Tomorrow is the first day of school
and although I’m not the one going
I have jitters anyway,
for my two kiddos who’ll face
new faces, new rooms, new names,
new structure—were they meant for this?
A part of me wants to keep them home
safe and sound with me
to play all day, soak in the sun,
splash in the stream,
run in the forest…
But another part goes
THANK GOD SUMMER IS OVER!
Afternoon, pouring rain,
by immense thunderclouds,
and my body is tired
from a long morning hike
in the (almost) summer sunshine.
Memories dance through my mind–
forest shade and seas of ferns,
breezes so sweet
they were salvation
to my sun warmed skin.
How is it possible I can peer into
these two worlds at once:
the furious rain of reality
and the sweet heat of memory?
And sometimes reality is so sweet
and the memories pound in my mind
like an afternoon thunderstorm,
here in an instant,
gone in a flash.
Where am I, who am I
who knows these two worlds
yet belongs to neither?
Fall arrives on a whisper of wind
Suddenly, it is dark again
earlier in the evening
and later in the morning
and I have that wistful feeling
reminding me I’ll be letting go
of light and warmth…again.
The in-turning begins.
In truth, though,
it began at the turn of the solstice,
but summer is too bright to notice
how the light recedes ever so subtly,
until, until it is gone from me
and all I have is the memory
of sunlight and bright days and bare feet.
I made a commitment
to reframe my vision–
to no longer call it adversity,
now it is opportunity.
Now is the time to reach deeper still
and remember what lies within.
To embrace the in-turning
and the treasures that await
while my watching eyes fixate
on the breezy summer skies.
This letting go is good for me.
This going inwards is an opportunity.
I won’t fight the fading of the light,
not this time…
I’m ready now.
Come on darkness.
Bring it on.
A day of surprises…
a wrong turn yielded
a chance encounter with new friends
who were dancing in the park
on this fine summer day…
a walk down to the river
hot sand and cool stones
laughing and splashing
a sunburn to show for it.
Our new friends offered
food and kindness;
More laughter and hugs good-bye.
As we drove back home
I mused about
what true wealth really is.
Asana in the woods
hot summer day
reaching for strength
diving deep to find my breath
I remember how simple it all is.
Just this moment,
This little puff of wind,
the chorus of bullfrogs,
clouds drifting by,
everything constantly changing.
I remember the impermanence,
how I am,
how existence is
like a dewdrop in a blade of grass.*
*Still loving the Tokmé Zongpo quote featured in my last post.
The solstice approaches
And I, basking in my hemisphere of light,
think to those who will soon live their darkest night.
In a few days, the longest of the year here in the north,
my half of the earth
will start its tilting course away from the sun
and one by one
the days will grow shorter again.
And thus, when we’ve reached the zenith of the light,
the descent into darkness begins,
while others pull themselves up and out of the blackest night.
The perfect earthly balance continues,
and if we humans could mimic this cosmic orchestry,
we’d finally get something right.
He pulled a magnolia blossom
off a tree in passing.
After an hour or so
it wilted in the almost summer sun.
And yet the flower bravely held its fragrance.
Will it be like this
when my life is almost done?