Monday, January 25, 2010

goddess #22

scarred by development
gouged by greed
the sub-tropical landscape lies barren
wildness awaiting replacement with
tended foliage
parking lots
and towering condos.
still the red bird sings in the tree
and the great blue heron soars above.

may we learn to be happy with exactly what is happening in this one precious moment.

Just arrived in Florida, I am struck, yet again, by the incredible pace of development. Places still wild on my last visit are now vacation condos, strip malls, and parking lots. Remaining wild spaces have "for sale" signs prominently displayed. Yet wildlife appears still to thrive -- water birds wade in irrigation ditches and songbirds sing in trees and brambles.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

goddess #21

Gray day
wet snow
stillness of New England winter.
Some 2600 kilometers south,
in tropic heat
bodies decompose,
crushed, smothered.
Hundreds of thousands lost as earth flexed muscle and bone,
no longer steady or firm.
My heart shatters into a hundred thousand shards
that pierce my flesh,
transforming into light
scattering in a billion directions.
Finally, only emptiness remains.

May our hearts be open to the suffering and the joy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

goddess #20

cattails in the snow
birds calling softly against a background
of cars rushing by
stillness in the midst of clamor.

may all being dwell in the stillness

Behind route 1 in Dedham, a commercial artery jammed with stores and traffic, lies a peaceful waterway, part of the Charles River, that zig-zags back on itself and spreads out in parts into marsh filled with cattails. I've canoed these waters, meeting blue herons, turtles, red-winged blackbirds, and other creatures of the wild. Amazingly, this natural world exists just yards away from traffic and commerce, a peaceful oasis in an otherwise suburban landscape.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

goddess #19

This life is the gift of the whole universe ...
the earth, the sky, and much loving action.
May I live it in mindfulness, aware of the universe flowing through me.
May I learn to live with moderation, taking what is needed, giving freely.
May I live in a way that nourishes and supports my life, and the lives of my loved ones, my community, all living beings, and the earth.
I accept this life with gratitude and undertake to grow in love, compassion, and understanding, and to serve all beings."
with profound grtatitude to Thich Nhat Hanh and all of my teachers

Walking the paths of Insight Meditation again was both familiar and different. Deep snow had smoothed the way underfoot, blanketing the rocks and roots, demanding a different kind of awareness - to the crunch of packed snow on trodden paths and the swish through new-fallen snow carefully feeling for secure footing.

I had placed goddess #19 on Monday in a tree that called to me with a skin of beautifully colored bark . On Tuesday, as I passed the choice seemed unwise . . . just a bit too exposed and vulnerable, so I moved her to a to a nest within the spires of exposed wood in the remains of a fallen tree.

My treks also took me past the place where goddess #2 lives. It was lovely to revisit her, and to notice that some kind soul had moved her to a new spot, higher in the tree trunk than where she originally stood. She seemed quite content in her snow covered perch.

I am so grateful to have had this time of quiet meandering through the snowy woods -- the sudden rush of wild turkeys taking flight from trees overhead, the flash of red and cackling call as woodpeckers went about their business of recycling the forest, and the everchanging color of light reflecting off of snow.