the bird who knew no time

It was 1 a.m. and the dark house was filled with the quiet of the hour.

Only I moved in the house from one room to the next until I sat on the edge of my bed, the side closest to the window my own.

I squinted in the darkened room to see if there was much moonlight outside, and that is when it startled me.

Eerily piercing the darkness, the silence, as though it were noon and not the wee hours of the night, a bird’s melodic offering.

Again and again, over and over, he sang.  No one else joined in, with me as his only audience.

And I wondered why.

Was he practicing for the luring of his love on the morrow?

Was he seeking solace for some sadness he’d suffered earlier in the day?

Was he pontificating about things only he seemed to understand in a language that far too few bother to learn anymore?

Was he cheerily telling the young ones asleep hours ago of stories from his youth?

Was he from out of town and jet lagging like so many when arriving to a new place?

Was he without vision and the darkness could not pierce his spirit?

Did he sense me there on the other side of the bricks, sitting all alone and lonely in the darkness?

I’ll never be quite sure why he sang, but I listened to his offering, unable to sleep.  I wanted to hear his story, to hold it in my hands.  I wanted to know why he had to sing despite everything conventional saying he should not.

Thank you for piercing the darkness with your song and opening my eyes to the light, sweet one.  Your song reminded me of brighter days and evenings lit by lightning bugs.  Your song soared among the clouds and landed on my heart.

Sleep well, little friend.  Until we meet again.


Sparkling Trails in the Sunlight

This morning as Miss Sophie and I went for our morning constitutional, the sun was bright and it wasn’t quite so cold.  I could almost believe that Spring might be on her way.  (Yes, PLEASE.)  The sky was a vivid blue and the sun was reflected on the sidewalk, turning it almost white.


In that gorgeous sunlight I noticed the sparkling silver trails across the sidewalk.  I wondered where the trailblazers were and if they had made it through the night.

Looking at those trails reflecting the morning light, I wondered, will my own trail reflect the light like that after I’m gone out of sight on this journey?  Will it be a beautiful thing to see and think about on a morning filled with hope?  Will those who knew nothing of me see the path I’ve traveled on and feel inspired?

Something to think about as I plan my steps and make my way.

Love to all.


Her Lovely and Gentle Ways

Today found Winter clinging to every last bit she could, refusing to let go of the grip she had on my toes.  I am so tired of being cold, weary, and of coming home in the dark.

But on this day, when Winter was hanging on for all she was worth, her genteel sister crept out from behind the veil where she was hiding and whispered.  As her breath hit the air, it warmed slightly.  It was as though she were timid and not ready to be seen in large gatherings, but still–I caught a glimpse.  It would seem she took a little walk and left in her wake her dainty little footprints in the form of the blossoms that bowed and nodded as a gentle breeze wafted through–the pink a shade of blush or bashful, I couldn’t be quite sure which.

In the air, all around serenaded her, trying their best to convince her to stay as the birds sang their songs and frog music played in the background.  Even the sun put on a show for her before he headed for bed, inviting her to stay over and continue her visit tomorrow.

Ahhh, well, as the sun parted company with the sky, and all grew dark, I knew she had left us for a bit, uncertain if the timing was right or not.  As my soul thirsts for bare feet and warm grass and the kiss of the golden sun on my face, I do hope she will feel more at home tomorrow.  Or the next day.  And maybe she will set up camp and plan to stay for a while longer than a day here or there.

I’ve missed her.

And all of her lovely and gentle ways.


prunus persica in bloom

the treacherous trek and what lies beyond

some of the most beautifully breathtaking moments in this life
can only be found after a long hike, tiring and full of
rough climbs and treks through treacherous territory
and many times of questioning one’s own sanity

so pack well, invite someone along
who feeds your soul and fills the world
and your path with light
because not going, not seeking–
that’s never an option
for those who truly want to live

your story isn’t over
rest if you must
but then keep going
up the path
and one day the view will make it all worth it

“Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña, LIC Sierras de Santo Domingo y Caballera, Aniés, Huesca, España, 2015-01-06, DD 08-09 PAN” by Diego Delso. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Sunset view of the Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña (Hermitage of the Virgin of the Rock), province of Huesca, Spain. The village of Aniés is seen on the left. The oldest parts of the sanctuary date to Roman times, while much was built in the 13th Century. The hermitage is only accessible on foot, via a steep path in the forest and through caves in the mountain.”–The fact that this is known because folks had to make that long and treacherous trek is a beautiful thing to me.  That they wanted to gives me hope.



is a lovely color
gentle, like a baby’s breath

it was my girls’ first favorite color
and various shades of it still
bring a light to their eyes

“blush” and “bashful” best described
the color
in that movie that made me cry
it was her “signature” color, after all

and somehow it has become the color
for breast cancer awareness
and I suppose it suits as much as any other
but when it all comes down to it

all the pink socks and pens and yogurt cups
I’ve bought in the past with good intentions
to raise anybody’s awareness
or change anyone’s life
it was just

tomorrow morning
a friend of my Mama and my Aunt
will undergo surgery
for breast cancer
and she won’t be the only one

a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer
every two minutes in this country

that is too many
one is too many

and pink and awareness
are not changing that

I don’t mean to pink ribbon shame
but isn’t it time we do something more?

Isn’t it time we stop going without undergarments
and claiming it raises awareness?
Isn’t it time we stop taking pictures of silly underwires
on dogs and clotheslines
and claiming it’s for the cause?

Isn’t it time we pick up a broom and sweep out the mess
and the misperceptions
and we change it from
breast cancer awareness

please join me in keeping Miss C
and all of the men and women fighting this
in your thoughts
and let’s join them in this fight

stepping in with a hand to hold
a shoulder to lean on
with a toilet brush in one hand
and a casserole dish in the other

and then, when the day is done,
let’s write the ones who make the laws
and who decide on the funding
and let’s demand that we stop saving
body parts
and start saving people

love to all

A woman I admire and respect, who is a breast cancer survivor and a brilliant advocate for those in this fight, recently shared this article and asked that we contact our Senators and ask them to pass the 21st Century Cures Act. It’s something we can do, y’all. And it’s something that someone who is actually in the fight is asking us to do. The article is here. Thanks for reading.

A Moth, A Kitten, and the Light in the Morning Dew

Miss Sophie and I set out on our walk yesterday morning.

The grass was wet with dew and sparkled like a crop of diamonds had grown there overnight.  Nature was showing off her bling.

As we walked on, I noticed a lovely moth in our yard.  So pretty and different looking. Her body was sizable, as were her wings.  They were the loveliest shade of light, light green. She was breathtakingly beautiful.  And there she sat.  Being adored and appreciated, as she should be.


When  we came back from our morning constitutional, I noticed my new friend seemed to be floundering.  She’d take off, hover just inches above the ground and land, seconds later, only a few inches from where she had begun.  She appeared to be confused or lost or…..


I called out for our  Princess to come and get Miss Sophie, so I could focus my attention on the lovely moth.  I approached her as quietly and gently as something that would appear to be a monster or giant could.  I tried to hold my finger out for her to climb on.  I kept thinking if I could get her to dry land, she’d be better off.  Maybe her wings could dry, and she could soar again.  But it seemed that my being close only worried her more.  I looked for a stick, but I could find none.  As I looked a little closer, it appeared to me that in the few minutes I’d been gone, her wings were even more ragged than before.

Had the dew done that?

That quickly?

I found myself about to curse the dew that just a short time before I had been thrilled and mesmerized by.  If I were to curse it now, would that mean I’d want to curse it every single morning?  Would I begin my day with the darkness of anger and sadness weighing on my heart?

Instead, I looked at the little one as she prepared to leave this world.  It’s been a while since I watched one lovely and loved prepare to die–since I had to let go.  It was surreal, with the last of the dew still glistening and the light and warmth from the sun kissing the day as it started off on its journey.

All while this one’s journey was ending.

And there was nothing I could do about it.

I whispered words of thanks for this life, whose beauty crossed my path for such a short while and bid her peace and a painless passing as she eased herself onto the grass for the last time.

Tonight as I thought again about watching one prepare to leave, I remembered something that happened about seven or eight years ago.  Our cat had kittens, and she was funny about moving them until she found just the right spot.  It was almost a game, wondering where did Mama Kitty take her kittens now.  This particular afternoon, I decided to have a little “lie down,” and I went to my bedroom at the back of the house.  I had just closed my eyes, when I heard the persistent mewling of a cat.  A kitten to be exact. I looked out the window and could see nothing.  I went out and followed the sound.  She had moved those kittens up into the top of the playhouse/swingset.  The very top.  And one of them–was it Denim…..or Lace (Aub had named the two black ones herself)–was hanging by its neck between two floorboards.

The little four week old kitten was doing her best to let the world know she didn’t think this was okay.  As soon as I saw her, I moved quickly and lifted her gently out of her predicament.  She meowed a couple more time, rather indignantly, I might add, and then she settled down and was ready to go about her business of being a kitten.

A precious little life.

I’m not sure why that came to my mind tonight when I thought back to yesterday and the moth and other times I’ve said goodbye.  I’m glad it did.  It made me smile to remember one time that we had a happy ending.  The one time that my wanting a nap served us all well.  The one time I didn’t have to say goodbye and let someone I loved go.

Tonight I’m thankful for the light and the dewdrops and long lives well lived.  I’m thankful for the tears that fall for the lovely and loved whom we have to let go. The darkness cannot hold me, for the morning will come and bring with it the sun and the light and the dew.

And hope.

For it is not all black and white, joyful or sad, kind or evil, good or bad.

And neither are any of us.

May we all seek and find some light in the midst of the dark, hope in the pain of loss.

Love to all.


Looking down at my feet, I ponder about how truly amazing gravity is.
It’s like this force, pulling us close, holding us there, much like one in love with another–
that feeling where you never want to let go.

The earth is in love with us. Yes.
The birds and the waves sing her love songs.
The sun, moon, and stars light up her delighted countenance.
She gives us flowers and gifts and feeds us all.
She gives us her everything, down to her very core.
Never wanting to let us go, she holds on tight to all of creation…..

we are loved.

But I worry about what will happen when she figures out what we’ve been doing,
how we’ve really been treating her behind her back,

and when, like a lover scorned, will she fling us far and wide
wanting nothing more than to be rid of us

the ones who have taken her heart, mistreated her, and
walked away, leaving a path of destruction in our wake…..

I think it’s time we give her flowers or trees
and the love and attention she deserves,
saying “I’m sorry”
as she continues to keep us safe and hold us close
despite ourselves

another day, another trip around the sun
she’s still holding on, hoping…..knowing we can do better by her

she’s right


Columba pacis

This evening as my Aub and I gathered together in a circle of 100 or more people gathered at the Vigil, I looked down in the midst of the singing, and I saw this leaf there on the ground in front of me.  It intrigued me and comforted me.  As prayers were said for the one inside the building hidden by the woods, awaiting to know if her life was about to end or not, I focused my heart on the prayer and my eyes on the leaf.  As prayers were said for the ones who know and love her and would grieve for her both inside and outside of the building with the bars, I focused my heart on the prayer and my eyes on the leaf.


At first I thought it was a cross, but as I looked a little longer, I realized it was a dove.  Of peace.

And my heart and soul breathed a sigh of release.

And a prayer for grace and mercy.

Tonight I am thankful for a life that is still being lived, a story still being told, and for the souls who shared their stories and hopes with us as we stood in the cold and hoped and prayed and laughed and cried together.  I am thankful for weather delays and cloudy medicines and the chance that hearts could still be changed and justice and mercy can go hand in hand to continue the life of one who cares, who has saved lives herself, and who has told folks they were better than their circumstances.  Of one who loves.

As for what tomorrow will bring, I focus my heart on the prayers and my eyes on the dove.  On peace.  And grace.  And mercy.

And I know that whatever story comes next, in the end, Love Wins.  It just has to.

Love to all.




Other Thoughts:  The Sanctity of Life and the Miracle of Grace




The Empty Shelves

The little concrete building

with bars over the only windows,

the ones at the front

looking out over the busy road

at all the customers they had hoped to draw in.

There are signs in the windows,

advertising the cigarettes that they planned to have on the shelves.


The neon light hangs slightly off-center,

never having been plugged in at all.

It is for some drink or another

that never graced the shelves,

only that unlit sign stands testament to what

was supposed to have been.


Everything was ready and appearances were good,

on the outside.

Only the inside of this little store

was never stocked.

No one ever entered its doors, seeking

spirits or sustenance.

Or conversation.


No one stood behind the counter,

doing the job she was hired for.

No one pulled his truck up to the front door

and unloaded cases of Coca-Cola

or Ritz Crackers.

Or Moon Pies.




No substance there at all.

Sometimes we are like that little cement brick building.

The structure is there, everything’s ready,

as far as the outward appearances go.



we forget to get our insides ready.

Our soul is empty and not at all prepared for what we want to appear

ready for.

What we’ve said we can do,

we haven’t always prepared our hearts

or souls

or minds for.


I drive by the little store and think

about what a shame it is that they didn’t stock the shelves


and then put up the signs inviting people inside.