smiling…

The sun is going down

The woods are oh so quiet

The pond lays like a mirror

The trees, all darkened silhouettes

No wind stirs and no bird sings

Only the coyotes begin to call..

…from somewhere far off

And high overhead

A sliver of moon…is smiling…

****

ellie894 February 29, 2020

Sitting at the lake at sunset. Listening to “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith

fire will never be water…

One cannot blame the water for doing what water does

Anymore than one can blame the fire
All things of this world are simply what they are
They come and they go
Seeking solace and balance,
Their own sweet place in this odd turn of events
That we call life
Letting go of all they are not meant to be
To be only what they are
Fire will never be water
Air will never be earth
And me…
I am a piece of them all
I am the wind that blows, thoughts drifting through my mind
I am the land, a dusty shell that walks the path only for a while
I am the fire, created in a moment of passion,
Seeking to feed the flame
I am the water, life giving and nourishing, 
Deeper than can be seen
I am all of these, and spirit as well
The breath that comes from somewhere
The knowing that comes from nowhere
And if one by one they each left me…
What would I be then
Would I be anything at all
Or would I vanish in a flash
Buried in the dust
Drowned by the water
Burned within the flame 
Carried unseen by the wind
To a new place 
Not even imagined yet…

****

ellie894 December 16, 2019

and the wind came…

**
Nearly a whole moon ago
I lazed beneath a crystal blue
And above a glittering shimmering
One reflected in the other
As it came to be the same with me
Memory waltzed with thought
In a seamless dance of spirit
Three quarter time
In tune with the breeze
And with me
Once
Twice
And three times again
A butterfly
Appeared to the right of me
A monarch surprise
Wherever he came from
I know not
Which doesn’t matter much anyway
It is only special
That he found me
At the heart of a special day
Once
Twice
And three times again
I was mesmerized 
So out of place he was
Suspended between blue and blue
With no field and no flowers
Anywhere in sight
Leading me gently to ask why
Once
And twice
And three times again
As the wheel of life does turn 
Upon itself
So did he
To me
His wings sang of sunset
A feast of a thousand peaches
Ripened in an evening sky
He did not float in still air
Nor, did he fly strong and purposely
He was a winged mystery 
Powerless
In the face of the invisible 
Not fighting against the unseen
Instead, he let himself just be
And the wind came
And carried him 
To all the places 
He could never have imagined 
For himself.
Then, ever so gracefully,
Once
Twice 
And three times again
He fluttered near
And carried me there too…

****
ellie894 November 4, 2019
there was a butterfly that day, a stunning peachy tangerine one. Out of place. Three times he came to me from nowhere, over the water, under the sky and out of the breeze.

all at once I know…

I cannot yet say that there’s a welcome chill in the air

…but it is finally September…

Could you hear the sigh in me

As I wrote it out full…

September…

Last night a deer felt at home in the field

This morning,

A hawk graces the sky above me

My creek saunters on

As lyrically as always

To wherever it goes

But to my gaze it all seems the tiniest bit different

Far more exquisite than mere words

Can tell

It shimmers from the inside

As though by a faery’s whispered spell

I take a step

And another

…and another still

Gentle ones made carefully

So as not to disturb the tender things

That call the ground home

While I search the pine straw for a feather

…there isn’t one to be found

Perhaps there will be when I return

In time for the sun to wish me goodnight

Oh, eventime…

Will the colors be brilliant in their last hurrah

Or faded and comforting

Like my favorite soft jeans

We’ll see

But I don’t want to miss this moment

In anticipation of that one

And so back to now,

Woodpeckers knocking behind me

And turtles preparing to laze themselves long

Hour after hour

Upon the finest fallen log

I wonder at what they will see

While I am away this day

I breathe deeply in

The sweet air of a new dawn

After all it is September…

Some days there is a peace that comes

That nearly overwhelms me,

As silent as a single feather drifting

As mighty as the golden setting sun

All at once my heart knows

Beyond all knowing

That this…

…this is what love feels like…

****

ellie894 September 4, 2019

I could play with these thoughts a while longer and make them just so. I wonder if I’ve made a mistake somewhere that I’ll discover only after I share. So please forgive any missteps. I want only to give them away before this day gets away from me. They’re yours now and my hope is that you’ll find something lovely in them of your very own to keep. May you all find joy and kindness in the days ahead. ❤️

in a moment of forgetting….

When I look into the sky

I feel the reassuring blue

Embrace me gently

And the softness of the clouds

Settle in my soul

When I look into the water

I feel the sky there too

And for a moment I forget

That it is water and not sky

Until a dragonfly dips for a sip

Or a faery lands unnoticed

Or a silvery fish

Arises from the depths

In much the same ways

As a raindrop rests on the cloud

Or an eagle soars the breeze

Or a wishing star falls

Into an open heart

The two worlds, a mirror of each other

There are ripples then

That make it seem

That the wind blows

Among the reflected trees

But it doesn’t

They are as serene and peaceful

As they were moments ago

When I remember it is water that I see

I lose myself in wonder

At what magic

Falls and flies within it

That is as yet

Quite invisible to me…

****

ellie894 July 2, 2019

wild places and gentle moments…

In East Texas, June air can often be as humid as a rainforest. You pray for it to just let go and rain already. It’s so heavy that I struggle to breathe.

This week hasn’t been that way. The days have had a lovely Novemberish feel to them…inviting me to linger a while…in gentle moments well spent. I have learned much.

Bunnies were born in the yard this week. It began in a frustrating once upon a time, turned into a silly sweet day of caregiving, and finally came to a secure and happy end. I’ll write to you of them soon. Yes, dear Dobby Do was involved.

So, there have been busy hours and not so busy hours, which brings me back to my walking once again….

My breathing changes when I set out to walk each evening. It slows, as do I. To be honest, I don’t walk for exercise. I’m not in a hurry to get anywhere or to do anything in particular.

Forest Bathing is becoming quite a popular thing these days which makes me giggle. It seems I’ve been forest bathing for a long time. Who knew?! I had no fancy name for it or scientific studies to tally up in bar graphs as proof that it was a clever idea. And no, you don’t need soap.

Mostly, it’s about listening…to the trees and the wind…to the birds and the frogs…to the echoes of thoughts in my heart…

In everything there is a longing, to be at peace, to create, to love.

In the wild places everything is a part of the longing and belonging…from the fallen tree to the precious snail. The snail moves as peacefully as a breeze. He pauses often to enjoy the lovely moments…the tiny ones that he knows are worth all the time in the world.

The trees reach ever forth in new creation. Fresh leaves leap into the bluest sky. Fresh roots delve into the deepest earth. Trees create in every which direction from the center of themselves.

And what of love…in the wild places love is everywhere.

Deer keep close to one another in the shade of the sweetgum, listening more carefully than I do for rustling in the leaves. Flowers open in colorful surprise, a gift of last season’s efforts and a whole year’s waiting. Frogs sing to me each afternoon as I blow kisses of goodbye and see ya soon. They probably sing to each other…but it’s nice to imagine it’s for me.

I made cheese ladas this week and had leftover corn tortillas. I shall feed the fish, I thought! No need for waste! The perch were boisterous and seemingly starved! A lone catfish was shy about the whole thing. With time and patience he not only came near but ate straight from my hand. My heart raced in joy!

Then, there was this little turtle. I shall call him Tiny Tim after the turtle in the song that I share with the preschoolers. We giggle and make hand motions and always but always sing it twice…

I have a little turtle

His name is tiny tim

I put him in the bathtub

To see if he could swim

He drank up all the water

Glue glub glub

He ate up all the soap

Nom nom nom

Now he’s home

Sick in bed

With bubbles in his throat

Bubbles bubbles bubbles

Bubbles bubbles pop

Bubbles bubbles bubbles

Bubbles bubbles pop!

Again!!

Tim adores corn tortillas! He easily dispersed the perch and even tried to scare off the catfish who is at least three times his size! He grabbed the tortilla bites from my hand and swam far enough away to gobble them down before returning for more. We went on like this until there was no more. Plus, the sun was setting and it was time for me to get home.

Each day I arrived with something to share. Each day the lake dwellers came in their own way…especially Tim.

Last night I was awfully tired and there had been bunnies all day and I had run out of corn tortillas. So it was that I arrived at the lake empty handed…

The perch splashed at me in gleeful anticipation. The catfish floated gently back and forth at the edge of the pier waiting for my hand. But Tim….he really gave me the “what for”!

He swam close to the pier and popped up…

What’d ya bring me?

When I didn’t give him anything he swam off a few inches only to return and pop up…

Seriously, what’d ya bring me?

He began to come up and just stare at me…quietly staring…

Other times it seemed he had a voice –

Hey?

Hey?

Now?

How bout now?

Now?

How bout now?

Tiny Tim was relentless.

I giggled at his eager enthusiasm. I was saddened that I was such a disappointment to him. I never realized that he would invite me into his world. I never thought they would all come up to the surface of the water because of me. Of course I know hunger was involved, a longing for nourishment. But still, there I am, wondering. I have learned my lesson and shall definitely be taking something to share when I head out to walk later. I have no desire to spend my evening being stared at again by Tiny Tim.

I know there will be more days like yesterday when I have nothing to give. The fish and the turtles will come anyway. I’m grateful for that. Love is not always about doing. Nor should it be. Love is about simply being.

Whether one calls it Forest Bathing or Listening doesn’t really matter. It may be a flower coming up through a sidewalk crack that reminds you of that time…or a single pot filled with herbs that you will use to create a luscious meal. It may be an ocean or a mountain top or a forest with a lake. It doesn’t have to be a big place. You only have to feel the gift of it.

When you find the wild places, the simple ones…you discover they are filled with longing for peace and creation…and they sweetly overflow with love and belonging….

****

ellie894 June 15, 2019

at the ruffled edges…

How often do I wonder

If I am too much

Or not even enough…

…strong the drums begin

listen well and let go my love…

let go and listen well…

Oh…for the feel of the music

…flowing into the depths of me

….comforting the silence of my soul

Can you hear the mockingbird

Dancing along the ivory keys

From black to white….

…and now again…

Gently a splash of turtles

Pleases and eases in the fulsome pauses

While at the ruffled edges

Frogs resound deep as cellos,

And full with moonlit meaning

Eagle spreads wide her wings

Gracefully taking to the heights of the open skies

Calling softly to her lover above the violins

As though she was meant to be there all along

… at last…

a sensual harmony of lost enchantment

…am I at the very heart of it

….or is it at the very heart of me…

…the rhythm echoes

within…with…in…

Until, I am no longer my own

….but, yours my love

a starry midnight note

in the forever of your painted song…

**

I come to rest near the water’s edge at evening. Van Gogh’s Starry Night in my mind’s eye. Beethoven harmonizes well with the soulful sounds of the woods behind me. Ebudae too. And, I am carried far away to lovely places within my heart.

****

ellie894 May 14, 2019

My Dear Brave Knight

Bravely He set out to play

A questing Knight on a summer’s day

With rope he tied his wagon to the brightest daytime star

A rolled up map to guide him on his journey far

There were dots and dashes and so much more

X marked the spot of buried gems galore

The wagon was empty

The Knight hadn’t a care

Only to wander and to search

All that was out there

He discovered a stone from the castle of Arthur

An arrow from Robin Hood’s bow

Even the Captain’s hook that Peter took

When he was young and bold

And so many more besides them

At the very least forty and four times four

He marked the map with this and that

Each time to the wagon he added a prize

That very first X…

The one that marked the pirate’s private spot…

Soon it was hidden amongst so many others

And his wagon was heavy

With all he had collected along the way

And the Knight was lost

Surrounded by forest

In the heat of the summer

And nary a breeze

Only the hum of cicadas stirring the trees

With weary arms and downcast eyes

He paused for a spell

In the dragons shadow that long ago fell

Silence descended

What would He do

Dwarves and giants

Threatened his quest

The great unknown would never let him rest

A lone leaf from overhead

Drifted through the air

Coming to rest upon the ground

And with it a notion he discovered

A plan did now appear

His eyes burned with excitement

The fire he did not fear

He must climb the mountain

Search the horizon far and wide

And know the way that called to him

From somewhere deep inside

The map with all its marks was useless to him now

The wagon laden with objects of the past

Was nothing but a burden on this new journey that He faced

Each thing must be left behind like an X upon the parchment

If He would reach the pinnacle

And begin to find his truth

So, bravely He set out to play

A questing Knight on a summer’s day

One step at a time

His tired legs did climb

Leaving the map and the path…

Letting go…

Of the castle stone

…the mighty staff

…the protective cloak

And oh so very much more…

Until, at last he reached the very top

Looking over all the way that He had come

His wagon long empty now

Light as a feather in the fading sun…

Yet his heart was overflowing

Eyes open and searching below

As a smoky mist curled up high

Marking an X in the evening sky

There was the treasure!

So true and so prized

Heart racing wildly

He jumped in the wagon

Pushed off with his feet

He steered with great care

Down the face of the mountain

Quickly he sped….

As It all flew passed him

Every great moment

That lead to this one here and now

The darkest forest

…raging seas

….wisdom of silence

……..knowing breeze

Then…

His wagon slowed and stopped

Before the waiting door

Wide and joyfully it opened

To He…so brave…

And there waited She….

She who gathered him to herself

As the treasure that He was

In a sweet embrace

And a gentle kiss to his dirt smudged face

How I’ve missed you So

My dear brave knight

While you have been so long away

Tell me…

Wherever did you go

Whatever did you see

On this fine fine summer’s day

And He began to tell the tales

Of the beastly and magical moments won

As She listened and loved

And loved and listened

Well beyond the setting of the summer sun…

****

ellie894 December 18, 2018

you always know why

Have you ever noticed how the loveliest things have no real beginning

Or at least not one that you recall

It’s as though they always were…

And never were not…

Once upon a forever fireflies sparkled in a dear night sky

Even now I can see them dancing before us

Tiny stars, you told me

They left the heavens to embrace we two

In a playful magic rarely known

And so we find ourselves here again

Hand in hand at the dusk of a long long day…

Are you hungry, you ask

I only smile in return

You know why

You always know why

Me too, with a wink and a whisper you softly reply

The offer of your strong and gentle arm

And off we go in search of our enchanting corner

Almost as cozy and warming

As your touch upon my skin

I like it best when the space is nearly empty

With only a candle between us

We have it all to ourselves

Inviting soft exchanges

And lingering gazes…

Let us then venture from our blazing hearth

Closing the door in sweet knowing

That soon enough we shall return…

For now we journey outward

Pausing…where no one else in the whole wide world would notice

I love this place

Soft graffiti swirls tangle in brilliant confusion

I tighten my hand in yours

You know why

You always know why

Hidden among the cherry reds and the lime greens

Of an artist’s dream gone wild

Our own initials are tucked safely in an inky heart

I like to reach my fingers out to them as we pass

Recalling another firefly moment

When in silly tenderness

I bade you stop and turn around

Don’t peek, I teased

You knew why

You always know why

I could feel you smiling behind me

As I carved us forever into being

Then you held me close to your heart and

Loved me for it

I like that part best of all…

And so this eve under a soon to be firefly sky

As we slowly make our way

I tighten my hand in yours

Asking, may we pause

You know why

I love the way you always know why…

****

ellie894 December 8, 2018

koko

Last evening I walked the circle of sorts that I so often do. You know the one…dogs by my side… into the depth of the woods, across the gentle creek, careful not to catch on the barbed wire, meadow to my right, pond awaiting me…I wonder if it misses me when I am away as I do it…

I tucked my feet up under me to rest for a time upon the pier. I love that I can be away from sturdy ground for a while and yet so safe. The breeze was elsewhere and I was embraced instead by the stillness of dusk. The mirrored water was broken only once by the beaver swimming across to a new shore. Does he think of it that way – as a new shore. He was barely visible. Only the hint of his head could I see and the rippling V trailing behind him as he cut forth on his determined way.

His journey seemed smallish to me. From where I watched I could see the whole of it at once. He would easily manage it and something very good awaited him on the other side. To him though, it must have felt endless and without view. I know that place…unable to see, nevertheless…keeping on keeping on…

A bevy of doves kept close company, leaving no one behind. I looked that up so I would get it right for you. Doves in a group are called a bevy. I didn’t know. Come along now. Their ebony silhouettes searched for a nightly sanctuary as they cooed gracefully to one another…

Watching them brought to mind a tender moment from another day…

Above me a solitary hawk landed in the topmost branches of a tree. As he left the sky, he dropped a single feather. I stood mesmerized as it drifted softly through the air and I wondered at his letting go of it. I could not find it even though I searched. It disappeared before it came to ground. The gift was not in the having of the feather. The gift was in the being there. I needn’t hold the feather to cherish the lovely memory.

Real gifts are like that. They never reside in a box. They live and breathe in your heart.

Back at the lake sunset played with the clouds until they drifted on and left clear skies in places. I knew it was time for me to go. If I didn’t leave soon, I would lose the light. The woods are darkening then and all of the sounds sound just a little menacing…what was that…probably a squirrel settling in for the night but what if it wasn’t…

Once more the well trod path delivered me to the grassy expanse that I know so well. The sun was fading faster all the time. I love that hushed moment when day is stepping aside for night in quiet anticipation.

A lone bat skittered above me hunting for his breakfast while my own day was already beyond dinner. He moved quickly and was gone almost before I even knew he was there. How much of life flutters passed as I am busy with other living.

And just then…in the tallest pines behind the gentle oak…at the edge of field and night…owls…not one, not two…but three. Three! I have never heard three owls at once. A nearby screech stopped me in my tracks. It refused to give up as it shattered the silence, imploring me to hear. Certainly a nest and a very hungry baby were up there somewhere. There was nothing to see, but the air was brimming with the soulful sounds of the three of them. Who…echoed the parents…soon young hunger was satisfied. It only took their listening to know the answer.

It was enchanting to be there…another gift. It would never need shelf space or repair or dusting. Darkness overcame the moment. My footsteps lightly on the pine straw transported me closer to the safety of home all the time. The wise feathered keepers of the night followed me in gentle protection…and I am grateful…for the real of them…for the goodness of all I cannot see…for the gift of love that surrounds us all…for the magic that is once and always…everywhere…

****

ellie894 November 28, 2018