Counting

To walk through a storm
to hear two birds singing
a sense of peace afterwards
like a boat sitting in a clear stream in solitude
there was once a place
on the earth, in her soul,
a place where each step inward,
an expression of sweetness,
a communion with the divine

An abandoned ladder leaning on the side of a house
a bee loitering over picnic baskets
discoveries in a journal as early as five years ago
and one can penetrate “deeper and deeper
into the same ideas and the same experiences”
and find them new.

My grandmother sits rocking on a porch chair
watching people pass by:
a man slow in walking not from hunger
a woman hurrying not from worry.
Her seventieth birthday jolts her calm existence
spiritual hunger returns to her waking
Sunday church becomes regular than her heart

From the porch she fingers her prayer beads,
sitting quitely in silent incantation,
her cat looks on, stays, hardly any movement.

Contentment

Balancing herself on a cane
she bends down to remove
a pebble from her shoe
stands, adjust her scarf,
and resumes her walk
The air 61 degrees cool under cloudy sky.

She walks slow with slight sway
body straight, her eyes look far in the horizon

She answers good morning
with a smile as I pass and greet her.

Her voice sounds content.

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note: The path to the river.

living on the land

“There was something about living on the land that made people forever hopeful. Good years were always ahead. These old people knew well enough that the most promising colt might bring the bitterest disappointment, that the rainy season might start out well and end in drought, that the prettiest heifer might not give enough milk to pay for her feed. Yet they kept on breeding their animals and planting their fields.”
-from: November Grass by Judy Van Der Veer