 
When in our rush to achieve and acquire 
 We divide all our experiences 
 Into high and low, good and bad: 
Divisions insubstantial that can interfere 
With learning and growth. 
Seek, instead, the blessings 
 That reside in each moment, and be thankful.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Be the light

The morning sun gilds the trees 
And turns the bottom of the seagulls’ wings 
To gold as they surf the wind. 
May you find light today, 
And BE the light 
That brightens someone else’s morning.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Sunday’s invitation

Each week begins anew 
With Sunday’s invitation to recharge.
Setting aside our concerns, however briefly,
We find a way to rest out at the edge 
Of whatever challenges we face 
And turn our gaze to the peace that lies 
Just beyond our grasp, 
 Listening for its echoes deep within.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Challenges ahead

As the last bright colors of fall begin to fade, 
And winter’s chill belatedly creeps in, 
Our thoughts turn to the holidays ahead; 
Anticipating gatherings of family and friends, 
The days ahead are filled with plans — 
For food, for gifts, for traveling — 
But also with anxieties, with loneliness and loss. 
Conflicting expectations can easily drain energy: 
Be kind to yourself and others 
In the challenging months ahead.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Joy in Boundaries

Someone once asked why I added these stripes 
To the corners of this painting.
 I could have just said I liked their look, 
But instead I got philosophical: 
“I’ve learned,” I said, 
“That I’m much more comfortable 
 Working within clear boundaries; 
That there’s a lot more freedom 
When my edges are defined — 
I don’t waste so much time 
Trying to figure out where they are.”

Thursday, November 10, 2022

With each breath, an opportunity

As we make each day’s journey into night, 
Our thoughts are always colored 
By the place in which we stand;
 By the urgencies of the moment, 
Where we’ve been, and where we’re headed.
 But with each breath 
We have an opportunity 
 To step back or to step in; 
 To see the larger picture 
Or to deepen our understanding 
 Of what is and who we are.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

This arc of light

This lemon sliced moon, seen reflected here,
 Seems to have multiplied itself 
As it slowly slides down the arc of night
 And into the reddening sea. 
So, too, we glide through the arc of life, 
What light we bring into lives around us 
Reflecting, then fading as the new day dawns.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Bend with the wind

This tree still stands on her windy cliff 
Because she’s learned to bend 
And her roots go deep. 
We, too, will survive these trials 
If we stay rooted in community 
And gracefully adjust 
 To our changing circumstances: 
All shall be well, and all shall be well 
If we follow her example.

Monday, November 7, 2022

A gradual unfolding

Think of life and relationships 
 As a gradual unfolding, 
Slowly opening our hearts 
Til we reveal that inner core 
That both withstands and welcomes…

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Blest be the ties that bind

We who are humans, 
Broken and scarred, 
Are bound together 
By fate and our faith. 
May the ancient and timeless 
Words of love 
Bind us together 
Both now and for always.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

When you walk through a storm

What looks like fire behind those clouds 
Is actually just a sunrise, 
But at first glance, one might fear 
Disaster’s looming — a good reminder 
Not to leap to assumptions, 
And to stay calm in a storm — 
Don’t waste your energy worrying, 
But rather spend it in preparing 
 To care for one another 
 And be grateful for what beauty you may find.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Time to open the door

Perhaps it’s time to take another look: 
To open that door in your heart, 
The one you shut so long ago, 
That protects you from the pain 
Of the hurts and losses you’ve experienced. 
You’re older now, stronger, and wiser, too — 
Quite capable of converting those experiences 
To energize and fuel your creativity.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Underlying unity

For so long I’ve yearned for bolder shapes 
To emerge in my paintings, 
But I’m finally coming to understand 
 That that desire is almost always over ridden 
By the underlying sense of the unity of creation 
Which seems determined to express itself 
In my work.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Hampered by the past

We need only be limited by our past 
If we identify with it and get stuck. 
Why choose to sit, powerless; 
To linger beneath the clouds 
 Of anger, bitterness and regret, 
When we could take up our oars 
 And paddle away in hopes of landing 
On the sunny shores of gratitude?

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The beauty of imperfections

It’s easy to become obsessed 
 With our imperfections; 
The many ways we fail to live up to 
Our expectations of ourselves. 
It sometimes takes a friend to point out 
That those very imperfections are 
What make us uniquely human,
 And that it is in wrestling with them 
That we find our path to healing.