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The Fiddlehead Ferns of Fate

The passionate young man in overalls
has aged gracefully.
He tends his garden as he tends his children,
lovingly and in such a way
that each progeny,
be it flesh and blood
or root and leaf,
knows that it is treasured.

The wildness of soul is –

For now –

Expressed in a mystical empathy with beautiful beasts
and in decadent desserts.

He has danced in the pouring rain
and judged the quality of absinthe in a dim cafe
and always remembered a single promise.

A man of such heart
deserves
the cool and wonderous touch of fate
found in another’s hand to hold
as he passes through
this sun-dappled world.

I hope
he finds it
somewhere admist the ferns.

Remember this? Spring? Blooms? Never fear. Soon come.

FL000106

Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Time is the coin of your life. You spend it. Do not allow others to spend it for you.”  —  Carl Sandburg

Daily gratitudes:
The teasing return of birds
A soft sunrise
The light on the skyscrapers this morning
Iced green tea
Sparkly things

 

Today’s photo of the day is a little different.  It’s to send a blessing to the missing Colorado girl, Jessica Ridgeway.  A picture of her is also below – please be vigilant for her, as she might be anywhere by now. And please keep this little girl and her family in  your prayers, and hope that whoever took her has the courage to set her free.

Santa Fe, New Mexico.

PLEASE! SPREAD THE WORD! SHARE HER PICTURE! POST IT IN ANY PUBLIC PLACE THAT YOU CAN! WE CAN FIND THIS LITTLE GIRL!

Quote of the day: “It is much easier at all times to prevent an evil than to recify mistakes.”  —  George Washington

Daily gratitudes:
How our Colorado community pulls together in times of trouble
Volunteers
Hope
My own daughter
Leaving a light on

I choose to remember the days of light. 

I choose to remember the sun shining off silver.

I could remember the confusion, horror, fascination, and fear.  I could remember the devastation that an empath feels on such a day.  And of course, I do remember those things. I remember them viscerally.  They are likely contributing to my bout of depression.

But today, I will choose to remember a day, years and years ago, when I emerged from a subway station I had never been in before – one of my rare forays into the New York City subway system – and looked up.  It was a bright and beautiful day, full of sun.  And I looked up. And up. And up. Yes, I knew I looked just like a tourist, craning my neck, bending half backwards, trying to see the top of those silver pillars playing with the brightness of the day.  But I didn’t care.  I was amazed and wonderous. And oh-so-touched with joy that I was finally standing at the feet of this sterling place that I had only before seen from the air or a distance. I just stood there, letting people bump around me, with a goofy smile on my face. A goofy smile that carried to my eyes and exuded childlike joy and  light itself and that made all the rushing bumpy New Yorkers who had to interrupt their steps soften just a touch and not mind quite so much having to rearrange their hurried pace.

I remember going across the street to the old church, St. Paul’s Chapel.  It was closed, but I wandered around the graveyard, as graveyards are favorite places of mine, examining the headstones, and soaking in the peace of the place.  I was amused by the incongruity of something so historic in the shadow of something so modern – these crumbling, weather-worn stones side-by-side with the sleek, silver, glassy skyscrapers. I remember how hot the afternoon was, and how I sought shade and shelter in the cemetery. I was not taking many pictures in those days, so the pictures are only captured in my mind’s eye.  I wish that were otherwise.

Today, the interior of my body aches and weeps and quietly wails in memory of losses. It is how my spirit works. But I am going to choose to remember the sunshine of that day, and other days, and days to come.

Image credit: mikesierra

The fires are improving bit by bit, but for those who have lost their homes – 346 in Colorado Springs alone, so far – the pain and loss and immense task of rebuilding is just beginning.  I gave them this rainbow to show them that, yes, there is hope.

Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the day: ““No single event can awaken within us a stranger whose existence we had never suspected. To live is to be slowly born.”  —  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Daily gratitudes:
The milkweed seed that floated alongside me on my walk from the bus tonight
That the fires are improving
Kitties
Determination
Him

No, it’s not Texas (are you listening, idiot?). It’s Portland. And it’s another shot in our “C’mon, Spring!!” series.

Portland, Oregon.

Quote of the day: “Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment.”  — Ellis Peters

Daily gratitudes:
Later twilight
Swearing at the gas pump
My orange cover-up
Broccoli
Being able to support my kindred spirits

I think my spring flowers are truly encouraging spring…it’s been absolutely gorgeous here. So I’m going to keep them coming for just a while longer. (Though I owe Beth Ann a picture of my new elephant teapot!)

San Francisco, California.

Quote of the day: “It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”  —  Mark Twain

Daily gratitudes:
Union Station
Cookbooks
Warm days and sunshine
Never leaving a room empty-handed (it keeps the house tidier)
Working out

Although we are approaching a full month past the first official day of fall, the gods of autumn seem to be lolling around in Speedos, soaking up the last of summer’s rays. In other words, it’s been a mercifully slow transition. Here in the Centennial State, we have been enjoying warm weather, azure skies, and leaf colors that rival many states with a far larger deciduous contingent.

Yes, I’m thankful for this Indian Summer, which, by the way, since that term has its theoretical origins in Native Americans attacking European settlers and vice versa, I am determined to toss out, and use the more ancient and agriculturally based term, St. Martin’s Summer, or the Latvian term “Atvasara”, meaning “flashback of summer”. Political correctness and semantics aside, it has been lovely. But loveliness tinged with that sense of foreboding, with that feeling that something is following you, but if you don’t look over your shoulder, it won’t actually be there, that all of us who find ourselves plunged into the depths of winter despair and cold-bruised joints experience.

It is out there. And it is coming.

We’ve been lucky. Most years, by now we’ve seen at least one snowstorm. Green grass is a memory and leaves are not just off the trees but bagged up as landfill fodder. Right now, I can still see the grass, and I have not yet reached the place where I am staring at brown and longing for spring, except in the dead cornfields I pass on the way home.

And there is one last holdout from our always-too-short summer. Okay, two holdouts. One is inside my sunroom, and the other is outside my bedroom window.

They are both crickets.

There are seemingly two crickets left in all of Colorado, and I’ve got ‘em. They compete with one another, their chirps feeble and
fading, like a couple of little old men trying to outdo each other in tall-tale-telling before their lungs give out.

I recall last fall, towards the end, the end of everything, when my ex-flame watered the last crickets of summer to keep them alive just a little longer. I recall when I was small and my Mother had a “cricket cup” to catch the crickets that would infiltrate the beach house in the summer and drive us crazy with their songs at night. I recall listening to them with an overwhelming sense of relief as they first chirped in the spring in the fields outside of the Cottage.

These two hang on by a transparent thread, trying to resist death from chill nights and chillier rains. I empathize with them, and hope the chillest of winds, hearts, and fates are gentle with me in the approaching winter – much gentler than last. I have hope and faith to help me through, and the echo of their song to keep me warm. And the certain knowledge that this season
will pass into a new spring, and the crickets will play again.

Words are the strongest tool in the world.  Amazing how such a seemingly mundane thing – language – can have the power to strengthen someone or bring them to their knees.

If you spoke to me in Russian, I wouldn’t have a clue what you were saying.  Say the same words in a language I understand, and they can bring me to tears or make my heart sing.

How much do we hear, really? Is it not just the words themselves? As someone joked in a meeting last week, “I don’t use letters.  I use words.”  Another attendee responded, “Jack, you do know that words are made up of letters, right?” 

Yes, words are made up of  letters.  Letters themselves have no power.  In fact words themselves are powerless.  Read a word in a dictionary and it is flat.  It is… just a word.  But hear it spoken from the lips of someone for whom you care, or whom you view in a position of power, its meaning is infinitely altered. (And historically has been the source of all trouble in the world.)  It is not just the tone, though that plays a part.  Which leads me to wonder if the power of words is as strong if one uses sign language.  It’s not just the context in which the words are spoken, the circumstances – no, it’s stil more than that. 

It is the soul behind the words.  Perhaps that’s what demarcates the difference between writers – how much of their own soul goes into the words upon a page.  How much of their own truth are they willing to own. 

How much are most people willing to look at their words and say,”I own that.  I speak my truth.  And now I’m brave enough to live it.” 

I am.  I don’t know a lot of truths about life anymore, but that I do know. When I say a thing, I mean it, heart and soul. I like that about me. I tend to hold the rest of the world to my own standards.  I don’t know if that is fair, but I suspect most of us do so regardless..  I can make excuses for other people until the cows come home.  (I know that about me too.)

Does that mean that I shouldn’t always believe what I am told?  When I believe words that resonate within my own heart, am I being naive?  Or am I having faith?  Those who believe the words of the Bible can look around them and recognize that the actions of the world don’t fit the words in the good Book.  Yet they still have faith in those words.  Why should it be any different for any other set of words in which we have invested faith?

Just a thing for Thursday contemplation….

Last Time

The last time I saw you
my knees shook.

They actually did.

They went weak,
so weak
I was afraid
I might fall,
Fall even deeper.

That hadn’t happened since a summer of 16
when my first great love
looked at me with
his amazing blue eyes
on a morning as we
waited for breakfast.

I never forgot the feeling
or the moment.

That had already ended by then too,

By the time he looked at me.

And yet I pined for him for years.
Just as I pine for you now.

I wonder what that says about me?
I hope it’s that I love well
and deeply.
(And not that I am stupid.)

He and I spent one night
bundled under illicit furs
on a bare floor
doing nothing but holding each other
and talking in front of the fire.

You and I had so much more.

Now, he is thousands of mile away,
and you?
Well, you might as well be.

But me -
I still feel like 16.

Photo credit: Arvind Balaraman at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

October 2014
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