Monday, April 26, 2010


Disregarded dandelions are wild in their beauty,

and the wild in nature can often go un noticed.

They are the things we claim to know too well.

Because everywhere we go

They greet us with the commonplace.

But dandelions are precious in their own way.

Just a majestic as the sunflower.

Who stands so tall and bold.

Who’s to judge the two compared

When looked upon together

The dandelion is rare.

week 17. Perseverance

As the days get warmer days I notice the way the dandelions are popping up through the cracks. We seem to disregard these flowers because they are considered to be a weed. But can’t weeds be valued just as much as any flower? Why are these particular flowers rejected? We pull them from our gardens because they steal valuable nutrients from other plants. Most gardens are about planning and control. We create settings pleasing to our own personal aesthetic. But weeds challenge our decisions. They are a dominant species. There is strength in their survivalist instinct. Maybe they represent the self-assured. I think it’s that steadfast perseverance I admire most.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cherry blossoms

Hold a blossom in your hand.

You will see it fade from the moment it is plucked from the tree.

Time sets a course from its birth.

Slowly spinning away from the very moment it has embraced.

The cherry blossom is a pink sunset.

It is the excitement of the new day

and splendor a fading one

both caught between the past and the present.

Week 16. Impermanence

Cherry blossoms seem to be in full bloom all over right about now, the peak of which is only this time of year. Cherry blossoms are surely stunning to look at but it is the fading quality of these trees that captures my attention. Knowing that but once a year these elegant trees are in full bloom reminds me that all things rise and fall, peak and plateau. The life of any tree has periods when it is strong and lush and periods when it is bare and receding. It seems as though so much of our mental state has to do with how we come to terms with this process of change.

Monday, April 12, 2010


One morning, years ago,
my daughter and I looked out the front window
and spied a huge mushroom that popped up out of nowhere.
It took us by surprise.
It was surely not there the day before.
And when we went out to examine it
it was even bigger than believed,
with baby ones beneath it.
I told my daughter it was magical to have toadstools on our front lawn.
I told her that toads would come and rest on it in the evenings,
on their way to the river.
“Toads need resting places” she said looking quite serious.
Yes, they certainly do I agreed.

Week 15. Beautiful symbols.
With all the rain these past few months I’ve been looking at the ground and seeing so many types of funguses growing on wet wood, stone and moss. The mushrooms reminded me of a morning years ago when my daughter and I found an enormous mushroom on our front lawn. It was stunning. I wished I could have preserved it somehow. When I saw it that day I immediately began to think about fairytales and toadstools. Looking back, I wonder why was a toads resting place was significant to me? I had been going through one of the hardest points in my divorce at the time. I surely needed to think about a place to rest. We all need to find refuge on our journeys. Even a three year old can understand that.
Funny thing is, when I think about all this today, more than two years later, I also see how magical it is when beautiful things that appear out of the blue. One day you have a carefully manicured lawn and the next there is a family of mushrooms camping out. Taking a moment to the notice these random things seems like a lovely way to see the word if you ask me. Maybe it’s not always practical (that I can attest to!) but I’d much rather see mushroom as a resting place for a toad than an annoyance on a perfect lawn. I was a bit sad when the lawn had to be cut a week or so after the mushroom appeared (and was now even bigger). It was hard for me to pull up that mushroom- that I can remember. I guess one way to preserve a beautiful symbol is to write about its significance and share it with others.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tulips and kaleidoscopes

Rows of reds and deep purples come up from the distance.

In the car I can see them.

So neatly arranged row by row.

I hover from the road.

Waiting to catch a small fragment of the saturated colors.

But from my vantage point I have a compromised view.

I move slightly in my seat, gently holding the camera.

And then, within a split second,

The blur of color passes before me.

So quickly it’s over,

Captured by my own hand on a rainy Sunday.

Painted perfectly in my minds eye.

Moments later I recall the kaleidoscope on my shelf.

The one made by my mother’s hands.

The one I use to regard the sun

when my world spins away from me.

With the smallest turn

colors break and divide

allowing me to revel


at the view from the other side.

Week 14. Perspectives.

This past week was spring break and I decided to visit my brother and sister in law who live in Seattle. On the first day of my trip we drove to the ferry and traveled across the Puget Sound to explore an island nearby. While driving on the island we spotted massive fields of tulips, which are grown in abundance in this region and especially during the Easter season.

During my trip I noticed could not completely ease into letting go of all my thoughts from home. I’ve spent so many years wandering around places, living in various cities; I figured wandering would come easy since it has always been in my nature. Anyway, this strange uneasiness was there to teach me something and I began to consider maybe it had something to do with perspective.

After I saw the tulips from the road, I thought about being able to see things from far away as well as from close up. I thought about how we need to change things at times in order to see another viewpoint. As I began to consider these ideas I was somehow reminded of a kaleidoscope I have at home. It is one that my mother made from colorful glass pieces years ago. Whenever I look though it I think about how the slightest movement can show you something you never saw before. I try to look through it at times when my world seems to dwell on the details. When tiny meanings that get lost between people or when my fears seems to handicap my mind. Maybe perspective can be the antidote to all that? The hardest part is that sometimes we need to let hours, days or even years pass in order to gain that perspective. This leads me to think that time is a magnificent tool in seeking perspective, just like a kaleidoscope.