In the end there is no end, there’s just another choice, and some turn back and some trudge on, but others search for soaring possibilities.
Back and forth, the road’s the same– predictable and known, but in some hearts new wings emerge and thoughts take flight in soaring possibilities.
Silence helps, and emptying, and letting go of should: think upside down and inside out, release into the soaring possibilities.
Many paths through mystery, a welcoming of gifts– and all may join and all create and midwife life through soaring possibilities.
In the end there is no end, there’s just another choice. Can we be brave, can we forgive, can we embrace, and holding hands, and trusting hope, can we choose love and leap into our soaring possibilities?
The days are shortening and edged with the crowding shadows of autumn, and the morning and late afternoon hours, when lit, are golden, in contrast to summer’s high bright white and clear blues.
Great Egrets gather with the Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, Canada geese and shore birds along the river’s edge, flying down its center, wading in its shallows, or perching high in the trees lining its path.
A great deal of their day is spent in the practice of waiting. They stand, wander, and perch for hours, watching for the curve and contraction of shimmering fish that will serve as their next meal, but they also seem to wait in solitude or in flocks for signals and insights I can’t decipher. Yet.
I am learning the language of deep waiting. It has a hushed vocabulary of few sounds. It is slow-paced, low, and softly musical. I am a novice, learning how to breathe into it and sustain it all day and through my dreams.
When the daylight fades into a dimpsy glow and then darkness, the Canada Geese gather in a huge flock, filling the river on the north side of the bridge at the base of our property. Some mornings I join them before dawn, as they stand sleepily huddled, waking to a new sunrise (this week, around 6:15). They honk, mutter, flap their wings, and turn around a bit. A few swim off in little flotillas, but not too far from the flock, and then, within a few minutes of sunrise, the first shift, furthest north, begins to call and flap and rises in a jagged east-west formation, flying south.
After a minute or so, the next flight follows, and finally, the last line lifts over me and soars away, leaving me with a few Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and a Bald Eagle or two, who continue to patrol the river stalking food and answers, and perhaps the peace it gives them to watch the water continuously flow as the day flows into night. Shore birds hop, pirouette, and prance around the shallows, focused solely on their own next meals, and the green heron always stands alone like a monk in solitude, waiting with mystery and seemingly content with the day unfolding as it will.
I linger for a while, waiting with the waiting, and sometimes return over the course of the day, or watch them standing, wading, and flying up and down the river as I sit and write at my desk. Their presence soothes me and anchors the passing hours in their just-once and eternal import. All these waiting creatures seem to say, “Every moment has meaning; the pace of our deep waiting is a lesson for you.”
We’re back in a lockdown at Full Moon Cottage again, as area ICU’s fill with people who cannot trust science and common sense enough to wear masks, protect others, or prevent their deaths.
So…the people stayed home redux. We wait out the pandemic, and the waiting still offers lessons and opportunities for creating, but this time, for me, there’s greater stillness and the listening has become part of the waiting; the waiting is where and how and why I hear. The pace is slower and the colors more muted. I watch the autumn butterflies flit and flicker through the gardens, and see they are my former life; now, I am the Great Egret, standing in the river, becoming the river and then the dusk, passing into night before another golden dawn returns. I am the shimmering whip of rainbow eluding the piercing beak. I am the Green Heron, allowing my life to unfold as it will. My pace is slow; my listening, deep; I am the one who waits.
I was invited to be one of the contributors to this book, Navigating the Pandemic, now available everywhere. ALL proceeds go to: Society for Refugee Healthcare Providers (refugeesociety.org). The book includes thoughtful essays, poetry, and insights, and it affirms that we can survive the challenges we continue to face, also emphasizing that we can–and must–do better. I believe it’s a hopeful and honest record of these strange, sad, and blessed times. And it’s crammed with beautiful writing. https://www.dandelionbook.com/
I also want to share that my second picture book, The Rare, Tiny Flower, will be published by Tra Publishing in the spring of 2022, and they’ve most kindly purchased my third, Oliver and the Night Giants, for publication in fall, 2022. Each of these requires several meetings with my gifted editor, and co-creative sessions with a wonderful team of artisans. The entire process makes my heart merry.
My posting here has been reduced somewhat, I know, but my writing time has been as full and productive as ever. I’m currently working on a middle grade novel and several other picture books as well. These projects both feed my creative joy and keep my spirit centered.
Our weather has been either stifling hot and burdened with drought, or, as with last week, drenched in rain (yay) and terrorized by tornado warnings (antithesis of yay). I now have a routine for quickly packing and transporting electronics, matches, flashlights, dog treats, masks, spare clothes and etc., down to the lower level bathroom, where we corral and herd the 4-leggeds and ourselves to remain for the duration., while thunder booms and winds swirl without. This week, we are grateful for cooler weather and are back to having no storms on the horizon. Can’t have everything.
Our town and county are currently listed at the “high alert” stage for the Covid-19 Delta variant, so we’re not venturing out too often, given that our second vaccines were in mid-February, and our local population is only 50% vaccinated. (Because, why avail yourself of a free vaccine that will save your life and protect others?) We had to cancel eagerly-anticipated plans for a friend’s long stay at the end of the month and for attendance at a family wedding, also in a high-alert region. I was so looking forward to hugging my brothers, sisters-in-law, and everyone else I could, so it’s been quite a challenge to be tossed again into the space of “not-knowing,” and consigning future reunions to hopes, dreams, and possible-maybe’s.
Like everyone, I’m tired of non-compliance with scientific advice and lack of personal protection and where it’s led us, but I cannot wallow: there’s too much to do and grow and tend, too many better ways to be, and far too many blessings that deserve my gratitude, for me to be another misery agent in the world.
It seems that at no other time in my life have we collectively been so challenged to tend our spirits and grow into the versions of ourselves we’ve “always aspired” to be. There’s no room left for “someday.” This moment asks us to be present, compassionate, focused, creative, hopeful, and centered. Every moment always has, but I think we like to indulge and divert ourselves with other tasks, pleasures, and experiences, and put off the truly hard work of “becoming” until we’re jettisoned into suffering and loss, when transformation is the only way through.
So let us hone and shine our lovely gifts now, my dear friends, because now is when they’re needed. Let’s heal ourselves and heal our world, in hope and joy…and for goodness’ sake, may we seek several opportunities to laugh every day.
Also: Read good books. 🙂
Be safe, and well, and gentle peace to your heart and beloveds.
he was always a lover of things that take flight: dragonflies circling a hatch of gnats, the rising, descending circles of life; butterflies flashing from spinning patterned instars transformed from egg to fluttering light; eagles conserving energy, wings outspread, lifting like grace on currents of air; music, the beloved accrual of sound created note by note till song dazzles, wheeling through the world; thoughts and dreams, unfolding, held tenderly through each evolution the connected singularity of ideas requires, a nurtured progression from flickering neurons to language released, flying from mind to mind, such gift, such gift these things that take flight; he was always their lover, the one whose spirit now soars beyond us, catching the light of a million stars and blazing it back at the speed of love to our earthbound hearts.
the rain fell as we slept, an event momentous in a time of drought, of plague, and fire, and flood, a time when the spurned earth seems to be shaking us off for the rapacious culpably careless pests we are, transforming herself yet again, into a world where only other lives will thrive, not ours; and so the rain, falling as we slept, seemed, in retrospect, a generous message saying, “I could still be your home. I could forgive you. we could live together as loving partners.” but then I realized I was all the way through breakfast and halfway through the day before I whispered, “thank you.”
belated, with the best intentions.
when lovers wake, their first act is embrace, their first words breathe of love. and so it cannot be surprising that gratitude too often shared (if shared at all) in retrospect, finally, receives drought plague, fire, and flood rather than momentous rain.