Chasing Light : Morning Zen

So fellow travelers,  sunshine is a precious commodity in Upstate NY.

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Four decades of residency has me acclimated although this does not mean I like our climate.  It simply means my appreciation for sunshine has been vastly deepened.

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Never truer than this morning, the first full sunny day of our spring vacation week which has felt more like November than late April. (Excuse me Mother Nature, where would I apply for my “spring” vacation refund?) After another day of sad news (post pending) it felt comforting to find the magic of Light right outside my back door.

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New life reaching out
Darkness fades hope renewed Light
answers I am here

Looks like it’s going to be a camera close at hand kind of day.

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Resurrection

So fellow travelers, sad news came via messages once again a few days ago.

Another life ended so young. Too soon for those who knew and loved but barely soon enough for one held in the cruel grip of depression. A battle fought and lost and yet in losing brings peace now the struggle is done. Done for one but just beginning for those who remain with so much love left to give. My wish is for them to find healing and hope knowing so many seeds were already sown by their newly born angel.

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First light reveals

an empty shell

seeds long gone

 taken by winds

near and far

waiting to bloom

hope is reborn

 

I shot this photo as the sun made a brief appearance before the sky pulled clouds over itself and wept cold tears for the rest of that day.

Walk gently on the path my friends and remember to be kind.

 

 

Omiyage

So fellow travelers,  it is a tradition in Japan to bring gifts when visiting.  It would be a terrible dishonor to arrive as a guest empty handed.

Gifts given from a trip, whether the trip is across the city on the subway or across an ocean are called omiyage and have special significance.  The tradition is so deeply rooted there are omiyage shops in even the smallest of train stations. Large department stores have an entire floor of specialty counters offering a variety of goods, mostly food. Every item is packaged in decorative boxes and sales clerks carefully wrap each purchase.

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So when Favorite Youngest Daughter returned from Tokyo the very first thing she unpacked when she got home were these treasures which she gathered from the islands of Okinawa, her last adventure in Japan before coming home.

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For Okasan (Mom, that’s me ) regional wildflower honey and purple yam KitKat bars.  For Otosan (Dad, my husband)  chili oil made with local peppers and coffee.  She knows us so well.

Food is the most popular and more deeply appreciated omiyage. With the compressed accommodations in which even the wealthiest of Japanese live, gifting something which permanently takes up space is almost rude. Consumable gifts, particularly regional specialties are the best offerings to bring. Oh and one would never bring something home made. Two or three pieces of beautifully wrapped fresh fruit would be a far better choice. With apples in Tokyo selling at Y350 (about $3.00) a piece they are not cheap gifts by any means.

During our travels last August (was it really only eight months ago?)  I loved seeing omiyage wherever we went. It’s uniquely Japanese, a memorable part of my heritage.

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Train station omiyage shop offering traditional Japanese sweets.

The hidden treasure in the omiyage from Favorite Youngest Daughter is the opportunity to write a bit more about our time there. By far, of course, the best gift is having her home, even if it is only for a little while before her next adventure.

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All wrapped up, resting on our couch.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Spring break blues

So fellow travelers, I have a touch of spring break blues.

Suffice to say it’s been a strange day with just this haiku as a redeeming element, the photo gathered on a brief chilly dog walk when the rains had passed.

 

Leaf buds holding out
Grey wind blown rain reflections
November in Spring.

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Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Between Goodbye and Hello

So fellow travelers, this is a week of many reunions and partings as Favorite Oldest Daughter, Favored Son-in-law and Favorite Youngest Daughter come and go within a few days of each other.

My home feels so right when “the kids” are here.
And a little too quiet when they leave.

The afternoon sun cast a warm comforting Light on the end of my dining room table where I have photos of them.

Welcome home flowers
may fade memories will last
’til we hug again

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A gentle reminder those we love are never farther than the hearts where we hold them close.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Hometown boy

Jackie says on her page ” though very shy and quiet, he was well liked here. ” A thoughtful and personal tribute

Quilt of Missing Memories

The rain was heavy with purple haze when I heard the news that rock star Prince passed away in his recording studio outside of Minneapolis.

I’ve admired his music for years.

But I’ve also respected him for being the local hero who never left town.

To some, Minnesota is another ‘fly over’ state on your way to California or New York.

Though to Prince, it was home.

And also his community.

He reportedly stayed here for family and friends, and liked our four seasons.

“I wanted peace around me,” he said in one local interview.

Prince had been a good kid growing up who played basketball with his high school team.

And then there was music.

His passion.

He was a boy who knew just what he wanted.

Years later many in the community would stop by at last minute concerts put together at his studio.

And they’d also find…

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Chasing Light : Daffodil Whisper

So fellow travelers, reviewing the photos from yesterday morning’s adventure (“Was that you crouched on the sidewalk taking photos by the library ?” a coworker asked me when I got to work) I found one I meant to include. I was going to add it the previous post until I heard the whisper of a haiku within.

Shadows some times are
Beautiful things defining
Light for our mind’s eye

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Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Chasing Light : Morning Daffodils

So fellow travelers, once again on my morning drive to work,  the light was wondrous. As I posted recently this can be both a source of joy and frustration.

Today driving past the public library in town,  I caught sight of these daffodils in the morning light.

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With a school bus behind me I was unable to pull over. Yet as I drove on, I found myself unable to let the moment pass, these thoughts running through my mind~

The forecast for the next few days is cloudy with a chance of rain. The sun’s position shifts a few degrees every day, the angle of light will be different when sunlight returns.
Those daffodils glowing with ethereal grace will soon be past bloom.

Ok. “ethereal grace” was an editorial addition more than an actual thought in that moment.

The pull to capture the magic directed me to make a right turn onto a side street and turn around. I’m so glad I did.

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Claiming the chance to capture magic, no regrets; a small victory on the quest to live in the moment.

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Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready .

Lighting the Lamps of Hope

For hope to have substance,  it has to acknowledge the pain. But hope is saying that’s not the final story. It’s not saying pain doesn’t exist,  but it’s saying there isn’t a period at the end of that sentence .” Tim Foreman.

So fellow travelers, this quote comes from a member of Switchfoot my favorite (currently recording) band.

Pain exists yet it does not have to define us. It may overwhelm us at times on our journey and we often need help to rise above it.  My greatest life challenge has been those relationships where I must watch others make choices to remain lost in their pain. Sometimes we have the option to walk away, sometimes we cannot because we are obligated to standby and remain ready to offer support when needed.

Sometimes, we are the ones, who light the lamps to keep hope alive.

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The lamps come on
as darkness falls
The light of day is gone

Memories rise with bullfrog calls
of life before the pain
began to build such daunting walls

Night cries tears of gentle rain
Weep too, but be not downcast
Like lamplight, hope will remain

Peace will outlast
Love will hold fast

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Editor’s note:  This poem is written in a format called terza rima which uses an aba bcb cdc dd rhyme scheme.  I have been challenging myself to try new (to me) formats  introduced by poets participating the National Poetry Writing Month Challenge.

Simple Tasks

So fellow travelers, thoughts on how I grew to love laundry

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The simplest tasks

Become safe haven in storms

Chaos kept at bay

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.