Thursday, January 31


Living in communion with creation gives me a front-row seat to breathtaking appearances by the wildlife inhabiting this land. Over the weekend, while driving down River Road, I spotted a barred (bard) owl perched in a tree near the road. It turned its head as we passed, so of course had to go back for a better look. Then, a few miles later, we spyed a Red Shouldered Hawk surveying his domain from the white branches of a sycamore tree.

Big deal? Yes, a very big deal considering I've not seen either in the 2 1/2 years I've been here.

Yesterday, Mocha and I were headed out when something very large lifted from a tree near the car and flew silently to perch a safer distance away. I stood very still and there, looking west, was the largest owl I have ever seen. It too was a barred (bard) owl and did not seem the least bit interested in me or my dog. I returned to the house for the camera and approached the subject silently across the saturated lawn. I was able to capture a silhouette, but wanted badly to photograph it from the front with the golden rays of the setting sun illuminating its face and elaborate network of barred feathers. As I raised the camera to frame the perfect shot, so rose the owl from the tree branch and he dropped out of sight into the lower meadow.

Take my word for it, this owl was spectacular.

Wednesday, January 30

All About You

We've all received them. Some of us have even sent them. I did a few days ago.

What? Emails that ask you to answer a myriad of questions about yourself under the guise that it will help your friends know you better.

It occurred to me last night that even though I'm guilty of participating, I really don't want to know these trivial things.

Here's what I really want to know:

1. What makes your heart sing?

2. Can I call you at 3 am to bail me out of jail and will you do it?

3. If you could, at this moment, go anywhere and be anything your heart desired, what would that look like?

4. What is stopping you from realizing #3?

5. How can I be a better friend to you?

If you care to respond, the comments are open.

Friday, January 25


Today was the day to capture you
in your state of undress,
your white-as-chalk limbs
glistening in the sun.

I was too late.

Your high crown still shimmered,
but your body dissolved in shadow
as winter's piercing rays
slid silently west.

Tomorrow, I'll return
and you will tell me
how to take root in
unforgiving soil

and thrive.

Wednesday, January 23


So these dudes show up on Monday at the Retreat Center and tell me we don't have termites, but a mouse infestation problem. Really? We're located on 135 acres in rural Tennessee. Do you think we might have some field mice living out here? Maybe in the corn field across the road? And maybe when it gets cold, they seek shelter. Do you think, maybe?

So one of the dudes with the clipboard and the starched white shirt with the name of the company embroidered on the pocket hands me his business card and his title is "wildlife specialist." He prattles on and on about how they (mice) carry disease and it's just awful and they can guarantee that after their procedure, no mouse will ever be able to get into the house, blah, blah, blah.

So he just called with a heightened sense of urgency in his voice that we need to schedule an appointment immediately for him to come out and measure and analyze and I don't know, count mouse turds and he'll let me know how much it's going to cost to be mouse-free.

I scheduled the appointment, i.e. baited the trap. Y'all say a prayer for this poor schmo.

Thursday, January 17

Wintery Mix

That's what "they" call it when the weather Gods give us snow, rain and sleet at the same time. I popped outside about 7 pm last night to make a mailbox run and it was snowing big, wet flakes. It was more like clumps, compared to the dry snow of past winters. Mocha was not deterred and we romped in the meadow until it started to rain and then snow and then rain and then sleet and then snow some more.

When I awoke this morning, I expected to see a blanket of white, but alas, the wintery mix meant it melted in the night. Now drops of rain are suspended on the tips of branches and edges of eaves in anticipation of becoming icicles. They are putting up a good fight against gravity.

As I was donning my winter wear to go outside this morning, the hymn, "Oh, How I Love Jesus" popped into my head, with a little substitution in lyrics:

Oh, how I love my scarf,
Oh, how I love my scarf,
Oh, how I love my scarf
because it keeps me warm!

Thursday, January 10


Make each movement a prayer, each breath
an exaltation to the God that swells within you.
It doesn't matter if your God has no name,
you know it.

When you touch the one who makes your heart sing
let love ooze from the tips of your fingers,
drip from the corner of your eye like a savory tear
sliding down your cheek.

Reach gently for the next thing,
as if caressing the essence of life.
Land softly on your spongy soul,
feel it bounce with joy.

This moment...
it's what you’ve been given.
This moment...
it's what you live in.


Finding Neverland

I dart in front, then behind
the curtain changing
masks changing
minds changing
costumes changing

From the wings,
I peer into the faces
of the onlookers

do they see me?
do they hear me?
do they touch me?
do they want me?

I'm not what they think I am

I stride onto the stage,
avoiding a backward glance
in the mirror

I'm not what I think I've become

Wednesday, January 9

Once Was Rain

I love the sound the lake makes
when its belly is full,
a basso snoring that wakes the creek.
Bubbling and wubbling,
churning and chortling,
it trips over roots and rocks
and its own feet,
letting out a woo hoo (!)
as it free falls down the cascade.