Sitting. Still. Mind wandering.
Thoughts come and go, space in-between.
Adjusting form, swishing cloth. A cough.
Stomach gurgling, like a trumpeting crane.
Spine straight, thumbs lightly touching.
Tires crunching gravel, muffled radio from within.
A raven croaks, “Good morning.
I am here. I am awake.”
I am all of this, suchness.
It is all me, ephemera.
Narrow chasms open to wide spaces.
The bell rings and I bow.
Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.
I heard her young voice, clear and articulate for a two-year old saying something about a spider and a skirt. There wasn’t fear and anxiety in her voice, just matter-of-factness and wonder, like “Hey look at what I found in my skirt.” I shouted down the hallway, “Did you find a spider in your skirt?” “Yeah, come look,” she replied.
I walked down the hall, where she showed me a tiny spider hiding in the folds of her pink skirt, while her eyes glowed with warmth in the fading light of evening. She wanted to take this small creature outside to let it go safely, so that is what we did, gently dropping the arachnid onto the ground beneath a huckleberry bush.
How many kids or adults for that matter would have screamed and then smashed the spider? Where…
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The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.
~Richard Bach (“Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”
She seems to be languishing, a body that was once full of vitality is now spent and she is exhausted, too weary to stay upright. I stand by her side, watching and wondering what to do, what to think. Standing mid-stream, water flowing all around, I see her struggle against the current and then succumb to its power and downstream she goes. I watch as she is pushed by the rushing water, knowing that she will never swim this far upstream again. She doesn’t have the strength. This is likely her last day and her tail, well-worn and white from digging redds (gravel nest), indicates that she has already spawned and will soon die. What then?
We are taught that death…
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Sparkling waters speaking, a language their own
Bursting bubbles everywhere
Hearing sounds, not understanding words
Intertwining in meaning
Deepening redwoods, mossying alders
Graying jay, downying woodpecker
Spawning salmon, flowing water
Elk River, a winter day.
I love you more with each passing day
I don’t know what more to say.
Is there an way to convey
There is no place where we can stay?
So lets jump and romp and play
Or lie quiet and watch the branches sway.
Lets love and live as if this were our final day;
Which it very well may.
by David LaFever
Here is a post from my latest backpacking trip. I hope you enjoy it!
“With thoughts clear, sitting silently, wander into the center of the circle of wonder.”
~ Zen Master Hongzhi
The upper canyon and the trail I was following was covered in snow, as were all of the mountainsides around me. My attempts to follow any trail that might have been there were thwarted by an early season snow storm and lack of a thaw. I was pretty sure that I could have figured out where the gap in the mountains was where I was suppose to cross over to the other side but I had never been there before and didn’t know what the snowpack was going to be like on the other side. Pausing, I caught my breath and listened to the sounds of water trickling everywhere from snow-melt, and realized that my feet were soaked from hiking in trails that had become streams. I thought this was going to be my last trip of…
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Here is a poem that my daughter Madeleine and I wrote together this weekend.
We see rain clouds moving across the sky
Flowing northwards like a river in the atmosphere
Drifting onward to another time and place.
Wild winter winds whip the tree
Does the wind move the clouds
Or the clouds move the wind?
Wind-moving clouds dance with the trees
Birds fly with the wind, the clouds
We love you clouds and birds and trees.