Monday, July 20, 2009

A perfect July day, a small wooden motorboat, a few beers, binoculars, camera, and no schedule. Most of all, no schedule.

We go up the River, intruding on the Great Blue Heron, at his post, watching, waiting. He is patience incarnate. He is the Hunter, the Watcher.

We are intruders, neophytes to the way of the river, to the life of the Heron -- He Who Watches; He Who Waits.

He has seen us a mile away, but he never moves, waiting for us to glide past, ruffling the early afternoon waters as the tide flows, almost to slack high tide.

Our conversation pauses, and we gaze at him in awe, as we sail through his kingdom.

Thoughts At Fall Creek, A Wedding In July

This was his place of peace, his sanctuary. Trees and ferns surround me, as I look down on the creek, Fall Creek, the place where the eagle flies, and the evening quiet will grow, until there is no more light in the sky.

His dog and I sit there, finding our quiet place in the shade, near the river, and we smell the dry dirt of the summer, and the smell of the forest, and the water below us. The breeze blows through the leaves, and riffles the water flowing west, sunlight dappling on the rocks, under the mossy columns of tree trunks, nearly black against the light green of the maple leaves.

I scratch the dog’s ears, and he wags his tail. He is calm now, after jumping on me and getting excited when I filled his water bowl and untangled his rope, and dragged a chair over to him, so that we could visit.

And, today, this place still keeps its sense of peace. Yet, love and celebration are in the air. It is Kris and Jennifer’s wedding day, and I look over to where the foxgloves bloom, where they said their vows and declared their love for each other, family and close friends leaning forward to catch their words in the soft breeze of this warm July day. The call of the crows stilled a bit, as we performed the ceremony, and now the house and the deck and the yard are noisy, filled with laughter and quiet conversations, as everyone feasts on the pulled barbeque pork and the potato salad and sips their cold beer and pop. The crows have resumed their sorties, scouting out the river and wondering if there is food to be had from the barbeque.

Everyone is relaxed, enjoying the day and enjoying the celebration of love. This place feels good. Good in so many ways. As we arrived, we felt the love, and the peace of this place. This is a home of lovers, who sit out overlooking the creek in the evening, and talk and deepen their love and their commitment to each other, and dream of their future.

This morning, I read that the Greek gods held various trees sacred, and that it is believed that the Greeks named their gods as a way of giving expression to the spirits of the various trees they held sacred. And, so it must be, that we all, in a way, need a way of expressing the spirits of the trees that are in our lives and the spirits of the peace that is nature, that which surrounds us, and gives us comfort and understanding.

The trees here are growing old, the Douglas fir, the spruce, the Western Red and the Incense cedars, the big leaf and the vine maples. They have thick, old trunks, and rise high into the sky, giving shade to this part of the river bank, holding the soil and pushing into the blue above us, their roots deep, pushing down between the rocks, down to the water.

I do not know the names of the gods that hold these trees sacred, yet I feel their spirit, and fill my hunger with their presence, knowing that they watch down upon my nephew and his bride, knowing that they give them peace and comfort, and a refuge from the chaos of the world. And in this refuge, they will build their partnership and grow their love, and their roots will push down to the water and high into the sky, just like the trees.

There is laughter again, the laughter of people here today who are family, who are friends. It is the noise of relaxation and camaraderie, people comfortable in who they are and where they are going. My nephew kicks back, in the midst of all of us, at ease with himself, and at ease with being married today.

He has found his place of peace in this world, and he has found his life partner, his soul mate. He tells me this, but I knew it when I looked into his eyes, and I felt it in our first hug. At last, there is peace in his heart, and in his soul. And the trees smile down. This is good. At last.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Aunt Esther

It's Bastille Day and Aunt Esther's Birthday.

So, get out in the garden, enjoy a flower, paint a picture, read a challenging book, plan a trip, make some tea and talk about life, celebrate the day, have a spiritual moment, visit with a friend and have a meaningful conversation.

Celebrate a woman who earned a Master's Degree in business in the 1920s, essentially ran the Great Northern Railroad for a number of years in the 30s (executive secretary to the president of the railroad), ran a dairy farm, and built her own house from scratch with a pile of lumber and a table saw.

Honor a woman who taught herself anything she wanted to learn (playing the organ, oil painting, Chinese antiques, landscaping, Buddhism, etc etc.).

Celebrate the life of the first Buddhist in Beaver and enjoy life!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer Paintings


A Day in July

Thunder rumbles far away
rain falls from blue sky
thirsty soil snatches the drops
and there is still dust in the air and on the warm

Bird song and sprinkler clicks
at the end of every arc of spray;
drops falling from dusty leaves,
flowers almost wilting ---
this dry time about to end
for a day,
clouds and fog moving in.

This week’s full moon now wanes
It was low in the morning sky when I awoke---
The sun rises more north than east,
Soon to be high above us
After the fat moon sets low near the south---
Summertime directions running amok.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Blanket Called A Grateful Nation

You brought your blanket of honor
celebrating your service to your country,
your ordeal in battle, and the healing of your wounds
these last forty years.

The colors of too many wars blaze
against a background of blood red
and the agonies of too many lives lost
and people changed forever.

Across my shoulders you draped your blanket
telling the room of your journey, your healing,
and the coming home of many a soldier
after too many years and too many tears.

And, in that draping, I felt honored and comforted
by the closeness and comfort of your friendship
and your open heart, as you shared your pain
and your journey, and your