Time in the woods

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A time of windy days, of falling leaves

Trees of fertile, intricate roots, anchored

Rarely do we enter the woods

As if we are afraid bears or snakes may cross our path

Thursday afternoon or any day,

Any ordinary day, is a day of sauntering,

Luminous time of spending an afternoon

Without concern of looking backwards

Not to imagine but to experience kindness of time passing,

To experience ourselves vulnerable and alone sheltered in the woods,

I like to think distant birds return because of me, a selfish notion of enticement,

Dreams die not because of unimportance

Though lustrous, their solace is celebrated no more

If you are struggling just to survive, are you missing much of life?

I encounter the homeless and heard of refugees

They crowd the margins, tiptoeing the edge of the cliffs,

The deep sea below and jagged rocks.

Each morning they look for a clean place

to be alone.

Life of abundance, life of scarcity, life of loss

And the liminal spaces between

What are the life’s possibilities and questions?

Intense experiences challenge the boundaries.

Solirude. Tumult. Arrested time.

The book I’m reading, page 37, asks,

“What’s the measure of your worth?”

Priceless, I shouted.

Foray

Foray in the forest to forage
for mushrooms after the rain
I may pass the hermit’s shelter
partially hidden in the circle of trees
Nobody has seen him
he seems to be invisible
The birds know where he lives
in his imperceptible presence.

If I see him I want to ask him
how he listens to silence,
to voice of solitude
Are they silent thoughts?

The hermit laughs
like a mountain brook
lively and clear.
He is bald and has a white beard.
He smiles like your best friend.

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.

Solitude

“Solitude, however, is a form of awareness. It’s a way of being present and perceptive within all of life. It’s having a dimension of reflectiveness in our daily lives that brings with it a sense of gratitude, appreciation, peacefulness , enjoyment, and prayer. It’s the sense, within ordinary life, that life is precious, sacred, and enough.”- Ronald Rolheiser, Prayer, Our Deepest Longing

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Hiking & consequences

69A28C78-2E43-420E-9681-2B2CD28EF0474ACAC8B0-32EA-4FFA-B858-AEA9E616CF797E31F62B-BFE9-4BA2-B24C-3EC51E1EF665Hiking in the mountains in Incline Village, Nevada will build your muscles including the heart and enriched your mind. Maybe even your soul. Last Saturday and Sunday we met other walkers and mountain bikers. Stones and boulders are strewn everywhere. The trail have switchbacks in some areas. There are two view points to see Lake Tahoe.

Holy surrender

 

“…I want to give myself to You without solicitude, without fear or desire, not seeking words or silence, work or rest, light or darkness, company or solitude. For I know I will possess all things if I am empty of all things, and only You can at once empty me of all things and fill me with Yourself, the Life of all that lives and the Being in Whom everything exists.

And this will be my solitude, to be separated from myself so far as to be able to love You alone, and love You so much that I no longer realize I am loving anything…”
-Thomas Merton, Entering the Silence, The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume Two 1941-1952

note:this is part of the prayer of Thomas Merton to the Holy Spirit before his solemn, perpetual vows as a priest and Cistercian monk.

note: I’m alone in the mountains. Mrs. Abstract drove to St. George,UT, with our friend, Gloria, who will run 10K in the Senior Games on Monday.