In All Our Years

Practicing love and kindness for all.

Bird and Me in a Tree

I find today that I can stand and walk, look at a wondrous tree full of life blessed by a refreshing breeze, and that when I would want to- climb a welcoming branch and sit along side a little bird and chat and chirp together.

“Hello little bird. What are you doing today?”, and I smile waiting for his reply.

“You’re kind of big and old to be climbing trees?”

I think for a moment, smile back at the little bird and then reply,

“Some might say you are correct and that I should be on the ground, winding down and sitting around, but then we would not be having this conversation would we?”

“Chirp, chirp, well yes I see. Okay I agree, but do me a favor when you’re down and around, go dig up some small patch of ground for me to forage through, okay?”

“Sure, you got it.”, and then I say, “Want to see me fly?”

The little bird does a double take and looks for the wings I do not have and says, “This I gotta see, sure show me.”

I stand and stretch and move out from the security of  trunk and limb. I raise my arms and with legs and bounce, lift and fly into the air, up and up and then, of course down, down, down onto the ground below us.

The little bird looks at me and says, “You’re kind of big and old to be jumping out of trees, but I will say, that was a nice landing.”

I look up and smile at the little bird, as his feet hold fast to the moving branch that moments before, held us both in a moment of conversation and connection, and then he chirps, “Oh and don’t forget about digging that hole for me later, okay buddy?”

The Stakeout

The points of the slivered crescent moon looked up into the night as stars in waning conversation, casually looked toward the earth. An odd man, dressed in striped pajamas walked on wet grass below them. He was carrying a large spear, made of Bamboo and an old saw blade and, of course, a hot, creamy cup of coffee.

“How odd is this Dear Stars?”, the moon whispered.

The stars simply twinkled and paused not finding words to reply.

The man thought to himself, “How in the world did I find myself walking in the wee hours of the morning, on a Volcanic Island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, hunting for rats?”.

In the distance, the nocturnal creatures were finishing up their day, saying goodbye to their friends and heading back to the attic of the house. The house of the artist, who danced with the flowers and kissed them now and again.

As the man found his way to a secluded spot, the sun barely starting to peer over a distant curve which covered wonderfully cool and salty water, sent soft rays toward the horizon. A horizon which silhouetted several black wires. Wires that powered several dwellings, including the house of the artist. Perhaps she was sound a sleep after a creative evening of this and that.

The spear was not for taking life, but to block the entrance into the attic. The man gingerly wedged it into a small corridor. A corridor used by the nocturnal rats. It did not fit exactly right, but was a start to see what would occur.

As he sat and sipped his coffee, he watched the light grow. And soon with the silence of a meteor in the night sky, a creature scurried with such speed and agility over black wires from down the road, toward a telephone pole. Then, quickly taking a left turn to the one wire that connected the pole to the attic, scrambled on and over to the building where the artist slept. Stopping briefly to navigate up an angled two by four, and then effortlessly defying gravity up a thin rafter and into the small corridor where he was greeted by family and loved ones.

“Ah yes the man thought”, they clearly get in through here. He watched as two, three, four and five of them came over the same wire, up the wood and into the attic, jumping over the blade, inconveniently wedged into the small space.

Their happy family started to stir, run and patter all over the attic ceiling, waking once again the tired artist, now distraught from similar events of the prior days.

The odd man thought, pondered and soon a plan and next events were brewing. The stakeout would continue.

On the next day, the man rose to find rain, soaking into the land surrounding his island home. With half an hour before the light of day, he found motivation to rise and dress and head out to the wires. The small plastic and metal roadway’s that would be traveled soon, by his four legged one tailed friends.

He found a ladder and broom and a piece of rope. When they would return, and he knew they would, he would tie the rope to the wire and shake it and maybe they would fall or leap. If not, the broom would be used to swish them off.

His eyes adjusted to the darkness and slowly, but surely, the dim of the night faded. With his hand on the rope, he patiently waited. His eyes were keen and his breath soft and steady. The low light of the morning started a stir and yet, still unable to see, but low and behold, his hand felt a pull, like a fish on rod. A rat had stepped onto the wire and was approaching.

A quick pull and tug would bounce the little critter up and down and soon, he heard a thump into the soft ground below,  blanketed from leaves of a waiting banana patch.

The game was afoot. As the light grew stronger, one and then two would arrive, step on the wire. With the now ample light and able to see, the man tugged on the line and the rides began. One, two, three little flying rats, thump, boom, bang, onto the ground below.

They did not know what to do. Another arrived and saw its flying friends and decided waiting on the back of the pole would be best, looking around to see if the wire would stop moving.

And then from up and high in the attic, a waiting mate came out to see why her companions were late. It was not like them to not come home. Something was up.

The man waited and the light became full. The nocturnal rat, stuck on the pole, trying to get to the wire, finally disappeared, perhaps finding a hole to sleep in, considering of course, how to deal with the odd man in the striped pajamas.

 

 

Outside the Place

I found myself grounded in a way where I felt that I was no longer part of the whole, but an observer of the situation I was in. An observer with a particular purpose at that moment in time.

The feeling continued throughout the day as I proceeded to move through situations and actions that I choose to engage. There were several things that I needed to do, things that I had committed to in my interactions with the others. I did not complete all of them, but did what I could in the time that was there.

The night came and I wandered from this to that and here to there, tending only to basic needs that would facilitate the forward movement of time and my place within the plane of being.

And today, in this early hour with the birds still sleeping, the sun surely heading this way as it always does, I find myself grounded in a way where I am again, the observer in this moment.

Perhaps the feeling is one similar to when you are in a boat, rowing on a glass of ocean water, land distant far and near. If you stop rowing, you float in the direction of the last energy exchange, you had with the world- until the currents reclaim any control you thought you had in your space. You are then free to flow and move, not by your own conversion of sun and light and water and life, but as a single point resting in the plane of existence.

I know the sun will appear soon and the lines of life will pull me in several directions, where I will need to choose and release to some in order to connect to others doing the same and yet there is the possibility of just releasing the oars and watching what transpires from the disconnection of self to the world, and yet to feel the single connection she has to me in the moments that will follow.

I want to hold on this feeling and not be disturbed by anything that yanks or tills or pulls me away from the moment. If only possible, for the pause of breath, or thought, or movement- A bird on a wire, talons gripped and holding, waiting, watching, being.

Coffea

When I wake up in the morning I am awake.

There is the kitchen.

A selection of nine coffee cups
wait patiently to be the one.

I find fresh water flowing
from a shiny reflective pipe
and pour it into a shiny reflective pot.

There is a container of liquid taken
from the earth, brought by a ship
to this island place, the place where
I was sleeping before I was awake.

A large white stove is connected to
the container. A simple turn of a lever
ignites the liquid, now a gas, into a perfect ring
of fire that will warm the fresh water that
is now in the pot.

As I wait, I am busy. There is still the
beans to tend to. Beans produced by a plant
with the help of the sun on a continent thousands
of miles due south east of this island place.

Note to self … use beans from the island next time.

The beans must then be ground into small particles.

The shinny pot is starting to growl.

While I have used a mortar and pestle to grind them
in the past, this morning, I will enlist the help
of electricity; energy generated by fossil fuel obtained
from the earth, that flows from a power plant along
rivers of oil and rock that I will travel over later in the day.

The energy powers a grinder made of plastic and steel
and pulverizes the beans in about twelve seconds. The mortar and pestle,
would have taken nearly three thousand seconds or more and exploited my own personal energy that I had stored from the day before,
made mostly, from bananas and nuts and an Ulu or two.

The shiny pot is singing.

The ground coffee is then placed into bamboo filter,
cradled in ceramic cone and rested on top of the chosen one.

The steaming water, once cold from the earth, is now hot and ready, to touch the grounds and flow next to each one, caressing and transforming the life they held stored in their being from the plant in the ground, that drank from the earth and gazed at the sun for days, months and years.

The ring of fire is put to rest.

The shiny pot is lifted up and over the bamboo cone
and tipped to pour the boiling water over the grounds.

The lucky cup is empty and waiting.

My mind and hand, steady and content as the steam rises and the scents of the plant’s beans, all roasted and warm, give of themselves for the one who, is awake.

With patience, the cup becomes full.

The shiny pot is placed back on stove.

The bamboo cone rests now. The grounds cool and will soon be returned to the earth.

Using my energy of bananas and nuts, I lift the cup from the counter and breathe in the lushness of her personal aroma. My mind takes me back to the time and place where I first met her, long, long … long ago.

And then a Brazilian Cardinal arrives out the window and squawks and proclaims that it will start to eat fruit from the trees. Most likely Bananas.

When I wake up in the morning I am awake, but as you have read,
it is a little more complicated than my first sentence proclaims.

 

His Light

One might perceive that a man would become, explore, plan, and build his home. A mate by his side with intent to always be there for her, gathering wood or this and that. There are examples of this. Look at the birds. In some way, they select a mate and each other. They may frolic at first and explore the world, sharing food and vistas, feeling the rain and the wind. They relish in the sun, lighting all for them to see.

And then in some logical way, the project begins. Twig by twig, lifted to the sky and placed in a tree. One by two by three, the nest is made until it is fluffy and warm. Sun and wind ensue, and through some act of fate, nature arrives, and children in need depend on their parents to feed.

Days continue on, each parent doing their part to maintain the home, the place their children know to be their own, just there … as it is, for the reason unknown. And life moves forward and away and the children explore and plan … and you know.

Nature has a way and while a man may have intent to plan, there is a randomness that arrives. There is a force, beyond which mind nor thought can solve, a plushness of life that consumes, beyond reason and sometimes with a simple step and choice creates the path that will become his home.

One might perceive that a man would become, explore, plan and build his home, but in fact and without reason, it is the home that becomes the man … the woman  and children, his path,  His Light ❤

The Light of Day

I’m rethinking the modern world. In a broad sense, life has been improved in the areas of food, shelter, education, comfort and our ability to live long lives. Lives that allow us to engage in creative, physical and emotional pleasures. Everyone loves pie, a good story, a job well done, and a relationship that brings us closer to each other and to being human, and to embrace the mystery of love.

The cost, however seems too great. Climate change, resource depletion, the use of electricity which allows natural rhythms to be disrupted. I am tending toward a thought … that what we have created is not necessarily life, but some artificial layer that absorbs our minds, body and our souls … assuming souls exist.

Nature exists in the purest form of life. It struggles for light and water and nutrients that the earth provides. At the end of the day, nature rests and if by chance, the light returns, she engages once again in what is natural and rhythmic … the music of life.

It is the natural and rhythmic part of life that we have lost with the arrival of the modern world. I am not sure where to go with this thought process, but a change needs to be made. A change to return to nature, not knowing that tomorrow will arrive, but simply being, breathing, feeling and enjoying the light of the day.

It is the light of day … that is life.

My Oldest Son

It has been over 9 years since I have seen or spoken with my oldest son. It is his birthday today. I recall the events of his birth. The long labor endured by his mother. The surprise and joy of seeing him for the first time. The need to care for and raise him above all things, just because… just because this is what a parent does.

It is wired into us, to protect and nurture our young. I know very little of what he is doing these days, but hear only via forth party channels that he is doing well. This is what we as parents hope for. That our children find their way and a path that excites them and pleases their minds, bodies and ultimately their heart, their soul. I hope that he will find all three and while I do think of him and what he may be doing these days, his life is his own and I will always love him, no matter what. This is what parents- this is what a father is for.

I am not sad anymore about this rift. As with many things that are difficult, time does truly heal all things. It is important to move forward and enjoy what life brings to us, to embrace others and explore and enjoy what they do and to be grateful for what they share with us.

It is true that connections are the one thing that we can take with us, always. They may at times seem severed or broken, but they will always exist and hold a place within us all.

The Night He Left

I remember the night he left us. It was very cold and you had called to tell me he was having a hard time breathing. I wish I had jumped up and traveled to your door quickly, but I did not. I had spoken with him the morning before when he had sat up and asked me what time it was. “What time is it Joe?” “It’s 8 O’clock Dad.” He settled back into his bed and I was not sure if he knew what was actually going on. He was resting a lot.

You did call me after the fact and when I did arrive, I had only moments to see him before he was wheeled away. He was no longer breathing and finally resting in the hospital bed, his large frame clung to the side, perhaps holding onto the rail. I do not, specifically recall. His hands were his hands, but his body had been slowly giving itself up to survive, food no longer providing the nourishment he needed.

I have never been able to meet death as others appear too. I do not mourn or cry in the sense that I have lost them. They are, for some reason, still there, but visually inaccessible. Perhaps this is my way of dealing with the loss, to avoid the fact that there is one.

To this day, I still feel he is with me. I tend to believe in reincarnation or some form of return to the physical world and yet, I have no personal proof of this. There are stories of other people who have proof, sensationalized in news and documentaries and I do believe their is truth in them. After all, our minds and thoughts appear to go beyond the physical form in all, we as a society do and achieve.

I wonder still- where he might be. What is he doing? Is he building something out of wood or rocks? Is he finally sailing the boat he so often spoke of having after he would win the lottery or a fabulous hand of Black Jack at some Las Vegas casino?

I wish I could feel his spirit nearby like others claim too. I have often called out asking his advice, but nothing seems to appear. Nothing tangible I can put my hand on, to say yes! Thanks Dad. I needed that.

And then I thought the other day, while dangling precariously from a Palm tree, looking at the beautiful ocean, the ocean he dreamed of, to be on, to sail on. The thick salty air wafting fully into my senses, surrounding myself and the others all working together in unison to care for the land we live on, in the middle of the sea.

I thought … perhaps, his soul is not out and about as one would think, but perhaps, just perhaps, his soul has hitched a ride in my heart in this able body, living in this land surrounded by the sea. Perhaps he is, after all within me and my hands are his hands, once again doing something, building something out of wood or rocks, planting a tree or finding another to help, because … we can. Perhaps, my dream of sailing the sea, to the Marquees Islands, Cook Island and on to New Zealand is his dream after all.

Nature’s News

The word news is actually the plural of the word new.

News is like alcohol. It may feel good to the mind and body at first, but at some point it becomes heavy and a burden and the sooner it gets processed out of you, the better you will be. Some news can bring us joy, like when we see kindness given to someone in need, or a triumph of someone who really tried to make a difference for themselves or to those around them.

There is; however, the need in the first place which is the negative side of the story, a negative which perhaps could have been avoided and, it needs to be processed out, or more importantly and this is my point, we need to do something to make a change. News without personal change is like rain on a rock, it just wears us away.

I see copious stories of the negative in the world, the politics and corrupt doings for business profit and the exploitation of the earth. Where are the stories of the change to make things better or to heal the earth and her creatures? As I look back over the years and centuries, where is the kindness and triumph in everyday existence?  Where is the balance of man and nature? Has this balance ever existed? Answers to these questions are right in front of us and are found in the most harmonious collection of existence we know- Nature.

The cycle of life and death in nature completely nurtures all living creatures. There is no waste. Air is breathed in and exhaled out, water is absorbed in and excess transpired out. Nutrients of all kinds are shared by all and those whose lives complete, are recycled back into nature. Their bodies, flesh or wood are stores of sunlight, water and earth.

Natures News:

Something happened today. Bryant, the Oak tree who has been with us since when our knoll was barren and wind swept, fell to the earth. The sun light now enters where he stood and his children are there around him and will grow stronger. Sammy the squirrel was; however, completely flattened by the large trunk and as nature would have it, he is now the center of a feast and decomposition celebration.

Continue to seek your light, fetch a drink or two and remember to always sway in the forest of your life.

Coincidental Conscious and Coffee

Some years ago, I was flying to Europe and had just picked up the book “In the Heart of the Sea”. I was barely into the first chapter when I look out the window and see the Island of Nantucket, which was, coincidentally the initial setting of the novel. I smiled, looked down at the island in its entirety, imagining it those many years ago, and continued reading. It was a great read.

During my morning reading and after some initial caffeination, I find my way to the mining town of Starbo nestled in the Cascades of Mount Rainier. The name of the mining town inspired one of the founders of Starbucks to name the company after the character in the novel Moby Dick. The author of Moby Dick, Herman Melville, pulled the name from one of the founding families of Nantucket, also a prominent whaling family on the island, the Starbucks. The Starbuck family gained notoriety due their discovery of various islands in the Pacific Ocean. Coincidentally, I now live on an Island in the Pacific Ocean and on occasion, drink a Starbucks Coffee.

This is all very interesting to me and fun to know where the name of the coffee company Starbucks came from, but I think I’m starting to see a pattern here. I continue to find myself in, near or around the stomping grounds of my favorite writers, either directly or indirectly while enjoying coffee. Jack Kerouac from Lowell, MA, my University town and home state. Robert Frost with roots in San Francisco and New England. Earnest Hemingway who had settled in Valencia Spain for a while, a place of business for me. Henry David Thoreau from Concord MA. Edgar Allan Poe, Boston, MA. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Portland, ME. Charles Darwin, famous for is visit to the Galapagos Islands, the setting of a book of mine.

I imagine if I were to pursue these coincidental parallels further to places I have lived or been I would see similarities. Perhaps each of us could find similar parallels to our interests and people from the past, which leads me to believe that through some network of chance or deliberate planning, we continue to explore the world, but more importantly and perhaps, share the conscious we have within us with those who have come, gone and returned.

Sadly, my coffee cup contains only enough of water and stimulant left to cling to the side of the cup, as I tip it completely upside down and try to retrieve it. Perhaps a two cup day is on my horizon after all.