Dear Friends ~ The shaded spot along the creek where water pools between rock slabs revives us in the thick of muggy July. The kids quickly toss their shoes aside; The eleven-year-old picks her way across the stream to check on crayfish who lurk beneath the tiny cascades, and her younger brother returns to his dam-in-progress. They no longer require a steadying hand on the slick rocks or engineering advice like in past summers, so I perch on a nearby boulder with a novel instead.
"Do you think a dinosaur ever drank this water?" my son mused on a recent visit to the creek.
His big sister (our budding geologist) piped in, "Actually, the Appalachian Mountains are older than any dinosaurs. They formed before Pangea even broke apart, which means they're even older than the Atlantic Ocean!"
Like a wide wake, rippling
Infinitely into the distance, everything
That ever was still is, somewhere...
If there is meaning in the past and in the imagined future, it is captured in the moment. When you have all the time in the world, you can spend it, not on going somewhere, but on being where you are. So I stretch out, close my eyes, and listen to the rain.
aware this time from the inside out, and to stand this time
as a beautiful un-worrying witness, living beyond
the need for this or that...
grown up at last, how large
I seemed to myself! I was a tree,
tall already, and what I had not
yet reached, I would yet grow
to reach. Now, thirty more years
added on, I have reached much
I did not expect, in a direction
unexpected. I am growing downward,
smaller, one among the grasses.
awaiting your perfect timing
in all things.
today I am blessed, today I am given luck.
It takes the shape of a dozen ripening fruit trees,
a curtain of pole beans, a thicket of berries.
It takes the shape of a dozen empty hours.
In them is neither love nor love's muster of losses,
in them there is no chance for harm or for good.
Does even my humanness matter?
A bear would be equally happy, this August day,
fat on the simple sweetness plucked between thorns.
There are some who may think, "How pitiful, how lonely."
Other must murmur, "How lazy."
I agree with them all: pitiful, lonely, lazy.
Lost to the earth and to heaven,
thoroughly drunk on its whiskeys, I wander my kingdom.
I don't know where you are,
where you're hiding,
but wake up, please,
we're still together,
the road is still before us,
a bright strip of dawn
will be our star.
There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we'll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.