Whispered Gift

Hiking a favored path toward dusk one fall day, I trust the quiet breeze, and the gentle rustle of the yellowing maple leaves will lift my spirit.  The shifting shadows that surround mirror my inner turbulence. 

The weight of thoughts slow my stride.  Suddenly I sense a gentle brush against my shoulder. I glance down to see a large feather settle on the woodland carpet beneath my feet.  

I look above into the leafy canopy hoping to catch sight of the bird that has parted with the feather but the foliage is impenetrable.

Kneeling, I lift it recognizing a red-tailed hawk feather.  It is perfection, hints of red amid the brown ending in pale downy fluff just above the quill point.  It warms my soul.  How could I stay downcast in the presence of such beauty?   Holding it aloft, I give thanks for the exquisite gift.

All of Me

Even early me wanted to walk in back of me. I wondered about all degrees of me.

Contorted view from a video, photo and mirror do not suffice.

It is nice to know my chin but why not my nape?  I want to see firsthand how my hair landscapes and escapes.

I would stand and look down at the top of my head as if it were a bush.  A new perspective on the full outer body me.

An x-ray exposed parts inside me; that was interesting to see.  But what about the curves and planes of me?

What is my stride, I want to see.  It would be fun to detail the soles of my feet – down where the plantar fascia pain seeps. Do the sole creases mirror those of my palm?  What stories hide there?

This cactus knows toes!

And what about behind my knee?

No one can tell me about the rest of me; I want to see.

How I look in jeans and more.  Am I really neat?  What about that seat? Why can’t I see the folds where the buttocks tuck and find my thighs? And while I am at it, why not that great channel between what I daily know but have never truly seen.

I would scrutinize the vertebrae one by one as they interlock through the tree. Latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, majors and minors that flex and extend. And what about those erectors.   Structures critical to be me.

I want to examine the lower back scar from the morning the maple tree grew sick of me.

Things that make me unique.

I know it is ordained not to see. Don’t think badly of me.  I really treasure what I can see.  Still, how I would love to celebrate all 360 degrees of me.

Bearing Witness

You need stuff; you go get stuff.  My visits to the supermarket and its environs are in general non-events.  One late spring morning last year I was feeling rather pleased with myself as I exited the store with only two plastic bags in tow.  Opening the car door, I deposit the bags.  Cars pull in; cars pull out.  The usual rhythms of activity in a suburban mall.

As I put the key in the ignition and prepare to start my car, my attention is drawn to the sight of a slight woman collapse onto the blacktop.  I recall she had been in line behind me. Collapse  may not be the most descriptive word for she just folds in half as she sinks onto the warm road, as graceful as a dancer.  She appears conscious yet makes no effort to rise.  A younger woman who trails a few paces behind her catches up and bends over  grabbing under her armpits in an attempt to lift her. The effort leaves left both women disheveled.  

Remembering 9/11

The images of the Twin Towers crumbling and the lives lost remains fresh.   Please make time this day and in the days to come, to count your blessings. Be kind, thoughtful and loving to the people around you.  For those who seek to cause death and misery throughout the world, we must pray for their enlightenment.

Night of Lights

I make sure to get to the station fifteen minutes before the last train to the city. The harvest moon and earlier rain shower turns the asphalt in front of the station to a sparkling carpet of gold. Climbing to the platform I can make out the narrow park that parallels the river. The tide comes on the rocks in a whooshing sound. As the water flows back into the river, it has the music of a gentle brook. A sharp billed cormorant backlit by the moon’s rays sits above the river on a boat launch piling. Pinpoint lights from houses at the foot of the distant mountain appear to wink at me. I am glad I arrived at the station early. I am the only person waiting, unusual even though it is midweek and a late hour.

Growing Things

White Onion
White Onion

I have a fondness for onions. My feelings are not because onions are one of the most used vegetables across cultures or that this pungent member of the lily family was an object of worship for early Egyptians. For me the innocent looking bright green scallions and the grown up white onions with elegant long green stems bound at the bottom by a scraggly tuft of roots for sale in the Farmers’ market remind me of my first garden.
My recollection is that I was about six years old. For weeks that spring I had pestered my grandmother, begging her to let me have a separate garden. My grandmother and grandfather gardened on a grand scale, an acre of great variety – corn, cabbage, peanuts, kale, several types of squash, sweet potatoes and of course, tomatoes large and small.