A leaf, one of the last, parts from a maple branch:
It is spinning in the transparent air of October, falls
On a heap of others, stops, fades. No one
Admired its entrancing struggle with the wind,
Followed its flight, no one will distinguish it now
As it lies among other leaves, no one saw
What I did. I am
The only one.
I sat down in a fraying beach chair to look at the water and slowly sip my coffee. Rain from a few hours earlier soaked the morning, and the lake blended entirely into the sky in pale grey with hints of blue. I felt a light tickle on the back of my neck and turned to see a small grasshopper perched on the chair. I watched it as quietly as an observing scientist. The grasshoppers long legs stepped slowly and deliberately and I realized I was examining one of nature’s most beautiful dances. It gradually bent its front legs and rubbed the underside of its entirely grass green body against the chair and rubbed its rounded nose against each front leg, dusting the last drops of sleep from its body; the movement reminded me of a just waking cat. Leaning in closer, I saw its green tranquil eyes shaped like little rain drops and as sweet as a child. I watched it’s gracefully movements, the way it swayed ever so slightly in the morning breeze. The rain tap tapped harder then before, and soon a down pour soaked my skin. I ran to the lake and dove swiftly into the water marked by a billion rain drop dimples, swam to a sand bar and sat down in it, pushing my hands through the thick lake bottom. The experience was exquisite. Delicate tones of blues and hardly visible greens swish swashed through water and sky. So God was painting a water color this morning, blending the colors of the world with tender water drops.
Finding the Sea Glass 7/21/06
Bending down in a smooth swoop, I clasp the new treasure in my hand. Unlatching my fingers, I toss the glistening stone from palm to palm, allowing its misty tones to remind my skin of soft loving touch. Holding the stone between my thumb and pointer finger, I try to gaze through its hazy complexion, but what once was a broken piece of glass now lay a stone resembling the polished emerald city. I imagined a sailor throwing a useless bottle over board without a second thought. It splinters against the side of the boat and sinks to the bottom of the lake, grinding against rock and sand. This churning continues for a few weeks or less, speeding the process with the harshness of each storm. Tossing back and forth, back and forth, the glass eventually ends up on the beach. A broken piece of glass with sharp edges. Harsh weather and the hurling of waves. A faultless gem.
The Harmonious Flight 8/17/06
In the morning I saw tiny birds above the whisky waves flying towards the southern horizon. The flock flew in a single file line creating a constant line of flittering wings. Their flight continued for several minutes, thousands of birds in a row caressing the whole stretch of sky. Like Can Can girls, they methodically flapped their wings. Just below them, each bouncing wave danced also, and I saw the world in both poetry and a mathematical equation- with a perfect balance of rhythm and purpose.
The Morning 7/23/06
If in the first moments of looking in some ones eyes you see flickers of how they truly feel, the earth similarly shows its true nature in the earliest moments of sunrise, when the dark sky must stubbornly give way to light. In the early morning the sun breaks through and shatters the darkness, marking the sky with coral slits and fiery slashes. On this particular morning, dark midnight clouds settle like fat lazy men, budging slowly from the horizon. The lake, with waves crashing into foamy egg white, offered colors of steel and silver, bright whites, navy, ballet pinks, and lemon. Despite the soft undertones, the water looked ancient but constant, alluring but distant- like some untouchable and beautiful god. Cold and prehistoric in its steel texture, the water stood victim to the dominant sun. Slow and steady in its course, the sun stamped reds and oranges into a dark world.
A deep breath of air. I take it eagerly. With a crash of white foam the purples mix with the sandy browns and then fade away. Little bubbles sweep swiftly onto my toes, leaving a few to liger, absorb my peachiness, and reflect it in their globe of gleaming curvature. Honey yellows dance on the edges and I think of fireflies tangoing through the leaves of trees. The low set, lazy men clouds start rimming with soft pinks and golds, slowly bursting with the morning. I stand up to stroll over to a heron bird wearing garments as purely milk white as a bridal gown, pick up a piece of only slightly misty sea glass which I throw back into the water for further processing, turn and watch my footsteps imprint the balmy brown sand, and sit down by a hill of tiny seashells. Blinking wildly, I look to see syrup of pure gold reaching for my toes. I follow the gold across the lake to the huge yellow sun, and I am surrounded. By still and timelessness. By swirling colors of browns, pinks, blues, gold’s, all in every hue and texture.
I sit here. A deep breath of air. I am tiny in this scene, a dot of pale ink on the canvas. But I am here, and I am glad to be bathing in gold. And my hands, thankful to be basked in pink light. I imagine my face glowing like a white heron, made radiant in simplicity next to every other color. My toes creep over to the blues and greens, and they welcome me with chilled water and diamond bubbles. The new light is everywhere.
I let is smooth away my bitterness. I let it take my steel grays and push through in red slivers, to seep through my toes and fingertips and melt my cold dark soul. I wanted to be illuminated, to walk as the sun and melt everything in my path.
I stood up, heavily and filled to the brim. As I continued walking the stream of golden sun chased me. I remembered the moon at night, how I thought it followed me by the way it always magically appeared outside the car window no matter which way I’d go. I remember being so bitter at the moon, cursing it for failing me, hating it for watching but not protecting. Looking again at the gold, I felt tempted to return to my bitterness. “Will you protect me?” I asked this sincerely and out loud. I shook my head; sometimes God just needed to turn the volume up and talk to me. Then I heard it, a whisper in my soul- soft as the foamy egg white waves. I heard that I needed to listen to the silence. A deep breath of air. The wave’s crash: they ask me to remember the earth when it was new and untouched. They told me to remember that light always comes.