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Seasons Past, Seasons Passed

IMG_3802Back to school shopping
cool weather,
shorter days,
acorns plop,
tinted leaves crunch under my feet.
yellow. orange.
red and brown.

 

iciclesChristmas shopping
bundle up,
day gives way,
a dusting of white,
hollow, whistling wind stings my face.
black. white.
gray.

 

humingbird B FullerEaster shopping
warm sunshine,
moist buds,
dampened earth encourages its blooms
merry pitches delight my ear.
pink. purple.
golden and lilac.

 

IMG_2968Travel shopping
blistering heat,
day, please stay,
humming cicadas welcome bright butterflies,
warm sprinklers douse my sneakers.
green. green. brown.

Come, go, come, go.
Regular as the tide,
as the sun, as the moon, as the stars.

I am
not a season,
not a regular,
not fixed in the universe.

I come
with empty hands,
with full heart,
with agile mind in slowing body.

It is
the me that changes
against the glory of days,
of season’s greetings and departures,
of life gone on
in neighboring houses.

IMG_6762I am
here, as ever have been.
what day?
what weather?
what smell, what sound,
what touch?

Does anyone know?

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Not meant for the easy way

IMG_6789How easy to be a tree.
Seed and sprout,
Green and grow,
Bloom and leaf and shed, repeat.
Reach, reach for the sun.
Yawn, yawn, day is done.

Oh, to be like the tree.
Small then tall,
with no thought outside it all.
Branches spread wide,
Food and water come inside.
Times up, fold your wings, come home.

But Good and Evil, that devilish deed,
I’m destined to fend for a different kind of me.
One who sprouts chutes, but not without pruning,
One who grows tall, but not without tuning.
Looking strong, till I crack,
Feeling supple, till I snap.

Dare I reach at all? best remain small
Under cover, so no one will wonder,
what is she doing?
what has she done?
can she stand at another’s command?

IMG_5940Wait! I can stand.
I am taller,
I am stronger,
I am bolder,
I am broader.
The tree obeys the seasons for unknown reasons.
I abide the change, it’s more than an even exchange.

The new is older, but welcome somehow.
The creaks and cracks, just guides to know-how.
Such strangers to the younger set, yet
Familiar friends, I’ve never met.

Well, until now that I have seen
that what I don’t want to be is a tree.

Because easy,
easy just doesn’t become me.

The wide arc of change

Every generation sees change that needs making. Wrongs that need righting. Laws that need repealing. Injustices that need addressing. The young want to turn things around on a dime, right now. I love that about youth. They want things to be different and they want to be the difference.

Age and wisdom teach that change, a true righting for a change that will last, moves through a wide arc. It takes the long way ’round. It takes time and patience, not just energy and enthusiasm.

Having watched the movie Mandela: the Long Walk to Freedom, I was struck by this. The older Nelson Mandela got, the slower he went. The burden he carried grew heavier and heavier, and this slowed him to just the right pace. The urgency (and insurgency) of youth had been replaced by a calm, pensive plod forward.

Such irony, that we rush when we’re young because time seems to be slipping away, and we slow when we’re older when we know time grows short. What a paradox: the oldest or those with the least time left to bring about change take time to get it right.

The fiery young people keep the need for change before us. We need this. But what a responsibility to temper this with judgment and understanding and conversation. To discuss it with those who live it and those who administer it. And still to persevere, even where there’s antagonism, opposition and disagreement. It’s a long way home, and perspective that swings wide may be the best route. Settling for perfect pace may be our only means to finish alive. Our heart can only take so much.

But gradual training strengthens it: short runs, brief rides, casual walks, bouts of intensity sprinkled with rest and recovery. The quick fix disregards the details, just like the fad diet, or the exercise gimmick. If you’re in it for the long haul, you’re patient for progress. You raise your hand and don’t talk out of turn. This is the best way to get people to choose listening and for right to make its way forward.

It makes me wonder if this life isn’t just about introducing us to the perfect pace we will one day see and live. Allowing us to settle into it and feel at home in it. Things certainly need changing. But righting, now that takes time.

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