Tag Archives: trees

Afternoon Reflection

Standard

The afternoon light sparkles
on gently waving leaves.
My body wants rest; I listen.
I take a moment,
one little pause to reflect.
Who thinks these thoughts?
Who writes these words?
Who causes the leaves to dance
and the wind to blow through them?
It can be spacious, this moment,
this life.
The light keeps sparkling
and something within me
recognizes it.
All at once I realize,
I’m here. I made it.

Advertisements

I Honor This Path

Standard

Two times I sought solace in the wood
today and it was good
being soothed by Mother Nature
in that way.
I sat on a boulder in the stream,
listened, breathed,
it would seem
my choice was sound
once my mood turned round
and I was myself again.
I sat until the night’s chill
began to settle
and the setting sun halfway done
on its path back home
shone golden on the tree friends
who held me while I said
I honor this path I am on,
and I am grateful for the means to walk it.
I summon the courage to stay on this path
and 
I see the rightness of this moment.

Not So Big

Standard

Looking up through the tall trees
to see clouds drifting
in an immense blue sky,
I realize how truly small I am.
I breathe and move from pose to pose,
remembering the impermanence of this life
in which the only constant is change.
I take pleasure in the sensations
of breathing
and moving,
in the sound of a bullfrog chuckling nearby,
in the feeling of a gentle, warm wind
kissing my face.
No human has ever grown to the height
of the black walnut and the tulip poplars
that grace me with their cooling shade
as I dive deeper inwards and face my own fire.
Practicing beside these towering giants
I am humbled.
Suddenly my problems
don’t seem so big after all.

Mourning Tree

Standard

I will miss you Kalyanamitta

kalyanamitta tree

When I walked I looked for you
and you were always there.
Towering above the petty concerns of the world,
roots deep in the earth
majestic, strong, old, wise,
you provided solace when the world’s chaos
threatened to engulf me.
I wrapped my arms around you, dear friend,
although you were so grand I could only hold
a fraction of your splendor
and I soaked in your stability, your peace,
your way of being here quietly
with a solid presence
and a most graceful air.
How many seasons did you weather
before they took you down,
and what were your last thoughts
as the saws approached you?
You, in your wisdom, probably
breathed and flowed into your next form
uncomplainingly, without fear.
Might I follow your path of peaceful dissolution,
holding on to nothing of this changing life
but welcoming the impermanence
as I welcome my next inhalation.
I will honor your life dear friend,
I will not forget you, my Kalyanamitta.

*****************
I was shocked to discover this evening that my favorite tree had been taken down some time ago.  Already grass seedlings were sprouting up in the place where the tree once stood.  They had done a good job at removing the stump…one could almost say that the tree was never there to begin with.  But I know better. I always made it a point to visit the tree and give it a hug when I was out on walks; by its size I’m guessing it was about 200 years old and its magnificence inspired me.  I named it Kalyanamitta after the Buddhist notion of a spiritual friend, because the tree embodied all the qualities I would seek in such a friend—stability, presence, peacefulness, longevity, wisdom, ageless beauty. To see the empty spot where the tree once stood left me speechless. I walked over to the empty place, crouched down, and wondered why my dear friend was gone.  The picture above was taken May 4 of this year…all of that beautiful green growth led me to believe that it was a perfectly healthy tree.  Now I can only trust that perhaps the tree was sick or suffering in some way and that it was an act of compassion to take it down. But I grieve. I’m mourning my Kalyanamitta.

NaPoWriMo Day 16: Almanac Question

Standard

The trouble with beginning so late at night is the fact of my willpower being depleted during the day…and so I’m left with very little energy to be creative. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt gave us an “almanac questionnaire” and asked us to write a poem based on or incorporating one or more elements from the questionnaire. I copied the questionnaire and then pasted it into a Pages document…filled it out in no time, and then looked at my eclectic mix of answers wondering where the poem was in all of that mess. Out of the whole questionnaire, what felt the best was writing about the flora…so maybe I should focus there.

*******************
If you were to ask me
where I’d most like to be,
I’d say
In a forest surrounded by
ferns, moss, rocks, 
cedar, pine, oak and redwood,
wading into a lovely broad stream
flowing over smooth rocks.
The day is clear and bright,
cloudless blue skies, about 70 degrees,
and there is a delicious breeze
stirring the ferns, making them whisper.
Do you see why I could never be a city girl?

Listen to This Life that is Ours

Standard

When the redbud, radiant in her new pink gown
places her arms around the forlorn forsythia and asks
Friend, stay awhile yet,

When the saucer magnolia
cries soft pink tears that pool in the grass
and spill overflowing into the road,

When the chilly wind stirs the wisteria
and frees the cherry blossoms
from their distant perch

When winter’s icy fingers still clutch
at the robes of the Goddess Spring
who longs to break free of the chains
and dance in the warmth of awakening–

When the green mist of rebirth
splashes the forest with promises
of incalculable abundance

Then, friend,
then let us go by the river
and listen to this life that is ours.

 

100 Down

Standard
Embed from Getty Images

Today I publish a post to Yoga Mom for the 100th consecutive day. One hundred posts down and only 265 left to go before I can cross “Published a blog post every day for a year” off my list of things I think I should accomplish at some point in my life.  After this year is done, I’m guessing that I’ll be so much in the habit of posting daily that it’ll feel strange to not continue, so who knows?  Maybe I’ll just have to publish a blog post every day for the rest of my life. Stranger things have happened.

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt suggested that we take five songs from a playlist (iPod, Pandora, Spotify, etc.) and construct a poem from the titles. I’m too tired (lazy?) to fetch my iPod from downstairs, so I’ll take just one song title and construct a poem from there.  The song is “Tall Trees” by the artist Rashani on the album Songs of Interbeing.  Living in the city, I often find my heart is longing, wishing to be surrounded by nature. Rashani’s song resonates on a deep level, evoking images of nature at its most elemental.  It’s a simple song, short and sweet, with the lyrics sung twice.  There is some nice drum, guitar, and harmonization in a kind of canon with another singer.

Here are the lyrics:

Tall trees
Warm fire
Strong winds
Deep water
I feel you in my body
I feel you in my soul.

And now here I go:

An Ode to the Forest Sentinels

Tall trees, where are you?
I look up and see power lines
telephone poles
brick buildings
radio towers
I cannot see you when I look with my body’s eyes
so I close the doors to the outer world
and look within.

Ahh yes. There you are.
Tall trees, you are in my heart!
And growing beside you, ferns
and at your feet, moss
And flowing close by, a broad and swiftly moving stream
Making my most favorite music,
the sound of clear water tumbling over smooth stones.

The forest cathedral is a most sacred place
Nowhere else have I felt so connected to Source.
In the quiet, sweet and melodious cacophony of insects, birds, scampering squirrels–
In the wind that stirs the leaves–
In the bass vibration of darkest fertile earth,
mysterious, smelling of life and the potential for life
smelling of death and the inevitability of death–
I witness the absolute interconnectedness and perfection
of all things living on this our most precious treasure,
our most precious and irreplaceable treasure–
our earth mother.

I dream of living near you, ancient sentinels of the untouched forest expanses
That I may visit you daily and pay homage to the strength
that took you through many seasons,
standing tall in every kind of weather.
I dream of sitting beside you,
looking up at you in wordless awe.
I imagine bowing humbly at your feet like a graceful fern,
Abiding alongside you for millennia
that I may learn from your example,
root down
reach up
and G R O W into the light.

Embed from Getty Images