A parade of blooms and weather changes proceed along spring’s merry way. The red bud tree next door spreads pink petals like a flower girl at a wedding all over a patch of unplanted earth beneath my window. A Dawn Redwood tree shades this northwest corner of Kendal and although the resident chipmunk adores this quiet terrain, not many deliberate plantings take to the shady, acidic, clay soil around here. Almost five years ago I could still do a little gardening in that spot, but due to the lack of a hose attachment nearby and my fading strength it is now a small wild place that attracts a variety of low growing weeds. A chipmunk has dug many holes while building up a mound of dirt where he is a bit higher up to oversee his munkdom. It is close enough to the birdfeeder outside my other windows where he can safely scavenge the sunflower seeds dropped by sparrows and finches.

It is not the larger wildlife of regular bear, fox, cayote, deer, wild turkey and weasel sightings of my former home. But further away from my end of Kendal there are deer, cayote, and fox sightings. And Ponds. Lots of ponds where I spend time with frogs, turtles, and waterfowl. Spring commands attention everyday with trees filling out and floral smells providing olfactory pleasures. There are new tree species to greet in Ohio and just the sheer shades of green high and low are enough to fill me with joy, even during last week’s cold snap with snowflakes wafting among puffy dandelions gone to seed.

So much else in the larger world seems very unsettling and shaky and it is comforting to see flowers and bunnies and goslings still emerge. I don’t think I have had one conversation with a friend which hasn’t devolved to bemoaning yet another dire sign of conservative extremism in Ohio, our country, and indeed around the world. I keep saying it is a reaction to so much underlying fear of the rapid changes on the planet. Frayed political systems unable to handle these changes invoke hatred, rigidity, and violence in a desperate attempt to clamp down and control fearful people. My friends and I have to pause when we touch on the dire direction our thoughts can take us. We agree to invest in hope and not feed the fear with our own sorrow about the way things are going.

It is hard in the best of times to look beneath the surface and address underlying fear of loss. I face continuing loss of mobility and physical independence. It is my own personal cauldron bubbling with the unknown. We all have fears of losing My Life as I Know It. It is human. It is what calls us to do the digging to find a larger means of viewing and living in the world. It is a means of loving that which gives birth to flowers and bunnies and goslings and all of the suffering. Feeling separate from the ever-present consciousness that gives rise to every season- the abundance of spring into the barren revelation of winter- is the loneliest experience I know.

A verse from an old song of mine goes… “Oh, Lady Summer, I am still a child of Spring. Let me do as the swallows do- build a nest in your arms and learn to sing.”

Loneliness and Love

Diary 4/1/19

April is here.There are forced forsythia branches in our morning eatery sunshining up the kitchen. It is sunny outside today, but chilly, and I am watching yesterday’s snow leaving the south facing roofs. Now the grass is slowly peeking through the northwest lawns in my purview. The sky is blindingly blue and requesting my presence. I have a meeting at the far end of the building later this afternoon, and I will bring my coat and continue on out the back door to visit my favorite accessible bit of Kendal’s “wilderness; the Buttonbush Bridge. The pond there is murky and dark after the ice melted, filled with the ratchet of spring frogs, shrill peepers, and too many bird calls for me to discern individually. Last time I visited, the clash of two geese on the apartment roofs behind me, shouted down all other sounds until they slithered down the shingles to the ground and flapped raucously away.

It is always a revelation of an experience larger than myself. I leave touched and opened. I did so today, learning why those two geese had caused such a fuss on the lawn behind the pond. They chose this pond as the spot to lay their eggs. It was now their territory. The mother goose created her nest right on top of a muskrat’s nest. The mound had been there last week and looked even bigger and sturdier now. Sitting on her eggs, the goose reached out her long neck from time to time gathering more strands of duckwweed within her reach to add her contribution to the mound.

Both creatures don’t know that this is a vernal pond, and by midsummer, it will be dry or reduced to a very small puddle left in the middle. How they will get on with one another I can’t imagine. Geese are very aggressive and muskrats are very shy unless cornered. Perhaps the upstairs/downstairs arrangement will work out for them. One enters by air, the other by underwater doorways. I wish them both well in starting their new families.

Three days ago I awoke with such a longing for the simple human intimacy of being with Richard. This initially painful gift is also a heart opening. Only when I drop down as deep as the pond, am I touched by Love, an equally welcome though differently painful opening.

Diary 3/30/19

Morning loneliness

seeps through the skin

foggy tendrils of sorrow

grasp coiling around

your ghost

Your breath is gone

you hands your smell your voice

the empty spaces

exuding lost masculinity

intimacy of humor

the steadfast love of you

not here not there

Pulling me

through the illusion

of separateness

into restful

arms that hold

for a moment

nothing and everything

Such Intimacy

I can hardly bear