Morning Light

Morning Light

A fresh beginning
Awash with possibilities
A clean canvas
On which to paint
The life of my choosing

A fresh beginning
Yesterday’s missteps released and 
Warmed by the rising of today’s sun
I embark upon my day

A fresh beginning
Each step imbued with hope
Going forward into the unknown
I stand on the shore of today

A fresh beginning
Mindful of the suffering,
The darkness of the world
I embrace the sun’s rising and pray

A fresh beginning
The re-birthing of love
Casting aside the demon of “impossible”
I strive to live the folly of hope
That one small life
Attempting to be a loving presence
To our earth and it’s people
Will bring solace and healing
To our world
That the burden of even one heart may be lessened
By the power of love spread 
In ways we cannot know

A fresh beginning
Awaken people of love
Have courage
Bring your disbelief, sadness and discouragement
To the sunrise
An offering of trust in this new day

Find within yourself
A fresh beginning
As you birth a tiny sprout of love
Into our troubled world.

Morning Light

Fear

What grants you such power?
What gives you authority?
What feeds your growth?
What does it take to prune you?
What will trap you?
How can your roots be contained?
How can you be kept in your own place?
What will prevent you from overtaking
The Garden of Life?

Fear
An invasive species
Not native to our kind
But present and pervasive, nevertheless

Fear
Of past pain and suffering
Returning with a vengeance
Of future loss
Of death of loved ones
Of conflict, violence and war.

Fear
Of sleeplessness
Of laziness
Of failure
Of redundancy and emptiness
Of illness and infirmity
Of financial struggles
of love, success and happiness.

Fear
Of loneliness and cold
Of heat and danger
Of cruelty and evil.

So much to fear
The list grows with the telling
But--does the telling shed light?

Fear
Grows unrestrained
In dark, secret corners of our beings
The roots sink into the rich compost 
of human frailty
Insidiously attacking and overtaking
Our roots of happiness, love, peace and meaning
Crowding out the fruits of the Spirit;
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
Casting dark shadows--obscuring our light.

Fear
From where comes your power?
What feeds you?
How can you be tamed?

Dare to open the doors of your heart
Open wide to the light of goodness, of love

Know, deep in your being, know
That there resides a seed of hope, of truth
Flickering always--ready to ignite to flame
God, by any name, residing within
the ever present Light of Love.

Quiet. . .      quiet the thoughts
Quiet. . .      Quiet the torment
Quiet. . .       quiet the steady stream of doubt.

Listen. . .      deep within the quiet
Feel. . .       the wisp of hope
the wisp of maybe
the wisp of the wings of love.

Stay there and feed your spirit
Nourish the soil of your soul
And the roots of fear
Will wither and retreat

Now, take hold of each branch of that fear
Pull it, roots and all, 
Out of the nurturing soil.
Look closely at the dis-empowered fear
See it for the limp, scraggle it is
cut off from its source.

Honor the suffering you have endured
The pain that has disconnected you from nutrients
The dark that hovered in the pain
And allowed the invader, fear , to take root.
Offer compassion to the self
Who suffered and withdrew
Applaud him/her for persevering
Despite hardship, loss, and pain.

With the power of your truth
Gather the weeds of worry,
the Vegetation of victim
Place them with care
In a steel walled, solid floored container
Give them no water, no fertilizer, no soil
Let them wither and shrink
Untended
Watch them lose their power.

Witness the fruits of your Garden of Life
As they prosper, flourish, and multiply
Breathe in deeply the beauty
Give breath to the flickering light
Allow your roots to take a deep and steadfast hold.


Pain and suffering will visit
Winds of change will blow
The freeze of winter will come.
Be at peace knowing
Your roots reach deeply into the well of life
Drink deeply and carry on
For fear can strangle you no more.

Ocean’s Allure

 

Scaling footpath up the dunes

Cresting

Breath paused in awe

Raging waves breaking onto shore

Foam residue blowing across the beach

Sounds of power

Music of dance

Healing drumming of cascading water

 

Eyes fixed on

the infinite horizon of ocean

Icy waters surround me unannounced

Frosty water filling my snow sneakers

Thankful for my hiking pants and wool socks

I back onto  the shore

 

Joy fills my heart

Grandchildren delighting

In ocean dance

Lying unencumbered

On the foamy bed of sand.

 

Dogs running free

Playing together

Embracing the lure of the sea

Entering fully into the watery world

 

Eagle flies overhead

Breath is taken once again

As I gaze upwards in deepest admiration

Of its beauty, size, and majesty

 

The wind whips the sand

Swirling in the air

The wintry cold freezes the foam

The beach is ours to enjoy

For, who else would choose

To enter the frozen tundra

Of Maine’s winter beach!

 

War

War

The unimaginable game of a man
 Senseless destruction of lives

Lives of Ukrainians
Defending their homeland,
Their way of life,
Their families and 
The world as they know it

Lives of Russians
Powerful brainwashing
What did he say? 
What did he threaten 
To embolden young men and women
To attack, unprovoked a neighbor country?
Miles of tanks
Driven by Russians
How did he plant the seeds
Of kill, destroy, inflict carnage?
What evil lurks within?

How do we crush this malevolence
Without embodying evil ourselves?

The world is uniting
In rejection of this heinous action
Loving generosity is exploding
In retaliation
Some Russian citizens have resisted
The embrace of evil
Are risking lives and freedom
To renounce this action of their leader 
And his minions

Prayer seems so small, so insignificant
In the presence of military might

However, prayer can fuel love
Can bring strength to hearts suffering 
across the world
Prayer can fight evil
It is not all we can do
It is the best we can do
It will inspire and direct wisdom
And any chosen action will be the fruit of that wisdom

May the power of love surround and empower good in this world.





	

The Presence of God

 

God’s presence
Is here and now
It can be felt; it can be known

I felt it at the dentist
Lying back
Mouth open – stretching wide
So many hands in my mouth
So much at stake
How long can my back hold out in this position?

Time crawled forward, a half hour, an hour
Then Shannon’s body
Pressed against my arm as she worked
I felt peace, I felt reassurance
I felt the Spirit of God
In that chair
In that trying moment
Unrequested
I knew the presence of Light, of Love
It existed in the communion
Between the dentist and I
I would have smiled, but my mouth was full
So my heart just smiled
As by body relaxed.

I made my way out to the greenhouse
Not hard to do, as Tom lovingly keeps a path cleared for me
The air outside, well below freezing
I opened the door and stepped inside
It was a toasty 69 degrees
The sun was pouring in,
Snow enveloped the lower half of the building
I sat in my little chair
Breathing in the freshness of air
Gazing at the raised bed awaiting plants
Looking out at the trees, the blue sky
Warmed only by the sun
Protected from harsh wind
I let it all soak in
And I knew God’s healing touch
God’s presence
In the natural world

I knew Love
Sitting beside my dad as he lay dying
I was filled to bursting with the presence
Of God’s Spirit -
Maybe coming to journey dad home?
So near to God,
I knew God’s presence
In the person of my grand niece
Who let me hold her on my lap
Let me release some of the all-powerful love into her
In the passing on of the love, there is communion
There resides God.

I saw God’s love
Watching six grandchildren, great grandchildren
Carrying Dad’s body
Into the church.
With love and respect,
They honored him.
In the power of that moment
I knew God’s presence
As they walked up the stairs
Into the church
God's presence was so near -
Filling the vestibule
Filling my soul.
I knew love
In my two older grandchildren
One in each arm
As I squatted between them
Together we witnessed love, we shared love
As Dad’s body
Was carried into the church.

God’s presence
Holy Spirit
Loving Energy
Supreme Being
El Shaddai
Adonai
Abba
YHWH
So many names
So many faith traditions
This presence is not owned - not exclusive
But there for everyone
It is all around us and within us
If we but pause, open,
And let the knowing fill our beings
Then release that love into our world!

Celtic Imbolc

Halfway!
We made it halfway!
The midpoint is here
This very day marks
The approach way to spring.

We have endured winter’s worst
The dark tunnel
Of cold, grey isolation
The frigid air
That burns your cheeks
And freezes your nose hairs

The furnace running and running
Dollar signs spinning
As the oil tank empties

Bravely, courageously
We ventured deeper and deeper 
Into the quiet of winter

But now – we have hit nadir
We have touched bottom
And look to begin 
An upward ascent

We look toward the light
The sun higher in the sky
The days lengthening
The seeds of hope and life
Arriving in the mail
Knowing Faith in the future
Planning gardens
Getting ready

We have made it halfway!
Was there life, happiness
On our journey inward?
Did we allow quiet and dark
To nest within us?
Did we hear 
The groanings of the earth
As she rested and healed?
Did we enter the dark,
Allow it to be? 
Did we claim our own darkness
Stay with it, accept it
As it transformed us? 
Did we, in the quiet, allowed all our parts
To join, heal and be made whole?

As we look to spring
Can we embrace winter  
As we release it?
Feel the quiet
Find peace, not fear in the dark
Wrap ourselves in a blanket
Of love
Knowing we are loved.
Can we, in faith 
Find peace as we release fear?

Delight touches our souls
As the days lengthen
The sun shines warmer
Melting our darkness

Are we ready to fully re-enter life
Spring life
Full of resurrection
Green sprouts,
Budding trees, gurgling brooks
Melting snow
Creating water for new growth?

Rest now –
Welcome these remaining days of quiet
As we ready 
For new life once again!

Happy Imbolc*!



*Imbolc is celebrated on the Celtic Calendar on February 1st.  It marks the time when the Earth begins to awaken and things start to grow as we move toward the light half of the year.

In This Moment



In this moment,
Exist the moments of a millennia
More, more than a millennia
But who’s counting?

In this moment,
There exists
The spirit of untold peoples
Whose stories lie dormant
Whose voices rest silent

In this moment,
Exists the soil of generations
Raped, pillaged, 
Nurtured, treasured
Created, destroyed
The soil of our time
The soil becoming our food
Our sustenance

In this moment,
Exists air from breath
Of each being
Who came before 
Who sighed, who exhaled
Breath of the great, the famous,
The mighty, the minuscule
Of saints, sailors and seductresses
Of demons, devils and debutantes
Of our grandparents, parents, ancestors,
Our children and all creatures
Domestic, farm and wild

In this moment, 
we breathe air
cleansed by centuries
Of green growth -
Plants exhaling life
Giving of their life 
to nurture, sustain others

In this moment,
Shines the sun
As it has shone
Upon our planet
For every previous generation

In this moment,
Shine the stars
Hidden now, by light of day

In this moment,
I exist.
Small, insignificant?
Or a thread of the fiber of existence?
In this moment,
I hold within my mortal being
The hopes, dreams, heartache
And suffering
Of humanity gone before.

In this moment,
It is my turn
To recognize my gifts
To create myself anew,
Finding truth, delight and meaning
As I live out my turn
In this beautiful world.

In this moment,
All I must do 
Is breathe in
The energy all around
Breathe out
Breath transformed.

In this moment, 
I bow down
In respect and awe
I raise my eyes
In supplication and love
I open my hands and heart
In humble offering
As I put pen to paper.
In this moment.


The Spirit Will Guide You

John 16:13

Jesus said, “The Spirit will guide you into all truth”

The Spirit will guide you into all truth
The Spirit will guide you into all truth
The Spirit will guide you into all truth
The Spirit will guide you.

The Spirit will guide me.
The Holy Spirit of God
The Spirit whom resides in all of creation.
The Spirit which resides in me.
The Spirit of Love.

The Spirit with the still, small voice.
The whisper in the breeze - rustling winter leaves
The soothing voice of waves rolling upon the shore, cleansing, softening, renewing
The “Hello!” in the gray branches swaying in the cold wind.
The cleanse of the undulating cover of purest, whitest snow
Lying within the trees.
The gift of warmth shining through the glass
Touching my soul

The Spirit will guide you to truth.
I must only slow to hear, to see, to sense, to know
 The nudges of a most gentle, loving guide.

I must pause and listen, see freshly, deeply
That which is around me – here and now
I must breathe away the distractions, angst, distrust, disbelief
Open slowly, with anticipation,
 Maybe to just rest.
To cocoon until it is time to leave chrysalis and fly.
For now, to rest and recover
Pause
Pause and Pray
Pray for peace in my soul
Peace in your soul
Peace in our world.

Compassion

In Honor of Thich Nhat Hanh


Our world is broken in so many ways.
People are alienated one from the other
In large scale manner
Media spread news of division 
Hate, rhetoric, violence, destruction
Countries poise for war
Other countries claim allegiance
Politicians lose sight 
Of the people they represent
They lose sight of truth, kindness, and respect.

A virus attacks the health of all
And this tragedy is used
As yet another, political tool

It is difficult to see the goodness of people
The fruit of the Spirit of Goodness
It is difficult to live kindness
We are wearied by hate
We are wearied by illness, suffering, and death
We are longing for a return of freedom
No more isolation, quarantine, mask, or disease

We have come up against adversity 
And much of our baser natures have been exposed
Kindness and compassion have been also present
But there is fatigue
In the face of so much suffering
And so much division
We are fatigued

We must find our own quiet
Each of us need pause
See the world which surrounds us
The trees, rivers, sky, stars
Whatever touches our hearts
Be present there
Away from humanity which wounds
Nuzzle your dog
Watch the birds fly free, 
In formation, they  share the lead, they work together

Feel the warmth of the sun
Or a blazing wood stove
Pray your own prayer
Breathe freshness in 

Then put your mask back on
And join the world
Renewed 

Now nourished, move forward to
Practice compassionate listening
Be present
Hear the suffering of other
Quietly, without judgment or fix
Holding only love in your heart
Listen
Breathe and listen – deeply

For that is where healing begins,
That is how suffering can be lessened.

In the face of all the wounds
Be for other 
Compassionate presence
The ripples will spread
Healing can happen
One life, one moment at a time.

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Blue skies enveloping clouds of white
A welcome reprieve from greys and browns 
From dull and dormant

Blue skies appear
The sun's warmth shining through
For those who pause
Who open shields and receive

My dad died
The skies were grey, desolate
Sadness filled the universe
As I knew it

For days, the heavenly world
Mourned in greys and blacks
The earth turned frigid
While winds of grief blew in

My dad died.
And I am sad
Sadder than I expected
Wasn’t I ready?
Hadn’t I grieved already?
Grieved the pieces of him
We lost along the way.

They say you are never ready
To lose a parent
Oh, but I am different
I am so experienced with death.

We were all so worn; so weary
We knew we could not care for him at home much longer
The journey had been arduous
And our strength was waning
Our reserve spent.

So I was ready.
He lived a great 93+ years
Kept his humor, his love of life all the way
But slowly dementia had invaded
Clashing with his independent, stalwart nature
He struggled
Oftentimes, not trusting those closest to him – his kids!

It was so painful
I was so ready
We were all so ready.

Nevertheless, I am sad.
I weep for the loss of my whole dad
I weep for the days he struggled
And I could not make it better … enough
I could not make it pretty . . . enough
I, with all my knowledge and experience
Could not control his final days . . . enough.

I pray he now know
That I tried
Oh how I tried.
We all did, Dad.
We all did

My dad died
And I am sad.

But happy he could be at home
With all of us
Happy for the love of family and friends
Cocooning his final days
Loving him
Always loving him.

May he know peace.


I post this  as I post all my writings, in hopes that it may speak to others whose journeys might bring them to similar experiences.   I post in the hope that sharing my truth might help others carry theirs!      Thanks for reading!     Your comments are most appreciated! Pat