Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter's child

Winters child is the center of the curious pod.

Cut cross section

To reveal each perfectly placed son or daughter.

Within this strange creation lies the precious prize,

hidden among each fragile spec.

I am the witness

Innocently peering into this private world.

I am the surgeon

Carefully examining the sacred.

I am the lonely traveler

Gently tip toeing through seeds and threads.

I am the winter’s child

Searching for a quiet place to rest

Within the wide-open world.

Weeks 5. Patience.

A friend of mine has a wonderful collection of pods and dried botanicals. We kind of inspire each other to keep our crazy collections growing. She has this one pod that she opened up to show me the inside of. When I looked inside I felt almost like a spy looking into this small quiet world. This particular Pods was so interesting. It was in the winter mode, dried and bundled tight (kind of like the way we get in the winter). Many winter pods are still and at rest, their seeds incubated within. The seeds themselves are so delicate and small; each one can float away so easily. This reminded me of myself in a strange way. I am so easily distracted. I too can feel so small and fragile. At times when my fears become huge I feel as if I could be swallowed up by a strong gust of wind. But winter does seem to be about waiting and timing. Even though everything is always moving within nature, in the winter most things seem to slow down a lot. Slowing down to see where patience is required is possibly one of nature’s greatest lessons, one that I am trying my best to remember of as often as possible.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The sunny ice pond

Rare sun.

A spark from the fire of above.

Sent down as a reminder

of better times to come.

Deep in January the sun thaws the lake ahead.

Melting away the layers of protection

To show me another path

and challenge my every step.

But my dream to fly is stronger than the spirit of recluse.

I will try but I will have no luck today.

I crave the cold and firm ice when the sun speaks of muddy paths.

Deeper blues and grays scar the layered surface,

and the softness of the ice vanishes my yellow mood,

leading me back downhill to peer out at the sun

as it makes its way though the familiar pines.

Week 4. Change

On rare occasion in the winter we get a day or two of pure sun. Deep when we are in “hibernation mode” we can come out of our cocoons for a breath of fresh air. On this particular winter day I craved to go ice-skating on the pond nearby. I finally got myself a pair of ice skates during the week so I planned to go on Saturday. It just so happened that the sun caused the ice to thaw too much. I had re think my plan. I was disappointed by the prospect of not skating yet I knew that feeling sun in winter was a blessing. Thing is, really, we can never predict what each day will bring, but being ready for all sorts of change defiantly helps. Could it be mere coincidence that the word “change” and “chance” are so similar? Change is that scary thing which involves a lot of “unknown” factors and chance is the leap of faith that allows the possibility of big growth. If we don’t embrace the unknown and take the chance, we cannot change. So too with the changing weather comes a chance to look at a new path.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thorns and Berries

Wild orange berries are in my sights.

Burnt orange with a beige cap to match in brilliance.

They dangle amid the new snow.

Even the red berries with a green thistle like bottom

are drawing me into look deeper.

In the morning I am always brave with piercing bushes.

I can carefully maneuver around then with ease.

Capturing the treasure I need to take back home.

But today this sea of thorns causes me to hesitate for a moment.

Considering how to make my way.

Should I continue on for easier winter fruits?

A dried juniper.

A milkweed branch.

Sometimes the winter instills the easy way,

to leave well enough alone.

The elements seem to force complacency.

But I’ve never been one to pass up reds and oranges.

Not in the dead of winter when the background

fades to every shade of brown and white.

Week 3. Thorns and Berries

During the past few weeks, I found myself looking back a lot, thinking about the past. Examining much of the “thorns” in my life. But this week I found that things felt new, that I could appreciate the wild berries. When the sadness lifted, I could see with clarity what I needed to learn about myself and I wondered if maybe the darkness helped me to get that perspective. Suffering is not always necessary but sometimes we need to look at how we can use our suffering to become stronger. Maybe knowing that we can learn from our suffering can give us the courage to delve into a thorn bush.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Underground there are all sorts of tiny creatures at work.

Ants, worms and beetles.

Preparing for the day to come.

Below the surface, they make way for all the new life.

Possibility in all its glory.

Below the top soil and way down beneath the frozen earth.

They lay eggs in small pockets of larva,

They build cocoons.

They wriggle in a furry of hope.

Even the dormant bulbs of winter

become tiny nuggets of goodness,

nestled below for no one to see but me.

Week 2. Hope

The other day I had lunch with one of my best friends. Sometimes we complain to each other about how someone rubs us the wrong way, my mother used to call that “venting” but I’ve come to believe that this is one of the major bonuses in having a good friend you can trust. Anyway, my friend was telling me about a conversation she had days before. She had a conversation with a mom who works full time. That particular conversation made her feel like her choices, as a stay at home mom were somehow diminished in comparison . Now, my friend juggles so many things that no one really knows about but those she’s close to. This made me think of the bulbs underground. Not many people know all the work we do underground. We take two steps forward and one step back and still it seems like were in the same place sometimes. But all the work we do is below where no one sees. Spring is but a season away. Those that really truly know us know us, they know how hard we struggle and really that’s all that matters. Why is it that we seem to loose sight of that idea so often, especially in the winter, when it’s cold out and so many things are underground. But hope is alive in all the hard work we do deep inside. Maybe it’s hope for a new life. Maybe hope for a new love. Maybe hope to finally heal. It doesn’t matter what kind of hope it is as long as we keep working on it, like the busy ants below.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Paper whites

The promise of the first snow.

All is a blanket of white this morning,

and all I know is of quiet.

Paper white bulbs peer out the window,

Leaning so close, almost fogging the pane,

grinning for their love of home and warmth

and to be grounded in smooth stones.

Their roots finger their way between the round edges,

reaching deep down to the bottom,

holding on to the silence as long as possible.

But winter makes its way.

Slowly meandering through

in the echoes of children outside.

And the day comes with its colors,

like tracks in the fresh white snow.

week 1. The first snow.

On the morning of the first snow fall I sat drinking my coffee, looking outside the window. I began to hear the kids outside screaming, ready to sleigh down the hill in front of my home. It was still early and I just wanted to revel in the quiet a bit longer. I wanted to hold on to it as long as I possibly could. When you get a hold of that kind of quite within you, before the internal chatter of the day begins, it’s a good thing, but it’s usually gone in an instant.