Lighting Their Path

So fellow travelers, this last day of a long hard school year is filled with some tough goodbyes.

There are always shifts in staffing at the end of each year. This time around those shifts are hitting a group of friends pretty hard.

Today’s goodbyes are a reminder of another parting tugging at this Mom’s heartstrings. Rather than dwell on what’s to come I want to be deeply present in the time remaining.

This Zen moment from an evening spent with Favorite Younger Daughter at a traveling exhibit brought these words to Light.

Finding the courage

To send young ones on their way

Mothers love stay strong

Being present in the moments we have for as long as I can and finding joy in simple things like a walk through magical lanterns of Light.

lantern walk

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

Birds of a Feather

Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?” A Course In Miracles

So fellow travelers this quote popped up in my morning feed today.

My immediate response was ” Me!  I would! ” and while I understand the quote’s intended spiritual lesson is we deny too much the power we have within us, I know my response comes from a place of truth.

Osprey in flight Fair Haven Sate Park May 2017

 

Of course I marvel at the amazing grace and power of raptors, watching in awe whenever I am blessed with a sighting. Who wouldn’t want to soar above the trees and spiral gracefully upwards on thermal drafts? I’ve had dreams of flying like that. Yet the honest truth is I relate more in spirit with the little song birds who chirrup as they dash about the forest underbrush, diving down to snatch a cool drink from a brook, darting up into the air to snag a juicy treat, then dodging into a secret sanctuary among the leaves.  Tucked safely away I would feel free to sing the song in my heart without fear of reprisal.

The admonition is clear. You have been given tremendous power. Why hide it within a smaller self?  I contemplated this yesterday afternoon as I sat in my favorite chair by our little pond taking in the birds enjoying the feeders I had just refilled. Chickadees, finches, cardinals, juncos and grackles hopped back and forth between the trees, feeders and the ground gathering the seeds with great gusto. Occasionally one would hop daringly onto the rocks by the pond and, eyeing me with utmost caution, dip their little bills into the waterfall for a quick drink before dashing back into the trees.

In my current quest to come to peace with what is I find myself eyeing reality with the same caution as my little visitors. I have never been one to give in easily to situations which do not feel right and I am not about to start now.  The philosophical and spiritual foundations of  who I am have been built from hard won battles with both personal and global negativity. Maybe this grants me the wingspan and power of an eagle but if I am honest with myself, those wings do not suit me. I am simply more comfortable flying about on smaller, more agile wings.

A flash of color

A song sung true from the heart

Tiny feathered warriors

Guide me on my path

Tree Swallow Sterling Nature Center May 2017

Who’s to say power can’t be tucked into those little feathered wings ?

 

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

Editors note: The poem is a flipped haiku format using 5/7/7/5 rhythm



Camping with memories

So fellow travelers, found this golden washed view of a day’s end in my “drafts and edit” file. It was an auspicious moment which blessed a camping trip taken last year with a dear friend soon after my mother-in-law died.

It captures some of the feeling I am often struck by when a trail brings me to a spot of magical Light.

I remember coming out of the woods to this view released a flood of emotions. It was so reminiscent of the many old postcards we found that summer when clearing out my mother-in-law’s house. The moment gave rise to deep thoughts about the long process of shifting through the mountains of things collected everywhere; my mother-in-law, God bless her, had thrown almost nothing away. Ambushes of memories and emotions were embedded everywhere, many of them dark and sad, yet there was also much love and joy and healing, oh so much healing in that process of release.

It has been a year since Joan left this life. Time and memory are tricksters of the heart and mind. The year which has passed since both daughters and our son-in-law flew home to bid their Grandmother goodbye has a distorted feeling, like an image viewed in a carnival mirror. Parts passed by so quickly the recollections are blurred, others extended so slowly the effect is painfully distorted.  Even though he rarely speaks of it, I know my husband misses his Mom and the fractures in his family left by her death are growing deeper. I am grateful one of our daughters will be coming home to visit later this week and we will be visiting my family over Father’s Day weekend.  My family is far from perfect, yet we stand by each other, just as my daughters stood with me in the church when I read the words I had written to honor Joan’s memory.

Dawn comes darkness fades

Pain becomes mere memory

Light calls Welcome Home

We are all in one way or another, together or alone, seeking the path which leads Home.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may peace bless your journey.

 

 

Marathon 

So fellow travelers, you know those times when days feels like weeks? When the finish line never seems to draw closer no matter how hard and fast you run?

No matter. Today is the last day of classes. After exam week is over this marathon school year will be done. Time to let summer break clear the mental debris, hit the reset button and move on.

It is what it is

Still change is not beyond reach

Hope is an option                                                      

Peony blossom ready to bloom

 

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

Surrender

So fellow travelers, one of those pieces that has been waiting in the wings came together this rainy afternoon while editing a mediocre photo.

The monster came 

and spent 

I turned to face It

Deep in those cavernous eyes lay

an aching chasm of souless void

Exhausted and resolute I offer mine

An eternity passes in an instant

as I let go

shredded into a thousand pieces

Still I remain and now

there is much more of me

I am here 

                                  there 

e    v   e   r    y    w    h    e      r    e 

I am lighter 

softer

free to fly on the wind

nest with birds

sing cicada songs

and carry dandelion puff wishes

 to the listening ears of Heaven

 

In the process of recovering from a prolonged period of unsettling and stressful situations, my current focus has been on relinquishing the struggle against what is. This is not to say I am willing to accept anything which counters my core values. It means I realize no amount of resistance is going to change certain circumstances. Moving forward requires me to process the emotions embedded in these experiences so I can find new balance points. Surrendering to the depth of feeling felt like coming apart and yet created a sensation of spacious grace making it easier to stop struggling and regain my self awareness. Time to set a few wishes free.

 


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



Zen Moment : Rising Crescent Moon

So fellow travelers, a sudden thunderstorm filled  the evening air heavy with cold damp air.

Trinity of Lights*

Stepping out for the last dog run of the night, I looked up and saw the waxing crescent moon rising above the big maple tree by our little pond.  A tree frog’s evening serenade set this flow of words in motion.

Sun sinks below the horizon

pulling all light beyond the edge

abandoned

alone

as darkness closes in until

a silver crescent cracks the night 

and one lone frog sings out 

a kindred soul 

in search of hope

Sunday evenings have brought increasing heaviness as this challenging school year evolved. However, this extended holiday weekend provided much needed respite to help me reset my energies for the final weeks left. I have never been so glad to see a year come to a close. When it is finally done I will spend the summer building on some insights I have gleaned from the chaos.

Forward. No need to look back. Onward to a path of greater Light.

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

*Postscript: for those who inquired, the “floating” green sphere is a solar lantern with a green wicker exterior that hangs by our pond. The other two lights are a porch window and of course the crescent moon.

Solitary Loonacy: First Solo Flight

So fellow travelers, a year ago I posted a photo and poem about a  heartfelt moment during an annual birding expedition with Favorite Youngest Daughter. This weekend I returned to that spot and captured this image.

It was my first stop on this year’s Birdathon challenge, an annual event I joined for the first time in 2005. ( it’s background is in a previous post too) . As excellent a spot as Potter Road Marsh can be for birding, I had a more personal reason for starting my day’s adventure there. Like the mist on the water that morning a year ago, emotions embedded in the moment I had captured drifted through my consciousness as I prepared for this year’s expedition.

For the first time in ten years I would be flying solo. I had no illusions of breaking our tally record of one hundred and one species without my Team Loonatics partner, Favorite Youngest Daughter, whose expert ear for both pitch and cadence and accurate note taking skills were a major contribution to our final tallies. Still I had strong hopes of being able to find most of the species I could confidently identify independently and I wanted to fuel my “can do” attittude by starting the 24 hour challenge at the spot where inspiration had left a powerful memory.

Windows wide open inspite of the chilly morning temperatures, I drove towards the marsh, counting every song I heard along the way.  By the time I reached the trailhead just fifteen minutes from my house I had tallied nine common birds which I carefully marked on the checklist. Bear in mind first light was just emerging through cracks in the night sky, so I was finding birds only by calls

Stepping out of my car, I heard the sweet melodic song of a wood thrush, so loud and clear, I knew it had to be close to the trail head.  Binoculars in one hand, I moved along the trail as soundlessly as possible. Just a few steps past the trailhead I found the bird sitting in plain sight on a tree branch a few feet above me, so close I never had to raise my binoculars, I had such a clear view. Clear that is until sudden tears blurred my vision, ambushed by a memory from one of our first birdathon trips when a wood thrush had hopped out of the brush and onto a trail right in front of us. My daughter and I instantly froze in place and watched as the bird tilted its head as if looking quizically at these odd big shapes in the path. It hopped a few more steps then flew up into a tree and sang it’s signature flute like melody loud and clear before retreating deeper in the woods.

Left speechless, it had taken me a few breaths to answer my then ten year old daughter’s question of what bird that had been. Inspite of finding wood thrushes many times before, an actual sighting had always eluded me.  I remember, as a new birder taking a guided walk at a local nature center where everyone in the group I was with was able to spot a wood thrush in the trees. Everyone, but me that is, as the elusive songster kept zipping from branch to branch hidden behind leaves as I frantically focused and refocused my binoculars to get a clear view.  This “heard clearly, almost but not quite saw it,” moment was repeated for several years over many auditory encounters until that first full view on our second Birdathon adventure. The wonderful memory of that shared moment rose as clear as the notes filling the morning air and I whispered just as I had ten years ago “wood thrush, it’s really and truly a wood thrush.”

WoodThrush

Wood Thrush song spectrogram from Birds of North Ameirca Online; music from Oiseaux Exotiques © 1959 Universal Edition (London) Ltd., London/UE 13008. Photo by Janet Heintz via Birdshare.

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

After the Storm

So fellow travelers,  the first big thunderstorm of the season blew through earlier this evening.

Tree frogs are serenading me to sleep through open windows for the first time this year.

Night falls tree frogs sing

Gusting winds and rain abate

Calm after the storm

 Walk gently on the path my friends and may you rest well this nearly summer night.

A Hug from Heaven

So fellow travelers, as Mother’s Day dawns soon, I am mindful of what a gift it is spend the day with my Mom. For those I know whose Moms have left this life,  these words are my gift for you and your Angels.

The sun never sets

on a mother’s love she lives

always in our hearts

Walk gently on the path my friends and may simple joy bless your journey.

Rain

So fellow travelers, a breach of trust is hard to overcome.

Time heals all wounds. Sometimes rain helps the process.

Angels’ tears fall as

Life giving rain gracious gift

Hope for those who thirst

Walk gently on the path my friends and may simple joy bless your journey.